Thursday, 15 november 2007 : pathfinders take off.
Ever since last monday night and the surprise authorisation obtained from the government of Bosnia, the team has been hectic. Van rental had to be confirmed, a long list of furnitures had to be purchased and all this equipment had to go through customs in order to make the crossing of many borders easier.
In the meantime, Beatrice and Olivier had to obtain a very special transport authorisation for "a 2nd category exceptionnal cargo" and the fuselage. Dakota 43-15073's good gods once again intervene and Jean's contact at the local Calvados DDE (transport administration), a man totally dedicated to the project, was going to make the impossible come to reality. Road book, DDE's special advisor for each "department" concerned... everything is worked out into details and Béatrice 's contacts all turn into Snafu Special dedicated fans. Everybody wants to share the legend.
For Hans, Jean and Patrick, our "pathfinders", H Hour is thursday 5 pm. They shall therefore arrive prior to the rest of the team. The van they picked up in the morning is loaded with all the equipment and all checked up. The team members living in the close area bring along their luggage in order to travel light on saturday. In the back of the van, a little bed has been set to allow the drivers to take an occasionnal nap in turns.
5 pm, time is up and about 30 people are gathered next to the city hall, along with TV and radio reporters. Olivier goes over the very last security advices and makes sure every one has the right names and contacts in each country to be crossed. Flashes go off on the red overall which shall within a few days identify Team Snafus all around the world press. 5.30 pm.. Time to go! Engine starts, "be careful and call soon" a weary Olivier asks. In the fading day light, the van moves on. Eastbound. Heading for Rajlovak and that Dakota 43-15073 they've heard so much about and that they're about to discover. For real!