A lost season

I am supposed to sit on a train right now, heading South, from the flat fields to the Alps. In just a bit more than an hour my flight instructor is supposed to pick me up at a little town that translates into “overseas”. But instead of the beautiful landscape of Bavaria passing by my window, I’m staring out at the leaves falling in my backyard and the raindrops sprinkling my window.

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A betrayal with consequences

„How about you do one test flight and if you absolutely don’t like it, we can still fetch the ASK21?”, my instructor suggested. We were four students and I the only one flying the ASK21. It did not make sense to move three other planes to get her out of the hanger and then to pull her all the way down to our starting position just for me. I knew it. Still I hoped my silence would show my strong discontent. Underneath the sunglasses, my instructor’s eyes were fixed on me, waiting for an answer. “Ok”, I hesitantly gave in…

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Sucking at something is the first step to becoming sorta good at something.

– Jake the Dog from Adventure time (cited in How to be Everything from Emilie Wapnick)

Crash landing

I crash landed the plane this weekend. No worries: nobody was injured (except for my pride), the sailplane took no harm and my flying instructor dared to climb into the cockpit once more after the incident. But under many circumstances, this could have been the end of my brief and unsuccessful flying career. So why wasn’t it? Because someone did everything right in the moments I did everything wrong.

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Karen, Beryl and me

There will never be an account that will place my name along side Karen Blixen’s and Beryl Markham’s – unless I cheat myself into their ranks. You might think, how impertinent of me if you know of these extraordinary women, I so easily want to link myself to. And yes, you would be right. Neither in achievement or beauty, in talent or intellect, in boldness or bravery I am able to stand up to either of them. But both inspire me immensely – and when it comes to flying, we seem not just to share the feeling of freedom it bestows us with, but also the reason that brought us up to the skies.

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Cable break

The thought of learning to fly did not leave me for weeks. Once my stomach had recovered and forgiven me my dizzying first glider flight, my eyes wishfully returned to the sky. I did not want to give up this easily. I did not want to feel defeated, despite my only opponent being myself, my fear and my proneness towards motion sickness. But most of all, flying had become the only link to those days I spent in April.

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