the sky, I feel bad. My body was just shot in three seconds from 0 to 100 Km/h to the front, and 400 meters in height. Or more precisely drawn. And before I realized what was happening, I was already at the bottom. “Well, that was great, is it?“ the Pilot asked me with a broad Grin. I smiled back. I would have loved to stammer “no idea“. In the seven minutes up there I was a clear as glass: I had played no idea of what is on me. But I wanted it to be so.

Saturday morning 07:30. In the early morning fog, I stand in front of the club house of the HAC, the Hamburg Aero club e. V.. Here I want to look at me, how to fly without fuel works. Sailing the cheapest way to rise in the air to fly. And the greenest. Only when you Start the winds consumes a bit of fuel, or the tow plane gasoline. The sail plane to fly with 100 percent renewable green energy. And the newest sailors have an electric motor on Board.

gliding self-test car

Hamburg, a summer weekend expected loads with good thermal of The “Hamburger Aeroclub” to the introductory flight, high above the dunes Boberg. The wind start is always a thrill.

The cardinal errors before the first launch

to experience, I’m here, only nobody comes. Even before the course has even started, I committed the first beginner’s mistake: the weather report ignored. Fog and gliding don’t mix. The Start is postponed to 09:30. All I have noticed. Nice Start.

Two hours I wander through the so-called Boberg dunes on the outskirts of Hamburg. A Heath landscape is interrupted by large sand dunes and right in the midst of the flying field. 1300 meters long and 300 meters wide. 60 gliders in the Hangars. In the summer of the bear rages here in the sky. Two riders trot past me and the first joggers make their rounds. The dunes are nature conservation, recreation area, and “pilot host“ in. The next two years I will be here almost every weekend. As long as the training lasts on average. After the first section in half a year, I should be able to a glider pilot is alone and to a place round again to land start. Can’t be so hard, I thought to myself. A few weeks later, in gusty side winds, I should be able to see the different.

It’s also much faster to note. Who spends his annual vacation in a flight school, and the happiness of a stable flight weather, can – something Talent provided hold – after only twelve weeks of his licence in his hands. In the club, it will take longer, but is cheaper, albeit time-intensive. If you can fly then, but anyway. An ongoing learning process, was to fly many years, pilots say.

team sport, if one has fun, and five

Of the eight flight students this Saturday to work in the morning, I am the Latest. A strange feeling, to know nothing. Not once, as the cockpit roof rises or where you should be when you Push the handle and where better not. It is cool and wet. Within minutes, the shoes are by. Let’s get the Parachutes, the flight logs of the plane and the battery blocks for the instruments.

Noisy, the truck with the two winches at the end of the runway. Right behind him: the Lepo. Lepo is Opel backwards. On the road the verranzte Omega may not for a long time. For his task, here in the square, however, he is exactly right. He runs the ropes, with which the plane in the sky, a good Kilometer to be pulled back by the winds back to the start position.

Lepo, Googly, wind – what?

rumble While winds and Lepo from our field of vision, will take place on Startbus the Briefing. The flight Director explains the weather and the wind conditions. Tasks are distributed: who is the first writer, a helper, Lepofahrer and hold-back is? I don’t understand a word, but slowly it dawns on me, why gliding under the Label “team sport“.

sail is flying, if six out of a team of five acres, a fun has. The starting-point pen logged the Start and flight times for the later settlement. The flight Director communicates with the winds, the helper hooked the winch rope to the aircraft and keeps right at the Start of the wing scales, the Lepofahrer get to the Start with a special car, the rope from the winch back to the launch site. He sees the only one of the Crew, the wind rider, the performed lonely at the end of the runway his service – important and invisible at the same time. And who just has nothing to do with it, pushes the landed aircraft back to the starting position

Germany, glider pilot country

is There nothing I can, before I’m out. I have the honor of the first flight deserves, however. “Well, time for a joyride? The first flight familiarization flight call,“ says Olaf is one of 30 instructors of the Association. He helps me in the parachute. Unsure, I put me in the front seat of the ASK-21. The aircraft of the German manufacturer Alexander Schleicher, was at the launch in 1979 of a Sensation. No rectangular torso is made of fabric stretched over wooden ribs, but as one of the first glass fiber structures in the line of elegant, sleek, but at the same time good-natured in the air.

Germany is the Land of the gliders. In 1911, he was flying on the wasserkuppe, the sailing as a recreational sport was invented, as a student in open glides, the tree flew loose increase in the Hessian Rhön down. Twelve years later, the world’s first glider school was formed there. The big brand names in the sailing aircraft, even today, from Germany: Gross, Stemme, wheel, Schempp-Hirth, DG, and Schleicher.

in the state of Hesse, near the Wasserkuppe-based company created the training aircraft for glider pilots. Even the US Air Force ordered at that time for the pilot training. But actually this is not a plane, it’s a piece of sports equipment. It may seem from the outside, yet elegant Shine effect in its high-polished White, Interior ruled a Spartan spirit. Exposed control cables, pulleys and grease the guide rails. No matter. I sit and have me strapped with the Five-point harness for the plane.

rollercoaster is a children’s plate

We close the hood. Who is predisposed only slightly claustrophobic, you should find a different Hobby. The sky may be limitless, the Cockpit. In spite of the almost opposite the position of the seat is only four inches of room between my head and the Perspex hood. “Pretty tight,“ my voice echoes as if I were sitting in a ton of. Olaf replied, dry, that this was in comparison to other Patterns, yet spacious. I am silent. “Tune in, please,“ Olaf nods to the home helper, the short under the hull disappears, the Startrope in the plane is hooked, and then at the end of the left wing, these lifting his Arm up stretches.

As if it had a life of its own, the rope snake winds through the Grass. It tightens, pauses for a second. Then we are torn forward. “Oh, that’s still okay…”, I wanted to think, but only got to “Oh…“ of 1200 meters in front of us, the wind rider was courageous Gas. I flexed my neck muscles, the world in front of me was a Tunnel of Green and grey. Roller coaster children’s plates, however, is.

no, that was not the great feeling of freedom. As I had seen on the net running these Videos of people that returned with a “Cool!“ on the lips and a wide Grin in the face of your first flight back. To me, however, was slightly bad, I had a headache and the panic, both would remain forever.

After ten hours on the course, I no longer wanted. I plopped into the car, drove resigned to go home and immediately went to bed. However, the next Morning at 07:30 I stand in the hall again and rolled the plane out of the Hangar. Seven hours to run, push, pull, and only 20 minutes in the air. Late in the afternoon, I swallowed a headache tablet, an extruded the Nausea as best I could and went to sleep at eight o’clock in the evening on the Sofa. What the fuck kind of hobby, I thought. But a few weeks later I could hardly get enough of flying without an engine. I met the thermals.

The gas station of the gliders

“Think the cloud”, called my flight instructor Jörg at the Start. We shot in this beautiful blue with the finest Cumulus clouds padded the sky. To 400 meters arrived from klingte I and I initiated a right turn. The plane shook slightly. An invisible force lifted the surface.Thermals! A hose of warm rising air masses. The gas station for gliders. “I’ll take it,“ said Jörg and drew the curve rapidly close, to made the circle and curved again closely. Just don’t puke, I thought. “We have thermals, not exactly defined, but here’s what’s up“, it came from the rear. You may not be bad, I thought while we declined, increased and decreased again. It was my first encounter with rise of warm air masses, and for the first time, I understood what Benjamin Stöwe at the MOMA-weather says the report, with air masses. Air has weight, pretty much even – 1000 liters is about 1.3 kilograms. Aware I had not felt this mass force yet. However, they came to me properly in the butt.

Among us, some up billowed cubic meters in a tube warmed up. The art of soaring is to the circuits within this tube and of the air mass to the top wear. What’s the weight of our ASK-21? The two of us in there, maybe 700 pounds. We caught the thermals on its edge, it pressures easily in the stomach, with four meters per second, we were pushed suddenly upwards.

Then the pointer of the variometer dropped again, we were outside. So, once more into the tight curve, easing off a little now and again with RM Aileron to rudder into the turn. The E-Vario, blaring like a runaway Smartphone ringtone. High, short sounds to show Rise, deep tones of Fall. The Sound of the air mass, so to speak.

An hour not flown – without a drop of Spirt

Of Nausea, I thought more, I sat there, “with felt“ at the controls and didn’t know out of sheer fascination where to go. So this is to fly the sail. I got an idea of why this should be a Sport. My flight instructor fought in the literal sense of the word every foot of lift. A good 1200 metres, we had to make the conclusion. 2000 would have been possible. In the vicinity of the Hamburg airport, we are not allowed to be higher. A good km altitude without a Motor. Madness. A lot of eco fly friendly hardly. And quiet time not at all. Gliding blends wonderfully into the green Zeitgeist.

After 67 minutes, we had flown our height, in the downwind parallel to the runway, turned, injected with 100 things, 30 feet above the walkers speckled dunes Boberg and put on gently. I’m infected.

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