For hobbyist pilot Hendrik Hoppe, the journey into the skies was a long and winding one.

Growing up in Eastern Germany, achieving a dream of personal aviation simply wasn’t an option.

“I was born and grew up in Eastern Germany,” Hoppe said. “(General) aviation was not existing at all, because somebody could easily take a plane and fly over one of the borders.”

That all changed with the crumbling of the Berlin wall.

The integration of Eastern and Western Germany brought with it a new world of possibilities for Hoppe, who quickly launched himself into a new frontier.

“When the wall came down, I was 18, and the first affordable step in aviation, for me, was hang gliding,” he said. “From there, it was growing my aviation skills. I kept flying, always as a hobby, but increased my flying skills over the last (few) years to a commercial license with multi-engine and seaplane ratings.”

Though Hoppe mainly employs those skills to travel on business, he’s also taken a Trans-African flight and flown from Europe to North America.

It’s difficult, Hoppe said, to choose a favorite plane.

Still, one does separate itself from the crowd – his Mooney.

“I like my Mooney best,” he said. “Most likely, this is because I have the most impressive, memorable and exciting flights in it. If I had to answer the question, I would say it’s the Mooney, definitely.”

Cutting-Edge Technology Creating Timeless Journeys

With new Aspen Avionics devices installed by Three Wing Aviation, Hoppe took a North Atlantic flight from North America back to Europe.

“It’s a long flight over open water, but it was a perfect moment for me to experience the new devices,” he said.

In particular, Hoppe said the timer functions on his new Aspen devices assisted him in making required positional reports during his journey.

Now, with so much time in the skies under his belt, Hoppe message for dreamers like him is a simple one.

“I absolutely recommend it to everybody,” he said. “Go out, do flying, learn to fly. It’s definitely something the everybody can do. … It’s fun to share it.”

To see how Aspen Avionics is helping to inspire the next generation of pilots, click here.

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