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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

September 13, 2017

Newsy news!And,…looking back at some interesting pictures from Tocumwal 1994.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 5:23 pm

I updated Tony Condon’s flight later in my last blog, just to let you know!! It’s quite an adventure….going far away and then having , at least, the luck you are picked up in a Mooney,…but still have to go the long road to pick up the glider by car and trailer.
No worries when you love it. Nearly 7 hours of flying , no idea how long in the car….



As promised I will share pictures from the past, when occasions occur to do so. I looked back in my “old” 1994- book about Tocumwal ,to find some nice pictures from Eddie, who turned 70 last week.
Happy 70 thiest birthday Eddie.

We look at the year 1994 with in the middle my daughter Inge who was a tuggie in that season, Eddie, 47 years young and his sons Lachlan and Damon and Mr.Massa from Japan and me, ” not always on my best”.

in the same book my 48 th birthday on December 16 1994

With the Snow family and Kimi from Japan.
Ingo and Judies Wedding a few days later.

With the lady who married them in their own garden.
a visit to Yulupna Island where the koala’s live in the “wild”, was a “must ”  for all guests on a non-flying-day.

Christmas 1994 when Don [and Joan]and Jeff [and Margie] were running the show.
Drinks in the bar first , then dinner.

George , June and Don’s wife Joan and Judy and Ingo[l.] and Harold and Ann Kathrin.[r.]


The Japanese table and the German table with the Wiesenthals and Kellers and many more guests that season in the fully-filled diningroom.

So far some interesting pictures from 1994. More in another blog.

Australia slowly wakes up after winter. At some places it was a “cold”  winter. Now some pilots fly nice 300 k’s already. One of them “kilometer-eater”  Allan Barnes:”First flight back in Australia. Lovely spring day, 8000ft cloudbase and 4-8kt climbs. Down to Quirindi, up to Narrabri and then out to Manilla for 300km triangle.”
Of course flown from Lake Keepit in the LS 8!

I read that the Chinese ARCUS M has made it’s last flight for the season in China now and will travel to Australia again.Andrew Peng Du mentioned; “VH-CHA last landing NingXia of western of China before back Australia.”

Narromine , a great place to fly and full of activities nowadays, starts the new season with Ge Dale;
“The G Dale Cross Country Soaring coaching courses at Narromine have almost sold out for this year but we have just two spots left.
• 13 to 17 November – Available (week before Narromine Cup)
• 11 to 15 December – 1 spot available to share with two others already booked.

For details on the course click on the link below, to make a booking just email me directly offline.
Better move quickly though.


The 59th CHAMPIONSHIPS from Brasil were flown from Formoza, between September 2 and 9. They had some good flying with 7 out of 8 days and in the 3 classes they flew, also good winners!!!
Enrique Navarro, in the Nimbus 4T,  had 4 daily wins and turned out to be the CHAMPION in open class with 6.470 points. Runner up was Egon Rehn in the ARCUS M with 6165 points.
In the racing class Fabian Weber won in a St. Jantar with 6.290 points. Runner up with 6199 points Claudio Schmidt also in St. Jantar. [8 of them in this class] Fabian won 3 days .
5 Pilots in club /KW1-class in gliders as PW 5, KW 1 and Elfe S4. Sergio Bassi was the best with 2.881 points. The runner up “only”  had 2.218 points.

Enrique with the Nimbus 4 with call sign N1, before start.
As shared by him.


Long long time to go , but the 2018 MASTERS at Rayskala will be ,as all comps over there….exciting!!
Interested??? For sure these pictures  by Pekka Ylipaavalniemithey will help;


Have seen this many times and it remains spectacular.
MASTERS  9th – 16th of June -2018


The Perlan 2 reached 52,172 feet on Sept. 3.  On September 9 they flew again and you could follow them on
Maybe in the future as well …….Keep an eye on it.


Message from Schempp-Hirth;
“Some of you may have heard that there have been two incidents of inflaming batteries in gliders equipped with the Front Electric Sustainer (FES) system that is also available for a variety of our gliders. Even though no Schempp-Hirth glider was involved in these incidents, we still take this very seriously. While the investigations are on-going, we cannot provide you with any more detailed information at this moment as we are still awaiting the results.

Rest assured, however, that we are in permanent contact with the authorities and LZ Design, the inventor and manufacturer of the FES system, to assess what may have caused these incidents and what we can do to prevent any similar incidents from happening to owners of our gliders. In the next days, we will reach out to all owners of Schempp-Hirth gliders equipped with FES to provide them with instructions for immediate measures of caution.


And to finish another great picture/advertisement shared by Howard Jones and pictures courtesy to Rob Millenaar [ finishing gliders] and Max Kirschner.

CU next week
cheers Ritz

September 6, 2017

Here we go again,….up to 2000????? Not sure yet about that!! PERLAN SUCCESS…..downwind dash UPDATED

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 5:24 am

A GREAT THANK YOU, to all lovely reactions on my blog 1000. Really appreciated that and I translate that into the words ” Continue Ritz”.

Just picked a few, some brought me to tears;
Dear Ritz,
I’m quite sure that the whole community of gliding is more than pleased and very grateful to you for you have done over the years. Your 1000 blogs were always informative, interesting and full of news. Your last blog about the EGC 2017 at Lasham gave the best overview with superb pictures and nice comments. One friend of us wrote, thanks to Ritz I was fully up-to-date about many activities and could look at all those lovely pictures. Most of all we admired your kindness in writing about people and your appreciation for what they have done as human beings. You never forgot any friend, always positive words and commentary or good-looking pictures about everyone.
The future is laying in the past. The last comment and picture of your 1000. blog is dedicated to the young people, also here you do have the right vision.
Thank you for all and be sure that many of us will follow your upcoming blogs and waiting eagerly.

Congratulations Ritz on your 1000th blog posting! You’ve bought many readers all over the globe many smiles & quality updates – looking forward to the next 1000 🙂)”

Ritz, congratulations on 1000 blogs which I have been following since we met in Tocumwal about 20 years ago.
Your blogs are always full of interest on achievements and the characters in gliding. It is very fitting that you finish you competition blogs on EGC 2017 at Lasham. We were proud to hold a successful competition, maybe the first time that an international contest has co-existed with club flying on the same airfield.
Best of luck for the future and keep the blogs going please!”

Congratulations, Ritz. A great accomplishment. I will continue to look forward to the next thousand.”



You remember the great flight from Gilles Navas on July 14.

After the flight from  Vinon to Buno-Bonnevaux and back in July.

To remind you,…..1.526, 18 km. was this flight from Vinon in an ASG 29E /18m. Looking at the statistic’s of this year’s  OLC , this flight is the BEST IN EUROPE!!!
The next best European flight is also flown in France by Baptiste Innocent, in an ARCUS M from Fayence; 1.362,75 km.
In total only 5 European flights in the OLC top 50.
2 From Lienz  Nikolsdorf flown by Tobias Welsh ;1.490,03 km. in the ARCUS M  and one by Oliver Schwenk also in the ARCUS M 1.452,61 km.and one more from France from by Gil Souviron in the TAURUS;1.263,  41 km.
The rest of the 50 have been flown in the USA, Namibia and Argentina.

So a fabulous “job”  from Gilles. Here is some news I received from him.
This flight discard 2 French and 2 European records on out and return distance and free out and return distance.
Moreover it was just a game to win the Buno Challenge.
The Buno challenge was held by AVVE to celebrate the 50 birthday from the club. They allow a price for the longest distance done from April to the 27th of August with Buno Bonnevaux airfield declared as turn point. This was the reason of such a flight.
And fun is to start an out distance return in wave then changing to thermal in the day, shifting again with slope and wave in the evening,…
Price giving ceremony will be held in Buno on the 16 September.”
Congratulations AGAIN and I share a picture of the prize-giving, when I have it.

He knew he got the CUP already but,…… After writing all this,  Gilles DOES IT AGAIN!!! Another great flight, same glider but now on September 2; 1.305,91 km. From Vinon, up and then nearly to south of Aosta in Italy. Best height; 6064 MSL and 5167 AGL.
Baptiste Innocent added another long flight from Fayence;1.115 km. in the ASH 25.
Mind you it was on September 2 , the meteorological autumn has started. But,…good wave does not depend on seasons and again,…it was not only wave.


Gilles ; another SUPER flight,…early morning…another long day!!!
As shared by him.
And some pictures from the flight.


                              ” Cevennes   ”                                                    “back after turn point ST Pons on Le Vigan  “

Wave of Lure in the evening. Rotors up to FL 195



OVERSEAS DESTINATIONS …the next goal …….and polar air in Holland!!!!

Still the end of summer here, but pilots are running around already, to have EVERYTHING ready in good/clean state and condition for the rest of the 2017 season in either Namibia, South Africa or Australia and for some New Zealand.
Containers are waiting for gliders and equipment and already half of September the first gliders will be transported  to the different destinations.

In between we got over the weekend nice cold nights, as cold polar- air “streamed” over our country giving us some good autumn soaring weather on Saturday and Sunday and still on Monday.
On Saturday, Steven Raimond flew from Terlet all the way to West of Holland to Zeeland [ big islands and a first for him, he never flew there before] and mentioned huge visibility;525 km.[see  OLC on September 2.]
Ronald Berg flew from Soesterberg 544 km. He had to fly around some showers.
On Sunday another cool morning ,but quickly some great clouds, also here in the SE of Holland and another nice day. So looking again at the OLC in the evening and ….YES Sikko flew 606 km. from Soesterberg.
Their ASG 29 E/18m. was the topper on the Dutch OLC with 2x a 500 km. flight this weekend. It shows the great quality of the ASG 29 and more Dutch pilots flew good distances in this glider they “love”.
More great flights; 450 and 423 km. in an LS 3 and St. Cirrus from Soesterberg and Leeuwarden is not bad either and worth mentioning!!!
Leeuwarden is high up in the N of Holland. They flew a new Frysian-day-record;
72.13 hours over 56 flights,… so 1.17 hour average per flight and a total of 2969 OLC km. according to Frank. Great and enthusiastic club. Well done !!!
On Monday , for those who still had a that day off, over 446 FAI triangle in JS 1 c/21m.


This is very interesting…about the Lasham EGC !!!

As “created ” by Arne Boye- Moeller.[pictures and text!!!]

Despite the complex airspace we only suffered a total of a few incursions – well done team Lasham in the thorough work and pilot briefings.”

Start and Arrival Track Art”

Just had to add this one, where start times are synchronized.”



The September /Oktober Magazine 2017, is out  and of course full of newsy news about;
—–The JS 3 is not only a 15 m racer , but also 18 m.
A wing loading ranging from 40kg/m2 to 60.3 kg/m and an aspect ratio of 32, makes it the most slender 18m glider available today.” A race to have one has already begun. Aussie Lumpy Paterson bought one , but he had to travel half around the world to see if he fitted in it.
—–Germany,..the land of the ideas:
Germany is lifting its image with the German Mobility Award. The ‘Germany – Land of Ideas’ initiative has a goal of raising public awareness of smart mobility solutions and digital innovation.” Very interesting.
—–The tow pilot ended up facing the magistrate after deciding to release the glider behind him ,who over- controlled the tug and ” forcing it to mush into the fast approaching trees .” Never knew that this could happen.
—–The Perlan Team back in Argentina is enough reason to read…
—–Looking back at the 13.5 m. WGC with extra info about the winning glider and manufacturer; GP Gliders, produced by PESZKE S.C. based in Krosno, Poland. The GP 14 velo, flown by Sebastian Kawa and he looks back as well.
—– GPS turned 40!!!
—-and much MUCH more….enjoy
You can read the PDF on line by subscribing on ; You then get a code to get in.


And some last minute news:
—-TONY CONDON left Ames
for what his mates call  “an epic flight” .
Tony is attempting a “downwind dash” from Ames, IA to Bloomington, Indiana.

Before departure ….very relaxed…. at Ames.
As shared by Tony.

News en route; cloud base 6300…..7000 no circling required.

Shared by Tony.

How far will he go ???? Will he reach his goal??
I don’t know yet ,have to go to bed ….anyway he passed the Mississippi and entered Illinois.  More when I am back from Amsterdam.

Back now!!!!
Tony flew from Airport to airport over flat country  but with ” Corn and soybeans still filling the fields in midwest“. This interstate goal-flight  , flown in the St. Cirrus was 878 km. long. GOOD ON YOU TONY!!!!

TopMeteo predicted I would run into the back of the front and then I would be on the ground at 6:20. I did run into the back of the front and landed at 6, but went about 60 miles further then predicted.

Here is the OLS comment from the adventurer ;

“Fall go South! Thanks so much to Matt for the encouragement, training, and help. Nice to be back in Ames, got to see some old friends during my brief visit. Forecast said launch at 11. Cu started popping at 10:45. 

Past Pella the cu were really nice. I had an AWESOME street run across SE Iowa. Then NE of St. Louis there was a patch that had had some heavy rain yesterday and had some high cirrus shading it before I got there. Initially I was afraid I had already caught the front. That hole caused some tip toeing and then the day sort of started over.

About 5 PM I could see that I was catching the real front and dumped the water and took anything I could find going up, which wasn’t much. Had a real marginal glide to Muhlenburg County but wasn’t ready to try it with a lot of trees between me and there so landed at Madisonville.

Matt showed up an hour later in his Mooney and brought me home. Tomorrow I’ll go get the glider. What an adventure!”

“Greetings from Madisonville, KY.”

Congratulations to the Perlan team Jim Payne & Aussie Morgan Sandercock  ;
New world absolute altitude claim. 52,172 feet GPS altitude. 53,955 feet pressure altitude.

They share their happiness with a lot….Thanks to Einar and Steve for the vision, to the fantastic Perlan Project Team for 11 years of hard work, to Dennis and Airbus for believing in us, to Cholo for the tow by the CNVVM Aero Boero 180, to our many friends in Argentina, and to Jackie. You all played a part in making this possible!

See altitude record, FL520!

Well done Guy’s!!!Happy chappies!!!!
As shared by the Perlan Project.

AND the TEAM behind it shared by Nate Mcaughlin.


And to finish some great pictures from the airfield of SEPPE in Holland by Martin Smit;


cheers Ritz.
Cu on Wednesday!




August 30, 2017

Blog 1000 !!!!!! Hip Hip Hip Hurrah!!!! Looking back and …at the future and some soaring news.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 4:56 pm

WOW,…blog 1000 is a fact . Who would have ever thought so!!
When I started gliding on March 27 in 1967 I NEVER expected, to be SO MUCH involved in gliding!

First solo flight with instructor Dick Teuling from the ZES.

I wrote blogs already in my TOCUMWAL/SPORTAVIA period [ 1996-2006] and did that for a few years called “THE LATEST NEWS”. EVERY day, also after a tiring, long and hectic day. Never missed one. So in total I might have written over 2000 blogs.
Never forget the last blog there, when “Mr”. Cawsey sold the business in an auction except for the hangar and the acres around. I was sitting in my caravan and writing with the laptop on my knees tears falling over the keys and the music from “For ever young” was loud on the radio to comfort me.

The FABULOUS Sportavia WW2- hangar after NOBODY took care of it for years.

But with , I started when the late Tony Lentino, set up this Word Press blog ,as he enjoyed reading my scribbles as well. He was a frequent flyer at Sportavia.
When being back in Holland I needed something to do as I was a bit lost. My Aussie friend ,the late Maureen Huber, told me I should continue writing “you are good Ritz.”
I am glad I had the spirit and guts to do so. I had to find my way as there was no gliding in my back garden, nothing happened around me. Slowly I found the concept to “use”  my friends all over the world by helping me with articles, pictures and short comp-reports from places I could not attend.
Later internet and FB helped as well, so did SOARINGSPOT  and the OLC.

Also the CD’s from several WGC’s and JWGC’s invited me to write at their comps. I did a lot of writing there with great pleasure and enthusiasm.The JWGC in Rieti and  the WGC in Rieti both with invitations by the late Leonardo Brigliadori,[ I was juror there as well]  the WGC in Eskilstuna on invitation from Robert Danewid,[ I believe a Swedish guest at Sportavia recommended me] ,  the EGC in Raiskala on invitation by Silva and Jorma [ I was steward there ]  as well as the JWGC in Rayskala. Several CIM’s with Giorgio Ballarati and several comps, some just for a few days to feel the atmosphere as p.e.the field at Keiheuvel or Lasham.

The “boy’s ” from Soaringcafe “found”  me and I blogged for them . Bill still is “my host” on his server. Thoiugh I do not see them a lot they are friends for life.
So is John Roake ,who was president of the jury at the WGC in Rieti . He invited me in Italy, to write a column for his NZ-magazine GLIDING INTERNATIONAL.
I did that for a few years. Still help out when necessary. Loved it.

My last trip as WGC editor should have been in Uvalde at the 2012 WGC. But they had already somebody else. When that person did not show up, they asked me , but then I was committed to SOARINGCAFE already. The co-operation with 2 of the organizing-ladies in Uvalde was terrible, they tried HARD to spoil my 2d visit to Uvalde. I will not go into details here, but that was the ONLY “mishap/sad moment” in 50 years!!!
BUT,…ALL other people in Texas were awfully kind to me, so I still had a great time. I even was member of team USA and got to know all their pilots and TC , Dennis and assistant CD John.

To be honest it is pretty time consuming and not easy to write from a distance about a competition. I tried over the last years and did my best. Got lovely reactions as ” all comps on one site in a lovely way I don’t have to look anywhere else anymore“.
You won’t believe, how much time research costs, as you have to follow the news EVERY day and read all sites you can find to create a nice story. Follow the tracking to see what happens …
The other point is that without being at a field ,you loose contact with the pilots and crews,…in fact with all involved at a field and the great feeling of being AT a spot is difficult “to translate”  on a chair in my office. You do not know a lot of them anymore and then it is difficult to write about them as you cannot add personal “stuff”.
So slowly I grow out of this world of competition soaring, but I will always be interested.

Getting older now ,I have decided to NOT follow comps and write about them anymore at home for my blog. Lasham was the last one.
Looking back on big comps,….yes. Organizers and crews , TC’s,  they all blog and vlog so I am not needed  anymore for news. Soaringspot has all scores ;daily and total.
The social media are faster and used by ALL.

In the future I will keep publishing on Wednesday. Shorter blogs, still with I hope, enough nice news and I want to “dive”in the many picture books I have full of histories about comps since 1972.
Also the progress of the restoration of a unique Caproni single-seater  A -15 . This proto- type was specially built for Angelo Zoli to fly the WGC in 1972 in Vrzac in the former Yugo Slavia. This was the only A -15 glider built. Much more news in the future.
Also about the HP-10 another “oldie”.

I will share old pictures and stories mixed with weekly news. I hope you get used to that too. Got great reactions on my Benalla combination from 1978 and 2017.

THANK’S for reading my blogs over the years and for all the positive comments and the friendliness. I keep going as long as possible.
Thank you for always saying yes when I asked for a story or a picture. It was NEVER a problem!!!NO WORRIES.

Very pleased still with the Pelagia Majewska Medal for my contribution to soaring over the years. Very proud!

Here with Loek Boermans at the FAI Award event. One year later I got the GOLDEN PIN from the KNVvL.

THANKS !!!!!!!!


A bit of soaring news as well from last week.
—–After Lasham finished , summer started again and in Holland flights from over 600 km. were flown in the end of August. Nice!!
Hans Biesters , flew from Soesterberg 686 km. in an ASG 29 E/18 m.. Sikko flew 579 same glider same place and Alfred Paul same story but 647 km.
58 Pilots in , Holland only, jumped in  their glider for a day out.

—–The total sun eclipse was seen, in the USA by a lot of friends at the airfield from Sarah and Jason ” Chilhowee Gliderport”  in Tennessee.Sarah even went up in her tug to tow Dennis [Linneken] in his glider to see the reactions in the air. AWESOME was the most read reaction!!
Reaction from Dennis on the question  “Did the lift weaken noticeably during totality??
Sarah towed me to 5,000 agl about 20 minutes prior to totality. It was glass smooth during the tow and my glide back down. Not a bump! A dark sled ride!”
Sarah; In the final 15 minutes before totality the lift completely quit and cumulus clouds disappeared.”

Sarah shared some pictures as well from the air and on the ground before and after the eclipse.


Picture shared by Sarah and courtesy to Amy Stevenson Etheridge

—–And the French organized their RENCONTRE ASK 13 again [August 26-September 2]  at the Aerodrome de St Crepin.
27 Teams flew day 1 and the St. Crepin team won day 1, a 1.30 AAT with 166 km. and a speed of 111 km./h. Good on them!!!
How they manage to ALWAYS make from a glider picture “a state of ART” is SUPERB.They shared this one!!!


When we doubt out future in gliding,
look at this picture;
the grid from the  45 juniors in the UK and a group of 10 coaches.; 55 gliders.

At Bristol and Gloucestershire,with 6 out of 9 days and Jake Brattle as champion [3.518 points] flying the DG101G Elan 3caxj.
Runner up;  former Benalla JWGC champion Tom Arscott [ 3.405 in St. Cirrus]
picture shared by David Tansik.


SO CU on Wednesday with the weekly news and “look back”.

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