Norbert Scarlat

In July 2018, Norbert was only 27 years old when he finished 6th in the World Championships.  The best placing ever for a Romanian pilot!  We like to tease him that after three day wins and a third place he would have been World Champion had he came 32nd and not 42nd on his worst day!

Norbert grew up in Romania building and competing with model aircraft.  To teach him about thermals a friend took the 11-year-old flying in a glider. He was hooked and at 15 became a qualified glider pilot.  He won his first gliding competition in 2011 and became the Romanian Junior Champion.

Now as Romania’s leading competition pilot,  Norbert works for the Romanian Aeroclub teaching  Romanian pilots both young and old and competing in the European gliding scene. In the northern winter he brings his mountain flying skills, youthful enthusiasm and competition experience to Glide Omarama.

“In 2016 I came for the first time to NZ invited by Justin and Gillian Wills and I can admit that flying here is incredible. NZ is one of the most beautiful countries in World and flying close to rocks of the Southern Alps is spectacular, it is simply one of the best gliding experiences that a glider pilot can have.

“My first flight from Omarama was not very long, about 2.5 hours, but I could see Mt. Cook, the glaciers and the beautiful lakes and valleys of the Mackenzie District, an unforgettable flight which made me keep coming back.

“My dream is to become World Champion and flying in NZ is one of those places in the World where a pilot can learn so many things.”


Also known as the Romanian Dragon!