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An-2 meeting 2006

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     All photos © Poul-Joergen Christensen    
    Translation To English by Hans-Joergen Troelsen    

 

 

          To continue the picture coverage of the European An-2 meetings and for my own pleasure I went to this year’s meeting to see the big birds. It was held at the airfield of Jaromer (LKJA) in the north-eastern part of the Czech Republic close to the Polish border – less than 100 km from Jelenia Gora in Poland where next year’s meeting is to be held.

          

          Jaromer airfield is also the home of the Flying Bulls Aerobatic Team. They perform daily training unless in bad weather. Their show performance is quite astonishing. I am especially impressed by “Mirror Flight” where the two performing aircraft are inverted to each other during all manoeuvres. Their website is worth a visit.

 

 

 

The map shows the close locations of this and next year’s An-2 meetings. The distance from Prague to Jaromer is app. 100 km.

 

 

          As last year I went by car, but this year I had an agreement with Kjell Brattfors from Sweden who participated in his An-2 LY-ABK. Accordingly I was signed in as a part of his crew. I spent the night at a youth hostel. The costs of accommodation and all meals were only 20 €.

          Due to very bad weather on the first part of their flight LY-ABK first arrived about 9 PM – just before dusk. All aircraft from abroad had to make a short stop at Hradec Králové for customs control. Their landing fee was paid by the arrangement committee.

          On Friday morning everybody was picked up in a bus bound for the airfield to have breakfast. Later that day, the 12 participating An-2s were on a joint one-hour flight in the area with a flypast at Hradec Králové before returning to Jaromer. On Friday night all An-2 teams joined in a competition. At first 5 men had to push an An-2 backwards app. 20 metres. The winning team was well below 20 seconds and please notice that no one was allowed to push before signal was given. Next task was to throw a round pressurized air tank. Every participant threw once and the results were added. Later this evening we visited a local flying club with the most beautiful club house I have ever seen. Unfortunately it was quite dark when it was time for the barbecue so photo conditions were not optimal, but the few interior pictures clearly show the flying club environment. Around midnight we had transfer to our hostel. The crews were accommodated at 3 different hotels.

On Saturday after breakfast we were going on a flying sightseeing to Mladá Boleslav to visit the Skoda museum. After take-off at 9.30 AM we made a pass over the impressive factory buildings and landed on the local airfield. We had been promised to see some replicas of very old aircraft airborne, but due to some misunderstandings this never happened – unfortunately. We had bus transfer to the Skoda museum and were divided into 2 teams. One had lunch while the other visited the very impressive museum. 

          At 2 PM the aircraft headed towards Hradec Králové – apparently a former military airbase which was now VERY open. We even saw children driving on their bicycles on the taxiways together with moving aircraft. I met an American tourist, who had seen an An-2 in a Montana museum, but he had never seen one airborne and now they were all over. Some of us spent time at a hotdog stand in the airfield enjoying the good weather. At 5 PM we returned to Jaromer. 

          Later that day I spent 23 € on a 30 minute ride in a Zlin 142 OK-PNG – a nice flight without aerobatics which could also have been obtained. In the evening the third and final part of the competition was held, and it consisted only of technical questions. The winner was found and prices were given in different disciplines, e.g. greatest flying distance to Jaromer. Maybe the English team should have won this trophee after their 6.5 hours non-stop flight from the UK. The hangar party went on till late that night.

          Sunday was departure day for all teams. The foreigners made the obligational short stop at Hradec Králové for customs. All aircraft were gone before noon except LY-BIG from the UK which apparently had some technical problems fixed. The local An-2 spent the day with parachute lifts of 15 – 18 parajumpers at a time. During most lifts a tandem jump was performed. It seemed quite professional. Less than an hour after the tandem passenger had landed, he/she could obtain a finalized DVD of the event. The video jumper had landed quite a while before the tandem couple so he was ready to capture the landing. Seconds later he ran to his car to start editing while his wife packed his parachute for the next lift. The DVD production only took half an hour.

          During the Sunday a free airshow attracted many people. There were lots of ordinary aircraft (from a Chzech point of view) as well as expensive ultralights. A YAK-11 made a nice air display. A pagojet pilot just attached the engine to his back as a rucksack and flew with a parachute.

          At 3 PM I left the airfield to begin my journey back to Denmark. Maybe I will join next year’s meeting in Poland. I plan to add the interesting aircraft museums in Sinsheim and Speyr in my tour programme. I visited Sinsheim in the 1990s and two days are easily spent there – especially with their new Concorde attraction. More information about the museums

          A final thanks to Kjell Brattfors and his crew for their friendliness and the opportunity to fly with them on the outings from Jaromer. Without these flights many of the pictures below would not have been taken. I look forward to seeing you next year in Jelenia Gora.

 

 

Poul-Jørgen

 

 

 

Jaromĕř airfield – RW 940 x 90 metres 14/32

The hangar on the right belongs to the Flying Bulls.


 

 

 

This is the hangar where we met and had all our meals during our time in Jaromer.

 

All meals were included in the participant fee. Though some of the meals took place elsewhere. E.g. we visited a flying club with the most marvellous club house where we barbecued in the evening. We also had lunch at the Skoda museum in Mlada Boleslav.


 

 

 

 

 

Introduction briefing on Friday after the last aircraft arrivals.

 Thursday was arrival day, but some participants were rather late due to bad weather en-route. Including LY-ABK from Sweden


 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

A suitable registration for a UK based An-2 which had made it to Jaromer in 6.5 hours.


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

This club house was the beautiful frame of our barbecue.


 

 

 

 

 

The popular bar


 

 

 

This house indicates a big interest in aircraft.


 

 

 

 

From this LY-ABK you can see 4-5 other An-2s. The photo is taken on the second day of the meeting where the 12 aircraft were together in some sort of a formation.


 

 

 

Team Adriana´s SP-FIF over the Skoda-factories in Mladá Boleslav.

The photo is shot from LY-ABK (pilot: Kjell Brattfors, Sweden).


 

 

 

 

Aircraft parking at Mladá Boleslav airfield seen from the tower.

The white aircraft centre right is a PZL M-18A Dromedar crop duster and the two yellow ones further to the right are Zlin Z-37 – also crop dusters.


 

 

 

 

Mladá Boleslav and the line-up of An-2s seen towards the tower and hangar.

Nearby are the Skoda factories where we visited the museum and enjoyed their lunch hospitality.


 

 

 

 

 

We leave the airfield at Mladá Boleslav bound for Hradec Králové.


 

 

 

 

 

Approach to Hradec Králové – apparently a former military air force base.

It did not seem very inaccessible. Children and grown-ups rode their bikes on the taxiways without permission.

This airfield was used by the customs authorities for control of all foreign aircraft.


 

 

 

 

 

Sunny cosiness next to a taxiway.

Outside the right border of the picture there was a food stand. I think he had a greeeeaat day.

 I spoke to an American tourist from Montana. He had only once seen an An-2 in a museum at home, but now he saw them flying everywhere.


 

 

 

Joint take-off from Hradec Králové.


 

 

 

 

LY-AKB just outside the cockpit window on our way to Jaromĕř


 

 

 

 

 

Like the previous years a contest between the participating teams was held.

 First contest was about pushing an An-2 app. 20 metres backwards. Four men pushed and one man made the direction. The winning team made it well below 20 seconds.


 

 

 

 

A round steel tank was to be thrown as far as possible.

 Every team came with 4 men. From where the first man threw the tank (first bounce) the next man   threw it on until everybody had thrown. I do not remember the final results.

 Last part of the competition was some technical questions about the An-2.