Gantenbrink played an important role for aviation calling for more safety and awareness regarding the dangers of gliding. In 1993, in a speech at the 51st German Gliding Day in Gersfeld, he disagreed with the common opinion that gliding is generally regarded as a safe and harmless sport activity. He reported that he had lost 30 friends while gliding and none to traffic accidents.
In 1984, he received the Hilton Cup trophy at Barron Hilton’s 3M Ranch. Gantenbrink crossed the Atlantic with his single turbine TBM 700, and because Airbus was co-sponsoring the Hilton Cup, he ended his flight at the ranch.
As chief balloon pilot, Gantenbrink entertained Hilton’s guests with glider rides and balloon flights and organized the competitions. Barron Hilton and he became good friends, and both won the Hilton Cup trophy several times. At the Ranch, Gantenbrink met another of Hilton’s good friends, Tom Schrade; together they organized and completed the first Trans-Atlantic flight with the S-38, 1927 Sikorsky.
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