April 23, 2014

Nitra pilots are eager to go for a nice long flight, but the weather does n’t co-operate ..yet!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 4:58 pm

After a pretty bad first day ,with all pilots still airborne but in the end an invalid day for all classes, day 2 in Nitra was a tad better.

Z Nitra day 1 by Swaantje  Z Nitra by Swaantje day 2

Day 1 and day 2 as seen and shared by Swaantje, who is competing.

Day 2 had in each class out-landings but also over 600 points for each of the winners on this 2 hour AAT.
Speed in 15 m. still 104 km. /h. and in open class 114.98 km./h.
Some pilots lost points by entering the forbidden airspace!

Day 3- ingredients; “ Competition area is in the flow of wet and warm air from the South. The air stratification is unstable giving us good conditions for forming updrafts. Rain showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon are expected.”
In each class a 2 hour AAT again. They were launched , but the conditions were so , that most pilots returned home or landed in a paddock. Tim Milner from the UK , managed to fly 73 km. in his St Cirrus but received 0 points. In open class Marcus Gauman flew  75 km. in his Nimbus 4M but also for him ZERO points, so an invalid/ cancelled day.

Day 4 yesterday; Cancelled!

Z Nitra in the rain

NO soaring! As shared by Martti.

For today Nitra expects better weather. Hope they can fly.
It’s fun as well , being together on the ground and lot’s of sight- seeing, BUT the pilots are there to fly, to compete, so hopefully the weather gods are ” gracious”  for all in Nitra, today and the rest of the days.
For results you can look tonight at

Also small tasks in Goondiwindi where club class flew a 1.45 AAT on day 2 and 15 m. and sports class and the 2 seaters 2 hours.
Ray Stewart in the Discus bt won the first 2 days in club, so did Butch [John Buchanan] in his ASG 29 in the sports class .  Peter Trotter won day 2 in the Duo Discus.
Day 3 was cancelled.  As Mike Codling mentioned;
 Launch held , the 3 sniffers have all landed back. I suspect the day will get cancelled as the window is small and quickly closing. There’s just no hint of breeze or thermals coming through.
Day 4; “ Didn’t think we’d launch, let alone task, but it turned out to be a lovely day. My first real look at the place from the air – very scenic!” Comment by Les Milne on the OLC yesterday on their 1.30 AAT.
Mike [ HORNET]had a good day and won in club class ;183 km. in 2.11.
In sports class Butch [ASG 29/18m.]  had his 4th win; 158 km. in 1.36 and in the 2 seater class team Medlicott won the day in the ARCUS.
They had day 5 today. No results yet but I noticed a 305 km. in an LS 6 from Goondiwindi, so the weather was OK.

Z Mike and Charlie

Mike and Charlie  Downes , waiting in Goondiwindi on the grid!
Courtesy Mike via FB.

On other spots in Australia p.e . from George Lees Airfield , George himself flew 368 km. in his Nimbus 4DM.
In S.A. the Jonker brothers flew over 500 km from Potchefstroom, so still pretty good weather there as well.Also 574 km. from Orient!!! All flights in JS gliders. Also the 598 km. [500 FAI triangle] by Mannie, from Orient ,in the Duo Discus is worth mentioning.

What’s going to happen soon!!!
The KLIX competition starts end of this week and will be flown from April 25 till May 3 in Germany.
The Leonardo Brigliadori International Cup for 13.5 m will be held in Alzate Brianza.[Italy]
Very pleased to see that my good friend Leonardo is honored with a CUP in his name. SO deserved!!!
In about the same period they will fly in Austria [St Johan] for the Kitzbueheler Alpen Bokal and in France from Carpentras,  2 comps, the Coupe du Ventoux and the AMICALE ASW 20.
Hope the weather will be good for ALL!!! And lot’s of success!

And to finish some very HAPPY AUSSIE CHAPPIES! Andrew and Nick Maddocks on a day- out together. Just looking at the picture makes you feel good!

Z happy chappies

As shared by Andrew and Nick

First SOLO from members of my former club de ZES, praeses Kyle and member  Jasper, both on April 21.

Z solo 2

Z solo before  Z first solo 2

Jasper after and Kyle before and after.
Courtesy Sam Staassen via ZES FB site

in 45 years or so…however a Grunau Baby looks fancy or not?
Ritz before and after on the shoulders but the ” head disappeared”.

10250823_10152324907059235_1873196674_n  RdL 010

With my instructor Dickritz solo.

Thanks to Arjan for the digital version he made of  that day from my photo book .
More pictures from the lustrum and lot’s of digital pictures from the ZES-past, also from Kees Musters one of my instructors
I am a donor- member from the ZES again. Still remember my ” flowers/garland”  in 1968 with a BIG smile!!!  

Have a great week and CU next Sunday in the CAFE!
Cheers Ritz
on Wednesday April 23 2014.

April 16, 2014

Australia’s soaring-future looks bright!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:44 pm

”  April doet wat ie wil ” is a saying in Holland and means as much as April does what it wants to do. It’s all about the weather. Last night we had after the great early sunshine ,…..MINUS 7 in the S of Holland and the fruit farmers had to take extra measures as heaters between the cherry trees and water over the pear –and apple- trees. We went from 25 to 8 dgr. but luckily the Easter weekend will be around 17/18 dgr C. again, which is good for the million guests we expect for that weekend in Holland.

Did I tell you that after Obama visited the Night watch in the Rijksmuseum NOT 250 people from the USA ,but 750 PER week, announce their arrival, to see what he saw. That’s PR!!!!

Several of my friends are practicing in, or on the road to ….Nitra for the Pribina Cup. The opening briefing will be on Saturday at 10 AM . Contest flying from Saturday the 19th till Saturday the 26th and the farewell party on the evening of the 26th at 8PM. Prize giving , same evening at 9 PM. The weather looks promising, but if necessary they have a reserve day at the 27th.

Z Nitra 1

One of my Finish mates on his way to; Martti Sucksdorff.

The last couple of weeks I have written about the fabulous future from the Australian Air Force Cadets in their brand new gliders.
Tom and Jane shared some pictures from the opening of the new hangar in Bathurst. Of course they were there as well.

Z Bathurst 3

 Z Bathurst  Z Bathurst 2

Courtesy Jane and Tom Gilbert ; the 2d DG 1001Club glider proud on display.

A $5 million facility built at the Bathurst Aerodrome for Australian Air Force Cadets was officially opened last week.
The Air Force has built the center as part of their strong commitment to youth development.
Cadets aged between 13 and 20 years of age will travel from all over Australia to participate in weekend and school holiday aviation camps in Bathurst.
Airforce Chief Air Marshall Geoff Brown , who flies regularly in the Aussie comps, attended the opening.
7200 Cadets will benefit from this new center in Bathurst [  in the state NSW,  about 200 km. W of Sydney] .Since 1970 cadets flew already from Bathurst.
Great to see that so many young pilots will be ” created”  by and for  the Australian Airforce.
Just a great development!!!

Jelmer Ameland    NK donderdag vrij 006

Jelmer  flying above Ameland and after the briefing during the Nationals in Holland.

Talking about DG; This is their latest project , the VOLOCOPTER and as I heard it got a lot of attention on the AERO in Friedrichshafen.
We’re happy that feetback was so great and are very much looking forward to the next steps of the project!” According to the news on  their site.
Involved in this project is Jelmer Wassenaar  one of the pilots in my junior team in 2005 in HusBos. He also flew a few WGC’s. Very talented and very nice young man ,who studied aerodynamics at the Delft University [Aero Space Engineering]  .He is one of the designers/development engineers  at DG and as I read somewhere, he is called ”  the father of the DG 1001TE” . Have to ask him when I see him.

Z volocopter

Picture courtesy DG.

On Sunday 17th of November 2013 a successful maiden flight and numerous other test flights had been performed. All flights were unmanned and took place inside the locked “dm-Arena” in Karlsruhe, as is written on the DG site.
Since the beginning of the Volocopter Project DG Flugzeugbau is the key-partner of this project. Beside the complex development of the fuselage and its rotor plane, DG was also in charge to manufacture the first prototype structure. All prototype parts were manufactured at the DG Factory in Bruchsal/Germany.You can read more about it , also in English, on their site;

Here is the movie of the Maiden Flight:

What happened more? Fabulous weather  yesterday in the mountains  from Austria. Several  [5] over 1000 km. flights.
1.347 km. in a Nimbus 3DM  and in a Nimbus 4DM 1.341 km. from Lienz Nikolsdorf is SUPER! Ridge, wave but also snow showers and low temperatures were the ingredients for a perfect , sometimes nerve breaking day for the  4 pilots flying and supporting each other,  with a speed of 132 km./h. and 123 km./h . over the mountains.
The same air as in Lienz was available for pilots having the day off yesterday in Italy [Bolzano 822 km. in an LS 6] and Celje [SL 877 km. in a Duo Discus]
The cold air from the North brought great conditions to Belgium as well. 2 Pilots flew from Keiheuvel 634 in an LS 8 an 579 in a DUODISCUS!

Wishing you ALL a great Easter weekend with great soaring conditions good food and interesting conversations.

2014-04-11 17.25.17  2014-04-11 17.23.44


Cheers Ritz
on Wednesday April 16 , the day Bill Riley celebrates his 90 thiest birthday and
the day before Kees Musters would have turned 68.

Bill Riley and Ritz  ZES 2 Kees

With Bill in 2010 in Tocumwal and with Kees in 1967  ready for a competition from either Malden or Gilze.

April 9, 2014

“Why not keeping the records in the family!?”

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:20 pm

It was last winter somewhere in December ,when  my friends Hilde and Bert Schmelzer, traveled from Belgium to Kiripotib in Namibia. They knew already in January that they had a fabulous flight in the ASH 25/28,  from Bernd Dolba and filed the flight for a new Belgian record.
The commission who looks at the claims in Belgium was together for the first of their 3 meetings per year.
Last weekend Hilde and Bert  got the good news that the flight was recognized as a new Belgian record;
Category Free Distance FAI Triangle over 1.119.9 km in open class on January 2 2014;with an average speed of 138 km./h.

With 2 children who have their own records already the parents have one now as well.Pretty special!
Son Tijl flew in 2012 from the airport of Keiheuvel to Biaritz a 1000 k.  Belgian record in 18 m. and brother Bert jr. flew 3 European records in Mai 2013 in the Alps . You surely remember that great flight from Zurich to Vienna and back; 1000 km.PLUS in a Discus .
I just published some new pictures from Bert jr. in my Soaringcafe blog, when you are interested.
So in each of the classes ….open, 18 m and Standard class they have records now. Congratulations !!!!


Bert sr. and Hilde; now they have as parents their own Belgian record!

So when they travel again in the end of this year they will be honored with a special Oscar [see picture] in the special Kiripotib way.

IMG_0121  IMG_0095


This summer the family travels to Rayskala in Finland where both boys participate in the 33d WGC. Mum Hilde will be TC.
Another well known family from Belgium the Litt’s  travel to Poland, Emmanuel as participating pilot and brother Baudouin as TC.
The other well known Belgian family is the Huybreckx family and I meet them again somewhere in August at the airfield of Keiheuvel. Is n’t it great to fly with so many in one family and on a high level now and in the past ;Marc, Eddy, Tim, Dennis, Jeroen  and married into the family Wim and Jeff.
Of course there are more flying-families but I don’t know them all too good to write about them. Though I know in Belgium of course the Stouffs family and the Brocquevilles , the family The Coninck and the Van Eyken family……..
By the way Belgian Patrick Pauwels is in Finland as steward.

Familie op STH

The Schmelzer family.

Talking even more about Belgium. About 10 pilots from the Diest Aeroclub have set up camp in Germany and fly from Laucha.

We stay in Belgium, for a moment , as I LOVE BRUGGE!!!! Jeroen Jennen, one of the Huybreckx family shared some pictures from this lovely ancient town this week and I picked 2 for you. Whenever,…you should visit Brugge.

Z Brugge by Jeroen 2  Z Brugge by Jeroen1

Courtesy Jeroen Jennen.

Can you imagine the happiness of the Australian Air Force  Cadets when they can fly in these gliders ? The first 2 gliders have been handed over!!!!

Z DG 1  Z dg 3

Z dg 4  Z Dg5

As shared by John Welsh and congratulations to my friends Jane and Tom Gilbert from DG Australia.

More news about DG you can read in their newsletter number 174! With in it;
Australian Air Force Cadets order second batch of DG-1001Club. The first gliders were delivered in January already. Now they order some more.

 New Instrument Panel for DG-808C Competition . Now modern flight computers can be used too

Lisa Trotter from Australia breaks 31 records on a LS8 within one flight!

Australian duo breaks Australian 750km record.

Jim Payne and Dennis Tito catch >2000 Points!

Tony van Dyk wins New Zealand Nationals

Photo of the Month – Liberty

Service and Maintenance: Mobile Service and Maintenance by DG

DG-1000T propeller axis runs through all tests successfully

EASA Maintenance Programs

Composite: CNC Milling System has arrived.  In the meantime the system is running steadily.

DG successfully manufactures 250th wind blade.

To read all items;

They , Friedel Weber, Holger Back and the entire DG- and LS-Tea, wish all pilots a wonderful flight season.

It seems it’s over here for a while with the high temperatures. Monday was a day with at some places severe thunderstorms with hail and strong gusty wind, today it is back to the normal temperatures for the time of the year; between 11 and 13 dgr. We loved the up to 25 dgr. we had at some days!!! BUT,..the sun is still shining!!!!

Last Sunday 754 pilots entered their flight on the OLC, so a good Sunday !!!  Specially Italy contributed as lot’s of pilots flew from Calcinate, [the SAP] , with on day 3 a declared FAI triangle of 500 km. They had a successful couple of [training-] days there with more than 100 flights and good distances! Only happy pilots and enough gliders as you can see on the pictures from Alberto Sironi and shared by Aldo Cernezzi.

Z Alberto  Z Alberto 2

For more public shared pictures you can go to ;

On page 1 that day the first 50 flights were all over 500 km. The day was topped by Swiss pilot Didi Albrecht who flew from Locarno in the SILENT 2 targa 586.11 km.
Longest flight that day was from Sondrio in wave in a NIMBUS 4DM; 710 km.

And on Monday Austria had superb spring weather with flights up to 800 km . in the EB 29, from Lienz by Alexander Muller, but also  Trento in Italy  had good weather ; Walter Giordani flew  637 km. in Ventus 2CM/18m. and from Ajdovskina [SL] ;586 [ 500 FAI triangle] also in Ventus now 2C/18m..

Yesterday the ” ridge-soarers”  Brian and Dan in the USA had their 500- plus- days in a PIK 20 and a 17.4 m 304CZ from Ridge Soaring.Specially the afternoon/evening was perfect, according to the happy-sounding-pilots .
Brian has a real good ridge-season till now in his PIK 20; one flight over 1000 km on March 26 with 1.152,11km.  [speed 154,33 km./h] and in April 2 flights one from 799.19 km. [ speed 133.07 km./h] and the 584 km. from yesterday with a speed of 158,77 km./h.!!!
And in the UK  [Scotland]  they had good wave up to over 3000 m AGL. over Kinross, based on the shores of Loch Leven .
Fuentemilanos yesterday had the longest flight for the beginning of the season; 418 km. in a DG 808b/18m.

And ,…..for those interested in aeromodelling;
In Romania [Slanic Prahova]  they ” fought” from March 31 till April 5  for the titles for the FAI World Championship for Free Flight Indoor Model Aircraft&  FAI Junior World Championship for Free Flight Indoor Model Aircraft.A mouth-full!!
Here are the final results as I received them:

1st : Lee Yuan Kang     USA
2nd : Brett Sanborn     USA
3rd : Ivan Treger       SVK

Senior – Team
1st: USA
2nd: Romania
3rd: France

1st : Evab Guyett       USA
2nd : Calin BUlai       ROU
3rd : Antonin Ricou     FRA

Junior – Team
1st: Romania
2nd: France
3rd: USA

The full results can be found at the following address :

4 Of my 5 highschool friends visited me yesterday .A FUN_DAY, full of memories!
Enough for now!!!
Cheers and have a good week.CU back in the CAFE on Sunday

On Wednesday April 9 2014.

April 2, 2014

” 8 U.S. National records in 6 weeks in the summer of 2013″, by Mitch Polinsky!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:23 pm

The month of March had 3 -over-20 dgr.-days here in Holland and belongs to the top 3 of the warmest, driest [only 33 mm. of rain normally that's double or more] and sunniest [ 205 hours of sun instead of 198] month in history.The fantastic weather in parts of Europe attracts pilots to travel  AND to make pictures! And what pictures!!!

Z France

Dutch pilots on their way to the Alps in France, having a break.

Some of the Dutch pilots are flying in Vinon. Among them double WGC Champion Bear Selen with some members of the club from Venlo in the S. of Holland.Also Robert Werts is there with his Nimbus 3DT, he flew in the past 2 times a 1000 from Venlo.
” Always ”  there is Erik Borgmann,  2d at the Borlange WGC ; he lives close by.
About 13  other friends /pilots from Holland fly in Saint Auban.
As well as Denis Guerin one of the pilots representing France in Finland at the upcoming WGC.

AMAZING pictures!

Zwalter 4  Z walter 3

Z walter 1  Z walter 2

The WOW factor!
L’Adamello and Torri del Vajolet.
Courtesy Walter Giordani from Italy on March 28 2014.


Down-under they still fly 300 km. FAI triangles . Both from Lake Keepit and Tocumwal in JS 1 [extended to 412] and ASH 26 [extended to 376]  and …on the last day of March.
The first day of April started good……..2 TIMES a 1000 from St Gaudens [ in the French Haute -Garonne in the Mid Pyrenees] in a DG 600 17 m and an ARCUS  M [Robert Prat.]in what must have been great wave!
In March some of the Belgium pilots practiced there, among them the representative in open class, Daan Spruyt,  who will fly a NIMBUS 4 DM in Poland.The other open class pilot in Leszno from Belgium is Pierre de Broqueville in his EB 28.

Last year I wrote about Mitch Polinsky, who had a few awesome flights from ELY flying in the Great Bassin of Nevada/Utah.


  Polinsky--31Mi after July 2, 2013 record flight

Mitch after one of his record flights.
courtesy Mitch.

In March 2014 , the USA Magazine Soaring spend 5  pages on what Mitch achieved and I share some  parts of his story with you, because  his self reflection turns out, to a very interesting story with moments in it we all might know/have experienced.
It was touching to read that he dedicated the article to a friend who died earlier in the year and who was loved by ALL who knew him; meteorologist Doug Armstrong.

“ My flying took off last summer in a way that delighted and puzzled me. Although I had never set a record previously in twenty-five years of soaring, I achieved eight U.S. national records over a period of six weeks in the summer of 2013.”
After a period in which he never thought of himself as one of  the top-tier Great Basin thermal pilots.
I was solidly in the second-tier, even though I aspired to fly like these guys.

The facts first about his great soaring in the Great Basin of Nevada/Utah ;

Free triangle distance: 1157.2 km.

Triangle speed 1000 km: 133.77 km/h.[not submitted b/c surpassed on 7/18/13]

Distance up to 3 TPs: 1070.67 km

Triangle distance: 1070.25 km

Triangle speed 1000 km: 138.99 km/h

Triangle speed 750 km: 150.72 km/h

Triangle speed 500 km: 156.87 km/h

Triangle speed 300 km: 156.87 km/h

Out-and-return speed 500 km:155.77 km/h
All of these flights were done from Ely except for the last one, which was done from Parowan.

Polinsky--26E looking NE near Ely  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

NE near ELY …………………AND ……………………  near ELY [by Hugh Milne]

Mitch has his own philosophy about gliding . Being a professor in economics at Stanford Law School, he has  a few professional obligations during the summer, other than continuing to do research and writing.So he has to juggle with his time .
But he loves soaring and every year he makes time  in summer ,to fly  . Also in the summer of 2013 flying from ELY.
One day after his arrival, he was invited  to fly with  John Bally in a two-seat EB 28 . John flew some great flights early in that  season and Mitch had seen that on the OLC and wanted to know how he did that. So he talked with him before John left. The invitation to fly with him was accepted eagerly and changed his look on flying. It inspired him!

Conclusion; What John did  was  “simply” the superb execution of the same lessons   ” as I had learned from my instructors/mentors.”
“ I was inspired to think that if I just concentrated on doing better what I knew I should be doing, I might be able to improve my  flying outcomes significantly. “

So he changed from old habits to new ones by ,
1.  focusing more on his soaring,[ instead of being on a conference- phone-call,  while putting water ballast in the glider]
2. preparing himself better,[   I found time to study weather forecasts more thoroughly than I had in the past]
3. launching in time[and not an hour later because of distractions]  and
4. declaring his tasks.

A week later he flew the longest flight of his life (1244 km on the OLC), including the longest triangle of his life (1157 km), and broke his first record !!!!

In the end , 5. risk management was added. Though he considers  himself a conservative pilot in terms of safety , he scared himself twice in that month.

 I knew I was pushing myself harder than usual in order to have a chance at accomplishing the record flights”  ,but  this consisted mainly of taking “inconvenience risks,” where he might have to motor home a long distance or land at another airport.
On his final day of flying last summer, he landed not back in Parowan as widespread thunderstorms were hanging around there, but in Cedar City about 30 k  S. from Parowan.
“I expected the stormy weather around Parowan to clear and planned to take off from Cedar City about a half-hour before sunset and land back at Parowan” .
By the time he got back there,the cross wind was too strong to land there, so he returned back to Cedar City to stay there for the night.
BUT,…the cross-wind there was as strong.”  The only option then, now that it was sunset, was to land on the auxiliary runway, which only had a 30 dgr. cross wind component . I knew it was narrow, but only after I had landed  I noticed that I had landed on a 60 foot wide runway with a 69 foot wingspan. ”

The landing was in very gusty conditions and he bounced hard, but remained in control. Near the end of the roll-out a gust caused the right wing tip to go down just off the runway, scraping the bottom of it. Luckily the only damage was cosmetic.
I’ve got a new goal for next summer; no more scares!

I can advise you to read the full story, this is just a short  extract from 5 pages in the  USA MAGAZINE SOARING.
Thanks to both Mitch and the SSA/SOARING MAGAZINE [ Chuck Coyne] for allowing me to use the quotes.

Happy sounds from Kentucky in Australia. We knew already that the drought was broken but Bruce send some proof of green paddocks as well after a good drop of rain. By the way Bruce is one of the 3 Australian participants in the French Grand Prix.

Z bruce1  Z bruce2

Pictures as shared by Bruce AND good to see.

And to finish another nice recent picture this time from France;

Z Filipe

Courtesy Philippe  de Pechy.

See you next week,
cheers Ritz
On Wednesday April 2 2014

March 26, 2014

Mighty interesting summit!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:43 pm

Finally it seems that there is ” NO doubt” ;  MH 370 has plunged down in the ocean about 2000 KM SW of Perth [ Australia]. What it was doing there, will remain a secret for the time being, as no pieces or so have been found. We all have to believe the information and I do understand the frustration of the family and friends who have been informed in a pretty terrible way and don’t believe anything anymore.
The Aussies are helping as much as they can and one comment from the Minister of Defense is to appreciate:”  We’re not trying to find a needle in a haystack, we’re trying to find the haystack to start with” !

The Japanese pilots from Itakura, had a great wave weekend flying up to  5668 m. AGL,  flying 588 km. in a DG 400 on Sunday!
They were 2d on the worldwide OLC distance- list and that does n’t happen often,  just behind another DG , this time 505/22 m. which flew 699 , I call it 700 km. by 2 German pilots flying from Puimoisson in France with mistral conditions up to 3454 AGL.

The South African Grand Prix is still far away , January 3 till January 15 2015, but a few pilots are already on the 18 m/ list, as Oscar and Laurens and Sven from South Africa, Tassilo , Holger and Uli [Schwenk] from Germany and John [Coutts] from New Zealand, but living in S.A.

Some good news from SEE YOU/NAVITER:
Oudie IGC has received the highest possible approval from the FAI GFAC committee! It is approved for “all flights” which means you will be able to claim badges and world records even with selflaunching sailplanes.

Oudie IGC is a unique self-contained portable Navigation and Flight recorder combo with a battery that will easily last the whole day flying. It is designed specifically for the needs of the Sailplane pilots.

We are finalizing the production now and will be shipping the first devices very soon. If you want to have one we are expecting a small queue in the beginning. Please contact your local Naviter reseller and let them know you want one!.”

Z see you

The latest!

Whilst the Chinese president is in Holland for the summit, some of the Chinese glider pilots are learning how to fly in Tocumwal. One of them with a very European name , Felix, even went solo in our former glider , Blanik VH-GXO, launched by our former Scout VH SFO. Good to see both flying.

Z chinese1  Z chinese4

Z chinese 3  Z chinese 2

The Chinese guests, the Belanca Scout, Dieter ready to help the IS 28 in the air and Ingo congratulating Felix with his first SOLO!! Good on him.
As shared by Bruce Wilson, tuggie at the SRGC.

HAVE to say something about the Nuclear Summit in Holland ,as it put our country on the map in a very positive way.The security was , maybe too secure and some  people had a problem with that, {Obama even apologized for that] but nowadays you can’t do without, unfortunately.
All in all it was a huge success both the Nuclear top as well as the unexpected G7 top. You can for sure read more about that in your papers or on your laptop.

With the words ” Good morning, sir I love your country”  ,Barrack Obama arrived in Holland and shook hands with our mister of foreign affairs , an historic visit as a “sitting”  American president had never visited before Amsterdam or The Hague.
It also was the first visit to Europe from Obama.
A mighty interesting “circus” , around him, with 4 impressive helicopters , Black Hawks, landing as in a DEMO, 1 second  behind each other on the square in front of the Rijksmuseum in the middle of Amsterdam AND   departing that way as well. A tad later , the Marine 1  and 2 ![to avoid knowledge in which one the president is]  .
Arriving as well,the Beast ,[ very special car a Cadillac from 2009 and ready for replacement I read next year,  with everything in or on it to secure the president] …all on Dutch/Amsterdam soil.
” Renaissance”  as Michelle Obama is called in the code-world was not with him,but the “Renegade”  as Obama is called ,was  charismatic enough for both. Veni, vidi vici….!!!!!
A very informal visit in the morning with ” Hi Mark how are you” when Obama arrived at the museum and met our Prime Minister Mark Rutte and ” Barack ,welcome here in this special environment” ,when Rutte, welcomed him in the first statement from both in front of the NIGHTWATCH. Obama called this PR spot, splendid!Pictures  got all over the world.
Love this joke as shared on FB by GUESTZONE.

Z guestzone


The Rijksmuseum opened her doors mid April last year and till now they had 2.7 million visitors. Specially the 17th century art , by Rembrandt and Vermeer is loved by ALL visitors world wide.

This is the 3d Nuclear Security Summit and Obama specially asked Holland to organize this one, after he organized the first one in 2010 himself .The 2d one was in Seoul in Korea.
An AWACS plane from the NATO,  from a base just over the border in Germany , a few helicopters  and 2 F16′s from the Dutch Royal Air Force flew over The Hague and surrounding to protect from above and whilst the president landed in his AIRFORCE 1 ,… Schiphol-Amsterdam-Airport  was on hold; no planes were allowed to depart or arrive for a few minutes.

Of course the summit is important for the nuclear security of our world, but the heads of state discussed in a G 7, [G 8 Russia, was not invited] the situation in the KRIM/Ukraine  as well, an other very important topic.

During the TOP no soaring from most airfields was allowed , but where they could in the SW , they flew on Monday, direction South far into Belgium [where they have all restrictions now as Obama visits our neighbors today; 100 year WW1 will be remembered] and got nearly 500 km. { 442 triangle}  in an ASH 26E. On Tuesday another nice sky but till this morning the airspace restrictions were in place.
Though airfields out of reach of the forbidden airspace [more east] were open and pilots flew from Terlet nearly 500 km. in a Discus bt and Ventus ct/18 m.

Z clouds Bertje

Z clouds 2Leo  Z clouds1

Skies on March 25 2015 as seen by Bertje, Leo and Robin in Holland.

Another nice wave flight from Jim and Dennis;”A fun commute from our new Minden home to our old Rosamond home.”;1.429 km. For the full comment you can read later what they have to say more about it on the OLC.

That’s it for now,after some pretty cold nights, spring feels as it should for this time of the year with 11 dgr. up to 15.
A bit fresh after over 20, but  we have to do with it.
Cheers Ritz

March 19, 2014

” I decided to declare BIG , or go home!” AND,….news about Euroglide!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 5:39 pm

Another week is over and still no news about the MH 370!!! Weird to see, that in the time we live in, something like this can happen!!
The latest stories are about ” stalking” another 777.
It feels , if it was not so tragic, as if you are reading every day a new part of a science-fiction-book or a thriller.
In some theories they even think that the 777 might show up during the Nuclear Security Summit here in the Hague next week,  where not 48 [ as I said in my last blog] but even 60 world leaders will appear.
Others think it is shot down and not protected by their own airforce!!
” Stalking”  , hijacking, wrong info put in before the flight, not competent pilots, transponders switched off…… ‘s already TOO much for me, how would this feel for the family and friends of the passengers and crew.
Hope they find soon signs of what happened, but unfortunately from the past we know it can take a while.

Last Wednesday Tony Condon from the USA topped the OLC list with one of those special ” goal-flights”. Flights you don’t decide to do one day before, flights which need quite some preparations.
This time in a St. Cirrus flying 517 km. from Wellington [USA] to De Queen in Arkansas very early in the season.

Z tony 4

Tony and his St Cirrus.

OLC link to the flight here:

AND  here is his story;

Spring Go South

By Tony Condon

Spring Go South. KSA members have been saying that for decades. Since well before Jim LeSeuer wrote his article “Distance in the Spring” in the March 1967 Soaring, pilots in Kansas have been watching spring cold fronts pass, watch the weather behind them closely, and occasionally chase one towards the Gulf of Mexico. Bernie Mohr followed just such a front on his flight in his modified BG-12 on April 2, 1971 from Newton, KS to Osceola, AR, a flight of 436 miles that stood as the Kansas State Record for over 40 years. Tonk Mills described a post cold front flight in the Fall in his September 1989 Soaring article “November Flight” where he flew 265 miles in 4 hours.

In my early days of Cross Country soaring in my Cherokee II I was often looking for a cold front to chase. While almost all of my flights in the Cherokee were downwind dashes, none of them that I remember were post frontal and my best distance flown in Iowa was about 100 miles. After moving to Kansas my flights got longer but that elusive cold front just hadn’t worked out. Steve Leonard, Andrew Peters, and I would spend each spring analyzing the upcoming fronts and then watching them go by ,while watching the Satellite pictures from our desks at work. It seems that these fronts tend to happen Monday through Friday.

Since I have been liberated from desk duty for the time being, I had one roadblock out of the way to attempt a flight. The week before the flight I had noticed strong north winds forecast for the Talihina, OK area on Wednesday and wished that it would be reasonable to get a towplane there for a long day of ridge soaring. After John Wells gave an excellent presentation on Saturday night about Soaring Weather, I realized  that the cold front on Wednesday just might be bringing good thermal conditions. I contacted John on Saturday night to see his thoughts on the Weather. On Sunday I asked him if he’d like to chase me. The forecast was indicating that the soaring would definitely be good and with due north wind. I started looking at routes down towards Dallas and further on and started working on getting everything ready for a potential flight.

On Monday, I arranged with John and KC to chase. That was a big relief to have a good experienced crew available, and well in advance of the flight. Leah and I went down to Wellington after work to assemble the glider, our Standard Cirrus “Kate”, and I hoped to change the tires on the trailer and do some other work. We got the glider assembled and in the hangar and then spent the rest of the evening repairing the lights on the trailer. The forecasts still all looked good although without as many clouds as I would’ve liked.

Z tyres

repairs on the tires.

On Tuesday morning, Steve sent an email out about the weather. Looked pretty good for a go south flight and it was good for me to know that his opinion on the weather matched mine. I returned to Wellington and with help from my partner Rafael Soldan we repacked the bearings on the trailer and put new tires on it. I also did as much prep work on the glider as possible so that I could minimize the number of tasks required on Wednesday. The cold front hit early afternoon with wind gusts in Wichita recorded at 53 mph. I was sure glad the glider had already been assembled and was safe and sound in a hangar. The forecast updates were showing a more northwesterly wind and I was starting to wonder about the possibility of soaring to the Talihina area and using the ridges there to extend my distance. On Tuesday night, Randy Teel posted a wind forecast on the Talhina Soaring Facebook group and wished that he wasn’t busy with airline simulator training that week. I mentioned I was hoping to fly there from Kansas and he recommended a turnpoint to join the West end of the ridges, near Daisy, OK. I had never flown that far west on the ridges there and his information and shared experience was important for my confidence on the route.

Tuesday night I confirmed with John and KC that we would meet at my house at 9 AM to head for Wellington. KC had a lot of confidence in me as he said he would pack an extra pair of clothes in case we ended up at the Gulf of Mexico. Optimism. I like it. I spent the rest of the night getting batteries charged, looking at forecasts, finding maps and developing a task for the day. I decided that a launch at noon would be about right and set a task from Wellington to Cochrane Ranch airport near Daisy, OK and then to the Three Sticks monument on the Kiamichi Ridge and then to Texarkana, TX. Total distance was 360 miles. I figured 6 hrs at 60 mph would be a spectacular flight for March 12th, but decided to declare big or go home. Since I have never flown south of the ridges I also spent some time looking at the route between Three Sticks and Texarkana. There are a lot of trees down there, but an airport at De Queen, Arkansas was about halfway, which made me feel better.

Z crew

The VERY important “chasers”.

Wednesday morning I made a quick check of the forecasts. Everything looked the same, the sounding still showed that noon would be a good takeoff time and the forecasts still showed clouds until Interstate 40 with a slight chance of clouds after that. Further east into Arkansas the clouds may extend further south so I felt that my plan of cutting east on the ridges was a good plan. As we drove towards Wellington, the first flush of low altitude cumulus arrived. The mood in the car was pretty high. It didn’t take long to get the glider ready. Rafael asked me to bring the towplane over and after some searching we found the plane and discovered that its battery was dead. No fear though, Air Plains had a cable for jump starting. Whew! I pulled the glider out about 11:30 AM and could see the first cumulus wisps on the horizon. Good timing. Mike Logback texted me at 11:45 AM to let me know that there was Cu in McPherson, Northwest of Wichita. KC and John got the towplane started and I launched at 12:14 PM, just as the first Cu wisps were arriving over Wellington. Perfect timing.


about 15 minutes before takeoff

I found lift immediately off tow, went through my start line, and told Kate Ground to head out. They had just finished hooking up the trailer and were on their way. I tiptoed very carefully at first, taking any lift going up and waiting for the cloud field to develop in front of me. I had had several flights in the Cherokee where I pushed out too hard to start and spent the rest of the afternoon watching a beautiful soaring day go by. I was not going to repeat that! By the time I crossed the Oklahoma border the sky looked much better and I was usually between 4000 and 5000 feet. About an hour and a half into the flight I got the first really good climb, 4.3 knots to nearly cloudbase at 6700 feet.

The clouds were not streeting so I couldn’t take advantage of long straight runs. I was still flying pretty carefully, as I’ve had a lot of experience trying to dig out in from low spots on windy days in torn up thermals and I preferred not to add to that experience. The 20 mph wind was blowing right down my course line so I figured even a weak thermal was still allowing me to make good progress on course and was worth taking.

I passed Interstate 40 west of Henryetta as the clouds started to thin. Base had been rising and the clouds getting thinner and thinner. Beyond I-40 there were just a few faint wisps or haze domes and solid blue beyond. I initially was inclined to turn more East and follow the clouds but out in the distance to the east the clouds didn’t really look a lot better. There had been a series of large fires with more on course in the blue and I was confident I could find lift in the blue. So I stuck with the task. Shortly after that I had my last radio communication with my crew. A few climbs from fires allowed me enough altitude to make it to McAlester. Nearing McAlester I saw no more fires but blundered into a good climb that gave me enough altitude to make the turnpoint. Alright! Shortly after I found a 4.7 knot climb that got me back up over 7000 feet and gave me plenty of margin to get to the turnpoint and get down on the ridge.

I joined the ridge east of Daisy. With the strong surface wind it was not a challenge to maintain over 1000 feet over the top. I passed by Sardis Lake as the ridge turned east and took 3 turns in that averaged 6.5 knots which made the gap at Clayton no sweat. I joined up with the familiar Kiamichi Ridge and ran east to Three Sticks. The ridge leg was a piece of cake and gave me plenty of time to game plan for the last leg of the flight. Ideally I wanted to get a really tall climb right at the turnpoint, at least get high enough to make De Queen and then hope to find another few climbs to make Texarkana. There were still thermals coming off the ridge so I hoped that the day still had something left.

IMG_20140312_162807_594   IMG_20140312_161543_359

flying along the Kiamichi Ridge in Oklahoma AND Sardis Lake in Oklahoma

The plan worked partially. I found a good thermal right at the turnpoint and took it to 6400 feet, which wasn’t quite enough to make De Queen. However the thermal was dead so I set out. Shortly after that I found another climb which was very weak but was going up so I held on as long as I could. I gained 1300 feet and drifted 5 miles and my Oudie now said I could make De Queen at over 1000 AGL. I set out and found a spectacular river of sink in the blue and the margin started to disappear. Landable fields were few and far between but there were a few and I was pretty happy to find some zero sink about 7 miles away from the airport at 1500 AGL. I didn’t gain much altitude but drifted a mile and a half and was in a much better place. The last few miles presented no problems and I was happy to land at the airport in De Queen, even if the runway was straight across the wind. Task distance worked out to 318 miles in 5.5 hours. A good day!


Greetings from De Queen in Arkansas.

The airport was equipped with a nice leather recliner so I relaxed and started to catch up on several texts and emails that I had received during the flight. Word had gotten out thanks to my friends notifying the world on rec.aviation.soaring, Facebook, and by email and several people had been following along on the SSA Sailplane Tracker. I contacted my crew and they were about 2 hours behind in Talihina after having some trouble finding a good route through the ridges in SE Oklahoma. They arrived shortly after sunset, the local Sheriff’s Deputy let them in the airport and we were on the road a little after 9 PM. We arrived back in Wichita at 4 AM and I was wide awake riding the high of a great flight for at least another hour.

Thanks a lot Tony for sharing this great flight with ALL of us!Indeed WHAT- A- DAY!!!!


 Z tony 3

Tony, here busy with another soaring-related hobby.
Courtesy Leah [Tony's very supportive wife]

Practice for the upcoming WGC’s is HOT these days. The Aussies have a squad week in Narromine and I wrote already about VERY good practice from West Wyalong a while ago, between Allan and Matt.
The Aussie team ;
Team Poland ; Tom Claffey and Ben Loxton in 18M and Matthew Scutter and Craig Collings in 15M. 
Team Finland ; Allan Barnes and Matt Gage in Standard and Adam Woolley and Eric Stauss in Club.
No Aussie entries this time in Open or 20M classes.

As Adam mentioned;” 2nd day of the squad week, looks good. Team Finland really gelling nicely, all having a great time!
300 km. fixed task for dry gliders, 350 km. fixed for the wet gliders!”

Z Adam

Shared by Adam.


The “life is good”  formula works for the Aussies :
” good fun racing today, together all day – went faster as a result. Enjoying a nice meal & cool ale now at the club house.
Thanks to Mike for excellent ground support today (& every day)”
And what about Matt and Allan, both having / enjoying a  coaching-flight in the DUO DISCUS with Ingo Renner!! What better practice can you have?!
As I read he is still in good shape saying p.e. ” good sink is difficult to find”.
And when somebody asked  about the role of “luck” in racing, he said  ”The more practice I get, the luckier I get”.
So Ingo!!!
And talking about Matt;
GFA has ratified the following records flown by Matt Gage:

Australian National Records in Standard Class

Free Triangle Distance: 1,048.54 Km

Free Distance via up to 3 TPs: 1,060.76 Km

Date of flight: 16 January 2014

Glider: LS8/15m

Location: Benalla

Claims have been submitted to FAI/IGC Records Office for 2 Continental Records, Oceania Region, from this flight for the 15m Class Free 3 TP Distance and 15m Class Free Triangle distance records.
So well done to Matt!

 Z adam and crew

Adam and Mike.
As shared by Adam.

Some Dutch pilots travel to France to prepare as Jeroen Verkuijl and Jelmer Wassenaar [LS 10/18m.] and others practice at home as Alfred Paul Alfers who mentioned:” Physical exercise for Finland started. Last weekend 5h garden work out and 60km on the racing bike. 
Today my friend convinced me to aim for 80 km. of biking…..which finally became 110 km. in 3 h. 45 min”

As you see/know, you don’t jump in a glider and fly a WGC. There is much more to it!!!!
Some of the German squad fly in France as well.

EUROGLIDE 2014 will be from June 23 till Saturday July 5 this year.
79 Teams in 3 classes [ glider, turbo and  self launcher]  have entered, from 6  different Nationalities!
A huge HAPPENING as some teams exist out of  4 pilots.

Starting fromEindhoven (EHEH) to Dahlemer Binz(EDKV) in Germany.

Then to the South West to Poitiers(LFBI) in France.

From there to the East, just North of the Massif Central, to Roanne (LFLO).

The following leg to Klatovy (LKKT) in the Czech Republic passes through four countries, France, Switserland, Germany and the Czech Republic.

The finish is in Malden, the Netherlands.

The total distance is 2438 km (clock-wise 2475 km).
Please note the route will not be exactly the same for all classes.


For all news and the teams;

More than enough for today. CU next week, or on Sunday in the CAFE!
cheers Ritz

March 12, 2014

Longest/busiest runway in Holland closed for nuclear summit!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:44 pm

WOW, we had a real spring/summer weekend with temperatures up to 22 dgr. in the Southern part of Holland!
It was very blue here, so no cross country weather, but time enough for check -and- local- flights to test the glider , the instruments and to just  be together as glider pilots , at the field/clubhouse,  to start their talking with ” hands and legs” about their flights from last year or the years before  or their plans for 2014.
It’s ALL happening again!


z Gelderse

Members from the Gelderse at Terlet enjoy the sun and the finish of their 3d soaringday in 2014!
Picture shared by Hobbit.

The longest/busiest  runway at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam , the POLDERBAAN, 3800 m. long and 60 m. wide [ 18R-36L] ,was closed last Monday for more than a month,[ till April 21]  due to the fact that the Nuclear Summit will be in the Hague on March 24 and 25 and due to maintenance after the world leaders have left.
48  of them[Obama -yes, Putin -no]  will visit and to  let them land straight away on this runway and to give them the opportunity to   park their [private] planes at this runway, it is closed already now.
The eyes of the world will be looking at the Hague, as it is an important summit.
With the leaders a total of 5000 delegates will arrive, as well as 3000 journalists.
Parts of the highway from Schiphol-Amsterdam to The Hague will be closed for normal traffic and will be only open for guests.
This SUMMIT  will be HUGE and will cost around 24 million euro, security NOT included!!!!
F 16′s will fly over Holland over the 2 days of this summit, boats will be ready in harbors and at sea and around 13.000 police will keep an eye on things.

No worries for the ” other”  pilots, landing or departing from Schiphol Airport,  they will like that the POLDERBAAN  is closed now,as it  extends the flight with about 15 minutes only by taxiing from there to the terminals. Though on the other hand there is one long runway less, so it will/can be busy at times!

The weather is still cooking in Australia “ was the message from Adam, when he drove from Kingaroy to Narromine, on a ” nice”  day!

Z adam

Surely not too bad!!!!
As shared by Adam

And…..ANOTHER WOW -factor!!!! One of our Dutch glider pilots , Leon Mol,[ flies Nationals and a lot in Spain -Fuentemilanos!]  has designed the new  leather  interior of the JS 1!!
Their business in the S of Holland  is unique as they are excellent cabinet makers, specialized in design furniture, but also in renovating.
It has nothing to do with gliders I know, BUT, Leon is as said a glider pilot and the co-operation between sailplane lovers resulted in this new interior of the JS 1.
Backrest and arm rests full leather!!! Pocket for oxygen System. No more tubes everywhere!!!

z leather chair  Z js1 stoel

Uys enjoying the great sitting leather and mentioning;
Development of the luxury leather in the JS1. This is the prototype. Production will change slightly. The leather is the highest quality available and the colors can be chosen by the customer.
What do you think, should this be the standard?
More pictures and news at:

Mol and Geurts also design exclusive chairs as this one.

.z stoel

A luxury chair by Mol and Geurts with an audio system built in!!!!
Shared by Leon on FB.

For all the news about the IGC Plenary in Varese you can read the soaringcafe -news about the latest.  For those interested, also a video-tour  is published about the exhibition hall in Reno where the SSA convention took place.

Cheers Ritz

March 5, 2014

Spring is in the air!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 5:34 pm

Zmaart 1

March 2 in Holland.
As shared on FB by Gliding Adventures Europe

Last weekend the meteorological spring started here and ……down under they started their autumn.
Sunday here was like spring- weather should be,even BETTER!
For several clubs it was the beginning of season 2014!
As at Terlet where the Gelderse made the first start for 2014 .
Yes ,Sunday was fantastic with blue skies white clouds and on the ground you could feel the thermal-activity, but also a pretty chilly wind!!!
Thei Bongers from this club flew 116 km.

Z begin seizoen

Very first flight from the Gelderse!
Courtesy Max .


the first flight of the brand-new DUO DISCUS XLT.
Courtesy Marion.

Z duo1  Z duo 2

But more clubs started their season on March 1/2. Up North in Friesland the tuggies had a job for 31 launches and down South they did 22.
It’s all happening again,…..THE SEASON STARTED!!!!
Not for my former club de ZES; their field needed some work first; moles!!!!!!!!
The ACVZ [Amsterdam] flew from their field Soesterberg.
My mates Sikko [Ventus BT/17.6 m] and Daan [ Ventus 2CT/ 18m.] flew 250 km.  and 152 km. Sikko mentioned the cloud base was in the end 1300 m. but a strong wind and Daan tested  his instruments after the winter-maintenance!

7 Flights were added on the Dutch OLC list, so quite a few  ”exploring” local flights,to ” feel”  the air after not feeling it all winter ,  but that will change when flights are REAL cc-flights.
Germany much bigger than Holland added 54 flights for the Sunday, with comments as ” this first day was KLASSE/HAMMER with good lift and nice cloud streets“.
Best cross country distance was 362 in a Discus 2T /18m.
No snow in this part of Finland as you can see on this great picture from Mikko Malinimie , who is a professional photographer, shared by one of my Finnish mates Martti, it might be even his son Petri flying in!!!
Petri was a todler when he visited us in Tocumwal!! Time flies!!!!!
So I checked with Martti ……and YES it isPetri flying the plane !!! WOW !!!!!I am getting old! I am old!
Petri is 22 now, a glider pilot now and a tuggy! He even won a day in the first competition he attended last summer.

Z Finland  Z Finland2

March 1 in Finland and,…………………………………….March 2 in Finland.
Fabulous pictures!

Autumn in Australia was for parts from South to East pretty good too ,with temperatures still in the low thirties and flights with cu’s you could follow where ever you wanted to go!
In the South at Benalla Tobias Geiger flew in his LS 4 an FAI 599.6 km triangle and extended his flight to  a distance of 658.
More to the East,  from Mc Caffery Field , Gerrit Kurstjens flew in his QUINTUS 738 km.

One of the Benalla pilots mentioned;” sky laden with Cu’s again – 3 days straight. Go where ever you want.”
In the East David Jansen [ASG 29E/18m] who flew together with Sven Kolb [Ventus 2CT] said:” Sea breeze at Bundy is always interesting.”
One of the Tocumwal pilots ;“ first cross country flight by myself. Will claim silver badge distance with this.
Cloud base at 4000 Toke and up to 5100 at Jerilderie. ”
Was like a big kid in a lolly shop.”
He flew the ASW 15.Congratulations to Phil Heintze.
The season is not over yet is what I heard a lot!!!
Ingo was invited to fly on Monday with Joergen in their new ARCUS M and as pilot in command he flew from Toc. to the mountains [direction S.E / Mount Beauty] and then back via the W. to Deniliquin; 538 km.
I presume he values the ARCUS M as much as the Caproni, but…. we all know,…the less instruments ,….the better for him.

In the USA ,Florida had a good day as well and several pilots had great flights.400 km in and ASW 19 is pretty good.One of the pilots flying from Seminole, even called it “  a booming day in the sunshine state.”
And,….” cu and some cloud streets; got a 5-6kts after 4 on final glide.
So that all sounds GOOD and HAPPY.

The 56th Nationals in Brasil, from Bebedouro,started last Sunday in 2 classes with 9 and 8 pilots in each class.Small tasks to start with ;for B class , with gliders as DG 400, Nimbus 3T , ASW 20 , Discus and Jantars all with their own handicap; 254 km and for A ,with gliders as ELFE S4, PW 5′s and an ASW 21;  190 km.
Day 2 had a 2 hour AAT for both classes but unfortunately there were more outlandings than finishes . No more news as yet.

And  Varese in Italy is this year the host for the International Gliding Committee meeting.This will happen this weekend on March 7 and 8.Lot’s of mates will fly to Italy to talk and listen, discuss and take decisions to make our soaring lives good.

Off to Amsterdam CU on Sunday in the CAFE!

Cheers Ritz

February 27, 2014

Finishing over a lake remains spectacular, if it is in Lake Keepit or in Rayskala!!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 2:21 am

Sorry a bit later today then normal, but I was on a 2 day trip, to the East of Holland.


finish over the lake in Finland

The regatta in Lake Keepit is on till March 1. Nice later in the season , with good weather for practice and lead and follow.
On their site Jacques Graells writes:
“ Lake Keepit Soaring Club’s annual Regatta is a fun, friendly and informal cross country event to introduce pilots to cross country competition.

 The  idea is that the regatta is a mentoring event where pilot pairs are scored together around an AAT task. So we match up early cross country pilots with a seasoned pro, and they compete together as a team, either in two gliders or in a twin. Only the slowest time of the pair is scored, so it is in the interest of the more experienced pilot to coach and assist right throughout the flight. 

So coaching, team flying and mentoring are all encouraged at this event. Really, this is a great opportunity to introduce budding cross country pilots to competition type AAT flying, while not getting caught up in all the formal competition hoo-hah. It will be run in a low key and relaxed way, all the while making sure people have fun. ”

Their practice day was last Saturday with a 3 hour AAT. Toppers  among them Allan Barnes , Gary Speight, G Dale, Morgan Sandercock Andrew Georgeson and Jenny Ganderton fly with pilots who want to learn to be a better cross country pilot. A  total of 44 pilots flew this week over the beautiful Lake Keepit area and I SHOULD share AGAIN these great pictures from a finish over the lake.

The first 2 days had a 3 hour AAT in this big mixed class [44 pilots] and were won by Morgan in the Sparrow Hawk [ 232.3 km. in 2.58] and Andrew [ 385.5 km. in 3.04] in the Ventus 2CX.

Day 3 [3 hour AAT] and 4 [2.30 AAT] were won by G. Dale in the DUO DISCUS , with a co -pilot. As G said;
“ Excellent fun and IE is a really good example of an original Duo.”
Have to check if that’sour old IE.


 Joey glide Nick finish  Joeyglide lake

During Joey Glide over the Lake in Lake Keepit

Still very good weather in Australia and as I last said already,  Cunderdin in Western Australia,  has had great weather this year and had a Super Sunday with an 833 FAI triangle in the SZD 55 by James Cooper, extended to 853 for OLC kilometers.
Beverley , same region, enjoyed the same circumstances and the weather was good till in the South as well .

The Benalla-Tocumwal area as,  Corowa’s last container left last Monday,  remains good as well!
With flights up to over 500 and even 663 km. in ASW 27 and ASH 26E from Tocumwal on Sunday and Monday, pilots can only be happy this late in the season, as I heard the evening definitely starts earlier.

Look at this story from Joergen who flies at Toc at the moment;
“2 days ago we used the weather to declare a 500 out/return flight toward Robinvale to the NW.
After 1 hour on the task, we had achieved 135 km, so it looked promising. The next hour the speed dropped to 105 km/h, but we still had 120 km/h average speed, and on final glide we finished with 129 km/h, 10 km/h faster than the old record.
Of our records, our 100 km FAI stands out with 178 km/h, flown around Waikerie area. We used a trough line, and managed the task without a single turn. This record also surpasses the existing Open class record, set in South Africa.
Also our 760 km FAI out of Tocumwal is very memorable. We were the first to launch, got on the task at 1000 m, and headed directly for a huge dust-lift just to the north of the field. This gave us 3,2 m/sec to 2400 meters, a very good start.
We kept the curving down to 20%. The task speed was 132 km/hr. Our finish height was 800 meters above our start altitude, so we could have done a speed of 140 or more, this time we chose to go for more distance.
This flight gave 5 new Danish records.”

They love their ARCUS, though like a few more, they had some problems in the beginning.
Next year they ” go”  for the 1000 km!!!

Benalla pilot Andy Smith from the UK had over 500 km. as well in the Ventus 16.6 m. but  on Monday even 720.
AND,…also the East of Australia was good with those flights from Lake Keepit.

Z John Welsh

A great picture shared by Beverley pilot John, who just had another 500 k in the pocket in his HORNET, with a final glide starting at 10.000 ft.

Not to forget always surprising New Zealand were Finnish pilot Jyry Laukkanen flew 761 in the Discus and he called it “ A somewhat exploratory flight.”
Last Saturday he flew in the Duo Discus 816 km. from Omarama going up N and down S of the airfield.

A lot of rotor cloud for a day [Monday] that was supposed to be nearly blue. Awesome cloudscapes in the end!

High winds (in the order of 90 knots at 13,000 ft!) and steadily increasing cloud cover (7/8 in the end) made even the milk run demanding. Luckily the wave was high.

Difficult wave entry with rough rotor and dancing wave.” 

Talking about WAVE, they had good wave in Norway as well, according to Ulf Hustad on February 22;
A great day for cross country flying in the mid-Norwegian mountain Waves.
Extra oxygen supply increases both the height of the flight and the safe range.
An awesome day in an awesome glider.” [LS8]

Last but not least I got a Polish mail, which I share with you, though I have NO experience with them neither with maintenance in general.
Some info, just to let you know, certainly when your glider needs this kind of maintenance.
” We are a company with many years’ experience in painting and repainting of small composite aircraft such as gliders, motor gliders and ultra light aircraft. 
In our long-standing career we have had hundreds of satisfied clients from Germany, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Sweden, England and other countries. 
Additional services
- replacement of the canopy
- gluing of sealing tapes
- repainting of the cockpit
- designing and painting of anti-collision markings
- painting and modification of the instrument panel
- modifications on a specific glider type according to bulletins
- sewing of canopy covers
- designing and sewing of upholstery (all types of fabric)
- recreating of information plates of a glider
- defining of the center of gravity and weighing of the entire glider
We provide transport service from Poland to any place in Europe (30 euro cent  km):
and many others
To learn more about us, please feel welcome to visit our website .

You might be getting sick of me talking about our speed skaters but with winning 64 % of the medals in long track speed skating , we did indeed WELL!!!!!They have been welcomed as heroes by 10 .ooo people and by the prime minister and the king and queen, one day later!
4 x A clean sweep as well in one discipline , in one Olympic Game , is excellent and happened never before.
Now I will ” shut up”  about it.But I feel extremely happy with it and with me a million or more other Dutchies.

That’s it, CU next week, still pretty quiet so not enough news to entertain you twice a week. Back in the CAFE however on Sunday!
Cheers Ritz

February 19, 2014

Newsy news!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 7:10 pm

Last Saturday James Cooper from Cunderdin in Western Australia flew in the SZD 55 anFAI triangle from 800 km. extended to 894 km..which is fantastic so late in the season and proofing not only Narromine but also Cunderdin had a great season.
To be honest ,…the WHOLE Australian season was TOP.
Maybe not as strong as Namibia, but at least a few months longer.

A while ago Cunderdin also had a few fantastic flights and I wrote about it in my SoaringCafe blog.
One of the pilots I mentioned was Swain Johnson, you surely remember. Here is his comment and I share it with pleasure;
‘” Appreciate the mention, really has been an awesome season so far in Western Australia, and we would welcome all pilots from around the world to experience the amazing landscapes of Malley bushes and salt lakes in a truly unique landscape and unique part of the world at the Gliding club of Western Australia in Cunderdin. Most days in summer will get you a 500 k day. For those interested I have posted the first ever 1015 k FAI flight to be done by an Australian Pilot in Western Australia as seen through Youtube. That week I also achieved a 762 FAI flight at 135 kph / 515 k FAI at almost 151 kph all speed records and another 1007 km FAI flight to top off 4 days running. Awesome !…… Come to Australia and why not try the Western Side.”


One of our German guests at Sportavia and good friend of Dieter Dundee,  was/is Ernst Ditges. He loved Australia, came back to fly a few times, took his wife  Steffie with him to live and work in Queensland . Last Australia- day Ernst “turned”  into a REAL Aussie by receiving his citizenship.
Ernst is the head -engineer at  Swift Electronics and a highly valued team member there.
One of  Ernst ” inventions ”  is the dittolog and the team is excited to announce now, that ” we  have partnered with Butterfly Avionics, to distribute Dittolog in Europe.
We will keep you posted about exciting new changes, which include a totally new pricing structure that will make dittolog affordable for all clubs.” 

Ditto log

  • is a small low cost device in your aircraft
  • it transmits pilot and flight details to the web
  • it interfaces with your club or businesses accounting package
  • dittolog saves time
  • dittolog improves efficiency
  • dittolog saves money

Ideal for clubs, flight schools and charter operators dittolog brings seamless flight record integration for your accounts department, and accurate flight log details for your members and



More news from Australia, as it might be ” only a fun competition” over there in Horsham,  but it has already for 48 years a very serious touch.Also the people involved are professional. One of the pilots Jarek,  has compiled some stats for the Horsham Week 2014 competition that finished on Saturday, 8/02/2014.
Here you are and he used the data from Soaringspot , thanks Jarek;
 Kilometres Flown and Speeds are non-handicapped. Calculated for non-zero scores only.
Speeds calculated for finishers only.
Averages per pilot across all tasks.

-          Six Competition Days

-          Total Kilometres flown in all classes: 55,809.30 km


Open / 18M Class:

-          Kilometres Flown: 15,365 km

-          Max Distance Flown: 601.10 km

-          Average Distance Flown: 374.75 km

-          Max Task Speed: 166.30 km / h

-          Average Task Speed: 118.91 km /h

15M/ Standard Class:

-          Kilometres Flown: 24,536 km

-          Max Distance Flown: 565.80 km

-          Average Distance Flown: 340.77 km

-          Max Task Speed: 131.00 km / h

-          Average Task Speed: 99.82 km /h


Club Class:

-          Kilometres Flown: 19,908.30 km

-          Max Distance Flown: 421.60 km

-          Average Distance Flown: 294.59 km

-          Max Task Speed: 131.00 km / h

-          Average Task Speed: 99.90 km /h

The new gliders for the Australian Air Force Cadets are on their way at least the first one! Can’t miss it!

Z aircadets

First  ” DG” bird in the nest.
As shared by Jane and Tom Gilbert from Temora.


We have n’t had winter till now. It looks like we had a LOOOOOONG autumn, with temperatures around 8 dgr. average and lot’s of rain and already the 2d storm in 2014!
But ,…skies look good for the Dutch pilots;

Z soesterberg

At the airport of Soesterberg where they do the last jobs at the field by removing old barb wire from old fences.

  2014-02-16 16.41.07  2014-02-16 16.41.16

clouds over Alphen as seen from my garden and in my garden some fresh flowers.

The first flight was made as well here on Sunday;152 km. and 2.5 hours of soaring by Robin Smit flown from Gilze Rijen and it could have been even longer but the other members wanted to pack up .
Good on him!
They told him he was ” mad” , when he rigged his Cirrus, but certainly for February 16 he had an excellent day.

After the cool chance again super weather for the time of the year in the South of Australia . Yesterday Benalla had flights up to over 700 nearly 800 km in ASG 29 .100 km. flown by a Finnish [Eric Heinonen] and UK guest.[ Nick Woods]
A  100 -km -no-turns- final -glide was possible.
In the last weeks of soaring  in Corowa before packing the last container Pepe flew  836 his ASH 31  and from Tocumwal Finnish guest Kari flew in the LS 6WL a distance of 688 km.
At the moment there is a mountain-coaching course /camp at Mount Beauty and also their guests enjoyed the nice weather with flights up to 400 km..

Z mount beauty camp

Laura Sullivan with some of the participants on the Mt Beauty Club alpine flying course this week.
as shared on FB.

2 Comps just finished in New Zealand one in Drury with 20 competitors and 4 days of flying  2 less good and 2 with 3 hour 30 AAT’s . Winner Patrick Driessen in the Ventus 17.6 who was  just 50 points better then Lindsey Stevens.[ASW 27]
The other one at Waipukurau , the Central Districts with 13 participants, 2 days and 1 less good and 1 good one with a 3 hour AAT.
Graham White from Hawkes Bay  [which I visited  in the past] flew 332 km. in 3.25 in the LS 8 . Graham was 2d on day 1 so winner of this competition ,  just over 100 points ahead of Trev Terry from Taupo [visited Taupo as well] in the Duo Discus T.

When you are not interested in speed skating you can skip the rest of the blog.
Loosing with 0.0003 sec. on a 1500 m track!!!!! A night mare not only for our speed-skater Koen Verweij, but also for all his fans. The Polish skater was 0.0003 sec faster so he won, no worries, but it hurt!
A lot of Dutch people are still sitting with orange cheek, on an orange cloud.Over 4 million looked at Verweij’ s race but one day later the fans were ready again for the 1500 m of the ladies!
What a day!!! I am not a chauvinist but a real enthusiast  and seeing 3 speed skaters again on the podium and also number 4 was in orange you can only say CHAPEAU!!!
That NEVER happened before. The Dutch are writing history and our CUMULUS CLOUD, is getting bigger and bigger and higher and higher and is even noticed by lot’s of other countries and what ‘s lovely is , that they all admire the speed skaters and are not jealous or so. That’s the spirit and I can assure you this will be only once this hegemony as others will be back in 4 years.
We knew we are good in speed skating, but it looks like we are a class ahead of the rest at the moment. That should change again otherwise it will be boring for ” non-orangers” .
In the evening on Sunday, we were on spot 2 on the medal list. Unheard of!
Jorien Termors who won in a new Olympic record, is in fact a short track racer. The Dutch officials were not so pleased with a girl skating in both disciplines. On Friday she”  lost”  the 1500 m in shorttrack and was only 4th. What would she do on the 1500 m on the long[400 m.]track?? Easy she WON!!!! And took over the Vancouver-title  from Irene Wust.

Z 1500 m.

As shared by Bart van Stratum.

Yesterday another clean sweep with a 1-2-3 on the 10 km. Not so good was that Russian and Norwegian speed skaters retired, did not even try.
It’s weird but “we” were all a bit sad with the line up of the medals!! Yes I know we had an orange podium again and Jorrit Bergsma had a fabulous race and deserved gold but after Vancouver where he should have won, but missed out in finishing in the wrong lane, we ALL wished the joy of gold for Sven Kramer. But as in gliding and any other sport it has to be YOUR day, all has to fall in place for you and that did n’t happen, as Sven got after 15 rounds a soar back.

Today Ted Ligety ski hero and Bode Miller  both USA and Felix Neureuther who had an accident with his car on the way to the airfield of Munich to fly to Sochi and Marcel Hirscher half Dutch with a Dutch mum from Austria.I better go to look at the 2d race of the giant slalom.
And,…sorry but we might do well in the 5000 m for ladies as well this afternoon. Great race between Irene Wust and Martina Sablikova.
Let’s wait and see. Enjoy your week and back on Sunday in the Soaring Cafe.,

Cheers Ritz
on Wednesday February 19 2014

Next Page »

Powered by WordPress