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12 days traveling are over now. Every day I was flying to another airport... made in total 51 flight hours, which is less than in the last two years, because the weather in the first week was very difficult. Sometimes I could only fly two hours and was glad, that I could move at all. 3900 km (OLC) and 2300km distance between the airports were flown. Here is the route:
Here are the flight tracks, had to turn around 130km before Lithuania, skipped Slovakia because of engine starter problems.
This year I wanted to find out, whether it is necessary to take a tent and how often it is possible to get a place in a hangar.
Tent is not necessary
I slept in the tent only in Leszno, because there was a competition and a dog show over the weekend. I could have gotten a room in a hotel down the road. In the area where I traveled (Poland and eastern Germany) a tent is NOT necessary. Required for sleeping in some aero-club accommodations are a sleeping bag and a bed sheet (better the air-bed I use, which is basically both, see menu "Equipment"). These need no space, because one can sit on both and leave the original sitting pads at home.
In 10 of 12 days a place in a hangar was available. Especially in the first week with thunder storms I needed a place in a hangar. This was no problem, only in Lezsno (due to dog show) and Kamenz there was no place available. In case of thunderstorm on that day I would have had to fly somewhere else or take the glider separated into the workshop for save storage. If necessary one can clarify before start, if there is space in a hangar available. The TravelByGlider data-base includes this information including contact telephone numbers.
For Opole I called in advance to make sure I can get a space. After landing I found, that they have space for 30 gliders!!!
It seems like the strategy of always flying towards the good weather for the next days works well. This year it was possible to fly every day, even if in all over Germany and France flying was not possible sometimes due to large bad weather areas. Sometimes it is necessary to change plans sponatainously, like in Leszno or Kamenz, where I changed the planed flying direction by 180° one hour before the start, because weather changed so rapidly. The overall statistics for 3 years traveling is now: In 34 of 36 days flying to another airport was possible, while flying more than 4 hours in average every day!
Aero-Tow / Self launch
This year I used a self launching glider (DG-808B) for the first time. In the last two years I used a Jantar Std.1 with Turbo (no trailer). At every airport towing was available. In Ostrow (Pl) I had to switch to aerotow, because the starter did not work. That was the reason why I skipped flying to Slovakia and flew back closer to my home airport. Later I found that the engine could be started in the air, thought this would not be possible, because there is no decompression handle, like in the Turbos... but it works well.
The DG seems to be perfect for traveling.
- There is PLENTY of space.
- The refueling system is great, the internal pump counts the amount refueled and stops by itself when the tank is full.
- The steerable tail wheel makes taxiing alone also in narrow circles very easy.
- High performance, gliding ratio of about 50 was very helpful when cloud base droped to 700m in giant mountains (Riesengebirge).
- strong engine, it rolls about 150m on grass and lifts climbing 4.5m/s... even short airports like Jenlenia Gora with 620m were no problem at all...
- Oel-mixing ratio of 1:50 demands less oil to be carried as luggage
Every day I met new people. They were very friendly and helpful. One time a pilot who did not speak English or German brought me delicious breakfast in the morning. I would like to thank all of them again.I really enjoyed the evenings we spent together. I am looking very much forward to next year, when its time again to "TravelByGlider" :-)
... no time to visit the historical fighters museum in Rothenburg (Link to flight) ... Thermals started very early, this is the view at 10:13!!! ... Missed the chance to try the 3000m rope winch, our DG has no winch hook. The starter of the engine still does not work. Heinz towed me up with C42 ultralight plane. In the air I tried to start the engine with the propeller effect, found out that this should work during last evening (Thought would not work, because there is no decompression handle, like in the Turbos) ... worked well. Here is the view on "Elbsandsteingebirge" ... I am wondering what the house prices are close to that hole... (It suddendly was generated in the past... The earth just slided down into the ground) After arriving on the main ridge of the Erzgebirge/ErzIronMountain, flying started to become big fun... 3-4 m/s... First time that I could really try the DG808 in fast cruse flight... Without water. Even this guy was fast.
On top of the Fichtelberg, view towards Oberwiesenthal... Here we go snowboaring for a long weekend every year in winter... Enjoyed the cloud streets up to Bayreuth. Had to decide where to sleep tonight. Jena or Zwickau offer towing. Since I have not been in Zwickau I decided to land there.... There is also a better chance of early cumulus clouds due to the hills 20km away. Zwickau, directly next to the city Parking position for tonight. A place in the hangar would have been available, but the weather is calm and dry
Got a room at the airport (with Wifi), restaurant is close by... Good night Pils from the gas station... What can a traveller ask more for after flying 500 km :-)
Finally the forecast looks good. Huge area with good thermals and high cloud base. So I contacted my friends in Bielsko Biala if they would have time to meet there. The answer was yes. Since this would only be 230km, I planed a roundevieu with the high tratra before landing there... Up to now there was no chance on this trip to fly in the mountains. I picked a 2000m hill in the tatra as target point and made the glider ready. Here waiting for the clouds to reach the airport (Link to flight) Grrrrrr.... Engine did not start... So an alternative plan was needed. Since I did not want to risk an outlanding many hundreds kilometer away from home I decided to fly closer to my home airfield. Towing was available by Yak12. Weather was good ... no need to miss the engine The plan was to go to Rothenburg. Rothenburg has much to offer. E.g. a winch with 3000m cable giving heights of 1200m, a restaurant at the airport and a museum for old fighters... And very good thermals of course... Since I was worried that nobody would be there in the late evening, I contacted Rothenburg earlier and said that I intend to land at 6pm.... Later I got to know that this is really the time controller Uwe finishs his work. He took really good care of me, took me to the hangar, arranged a room, towing for the next day and breakfast for the moring. This week here is also the pulsatube radio controlled aircraft flying group from switzerland... These are the fastest models I heared. But today they flew "normal" jets, like this one, L39... In Rothenburg you can also see the real one
Blue thermals with 1300m base with lots of wind from the north and later some clouds in the south were predicted. So I decided to not start too early for the 230km towards Ostrow in the south. Flew along the small forests and tried to stay high... Worked well. Here a dam in Wisla river (German: Weichsel) After 180km the first coulds were reached... Topmeteo was right in predicting the clouds and the blue areas today Ostrow airport As usual there was a place in hangar and a room available. In Ostrow there was the European Championship in gliding 2013. Skydivers are also very active here
Surprise in the morning: Brunek, who neither speeks English nor German brought me breakfast...
(Link to flight) It looked like today I could make use of my Lithuanian map, so I prepared waypoints and airspace also for my backup cellphone. This map shows the small passage between Belorussia and Russia towards Lithuania. I orginized my transit through the TRA airspace. View before start View during start After 60km it was getting blue, I am not sure if it was due to the seabrease (25km/h) or because of the different airmass coming in. I decided to cancel Lithuania and concentrate on going to southern Poland to visit friends and afterwards goimg to Slowakia if possible. Therefore the new destination for the day was Grudziadz (100km west of Olsztyn), which is also registered at travelbyglider. Here is a picture towards Olsztyn on my way back... Clouds are gone Still enough clouds towards Grudziadz At the airport there is an agricultural festival this weekend After landing the president of the club invited me for a beer and showed me the airport. It was founded by the Germans, used as a pilots training center in WWII and later it was polish gliding centrum. Therefore a hotel was built. Due to the seabrease (coast is 100km away) the Mucha gliders sometimes could not make it back to the airport. Then the center was moved to Leszno. Here is the hotel, which is being renovated. The price of 9euro per night is very fair. The offer is used by many club members, who come also from far distance. After getting my room, I enyoy the rockband. The evening ended nicely on the hotel porch having a beer together....
Finally the forcast for the day was good, plan was to fly towards Lithuania. Olsztyn is about 400km east of German-Polish boarder, seemed to be reachable. 25km/h headwind was the only downside... But manageable. Link to flight.
In the morning my grandparents came by, they live close to Eisenhuettenstadt Prior flight I had to take a picture of the most famous Pirat and its pilot Hans Juergen Krause. Every star marks a 500km flight. He also made 600km!!!
Cloud streets Lots of forrests and lakes... Poland is beautiful Crossing the warta south of Pila
Olsztyn is located directly at a lake and the city. Furthermore there is a wakeboard lake-lift very close by. Staying here a few days on the ground would be bearable. I could have made a larger distance, after landing there are still nice clouds. Cloudbase increased during the flight from 1300m to 2300m. Today 2 ASG29 from here tried 1000km. One made 990 and the other one 999.1km.
... woke up due to the rain... Thought that it might have been a mistake to fly 100km more west than planed yesterday. Anyway, Jan picked me up in Dresden and we drove to Grossenhain. The rain stopped and I got the chance to fly wirh the VL3 evolution UL :-) Martin took me for a trip arround the airport so we could check out the weather.
...retractable gear, easy to use and efficient prop system, high speed due to aerodynamic efficiency and low noise... Its worth testing it ;-) ... Anyone who is intrested can ask Jan for a demonstration flight, a rating or a sales offer, here is the contact to born-2-fly Drying cloths. Looking for an airport with a hangar space Eisenhuettenstadt seemed to be a good choice. They have a flying camp, good waether, towing and hangar space available.
Weak conditions in the beginning, good at the end...
Reaching Eisenhuettenstadt was no problem
Landed too early, because I did not want to repeat yesterdays mistake of flying too far away after reaching the destination. Clever pneumatic glider lifting device JS1 engine... from MD
The evening ended at a camp fire after having dinner at a greek restaurant together with the very friendly Eisenhuettenstadt gliding club pilots.
Der letzte Tag ist gekommen! Heute heißt es leider wieder abrüsten und den letzten Weg bis nach Hause mit dem Auto zurücklegen.
Nachdem wir zusammen gefrühstückt haben machten wir uns ans abrüsten aller Flugezeuge, da diese ja noch alle aufgerüstet in bzw. vor der Halle standen. Zum Glück sind wir darin ja mittlerweile geübt, sodass das wir das kurz und schmerzlos über die Bühne bringen konnten.
Nachdem dann auch die letzten Utensilien gepackt waren konnten wir uns von den extra angereisten Mitgliedern verabschieden.
Zum Glück war die Autoreise dann auch irgendwann wieder vorbei und uns blieb noch Zeit den Urlaub mit einem gemeinsamen Abendessen ausklingen zu lassen.
Dabei habe wir alle zusammen festgestellt, dass wir uns alle schon auf das nächste Jahr freuen. Denn auch trotz durchwachsenem Wetter hatten wir alle großen Spaß! Und wir freuen uns schon darauf nächstes Jahr wieder tolle Flugplätze mit tollen Leuten kenne zu lernen.