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November 22, 2017

Bitterwasser and Kiripotib, glider mecca’s for Flying with the Champion pilots. R.I.P David Wilson.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 7:46 pm

—–The 2 ,Flying with the Champions-weeks, are over now. Two 7-day courses  between November 4 and 17 are a pleasure/feast for champion and student. The last day was on Friday with around 500 k’s.
AND,…a very special day. Bitterwasser pilots against Kiripotib pilots.
The “champions” have their last day. And it is a special one! They compete with the other “Flying with the Champions” camp from Kiripotip!
So it is a real challenge! Normally you find these top class pilots on a World Gliding Championship – today you can find them racing the Namibian sky.”

The weather was mostly good and from less good days ,you might even learn more. On a day with 30 kts wind they do other things as looking at the specific animals in Africa.
So to see the weather was not as good as last season but still enough great flights!

Now other pilot’s take over the glider’s. From Finland Antti and Juha did some  “ 20m class crew training. Declared 755 km FAI triangle in blue. Later clouds.” They flew 1.015km.from Kiripotib.
So 1000km-flying continues in Bitterwasser, Kiripotob ,Pokweni and Veronica.

Ludwig, now had time to “work”  on his records again. He tried hard for a WORLD record on a 1000 km. FAI triangle, but,….
Today I tried it again, I missed the Speed World Record by 5 Minutes. At the last turnpoint I was at 180km/h average, 10 faster than the WR, but on the last leg the thermal was not good enough.
That was close , very close indeed but normally good for an Austrian record; 1.021 km. with a speed of 169.1 km./h.

As you can see on the picture from Antti the weather was good in Namibia;

As shared by Antti.

PR for Bitterwasser is not necessary they are BIG. But I would like however, to share this news from the Bitterwasser- site :
“Bitterwasser is a top spot! But it’s not only a place for top gun pilots. Here you can find conditions, every pilot is having fun with. If you want to fly your first ever 1000km or if you prefer a relaxed flight with some sight seeing – everyone is welcome.

If you want to step further to the next level of cross country flying, you should take a closer look on Flying with the Champions“.
Johann Posch from USA joins the camp this year. Yesterday he was flying with Wolfgang Janowitsch in an Arcus. You can see that he loved it. He is smiling all the time while talking about it. Posch has been flying for many years now but there is still something to learn. He already noticed some little things that are crucial to success. „The way Janowitsch sees the sky is very special. He is seeing things I didn’t focus on too much before. In the end of the day this is something that takes him faster, further and makes him more successful than others.

Wolfgang and Johann as shared on  

Also on you can find more news.


—–It’s mainly Africa and Australia I write about, but of course New Zealand belongs to the overseas destinations as well. So I copied and pasted for you from the Omarama Gazette as shared by GLIDE OMARAMA;
“Glider pilots from around the world have begun arriving in Omarama ahead of next week’s South Island Regional Glider Races.
The early arrivals are attending Jerry’s Mountain Soaring Course, named for glider pilot Jerry O’Neill, hosted by Glide Omarama, in preparation for the tasks and challenges to be set for the races next week.
South Island Regional Glider Races spokesperson Daniel McCormack said about 30 pilots using 25 gliders had registered for next week’s event and about ten of those were attending this week’s course.
Glider pilots were coming from as far afield as Europe, the United Kingdom and Alaska for the races.
The field will include last year’s winner and US champion Keith Essex, and Australian champion Tom Claffey. 
As well, members of Youth Glide, including Omarama’s Sam Patterson, will be competing, with instructors.
Renowned top level New Zealand glider pilot Justin Wills is to head up the coaching program.
Predictions were for warm, settled weather.”


As shared by GLIDE OMARAMA.

After Kerrie and Tom arrived from Australia , they ran into Keith who is there already for a while ;”discussion turned to flat land flying – the man who’s done 30+ flights over 1000k says “flat land is really hard, you don’t know where to find the next thermal!”
Poor Dutchies we ALWAYS have to cope with flat land, maybe that’s why we have such good pilots here,… ha ha.

Kerrie made a flight with Justin Wills.
Here is her report and some fabulous pictures;
“SI Regionals practice day – had the huge opportunity to fly with Justin Wills – this country still absolutely awesome and absolutely terrifying! So “fly” meant flying on the few occasions we got above the scenery & turning into a blithering passenger when we were down amongst it – the fact that I was with one of the best pilots in the world who’s lived & flown here for 30 years didn’t stop me squirming into the furthest corner of the cockpit away from the hard bits!”

Justin still going strong!!!


Thanks Kerrie for sharing.


The South Island Championships [November 19- November 25] of course from Omarama, started with a rather good day. 2 Classes with 15 pilots in open and 12 in the racing class.
Keith Essex [ASG 29]  won day 1 in open , so 1000 points for him. 11 Finished Patrick [Driessen] was one of the “out- landers”.[98 points]. Tom in the ASH 25 was on spot 6 .
8 From 13 flying, finished but still a 1000 points day.
Frank Saxton in the Discus  B won the first 1000 points in 15 m. class.
Day 2 was cancelled.
And flying day 2 was won again by Keith a 3 hour AAT ; 348 km. in time 3.16.
In racing class only 6 finishers and the winner from day 1 was unfortunately  “out” after 87 km. The daily winner Alex Boyes in the LS 8, flew 239 km in time 3.02 ; 900 points.
AND then,… mail box and mobile are full of news this early morning and normally that’s not a good sign.

The main message :
We regret to inform members of The Gliding Federation of Australia that on Tuesday 21 November 2017, we lost one of our members in an accident near Lake Hawae in the Wanaka region of NZ.  The deceased member is Mr David Wilson, an experienced and well known Victorian glider pilot. He was participating in the NZ South Island Regional Competition, operating from Omarama NZ in an 18m Discus 2.  We understand he collided with terrain on a ridge on the Hunter Range late afternoon.

The accident is being investigated by NZ Police, Coronial authorities and NZ Civil Aviation Authority.  GFA assistance is being offered as required through Gliding NZ. Members will appreciate that more investigations are required before firm conclusions can be drawn.

Our thoughts and condolences are with David’s wife Judy, his family and his many gliding friends.

Peter Cesco
GFA President

I guess EVERYBODY who has been at Benalla knows David!!! He was one of the nicest, kindest pilots from Benalla. You HAD to like him. Very experienced and in my eyes more or less the face of Benalla.I am very sad.
RIP David.

—–The Gliders for Gariep Gliding arrived as well on November 17 and the containers were emptied straight away, ready to go flying, as the season was ON already.


 As shared on their site.

and a less good windy day “Some weather moving in but our flags are flying high....”
As shared by Gariep Gliding


—–The Gliding Federation of Australia shared the next message. Still an opportunity for European friends to go to good old HORSHAM GRAND PRIX ;

“The Australian leg of the World Sailplane Grand Prix, coming to Horsham 22- 28 January 2018, promises to be a great event. With just 10 places remaining, now is your chance to take part in some truly exciting competition.

The contest will be held over seven days, allowing pilots the opportunity to compete in different conditions. The start adds to the excitement as all of the competitors stream through the 5km start together and takes place around a closed course of 200 – 400km during the strongest part of the day. The races last about two to three hours depending on the weather conditions in the race area.

The location is over a wheat-growing region near the Grampians National Park, ideal for high-speed finishes. Most paddocks in the area are suitable for safe outlandings.

All interested pilots need to register online at

So far, Horsham Flying Club has received enquiries from pilots in South Africa and Italy, and expects more in the coming weeks. Apply today!

Arnold Niewand 0429857275
Contest Chairman

AND…..The 52nd edition of the Horsham Week Gliding Competition will be held at the Horsham aerodrome from 3rd to 10th of February 2018 and will run in conjunction with the VSA State Gliding Championships.

Horsham Week registrations are now open, enter via an on-line entry form:


More information can be found on the recently  refurbished competition web page:

—– News from the next WWGC;
Following requests from competitors and Team Captains from the WWGC championships earlier this year, the dates for WWGC 2019 /2020, are being amended.The new dates are
29 – 31 December 2019  Unofficial Training
1 – 3 January  Official Training
3 January  Opening Ceremony
4 – 17 January  Competition (13 days)
17 January  Final Party
18 January  Closing Ceremony

Just to let you know!!


—–After some up-to-750-km. flight in Narromine the weather changed and according to William they had “a good drop”. Rain, heavy thunderstorms and hail caused flooded roads but also a great picture shared by William.
By the way the annual NARROMINE CUP has started with good weather and flights up to over 600 km.  in a Discus 2B. I counted   20 pilots who entered their flight on the OLC. One 300 km. gold goal-flight was already achieved too, by Tony Carling in the ASW 28/18m..

On the border of Narromine Airport.


—–WOW,…the future looks bright for AIRBUS.  Looking at the Financial news , the European manufacturer AIRBUS has announced his biggest order ever,  at the Dubai airshow. Investors from the USA ,Indigo Partners, has ordered 430 planes. That order means 50 milliard dollar or 42 milliard Euro.
The types A320neo en A321neo have been ordered for several price fighters, they represent. They are for short to middle distances.
One of them is Wizz Air from Hungar .they get 146 new planes. I might see them more often then,  as they fly from Eindhoven Airport and fly straight “over my head”.

Also Boeing got a big order at this Airshow; “FlyDubai from the United Arab Emirates wants 175 aircraft from the 737-series and has also taken an option on another fifty of those aircraft. This involves a total amount of 27 billion dollars. The Boeing 737 is also intended for short to medium distances.”


—-After the happiness for the YES-vote for marriage equality [ now it is up to the Parliament to make their move fast;  clearing the way for legalization will make a lot happy] , there was more happiness Down Under.
The Socceroos, talking soccer now of course ,placed their selves for the World Championship in Russia. That’s better , much better than the Dutch and Italian team ,who should have been there looking at their past , but they are just not good enough anymore. Time to work on a new generation and here in Holland that should not be a too big problem. Pretty sad though for many here in Holland and even more in Italy.

You are up to date for this week  My blog was ready to go but then this morning I had to add  the bad news.So I need a break as scores and all other interesting results are less not important anymore today.
CU next week.
Cheers Ritz

November 15, 2017

Ultimate Soaring Fun in the Silent 2 Electro ER! AND,…much more……198 km./h. over 1.885 km. in wave.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 7:11 pm

—–Lot’s of high speed flights last week!! Long,….. fast and ….furious!!What about a flight from the Perlan pilot Dennis Tito with Bill Hill in the ARCUS J last Thursday [9-11];1.825 km. with a speed of 187,68 km./h. from Inyokern in the USA. Wave soaring at it’s best!
A bit boring maybe , with 6 legs from around 300 km. up and down and up and down, but still….!!
Really good looking at the “nice area” under you is not on either ,as with 180 km. you race through the air. But ….for sure another interesting flight.
My friend Bruce “translated”  this kind of soaring this way;
“great bit of flying, good to see the “wave” is still working. For non gliding friends ,these guys flew the equivalent of London to Edinburgh and back 3 times in one day without an engine!”
So not boring as it seems ,as he made another flight one day later [10-11] with another co; 1.495 km. with a speed of 147 km./h. …and 3 day’s  [12-11-]later Dennis went again also with Aussie Morgan [ Sandercock , from Perlan Project ] in the back;1.934 km. with a speed of 135.48 km./h. this time from Nahuel Huapi in Argentina.
More great wave on November 13 when Jim [Payne] took the ASH 25 out for a nice long “ride”;1.885 km. with the unbelievable speed of /h. That’s fast!!! He flew from Minden in the USA.
Yesterday it was Dennis again now from Chos Malal in Argentina. 1.743 km. speed 122.39.
By the way ,Jim’s wife Jackie keeps a blog so when you are interested in high ,fast mountain-wave  ;

From Omarama , USA pilot Keith Essex, was in a hurry as well; 180 km./h over 1.071 km. Not only up and down……but a 300 km triangle in it as well.Less boring?????
The Namibian places produced all 4,  Veronica included, several 1000 km. flights. All with a speed around the 140 km./h mark.
And RIDGE SOARING showed great ridge soaring; 1.196 km. in an ASG 29/18m. by Dan Reagan. 169 km./h. Another 9 pilots enjoyed the top- day.
Even ASW 15’s , DG 300 , Pegases and Hornet’s flew over 500 km.

And National speed  records over 500 km.out and return in Namibia [Kiripotib]  . A Swedish record by Boerje [and another Austrian one by Ludwig[165.14 km./h.] both in the Antares 23E.

—–“a stonker of a day! ” That really say’s something about the quality of the flying day. In the Hornet John Welsh flew a 500 FAI triangle !” West Coast Trough turned it on! 500k @110kph dry.” was his comment on his flight from Beverley in W Australia.
The 11th of the 11th was a good sign of what hopefully the season has to offer.
Also in Africa,… as more and more 1000 km tasks have been flown again on this day with speed up to 156 km./h..
A new bunch of enthusiastic students is flying week 2 from FLYING with the CHAMPIONS.
In Narromine Adam flew already 2 over 770 tasks [700 and 500 FIA triangle]  last weekend in his Ventus 2AX/15 m.” Yesterday I abandoned my declared 750km at the top turn due to heavy spread out – was averaging 116kph for ~500km to that point in the climb & drive flight (big gaps with minimal streeting, 5kt climbs between 4-8000′). From there, I took the pressure off & just enjoyed the remaining weather for the day & the holiday.”
And yesterday the message from Tocumwal’s Sportaviation was ;”Splendid day high big Cumulus @ 10,000ft+  Everyone home safe.” Between 330 and 680 km. in the Tocumwal-Corowa-Benalla triangle.

—–Received a mail via Alisport with a link to a wonderful safari with the Silent 2. Loved every minute!!!
“Dear Friend,

We’ve finally released the video of the flying tour to Sardegna and Corse, France.
An amazing trip this summer flying the Silent 2 Electro ER (Extedend Range) and the Yuma, both produced by Alisport.
Unbelievable experience and outstanding landscapes for what we believe to be…the trip of a lifetime!”

Click here for the youtube video
or on our FaceBook Page

—–GLIDE OMARAMA is doing a good job;
Its the first day of Glide Omarama’s 1000 km Challenge. The prize is $1000 to the pilot with the fastest average speed over 1000 km. 
It looks like we already have two contenders.”
Good luck to all who try.

——in the end 6 from the 12 days were good to fly in El Pampero in Argentina. The NATIONAL champion in club class has a well-known name; Javier Gaude with 4740 points. He won day 1.
ONLY just ahead of the man who won a few days, Sebastian Luengo with 4.723 points.
Martin Bossart was a good 3d place -winner with 4.702 points. He won the last day.
Another well known name, Lucas Goldenzweig was on spot 4  with 4.471 points.He lost over 200 points on day 1. Over the next day’s he had 5 top-5-places.

——“More Australians voted YES than drive to work each day “!Very pleased for a few of my mates in Australia that the government can start now to legalize same-sex-marriage. They hope a new law should be in place  before Christmas, that would be great!!!
61 % said yes to equality !!! In my eyes it’s nearly unbelievable that more than 30 % said no. The voting was by mail only!!!

With Tom [l] and Brooke [r] and more happy chappies!!!
As shared by Tom.

——ZWEEFPORTAAL, THE Dutch information site for glider pilots shared the statistics from the last Dutch OLC year’s. Very interesting!!!!!

682 Dutch participants flew 907.157 kilometers.
The goal for 2018,……..over 1.00,000 kilometers!!!!

——Great to see Grietje from Corowa, in “our” Family Scout!!! Years ago , when she worked with and for us at Sportavia, she sat in the back, as retrieve glider pilot to several paddock’s,  now as tuggie GOOD ON HER!!
I love her enthusiasm:” Who would have thought, the season started with a tow!” As I mentioned already they sold both their tugs.
The Discus from Diana, which came in their container was flown to Tocumwal by tuggie Bruce [Wilson] and husband George [Schuit].
En passant Bruce checked Grietje out in the Scout!
Their first flying guest Hans Juergen Lange flew on his first day from his 15th year in Corowa a nice 600 FAI triangle.

Bruce and Grietje….it looks like Bruce and Inge ….and……… that might happen soon as well.
As shared by Grietje

——AND knowing who are your concurrent’s at the next WGC here are , officially, the participating French pilots;
For Ostrow in Poland;
Club class:Eric BERNARD . Killian WALBROU
standard class; Louis BOUDERLIQUE. Guillaume GIRARD . Aude GRANGERAY
15 m. class;Christophe RUCH . Maximilien SEIS

For the Czech Rep in Pribam;
18M: Christophe COUSSEAU . Jean-Denis BARROIS
20M: Laurent ABOULIN et Aude UNTERSEE

——Don’t know what’s happening in our soaring world!!Did we just have the sad message of stolen gliders, now the Magazin Segelfliegen warns us for another bad mob!! They want to buy gliders but their BANKCHEQUES via an intermediary.
Sellers of gliders have alerted us to brazen trick-cheating and advise caution when selling your glider: If the prospective buyer offers you a bank check, you should be alert. There have been cases of check fraud lately. The buyer inserts this cleverly by pretending to pay by bank check, but can not pick up the plane himself because he lives abroad. Therefore, he hired a forwarding company, the additional costs, of course, he takes and calculates them equal to the purchase price of the aircraft on it. Then he asks the seller to transfer these additional costs to the shipping company. If the seller then cashes in the check, it will burst after a few days. The amount transferred to the forwarding company is lost, because this forwarding company does not exist.”
So be warned!! And great from the MAGAZIN to share it!!!! 

And last but not least the news from  Gliding International , the last issue from this year with lot’s of news!!
—the TWIN SHARK and the head says,” Talking to one of the pilots who have just flown the Twin Shark, he boldly stated that “here
was a two seater sailplane – the epitome of innovation!”
The waiting list is already over 12 months, be aware of that when you or the club are interested.
In the next GI you can find the test flight info.
—Gliding in ALASKA started already 34 years ago, interested??…. all the new is in this issue.Bob Adams talks about flying there and the effect of global warming over the last 10 years.
—electric sustainer battery fire ….but also news about “big advances in battery technology”
—the EUROglider as new training glider…
—the “decline issue” by Aldo…since 1993 “we”  lost 20.000 members from 127.000 to 107.000
—history ; with the first aero-tow launch of a glider....
and more MUCH more 62 pages of good and interesting reading.

That’s it for now.
Cheers Ritz

November 8, 2017

Gliders arrived,…..the season started on a high….though…..!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 8:26 pm

—–BUT FIRST,…….NOT the very best news to start with, but important to share and who can help,…. should help.
So I share it straight away. How is this possible? They must know about gliders!!!As Arne wrote;”Sad but true – please help us locating these aircraft!
It all happened between 31. October and 2. November.


Hope they will find them quickly!!!Taking gliders out of the trailers shows that they knew about “our” sport. Hope they CANNOT sell them or use them there, where we can’t find them.Bad mob!!! I am angry!!!!

—–November started with good soaring conditions in both Africa and Australia, as well as NZ.
Kingaroy had some “ripper/ cracking-day’s” up to 700 km. and Narromine had a declared 750 km [500FAI triangle] today by Adam in his Ventus 2ax/15m. Benalla showed 500 km. in an LS 4 by Tobias yesterday.
started with “Flying with the Champions” with over 400 km’s to get in the mood.And then,…with those champion- heroes and the weather in both Kiripotib and Bitterwasser, the 1000 km-flights “fly around your ears”.
Mainly ARCUS M gliders in Bitterwasser and Kiripotib and kilometer-eater Reinhard Schramme flew with his student already 1.218 km. with a speed of 150 km./h.
One of the Flying- with- the -Champions- organizers Ludwig took his glider , an Antares 23 E , out for a “ride ” from Kiripotib and it looks he flew a new Austrian record with his declared 1000 km. FAI triangle ;1.036 km. with a speed of 164,89 km./h, Good on you Ludwig!!!!
Several over 1000 km. flights were declared FAI triangles!!!!

Keith Essex flew already over 600 km. from Omarama on the first of November.
And what about yesterday!!!!Soaring New Zealand shared this news and these pictures…


Visiting French instructor Hugo Corbille flies 1000km with World record distance pilot Terry Delore. Great flight guys.” by SNZ
As shared by the Canterbury Gliding Club.

Containers in Corowa arrived as well.Their season can start now too.


As shared by ASCC.

—–On October 30 the Argentinian club class pilots gathered at El Pampero to see who is the best in this class during their nationals.
They straight away got 302 km. task and Javier Gaude was the only one who flew with a speed of just over 100 km./h. and gathered 996 points. From 20 pilots, including an HC pilot from Germany , 12 finished.
Then, 3 non flying days and on November 3 they all got up again and the 3-hour AAT turned out to be a 1000 points -day  for Sebastian Luengo. Lot’s of ASW 20’s at this comps and this glider was a winner on the 2 day’s.
Sebastian, liked his win and won again on the 3d flying day, with a 4 hour AAT with 408 km. in 3.57.
Task 5 on day 8 was a short one; 2 hour AAT and another ASW 20 won the day on which not all pilots managed to finish.
They did not fly yesterday.

—–Achievements on HIGH level at Potsch;
The 2017 Aero Club Awards dinner was held at AFB Zwartkop. The assembled guests, prior to taking their seats, were treated to a display by Colonel Glen Warden in the SAAF’s Museums de Havilland Vampire. ”

“Senior Protea Colours for the 34th FAI World Gliding Championships Open 18m and 15m Class held in Benalla, Australia from the 1st to the 22nd of January 2017 to Attie Jonker, Laurens Goudriaan, Oscar Goudriaan, Pieter Nouwens and Uys Jonker, Carol Clifford as the team Manager and Junior Colours to Marcus Nouwens.”



Congratulations to Oscar and Laurens Goudriaan for receiving Aeroclub Gold Wings for continued high performance in Gliding.
pictures shared by AKAFLIEG

An of course achievements for the topdesigners duo;

Picture shared by Jonker Sailplanes.

Uys and Attie with happy smiles and nice trophies:”The PGS Trophy Award for the most significant achievement by a South African manufacturer or designer of recreational aviation aircraft or products went to Jonker Sailplanes. Attie Jonker, Uys Jonker & Johan Bosman excepted the award on behalf of the company.”

—–The British Gliding Team had the next news, for those who missed it. Always good to know your opponents…..

World Gliding Championships 2018.
In case you missed the publication elsewhere, the British Team selection for the WGC 2018 is;

Club Class – Tim Fletcher, G Dale
Standard Class – Howard Jones, Dave Bromley
20m Multi-Seat Class – Steve Jones/Gary Coppin
15m Class – Tim Scott, Derren Francis
18m Class – Mike Young, Russell Cheetham
Open Class – Andy Davis, Peter Harvey

——And interesting news from Schempp-Hirth:”
Congratulations to Helmut Treiber.
It makes us very proud that last Sunday, former Schempp-Hirth chief engineer Helmut Treiber (76, ) has been honored with the “Klaus Holighaus Medal in Gold”, awarded by the Air Sport Association of Baden-Württemberg, Southern Germany (BWLV).

The gold medal is in memorial of the great glider pilot, gifted glider designer and successful entrepreneur Klaus Holighaus who was killed in a glider crash in 1994. It is awarded to personalities with outstanding achievements for the air sports.

This year’s laureate Helmut Treiber has been a leading engineer in the introducing of carbon fibre technology into the design of gliders and was a major contributor to the design and test flying of Akaflieg Braunschweig’s SB8, SB9 and SB10.

After finishing his studies, he joined Schempp-Hirth as a member of the engineer team under Klaus Holighaus and, after Klaus’ accident, took over as the company’s head engineer, which he lead with great success until he retired. We are very glad that we can still benefit from his expertise as consultant to the present day.

Besides designing and testing gliders, Helmut Treiber has also been an enthusiastic gilder pilot, a successful competition pilot and achieved several national and world records.”

—–NARROMINE GLIDING CLUB OFFICIAL:We are now a full time 7 day per week operation! We have a full time resident Level 3 instructor, full time tow pilots and G Dale is in residence running advanced Cross Country Coaching courses. The soaring season is starting to crank up and there has never been a better time to come fly at Narromine!”
For bookings or membership inquiries got to Contact Us on the club website at 

—–My daughter turned 45 yesterday!! Great age, fabulous girl and beautiful in and outside. PROUD mum.

Captain Inge to the left and Kassandra Stultiens-Zandstra,who shared the picture as a memory,  on a flight , several years, with only “ladies” so an all female crew .

—–Some of my Aussie mates are very inspiring. Lesley is one of them.
“Day 3 of WorldFlight 2017 raising much needed funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Western Australia. Today Bob and I flew the fantastic 747-400 simulator from AUSTIN, TEXAS to CANCUN, MEXICO and then on to KINGSTON, JAMAICA. We are getting so close to our fundraising target of $7000. Only $426.78 to go to reach that target but we are not stopping there. To see more about what we are doing and also if you can help us reach our target go here:”
So is Tom, he is a very inspiring “fighter” for marriage equality. On the 17th, this month,  all votes from the survey campaign will be counted and we will see if our Aussie mates can finally marry .
In The Netherlands you can do so since 2001 !!!!

—–This week I got an invitation to like the NATIONAL SOARING MUSEUM on FB; and of course I like them!!! For all who would love to like them too 

Certainly one of the most beautiful sailplanes built, the museum’s Kirby Gull certainly displays what has been called Slingsby’s most graceful glider.
Our Kirby Gull I N41829, was built from plans supplied by Slingsby, by Herman Kursawe of Long Island, New York, during World War II and was completed in August, 1946.
The year I was born, must [have been ] be a good one.

You are up to date, CU next week!
Cheers Ritz

November 1, 2017

Not a lot happening right now. Though there is always news!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 7:41 pm

—–No not a lot happening at the moment in “our” world, but skies can look already GREAT. Look at the pictures from Chilhowee in the USA , Tocumwal in Australia and Gariep Dam in South Africa.


                                     “Look at those streets.”                                        A birthday joy-flight with Ingo is always the best gift!!
By the Chilhowee Soaring Association in the USA.                                               shared by the SRGC in Australia.


Not too bad either.
As shared by Gariep Gliding in South Africa on October 25.

Did I say not a lot happening???? No not looking at comps BUT….??????
What about this?
On October 27, Oscar raced in his JS 3 from Potsch to Lesotho and back enjoying the VERY BEST convergence;” Epic convergence day. Lesotho out and return”. 549 km. with a speed of 161.4 km./h.!!!
And he was not alone up in this fabulous air. At least 4 soaring mates got up that day too.
YES,….The season is on!!!
On the same day good old Klaus [Ohlmann] flew from Serres in France a long long flight from 1.280 km. with a nice speed of 127.7 km./h. in the Stemme S10 / S10-VT.
Even Klaus , used to long flights, was happy with this one according to his OLC comment;
What a day…slowly at the beginning, scary South of Aosta with downdraft of 12m/s. Thanks for Marseille and Milano Control. And thanks to Marcel for the good job. New ARC and the checkflight has shown, everything okay….”

On the last days of October the weather was good on both sites of the world.
Potsch with 514 km. by Uwe Thiele [DG 800/18m.] who loves his long distance flying!!Later 748 km.[600 FAI triangle] in a DG 808B/18m.
Lake Keepit with 515 by Allan Barnes in the Duo Discus. His OLC comment ;”Training task – 500km arrowhead task along the front/troughline. 13000ft base, some tricky route selection and lots of broken thermals. Best thermal peaked about 12kt
McCaffery Field [East Australia] showed a flight by Mart Bosman who converted long ago from hanggliding to gliding [and I presume he still does both] had a great flight , 514 km. in his LS 6 ; ” Some very strong 10knots every now and then. Quite a bit of shading in the end. Still lots of fun.”
And even Europe had a great soaring weather both in the Alps [foehn] with 666 km. in DG 400 /17m. from Ambri in Switzerland and 583 in the Discus BT from Kinross in the UK.
Holland showed an exciting  100 km. flight by Sikko Vermeer,  who “braved” the weather elements flying with a headwind of 40/50 km./h., till a shower line stopped him. He reached a height of 1100 m. after the start .His last flight in the ASG 29E /18 m.for the season.
Omarama; Kilometer eater Keith Essex has settled in Omarama again and started with a 609 km. flight in his ASG 29E/18m.



——I like the adventurous soaring-mind from Tony [Condon]. Sometimes he just goes with the flow/wind and sees where it will end. He loves his “ big downwind dashes“.
This time the adventure was more in the start;an auto tow launch to begin the day with. He flew 204 km. in a straight line:
Past Wellington started noticing the ground was still very wet from rain 4(?) days ago. Lift suffered proportionately. Save at Ponca City made me think the day was starting over. Fields were looking dryer and I thought we were starting to get back in business.
Then I just couldn’t find a thing as I approached Pawnee. Approach was pretty cool over the lake and then ducking behind the wind shadow from the trees was a bit exciting on short final. Nice runway and super friendly people.”

Auto towing the cirrus is a step towards autonomy to be able to start these flights from anywhere and not be tied to the glider club. It will take practice to perfect the method and today was a great first step towards that.”

Another exciting trip in his St. Cirrus.”Good to start proving out using auto tow to start. Need to work on my technique for sure, but I’m hoping to do more of this in the future.”

With greetings from Pawnee.”


——On August 5 the town of Stölln [Germany] celebrated the Lilienthal festival on and around the Gollenberg,in honor of the world’s first flight pioneer .
Ever heard of Lady Agnes? I did n’t ,but before Dundee traveled to Australia he send me a brochure about the Lilienthal Center. He was impressed and took the English version with him for Ingo.
“She ” is the Iljuschin 62 flown in on this glider-airport with an ONLY 860 m. short runway. That happened on October 23 1989 and this landing got a place in the International Guiness Book of records.
Now the front of this plane is since 2012 some kind of museum;
” We are very pleased to present the first and only permanent exhibition on the civil aviation company, which once started as Deutsche Lufthansa of the GDR, in the front part of the passenger cabin. Discover old and new, as well as interesting and curiosities in our exhibition. For example, an original utility vehicle, used for board service by the flight attendants on the flights with the IL-62, and also lifejackets from those who were on board as rescue means, one of which can even be tested.”
For renovations they would be pleased with donations.

—–Tocumwal’s Southern Riverina Gliding Club welcomed their member Dieter Dundee [Germany] and as you see he arrived sound and safe  last week.  He could start his duties straight away.As every year he stays there for 5 months.
Delio arrived for the weekend as well. With Ingo he prepared for a great day “out”.


Dieter busy with his annual job. He likes that and this is all voluntary. And Ingo and Delio.
Pictures shared by the SRGC.

—–The Dutch potential new members of the  juniors arrived at Terlet for their first meeting last weekend. Preparing in time for the new season in 2018.

As shared by the Dutch Junior Gliding Team.

—-Australian Soaring Center Corowa has been busy for this upcoming season too. Ready to go. Alexander Schleicher (Joschka Schmeisl) spent 3 days on 3W for conformity inspection and improvements.
Now we can apply for a normal CofA and get rid of “experimental”.” Good on them !
One day later on  the last day of October he made a check flight in their ASG 32MI.
In about a week the 2 containers arrive,… so busy again.



——Bitterwasser; All gliders have arrived in good condition. Customs checked without problems the containers, so everybody is ready for the season. Some gliders have been rigged already.


As shared on


——News from the 35th WGC in Poland from OSTROW;
We would like to invite all glider pilots to participate in Ostrow Glide Competition in May 2018. It’s a great opportunity to train before the 35th FAI World Gliding Championships, which will also take place at our airfield in the summer. The on-line registrations will start soon. CU in Ostrow!”

Schedule for 2018 OSTRÓW GLIDE – International Gliding Competition in club class and Polish Nationals in 15 m class:
• 24.05 – 3.06.2018

35th FAI World Gliding Championships Ostrow, Poland in standard, 15m and club classes:
• 4.07 – 6.07.2018 training days
• 7.07.2018 – opening ceremony
• 8.07 – 21.07.2018 – contest flying

Picture from the Ostrow site.

——-Another one sold; This JS 3 is from Laurens Goudriaan. Good luck in it and lot’s of pleasure!!!!

With the Jonkers message:
A very happy Laurens Goudriaan took delivery of his new JS3 today. It must be quite a feeling to do close to 500km on your maiden flight at 150km/h! Well done Laurens.”

—–And to finish this special picture shared by the National Soaring Museum in the USA

Helmut and George who I both met in Angers. Lovely people both gentlemen!!!
The photo that graced the cover of Soaring Magazine following George Moffat’s Open Class win in the 1970, 12th World Gliding Championship, the first held in the US.
Helmut Reichmann of Germany won the Standard class flying an LS-1, while Moffat piloted the one and only Nimbus HS-3.”

CU next week
Cheers Ritz

October 25, 2017

Wet start of the 2017/18 season…..Looking back at a pretty wet WGC in Borlange in 1993…. Flying with the Champions about to begin.!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:08 pm


The 3 first comps of the season, 2 in Australia and 1 in South Africa,had wet weather. But from one of my friends in Australia I got the “message”  that the upcoming summer there, will be /should be hot and dry. Let’s wait and see.

Gliders arrive soon down under and should be already in Africa this week, where the season starts already early November . The main season in Africa is rather short so I hope it starts booming and does so till at least mid January.

The Namibia 2017 starts for Bitterwasser [ Namibia about 230 km. south-east of Windhoek ] and Kiropotib [Namibia about 160 km. southeast of Windhoek] on November 4 with  Flying with the champions- a very successful project.
Who never heard about it, a refresher…. here in short what it is all about. It is set up by Ludwig Starkl and Wolfgang Janowitsch both from Austria.


Whether you are just doing your first steps towards cross-country soaring, or you are already a well-experienced pilot, expecting the finishing touches with professional feedback on board: Flying with the Champions offers that in one of the world’s best gliding regions.

Effective training with top pilots in double-seaters – regardless of the trainee’s present level – makes learning progress much faster. Whether you are aiming for maximum distance, close team flying or competing against each other: Flying with the Champions is the most effective training available in gliding. Lessons learned are reflected in briefings and debriefings, consistent training flights give an idea of possibilities. A highly qualified team on ground and in the air, well structured lessons as well as the outstanding weather-reliability but above all that the joy of flying are the ingredients to make this course a first-class-event…

Who are the coaches this season;
The names of the Champions are always subject of changes, but we have confirmation from: Holger Back, Markus Frank, Stefano Ghiorzo, Arndt Hovestadt, Wolfgang Janowitsch, Reinhard Schramme, Lukasz Wojcik, Erwin Ziegler, Holger Karow, John Coutts, Andy Davis, Pete Harvey, all of them former European/World Champions, respectively National Team Trainer!

When can you do such a course?
7-day courses each:
4. – 10..11. 2017
11. – 17.11. 2017

How does it work?
With a champion in a double-seater, direct transfer of knowledge is possible. With his feedback, the coach supports the development of the trainee’s physical and men­tal skills. The structured training ensures defined goals. The trainee gets tools for his further individual development.

What do you pay for this course?

Entry fee: € 6.900,-

Price in Euro per person, including all costs for: glider (incl. oxygen and fuel), individual coaching by one of the Champions, navigation- and seminar documents, membership fee, all support needed for flight operations (briefing, ground handling, landing fee…), WLAN, transfer from and to Windhoek Airport, 8 days accommodation, full board including common sundowner, afternoon tea/coffee and cake, VAT and tourist tax. Not included are alcoholic drinks & personal expenses and, if applicable, costs for accompanying persons.

For more news;



Looking back at BORLANGE 1993.

Talking about wet conditions ,…we had them in Borlange at the Dala airport during the 23d WGC in 1993. I was Team Captain for the Dutch team and here we are ready to go for it.

My “men” and me,  with Sikko [Vermeer]  and Baer [Selen 2 x WGC champion] , Max [van Bree] in the glider, me , Martin [Smit yes dad from Robin] and Roland [Termaat] and sitting our junior Eric [Borgmann] and our “senior” Gerrit [Kurstjens]. Great team!!!And a big one with 7 pilots as Bear was the 1991 WGC winner from Uvalde where I was the TC too. All these pilots still fly, one more than the other!!!!
And ,…maybe all bodywarmers were a bit too big.

We went home with the silver for Eric . He flew with a total of 49 pilots in standard class ,so a great achievement ,as he was number 2 behind Andy [Davis] after 9 days of flying.
With all the rain, open class still had 11 days and 15 m. a total of 10.
Pilots from 25 different countries visited Sweden.

The opening was wet, very wet !!!!


So from l. to r. Holland, France with Kiki as TC and 6 pilots, Gerard Lherm,Marc Schroeder, Gilbert Gerbaud, Eric Napoleon, Denis Flamant and Jean Claude Lopitaux ,
Then the very proud and official looking very big team of Australia with Bruce [Brockhoff] as TC and Ingo to the left and Brad [Edwards] in the middle and a very young Bruce Taylor was there, as well as  Mike Giles, David Jansen,Paul Matthews , Miles Gore Brown and Mark Laird.
team Argentina with Mr. Hossinger as their TC and one pilot Fernando Repicky,
Team Germany with Uli Schwenk and Klaus Holighaus, Holger Back,Hans Obermayer, Martin Theisinger, Peter Fisher and Erwin Ziegler,
Team UK with Andy [Davis] and Brian [Spreckley],Alister Kay, Martyn Wells ,Justin Wills and David Watt and as TC Andy Lincoln, team Denmark with Jan [Andersen] , Edvin Thomsen, Kristian Hansen, Ib Wienberg [who flew later with us in Tocumwal with his mates], Jan Schmeltz Pedersen, Ojvind Frank and Stig Oye and
Belgium with Paul Borgard and Jose Jaime and
team Finland with Simo [Kuusisto], Kari Lappalainen[ who flew with us in Toc as well] Jouko Maenpaa, Vesa Pajunen, Juha Sorri and Antti Taimioja.

and the last pictures I have from the opening.


South Africa with to the l. Hannes Steinmuhl, then already 80 years old and Carol [Clifford] as their TC and as pilots 27 year old Oscar Goudriaan , Keith Ashman, Dietrich Heiriss.
Under the Russian team with big smiles, they were not put off by the rain with good old Alexandre Silvanovitch who offered me “Space-food and the
Swiss team with Tomas Badum as TC and 6 pilots,Frederico Blatter, Fridolin Hauser, Werner Danz, Rickard Haechler, Markus Gaumann and Basil Obris .
Then last but not least team Sweden , with Claes Hagnander as TC and 7 pilots; Goeran Andersen, Goeran Ax, Torbjoern Hagnander, Ake Pettersson, Urban Hansson, Rainer Laino and Curt-Olle Ottosson and
the USA. with “big” Rick [RIP] with a small umbrella and Ray Gimmey, Eric Mozer, Richard Hall , Karl Striedeck , Ken Sorensen [CD in Uvalde in 2012] and Doug Jacobs with the well known Jim Payne as TC .

The story about day 2;

The Austrian TC Otmar with Ingo and the Swiss TC Tomas with Baer.

Holger Back’s dad and Ake and a smiling  Klaus with Uli against the glider and the parents from Anni and Chris Kehn.


And about day 4;

Briefing time with Holger Back and Klaus Holighaus [RIP] and Uli Schwenk.

And my Aussie mates

Above; David Jansen, Brad Edwards , Bruce Taylor, Miles Gore-Brown and TC Bruce

Under; Ingo, Giles [Michael] and Paul [Matthews]

I remember that cost of those rescues was HIGH !!!!!!
So here is the last news from Borlange;

I am more then interested in open class as my ex George flew in that class and I got to know most mates there. Now,…NO picture from this class, sorry about that.Must have been too excited by the silver from Eric our youngest pilot.
But of course the final result: The champion in open class was Janusz Centka with 9897 points.He won the 1991 Uvalde WGC as well, so 2 in a row!!!! Followed by Goeran Ax with 9525 points and the bronze was for Brian Spreckley with 9391 points. 27 Pilots in this class.

But here , with pictures , is the 15 m. class with 2 CHAMPIONS. Very exciting for that time. Both Eric Napoleon and Gilbert Gerbaud had 8220 points. ONLY 4 points less for my mate young Wolfgang [with hair] 8216.
YES the Wolfgang from Flying with the Champions!!!
The French , helping each other had a better last day with 941 daily points whilst Wolfgang had 885. A total of 40 pilots in this class.

AND the standard class

With Eric [silver] Andy , who won 3 day’s [gold] and Tomasz[Rubaj] bronze. To the r. Baer Selen who won the last day and finished overall on spot 9.


The Italian team with Smilian to the r. Giorgo to the l. his crew Roberto with the Viking hat,  behind the sign Leo [Leonardo Brigliadori and his wife RIP] Roberto Monti and Luciano Avanzini to l. of Smilian. Also flying Stefano Giorgio .

VERY PROUD moment;  from all the many TC’s [24]  including Kiki [France] and Fred Gai [Germany] not to forget Smilian Sibic from Italy] to the r. on the picture above , I turned out to be “the best.” At least , I guess, the most devoted to the team.


I don’t even remember,…. but I was chosen as the best TC, so you see a happy smile. Bigger picture to show our sponsor “de Nederlandsche luchtvaartpool NV” an insurance company with whom I really had a good contact.
De Nederlandse Luchtvaartpool was founded in 1932,making it one of the oldest aviationinsurers in the world. Today NLP forms an integral part of the Aviabel group, although the company name was retained after the takeover in 2001.”

Hope you liked looking back with me to the Borlange WGC. It brings back SO MANY memories!! Even with the off-weather we had a fantastic time and the Borlange crew did a great job. By the way we went on a 24 hour cruise to Sweden and back.
By the way the CD was Alff Ingesson -Thor and his deputy Robert Danewid ,who was later  the Eskilstuna  CD and I was there too, on invitation to be their editor.
President of the jury my friend Tor Johannessen.
Cheers Ritz
CU next week.

October 19, 2017

Goondiwindi Nationals “washed out”.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 7:10 pm

A bit later than normal, as I had to return from Amsterdam first. Enjoy!

We had up to 25 dgr. C this weekend.WEIRD!!!BUT,…lovely!!!!Even 26 in the S. on Monday and that on October 16!!! That’s 10 dgr. HIGHER than the normal average for the time of the year, so a day with lot’s of broken weather records!!
Even more weird , but as I heard one has to do with the other, a tropical storm hitting  Ireland and the N of the UK.
Ophelia ,”lost her feeling for direction” went on the Atlantic Ocean, not West,…. but East and grew from a storm to a hurricane cat 1 with up and over 130 km./h. gusting to 180 km./h..
Code RED was in place, schools closed and no traffic on the roads.
“Debbie”  in 1961 was the last severe one on September 16, hitting Ireland with 18 casualties and huge damage.
Sadly enough with all the precautions still 3 people dead this time and huge damage, but not as bad as in 1961.



Rain spoiled a lot, no spoiled it ALL. It was a big job to get some gliders from the tie-down-area to the grid and  the grass/airfield was so wet on Friday, that only one class [club] was sent up from the tarmac. So airstrip restrictions were in place.
35mm overnight, overcast skies now, cancelled day – sadly the weather doesn’t look to good for the remainder.”
With a 2.45 AAT the club classer’s happily went on track and Tobias [Geiger] from Benalla flew in his LS 4 a distance of 312 km. with a speed of 108 km./h.
16 From 17 pilots finished, so  a good day at least for one class. What a pity!!

“A shame not to be flying, but totally understandable.”
By Adam.

Saturday and Sunday were cancelled. They got out  to the strip, but back as well. More rain.


This picture [1] from Mike Codling who flies a HORNET during this competition, say’s it all;”Another tricky day to task, there’s not much enthusiasm on the grid.
At the same time, other part of the world,…..a very special sunny weekend on picture 2, in autumn at the airport in Venlo in Holland [shared by Luc Akkermans. ]

Not much better on Monday:”A glimmer of hope today, but still not looking good. Always smiling, can’t go too far wrong when you’re at a gliding field, with mates & not at work.”[Adam]
It did n’t get any better , though the last day [Wednesday] was flyable with 2 hour [club] and 1.30 AAT’s, but a lot had gone home already. A bit of a pity as,though the day was very wind,y it turned out better than expected; Tom flew 194 km. in time 1.40 [speed 116 km./h.] Allan won in club class with 189 km. in 2 hours at the dot and in 15 m. Butch was the daily best with 180 km. in time 1.38 !!!
Final results;
Club ; 2.447 points for Tobias Geiger [LS 4]  after 3 days of flying, so there is one CHAMPION this year. Congratulations.
Runner up Jim Crowhurst [ASW 20] with only 37 points less.
15 m; 1.220 points for Adam who was the winner and 1022 for Butch after 2 days.
open; 1.468 for Tom ]Claffey] in ASG 29/18m. also a winner and 1.179 for Brian [Du Rieu] in LS 10/18m.

NEVER in history the number of days at a National Competition in Australia was SO LOW!! A pity!!!


Newsy news.

—–The NUNA 9 from the University of Delft won the 14th Bridgestone World Solar Race for the 7th time. Good on them.
Due to new rules the average speed was 82 km./h. and the best speed was 110, the max for the car,mainly  driven by 3 girls.
The cruiser from Eindhoven, in the other class,  was very unlucky, they could nearly smell the finish when their [steering-]wheel broke of . Such bad luck!!!
BUT, they were so far ahead that they could repair it and still WIN!!! 3d win in a row for their 5 person-car!!!

Happy students from Delft, in Adelaide the final destination of the race.
Picture shared by NUON.

—–SGP-news from Orlando……..USA.
Seminole Lake Gliderport
March 26 – April 1, 2018

 20 pilots maximum (15 USA/Canadian pilots, 5 foreign).Just to let you know, as when you want to fly your own glider you have to ship it in time.


More early SGP news this time from France;“For the 4th time, the Grand Prix France will take place in Rennes Saint-Sulpice.
The races will be from the 3rd to the 9th of June 2018 in the 18m class.”


—–Great PR,……picture-impression by Takeshi Saito in Japan who used to fly with us in Tocumwal;





When I mailed with Takeshi I got some more info.:
“This is not museum.
This is information corner and outside monument of Takikawa station.Glider is an important tourism resource for Takikawa City.All gliders have an information board, so visitors can see closely the stored glider.
And…. the Takigawa glider field has the best facilities and fleets in Japan.

When the Takigawa glider club staff visited Tocumwal, they were impressed by seeing the glider’s monument at the entrance to the town of Tocumwal., and it seems that this monument was made at Takigawa station.
So Sky museum is not a real museum. The main use purpose of this facility is a glider hangar.”
So now you know too!!! Thanks Takeshi-san.

—–Nice news for long time TC for France and a very good pilot as well.
Benjamin Neglais started a new career [ Innovation, Production, Communication and Accompagnement] with….Schempp-Hirth in Germany. Good for both!!!!!

That’s it for today. CU next week.
Cheers Ritz

October 11, 2017

First comps of the new season finished !VERY SAD,….already 4 people killed in 3 gliders in Australia..please be careful!!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 7:32 pm

The “left overs” from hurricane Maria, reached Europe and though Holland and Belgium were hit,  specially the N. part of Germany and Poland had the worst bit. In Germany  6 people were killed , mainly due to falling trees. Berlin and Hamburg had a rough time without electricity. It’s a bad hurricane season with HUGE damage bills worldwide and even worse too many killed and too many who lost EVERYTHING.
By the way, on Sunday night we had in the East of Holland the first frost!!!1.2 minus!!!!The forecast for this upcoming weekend is 20 dgr. C PLUS .


With 2 comps in early spring , one in South Africa’s Potchefstroom and the other Down Under in Warwick [Queensland] the competition season 2017/2018 has started.
Both comps had to deal with WET spring-weather, hence not a full week of soaring.

In Potchefstroom , after 3 day’s of soaring [ “Day 3 started with 12.000’ base … got lousy but then picked up and infighting all the way to final glide which was very cool and fast 90km out ” by Arne] and another rainy day on Thursday ,[ “The air today is cool and there is still a lot of moisture from the north west as the front is now sitting over Potchefstroom so that there will be no chance of a task today” ] they only had 2 days to go.
Those day’s could be  VERY interesting.
Look at the overall scores in 18 m./open class; 1. Oscar with 2.093, 2. Laurens with 2.070, 3. Arne with 2.062, 4. Attie with 2.058 and 5. with 2.054 points Uys Jonker.
The card’s were not yet shuffled, BUT,…the weather should co-operate as well.

Laurens ready to go.
shared by Laurens picture courtesy Bennie Henning.

What happened?
The Friday news after launching part of the gliders for small tasks:
Oh dear – what a great pity. 
We managed to launch the 15m. and 2-seater classes gliders, and then it was agreed to stop launching, as there were a few 15m. gliders landing, and the sky was getting darker to the north west of the airfield and an approaching storm. Although conditions were much better out on track, it was then a matter of the gliders that had landed, if they had another launch whether they would get away once airborne again, and so it was finally agreed to cancel the tasks for the day for all the classes. It is likely that once the storm has passed, conditions will re-generate, but the ground will then be wetter still. 
We live in hopes for tomorrow, but there is no guarantee that it will good enough – we will see. So more news in the morning.”

“Towing back to the hangars with sinking hearts.”
Shared by Arne.

All hope was set on the last day then:
BUT,……Saturday’s message;
After a heavy storm with some hail, it has been decided to cancel the day. The weather is just not going to allow all the pilots to get airborne before the next downpour, so very sadly after only 3 days’ flying, the 2017 SA Nationals are now over. ”

AP Kotze won in club class with 2.170 points in the St. Cirrus on 3 out of 8 days.
Best in 15 m. was Mark Holliday in ASW 27 with 2.101 points.
Nothing changed to the 18 m./open scores I mentioned ,so Oscar won just ahead of his brother Laurens;2.093 points.
The 2-seater-win was for team Schaap/Taljaard in a DG 505M/20m. with 1.816 points.
Congratulations to the NATIONAL CHAMPIONS from South Africa.


In Warwick, on the other site of the world, the weather was a not much better….. they tried hard on Friday to create day 3. Small tasks but in vain. Only 2 days and 3 winners with not too many points;
State comp-winners;1.Justin Sinclair with 1.373 points in Sports class,2. Mike Codling in club with 1.596 and 3. Ivan Teese in 18m./open with 1.782.

No worries,…as for quite a few of the Warwick pilots , the first Nationals in down under, were about to start and they straight away traveled from Warwick to Goondiwindi ;
The Sports Class Nationals in good old Goondiwindi between October 9 and 18 with 37 pilots in club, 15 m, and open class.
On the practice day already very bad news!!! The Chronicle had breaking news;
 “An experienced glider pilot has been killed in a crash near the Queensland-NSW border this afternoon.”
Good old Simon, the warmest, most jovial guy in gliding died after , what witnesses saw, his JS 1 spun in to the ground, after he was released.
RIP Simon.
I share the words from Anita [Taylor] , words so  spot on:
Simon, who would, and often did, go above and beyond for his friends… and there were many…. who always called it to your face, and always with a smile and always with unconditional regard….. who would look out for others, simply for the joy in being able to help …. big, in every sense… as will be the void.”

Here the official words from the GFA, I praise them for doing this ,even when it is TOO often at the moment:

“With deep regret, we inform members of The Gliding Federation of Australia that on the afternoon of Monday 9th October 2017, we lost one of our members in a single glider accident in a paddock close to Goondiwindi Airport. The deceased member is Mr Simon Brown, an experienced glider pilot and member of Gliding Club of Victoria (GCV) and numerous other gliding clubs. Simon is well known to many pilots across Australia.

GFA Operations and Airworthiness investigators were immediately mobilised, and are now assisting Police and Coronial authorities. Organisers of the Goondiwindi national championships provided valuable immediate assistance.

Simon was flying his JS1C single seat glider. He had released from aerotow and was seen flying straight for a few minutes and then the glider was observed descending vertically at high speed into the ground.

Pilot medical issues will be investigated by Coronial authorities. Considerable further work is needed to access flight records and reconstruct the flight, and correlate with meteorological data. Members will appreciate that more investigations are required before firm conclusions can be drawn.

Our thoughts and condolences are with Simon’s family and his many gliding friends.

Peter Cesco
GFA President

Mind you the beginning of this season is terrible for my Aussie mates. 3 Gliders with 4 people died after a crash in a short time.

On the Goondiwindi-practice-day , most choose to talk and be together to come to therms with this very tragic loss.
They started today with a 3 hour AAT in open/18 m. won by Tom [Claffey] with 352 km. and a speed of 117 km./h. and as runner up Lumpy Paterson from Tocumwal.
In 15 m. a 2.30 AAT was set and won by Adam[Woolley] with 345 km and a good speed in his Ventus 2 from 132.5 km./h. The Trotter’s were runner’s up but with 50 less.
In club Jim [Crowhurst] flew in his ASW 20 a distance 350 .55 km. during a 3 hour AAT in 3 hours at the dot!!
All scores from today are preliminary.


 Newsy news !

——The Chilhowee Soaring Association announced their October fest between October 20 and 22. The spot to be, as Sarah and Jason are the organizers !


——Gariep Dam Gliding shared the next message:
“Good Afternoon to all the Pilots out there. Some exciting news to share with all of you. No more lack of electricity at the Clubhouse and Hanger. We have new solar Panels and a new Inverter system installed. So now we have sufficient power. Also on top of that a solar geyser was installed. So now permanent Hot water for everyone.
See you all soon as we can’t wait for the Gliding season to kick of this November.”


As shared by them.

—–They will be only flown in the beginning of next year ,but when you want to fly your own glider at Vitacura in Chile at the WORLD FINAL  of the  Sailplane Grand Prix in Chile, you have to send your glider now. That’s what the European pilots are doing right now.

17 Qualified pilots during the series and 2 wild cards for Rene Vidal and Carlos Rocca both from the organizing country Chile.


Hope they arrive without damage.
As shared by the SGP
the last one by Giorgio Galetto with his text:”Pilots from 8 different nations to load the frame. 9 hours of hard job under the supervision of Spindelberger”

——Bahia Gliding in Brasil. Good to see they are busy enough this season and some nice flights as well.628 km.  and a 500 FAI triangle in a St Jantar is for sure good fun. It’s just waiting for a 1000 km. flight this season they came close already, with 983 km.

—-HOT WAVE… no not as in warm but pretty good; Kinross [Scottish Gliding Center] and Aboyne [Deeside Gliding Club] the wave mecca’s in Scotland . Edward Downham flew in the ASH 25/EB 28 1.100 km. [ max. height 5.184 MSL, 4427 AGL ]from Kinross , which is situated South of Aboyne.
John Williams flew 936 km.  with a speed of 152 km./h. in the 20 m. Antares and from Aboyne Roy Wilson flew the ASH 31/21 m., over 624 km. with a speed of 156 km./h.

—–World Solar Race from Darwin to Adelaide.They started last Sunday and drive over more than 3000 km. in car’s on solar-energy only. Universities/students try to be the best in 2 classes, single seater’s for speed and “the cruisers”  for efficiency.
There are 3 teams from Holland ; one in the efficiency class ….a family car with 5 students from the Technical University in Eindhoven who  try to win like they did last time and the students from Delft and Twente are again in the race to be the best in the speed class.

—–HARVEST time in Australia; One of my [soaring-] friends Gerrit Kurstjens did well in Holland ,but does even better in Australia. On their site, Kurstjens Farming Australia,  they showed this picture and,…he and Pam still have time for gliding;

“We’re ready for harvest.”

And to finish this fabulous picture, AGAIN from New Zealand and shared on FB,  by GLIDE OMARAMA from COLAB CREATIVE !!!

With the text;
“I still can’t believe we pulled it off! 3 gliders in formation ridge soaring Mt Cook.”
pictures from this dual tow were taken from a helicopter. Great stuff, I remember dual tows from our field at Toc. pretty impressive.

“Taking off on filming work

Cheers Ritz

October 4, 2017

Back on track again !! And,….more newsy news!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 7:11 pm


Sorry…., for sure the die-hard-readers have noticed, that my last blog was published, but  finished rather abrupt.

Reason is clear,..problems with my laptop.
One of my Dutch friends Theo got rid of the problems after quite a few hours hours on phone and view-reader and en passant he installed Norton, refreshed google and cleared all other problems as one with my blog. It told me that  my IP , which turned out NOT MY IP ,blocked/ blacklisted me entering; so the future looks bright. Thanks Theo!!!

My friend Bill from the USA , had to help me with my blog. He could enter it ,I could not!!   Bill gave me a new login and password which worked well with him but not with me. He was so kind to publish already the text I had finished, but not really checked.
So another viewer- reading this time via SKYPE.
And… doubt… he had solved those problems very quick, so here I am again. Thanks Bill!!!


Lot’s of newsy news!

—–September was a weird month weather wise, here in Holland and in more places in  Europe. It was the wettest since 2001. An average of 130 mm. [87 is normal!!]
Hence, the average temperature was 0.8 dgr. lower .
We had the coldest EVER, 16th of September but last weekend summer revived with up to 25 dgr. C.


Autumn !!
Walking in the weekend,  through a park and a nature- reserve called “the Groote Heide” close to the Achelse Kluis a convent from the order of  the Trappists. We met some bird watchers and they showed us a fish-eagle, which was looking at their enthusiasm, pretty spectacular in this area.

This  message from the British Gliding Association I really love to share;

Mylynn and Dina, from Oxford University gliding club, both completed the Standard Aerobatic badge this week at Bicester – learn more about glider aerobatics at


as shared by the BGA.


——-Branco Stoikovic topped the first day of the 2018 OLC list. He flew in a Nimbus 3 T /25 m. [ Gugui’s Big Bird], a nice flight from 805 km. from Bahia Gliding in Brazil. This included a 750 FAI triangle.
A few days later he flew 960 km [866 km.FAI] He enjoyed some great flying .

——Matthew Scutter published the new handicap list for club class; I am sure more will be interested,  so here is the list also published on his blog Matthew Scutter’s Gliding;


——The SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONALS are in progress in Potchefstroom.
In Club class 11 participants, in 15 m. 13 , in 18 m. 22 [ and several European mates in this class]   and the 2-seaters fly around with 6 gliders, so another 12 pilots!
In 18 m. class Oscar Goudriaan flies his brand-new JS 3 . Already 7 of this successful JS 3-type fly in this competition.

You can see the speed even on a picture!!
As shared by Oscar, but picture courtesy Robert Atkinson .


As shared by Jonker sailplanes.

These comps will finish this upcoming weekend. But the first days [September 30 practice and October 1] there were no tasks due to poor weather, on October 2 however it improved and all were airborne in just over an hour for 2.45 and 2.30 AAT’s!!

One of the long time guests at Potch, is Arne Boye-Moeller who flies now in Potch a JS 1.

BUT,…..Arne with Uys, “test-sitting” the JS 3.
I “liked” his text with the picture and for sure,  through time , I knew what he means;
An expensive moment “.

October 2 turned out an exciting day with good and bad circumstances as huge rainfall but still finishers. In 18 m. even 16. The top 5 was JS 3 then Arne in the JS 1. Winner;Hungaryan pilot Zoltan Kore; speed 137 km./h.over 363 km.
Followed by the brothers Laurens and Oscar and the brothers Uys and Attie.
One pilot mentioned ;
” an AAT of which the second leg ended under a huge CB , so a little detour was needed…
Still a very nice gliding day !”

Ready to go ….”only”  waiting for the cu’s.
As shared by Arne.

The October 3 official “after flying news” ;
After Flying – 6.30 p.m.
The first pilot back did not complete the task, with some others following who also didn’t complete the task, but overall the pilots had a good day and some enjoyed the flight, whilst others found it a bit difficult. Some battled to get up for start, and the overdevelopment did not materialize. It seemed that it was fairly blue with more clouds in the second two sectors. It was a much drier than was expected, so overall – a good day’s flying. Thankfully everyone managed to get home with no out-landings so that is always pleasing, and now the beer sales are doing well!
The provisional results show that in the Club class Jaco Burger has won the day with a speed of 96.06 kph, Pieter Geldenhuys 2nd, and AP Kotze 3rd.
In the 2-seater class Mark Hutchings at 85.12 kph came 1st, with Arjan Schaap 2nd at 95.36 kph and 3rd Bruce Cherrington.
In the 15m. class Nico Le Roux managed 114.5 kph ahead of Dick Bradley at 110.39 kph, and 3rd Mark Holliday at 110.08 kph.
In the 18m/Open class Oscar Goudriaan led the field at 136.05 kph, with Laurens just behind him at 135.79 kph, followed in 3rd by Brett Hunter (NZ) at 128.64 kph.”

For today October 4 I share the next news:
” This morning there is once again cirrus upper cloud, but the wind is not as strong as yesterday, but the morning has a different feel to it. Pilots are getting their gliders weighed and out to the grid with the hopes of a flying day. The prediction for the booming S.African conditions do not appear to be working for this week. They are hoping to have a task today, but I gather tomorrow is not too hopeful. We will learn at briefing what the weather is going to be.
Tasks today: Club…203 km, 15 m. and 2-seaters a 3 hour AAT and 18 m a 284 km. task.

——same time but on the other site of the world , the first Australian competition in the new season; The Queensland State Comps flown from Warwick, with also a few ” off-day’s ” in the beginning and today they have their first soaring day. They have 2.30 in sports {7 pilots} and club class {7}  and 3 hour AAT’s for 18 m.{8}
All pilots finished with 341 km. in time 2.59 for Ivan Teese in 18m/open in his ASG 29E;1000 points and a speed of 114 km./h.

The season did not start well in Australia, here is the sad news:
With deep regret, we inform members of The Gliding Federation of Australia that on the afternoon of Saturday 30 September 2017, we lost one of our members in a single glider accident in a paddock off Murray Rd, North of Benalla VIC.  The deceased member is Mr Richard Robinson, an experienced glider pilot and member of Gliding Club of Victoria (GCV).
Richard was flying his LS8-18 single seat glider that he recently acquired.  His glider was observed by a witness flying low near Murrays Rd, between the Midlands Highway and Benalla-Yarrawonga Road.  The glider was observed in a turn when the into-turn wing dropped and the glider impacted the ground.  ”
“Initial investigations have not indicated any airworthiness issues with the airframe prior to ground impact. Pilot medical issues will be investigated by Coronial authorities.”
Parts of the mail shared by Peter Cesco…GFA President.
Sincere condolences to his family and friends.

——Children grow up !!! And …too fast, meaning we are getting older!!! My long-longtime friends from Belgium, The Schmelzers ,celebrated the wedding of their son Bert jr and his by now lovely wife Barbara last weekend. I wish them ONLY HAPPINESS !!!

A very happy Bertje [ former WGC champion] and as happy, his beautiful wife Barbara.
As shared by Barbara.

—–Very sad about Las Vegas.. my family just visited this beautiful and normally HAPPY TOWN. Sometimes I do not understand our world anymore!!

——-GLIDE OMARAMA in New Zealand published the next news with a happy beginning of the NZ season!!
Today I had a beautiful spring thermal flight with Steve Curtis from Tocumwal. We flew up the Murchison valley at 7500′ with Mt Cook towering above us on our left. We took a thermal to get above the ridge-line and crossed into the Jollie. Nearing Omarama, we decided to go west and flew to Lake Hawea via the Dingle range. The clouds upwind were building and becoming showery so we ran downwind to the Lindis, and finished by running a honking convergence on the St Bathans range. Our soaring season has well and truly started!”


Mt Cook from the mouth of the Murchison valley ” and ” Convergence on the St Bathans.”

AND,…indeed the season started GREAT. Frequent NZ -flyer from Finland, Jyri Laukkanen,  flew on his first 2017/18 season-flight, in good wave 889.97 km. with a speed of 137 km./h. in an LS 3A.

——To finish the blog one of those great pictures by Geoff Soper also from New Zealand.

early evening aurora“.
By Geoff Soper.

CU next week, so happy…….. this laptop is going like a “rocket”  again.

cheers Ritz

September 27, 2017

Fall has started,…. for the lucky ones…time to leave the colder countries, ,…maybe,…very maybe,..I belong to the lucky ones too!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:40 am

—–Autumn started here in Holland and it started with late- summer- weather,..just beautiful. We deserved that after the much too early autumn- days earlier in summer.

Autumn in Holland.

—–I heard already the first messages of travelling to South Africa, Namibia or Australia . October 23, Dieter Dundee leaves for Tocumwal and will spend his winter over there.
He is 81 now and still going strong. Here is how I remember his arrival.
—I never forget his arrival many years ago. The bus had arrived at 7 PM at the fore- shore in the center of town and he had no clue where to go to. A nice fellow from Toc brought him to the airfield,about 5 km. ..big bag-pack nearly as high as he is himself. It was after -office-time , but we never had a problem with that and Brutus and I were still working.
He entered with a big smile saying, “I am Dieter from Germany and I speak no English”. Both Brutus and I are fluent with German, so we welcomed him in his native language. Bigger smile.
We asked him what he would like from us? He had no booking, neither for a room or a glider.
He wanted to stay  for certainly 3 months ,maybe longer. I looked a bit pale. We were fully booked for rooms in summer, so no way we could accommodate him. ” You have not booked???” …”No” he said . “Ingo always said in Oerlinghausen, that if I wanted to come and see him in Australia, I should come and here I am”
Brutus [Peter] a quick thinker said to me “room 6 is empty it is used for storage maybe we can make a nice room for him there.”
We brought him to the dinner room where some more German people welcomed him too.
Next day the room was ready freshly cleaned, a good bed, a small table and a chair. For more there was no room.

Every year he returned. In between he was called Tocumwal Dundee and over the years his English improved as well. For a few years he stayed in room 6 cheeky calling it room sex.

When our beautiful caravan-houses were on sale we offered them first to long time guests. Dieter and Swiss Chriss were the lucky ones and they straight away said yes and bought them . They still live in those caravans with a balcony, a nice snug and dining area, as well as a kitchen. A shower room and a big double-bedroom and a smaller one with 4 bunk beds.

No need to say that his life after his first visit changed dramatically, seeing so much more from the world and getting to know SO many people from so many different countries. He still loves it!!!!
Dieter here with the soaring icon “mister”  Ingo Renner, who invited him ,as he did with many others , to visit Tocumwal.

A few years ago at Toc.


—–Potchefstroom is a place I mainly know from the JS-gliders and brothers Uys and Atiie, the Nationals , AKAFLIEG and from Oscar and Laurens flying there. So talking about South Africa, their  news is ” about brand new accommodation at the airfield. Good news.”

Airfield apartments almost finished.”
as shared by AKA -flieg Potch Gliding.

—–Sad news!! Jeremy Thompson,  [62] Darling Downs Chief flying instructor,– very well known and liked/loved by all– , has died whilst flying/ instructing. His wife Jenny saw it all happen. Ready to land,….. the glider nose-dived and crashed. Sadly enough the student, only 60 years old died as well.
My thoughts are with Jenny, Elisabeth and Sarah, who is the Darling Downs Club president since last week. They are a real soaring family.
R.I.P. Jeremy.
And of course with the family of the new student;just TRAGIC !

—–Just a reminder; The World Gliding Championships for Club, Standard and 15 m. classes are to be held at Ostrow Wielkopolski, Poland in July 2018, and  20 m. Multi-Seat, 18 m. and Open Classes are to be held at Pribram, Czech Republic in August 2018.

—–OLC 2017; On September 25 the OLC 2017 finished with one flight by Geoff Pratt from Burketown the place to see …and fly with the ” rolling-wave-cloud” ,called “MORNING GLORY”.
Worldwide stats from 2017;
The 2017 OLC Champion is Klaus Ohlmann with 12.612,28 points over the 6 best flights.
Statistics from the best flight; Klaus Ohlmann with 2.407,40 km. flown in Argentina from Zapala Neuquen in a STEMME.
Distance record since 2011; Jim Payne…2.907,47 !!!Flown from Minden in 2015 on April 5 in an ARCUS M.
Stats from all flights in 2017; Keith Essex [USA] with a total of 69.747,54 km. during 107 flights.
Stats airfield; Puimoisson with 889.491,90 km. during 2.188 flights by 353 pilots.
Stats clubs; OUR DUTCH club ,de GELDERSE, and not for the first time….flying from Terlet they covered 306.886,77 km. during 1026 flights by 100 pilots.
Congratulations to ALL.

The 2018 OLC started


September 21, 2017

Container-packing-time! And,….this time Tocumwal pictures from the beginning of 1995 !

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 5:17 am

A bit later then normal,as I was in Amsterdam and Alphen for 2 day’s.
In Amsterdam I had the great pleasure of catching up with Rand and Charlotte Baldwin. You surely remember “the guy’s” from SOARING CAFE and he is one of them.
We , Bill, Rand and I , had a SUPER co-operation in Uvalde during the WGC in 2012 and we still are “mates”.

Rand ,Bill and me .

Rand and his wife visited Amsterdam and from there they went on a cruise. They invited me for a lovely dinner and I welcomed them with bubbles. And, I had to be in Amsterdam anyhow, it all worked out well. I was amazed that they survived. They skipped a night…. had the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum and “Ritz”  on the daily menu and they did it ALL. Good on them. AND,…finally we had nice weather too.


With Rand and Charlotte at “Loetje Centraal” in Amsterdam.
Enjoy your trip “guy’s”.



Last Thursday the containers left for Namibia with “RENT A GLIDER” Gliders in it [Flying with the champions”]; this time , 9 x Arcus, 2 x Antares 23, 2 x Shark and one  Ventus.

ready to go and hoping and looking forward to another SUPER Namibia season.
As shared by Rent a Glider.

This weekend they packed the containers for Corowa [ Australian Soaring Corowa in Australia] in Venlo in the Netherlands. Not too many this year ,as Corowa sold their 2 tug’s and only self launching gliders will fly there now.
Their container-ship leaves on September 14 and the first possible flying-action will be on the 11th of the 11th 2017.We then start CARNAVAL here in Holland.

Diana ,whose glider “travels” to Australia as well, send me a few pictures of the packing and the shared pleasure with which these actions are going along.


With expertise for many years, Grietje and Francesco took the lead in this annual packing. Astonished to hear that in one morning the job for one container was fixed. Fabulous !!

Talking about Francesco and Grietje,[owners from” Corowa “] ; they flew in the past in Tocumwal. Grietje even worked a season for us. Here are some pictures;

Last week I showed some pictures from December 1994, this time it will be the beginning of 1995, so the 94/95 season, with a bit of history. And ALL of them at our caravan with different guests.

Morning coffee at our caravan a place where many visited. With George, Francesco ,Harm and Grietje’s dad Klaas.


from Narromine we had as guests Dieter and Sandra, who were closing their gliding business; Australian Soaring Center due to “organisational restructuring”  . Harm was involved in this business as well. Their gliders LS 4, LS 6, ASW 20 and ASW 24, were available for hire through Sportavia.

Breakfast this time with my beautiful old and fully restored Holden in the back.The  Sportavia WW 2 hangar was still in full glory!

Season nearly over so some really good girl-fun….yes again at the caravan.

With Inge, Robyn , June and Vicky. EARLY in the evening.

and LATER in the evening after 6 bottles of bubbles.Won’t share the MUCH LATER pictures.


we did not have a lot of USA guests but here is one of them . Ralph, “Woody”  however, mainly flew in winter in Bitterwasser.

Ralph from Aspen on the head of the table,at Sportavia’s dining room, with Bill [RIP] and Val Riley founders of Sportavia and my Aussie mate Bruce.

Enough pictures for now.


—– La Cerdanya in Spain had a Grand-Prix-like weekend for club class. 2 From 3 days were flyable. Jorge Arias in the St. Cirrus, won both days and was the winner with 11 points.
Jeff Billy from France in a St. Libelle,  was twice runner up, so also runner up in the overall scores; 8 points.

—–Great [wave-]flight from Mikulovice (TS / CZ) by Milos Pajr in an HPH 304 S Shark; 774 km. He flew at one stage up to 7.190 m. MSL/ 6812 AGL.
Not as high as the Perlan-boy’s with their  staggering 16,640 meters on September 3, they are profi’s ] but still VERY GOOD!!

—–“Pleased to announce I am now the APAC agent for the MDM-1 Fox. If you’re after a glider with a higher G rating than yourself, get in touch.” by Matthew Scutter former junior world champion, travelling Europe at the moment.

As shared by Matthew.

—–In September we celebrate “our” freedom here in Holland. It brings tears to my eyes to see how those veterans still love to come to Holland. A place where they lost many of their mates and where they had to fight and live in fear for “us”.
They were heroes, are heroes and always will be heroes!
For the first time the GEZC, the Gelderse Soaring Club close to Arnhem ,flew a few veterans , who participated in the 1944-operation “Market Garden” in much more fancy gliders than they flew in the past. For sure you have seen the movie ” A bridge too far”? I saw it a few times.
They started at Terlet and landed in a field in the neighborhood ,where these veterans landed in the past too. What a fantastic idea.


Very happy chappies.
These great pictures are courtesy Arjan Vrieze via FB.

—–1.500 km. in a glider is  THE NEW MAGIC 1000 km from the past. It remains special but more and more pilots try a 1.300 or 1.500 km. Also last week when Keith Essex flew this distance from Minden in Nevada in the JS 1 C and what about the speed over 1.508 km??? 194.9 km./h. !!!!!
His OLC comment;”Tough on the ends but easy in the middle. Lots of moisture to deal with in the north and blue broken lift in the south. The whole wave system went unstable at the end of the flight.”
It looks on the barogramm as great wave between 4000 and over 5000 m most of the time.



 And to finish this great picture shared by DG Flugzeugbau GmbH.

Ein Bild von Jason Adriaan mit einer DG-1000 bei Nacht.”

Cheers Ritz

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