17 September 2014

Home in Bremen

While I´m preparing the big trips to Canungra and Mexico, I´m happy about a short break back home in Bremen for my Dad´s birthday before having to start a standby line tomorrow. This means not knowing where or when I have to work-fly to for about the next two weeks. Yes it´s exciting, but it can also be exhausting, because between 5am and midnight, a call from Lufthansa can reach me any time, and I need to be at the airport within just one hour to fly whereever they send me to. Even more stressful in times of ebola in western Africa and different possible war zones in quite a few other destinations.
But at the moment I´m happy to just spend a day in beautiful late summer air in Bremen, enjoying the blue sky and light breeze.

09 September 2014

Bangalore

This 474/8 is the plane that picked up the German national soccer team after they won the world cup in Brazil. Since then, the golden letters "Siegerflieger" are on it, nice to personalize planes in this way. Would be interesting to have a book on board, and all the world champions who ever flew on this aircraft should sign ;) I was happy to fly on this new aircraft to Bangalore, nice flight with a great crew!

05 September 2014

Vamos a volar - en Mexico!

I just got nominated to fly on the German national Team at the next Hang Gliding World Championships in Valle de Bravo, Mexico! That is the "open" team, not the women´s team. The top 6 pilots of the country are nominated, and at the moment, I rank 6th. I´m happy that I was chosen, because I like Mexico and the flying there. The people of the flying community over there are extraordinary, with a strong bond to aviation history!
If you like to see the area, have a look at my flight over the Nevado de Toluca vulcano. Training starts - now!

01 September 2014

Adam

Through several channels, my friends from down under informed me yesterday morning about the tragic accident of Adam Parer. When a close friend dies, I always hope that it might have been "somebody else", but in this case there was no doubt unfortunately.
Apparently Adam looped, when another guy crossed his line. Adam managed to avoid a collision, but in an extreme manouvre, his glider broke and crashed through a powerline into a house. As a fireman, he is used to risking his own life to save others. And I guess he didn´t hesitate a second to not put the other glider at risk. That´s how Adam was, and that´s why friends and pilots around the world are shocked about this loss - he was not just a top pilot, but a top guy!
Last year at Canungra I ended up flying with Adam along the course in the same thermals almost every day - we both called it a "privilege" that we are able to do that, and celebrated our flights in the evenings. I have known Adam for almost 20 years, and I hoped to meet and fly with him again in October.
Not just Newcastle will miss you, Adam, but you left the whole flying community devastated. The only consolation I can take is that I hope that you are united again with your Love, and that Chris and Guido now have some serious competition drawing aerobatics into the eternal sky. Fly high, my friend, I miss you terribly!

23 August 2014

Shenyang, Timezone GMT +8

 I was offline for a while, because during my work trip tho Shenyang in China, local censorship cut me off from all social networks. After coming back, a heavy summer flu struck me down for a few days, but Im slowly recovering.
It was great to have some time in the northeast of China, and together with four colleagues I went to the Benxi caves. Never do it on a Sunday during school holidays - we waited for an hour walking through the narrow caves before we finally got on the boat that took us along the river into the mountain to see the stalagmites and stalagtites. "Waiting" in a Chinese line means that constantly somebody pushes into your back or tries to push in in front of you... not a pleasant experience. But the actual cave and boat trip was great! While it was about 30 C outside, we only had about 14 C in the cave!
After that, we went to see the local fossile museum - great collection of amazing animals, I also liked the crystal exhibits very much. The pilots were hungry after that tour, so before going on the 1,5 hour drive back to Shenyang, they stopped for some food. I was glad I had brought my own sandwiches, as the meals didn´t look or smell too inviting for me as a vegetarian ;)
It was great to visit the site of the ancient culture of a matriarchal tribe that had lived in the Shenyang area about 7200 years ago. If only there was more information in English, as my Chinese is pretty limited... But I understood that they already then had a totem or a myth about a sun bird, or rather a "red phoenix", the female counterpart of the "dragon".
Going on the metro train, it was a bit exhausting to be stared at the whole time, but it´s understandable - there are barely any foreigners at all in this city. It was a great adventure!









11 August 2014

Helsinki, Timezone GMT +3

For the first time I was in Helsinki today for a short stop on a work tour. I was lucky with the weather - it was warmer than at home! Thunderstorms haven´t arrived here yet.
The place is not very crowded, and everybody seems quite calm. I looked at some churches in the center of the city, at the harbour with it´s old ship and the market, then I went for the city beach. When I swam, something touched my leg under water and made me jump out - then I saw a fish jumping up, so the water quality is quite good I guess. Cute geese and noisy seagulls are around too. The language sounds a bit as if Greek people try to copy the talking melody of Swedish or Norwegians ;) With all the double consonants ääkii and öö, it reads very funny for German eyes. Very cool place.







08 August 2014

Work work work

Not really enough time to fly any comp at the moment, because there is a lot of work at Lufthansa - main holiday season and various international crisis make my schedule quite tough at the moment. But I still manage to find a few hours to enjoy inbetween, like here in Prague!
I wish all the best to my friends who are currently competing at Monte Cucco and soon in Laragne and at the Slovenian Open - may you have great weather, wonderful flights and always safe landings! In September I might have a bit more time on my hands again and join you guys :)