Südseitendreieck, verkehrt herum

27 07 2012

Friday was then a good day for soaring.
We started towing a little bit late, and during the tow, I was still unsure whether to fly first to the East or to the West. Shower were predicted for the west in the afternoon, and I was considering a bet against the meteorologist, that there will be now showers. But as the clouds looked much better to the West, I decided, ok lest trust the meteorologist. The flight to the west was an easy ride. I took the route via Hirschberg and Heimgarten. Others took the normal route via Sojern. When I reported Garmisch, the others claimed that they are faster at Wetterstein, but in Tschirgant and Venet made it clear, that the route via the front range was faster.

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Bernina was magnificent to look at. I climbed to the top at Pontresina and was tempted to fly closer, but then decided to head in to the direction of Livinio. It is a mountain dessert there, quite different from Engadin.

The next decision was Main Divide or via Meran. As eh could base was so high both options were possible, and as I had not seen Meran this year, I opted for Meran. On my way I flew some time with a Stemme S10. The next good lift was at the main divide of Sarntaler. From there onwards I opted only at Kronplatz for the north side of the valley. I had a wonderful view of the Dolomites. The conditions got worse east of Lienzer Dolomiten, and I decided a little bit to late to turn around. For tat reason I took me quite long to get the necessary altitude north west of Lienz to continue my flight across the Main Divide to Gerlos, where I made altitude for final glide. I knew from others that there is still some lift at Gerlos, but I started with only a very weak list. I switched to Innsbruck radar and got the clearance to cross to Achensee. From there onwards it was a smooth ride back home.

When I called Königsdorf nobody answered, and when I was in the traffic pattern, I saw an ambulance helicopter on the runway and a few cars at the west side of the runway. After landing I was informed that nobody was hurt but that a tow-plane had a forced landing due to the glider out-climbing it when they were still quite close to the ground. In the evening we celebrated the birthday of the tow pilot.

By the way, betting against the meteorologist would have worked, as our Duo took off in the afternoon in Königsdorf and made it to Bernina and back to just land a few minutes before me.



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