Aviation legend attends club’s anniversary

***image1***The Deutsch-Amerikanischer Segelflug Club e.V. (German-American Soaring Club) of Traben-Trarbach celebrates its 50th anniversary at the airfield Mont-Royal above Traben-Trarbach Saturday and Sunday. The club offers a variety of demonstrations, activities and the appearance of a special guest. The airport is located on the Mosel River halfway between Trier and Koblenz and halfway between Spangdahlem Air Base and Hahn Airport.
“The anniversary program includes numerous aerial demonstrations with gliders both new and old, gliding aerobatics, flight demonstrations of various motor airplanes including the T-6, Yak 52, ultralights, Christen-Eagle, Extra 300 and many other interesting airplanes,” said Tim Tibo from the organization team.
The Lufthansa Junkers Ju 52, the Oldtimer tri-motor passenger airplane from 1936 (similar to the Ford Tri-Motor) will conduct passenger flights from Hahn Airport with 30-minute flights over the Mosel.
Further activities include parachute jumps, model airplane demonstrations, static displays, the launch of an antique glider and children’s activities.
“Our special guest for the entire weekend is one of the true heroes of aviation — retired U.S. Air Force General “Chuck” Yeager — who in 1947 with the Bell X-1a was the first pilot to break the sound barrier,” said Dr. Roger Dunn, president of the German-American Soaring Club. General Yeager will be available for several presentations and autographs. He served as a crack test pilot during the immediate post-war years and achieved fame with the first flight through the sound barrier with the Bell X 1-A in 1947. In the early 1950s Colonel Yeager was stationed at Hahn Air Base and during his stay there became involved in the soaring club in Traben-Trarbach. His wife Glennis christened the club’s first primitive sailing plane after a local vineyard called “Liebeskum-mer,” heartache.
General Yeager went on to serve a long and distinguished career with the U.S. Air Force and returned in the late 1960s to Ramstein where he served in the 17th Air Force.
“We contacted the general in November 2003 and he agreed immediately to take time out of his extremely busy schedule to be back with his old soaring club for the festivities,” said Dr. Dunn.
On June 6, 1954 the DASC (Deutsch-Amerikanischer Segelflug Club), with the approval of the American and German authorities, was founded. The founding presidium consisted of American flying personnel with their German counterparts. Numerous American pilots, principally from Hahn AB, were active flying members of the club during the 1970s and 1980s. Pilots from Spangdahlem have also participated in the club.
The club now boasts 100 members of whom 40 are active pilots. The “fleet”of airplanes has grown from the primitive wooden sailplanes of the 1940s to a total of six sailplanes, an ultralight, a motor-soarer and a single engine 4-passenger airplane.
“We really hope a lot of American and German visitors come to celebrate with us,” said Dr. Dunn. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday activities start at 10 a.m. (Courtesy of the German-American Soaring Club)