Nope its not the Terminator, its even better.
For those that don't recognize the old guy holding that silly French airplane in the above photo....well then you must have been living under a rock for most of your life! Its none other than Ivan Kristensen.
Now I hope Ivan doesn't get mad at me for spilling the beans, but it seems he picked himself up a fancy new Osmose to play with!
I got a call from Ivan back in December just shooting the breeze about pattern in general, where it was, where its going, how I felt about it etc. I didn't think much of it at the time, after all Ivan had been flying pattern at the World Champs level since before I was even born, but had left behind his most distinguished career in 2000 to pursue IMAC competition more heavily. 2001 was my first Worlds so I never got a chance to really fly with Ivan which was a huge disappointment for me personally. So a long time pattern flier wanting to shoot the breeze about pattern didn't really set off any alarm bells.
Then he started asking about servos....and airplanes, and what I thought about certain ones....and what servos I use. Mmmmm, I am struggling to comprehend why on earth would Ivan care what servos I use in my pattern plane. I am sure he knows as much about Futaba servos as I do....but ok, so we continue and I spill my guts about what servos I use and what planes I think are good. Then it hits me DING!? DUH? "Ivan did you get a plane? " He avoids the question for a moment then finally admits he has a CA Osmose on its way. I almost fell out of my chair.
At what level Ivan will come back to I don't know, and don't want to speculate (publicly anyway) either. He has not flown a pattern plane in almost 8 years, so I am sure it will take some time for him to get back in the saddle. I am also sure that he is quite aware that our team selection for the 2009 Worlds in Portugal is this summer!
I personally am very motivated to see him at least thinking about getting back to it, even if its casually. I have been waiting for an opportunity to compete against him for some time, and just the thought of being able to do that will push me hard this year to be flying 110%.
Welcome back Ivan!