May 26, 2022 By Andrea Downey-Lauenburg

What a weather!

We made it to Graz/Austria yesterday while all the winds and lightnings in the world were conspiring against us. Even I got a little scared when windshears, downdrafts and microbursts were all out to kill us. It was like a roller-coaster ride and two or three times I was a little worried for the small aircraft’s structural integrity. Yes, it was THAT bad! The decision to land anyway was not my finest hour, I guess. To be fair, one has to consider that our fuel status wasn’t ideal either. We made it in the end, of course, and what’s important, there will be no inquiry, but the touchdown was pretty harsh (… and one passenger experienced a small leakage problem).

Coming to the point: Graz does exist! I always though it was something like a myth – like Bielefeld in Germany, for example. With this kind of weather around it’s no wonder that people think this town is just a legend! Who would make it there anyway?

At least the thunderstorms took my mind off the war for a while. I’m fed up with it. Fed up with the stories about it, fed up with refugees, fed up with human tragedies. Why do I do what I’m doing anyway? I could sit on my boat at the equator in the middle of the Pacific ocean, and let my hair down, right now. Aiming for the next sandy beaches, palm trees and fuck my brains out. Instead I’m flying at ungodly hours, shitting my pants while fighting severe weather, and listen every few hours to horror stories about hell.

My friends say I’m nuts. They’re probably right.

Thing is, that I want to make a difference. Even if it’s only a small one. Yes, it is a small one, but for the people concerned it is a very big one, and this is what keeps me going. I am able to do what I’m doing, and I wish others would do the same. It’s not a big deal to do what one can do. It doesn’t set me back financially, and I love flying. I can go back at sea once the fucking bloody war is over (or I can’t stand it anymore). So – where is the harm? I won’t fly into Ukraine, I’m not a hero, I won’t throw away my life. But all the other stuff I can do.

Again: What I do is neither heroism no selflessness. I have the funds, I don’t really need payed work; I have the time and I have fun flying. It sets me back with my writing a little, that’s all. I’m convinced that every donation you can make (for the UNHCR or the Red Cross, for example) is more than I’m doing, since you need your hard earned money for yourself and your loved ones. Just put yourself in the refugees’ shoes for a moment.

So please, don’t talk about me, HELP the refugees in the ways YOU can afford. Either where you live or through a donation. Every Dollar, Pound, Euro helps. Even if it is just a single one. YES. IT. DOES.!

The refugees wish nothing more than to return home!

Please do a tiny bit more than placing a little flag in your profile.


That would be great. Thank you.