About turbulence on the track

«The goal is to somehow achieve an improvement»



They know and use the laws of physics for their profession like few others. But how do a SWISS pilot and a Swiss ski racer deal with it when the forces of nature are not in their favour? Fabian Kofler and Niels Hintermann on turbulence on the track.


«The goal is always to somehow achieve an improvement. In the air, the priority is flying itself. For us it's "FLY, NAV, COM". That means: first we fly, then we navigate and finally we communicate. So if there is turbulence, we first try to improve our flying, for example by flying higher, slower or lower. Then we navigate, i.e. we check whether we can still fly in the intended direction or whether we need to adjust something here. And finally comes the "COM", i.e. the communication. Then we inform the cabin crew and the passengers. I am often asked how I deal with the pressure in such situations, the knowledge of the responsibility for all the guests on board. In the basic training and the regular practice, we learn to fly this aircraft, to work in a team and to deal with unexpected situations. We, therefore, have a realistic assessment of our capabilities - that's why you don't really feel this pressure that directly, second by second, on the flight.»

«The weather is of course an important factor in skiing. There can always be changes in the weather conditions, even during the race. Every skier is professional enough to be able to deal with that. If something doesn't go according to the plan you made in advance, you have to react quickly and find alternatives. See what you can change, what you can improve. Whether it's the position, the line you take or a jump that went much further or much less far than planned. You always have to adapt a bit and react in the right way. Of course, there is a certain pressure to perform well in all conditions. Not only for myself, the ski federation and the team in the background, but also for the whole of Switzerland - because at the end of the day we represent it.»