Float like a butterfly, sting like a... ouch!Operation Red Bull has taken flight into the history books (read about how it all started here and about the Flugtag Competition here). On Sunday, August 3rd, 2008, our fearless pilot, Brent, held on for dear life as he was launched into the air by the crack team of Operation Red Bull doctors. His flight was short-lived, however, as his craft cleared the flightdeck but then took a sudden downwards path and ended up landing face-down in the Ottawa river. Despite some glaring engineering gaffes, the Operation Red Bull team is proud of its hard work and inventiveness in craft design, and looks forward to sharing the many stories that were written throughout the weekend in Ottawa. In the meantime, enjoy the photos and updated blog.
So, sit back and enjoy the Flugtag silliness and imagine what it must have felt like knowing only a pair of swimming goggles and a helmet stood between you and the quickly approaching water... Blog Photos Videos
RECENT BLOG POSTSFRIDAY, AUGUST 8, 2008
Friday, Pre-Flugtag Flight: As Valerie and myself were the lucky people to get to fly to Ottawa, our trip was relatively uneventful until we were flying through a thunderstorm. The plane felt like it was shaking itself apart. It was a pre-cursor to what was about to come.
Saturday prep: Overall, a pretty normal day out in the park getting soaked by thundershowers, putting together the craft, and fixing up the loose bits. Even though there is a no-alcohol policy on the grounds, that didn't stop any of the teams from partying it up at Helsinki's.
Trembath decides we should all have nick names. He choses Victim for me.
Sunday: Flugtag! Feeling nervous now. Last nights drinking probably didn't help matters. I vaguely remember saying really stupid things. :)
We're all down early at the park getting costumed and I'm the butterfly in the stomach getting butterflies in the stomach. The Operation game is a great kid pleaser and Major Monarch (me) is running around like a maniac on a bender. Not a lot of people think we'll fly far. We'll show them.
Time to Flug!
10 seconds in: Amazing, I climb inside the belly without crushing, breaking, or falling. They cover me up with the bedsheet.
20 seconds in: I'm thinking "Man, this is taking forever" while they interview Trembath and I'm a crouching, hidden butterfly.
30 seconds in: Woot! Skit starts and we're putting on the show!
1:20 seconds: Uh oh... here comes the moment we prepared for. Do or die time... well, better be Do.
Some Miscellaneous Thoughts:
- "Holy crap, I'm really trucking now, we might actually make it over!"
- "Ahhhh sh*t! This isn't going well..."
- [ Straight down into the cool blue water, leaning out of the belly ]
- "Ow! my face!"
- "Ow! my chest!"
- "Ow! my eyes!"
- "Glub! Gotta get out from under here!"
I have to hand it to the safety people, after 16 previous "flights", they really know how to zip in, grab ya, and zip out. Other than the face and belly flop, I'm feeling not too bad. It turns out that adrenalin is a powerful pain suppresant. The medic there wants me to follow him to the tent. My eyes have starting swelling and bruising. I get an ice pack and am resting in the medic tent. Apparently, I burst blood vessels in my eyeballs and bruised them because of the goggles acting like a suction cup plunger. Great... that explains why it feels like I'm blinking with sandpaper. The doctor says my sockets should be bruised and red for about 10 days, but otherwise, pretty good condition.
After getting back to the hotel, I notice that my injuries were far more extensive. My shoulders are completely black and bruised and my lower back feels like a knife is jabbing it. Glad I'm flying back. I love the reaction my injuries have on people. Looks much worse than it feels.
The lessons I learned from this experience:
- Don't let Trembath give you a nickname
- Swimming goggles ARE different from diving goggles
TUESDAY, AUGUST 5, 2008
TUESDAY, AUGUST 5, 2008
MONDAY, AUGUST 4, 2008