When I left Germany for a 3 months internship in Australia (in Toowoomba and Brisbane) I suspected to have time for gliding because there are so many things worth seeing and doing. I’ve been doing my glider’s license in Germany since 2010. Everybody who went gliding in Australia before recommended to me not to miss this great experience. After spending a couple of weeks in Toowoomba, I decided to prioritize gliding and had a look in the internet for soaring clubs in Toowoomba’s surrounding. I found the Darling Downs Soaring Club very close to the Down’s Pearl. I wrote an email and immediately got an answer from David Nash. He arranged that I was picked up by Kerry Klein one Sunday morning and with Kerry I went to the airfield (sorry again Kerry for being too tired to have karaoke J ).

All members I met that day warm welcomed me. After having a cup of coffee, chatting and getting the gliders out from the hangar we were about to begin the (for me) hot, sunny and blue thermal day. As a German, I was jealous of these heavenly thermal conditions in late autumn. I had the great opportunity to have two flights with flight instructor Denis Lambert on a Puchasz (yes, maybe I should have flown on a Duo Discus, but I decided to choose the Pu). I enjoyed practicing tow launch, circling in thermals, chatting with Denis and in the end, the wonderful landscape. After the first flight it was no problem to have a longer break to calm down and getting well after headaches and feeling sick. Unfortunately, I wasn’t used to the strong Australian sun… At the end of the day, everybody gave the others a hand and so there was time for sitting together in front of the club house, relaxing, chatting about the day and having a ginger beer. Kerry gave me a lift home and so, a very nice day of flying came to its end.

I thank all the members of the Darling Downs Soaring Club for the warm welcome and David Nash, Kerry Klein and Denis Lambert in particular, for making it possible to me to have a great gliding experience in Australia. Unfortunately, I could spend only one day at McCaffrey Airfield but maybe we’ll meet again down there one day J


Tina Mueller

(FSV “Otto Lilienthal” Stoelln/Rhinow e.V., www.segelfliegen.aero)