Alexis Anastassiou and Kostas Kiapekos from Greece soar-climbed to 7,036m (23,100ft) with the Pipistrel Sinus in the lee wave of Mount Parnassus in central Greece.
Even though the wave was weak (at only 1.0m/s) the whole mission lasted less than 3 hours, including the slow descent to avoid stressing the finish of the airframe.
Needless to say, we are all very impressed with the gliding skill of Mr. Alexis and his co-pilot Kostas and the achievements they performed with the Pipistrel aircraft!
This is their diary time-report about how the whole flight and soaring went (times are local – Greece) and of course the celebration afterwards…
11:30 Take off and climb with 3 m/s average, towards Mount Parnassus
11:54 Stop engine and feather the prop at 3,500m in the second wave bar and contact weak lift to 4,000m
11:56 Check blood oxygen saturation and don oxygen masks
12:00 Fly upwind to reach first bar having faith that the foehn gap would be where it should
12:05 Restart engine at 3,000m to avoid sinking into cloud
12:08 Contact lift and stop engine
12:10 Move a bit upwind and contact a weak but steady lift
12:11 Happy to be climbing but unhappy that the wind was only 40km/h
12:20 At 4,500m worry a bit about the increasing cloud cover
12:36 Move 3km NW to the leading edge of a newly formed and nice looking lenticular at 5,200m
12:54 At 5,900m move 1.5km downwind above the leading edge of a new bar of lenticulars below us
12:55 Observe the wind at this altitude is as expected from a more westerly direction and adjust the “surfing” lines to a little more North-South direction
13:17 Reach 7,036m!
13:20 Accept we cannot climb more and fly SE to the lenticular of Mount Elikonas
13:30 Turn to the general direction of the airfield
13:41 Reach the Gulf of Evia to descend slowly over the sea
14:16 Long final to Kopais airfield
15:00 Start work on the rudder of my ASW22 feeling unfaithful to her…
16:00 Celebrate with home brewed beers by Petros!
The two pilots were proud and satisfied when they landed and they sent us a statement:
“Thanks to Pipistrel for getting us up there, to Mountain High Oxygen Systems for keeping us alive and conscious and to Naviter and LX for showing us where to go and where to climb. Also, thanks to Mike for lending us his two-seater oxygen system.”
Alexis Anastassiou is a glider pilot from Greece with about 2,500 hrs, holding several Greek gliding records and having participated in World Gliding Championships.
He is an owner of an ASW 22 BLE open class motorglider and a co-owner of a Pipistrel Sinus.
Kostas has 250 hrs with ultralight aircraft, mostly with the Sinus. He is also a paraglider pilot with over 600 hrs and he was a member of the Greek accuracy landing team in 2008, for the 1st European competition held in Niš, Serbia. He is co-owner of Pipistrel Sinus Sn-256.