Monday, August 29, 2016

Trofeo Tre Pizzi and a bit of Adria

For the second year in a row, I decided to participate in Trofeo Tre Pizzi, a four day cross coutnry competition which takes place in the middle-italian region Marche, in a beautiful valley of the Apennines mountain range. With many cute villages and small towns like Matelica and Esanatoglia, the area is not only wonderful for paragliding but also a blast for everybody to visit (not to mention the delicious food and amazing people).
Unfortunately the area 100km south of Esanatoglia was hit by a devastating earthquake the day before the competition was supposed to start and many people left their lives in completely destroyed towns. People in Esanatoglia were luckier and got away with no more than a fright.
Since the first day of competition was cancelled to free the airspace for rescue maneuvers, we decided to spent a day on the coast to enjoy wonderful soaring over the Adriatic sea and swimming during sunset and sunrise.

The first day of competition welcomed us on Monte Gemmo with a beautiful East-facing takeoff with a lot of wind. We waited until the afternoon to let it weaken and were able to fly a 68.1km-task in a zick-zack course between Camerino and Fabriano. It was hard to decide whether to fly in the flats or rather close to the mountains. I stuck to the mountains until the 3rd waypoint and then went to the flats which turned out to be a mistake on this day. In the strong head wind I was washed down and landed 20km short.

For the second task we went again to Monte Gemmo where we realized that the forecasted west-wind was already setting in earlier and lower than expected. We waited for a while if it will change and finally were brought to the opposite side of the valley, to Monte San Vicino. This range offers a North-West-facing takeoff and beautiful rocky peaks where you can soar up in the west-winds. Since the whole procedure of shifting pilots over to the new takeoff took a while, we had a late strat at 15:40 and another zick-zack task, this time on the other side of the valley with 61.3km. The same fortune (wrong decition) as the day before brought me back on the ground. This time 30km short of goal. It turned out that on this day the flats would have been the better choice rather than flying on the mountains.

Day three, which was already the last day, started earlier from Monte San Vicino with again strong west winds and blown thermals. A task was set with 57.9 km, Again with the option to fly everything on the mountain range or in the flats.
I was high in the beginning but came quite low at the start. Patiently I made my way up again and flew with a good hight to the first waypoint north of Fabriano. Learned my lessin from yesterday, I decided to go in the flats on the western side of the small hills. It turned out to be a wonderful decision and while people spent a lot of time making hight on the mountain range I gained a lot of places on my course. According to the live-tracking I was second in between and made a very fast race. Unfortunately, a little lack of patience made me land 4km before goal and I finished 19th overall on this day.

In total I ended up first woman (although there was no extra ladies category since we were only two) and overal 40th out of 82. So far my best result in a competition and what's even more important, a wonderful three days experience. Here is a link to the results:

I'd like to thank for the Ozone LM6, which brings more and more joy with each flight, and Richard Edlinger for the great company and for showing me beautiful places.

Many thanks to the organizers from the Lega Piloti and from the local club in Esanatoglia for a perfect competition and a very warm welcome. It was again a wonderful event! I will definitely come back again.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Buchenberg - After-work flying at its best

Buchenberg is another mountain in the Allgäu alps range. It is just a few kilometers east of Tegelberg with a similarly beautiful view over lake Forggensee.

While Tegelberg offers a quite steep and rocky surface, Buchenberg is mellower and pretty much covered with trees. But this doesn't mean, it is less thermally active. Flights from here to Tegelberg and further are not rare.
With 1142m, Buchenberg is 700m lower and therefore, even after cable car hours, a good opportunity for beautiful evening flights, especially in summer time, where the sun sets around 9pm. Even with my rather heavy XC equipment, the 45 min of hiking are very well doable.

Enjoy some pictures of one of our flights there in mid-July 2016.

Pilots: Ewa Korneluk-Guzy, Thorsten Pausch, Martin Lukasiewycz

Sunday, July 10, 2016

40 Years Drachenfliegerclub Ingolstadt (DFCI) - Beautiful flying til sunset

On Saturday, 9th of July 2016 the 40th anniversary of my club DFCI was celebrated in Oberemmendorf. Most pilots already arrived in the morning and flew with a gusty and strong wind between 40 and 200km with a cloud base as low as 1500m. Additionally UP Paragliders provided a variety of wings for test flying.
I landed on my first flight with the wonderful LM6 with many others close to Kelheim after beautiful views over Riedenburg and the Danube Gorges.

On my second flight I had the possibility to test fly the UP Trango XC3 and made another 28kms again to close to Kelheim on it. This wing is a turning wonder! Probably not as good as the Mantras on flat turns, but it turns so smooth on the spot. Wow! Only two things I'd need to get adjusted to: a very very short break travel and the lack of C-riser handles. I tried to grap the C-ricers directly instead, but since there's no connection to the B-risers my impression was that it's less effective than on the Mantras. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the flight with a very relaxed though amazingly performant wing. Thanks to UP and Thorsten Pausch for the opportunity. I hope I'll be able to test it a little more in future.

The third flight was a real sundowner. We all landed after the sun set and had a wonderful time in smooth evening air.

Fabio Wenk  on his MacPara Elan over Irfersdorf


Danube Gorges (Donaudurchbruch) and Kloster Weltenburg


Fabio Wenk

Michael Lang

Michael Lang

Fabio Wenk

Fabio Wenk

Tobias Märkle

Raul und Stefan

Friday, July 1, 2016

Tegelberg - Friday Afterwork Flying

Since weather has been more than bad this spring and early summer, whenever the sun comes out I'm trying my best to sneak a flight in. The forecast for the coming weekend was bad again and yet another competition in Austria was cancelled. So luckily I had the chance to leave work early and head to Tegelberg, which is the closest side to the world famous castle Neuschwanstein.
It was my first time at this site so I had to fill in some forms and produce my license as well as a proof of insurance in the bar next to the cable car to get my flying permission.

Soon the car left and some minutes later we were at the takeoff (directly next to the cable car's top station), The view from there was already stunning with Forggensee and Füssen in the background.
After takeoff I soon made hight and could fly to the next mountain range and several times over the castle and over the lake. What an amazing after work flight with my amazing test wing, the Ozone Mantra M6. (Thanks a lot to Flugschule Hochries for giving it to me.)  I'll sure come back here again :)