Seven Minutes away from Freedom
In 1987 Vladimír Príslupský decided to run away from Czechoslovakia. He wanted to cross the Iron Curtain using an air glider, (rogalo), for his escape – a small hang-glider with a Trabant car engine, even though he didn’t have any experiences with flying. On May 18, 1987 approximately at eight o’clock in the evening, he took off near the village Mrakov and aimed towards south-west following the sunset. He flew around the watching station Spálený vrch, which was located nearby the geographical peak by the same name. Soldiers of the watching station quickly noticed Vladimír’s glider and one of them went to report his flight immediately. Príslupský assumed that after spotting him, there would be jets sent from the military base Žatec, which provided the air defense of the state. According to his calculations, he had approximately seven minutes. In those seven minutes he was supposed to fly over the state border on his hang-glider to Federal Republic of Germany. While in the air, he heard that there were jets flying above him, but they turned around and flew back. Príslupský made it to the German side of the border. After about an hour he managed to land on a meadow by the village Unterlintach, not far from a town of Roding. Just after landing his hang-glider, his engine cut out. He ran out of gas.