Well, Hugo was rescued from the local animal shelter and since he likes exploring new places, he likes to fly. To read the full story, check his sub page!
Hugo is a rescued dog, probably born in 2010. He was found in 2015 tied to a light pole at Gifhorn train station in northern Germany where he was found. Than I was brought into Gifhorn’s animal shelter in Ribbesbuettel. I don’t know much more about his previous live but from his behavior, one must assume, he was mistreated regularly.
Late summer 2015, I went to the shelter my fist time just looking to have a walk with a dog and still not completely sure if I should take full time responsibility for an animal. But anyway, they gave me Hugo for a walk and he was instantly working with me and already following basic commands.
Since I still had some renovations to do in my new house, Hugo stayed at the shelter but I went there almost every day to have a walk with him. After just a couple of days, maybe two weeks he had figured out how I opened the front gate and started barking in his kennel immediately. If I hadn’t been sure if I should take him home with me, I definitely was at this point.
Another big point for me was if I could take him to the airfield with me. So after one walk from the shelter, I started opening the car door just a hair and he jumped on the back seat right away looking like “what adventure are we taking on now?”. So driving wouldn’t be a problem either.
Learning to fly
Since I am an aviator, sooner or later Hugo had to learn how to fly. And many times I have been asked how I trained Hugo to fly. But before I explain, a little disclaimer: I am neither a flight instructor nor a dog trainer what so ever, this is just my personal experience.
The first thing I introduced Hugo to was our home airfield itself where we walked on the apron, worked on the airplane together and so on. All with a leash off coarse. Since the airfield is just a little grass strip with almost exclusive club traffic, I also wanted to let him roam unleashed, so we trained that he needed to come close by my foot whenever there was airplane noise. And to this day, it works pretty well!
Next exercise was to get familiar with our Luscombe. So when I worked around the aircraft, I let him sit inside and just watch what I’m doing. Later we intensified this by pushing the airplane out of the hangar with him inside and taxi to the fuel pump.
Also in the meantime he got more and more used to his flying gear where we use his normal harness from the car with two custom made straps to hook the D ring on his back the the two attach points of the lap belts on his seat. He also wears MuttMuffs during the flight which he takes off as soon as I take the throttle back and start the descend.
When we finally flew together for the first time, it was just a short hop around the local area, but with time, flights got longer and longer and now, Hugo is a seasoned flyer!
Who am I?
Well, I am just a regular young man from northern Germany loved and raised by his parents. But first things first…
My name is Florian Meißner (yes, with a sharp S 😉 ), born in August 1989 and the founder of Discovering Eagle. During my childhood I lived in Celle, a small town in Lower Saxony, Germany. My father Volkhart worked as a meteorologist for the German Army and my mom, Regina, used to be a teacher in high school. Also I do have a younger brother, Nico, with whom I share my passion for aviation and tinkering.
We both got that passion from our father who needed to do something all the time. After altering our house several times and building almost all furniture himself, he turn to building his own airplane. That is where I learned my basics in maintaining my own airplane “Chickadee”. Even as a child I used to disassemble all my toys but back than most times I didn’t get them back together.
What do I do for a living?
Eventually my passion for tinkering developed into a profession. Since elementary school I was highly interested in electronics and in 2009 I started my apprenticeship as an Electrician for Automation Control with a company in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, Germany. From there I graduated in summer of 2012 and in 2013 I was finally able to visit one of our plants in Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States were I worked in the body shop maintenance department for almost the entire year.
After returning back to Germany, I moved from maintenance into the development department where I became the lead employee with regards to measurement equipment, test setups and so on at the test benches for electric car engines.
With the beginning of 2020 my second passion got a chance to turn into an profession. In early high school I got in contact with HTML “programming” where our class was tasked with creating a new webpage for our school. Well, things added up and now, almost two decades later, I wrapped up several languages as well as multiple platforms. Most of this is self-taught over almost 15 years.
- HTML 4/5
- CSS 2/3
- C on AVR microcontrollers
- Python as command line program, GUIs with Tkinter, or websites with Django
- Java and JavaFX
- MySQL, MariaDB, H2, SQlite
- Shell (mostly bash) and Batch scripting
- Administration of Ubuntu (Desktop and Server)
Just to write one or two sentences wouldn’t do justice to all my hobbies and passions. So let’s start at the beginning.
Since my parents are both active pilots, it was quite natural for me to start flying, too. After spending several weekends at the airfield as a child, I started my glider training in Germany in 2004.
During my time in the US in 2013 I took the opportunity to get my Private Pilot Airplane rating which I achieved in mid summer. During fall I also wrapped up the US glider rating and during another visit in 2018 the airplane aerotow endorsement.
The first December week of 2014 was also quite an event. After scouring the internet for almost a year I finally found “my” airplane. It was a Luscombe 8E build in 1948 being for sale in Louisville, Kentucky, US. After several phone calls with the previous owner, I agreed to fly over from Germany to take a look and eventually buy it. In the background I had already ordered a shipping container to the airport and while trying to check in in Berlin I had quite fun trying to explain why I go on “holidays” in the middle of winter with a suitcase full of tools. Well, mid January 2015 N1990B finally arrived at my home airfield Celle-Arloh EDVC in Germany and I fly her ever since.
Even before taking my current position as as software developer, I used to tinker with several programming languages. Some of my work is available for download on this homepage. For example I wrote and maintain several custom data plugins for my favorite aviation app SkyDemon of which some became incorporated in SD’s own data.
Somewhat in order to not leave the electronics completely I joined the German Amateur Radio Club (DARC) in March 2020 as well as their regional chapter H24 Wolfsburg. End of July 2020 I finally got my Novice HAM Radio License (E-Lizenz) in Goettingen, Germany and my callsign DO1MRV.
After I got my Youth Leader Certificate (Juleica) in July 2020, I also took over H24’s youth group and do some experiments with them. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 held us down, too.
You can see more about my venture into the most expensive form of free telecommunication in the HAM radio category.
Let me share a little list with you where I have been to and how did I get there.
|Germany||My home country where I live since I was born.|
|United States of America||I worked and lived there for a year and got my pilots license in the meantime.
|France||By myself I’ve been to France just once on my trip to St. Auban and back. But before I’ve been there many times as a child with my family.|
|United Kingdom||After having flown in to the Duxford Flying Legends Airshow as a child with my family, I returned in 90B to explore the country on my own. See British Isles 2019 tour.|
|Belgium||While returning from the British Isles 2019 tour I made a stopover in Brussels to meet Lady Bush Pilot.|
|Netherlands||Just a quick fuel stop on my way to the British Isles. But definitely not the last!|
|Poland||Did at weekend trip to visit the concentration camp memorial in Oswiecim with Tim. See Weekend in Auschwitz|
With my family
|France||Most of our family holidays we spend in the French Alps. We either supported my father to go soaring and went skiing there.|
|Austria||Though we went skiing in France in the very early years of my life, we later moved on to the Austrian Alps.|
|Italia||In 1998 we did a tour around the Alps in our fathers DR400 and did a couple of days layover in northern Italy. I might be back one day…|
|Denmark||First time I came to Denmark, we visited the Legoland in Billund. Later we returned a couple of times to the Baltic Sea Islands.|
|Sweden||It was 2001 when we flew my fathers DR400 up the Lake Vettern in southern Sweden. And I have to admit, the Swedish landscape is one of the most beautiful ones in Europe!|
|Spain||A couple years ago we did another flying adventure. Through France we flew down the Mediterranean coast of Spain until Mallaga where we spend a couple of days.|
|Morocco||From our trip to Spain we took a day trip to Ceuta and Tanger. It was far away from everything I had known from Europe so far! And I was only 12…|
Countries / regions I like to go to
|Africa||Still my ultimate goal is to fly my own plane around Africa one day…|
|Baltic Sea region||I have ideas for flying around the Baltic Sea already…|
|Canada, Alaska||The northern Rocky Mountains in Canada and Alaska are a place I like to go one time.|
|South America||Flying through the Andes mountains like the majestic Condor, soaring over high peaks. I adventure I have to try! But if I do it, I will go down all the way to Ushuaia.|
|New Zealand||New Zealand is so well-known for its beautiful scenery and hospitable people. Do you need more reasons?|
Pilots tend to think, that mechanics can’t fly. Last week, my brother and helping hand Nico proved the opposite. In his Ventus cxM D-KNGS he fly over a thousand (yes, 1.000) kilometers from Celle to the Mecklenburg Lake District and on to Poland. After a little more than 10 hours of continuous soaring, he returned to Celle. Continue reading
Like every big project, you need somebody pulling it off!
Florian is the pilot of Discovering Eagle. He likes to fly and explore the world.
As soon as he got old enough, he started glider pilot training with his father as instructor.
Age 23, he got his American Private Pilot Certificate, Airplane rating during a year working in the States. About a year later he purchased a 1948 Luscombe 8E, N1990B, in Kentucky and shipped her to Germany.
Florian is currently employed as an electrician in the field of propulsion systems for electric cars. If he is not flying or working currently, there is a good chance he is tinkering with some avionics or other electronics circuitry.
He also is a hobby programmer and likes to develop apps to make flying easier and safer. Some of his software you can find on this page.
If you like to know a little bit more about me, look here.
Hugo became part of the team in 2015. Unfortunately it is not known what he did before. We only now he was tied up at a local train station and became interned at the animal shelter. There he met Florian and they became friends for live!
He loves chasing rabbits, birds and everything that is smaller than him. He also is keen to have a walk where he hasn’t been before.
Hugo’s main job is recycling surplus foot and getting attention. He flies as regularly, he even has his own logbook.
Regina is a retired teacher and the biggest supporter of Discovering Eagle. As Florian’s mom she owns a share in N1990B and helps with the maintenance.
She flies gliders since her youth and later added Touring-Motor–Glider, Airplane and Microlight. By now she became an instructor for microlight airplanes.
She also occupied the only position only a mom can hold: The Parental Advisor!
Regina’s second son is a professional airplane power plant mechanic with EASA inspection authorization and provides help and advice wherever he can.
He is an outstanding glider pilot and tries to fit in his father’s foot steps. His favorite soaring spot is in the French alps.
But Nico also is an instructor for gliders and works on his own rating for Touring-Motor-Gliders.
Volkhart is the biggest inspiration for all of us. Even though he died in an airplane crash 13 years ago, he still made us the pilots and aviation enthusiasts we are today!
With his DR400 Remorqueur our young family traveled all over Western Europe.
During lifetime he hold the gilder and airplane rating with CVFR as well as TMG. Even though he was instructor for all of these, his passion was cross country soaring were he even attended international competitions.
Late 2002 he started building an MC100 in the home workshop where Florian and Nico got many handworking skills for their lifes.
When Nico and Florian became old enough, he thought them the art of flying gliders and paved their way in becoming pilots.
Thank you Dad!
During the bad weather season of last winter I got myself a new copilot. Hugo a 6 year old dog I adopted from the animal shelter joined me for his first flight in an airplane ever. After getting used to the noise he seemed to enjoy the ride. As a first trip we did a a 20 minute flight around our home town Celle.
Let keep looking forward to our next adventure while the weather is improving…
|Rating / Certificate||Country||Date obtained|
|Sailplane Winch Operators Permit||GER||September 2006|
|Radio Operators Permit BZF II (talking german)||GER||November 2005|
|Private Pilot Certificate||USA||September 2013|
|Category Rating Single Engine Aircraft Land||USA||September 2013|
|Category Rating Glider||USA||November 2013|
|Radio Operators Permit||USA||August 2014|
|Tailwheel Endorsement||USA||April 2015|
|Radio Operators Permit BZF I (talking german and english)||GER||December 2015|
|Private Pilot Certificate||GER||April 2016|
|Complex Endorsement||USA||June 2018|
|High Performance Endorsement||USA||June 2018|
|Glider Aerotow Endorsement||USA||June 2016|
|Rating / Certificate||Country||Date expected|
|Instrument Rating||USA||Next time I get to the US 😉|
|Commercial Pilot Certificate||USA||…|
|Certified Flight Instructor||USA||…|