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March 30, 2011

Busy,busy !

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 8:38 pm

Alphen aan den Rijn      Wednesday March 30 2011

 meeting in the Postillion Hotel Arnhem, picture from iphone from Natasja

This is the organization of the 2011 Dutch Nationals at the National Gliding Center of Terlet.  Nice mob is n’t it and then the meteo and tuggies are not yet on it. As said we had a meeting last Sunday, in the Postillion Hotel Arnhem , very close, 2 minutes,  to the airfield. They are also one of the new sponsors and provide rooms for a very special rate for everybody involved with gliding, also for the  family/friends from the participants.
Of course our main sponsor is the CAE NLS , just to let you know. All other sponsors you can see , when you are interested, on the official site; which is under construction now,  to be perfect after April 1.
On rainy days, we can also go there to use our laptops in the business center including a cup of tea or coffee.
Our meeting was very constructive and uplifted with a nice gesture of Ronny , the owner of the Postillion, as you can see.   picture ;Natasja

Enough about our meeting as there is more. In Italy the first big competition of the European season started not too good for top pilot and friend Giorgio Galetto. On day 1 he started too high and for this violation he got 0 points for that day. Luckily it was only a 552 points day, could have been worse. On day 2 NOBODY finished, but it was still a 1000 point day, Giorgio had 658 points, climbing from spot 31 to spot 22. No more news, so …no more results at this stage.

On the OLC  I liked recently the LS 7 flight ; 603 km. from Unterwössen. And not so far from Unterwössen from Königsdorf , both in the South of Germany, a Discus 2T /18m. flight from 764 km. This was an FAI Triangle of 730 km. That area  ,had really great weather and includes also, Sondrio and Bolzano in Italy, Kufstein in Austria and Zell am See  .
AKAFLIEG Frankfurt has a wave camp at Cerdanya in Spain , also with an ARCUS T.
Great to see that nice flights are still on in Tocumwal, up North it is often still good; 358 in a Ventus 2 CM/18m. by Neil Burns.
Talking about Tocumwal , look at the great pictures full of airplanes at the airfield.
Tocumwal had the RAAF 90 years FLY-IN, with static shows and demo’s. 58 Planes arrived to commemorate 90 years of the RAAF. http://sportaviationtocumwal/

From Australia I received a link to more about the Quantas flight QF32   from November and as they call it, it is  investigative journalism at it’s best, so when you are interested here is the link. Indeed very impressing with a video on demand.

And more from Vanessa, certainly interesting when you like /love hang gliding as well. I have written before about Jonny , a real topper in hang gliding. He visited us in Tocumwal as well. Another topper,  now topper in gliding is Pete Harvey and Tomas Suchanek is one as well.
—-It seemed to be the night for being in the air on the ABC. The 7.30 program ran a segment on an Australian (Jonny Durand) off to the world hang gliding champs. Some great footage, especially doing loops on a cloud formation called the ‘morning glory’ in the Gulf of Carpentaria. You can see it on iview at The story starts at 22min 15 sec and the morning glory part starts about 28.30.—
Enjoy  and thanks Vanessa!!!!

In Lake Keepit  ” the knives are sharpened ”   by the 18 m. pilots, during the NSW State comps. 8 Of the best 18m.  pilots in Australia are flying. The first 2 days were won by Tom Claffey.
 There are 5 classes with a total of 44 competitors. Unfortunately day 3 was cancelled for all classes but, day 4 had an AAT  for 18 m. and Graham is “really HOT” . 2 Second places and now number 1, with Tom as number 2;
Total scores after 3 flying days; Graham is 36 points ahead on Tom both flying ASG 29  and more then 200 on David Jansen [ASG 29]and Bruce Taylor [JS1]. A few more days to go ; tension enough!!! On Sunday I analyse all  the results in the different classes.
Talking bout the JS1; End of April a container with 5 JS1 gliders will arrive in Europe. One for the UK, one for Denmark, one for Lithuania , 2 for Holland , one for a pilot who bought the glider and one is the demo glider JS1 Revelation for the Dutch dealers for JS1 ; Maarten Baltussen en Ronald Termaat.

To finish a picture from Kai, who gave me the possibilty to use a lot of his pictures and” some more” from him. Cheers Ritz


March 27, 2011

2011 Australian Qualifying Grand Prix in Lake Keepit and Grand Prix in Melbourne!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:05 pm

Alphen aan den Rijn     Sunday March 27 2011

The Qualifying Grand Prix  in Australia counts 9 pilots  and a few of them are regulars at WGC’s.[on the picture the great initiator behind the Grand Prix Roland Stuck] On March 20 they started and after 3 flying days both Bruce Taylor [21 points]and David Jansen [18]won days with a good runner up in Brad Edwards [17] , who won the WGC in Uvalde in Texas in 1991. Competing gliders;  One Nimbus 3 DM and 2 JS1’s and 6 ASG 29’s.

Anita, she is just a lovely lady and the  wife from Bruce mentioned, that she was happy with the comps.

Another good day for Bruce, he snatched victory from the jaws of defeat , after a dodgy start and first leg, so he was pleased to sneak home first [on day 4].”

On day 5 Graham Parker won with a speed of 134.5 km./h. over 354 km. climbing up to 3d place with 28 points, while Bruce arrived with a speed of  134  and David with 133.9 km/h..

Anita adds;—“Quite a spectacular finish on the last day Ritz, 5 gliders all within seconds, ballast streaming, finishing from the north over the lake, just fantastic. Great opportunity to see how the JS1 compares to the ASG29, The ’29 still glides exceptionally well,but  Bruce feels the JS1 has an edge in the climb and really enhances his ability to feel the air. —

So the winner was; Bruce Taylor  with 38 points, runner up David Jansen 29 and Graham Parker 28.

For pictures from the Grand Prix  you can go to; com and here is a picture from Bruce and Anita and daughter Indea and from Anita , Indea and Vickey Cubley both made in Rieti.


Lake Keepit continues  with the State Comps with 31 pilots in 5 classes. Yesterday was the practise day!

The weather here is absolutely TOP  for early spring . Temperatures around 15 dgr, blue skies with nice fluffy clouds. But on Saturday it changed to 8 dgr. and you could really feel the difference.

Look at my front garden!!! All pink, in cherry blossom, specially made these pictures for my Japanese friends who have to endure a lot. A lot of “support-actions for Japan ”  yesterday here in Holland, but al;so all over the world. They are not forgotten, which is good to see. Very worried with them about the radiation which is 10 million times higher then allowed at Fukushima!!!! Not good, this might have an influence on the state elections in a part of Germany today , Baden Wurttemberg, where normally the CDU is big but now maybe the greens might win as they are totally against nuclear plants/energy.


Nice to see Rick [Sheppe]  had such a great flight in the USA  last Thursday. Rick is always very kind to share his news with me and is a longtime reader of my blog. He flew 722 km in a Silent 2. As I did not quite know how the Silent 2 looks I went to google and here is what I found;

—The Alisport Silent 2is a single seater sailplane of Italian manufacture. It is of the FAI type DU Class glider. It is sold by Alisport ready-to-fly or kit-built as pure glider or self-launching glider. The self-launching version is fitted with a single-blade propeller belt-driven by a two-stroke engine.—

Lot’s of interesting pilots on the list   for the Italian Trofeo Citta di Turino going till  April 3. This is the beginning of the long Italian soaring-summer. Flying -day 1 started with a 182 km. distance for the 31 pilots. Day 2 had 276 km, but nobody made it home , though it was a 1000 point day.See for results at

Picture 1 Giorgio Galetto, here with crew Roberto, at Rieti.
Picture 2;Leonardo Brigliadori is flying with son Ricardo and
picture 3 Leonardo and Marina , who turned 50 yesterday Happy Birthday Marina  !!!!!and Giorgio.

I was shocked to see on the news the crash of a freight plane from Trans Air Congo.  Peter send me a link to a video. If you have n’t seen it you can still look at it. Once was enough for me.  It seems the plane had 2 engines on one wing , which gave up. Then it rolled over.
also from Peter the news about the sleeping air-traffic-controller to be found at  written on March 23 and edited on March 24 and from Vanessa some news about the not-yet-strike from Quantas and an incident , with a Quantas plane. So when you are interested , here are the links.

First Grand Prix of the season for Formula 1  at Albert Park in Melbourne. Was there once live!!! What an atmosphere, what noise , just fantastic.
Todays race just finished and I am very pleased to see that my favourite Sebastian Vettel won. Great 2d place for Lewis Hamilton and a for me new face on spot 3 Vitaly Petrov with Renault.

And what about the the Great Boat Race 2011  at the Themes where Cambridge and Oxford, fought for the honours yesterday? It was said , expected and hoped for, that Cambridge was to be going the winner, but Oxford dominated from the start. They utterly out classed Cambridge. So a handsome victory this year for Oxford and they won the reserve race , before, as well.

Just to get things correct , as I always try to do!!! The photographs made from Bruce Cooper, not from the air but from Bruce as a person, are from Jane Lawrence. So credit to her for that picture!!!!

 The time has changed in all European countries last night with one hour from 2 AM to 3, so one hour less sleep; summer time is back. Off to Arnheim now for a meeting with the organizing team from the Nationals. CU on Wednesday! Cheers Ritz

March 23, 2011


Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 7:53 pm

Alphen aan den Rijn     Wednesday March 23 2011


On March 1 the meteorological spring started, but  Holland prefers the date  March 21, the astronomical beginning of spring. And …it was a good day, we were overloaded with sun and the terasses and the just opened Italian ice -shops in Amsterdam had  people waiting in line.
The weekend was already good with nice flights, though the mornings are still a bit chilly.
If you click on the photo to enlarge you can see that the vase is a prize won by George,  as winner in open class in the early years at Angers ,where the un- official European championships were held. In that time there were no European Championships.  The tulips represent the spring feeling !

Boeing made a test flight with their new Super Jumbo 747 -8   and it went without problems which means it will be on the market around the end of this year. Lufthansa has ordered 20 to  be delivered in the beginning of 2012[was 2010].
467 Passengers are welcome in the longest plane in the world; 76.4 m.

Still a lot of problems in Japan,  though spirits were lifted by the fact that a young 16 year old got his way out of the ruble after 9 days , weak and  undercooled but  safe. He  also  pointed out that his 80 year old nan was still under the ruble. She was saved by the rescuers.
 Awful on the other hand,  to know that from the 300 rescuers/hero’s at the Fukushima nuclear plant, a lot , [experts say 150] , are going to die from too high  radiation.
No fresh vegetables and water is not good either. This morning Fukushima got some after-shocks. When does it stop????

The USA started their spring with active soaring weather. Moriarty [ 632 km in a Discus 2] , Minden [ 688 km in ASW27]  , Rosamond Skypark,[ 1.765 with ASH 25],  Blairstown [ 939 km. with an LS 3] , they all topped the OLC list with good long flights.
Last Sunday March 20 , 530  pilots worldwide, shared their flight on the OLC, with us.

Sadly enough it is busy in the air above Libya.  Sad because it was necessary to intervere in the domestic politics cause the world was not going to sit aside  to see how demonstrators are killed. The United Nations voted for a no-fly-zone above Libya.  France , the USA, with F 15’s and cruise missiles from their aircraft carrier  and the UK were the first to be active in and over Libya. Now F18’s from Spain , F 16’s from Norway have been added. Fighters from Denmark, Belgium and Italy have been sent as well to keep an eye on the weapon- embargo.This morning 6 Dutch F16’s will be added ,as well as a tanker plane a KDC10 and a mine-destroyer.The Dutch participation involves 200 men/women and the cost will be around 20 million!!!!!!

Very nice to hear that the club ZES   [Aeroclub from the Students from Eindhoven] were I was a member in 1967/68, started my very short career as glider pilot, has a new HPH 304 C. They own already 4 single seaters and 3 two seaters and I hope the new glider will fly during the Nationals in Mai.
 It is not yet on the list of 31 participants at this stage.
When I flew there we had about 20 members a KA7, Rhöhnlerche and Grunau Baby and a very old winch. Now the built their own winch [technical university] and have about 100 members.
 The HPH 304 C is a standard class glider [15 m] and built on the concept of  Glasf’lügel, which stopped in 1982, after building really good gliders as Libelle, Mosquito and Hornet. 
On the picture; Me while being a member of the ZES, enjoying chips and going SOLO.


The triangle South of the Alpes D Huez  ,where cyclists in summer are the “boss”  and where the Tour the France sometimes “passes by” ,  is now the area with most pilots. Aubenasson, Serres La Batie, Vinon and Saint Auban are very active with pilots enjoying themselves from all over Europe. Barcelonette belongs to this triangle as well, but mostly it is a bit later in the season busy over there. And Fayence I remember as a place where the club from my children had their camp. Mountain-flying, it is still very popular.
In between the pilots in the North of  Italy finished their height -performance- stage at Calcinate del Pesce with 3 flyable days.

To finish some nice pictures from the archive from mountains in Italy and Argentina.


March 20, 2011

That’s the spirit!!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 8:01 pm

Alphen aan den Rijn   Sunday March 20 2011

 picture by Kai Monkkonen

Got the next message from Japan from one of my friends   and though it is tough there, still with the nuclear threat, maybe cholera or typhus dooming up, the snow and icy conditions for the homeless, the vegetables and water around Fukushima,   “poisoned by radiation “,…the  Japanese spirit is not lost. And what about the 2 doggies after the earth quake ??! Unbelievable. In the middle of the rubble and devastation , nobody to be seen only one dog who  stayed with his injured friend.But….both dogs found a home and are safe now . And…the lady from 80 and the boy from 16 , found this morning after 9 days, weak but alive!!!!
Here is  the message I received;

—Please come to Japan after one and two year.
Our country  will certainly reconstruct.—

 On the OLC you surely noticed  a fantastic run up and down over the mountains  from Jim Payne starting at Rosamund Skypark; 1.765 km and a nice speed of  156.6 km/h. Must have been great fun in the ASH 25.This is his second long flight. On March 6 he flew 1.176 km with a speed of  165 km. /h also in the ASH 25.
I found on internet , that this park originally is already from 1947.It is privately owned and run by residents and located in Southern California’s Antelope Valley. When you want to know more about it you can go to ;

This weekend  we have great spring- weather here. Sunny, 2/8 of cumulus clouds yesterday and I even felt thermal activity. And when I looked on Sunday morning to see if it was good enough for soaring, I saw that 16pilots  found their flight interesting enough to put it on line. Clear visibility, great beginning of the season, a big difference in height en route, were some of the comments. In any case for all of them it was very morish.
And…249 flights in total, it says the season has started.
A lot of German pilots are getting in the right soaring-spirit at camps or private holidays, in Saint Auban, Puimoisson, Gap Tallard, Vinon and Serres La Baties. As you know I like to follow the junior pilots and follow a bit where they go and fly. One of them is Alexander Spaeth who flies at Puimoisson at the moment. I noticed that German super TC Uli Gmelin is using the beginning of the season for a few nice flights by himself. Over the season he accompanies most teams as their full time TC.
Now he flies the ARCUS T, the new super twinseater.
Here some pictures from the ETA another super glider; start,soaring,landing with Giorgio Ballarati. Pictures by Kai Monkkonen.


A busy weekwith guests from Australia , Holland and New Zealand. But GREAT fun!!!! Only the weather was a bit off on Friday , the day I showed my friends Tony and Emily from NZ around in Amsterdam. It was grey and it rained and they only had ONE day !!! No nice terrasses, but still good beer!!!!Inside!!! They will be back soon, they promised.

Very nasty to see a burning  fighter crash  close to Benghazi. It remains sad to see. The pilot died. Unfortunately there is at the moment a lot to worry about in our world! Certainly in Libya, were the VN resolution choose to interfere to  stop Kadafi from killing his own people. Wished the Colonel would have stopped this all himself.

After his visit to New Zealand   Prince William visited the Cairns area where disaster struck with the cyclone and the flooding. He specially wanted to visit the Royal  Flying Doctors Service at Cairns arriving there in a  Black Hawk helicopter. He visits both NZ and Australia after both parts of the world were hit by nature- forces.The spirit of many was lifted not only by the prince but also by the great weather with 32 dgr.. Good on him.

Sad news from the Berlin Zoo   yesterday , Knut, the lovely ice bear ,died age 4 . He stole the hearts of millions in the world when his mother decided to leave him on its own and was brought up by people in the Zoo and now millions are sad he suddenly passed away. There is some critic on the whole history of this kute little one , as well!!!

A very interesting phenomena yesterday  evening around 7. We had a SUPERMOON. It was full moon but as the moon was at the closest spot to the earth since 18 years , we had a huge moon. It looked about 14% bigger then a normal full moon.And…it was clear , cold, but you could look at it inside. The sunset was pretty good as well. I can only share the sunset as the super moon did not look SUPER with my camera.Sorry!


That’s it for now. CU next Wednesday, another busy week ahead.Cheers Ritz

March 16, 2011


Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:58 pm

Alphen aan den Rijn       Wednesday March 16 2011

The nuclear plants are after the earth quake and the terrible tsunami  the next scare for the Japanese. Tragic!! Just ONE BIG nightmare!!!! Some countries , as France, advise their people to leave Japan. Journalists are leaving as well.
On Monday morning I received the next message and the picture below from some of my Sportavia , now Sportaviation friends made in December last year, before going to a nice dinner in Tocumwal.
Many people in Tokyo area tried to go to their office and workplace this morning but they had a big confusion.Almost all trains to go to the City from suburb have been cancelled and people living in suburb has no way to go their office because of the lack of electric power.This has been generated by the damage of the nuclear power plant.In order to save the power, the government authorities has decided to divide the city of Tokyo and its surrounding area into 5 groups and stop the power supply for 3 hours every day.The power supply to my area will stop at 15:20 today but it is a negligible problem in this circumstances.—

On top of that there is not enough water and food. People are cold as it is around 0 and heatings are not working. More then 150 after-earth-quakes have been counted as well. It is TOO much to comprehend.For me it feels like the moment the planes hit the twin towers in New York; you look at it but it does n’t get in the brain, it is TOO much.I know the Japanese are proud and strong people and I really hope they can cope with it the next weeks, months, years!!!! Holland is ready to help and many other countries, so when they ask more help it will happen straight away .
By the way only in Holland the news is followed by 1 million more people then normally look at the news.[over 3 million]

Soaring continues and last Sunday Switzerland had super wave conditions  and top pilot Stefan Leutenegger “used “them to fly a distance of 1.192 km. with a speed of 115 km/h. in the ARCUS from Hausen am Albis . In the same conditions Bert Schmelzer jr. flew  546 km in a discus 2. Bert shares some wonderful pictures on the OLC , so for those who missed them, here is the link;

On the picture under here, Bert jr to the left , his brother Tijl and mum Hilde [TC] and soaring -mate  Patrick Stouffs in Rieti.On the picture to the right Bert Schmelzer sr. in Räyskälä [2d to the right]. The Schmelzer family is a  truly soaring family, all 4 of them fly and mum is mostly the Belgium TC and dad wrote  a book about the history of  “Soaring in Flanders”, a real collectors item.


It seems that Libya has tried to get their 2 fighters [ Mirages]  back , which were left in Malta by the crew ‘s who refused to kill their own people/ demonstrators and deserted. It did not work out. According to CNN , Malta refused, to trade them for the  Dutch crew of 3 from the helicopter who entered Libya without permission . The only thing which stayed in Libya was the old Chinook helicopter. The 3 got a warm welcome back in Holland.

Talking about helicopters , one was totally damaged after it hit a building. The Sikorsky S-58 ET tried to move a heavy load and hit the office-building at the Los Angeles Airport. The pilot was injured.[CNN]

4000 pilots of India  have to be ready to show their flying documents/ licenses to the Indian authorities as in the last months 4 pilots/ captains were caught with the wrong documents. One,  a female pilot , damaging an Airbus A320, by landing on the front wheel first  !!!! Pretty scaring, is n’t it ??!!
And what about drunk pilots who were ready to fly with Aeromexico???? 101 passengers had to wait for 24 hours before travelling from Costa Rica to Mexico City, as the pilots had partied too much before!

Fokker  got broke about 15 years ago.I still remember it!! Now I read in the paper that they might start again in Brazil.REKKOF,[ FOKKER , but the other way around] has confirmed that they are talking with Brasilian authorities. Interesting detail is that the Embraers , which KLM bought since 2007, as replacement for their Fokkers,  are build in Brasil as well.

Good news from Tocumwal!The SRGC [Southern Riverina Gliding Club] with Ingoi as CFI,  has temporary a Pilatus B4 on line. With around 70 members they needed an extra glider. Good on them! Their annual general  meeting with BBQ is on April 2 in Mike Toth ‘s hangar. More news on

Lot’s of guests this week, so see you on Sunday again,

cheers Ritz

March 13, 2011

8.9 on Richter and a magnitude tsunami; unbelievable disaster in Japan!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 7:50 pm

Alphen aan den Rijn    Sunday March 13 2011

  picture by Bruce Cooper

Just when you think it is enough now with all those natural disasters  a new wake up call, on Friday morning,  this time in Japan. At 3 o’clock PM , local time,about 135 km to the east in the ocean, the epic center which was undeep ,caused straight after the quake a tsunami with waves up to 10 m high causing an unbelievable disaster. 8 Military planes were send up in the  air straightaway  to oversee what was happening and to be honest I could not believe my eyes!!! This powerful water took EVERYTHING, houses , boats, people ,a whole infra structure just GONE!!!! In Sendai the whole airfield was in no time under water , people on the roof of the terminal building. Tokyo , to the S of Sendai, felt it and nuclear plants were stopped, the airfield closed , monorail and trains were on hold and it got even worse with huge fires at oil plants causing explosions as well.
Looking at the pictures there will be many veryvery sad casualties in Japan.Today I hear that they fear for more then 10.000
Just not to comprehend!!!!
The entire pacific coast got a warning and they had more time to go to higher spots, even a warnning for Australia and New Zealand.But only 3 small harbour places at the USA coast had problems.
I straight away wrote all my Japanese friends but I knew that there was no power , so no electricity so no way to tell me if they and their family and friends are safe. I do realize, but I had to do it.
Then Mikiko was the first to react; They were fine, could not go anywhere after work,no bus, no train, no nothing; they had to stay with the parents in Tokyo and their little daughter had to stay at the nursery.They hoped to see her the next day which happened,but…they are all safe , that’s the most important.Even their house is OK.
Hisashi is OK as well. It seems the Osaka area had no impact except for some small tsunami’s. Good to hear! Yoghi is well ;minor damage over there. The rest has not yet answered.
Big worry still the nuclear plants.
Received this picture from Shige, Mikiko and Chihiro this morning, after the ordeal they went through.

Some of my glider friends tried to get 99 people in a Fokker 100 within 99 hours  to be the quickest to win free accommodation in Berlin and a free city trip to that fantastic town Berlin. The weekend will be on March 25 to fly back on March 26. Great idea, but I was already busy that weekend.

Better news ,[ for what it is worth after this disaster], for Holland as on this same Friday morning, we got the news that “our” 3 hostages in Libya were freed with help of our diplomats and the Greek diplomats.On Saturday morning the female pilot and 2 men crew arrived back home, glad to be free after 12 very uncertain days. A rescue effort went wrong , but they were released earlier then expected and hoped for.Libya keeps the helicopter, but “who cares”.

With the 20 m. 2-seater class allowed for the 2014 WGC [in Finland] , National Aeroclubs   introduce during their Nationals this class as well. So over the next years pilots are going to qualify for this event as well. In Australia, they have announced their Multi class Nationals for the end of January in NARROMINE. Of course the 2 seater class can start with qualifying already.
The sports and clubclass Nationals will be held  again in Benalla, between January 2 and 13. Just to inform you in time.
In Holland we have a 2 seater 20 m class as well this May. By the way 25 pilots will participate at this stage in this multi class event, but till April 24 you can enter. At this stage only 3 2-seaters, but I know more will follow.

With 617 km. Cross Country and a speed of 127 km./h,  Oscar Goudriaan had another good day, last Wednesday  in South Africa in his JS1 relevation.
Loved the you tube link on Facebook to a video from the JWGC in Finland in 2009.[]

Phenomena! They are special!!!Look at the link to the Morning Glory site about phenomenal clouds in the North of Australia. Thanks Gerrit! As soaring pilot you should love this!!!

Never to old to learn. I thought I was pretty well informed in the aviation world in Holland now I am back for 4 years. But no! For the next Dutch Nationals I offered the team,  to help to find my own accommodation. I lived at Terlet in the weekends for many  years in the past. We sold however, our caravan before we moved to Curacao. With other words I know a few people.
Now I am allowed to live in my “own” caravan again during the Nationals. The new owner Jaap has no time to much involved in his business ….the in 2007 founded Amsterdam Airlines!!!!!
Pardon me? So this way I found out that they fly with 2 A 320’s and one on order; on their site I found;
 —-Amsterdam Airlines is set up as a fully certified operator according to the highest standards from the start. This way we can satisfy the air transport requirements of our partners and respond to the demands for safety, reliability, quality, value and security in all its activities.—
Amsterdam Airlines operates in the business-to-business market and serves the following market segments

  • Full Charter All-Economy services on selected routes on behalf of other airlines, tour operators, goverments and ad-hoc services for incentive and group travel
  • ACMI (wet lease) services for other airlines
    So now you are informed as well!!! Cheers Ritz

March 9, 2011

Nice soaring weekend in parts of Europe!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:34 pm

Alphen aan den Rijn   March 9 2011

Start today with some pictures from Räyskälä , where in 2014 the WGC will be held for unflapped gliders , as decided in last weeks IGC meeting in Lausanne. Just to get you in the mood already. Sorry never was in Leszno [ WGC flapped gliders in 2014] , so I have no pictures from the airfield over there.  But when you send them I publish them!!! Thanks!
These pictures are from the JWGC in 2009 ; you can see the lake on arrival, a private seaplane , a little super market in town,  [ we bought hamburgers there with the Dutch team during the 1988 EGC] , me busy writing  with Mari, the “boss” of the airfield [ in the middle] over looking the situation and Marina , [ to the left] the Italian steward,  keeping a good eye on things.


The Dutch season started in style last Sunday, with nice over 300 km flights over very flat land with  enthusiastic pilots all calling it a great beginning of the season. ” that’s very morish”!!, was what most said.
Conditions pretty good with cu’s, but also blue skies, sunny but cold!
Also Germany[ at several airfields] , Spain and France had good early spring conditions.
World wide , another wave 1000 km flight from Rosamond Skypark that Sunday, by top pilot Jim Payne in the ASH 25; 1.176 with a speed of  165 km /h !!!!!
With 178 to OLC reported flights on this Sunday it is getting more and more busy again.
Yesterday still over 500 km flights in the Eadst of Australia and …well known pilots as Oscar Goudriaan and Uys Jonker flew in their JS1 nearly 500 km. flights in South Africa. So they are still active as well.

 Oscar during the WGC in Eskilstuna.

The 13 th FAI World Para Ski Championships were  hold in Austria in Gosau. Aleksey Burenin from Russia whon the mens competion. The best woman was Irena Avbelj from Slovenia, while the Austrians must have been happy with the win of their junior, Michael Grossegger. Best team was the Slovenian Elan team.

Some of the young German pilots  have settled down in Vinon to practise in the mountains and to brush up the team spirit after the winter. They even have an  ARCUS with them. Patrick Puskeiler was one of the pilots flying this “great machine” . Patrick is also one of the German participants in Musbach at this years JWGC. The German Junior Team will be flying with 7 pilots in their own country !!!

The biggest airfield with a full capacity will be opened in 2012 in Dubai, for passenger flights. Last year a few freight planes landed already at Al Maktoum. In the future 160 million passengers should go” through”  this field and 12 million tons of freight. The present airfield will remain open.

Compliments and congratulations to Reiner Rose  and his team from the OLC, winning the prestigious Lilienthal medal every year presented on the IGC meeting by the FAI. VERY happy the OLC exists, so we all know and learn,  a bit more from each other’s flying.

From Australia I received the message that Quantas pilots are about to strike   and that is the first time since 1966. There is a huge dispute between the pilots and Quantas and today negociations continue to avoid cancelled flights for the passengers. According to the ABC;
 —The Qantas pilots say it’s fear of losing their jobs that is motivating them today. Qantas set up a company called Jetconnect which employs New Zealand cabin crew and pilots and now operates many of the flights between Sydney and New Zealand. The unions are challenging that arrangement in Fair Work Australia.
Qantas management says Jetconnect has operated more almost 10 years without redundancies. They say this argument is all about pay and accuse the pilots of seeking a pay rise of 26 per cent over three years.—
Hopefully this all works out well. In 1988 Ansett pilots striked and this was one of the worst and most dramatic disputes in history.

To finish the blog some nice pictures from Rieti as I noticed they have started flying as well. The airfield of Rieti and Cantalice, a lovely historic town close to Rieti and visible from the airfield.


March 6, 2011

IGC-WGC 2014 in Leszno and Räyskälä! Mallard and Albatross!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:05 pm

Alphen aan den Rijn      Sunday  March 6 2011

As promised the pictures from the Mallard. Bones send them straight away after his trip. I like this shot of the Paspaley boat and the plane , a G73 AT Turbine Mallard, behind. It all looks like “romantic adventure “, certainly when you see Bones on the wing in his holiday outfit,   but it is hard work and pretty demanding as the weather certainly up in the North of Australia is not always the best. But for sure it is very special, as not everybody has the possibility to fly such a “machine” !!!!
Bones came as young student from India to Albury to learn “how to be a  pilot”. He ended up in Tocumwal , was our tuggie to make hours , but helped in the kitchen as well to earn money to buy a car. So…cause George was in Minden for the pre worlds, flew the Albatross on his birthday to Lake Tahoe with the owner and a few glider pilots and crew in the back, as Daan Pare, Bruce Brockhoff  and myself, got hooked to it, then bought it later and moved it to Tocumwal,  where Bones, real name Ashock, got his type rating on it. You see how live sometimes has it’s own way???!!!


The IGC friends have been very busy  and here is some news , thanks to Rick; the rest you can find later on the FAI site and already now on the twitter site from Rick— or follow@ricksheppe;
—South Africa has the next IGC meeting in March 2012.It will be in Potchestroom.
—enough FAI delegates at this meeting with 37 voting countries present, a new record
—Helmuth Fench from OSTIV seems to have given an excellent safety presentation
—EGU report; it seems we lost the battle for simplified medical certification in Europe
—discussion admissability of non certified gliders in WGC’s; allowed in sanctioned contest
—20 m. multi seat class replaces world class in WGC’s and will be unhandicapped
—13.5 m class WGC from 2015 onwards in odd years
—WGC 2014,open class, 15 m and 18 m. in Leszno in Poland
—WGC 2014 ,standard,club and 20 m. in Räyskälä in Finland 
—EGC 2013 , “small ships” in Ostrow in Poland
—EGC 2013 , “big ships” in Vinon in France 
—relation between stewards and contest organizers
—reference weights removed from club class glider- list
—barograph eliminated for silver, gold badge flights using position recorder
Very pleased to see a WGC in Finland again, that’s a long time ago; 1976 . They had an EGC in 2005 and the JWGC in 2009 and now in 2014 the WGC for the smaller ships!

The OLC shows more and more flights from Europe. From March 1 onwards I saw flights in France, Germany, the UK and  Spain, but still also flights in Australia [ 300 km FAI triangle in a Hornet from Beverley in Western Australia and a total of 424 km. in autumn]  in the USA,{ Blairstown}  821 with a speed of 132 km./h in an LS 3 and New Zealand with 480 from Omarama in a discus with a nice speed of  117 km/h.
And I heard today they are going to fly in Holland. Will be cold between 1 and 5 dgr. but it should be sunny.

The RAF flight in Libya  was an excellent one, I told you about it last week. This week the Dutch tried to help 2 people as well; one Dutch engineer and 1 Swedish lady. They are both back home after being handed over to the Dutch Embassy,but….the 3  crew members are kept in prison . NOT good!!!! The pilot is a still young but seems to be very experienced, certainly when pressure is on, good looking girl with long blond hair!!! Now they are “marked” by Ghadaffi as spies!!!!! One thing is sure they were NO spies!!!!
They tried to evacuate these 2 people who were in danger in the town Sirte, where Ghadaffi was born. The Lynx helicopter flew to Sirte,  from the  flight deck of the HMS Tromp, a frigate from the  Dutch marine for the coast of Libya, but was caught after the landing,  by armed Libyers. They normally help out to protect ships against pirates.

The March edition of Gliding International  was in my mailbox yesterday.
The latest Gliding International is with 61 pages a ” fat one ”  . Interesting items  as,
—-is gliding’s future depending on today’s youth?
—-worldmembership declines ;statistics by John
—-JS1 in South Africa, with a great picture on the cover by Ronald Termaat
—-flying in the French Alps
—-” war declared on 2 sailplanes ”  ;I was there, but never heard the full story till now.
And much more news. Enjoy!!!!

 To finish this blog  some more pictures this time send by Ashock from the Albatross. Enjoy your new week. Of the South of Holland; CARNAVAL…ALAAF !!!!        Cheers Ritz 

Some people well known from Sportavia in the past; to the left George , former owner from Sportavia also from the Albatross,[pilot]  Bones/Ashock,[pilot]  ?, Michael Giles,[ pilot], Cameron Bodey former tuggie now A300-600F  captain, ? Bob Smith engineer on Albatross now on Mallard and living in Darwin now as well. ?

March 2, 2011

IGC plenary…also on twitter!Christchurch!Sea planes!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 5:31 pm

Alphen aan den Rijn  Wednesday March 2 2011

The 2011 IGC meeting will be held this week in Lausanne on March 4 and 5  and all important and very experienced people are on their way to , or should be by now,  in  Lausanne. A lot of issues will be put on the table as well as bids for the future WGC’ s and EGC’s. I wish them all 2 excellent days full of good, exciting and wise decisions, but also a lot of fun . It is great that so many of them involved in gliding spend their [ valuable ] time to be at this plenary and take part in committees and working groups ,  in which they work hard over the year. Thanks on behalf of all glider pilots ,who just can sit back, follow the news at the FAI site or via twitter and hear at home from the delegates what to do. If you look at the agenda……..FULL!!!!       
From Vermont in the USA , Rick Sheppe has arrived in Lausanne and for the TWITTERFRIENDS amongst us here is his message; 
—Rick will be on twitter during the meeting using hashtag #igc
Luckily he informs people who are not familiar with twitter also ; like me. Have to learn that as well, but being on Facebook was already a beginning.
To see the full agenda look at;
On the pictures a few of those hardworking and well known officials,Dick Bradley from South Africa [treasurer] , Roland Stuck ,[ vice-president]  Tor Johannessen from Norway [ president of honour] and Marina Vigorito Galetto from Italy,[ alternate delegate],  all of them present in Lausanne.


Terrible to hear  that at least over 5000 after-shocks have hit Christchurch and that people with their losses and fears are still  going trough very though times.
Time will heal and there will be  restoration and building of  new houses,  as I saw in beautiful Napier where in 1931 such an earthquake hit , but that does n’t really help the hurt people   now.
Also in Napier, the cathedral collapsed as well as several houses and shops in town, that fantastic ART DECO village. When I was there last December I visited the cathedral and spoke with the priest in it. I made a picture from the monument in town and a memory on what happened on that black day.
In Christchurch 154 people have been found dead now and still more then 50 are lost!!!
On the picture you see how Napier looks now and how the church looked in 1931 !!!


Still fantastic soaring weather in Australia.  What about Alan Barnes’ flight [ FAI triangle over 700 km!] from Jondaryan last Sunday; 736 km. again in the LS1f  !!!!!
He is now about 20 points ahead on Terry Belair , the other Australian kilometer -eater, as best Australian pilot flying  in Australia on OLC.

Tragic to hear from Bones,  our former tuggie and now captain on a “flying-boat”, a  Mallard, flying for the Pearl business from Paspaley in Darwin, that a turbine goose being ferried from Saudi to the USA ,crashed just after take off  on a taxi-way at Dubai. All 4 skilled pilots died, as the plane caught fire straight away.Bones knew one of them pretty well.
 If you have been flying in an amphibian even once it “get’s you”, so I was extra sad to read it. I know/ have seen that a landing and/or start on water is pretty difficult, more then starting on a runway on “wheels”. We owned an Albatross a few years ago , after buying it from the USA -owner ,while staying in Minden for the pre-worlds, who ended up in the end in Uvalde in 1991. So be careful when you fly WGC’s you might go home with something “special”. 
“Our ” former  ‘Grumman HU16 Albatross was flown by 3 pilots from Santa Rosa to Hawaii and from there to Brisbane with 3 stops one in  Noumea. From there to Tocumwal , I guess this was 1998; Bones got his training in it later  in 2003, making it easier for him to get a job in such kind of planes .The Albatross is still in the hangar at Tocumwal Airport. Here are the pictures. Thanks Diana.
Pictures from the Mallard  in the next blog, as Bones is still in Broome!


Compliments to the crew of a C-130 from the RAF,  who in the middle of a desert in Lybia , 300 km south of  the Mediterranean Sea coast and in the middle of a sandstorm , dared to land during a secret mission on a runway nearly invisible as the lines were covered with sand, to pick up 150 people stuck at an oil business where they worked. Under them one Dutch guy who ‘s reaction was that calling it “an exciting adventure”   was too romantic  it was more   “a Hitchkock-thriller”. Only later they found out that the plane flew on a height of aprox. 30 meters to avoid the radar and the pilots pulled up again over the Coast line on their way to Malta. Chapeau!!!  [source AD]
Dutch tulipes for the crew !!!

And….now spring has started we look back here on how winter was and it was COLD. Normal average temperature is 3.3 dgr., this winter we had 2.4 and December was since 40 years not so cold with MINUS 1.1 dgr to an average of PLUS 4. My Scandinavian and Canadian friends will laugh now, but …for us, it WAS cold. Normally we have 28 days with frost , this year 52  !!!!! And….I am not the only person here in Holland who is pleased that  spring has started now. Let the sun come and higher temperatures , gosh it is already there !!!!!…Cheers Ritz

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