OSTIV and some other highly committed glider pilots, some of them scientists and meteorologists, travelled in Nov 1999 to Argentina to study the rule of the "Wave in the Andes". They also anticipated the opportunity to head for new Long Distance World records in gliders of their class.
In the wave a glider can be climbed at a rate of 1 to 10 m/s / 200 to 2000 ft/min or even more. In this type of forceful lift, which is usually associated with high velocities of wind and often signaled by a formation of lenticular clouds, it is possible to easily gain several thousand metres of altitude up to 50 000 ft /15 Km.
Such life threatening high altitude flights require aviation and space medicine considerations, flight-physiology training and technical support by aviation medicine trained specialists! The author, also a glider pilot and military trained flight surgeon took part in the preparation phase of this project and accompanied the excursion to San Martin de Los Andes.
The Andes extend 7000 Km in a nearly true north-south direction. The prevailing wind direction is primarily from the west. This wind creates large powerful mountain waves, which was the reason for exploring this remote area. Two groups of about 15 experienced pilots were accompanied by three powered high performance gliders, a double seated Stemme SV 10, an ASH 25 M and a single seat Nimbus 4 M.
Supported by local Argentinean pilots, they flew more than 100 flights totaling several hundred flying hours and at times covered long distances of more than 1800 Km / 1000 NM with some world records.