25 April 2010

Team training at Tegelberg

Our team spent this weekend at Tegelberg to train for the worlds. Actually, yesterday I had a private Red Bull workout... I went up Tegelberg 3 times to takes photos and film footage, racing through the towers of castle Neuschwanstein. Will be quite spectacular!
Today I joined in our team training and went up the mountain with Ute and Christa. A bit later, Monique and Regina arrived. The clouds in the high mountains were growing quite fast, so I decided at some stage to escape into the flatlands, to the northeast. A completely new area for me, I made that flight for the first time and really enjoyed it a lot.
This week we might get some more good flying days for Tegelberg, so we will be back again. It seems like everybody there knew that "the national team" is there for training flights. Paraglider and hang glider pilots asked us many questions, everybody was really helpful (specially when I was too exhausted to carry my glider up to take off on my own ;)) thanks again, guys!) and they are very supportive, keeping their fingers crossed for us. I hope to see a lot of them again during the worlds, as we have planned some great parties too!
The flower picture is for my mum - it is really spring time now in Munich!

22 April 2010

Schwangau press conference

We flew back from Dubai finally and arrived in Frankfurt yesterday morgning. A nice little rental car took me south to Schwangau and I arrived at the World Championship press conference just in time. Well, about 45 minutes late, but that was not because Im playing a Diva ;)
The Mayor of Schwangau participated as well as our patron His Royal Highness Luitpold Prince of Bavaria - always great to talk to, as he travels even more than me! The boss of the Tegelberg cable car was there as well as Charlie Joest, head of the German hanggliding association, some team members of our team, then Benno Osowski our organizer and Peter Achmueller, our team leader. About 15 journalists participated.
Today I prepared my gear for the coming days - it looks like good flyable weather at least until Sunday, and we will buzz around the castle to get some good training.

20 April 2010

Party in Dubai

Yesterday in the afternoon our purser Sarkis had the great idea to organize a party for all the airline crews stuck in Dubai who stay in our hotel - we already met at the pool several days. The Grand Hyatt staff was very cooperative and set up a loungy area on the terrace of one of the restaurants. Arabian fingerfood and drinks all night - and thanks to Red Bull Dubai and Oli, we also had a great supply of chilled Red Bull - new wings so we can fly home tonight!
Two of our crews already left yesterday and flew out to Frankfurt and Munich, so they couldnt participate in the end. Yet the mood was great, it was interesting to meet colleagues from a different airline and to exchange experiences. Im very pleased how everybody in our crew, from Captain to flight attendant, keeps the spirits high and makes the best out of this situation, helping each other and enjoying the time while we can ;) We had a lot of fun working on the flight over here, and no matter how difficult the circumstances might be, we will have a great and safe flight back!

19 April 2010

Red Bull Dubai

Now I feel at home again! I found out the telephone number at the Red Bull office in Dubai and they invited me over straight away! And sure I was not the only one stranded in Dubai. Quite a lot of the Red Bull Air Race guys came up from Perth and got stuck here as well. Nice, a cold Red Bull and a warm welcome from the Red Bull office crew in Dubai!
Tonight a barbecue is planned for all the airline crews staying in our hotel, and now I can provide them with some new wings again too – they will love it! We really need some energy again to fuel our batteries and stay positive. Over here we can enjoy the last few days of party and holiday before we come back and face the bitter truth of a desastrous loss for all airline companies.
More photos of the joint venture party tomorrow;)

Still stuck

Update: Our flight tonight has been cancelled again, as airspace is closed until 2am tomorrow morning, and our plane has to arrive from Germany first. I already think I might have to ask Guido for helping us with the Red Bull Falcon... We have a really great crew down here, altogether two Frankfurt Crews and two from Munich, and our purser organized a barbecue tonight and also invited the Virgin Atlantic crews who had been stuck for a week here to join in. If I find a Red Bull office in time, I will organize some drinks ;)
I found a great Indian take away with very pure Jain vegetarian food – comparably cheap , restaurants here in Dubai are quite expensive – just that It takes nearly one hour each way to get there by public bus. But then, what else do I have to do? I learn some Norwegian, I work a bit for our world championship that I can hopefully attend, and I train up in the fantastic hotel gym. Must be hard to be on exile in paradise!
I hope I can join the press conference at Tegelberg on wednesday via video conference...

Dubai - Timezone GMT + 4

Still in Dubai, there is a lot of great big architecture to see. I guess Felix would like the Burj Khalifa tower with more than 800 m of height...
I went to the beach and saw the Burj al Arab from the distance. Everything is very closed here, also most of the beaches are privat and have a wall, or it is a club and you have to pay for entry. I only found one part of public beach, really nice bright blue clear warm water.
The public bus system is ok and also includes some of the water taxis - my favourite! If you like to do a sightseeing tour, just hop on one of the public buses, as they usually dont go straight line to the destination, but they cover quite a lot of ground on the way there.
At home, my team mates had a great training session at Tegelberg with our team leader, Peter Achmueller. Im sad I missed out on that, but sometimes you can´t change things but just make the best of it. Not too hard to do that here ;)

16 April 2010

Stranded in Dubai

Where did my luck go? I had to work on a flight to Dubai, and then the cloud of Iceland´s ashes shut down the airspace in Europe... I have no idea when we will get back, and Im really sorry that I miss out on some great flying weather with my team, we also had to postpone the filming with Red Bull, as Im not the only one of the team who got stuck somewhere in the world. Well it could be worse. Im here in Dubai for the first time, there is a lot to learn. For example that they have closed up bus stop houses that are air conditioned!!! And I walked through mountains of gold today, felt like in "pirates".
It is hot over here, but the sun was hiding behind a huge cloud of sand - a storm moved in and sandblasted us!
Poor Oli, Carol, Heather and the others who want to fly to the world championships from Australia, Japan, the US, I keep my fingers crossed that this stuff moves through fast and you will find a way over... What an absolutely crazy month.

14 April 2010

More preparations

On my short trip to Shanghai, I sat down with two girls and prepared a great surprise for the world championship in a few weeks. Creative, individual, unique stuff.
Today I met Regina again, also rigid wing world champion Alex Ploner from Italy joined in and on the way back while stopping at Irschenberg we even met Steffen. It was raining all day, but we all really feel like we need to fly soon. The forecast for the weekend looks very good, so our team training, filming and photography for the worlds at Tegelberg will be promising.
Preparations for the worlds are running along at speed of light at the moment, it all looks really good, we hope to see a lot of participants and many visitors too, as we offer quite a large program around the actual championship.