Day Ten — Epic Odyssey
Prague, Czech Republic — Luckily, the weather has improved — so today we ventured into another type of flying, courtesy of Blanik Aircraft. Based near Prague, Blanik designs and manufactures an advanced, all carbon fiber glider aircraft. Off we go to the Benesov Airport (LKBE), which is a grass airstrip about 30 minutes from Prague.
Our host was Vaclav Krizek, CEO of Blanik. He arranged for three of his gliders and aerobatic pilots to introduce the Epic team to a Blanik aviation experience. With our pilots sitting front seat, the Blanik pilots directly behind, and the Wilga tow plane in front, the gliders were instantly airborne, climbing quickly until release. As the day was still overcast at 2,500 feet, we stayed low; the Blanik pilots still were able to take each participant through a series of hammer stalls, loops, and low passes. It was at once both exhilarating and serene, the peace and quiet complemented by the thrills of the aerobatic maneuvers. Everyone had a chance to glide and universally came away with a smile of appreciation.
The rest of the group enjoyed a free day to further explore the charms of Prague. That evening, we all gathered for a group photo by the river, followed by dinner on the terrace of the Hergetova Cihelna restaurant overlooking the Charles Bridge. This was our last night in Prague and in Europe, so we wandered the streets, enjoying the music, lights, and sights of this entrancing city. Tomorrow, onward to Russia!