Huub van Heur, Past President IFFR Benelux
On Thursday 7 July, together with my grandson Mylo, I left for Hof in Germany, some 603 km from home in Heythuysen. This fly-in was organised by Rotary club Hof Bayern, of which two IFFR members are members. We chose this type of aircraft: Mercedes 180 CLA. As this type is a low-flyer, we were on time at airport Hof Plauen EDQM on 8 July.
The select group consisted of 12 participants including Mylo, Angus Clark, his wife Alisma and Past World President Feroz Wadia. German IFFR President Christian Denke was also present with his wife Gudrun.
In the afternoon, a city walk through the centre of Hof was on the programme. This town is characterised by its Lutheran character with many churches. Friday evening we had a nice dinner, as the pictures show. Before dinner, we were treated to a lecture by Günter Wetzel (IFFR member Germany/Austria). He took off with a hydrogen-filled balloon to Fl 290 in Augsburg in 1979 and broke the German altitude record at the time. The preparation was interesting, but the flight lasted only three quarters of an hour and the landing was 80 km from the take-off site.
On Saturday morning, we drove to the Deutsch – Deutsch Museum in… Mödlareuth, entirely devoted to the former Iron Curtain. There were still remnants of the wall to be seen. Here too, we got a lecture from a witness, who had fled to West Germany with a homemade balloon. Although Hof was in West Germany, Plauen is only 30 km away in the former East Germany (DDR). During the Wende in 1989, overcrowded trains from the GDR came to Hof and other cities.
In the afternoon, the trip continued to the airport, where Rotary Hof Bayern, in cooperation with IFFR Germany/Austria, had organised an air show for charity. The programme included various demonstrations by Red Bull pilots, among others. Food trucks were set up on the grounds for those who were hungry and thirsty. This benefit event was open to everyone.
On Sunday morning, we returned home with a bag full of beautiful local products (sausage and beer).