My license is still valid, but it is always a good idea (and it is an obligation as well) to make a check flight with an instructor. In Fayence, you have several professional gliding instructors as well as a chief pilot. One of the instructors, I’m close with is Michel Trial. He just became 65 years and he brings 25.000 hours of gliding experience. What I like about Michel is his enthusiasm. After so many years, he is still extreme enthusiastic about every single flight. He has a profound knowledge of all the mountains in the Southern Alps…if I would only 10% of his experience, I would be happy.
Michel proposed me to take the ASH-25 glider, which is one of the best you can rent in Fayence. We took off at 11.15 am sharp heading North into the Alps. This became the most exceptional gliding flight of my life, breaking all records. Or what should one think about : 550 km realized, more than 3000 meter altitude gain and a total duration of 8 hours. Awesome in every single way !
Our plan was to fly straight to the Mont Blanc. We got near, but did not manage to fly around it. I guess we would have needed some oxygen as well. We were able to climb to 4200 meter, which is really high for a glider.
Michel teaches me how to pick up the best winds in the Alps, we tend to fly very close (less than 5 meters) from the ridges. A sharp lookout is therefore always necessary. When flying with Michel, I notice he has a profound respect for the mountains he flies over every day. He knows the hideaways of many birds and