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Flying in the Parang Mountains

The Petrosani Airclub was founded in June 1936, when eng. Stefan Georgescu Gorjan, chief engineer at Atelierele Centrale Petrosani (now UMIROM S.A.) met eng. Gustav Felix-Stof, in Fagaras. The history of this club was permanently close to the evolution of Atelierele Centrale Petrosani (A.C.P.), a company that repaired and later produced mining equipment. The first president of the club was ing. Tiberiu Timoc, manager of the SAR-MIN Petrosani mining company

Gustav Felix Stof proposed the construction of a hangar for 18 gliders and a meteorological station. Both structures have been executed by the Wildmann company from Brasov . In the meantime a workshop for glider construction and repairing was built on a peak north to the place chosen for airstrip, the Lunca plain, in the same place were the gliders were later launched.

Gustav Felix Stof - 1989 Wienna
Stefan Gerorgescu Gorjan-Petrosani, 1936

The first glider built here was named "Mandra" and was lauched with elastic cord at November 26-th 1936 from Lunca Mica, piloted by its builder, G. F. Stoff. The first real flight was executed at December 6-th, 1937 also by G.F. Stoff, who took off at 926 m from Chiciora peak and landed on Lunca Mare-Livezeni.Three other training gliders have been built, a real performace at the time. In 1937, at Julie 20-th starts the flying school with the first class and two training gliders.

In 1937, a demonstrative flight was prepared for January 24-th, occasioned by The Union Day. The flight was planned to start from the highest peak of Parang Mountains, the Mandra, at 2075 m altitude. The glider was transported in pieces to the top of the mountain and assembled on site. In the process of take off a problem appeared with the elastic cord, the plane was thrown on the side and partially damaged. Fortunately this accident did not have bad consequences on the pilot, who was Gustav Felix Stoff again.

The damaged plane is repaired by G. Stoff in the workshop of the club, and at 11 o'clock in May 17-th, 1937 he's ready to try once more the same flight . This time the flight is a success, and after one hour and ten minutes with the landing on the Lunca airstrip ends the first alpine flight in Romania. The history of the Petrosani Airclub continues until 1956, whith its ups and downs, until the communist authorities decided to build blocks of flats on the territory formerly occupied by the airstrip. The pilot of this historic flight is still alive (in 1995), lives in Vienna and prepares to celebrate his 91-st birthday.
May 17-th, 1937-Parang Mountain 2075m

 

Petrosani, 1995

Cornel Morariu, instructor

Note:

  • The activity of this club inspired a lot of young people to conquer the sky. The example of G.F. Stof was continued by generations of pilots like: Cornel Morariu, Eugen Cernescu, Hye Gheorghe, Predescu Ion, Banulescu Eugen, Ioan Cracaoanu, Scipione Popescu, Lupas Silviu, Oancea Eneas, Cotescu Dumitru, Wolf Francisc, Darie Petre, Botez Gheorghe, Culeniuc Nicolae, Totoianu Augustin, Mircea Griva, Parvu Romulus, Stanoiu Romeo and a lot others. One of the best was the distinguished flyer Mircea Carstoiu, called the "father" of the romanian flight instructors. The club's school prepared "C" class pilots on Grunau-9, Icar, Schullgleiter, Salamandra and Baby-2 gliders. Some of the best became military or civilian pilots, just like Grivei Constantin, Bobaru Ioan - TARS-TAROM pilots, col. Petca Petru, fighter pilot instructor, Diaconu Petru, Vulpescu Teodor and Popescu Beniamin - airport commanders

  • Mr. Cornel Morariu is, next to Ionel Becherete, the author of a well documented history of the Petrosani Airclub. He was instructor and for a few years even chief of the flight school of this airclub, part of its history.

  • The history of flight in Petrosani has been restarted in the 90's, through the activity of two paragliding clubs, Temerarii and Gentiana, and both of them managed to have good results at national and international contests.