Exploring the Southern Alps | WeCoach Puimoisson
Lukas Brune from the FG Oerlinghausen and Jannis Däuble, flying at FSV Ammerbuch have qualified for WeCoach Puimoisson through their flights in the 2022 season. The two young pilots went to southern France for two weeks at the beginning of April 2023. As usual with WeCoach, the two Arcus gliders V8 and V9 from the Achumer Storks build the training platform, together with Lukas Blattmann and Uli Gmelin as experienced coaches.
This year we traveled with Lukas Blattmann after Uli Gmelin had already been there for a few days. We arrived in Puimoisson on Saturday evening and were able to move into our chalet straight away. Many thanks to Alfred Spindelberger for this. In the evening, we already discussed who would fly with whom. We decided that the two Swabians, Uli/Jannis, would make a good team, and so would Lukas/Lukas. Since the two Arcus gliders had already flown a few days, we didn't have to prepare the gliders first and could get started immediately the following day.
The weather forecasts for the next two days were quite promising. We had a somewhat unusual weather situation, as we were told. A north-eastern flow, but with decent cold air. The first flight day was highly motivated. It came out that we could experience everything beautiful about flying in Southern France. The flight started to the Susa Valley in thermals; from there, we went to the Lure, where we did a short lap on the ridges, and then at Mont Ventoux we could climb out of the slope above the clouds directly into the wave. An indescribable experience to see the views above the clouds. We ended the day with a landing matching the sunset. With well over 600 km, we experienced an impressive first day of flying. On the second day of the flight, the conditions were almost identical, and we could make another trip to the Susa Valley.
Unfortunately, the forecast for the third day was a little worse, so we briefed our two flights from the previous days and analyzed them with WeGlide. It also quickly turned out that the selected seating was ideal. Both teams got along really well and unlike in the previous WeCoach training camps, we didn't swap coaches.
We could fly through the following six days in the best weather, covering considerable distances and exploring many corners of the flight area. A highlight was the flight over the Rhone Valley to the Massif Central. On this flight, the plan was to fly east in the morning and from there to get downwind under the cloud streets to the Vercours. With a view of the Massif Central, we decided to continue flying with these good optics without further ado. Uli and Jannis in the V9 initially bounced off the Massif Central and had to dig themselves out for half an hour. But in the end, both teams made it, and we could catch a wave at Lac de Serre-Poncon in the evening. With 844 km and 877 km in our luggage, we landed happily again in Puimoisson after sunset.
The next day it was just as exciting. We circumnavigated the Grand Paradiso and the Vanoise. The team Lukas Brune and Lukas Blattmann covered more than 900 km in the V8 that day. The flight was particularly challenging through the bird sanctuaries, but the view of Mont Blanc and many other beautiful corners of the Alps was rewarded several times.
After six flights in a row, the weather wasn't so kind to us, and we decided to take a day off. This was extended to two days due to the even worse weather. We then used the time to discuss the past few days, which we didn't get to do the days before. We did little things on the gliders and drove to the market in Riez to at least see something other than the Puimoisson airfield. Furthermore, we made good use of the last two possible flight days, although the last day was rather weak, and we decided to land early. Until then, we kept Saturday as an option, but based on the forecast, we decided to leave on Saturday, as the day looked even worse than Friday. So after landing, we packed the gliders back into the trailers and prepared everything for leaving. The result at the end with 10 out of 13 possible flight days is quite impressive. During that time, we experienced and learned a lot that we can use in the future. We definitely experienced and saw more than I had previously imagined.
So we can look back on two very instructive and beautiful weeks in southern France. With 20 starts, 143 flight hours and almost 13,000 km a very successful funding program.
Finally, we want to say a big thank you to everyone who makes WeCoach possible! Especially the Achumer Storks for the excellent gliders and the trainers Uli and Lukas, who guided us safely through the Alps all day and were able to show us a lot. We would also like to thank Alfred Spindelberger, who made our stay very pleasant with his active support! In conclusion, as a WeCoach participant, one can only say that we won't forget the time and that we can recommend every junior to apply for WeCoach.
Are you a junior pilot looking to fly in the mountains with some of the best trainers in the world in a two-seater? Then head to the airfield and secure your ticket to Worcester 🇿🇦 or Puimoisson 🇫🇷 with five big flights. You can find the rules here.