Corinna Schwiegershausenn, women’s world hang gliding champion multiple times, has paid a moving tribute to her friend and German teammate Guido Gehrmann on her blog. Guido tragically died on 1 May in a plane crash.
In it she calls him “one of the finest, most talented pilots in the world,” and suggests that “knowing him” he could well have crashed deliberately, to avoid the plane crashing into a residential area. “He could have bailed out of the jet with his parachute, with the possibility of the plane crashing uncontrollably and hurting other people,” she writes.
Her blog post in full:
No words can describe our loss, this darkness – at least it is raining today in Munich, so my tears blend into the grey sky. One of the finest, most talented pilots in the world, one of my friends for half of my life, the sunshine of the flying community, left this world on his final flight yesterday. Guido died when he tried to emergency land his BD5-J south of Gnadenwald in Inntal in the afternoon of the 1st of May 2013.
It was not a stunt flight, not a daring manouvre, no weather problem – Guido simply wanted to fly the plane back to Salzburg when he experienced a technical problem.
Knowing him, knowing the plane, and knowing the area, it seems to me that he tried until the last moment to cope with the technical problem and to make sure that noone else gets hurt. He could have bailed out of the jet with his parachute, with the possibility of the plane crashing uncontrollably and hurting other people.
Instead Guido chose to steer it into an empty field where he crashed and died. Not a lack of competence – he was one with his wings and he knew every single field in that area. A lack of luck in that very moment caused his death.
Guido, you physically managed to not hurt anybody else, but you left your family, your loved ones, your friends and the whole world inside and out of aviation in mere shock and pain beyond words.
Everybody adored you, not just for your aviation skills but also for your shining personality. And you were as modest as can be. You were aware that you lived your dream and appreciated it. Your legend will live on with anybody who´s life has been touched by your inspiring enthusiasm, freedom and love for anything that flies!
Little brother, I know you have good company in the eternal sky. Some day we will race together again!
The full post is on Corinna’s blog, Corinna Flies.
• Got news? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org