FROM OBERSTAUFEN TO SALZBURG
Usually, winter is the time when we enjoy long flights over big distances. With borders closed, things are not that easy.
Nevertheless, for some weeks already, we had the idea in mind to do a 200 km flight along the Alps, from the surroundings of Lake Constance far behind Lake Chiemsee, and on February 19th, weather was finally like what we had been looking for! =)
Thomas from Kubicek Balloons Deutschland was kind enough to drive me to Oberstaufen, and while the last remains of the leaving rain front disappeared, we prepared our 2000m³ lightweight Kubicek balloon. At midday, 12 o’clock local time, I took off.
Within 20 minutes after take-off, I had reached my cruise altitude of 3600 meters (we’re free to go to FL130 without clearance in that area) and was flying at 40 knots (75 km/h). What a perfect weather slot that would have been, if only them friggin’ Austrian borders were open!
Nevertheless, the outlook was stunning, and I enjoyed the views of my home region, the mighty mountains and the Bavarian lakes.
Flying past Bad Tölz, Rosenheim and Lake Chiemsee, I regularly checked the wind directions in lower altitudes and corrected my heading when needed. But most of the time, I was very pleased how things went.
As I was approaching Salzburg, I contacted the airport to check how closely they would allow me to fly to their center line. They were very friendly, so no problems on that side either.
In the meantime, my good friend Benedict had come to Seeg, picked up my car that had been brought there from the launch site by Thomas, and driven all the way to my landing region – perfect timing despite some minor challenges on the way! ;-)
So, exactly five hours after my takeoff and 213 kilometers eastward, I gently touched down with around a quarter of my propane still left. Much more will be possible once the borders are open again and we have all our freedom back, but for this day, I was more than happy! =)