INTERCAMBIO DE CIELOS  Gernika ↔ Berlin  •  Acto 2, vuelo en Gernika: 21 de septiembre de 2019, aniversario de Gernika •
ZERU-TRUKAKETA  Gernika ↔ Berlín  •  2. Atala, Gernikako hegaldiari buruz, 2019/09/21, Bakearen Nazioarteko Eguna NBEk
HIMMELSTAUSCH  Gernika ↔ Berlín  •  2. Akt, Flug in Gernika: 21. September 2019, Internationaler Tag des Friedens der UNO 
SKY INTERCHANGE  Gernika ↔ Berlin  •  2nd act, flight in Gernika: Sept. 21, 2019, The United Nations' International Day of Peace

Colaboradores en el proyecto / Proiektuko partehartzaileak Gernikan / Projektpartner / project partners in Gernika:
• Gernika Gogoratuz
  Centro de Investigación por la Paz / Bakearen Aldeko Aztertegia / Friedensforschungszentrum / Peace Research Center
• Cultural Initiative Lobak



Part 2 of the project »Himmelstausch / Sky Interchange / Intercambio de cielos Gernika↔Berlin« is trying to make the impossible possible. Four agreements resp. permissions are required to perform a banner flight in the north of Spain: the first for the banner snatch manoeuvre site, the second for the flight route, the third for the drop spot and the fourth for the reduction of altitude for a safe banner drop. Due to new regulations, there have been almost no banner flights in Northern Spain for about a decade. Pilots are no longer allowed to start from one of the passenger airports, e. g. Bilbao, Logroño, Pamplona, Santander, San Sebastián-Donóstia, or Vitoria-Gasteiz. There are neither trained pilots nor planes with a banner tow licence anymore. A cultural technique has got lost. For this reason, Berlin-based pilot Thomas Hennig, who already performed the banner tow for part 1 of the project − the flight of the Gernika Sky Piece over Berlin on April 26, 2019 − and co-pilot Dr. Wolfgang Spitz flew from Germany to Bilbao in a Robin DR 400 (see documentation further below).



The flight performance on September 21, 2019, had to be interrupted due to the weather conditions, so the jettisoning of the banner in Gernika has been postponed to a date around the next Gernika commemoration day:

APRIL 26, 2020




group photo 02k

The Berlin Sky Piece team at Edificio Astra, former factory of arms, in Gernika: Andreas Schäfter (Gernika Gogoratuz, Peace Research Center), Angela Lopez (Astra), Maitane Azurmendi (Lobak), Damaris Pan (Faculty of Arts at Bilbao University), Michael Klant (Art Dept., University of Education, Freiburg). Photo: Damaris Klant


Grundieren von Seite 2 MaitaneAzurmendi Damaris Pan AndreasSchäfter

Blue grounding by Maitane Azurmendi, Damaris Pan, and Andreas Schäfter. Like the Gernika Sky Piece, which flew over Berlin on April 26, 2019, the ripstop nylon fabric for the Berlin Sky Piece has the proportions of 1 : 3 and measures c. 100 sqm (5.8 m x 17.4 m + 1 m tail flag). Photo: MK


Damaris painting k

Damaris Pan painting. Photo: MK


paintig side 1 of the Berlin Sky at the Astra k

Damaris Pan, Michael Klant, Angela Lopez, Maitane Azurmendi. Photo: DK


Maitane Azurmendi Michael Klant k

Maitane Azurmendi (with re-composed Guernica tattoo), Michael Klant. Photo: DK


MK painting k

Michael Klant painting. Photo: DK


Angela Lopez k3

Angela Lopez. Photo: MK


Leiter x 2 k

Michael comparing Berlin sky photo and painting. Photos: DK


TV Aufnahmen EiTB Kultura k2

The film team of EiTB Kultura on their visit at the Edificio Astra (to see the video go to PRESS)


turn of the banner k

Turning the banner over for the second, mirrored painting. Which side will show the authentic Berlin sky piece? Photo: DK



RTVE  Telenorte News. TVE, 03-09-2019




itinerario de vuelo thumb  Flight route Euskara thumb

The planned flight route / itinerario de vuelo, 2019/09/21       Hegaldieren ibilbidea, 2019/09/21



Dima Panoramafoto mit Nordende der Piste k2

The old Aerodrómo Dima, the designated spot for the banner snatch manoeuvre, since it has been prohibited to perform the procedure on one of the regular airports. Constructed in the 1930s during the Spanish Civil War, it is located in an idyllic surrounding at an altitude of c. 750 m, a 40-minutes-drive from Gernika. The Diputación Foral de Bizkaia kindly gave permission to use the runway, which is to be seen on the right, but it turned out to be too short for the banner aircraft, a Robin DR 400. So, a ground team was trained by pilot Thomas Hennig to set-up the banner gate, while he would have had to start at Bilbao-Sondika and approach the banner flying low. Photo: MK


Thomas Hennig Juan San Sebastián k2

September 21, 2019. At the airport Bilbao-Sondika, meanwhile only used by sports planes, pilot Thomas Hennig is looking skeptical because of the weather forecast. At the Aerodrómo Dima it has turned out to be stormy. On the right: Juanjo San Sebastián, alpinist, author, supporter of the project and a pilot himself, who invited Thomas to park the banner aircraft at the Real Aeroclub de Vizcaya in Bilbao. Whereas Thomas is making up his mind to start, Juanjo is forced to leave the accompanying plane for the videographers on the ground, a Cessna 172, which is more susceptible to crosswind. Photo: Julietta Weber


 Bsanner plane at Real Aero Club

Thomas has clamped the tow-rope at the plane's swing door. He will have to throw it off during the flight for the banner snatch manoeuvre. In the background, you can see Santiago Calatrava's wing-shaped terminal building of the international Airport Bilbao-Loiu. A banner pick up from the runway of Bilbao-Sondika would have obviated all the problems caused by the necessity to find another airfield to start from. Photo: Julietta Weber


4 Männer beschn Kopie

Due to the stormy winds at the designated starting point Aeródromo Dima, the launch site had to be relocated to the desert-like airfield of Oteo, situated an 1.5 hour car ride away from Gernika in the Valle de Loza, Province of Burgos, Junta de Castilla y León. The mountains in between act as a meteorological divide. From left to right: Wolfgang Spitz, Alfonso, a fried of his, and Michael Klant carrying the folded Berlin Sky Piece to the pick up spot. Video still: Oier Plaza


MK WS Banneraufbau k

Michael Klant and Wolfgang Spitz preparing the banner for the snatch manoeuvre at the windy airfield of Oteo. Video still: Oier Plaza


Anflug k

The plane on low approach, trailing the grapple hook which is to snatch the tow-rope from the top of the banner gate. The rope describes a curve on the ground leading to the banner lying there folded like an accordion. Photo: MK


snatch moment k

Thomas has managed to grab the tow-rope at first attempt. The banner gate poles are being pulled out of the ground and taken up into the air, as they have been fixed to the tow-rope. The procedure leaves no equipment on the spot. Photo: MK


Bannerstart in Oteo k2

The Berlin Sky Piece above Oteo Airfield shortly after the pick up. Photo: MK

The banner unfolded well, but flew only for 6 minutes. It would have needed north wind, but the wind was coming, rarely enough, from the south. In addition, heat and humidity reduced the power of the engine. Pilot Thomas Hennig could not gain enough altitude with his Robin 400 to traverse the mountains of the Sierra de Angulo and had to release the banner untimely (see video below). It sailed down freely and could be retrieved in a field 5 km upcountry.


Sierra de Angulo

The ridge of the Sierra de Angulo that the banner was not able to cross on Sept. 21, 2019, photographed by Thomas Hennig during a research flight the day before. 


people at drop zone k

In Gernika, people had just started to gather at the drop zone on Camino Zallo, Lurgorri, when the news came up that the banner drop will not take place here. On the left: German honorary consul Michael John Voss, Bilbao, talking with Ainhoa Añorga Osa, CEO of Gernika. Deutsch-Baskischer Kulturverein e.V. Berlin, Euskal Etxea. Photo: Julietta Weber


Craquelee k

Detail of the banner after the flight, showing a fine craquelé like on old oil painting. Photo: MK


meeting k

Meeting in Gernika after the flight: Ainhoa Añorga Osa, Michael Klant, and 92-year-old Xavier Alberdi, one of the last living survivors of the bombing in 1937. Photo: Julietta Weber


Start of the Berlin Sky Piece at Oteo Airfield, Sept. 21, 2019. Video, 00:55 min. Footage by Oier Plaza, Thomas Oswald, Michael Klant. Editing: Thomas Oswald. Soundtrack: Counting Faces in the Clouds by Martijn de Boer (NiGiD). Look for more edited video material on this website soon.
As stated above, the banner had to be released ahead of schedule.


The flight along the planned route and the jettisoning in Gernika have been postponed. It will be performed around the next Gernika commemoration day:

APRIL 26, 2020