30 August 2018

For Otto Lilienthal!

While I was in Macedonia, a British TV production company contacted me concerning a story about Otto Lilienthal. They were very fond to hear that there is a replica of one of Otto´s gliders in the German Museum Schleissheim, close to Munich. They also wanted to film a bit of hang gliding and asked me if there are any sites not too far away.
Tricky to find space in each other´s work schedules AND have the weather cooperate!
While still at the European Championship, they asked me for a video skype call so they could hear and see me talking English. Apparently I was fluent enough, so they agreed to have me present their program.
There was no money involved at all (as usual), but hey, what a chance to honour the man who played great part in our whole world of flying, in an international production for Discovery, and also present our beloved sport of hang gliding?! They knew that was the only incentive needed to get me.
I took them through the Flugwerft Schleissheim and told them more background stories about some hang gliders and planes than they expected to get. They seemed quite pleased with our tour through a place that to me feels very much like home and toy wonderland ;)
After our morning shoot at the museum north of Munich, cloud base rose and we headed towards Ruhpolding to try a flight at Rauschberg. It took us way longer than expected, as traffic towards the south was just insane. When this awesome looking Red Bull Team bus overtook me, I thought it was a lucky charme for my adventure!
When we arrived, the crew of Rauschberg cable car welcomed us, and Hans Kiefinger helped me to quickly get my glider up the mountain. Without breakfast or lunch, I set up, cause flying conditions looked tricky. No wind and low cloud covered sky. At least it wasn´t raining! We mounted 3 GoPros and they stuck a microphone into my helmet and connected it to a box on my hip and another box in my shoulder pocket.
Hans took off in his tandem, but when I was ready at the ramp - a chilling tail wind blew into my neck :( Would I be able to get off before the last cable car went down? I didn´t want to make the guys walk down with their heavy duty camera gear!!!
When I had a short zero wind window, I ran off the long ramp and managed to stay in the air for a bit, yet not long enough for them to get down before I landed. I decided to land at the closest road to the cable car, cause it would have been the fastest way for the filming crew to get to me. While I was waiting for them with my glider set up so they could do a nice evening take (as if I had just landed), about 12 people stopped by and started inquiring about hang gliding! I didn´t expect so much interest and happily told them a lot about training, hang gliding school of Christian at Tegernsee, tandem flight possibilities with German Champion Hans right there at Rauschberg, and the paragliding school around the corner. 
To my greatest joy, these two girls were really keen to hang in my harness and learn how to steer a hang glider, while their parents took lots of pictures!
I was exhausted after this long day, and a summer cold stole my voice for a few days, but it was totally worth the effort! I will post times once I know when the program will be aired.

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