After three challenging flight days a rest day with the possibility to fill up our oxygen bottles and to bring the measuring equipment up to date was more than necessary!
After we had some gaskets turned by local mechanics and after purchasing an oil-free compressor which is unfortunately a bit too narrow, the filling of the oxygen bottles works well. Only some time and muscle power is needed for this action.
After the wind profile predicted a strong southwest current and the Perlan team also announced a flight, we get up early to be able to submit our flight plan in time. Since Klaus wants to keep the option for the altitude record open, the flight plans have a lead time of 2 hours! The flight plans have to be filled in handwritten in the AIS and every administrator wants different details.
Shortly after the Perlan tow we also start. After a short engine running time we start with soaring at 60 km/h from 240 degrees on the almost windparallel slope of the southern hills. We have started our soaring a bit too sporty and find ourselves after a short time on low level, without any real outlanding option. A small hill west of El Calafate brings the hoped and necessary lift with the entrance into the wave.
Contrary to the weather forecast we have almost clear weather with phenomenal views. We continue northwest following a wave line. So we can fly north until close to the area around Fitz Roy. Unfortunately the Chilean border stops us, which we are not allowed to fly over!
Quickly we reached flight level 195 and Klaus gets the permission to climb further. Thomas has to stay back and use the time to take pictures and explore the waves to the south.
On my way home to El Calafate, Klaus, who stopped his climb in 9,000 m at -50 degrees Celsius, also reports that he will going to decent.
The landing with wind of 50 km/h in gusts up to 70 km/h becomes sporty and the rolling with such a strong cross wind is like taxiing drunken.
Since such clear views are rare, we will dream of this day for a long time!
The day began with a relatively strong wind from the south. But we still had some equipment to optimize and so we were busy in the morning. After Christian Holler and Marko Magister from bigair joined us, we also wanted to test our cameras.
Unfortunately we started too late, so the south wave didn’t work anymore. We made a nice sightseeing flight on a slope using one or the other convergence.
After a nice evening with some members of the Perlan-Crew, today was the perfect day for a calibration of the new instrument configuration.
The 5 hole probe from German Aerospace was installed under the right wing of the Stemme by Norman Wildmann. All electronic devices are protected in the underwingbox and the perfect sitting “wingshoe” around was built by MWP-Team member Jona Keimer.
Refueling needed some time. But finally we started on the long runway of El Calafate. The lake was like a mirror, no wind, perfect condition for some calibration pattern. Everything seems to be fine. We land in last light, happy with these first results…