How to Burn 1000 m of Altitude in a Breathtaking Manner

What a birthday present: an aerobatic flight with a sailplane. Wow!

Pilot of the day was Manfred Echter, who got his gliding licence before I was even born. The glider: the MDM-1 Fox HB-3241. Takeoff from Schänis. We were towed up to 1300 m, and immediately after the towing plane left us, Manfred started with the program. On my wishlist were only „easy“ figures, with positive G-Forces, like loopings. The figures have funny German names, Männchen, Rolle, Kubaner, … – please spare me explanations and translations.

During the program I was not able to take any pictures, because I was too busy watching and trying to keep the orientation. From my Yoga lessons I’m trained to breath fluently, which is not exactly the smartest idea, if you want to keep the blood where it’s needed most… Towards the end, when I still felt ok, Manfred flew one more advanced figure with a little negative force, which – I have to admit – was fun, too. – Only four minutes later, we had consumed our available altitude, and Manfred started with the landing procedure.

I want to thank Manfred for the pleasure of being his passenger. His excellent control of the aircraft made the flying look effortless, and made me feel very comfortable, even when we dove down directly towards the ground. Thanks to Bruna and Beatrice for the warm and heartily welcome in Schänis, and to Fritz for some beginner’s theory and the ride back. Good luck to Beatrice at the Aerobatic Worlds in July! I’ll keep my thumbs pressed.

Manfred Echter and his living ballast.

Towing above Schänis. The program on the diagram is not what Manfred flew with me, but a program, that Beatrice is practising for the Worlds. All read lines in the diagram mean negative G-Forces.