The Zacher Protocol

As you might know, last summer I visited the Idaflieg Sommertreffen. In preparation I received training on the Zacher Protocol, Idaflieg’s method for systematic evaluation of aircraft handling.

Since the instructions were entirely in German, I decided to translate them to English. Today I’m glad to say, both the German and English versions of the Zacher protocol have been published by Idaflieg!

Behind the scenes Idaflieg has a database with the results from a few years of Sommertreffen. In the database is data from each individual flight on a glider. The data has been checked for plausibility and details like weight&balance are present. You can ask Idaflieg for specific results by emailing

I am convinced that the publication of this method is very valuable. It allows anyone with an interest in flight testing to get hands-on experience on the subject. For anyone aspiring to become a test pilot one day, it provides a peek into what flight testing is in practice. Both in flight and on the ground. I wholeheartedly hope this will one day become a standard part of any aerospace engineering track.