St Johann, Austria to Hagenau, France

A warm and humid start to the day. The airfield is to be closed to traffic during the day to accommodate a Harley Davidson rally so we must derig and vacate during the early morning. Edward is delivered to Munich by YM to resume his day job with British Airways and the forecast indifferent weather for the next couple of days dictates a run for Calais, with a 300 mile trip to Hagenau in Alsace, just inside the French border.

Euro 2002 Gliding Expedition

Saturday 13th July 2002 - YM escapes from St Johann


Low cloud over the Wilderkaiser and the derigging begins.

Visual Sat Pic for 1500 local.

Saturday dawned with the mountains around St Johann draped in low clouds. Any hope of flying the gliders disappeared. The problem was going to be finding a way out for our tug, YM.

We planned a 3 stage trip via Landshut and Augsburg to Hagenau. The first stop was for Ed's benefit so that he could return to the UK from Munich. The stop at Augsburg was planned to meet up with the convoy and change crew.

In the event Robin, Ed, Andy and Tone tiptoed out of the mountains and into sunny weather over Chiemsee and around Munich. The second leg led us into lowering cloud and rain with Augsburg an obvious landing point whilst waiting for better weather.

The crew changed with Dave and Adrian joining Robin for the next leg which would have to negotiate a large area of big storms and rain. After waiting 2 hours or so, the weather improved and we set off. All was well passing Aalen and then the cloud started lowering. Heubach was passed and considered a suitable bolt hole, which was just as well since about 20 miles further on the cloud became too low and with light rain now a return to Heubach to await an improvement was made.

After a further hour or so, the convoy reported a clearance as they passed Pforzheim. With that information and a reluctant improvement at Heubach a partial IMC departure was made. Within 30 minutes YM had passed into clearer air and arrived at Hagenau a little ahead of the convoy and on the very edge of yet another rain area.