• EN
  • Under the clouds.

    Rigo Karthein goes into the cellar to do his thing. And what he does there is hard to believe, unless you see it yourself: in thousands of hours of work he has built a faithful-to-the-millimeter replica of the complete cockpit of an Airbus A 320, including all instruments. With his flight simulator he travels in his leisure time to Istanbul, Moscow or Dubai – boundless freedom, well beneath the clouds.

    “Most times you do get up in the air!” Karthein laughs as he focuses his gaze on his instruments. Right now he is landing his Airbus. Landing is an incredibly complex undertaking: he must keep track of wind conditions, give the right amount of thrust, extend the landing gear – and at the same time always keep an eye on the displays and follow the instructions from the tower.

    “When landing is difficult because of poor weather or strong crosswinds, I sometimes get sweaty hands,” he tells us, “even though it is only a simulation.” No wonder: the installation with the three huge screens, the authentic controls, and the almost perfect graphics is so realistic that after a few minutes you forget that it’s not for real.

    Four years passed from the birth of the idea to the first start. Basically, however, the work on it has never stopped: time and time again he adapts the technology to current developments in the real world, installs new software, or fine-tunes the three high-performance computers that are the heart of the system.

    And exactly that is the connection with his work for STEAG: “Spatial thinking, solving ever new challenges, electronics, keeping at a task until it is done: that helps, of course, in daily work.” This he has been doing since 1983 at the power plant in Bexbach, first in the chemical laboratory, today in the control room. He started working at the plant immediately after completing his mining apprenticeship – and has remained faithful to STEAG ever since.

    And we can be quite sure he will remain faithful to his big hobby – although he is planning something on the side: The next project is ready to start. It is going to be a Cessna. He’s already found the construction plans on the internet. And soon we’ll hear this again: he’s busy in the cellar.