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Trolltunga, Norway

Norway + Sweden Road Trip

Ever since my return to Germany I have missed that distinctive vibe you get in when road tripping and exploring. I guess this is normal when you return from a very long trip abroad. So I was very excited when Simon, one of the guys from the flying trip in New Zealand who lives in Freiburg, came up with the idea for a road trip through Sweden and Norway. The more we chatted about it, the more excited we got. Especially since Simon’s parents were so kind to lend us their car and a couple of other people provided bits...

Sunrise

Sunrise flying

Simple plan: Takeoff before sunrise, enjoy the flight, drop some jumpers, land, breakfast. Result: no jumping, a triple diversion and no breakfast. We (two jumpships, our towplane and a glider) took off just after BCMT (morning twilight) with a very thin layer of fog over the field (waist high). A few minutes into the flight things went a bit south. First we got a call from Langen Radar that they couldn’t find our NOTAM concerning the early jump and that they therefore need to deny us the clearance. Then we also noticed that some fog had rolled in from the...

IMG_5174

Video: Low approach in Stuttgart

Disclaimer: This video is just a recollection of our flight. It is not an instructional video and I don’t claim that we did everything perfectly by the book. I’m sure that there are some small errors in there. Nobody’s perfect, but I think we did OK on this one ;-). But now the story: Our club’s tow plane, a Robin DR-400-235 with callsign “D-EHIO”, got a new engine this winter. For the first 25h this meant that every flight needed to be at least one hour long and done with fairly high power settings. Ideal for some fast cross-country flying!...

Marlborough Sounds

Video: Two Islands, Two Germans and a Cessna 150

And here we go for the second New Zealand video. This time about the trip together with Niko in ZK-CTF, the amazing Cessna 150 ;-). Although I was sometimes asking myself what I was thinking to try and fly a Cessna 150 into mountainous terrain the trip was worth every minute!

Lake Tekapo

Video: JOYride around New Zealand

I knew that video editing is a time-consuming process. But I never expected it to take me months to put a video together. Anyway. The first video is done and features the trip in ZK-JOY down to the Southern Alps and the Fiordland. Enjoy!

The team at Solo Wings

Thank you New Zealand!

Now after being back in good old Germany it is time to look back at this awesome last year. I feel very privileged for this experience. I had an interesting job, got to fly in some of the most interesting terrain on the planet, learned to surf, lived right at a beautiful beach, drove a sportscar, hiked in spectacular scenery and got a taste of Kiwi lifestyle. But most importantly: I met a lot of awesome people! I really have to say I admire the Kiwis for their relaxedness and incredible and very genuine hospitality. Compared to most other places...

Kaimai wave

Kaimai Wave and SUPing

By the time I arrived back in Tauranga it was less than two weeks before my flight back home and so I had to get busy with selling my car, my surfboard, tax return and so on. But thanks to Scott I got a nice distraction. On a nice saturday afternoon I got a call from Scott asking me if I wanted to go up in a glider with him. We had a strong westerly blowing over the Kaimais and could see some nice wave bars forming. After a short tow we released in 2000ft and started off with some...

Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre

Road Trip, Part 9: Christchurch, Kaikoura, Blenheim

With the awesome climb to Mueller Hut we were satisfied enough with the Southern Alps to head for the coast again and the first stop was Christchurch. It is the biggest city on the South Island and infamous for being devastated by an earthquake in 2010. The scars of this earthquake are visible everywhere. Nearly every building in the city center is uninhabitable and therefore empty. A lot of buildings have already been demolished and large sections are just wastelands. A very sad sight… But you can definitely see that a lot is being done to restore the city and...

Hooker Valley

Road Trip: Part 8: Dunedin, Caitlins and Mount Cook

After Shawn left for Canada our group was now down to Simon and me. But there was still some fun ahead for us. We next headed to Dunedin, a very nice city full of students and with a few surf opportunities. The surf was up and I had some nice surfing at Anderson Beach and Saint Claire. With only 11 degrees the water was quite cold, but the warm weather and strong sun made it bearable. But still cold after a while! From there our journey lead us into the Caitlins where we followed the coast down to Curio Bay....

Milford Sound

Road Trip, Part 7: Fiordland

After the “adventure week” and a very sad goodbye we had to part with Drey, who needed to head north to the Abel Tasman Track. I will always remember the great fun we had and I hope to meet you (and Danielle or course) again sometime! Now we were back to our threesome and had only a few days left until also Shawn needed to leave us for Canada. So we quickly headed for Milford Sound, the most famous fiord in New Zealand and one of the two I already flew into with JOY back in june. The drive is...