Doreen Kroeber & Andreas Zmuda

They met each other in November 2010 during a amazing Amazon expedition in Peru, Bolivia and Brasil, Andreas as tour leader and Doreen as participant.... and from this day they are bonded with deep love, sharing all kind of adventures, good food, wine and the fascination of flying a open aircraft around the globe!

 

The idea....

Sometimes in winter 2011/2012 Doreen and Andreas was sitting on there red sofa at these apartment in Berlin, drinking some glasses of good wine and thinking where they can spend tere next vacations.

Andreas: "Hey why we don't buy a small trike, a trailer and a small RV in the USA and do the next 5 or 8 years our vacations there, flying around San Fransisco, Florida, Gran Canyon and, and , and....!"

"Great idea! But why we don't fly also to Belize, where you lived some years. Its not that fare"

"Okay no problem, forget the trailer and the RV and get three months of vacation"

"My boss will agree - no problem! But you where living also in Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and some Caribbean Islands. There we should fly also!"

"Okay - just tell your boss you need a year off! And than we go back to Germany?"

"Well... would be great to fly over the savannahs of Africa to see the Elephants so close....right?"

"Yes but now lets do things right. Than give your notice and we trael 3 or 4 years till Austraia and include also Asia!"

"Great - do we have a next bottle of wine?"

"Yes - Cheers!"

Our inspiration...

Otto Lilienthal, the brothers Bethke and Jimmy Angel... and the story of Andreas "getting up in the air"...

Today, Otto Lilienthal is called the first successful aviator in the history of mankind. With his fundamental research on birds and airfoils, he founded the science of wing aerodynamics and lay the foundations for concepts we still employ today. Both his research and his successful flights between 1891 and 1896 inspired the Wright brothers. He influenced their research that resulted in the invention of the powered, controllable, heavier than air aircraft beginning in 1896 until their ultimate success in 1903 and ofg course he was one of the three pilots, who inspired us!

But Andreas got first inspired by the two German brothers Bethke (check out this YouTube video in German language), who rescued a third brother from Eastern Germany by microlight in 1989 (the two already in western Europe had each escaped over the Berlin wall in 1974 and 1981. Two microlights were involved: the brothers knew that if one aircraft failed on landing, the other would be able to get all three of them back), Andreas was dreaming since than to fly around the globe in a microlight!

Climbing the Auyan Tepui

After Andreas migrated to Venezuela, he lived with the Pemon- and Kamaratoco-Indians close to the famous table top-mountains, where he met Jose Manuel Ugarte, the adopted child of the great explorer James Crawford Angel Marshall, better known as Jimmy Angel.

 

Since then Andreas dreamed about flying in his very own plane, as Angel did nearly 80 years ago, around this magic mountains, looking for Gold and diamonds! And his dream will come true in March 2013 during the “Trike-Globetrotter” Expedition!! 

 

The American bush-pilot Jimmy Angel, who first flew over the area in 1921. He flew in from Panama, where he had been hired by an old prospector to fly to and land on the summit of Auyán-tepui, where they allegedly found a stream, and panned considerable quantities of gold. "There was gold everywhere",he told everybody when he came back after the first flight.

The prospector, subsequently died, and it was not until 1935 that Angel returned, and found the falls that now bear his name.

The "Angel Falls" (Pemon language: Kerepakupai Vená, meaning "waterfall of the deepest place") highest uninterrupted waterfall in the world plunges down from the western flank of a gorge in the middle of the Auyán-tepui. With a total height of 979 m (3,212 ft) and a plunge of 807 m (2,648 ft), it is more than 15 times higher than Niagara.

Two years later, in 1937, he attempted a landing, but despite a successful touchdown the aircraft (the Rio Caroní) nose-dived when it hit soft ground at the end of its landing run and Angel, his wife Marie and his companions (Gustavo Heny and his gardener!) had to walk out. Luckily Heny had previously climbed the tepui, and so was able to guide the party down the south flank, a trip that took them 11 days.

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Venezuelan Carlos A. Freeman took this photo of Angel Falls from Jimmie Angel's airplane on 1 May  1939. It and a companion photo of Angel Falls were the first published photographs of the waterfall appearing in "Exploración de la Gran Sabana," Revista de Fomento, No. 19, December 1939.

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The plane remained there until 1970, when it was taken out by helicopter, and re-assembled in the city of Maracay's aviation museum. Today it can be seen  outside the airport terminal at the small local airport at Ciudad Bolivar. It is one of Venezuela's most visited spots!

After seeing later the reports from the pioneers of flying a microlight (trike) like Brian Milton flying around the entire globe, Guy Delage crossing the Atlantic from Africa to Brasil, British paraplegic pilot Dave Sykes set off on an epic solo, record breaking microlight journey from England to Sydney, Ricky de Agrela, Alan Honeyborne and Martin Warner world record fly with over 60.000km and two tragedy deaths, Richard Meredith-Hardy´s London-Sydney expedition, Mark Jackson flight over the Everest, Mike Blyth and Olivier Aubert flying adventures in Africa, Europe and South America including a Atlantic crossing over Greenland, Andreas wanted to own and fly his own microlight.

Abid

Getting his first hours in the air in South Africa and in Trinidad & Tobago on fix wing aircrafts, Andreas got some hours on a microlight in Ecuador and finally his SPL and later his PPL in Zephyrhills / Florida-USA (thanks to my incredibly patiently friend and CFI Abid Farooqui).

Andreas in his "FIB" in San Ignazio / Belize

His first own trike than was a "flying inflatable boat" witch he used to fly locals and tourist around the Maya ruins of Belize... check out this videos (video1) (video2).

 

The FIB was patented by Polaris Motor SRL, the first Italian producer of hand gliders and ultralights, in 1986, in collaboration with the well known RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat ) manufacturer, Lomac Nautica.

The Malingri Family, owner of Polaris with their experience and knowledge of the sea, designed a safe and seaworthy ultralight with a very simple maintenance, easy to use from boats or beaches.

Since 1987 more than 1000 units have been sold around the world (Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Turkey, Red Sea, Argentina, Madagascar, USA etc.) Toyota bought 80 FIBS, many units operate from tourist resorts, and are on maxi yachts. The navy seals of Singapore use FIB's for special missions. Green Peace has two FIB's and used them during the French nuclear testing . 



Andreas got than also some hours in a Gyrocopter in Dalby / Australia with his friend Don Cramer, where Don offers ultralight sales, service and instruction including trial Instructional flights in Gyrocopters, Microlights and 3 axis Ultralights. Check out his webside!

 

But... Andreas loved a nice wing above his head :)

Andreas in Blue Creek / Belize 2009
Getting some fuel in Florida / USA, just shortly before his friend Sean had a fatal accident in the same trike...
Andreas in Cape Town / South Africa 2006 with his son Stevie
Hey daddy here I am..... :)
Stevie with his "Daddy" enjoying flying at his best in Belize!
Steven "Stevie" Anthony Zmuda