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July 25, 1998

Press Conference at the airport this morning.  I felt like .... well, I don't know what.   We sat at the head table with the Russian Pilots.  Microphones on the table, cameras all around the room, reporters, the real deal.  Moscow government was there, Intrestrate Aviation, Flight Safety Foundation, etc. etc.  Nikki talked, I talked, Khalide and Natassia talked.  Then about 6 - 7 others spoke before questions.   Doug told me later that he had tried to get my attention a couple of times.   He wanted to tell me "Cameras, remember cameras".  Seems like, I got this glazed far away look while some were talking a long time.  Once, I was concentrating on what was being said and the other time, I was thinking about an earlier phone call I had and I had been given something to think about during the conference.   Don't let anyone do that to you.  It will mess up what you're supposed to be thinking about.  What would we do without Doug to snap us back to reality.  Doug has become one of our best friends on this project.  You know, I've even led the poor guy astray a bit.  In Russia, Doug and I have shared tongue on a plate.  Never thought I'd eat that.  But it was pretty good.  Needed a little spicy mustard.   Jeremy ate it too, the previous night, before he knew what he was eating.   After the press conference, we flew the AN-2.  Natassia and Nikki first.   Then Natassia and I.  Like driving a truck with no power steering.  I loved it.  Today our altitude never got over 150 ft.  We landed at a field 45 minutes North of Moscow.  There were YAKS and SV-26.  I met another World Aerobatics Champion there.  She was great.  This is a place where the runway is crappy, the planes sit outside and the grass is high.  Back to Moscow is about an hour.  150' above the ground, (think I saw someone taking a shower through their window).  Landed back at Tushino and put the plane up for the night.  Tired, we went to the hotel for dinner and a budget meeting with the Russians.

Then there is tomorrow.

P.S.  Just think about how cool this is.  Flew a Maule to Russia and now flying an AN-2 over the City of Moscow at 150 ft.

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