Charlie Jost writes:
Christof Kratzner died on July 12th after a long coma. In the
autumn of last year, Christof had a serious bicycle accident and had not woken
up since then. The DHV mourns for its experienced inspector, test pilot,
colleague and former world champion of the rigid wing class.
Those who were lucky enough to get to know Christof had the feeling that
Christof had been born without wings by mistake. He told me years ago of his
first flight experiments in the homeland of the Black Forest when he flew down
the slopes as a youth with self-made gliders. Roof panels and construction film
were his first materials.
Christof loved everything that was flying and a bit exotic. He built many flying
machines himself, built a flying board years ago, and proved to himself and
others that his "plank" could also be safely steered without a tail plane, the
theory behind which he had collected autodidactically from many books. Curious,
inquisitive and experimental Christof had become a recognized expert on hang
glider flying in just a few years, and for more than 20 years, Christof was not
only a technical inspector of the DHV, but also a test pilot of many hang
gliders and harnesses still available on the market today.
In 1999 he crowned his sporting career with the win of the Rigid Wing World
Championship at Monte Cucco (Italy).
At the DHV, we were very proud to have a world champion on the team. Christof's
incredible knowledge of aerodynamics, flight mechanics and construction of the
hang gliders, gave the DHV type tests - an early seal of approval - worldwide
recognition and respect.
He has often been a guest with TV shows on hang glider flying. Last year,
Bayerische Fernsehen published the following videos about Christof.