So this was the plan: drive up to Eindhoven to the European Air Refuelling Training and participate in the Media Day. In particular, I would get to fly on the Dutch KDC10 tanker during a refuelling mission as part of the Frisian Flag exercise. I would collect questions for an interview, and then, after the exercise, do an interview on air-to-air refuelling with pilots and boom operators.

The part of that plan that did not work was .... the flight. Literally five minutes after I checked into the hotel in Eindhoven, I received an email that the flight was cancelled, because both KDC10 aircraft have a technical problem: one is stuck in Nimes with a defective reverser, the other one is in Eindhoven, but the cabin pressurization system does not work. The Italian and German tankers did fly, and the journalists who had selected those as their aircraft of choice in advance got their flight. I wanted the KDC10 because of the boom ... bad gamble :-(

So the only thing I have to show for the day is a couple of additional questions for the interviews that came up during the media briefing. And a couple of photos which are attached to this post of the Italian KC-767A, the French KC-135R, and the German A-310.

I also confirmed the suspicion (which I had before, partially confirmed in Farnborough) that it does not make sense for me to participate in a media briefing with 50 other journalists: the reason is that I need access to interviewees for long periods of time. If you are a writer you can collect data during the day, and then write about it. If you are a photographer, you really just need access, nothing else. But I need the people. And that feels to the hosts as an "exclusive", so it is really hard. Of course, I kinda knew this in advance, and the reason why I went there nonetheless was the flight. Oh my.

Anyway. I am of course quite frustrated about this. But I guess it had to happen at some point, after over 250 recorded episodes. And I hope that at least the interviews will work out as planned, later this spring.
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3/29/17
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