Johann Luyckx actually wanted to fly back to his home country of Belgium on January 10, 2023. But when Dirk Skura from the flight office predicted extremely good thermals and a possible 1250-kilometre flight, Luyckx postponed his flight home and sat back down in the Ventus.
The day got off to a very windy start. All the pilots were waiting for someone to make the start. At 10:12 a.m. Johann Luyckx then took off from the pan. With a force of 38 km/h, the wind did not make it easy for the pilot at first.
With a tailwind and very good thermals, he flew at up to 158 km/h over 331 km to the first turning point - Gaibes in the south of Namibia.
From there, he headed north - a full 364 kilometers with the best thermal conditions, a glide ratio of 78 and a headwind of 25 km/h.
From the north, we then headed 293 km back south to Helmeri. 25 kilometers before the turning point there were overdevelopments. It was the most critical point of the whole flight, reports Johann Luyckx. From here it was still 272 kilometers to Bitterwasser.
But he found good thermals! This gave him a relieving feeling and he reached the required altitude for the final stretch.
Another thermal now secured the route, which was still manageable. Johann Luyckx flew back to Bitterwasser at 170 km/h to complete the task.
At 19:36, after a total of 1260 kilometers, Johann landed before sunset and was the first to thank Dirk for the good forecast!
However, as the Belgian was already due to fly home, the palm ceremony was postponed until this season.
Looking back, Luyckx says: "In Bitterwasser you can realize your soaring dreams!"