April 14, 2013

EGC news from Ostrow ! OUTSTANDING ATA ladies! JWGC -2013 -site on line!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 5:12 pm

IMG_9362  IMG_9343

The Alps have given and are still giving pilots great pleasure ! The always active German Sport Soldiers have their training camp in Lienz [Austria] since Wednesday  .
Marco Barth , not long ago flying from the airport of Chaves, is one of “the soldiers” and he  flew already on Wednesday 643 km. in the ASH 25.
After a few off-days,  the weather improved and yesterday and today it should be better , at least that’s what’s expected/hoped for.
Don’t know about today but yesterday they flew around with  500 km. flights
Also around 700 km. flights by other guests flying in Lienz,  as Alexander Müller.

Another  group of German pilots is in Puimoisson and Patrick Gai, JWGC Champion in Rieti in 2007, flew himself to the OLC top with 725 km.[515 FAI triangle] in an ASH 31MI/21 m. last Friday.
And,…knowing that the weather would be good this weekend and seeing with my own eyes great cu’s yesterday, I hoped for fantastic flights ,…..but it is raining this morning with the promise from the meteo, that we should not doubt him; it will be a great spring day/afternoon with up to 22 dgr.
I was also sure that ” good things were happening” yesterday . But it was so-so. It started too late here , pilots still flew 350 with a start at 3 PM and p.e. in Lienz  they struggled in the morning with the aftermath of the thunderstorms in the night, so late starts as well.
Calcinare in Italy had pretty good weather as Luca De Marchi topped the OLC list yesterday with 700 km, a declared 500 FAI triangle in it, [a speed record with 110.6 km.h. starting on a leg] in the 15 m. Ventus 2AX.

Not long ago I mentioned a very interesting movie on TV about the ladies in the RAF, working for ATA. On FB, Sandra shared a message about one of the ladies passing away,on FB,  from the Magazine “Flyer” ;
For that reason I share it with you.
Here is what was written and what a glorious picture;
—-”Maureen Dunlop de Popp, a pioneering female pilot, has passed away aged 91. Dunlop was a pilot with the WWII Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), one of the 164 femal…e pilots who transported planes between factories and military airfields. With the ATA, Dunlop mastered the controls of 28 different single-engine and 10 multi-engine aircraft types, which also included the Hawker Typhoon, Hawker Tempest, Avro Anson, Mustang, Bristol Blenheim and Vickers Wellington. Aside from her flying duties, Dunlop also became a wartime icon in 1944 with this photograph which was featured on the cover of Picture Post magazine, showing Dunlop leaving the cockpit of a Fairey Barracuda. The image is remembered for changing the perception of women who worked for the war effort.–”


Talking about the WW II, I went with my daughter to the musical Soldier of Orange[Soldaat van Oranje] last week, based on the autobiography of Eric Hazelhoff Roelfsema.
He, an aristocratic Dutch student was one of 6 ,who were totally not interested in politics but became heroes in the resistance or sadly lost their lives.
Only ONE word; MAGIC!!!!!!
It was in a hangar at the military airport of Valkenburg.
Can’t believe the guts from those students to help out in the resistance. I saw the movie , read the book but this musical, where we were sitting in the middle with about 1500 people and the audience was turning around on a big round scale, while the decors were firm built around the audience.
That way we “visited” the beach in Scheveningen, the rooms from the students , their society-building and we could look outside , as the doors from the hangar were opened, at a very old DC 3 bringing the former Queen back from London to Holland. Though it was sad  as well, it was too impressive to say in words.

The young pilots will not know him, but it is good when they hear from him. Herbert Frehner died age 84. I met Herbert as the TC for the Swiss in the past and I met him in Anger. A wise and kind person and very down to earth.
He was one of the first European pilots flying in Australia and even visited Tocumwal.
In his later years he flew in Namibia [Bitterwasser] .
One of his close friends said: ”  Today I received the very sad news of the passing of my good  friend Herbert Frehner – 1931 – 2013 – Herb was a very important guy in my life – he invited me to Bitterwasser the first time which had an incredible  positive effect and influence on my life – we flew together in GT  at  Bitterwasser for several years and became the best of friends – we   shared  incredible experiences in the air and on the ground – Herb was a very  tough guy and took me on my first 1000 km flight -”
May he rest in peace!

Back to the present;more news for pilots who are going to fly the 17th EGC in Poland,Ostrow!
Please read through the news on the licence validation:

For those however who do not have their medical certificates according to EASA requirements, some additional exercises are needed.

EGC 2013

As shared by the organisers.


On Mai 2 the new new TMA EHEH above the airport of Eindhoven here in Holland, will be active bringing a lot of changes , also for the glider pilots. On Thursday April 18 there will be an information evening organised by the Royal Air Force to inform everybody about the new rules, to make the change as smooth and safe as possible.[ from the newsletter KNVvL] The Dutch Nationals have been informed by the CD as well.

Yesterday the totally renovated RIJKSMUSEUM in Amsterdam [ ] has been opened for the public. It took TEN  years , instead of the planned 4.5 year and a huge amount of money, [125 million MORE than planned!!!]but according to all who have seen it already it was worth every penny. A guruh-art-journalist from the USA , mentioned that this museum belongs now to the TOP 5 in the world. So when you visit Holland, you know where to go when you like ART.

The Belgium Junior Gliding Team is known; 3 pilots in the 2013 JWGC club class and 2 in standard class. The Dutch have 6 , 3 in each class and the German team has a few very experienced pilots; 4 of the 6 have flown the JWGC before .Young Matthew Scutter represents together with the brothers Mike and Nick Maddocks, Australia.
More news on the very typically -great- Katja -site;
At this stage 85 young pilots from 22 countries, amongst them a few who have made name already in the senior WGC. Something to look ahead to between 28-07 and 10-8- 2013.  AND,…11-08-2013 will be a reserve day if necessary.
By the way, the practical info about this competition is very clear and extensive.
The Preparations for the 9th JWGC in Narromine 2015 are in progress as well and you can enter now for JOEY glide to practise in the end of this year, the first 2 Aussies have entered the list.
Also news about the juniors in my CAFE BLOG today!

Busy day today full of sport on TV, the Formula 1 in China, the Marathon from Rotterdam, the clash between the 2 soccer toppers Ajax and PSV and the one and only BIG race on the bike IN Holland , the Amstel Gold Race in the south of Holland. As the dry nice weather should arrive from the S. they should be OK.

And …….as I heard readers like the pictures I put a few on the top and below from one of my favourite soaring-photographers Kai Monkkonen. I know I have published them before but for the new readers it is nice to show them again.

IMG_9323  IMG_9322


Cheers Ritz

April 10, 2013

Great weekend of soaring; 1248 -plus-flights on Sunday only! HELP !!!!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:02 pm

After the coldest April-6-night  in history ,here in Holland, 11…. MINUS, SPRING  finally arrived. The cold dry Eastern wind gave great pleasure before already to glider pilots , even those who, like here in Holland or Belgium, are used to flat-land-conditions only, now the nice warm sun on Sunday, was a pleasure for everybody.

Bart konings in Pawnee

Ready to go behind the Pawnee with Bart Konings.
Picture courtesy Arjan Scheffer, who is a member from the ZES and digitalised all my old pictures and from many other friends , from the 50 -year- ZES- past for the lustre not long ago. For sure he knows to make a picture!!!!!

With 89 flights in Holland and 15 from Belgium a lot more pilots world wide added their flight to the OLC; over 1200 is a good number after a long winter here .
Junior pilot Jeroen Jennen topped the Belgium list with a good flight from 615 km. flying direction S.E.  from Keiheuvel in the LS 4.
Several FIRST flights for the season from Keiheuvel and as I have quite a lot of friends there, I was pleased to see them happy.

Kilometer -eaters have ” woken up ” as well and one of them,  Guy Bechthold flew in his brand new QUINTUS , a x-country flight from nearly 1000 km. ;935 [622 km. FAI Triangle] from Useldange in Luxembourg.
And yesterday it was Alexander Müller who flew from Lienz [Austria] the first flight for the summer season 2013 in his ASW 22 BLE;540 km. MANY more kilometers will follow for both pilots.
And more good flights from Sunday,…. 934 in Germany in an ASG 29 from Leverkussen is not bad either., as well as 720 [605 triangle]  in an LS 7 from Mannheim.
Like to mention 665 [500 Fai triangle ] from Aachen close the the Dutch border and Belgium border as well in an LS 1f !!!!
Best distance in Holland was flown by Etienne Dillen and Roland Termaat in the Nimbus 4 DT, as after some fog in the morning the weather started to “boom” and they flew 783 km [ 760 Fai triangle] from Terlet, also in the SE direction.
From the S. of Holland , Venlo, several over 500 k. flights, one  in an ASW 19 and over 600 in a Discus.
Denmark had nice conditions on Saturday and 2 pilots spending their winter in warm Corowa, flew with snowy and cold conditions this time,  from Arnborg, over 300 k. in a DG 808/15m.  and and LS 1 d.
And the first flights from Räyskälä are a fact as well, young Aku Jaakkola flew N. of   the airfield over 130 km. in the LS 8!

No FAI sanctioned comps at the moment, the end of April is close by with the KLIX comps from April 26 till May 4 and a competition in Serbia, called Zrenjanin Soaring Cup starts at the 26th as well going till May 5!
The Dutch Nationals will be flown  starting on May 8 with an official practise day and continue till may 18 [ will be there with my laptop for 3 days!] and HAHNWEIDE is from May 3 till 11.
Also starting on May 4 the Qualifying Sailplane GP in Sweden from Langtora Airfield , the Alpe Adria Cup in Austria , from Feldkirchen and the Italian Nationals from Italy in Thiene.
On may 9 there is the Danish National Competition from Arnborg.

And to finish the Aussie comps-season here a picture from the winner in club class, first time amongst  the seniors ; Adam Woolley on tow.

Adam on tow at Eastercomps

Some news from the 17th EGC in Ostrow, Poland .


Because the minimum number of competitors in the world class wasn’t reached, the registration continues until overall competitors limit is reached or until the 5th of July whichever is first. At the same time, the maximum number of pilots in the world class is increased up to 3 per NAC (change approved by IGC).
The entries will be accepted in order of delivery (up to the overall limit of 120 crews) with priority for the world class pilots. Please remember that the entries are valid only with official entry form confirmed by NAC and with entry fee payment (entries must be sent via

We also ask the Team Captains to enter any possible reserve pilots in all classes.

Talking about Poland, Ard Tielenburg a very enthusiastic young DUTCH glider pilot hopes to fly with 5 of his mates in Poland during the 8 th JWGC in Leszno; 3 in club and 3 in standard class ALL talented young men.
For this event, Ard is trying to find a glider as a Discus 2a, LS8 or ASW 28?
When you can help him, please let me know and I send him the happy news.
Ard is an Apache pilot and flies for the Royal Air Force here in Holland.

Apache by Ard

As shared by Ard on FB.

More help wanted, if you can please let them or me know!
Eskilstuna’s Flying Club are looking for a DuoDiscus T, XT eller XLT after the fire. Any tips?

Found some very nice pictures on FB. One of the Dutch glider pilots , Alexander Venema, participating in the May National Comps, practised last weekend in the beautiful LIBELLE.

Libelle Alexander Venema  Libelle Alexander

As shared by Alexander’s club; The Noord Nederlandse Aeroclub.

That’s it , will finish from now on, with the date etc. as that looks better when they link this blog to SoaringCafe.

cheers Ritz on April 10 2013

April 7, 2013

It was not meant to be.. the weather forced Nitra to give up! Torino had 1 day! Goondiwindi 6!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 5:39 pm


A GREAT pity!!! The weather gave up on Nitra , so Vladimir and his team could not do what they wished to do so badly; set a great competition to win the Pribina Cup.
Next year all pilots surely will be back and it will be a great event again as before and as used in Nitra!

Nitra 2013 bar briefing

briefing in the bar!With Reitze and Jens.
courtesy FAC @ NITRA.

This is the official announcement;
—”Briefing is over and so is the competition….
The weather forecast for the next few days days looks very unpleasant and wet and the runway will not be usable probably for the rest of the competition. Therefore, after a long term discussion, Vladimir and Dominink decided that there is no reason to elongate the waiting. Pribina cup 2013 is called off. The weather did not favour us this year and there is no way we could influence that. We are very grateful for everybody who had taken a long journey and had come here and we hope to see you next year. You, pilots are the ones that make this competition and we thank you so much for the patience with this year Pribina. I bet you will recall to all the nice flight you have had here in the past and you will come again. Drive home safely.—”

Pilots and crew who really enjoyed themselves in Chaves and visited Beuenos Aires ,see now that the weather , which was not TOO good during the WGC either,  could have been even worse.
In the beginning of April there was one ONE day as much rain as normally in a month, killing 75 people and creating chaos, flooding  and also a lot of other damage due to very strong winds.
The Argentinean weather institute claims that at some places they measured 150 mm. in 2 hours time.

Buenos Aires 1
What happened with this nice-set-up?

Buenos Aires 2  Buenos Aires 3

Buenos Aires town, the damage was in parts of  the province Buenos Aires.
Courtesy Frans Guise!

The Queensland Easter comps also continued after Easter! So DAY 4 was another interesting day; 2.30  AAT for the 3 classes!
Goondiwindi is a nice place by the way, not that I know it well, but travelled through it several times on my way to Brisbane and Noosa? To be honest I did not know there was a soaring field over there!

POSITIVE soaring news on day 4 from Bruce who flies his JS 1 in sports class.
—”More people should go gliding. Today was another load of fun, helped by a well-set task. The weather was forecast to be blue west of us and to have some clouds to the east, and that was pretty much how it happened. At launch it was very slow to start, and the cus were far away, but shortly after the start we contacted …some nice clouds and then it was go – go – go!! I went as Far East as I could and then ran south down the edge of the Great Dividing Range to stay under the fattest clouds. That seemed to work well, and the good conditions remained until right down at the bottom of our second (final) turn, where I had to glide out into the blue to ensure I didn’t get home early. After I turned it took a little while to connect and get up and running again, but basically I had a good run today. I know the eastern area a little; even though I haven’t flown there a lot it is very similar to home, and I felt comfortable. So, tomorrow is my last day of flying, as Anita and I are going to a wedding in Sydney on Friday and I will be packing up tomorrow afternoon. I’m not sure I will have time to write anything after I leave, but we’ll see. Thanks for the support, see you all again soon. BT.–”
So far Bruce , who is so kind even during a competition,  to share his impressions with all of us. Thanks for that BRUCE!!!

Day 5 started like this with the message from Adam; task AAT 2 hours!

Goondiwindi day 5

Adam ready to go, on what he thinks will be a great day!

And a great day it was ,…according to Allan Barnes who flew his LS 8 in the sports class.
—”Great day – 2:45 AAT down to Moree [South from Goondiwindi] then Mungi. I decided to start early, had a couple of 4kt climbs then hit a beauty 9kt which made me slightly overestimate the strength of the day. Pushed hard into the Moree sector but had to take 4kt that grew to about 7. Turned there, and headed NW into the second sector. I had gone deep enough in Moree that I only needed to touch the sector before turning for home, but I hit a nice cloud right on the boundary so pushed through to the far side of it before turning. The final leg was a little slower, into wind. Came home 10 minutes or so over time for 111kph off the stick.—”

The last day , yesterday the weather was as I heard ” so-so” . The day was cancelled!

All in all I only heard HAPPY comments on this first great competition from the airfield of Goondiwindi.
You might have noticed some problems with the scores. Those from club class were under 2 seater and they got stuck more or less after day 3. But ,….the scorers worked hard to get their act together and produced the scores and the final scores.
We forgive the scorers , [all beginning is difficult and fair is fair, they had the results on the last day AND the final scores]  and look ahead with the pilots to more comps from this field.
Results from 6 days out of the 8 with “normal” scores and Aussi rules scores;
Club class;  WINNER;  Adam Woolley ,[4896] winning 3 days, did not fly on day 1 [lay-day, you can skip a day in an event which has not the level of a National competition and get the average of the points so you can have a rest  in case you need it!] and 2 times 2d! Winner over 5 days and as winner  awarded  of ” our three best performances ” .

2 seater class; Winners; team Kingaroy [  Greg Schmidt (President, coach) & Nev Donald (coachee)] with the Duo Discus XL with 5719 points.

Sports class; Winner;Lisa Trotter [5436] and this was a close call as she was just 6 points ahead of Tom Claffey. Allan Barnes was the number 3 also in the 5000 points, the rest had lower points. Bruce Taylor won 3 days but did not fly every day.
Looking only at those 3 days he was the winner, with “scores of the best performances of the week.” In that case, Lisa, Tom and Allan followed.
As Adam said in his blog:
Ladies & Gentleman, that’s it for another AUS soaring season. The QLD Easter Gliding Champs are now over, next up is my Finland adventure before the AUS Winter sets in..!
I managed to jagg my first seniors win of my soaring career, both on aggregate after flying 5 of the 6 days, & also on the best three performances of the week!
Thanks to the CD & his team, an amazing competition, very friendly, very safe, just brilliant! We’re all hoping we’ll return here soon .
 Thanks to all my competitors in Club, you really pushed me along – looking forward to seeing you all next time. Congrats also to Bruce Taylor for taking out Sports, with Lisa Trotter close behind in a very competitive field.”

AND,…  “My father came 6th, 1st of the ‘rest’ (ie, he was beaten by all the current Uvalde WGC team.”
Thanks Adam for your contribution!

Puimoisson, Serres La Batie, Sisteron , Vinon; all those places are busy and  buzzing with pilots from all parts of Europe. The mountains seem to be  happy with that and provided them last Wednesday, with pretty good weather with lot’s of over-500 km. flights, a few over-600 and even over- 700 km.
Lucky ones ;  Italy, Spain, Portugal and Slovakia still suffer from rain.

From Torino , where the 41 st Trofeo Internazionale  de Citta di Torino, is in progress since March 29, the next news on April 5 by Clara ; ” Oggi meteo pessima: i tutti a terra!” Only the word pessima says enough! “The weather is not good,  ALL over the world!”
Last soarable day was Saturday one week ago ,so  only flying on March 31.
They tried hard yesterday; briefing at 10.45 than 12.30 and 13.00; task 120 km. BUT the weather was just not good enough and  at 14.30 the day was cancelled , so with one day , won by Luca Di Marchi, [ 514 points] this competition finished. A pity!!!  “annullata per insufficienti condizioni meteo” even I do understand that!

Better weather still in Australia where Ingo flew a nice over 500 km. flight in his Discus from good old Tocumwal. He even “topped” the OLC list on Friday.
And 324 k. in the Kestrel is not bad either from Temora.
Nice ridge flight by the way from Ridge Soaring in a PIK 20B on  Wednesday ; 900 km. even with a “loss” of more than 3 hours to fly home due to a ” block-of-the-road ” by snow showers.

AND,…….YESTERDAY we had an extremely good soaring-day again here in Holland. Nice cold [-8 to,  - 10 up in the air!!!] unstable air, dry and strong thermals , [from nice big-well-formed-cu's] , as I could feel in my garden again.
Flights from 602 km. in an 18 m. LS 8 in the N. of Holland flying direction E. into Germany by Siem and Rene flew in the ASG 29 from the same field [De Voorst] into Germany; 647 km.
On the news in the evening they showed during the weather great cloud streets!

cloud street

One of the Dutch pilots , not in the air as you can see,  noticed the cloud streets as well.
Courtesy Alexander Venema via FB.

Not difficult to guess that the N. part of Germany had strong soaring conditions as well with 705 in an ASH 26  from Boberg. But also the UK had great weather!!! David Masson managed to fly 693 km from Lasham direction N.
Also Booker and Dunstable had great flights for the beginning of the season.
But with 1595 km. in wave,  Jim Payne topped the list yesterday from Minden ; as he mentioned “Minden Rocks” so to see it did!

They say that this upcoming week will “FEEL” more like spring here, 10 dgr. today[ normal average is 13]  hope it is true , as our farmers are getting sad/worried about the in their eyes  longest cold-period in history. Everything that grows is slow now!!!Too slow and it is VERY dry at the moment as well! But with the SW wind it will be warmer and we will have rain!
Normally this time of the year I see the most colourful flowers along the rails when travelling by train to Amsterdam. Now it looks a bit like the desert in Australia!

And to finish a few nice pictures from a young, Belgium blogger Niel Deijgers. [in English]

Neil met Bert van Eyken at 5AM  Neil gliders ready to go

at 5 AM  and ready to go!

Niel LS4 finish  Neil.  in the corn

Finishing and ….landing [in corn]

See you next week.
Cheers Ritz

April 3, 2013

First “full” day on OLC on April1; 800 flights! No flying yet in Nitra!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:24 pm


4 DUTCH glider pilots topped the OLC list flying IN/FROM  Holland on APRIL 1!!!!!

NO,…..No April-fools-joke;  Easter monday
was a GOOD/SUPER  day. April started cold , we are used to that now, but not too bad for soaring! I read several times that when this is the beginning of the 2013 season, it ‘s very morish.
With lot’s of nice high , even strong looking clouds here in Alphen , where you could feel some strong passing thermals in the garden, the weather else where in Holland was pretty good too.

April 1  April 1 2

As seen and shared by Frank Hiemstra who flew 412 km in the St. Cirrus and loved every minute and his sister Ilse on FB.

From Teuge not too far from Terlet Sander Luimes flew in the 18m. LS 6, a yo-yo-like -distance of 416 km!!! He comments that even with heat- packs and double- socks his feet were “frozen”, but his day was TOP, for him it might be such an Easter monday every day!
Specially the middle and East of Holland were good and flights over 500 km. in -flat-as-a-pancake-Holland early in the season in ASW 20 and Duo Discus are just good.
Even a nearly 500 km triangle [478 km] was flown by Bart Renckens [Ventus 2CM 18m] , the Dutch TC in Chaves from Soesterberg and a REAL FAI  500 k .triangle by Sikko Vermeer in the Ventus BT./17m. a total of  685 km..for him.
Sikko send me that great video from the reparation of the ARCUS at Terlet, you remember?
755 in the NIMBUS 4 D as well, flying direction East to Port Westfalica in Germany, 698 in the Ventus 2CT/18m. SPRING has arrived for soaring not for sitting in the garden, or,…you should do so behind glass!!!
What about a 548 k [ FIA triangle 462 k. ] from Bart Berendsen who was  once , in the past one of my juniors; free distance-Ahlhorn -Borken-Salland starting slow,  but still going strong thanks to cloud streets but sometimes “blue”  as well. IN a ST. CIRRUS
I am getting a bit too excited with so many long x-country flights, I better stop now , before I get you bored , you can see the rest at the OLC;  800 flights world wide!
AND,….. yesterday was a nice day again , not a lot of people had a day off, but those who had enjoyed some nice soaring , nearly 600 km in a NIMBUS 4M  from Terlet direction NE into Germany.

Only a bit more than a month and the Dutch Nationals are on and the organisers are pleased with  already  53 pilots and you can still enter when you wish. The organisation added another 2 weeks! Good , no great news, so many participants!

With the snow gone at the airfield from Nitra, there was hope that gliding carefully could start. The organisation in Nitra does n’t exist out of  “softies”,   but “experienced-whenever-you-can-fly-,we-fly- types.”
Unfortunately not all 124 preliminary entered pilots have arrived , but still 74 might GO UP from 16 different countries!!!
The situation is ; 32 in club class, 14 in the 2 seater class, 16 in open/18 m. class and 12 in 15 m. class. But this changed due to the weather again.
7 In total from the UK , but I heard it is their squad training as well!

Easter Monday was cancelled not so much due to the weather , as it was dry and sunny with cu’s, but after the [melting-] snow and a day with rain, the runway was not suitable to launch all 74 gliders. Hardworkers as they are, they dried/drained as much as possible, to let pilots who wished so, “snif ” the NITRA- air.About 30 did from the tarmac runway!

Nitra 2013 rain
courtesy;FAC@ Nitra

Very sad for the organisers and pilots and crew travelling up to Nitra but day 3 was cancelled too, due to the condition of the runway and the expecxted rain in the afternoon.
What can you do? Nothing, it’s all in the game!!!
Some more pilots have left for home, some love the atmosphere and will stay till the end, some just got a launch for a short flight from the tarmac runway!!
Today the briefing is in the bar, WHY not!!! They continue as real professionals as,…It rains again, extremely sad for Vladimir and his team and for the pilots. But” flying in the bar ” can be fun too, not what they hoped for , but atleast an alternative.

They showed a nice Dutch 3.03 minute-video from  Jens Bouma,a member of the FAC on Tuesday, which you can find on ;
PribinaCup Nitra at youtube.
Jens made nice short videos during the Nationals in Holland as well and the organisers started  the briefing with it .Like Hubertus Huvermann , he is a talent and Hubertus made those nice videos to start the briefing with in Finland.

Nitra 2013 lakes by Elfo  Nitra 2013 float planes

Look for the great and larger pictures from ELFO on

The Queensland Goondiwindi Easter Comps started with a day of reasonable good flying and than a full day of rain, meaning sitting and waiting ! But , it’s part of soaring as well.
Day 2 , from the final competition of the Aussie season, was a 2 hour AAT[ they only set AAT's during this competition!]  Was Bruce the winner on day 1 gaining the full 1000 points and Tom Claffey as runner up, day 2 was a prey for Lisa Trotter and runner up this time was Chris Woolley, father from Adam.
Bruce, Tom, Lisa but also her husband Peter  and Kerry [the wife and crew from Tom]  represented Australia in Uvalde during the last WGC and are flying here in Goondiwindi. So a strong field.
In club class Adam Woolley was the winner on day 2, whilst Michael Codling won day 1 . Allan Barnes [flying in the sports class in Goondiwindi] represented Australia in Chaves in the world class.
And,… former Sportavia-guest/employee Alain Potier [ season 1987/1988 under Bill Riley!!!] won day 2 in the Puchacz.[YES , Puchacz, of course I know that glider!]


As seen by Adam Woolley.

Goondiwindi 2  Goondiwindi

Goondiwindi  field courtesy Adam and the place itself between Narromine and Brisbane as shared on FB, by Mike Codling.

Day 3 as seen by Adam Woolley winner in club class this day and of course with his permission, in his blog Gliding Adventures for more you can go to;
—”Another great day in Queensland, was as forecast. The goal today went well, got a lot out of it – unfortunately made one monumental stuff up with routing options (judged a street to parallel the wedge, in fact it was off course by over 10*).
All good, a great learning exercise. New focus was to follow the original goal of straight lining between clouds, plus leaving them efficiently; with the added goal now of, getting on with the show (putting the best flight in from this point forward).
Flew a good flight, & took climbs when I needed them, straight lined (felt good). Was showing 105kph at one point & looked to be coming home early, then we crossed into the wet lands…
Slowed right up, & tried my best for what was in front of me. Forced to take 2.5kts from the ground to final glide, slowed my speed back to 96kph for the day.—”

Bruce Taylor looked on FB back on this day as follows:—- “Ahhh, more fun was had today. The weather turned on a typical south east Queensland day, and we all romped around a sky full of cumulus for the afternoon. We went down south, well into the Lake Keepit task area, charging along using 6 – 7 knot climbs under big, fat clouds. The wind increased a bit, and the next leg was heading north west with flatter clouds that still gave good climbs and some long runs with no stopping. Occasionally there was some company to share the fun, and  think most of us got home comfortably before the dreaded early finish to the day came into effect. It was just one of those flights that was a load of fun, and a real joy to share with other like-minded souls. It is amazing when this all happens over miles of standing water and soggy paddocks. Just don’t look down!—”

Winners in each class for day 3 with a 2.30 AAT; club class Adam Woolley!2 Seater class Erich Wittstock in a PW6U and in the sports, Adam’s dad Chris was the best. Good on the family Woolley!!!

The Italian top pilots are since March 29 together for their beginning-of-the-season-competition in Torino. Unfortunastely I was only been able to find one flying day till now,  on March 31, withe Luca De Marchi as winner of the 279 km. long racing task. 2 ARCUS gliders followed with in one Alberto Sironi and a co pilot and the other Luigi Avanzini with his co pilot. Other well known pilots were on spot 4 , Giorgio Galetto, on spot 11 Stefano Ghiorzo and  on spot 13 Peter Hartmann, from the 31 in total, not counting the co’s .All fly in ONE class with handicap!

And to finish; A fire in the workshop in Eskilstuna damaged wings , a fuselage from a top glider and other material. More news about this “NIGHT MARE for pilots”  in soaringcafe on Sunday!!!
Maybe somebody can HELP already now! Or has an idea or,….
‘Dear friends I have lost my wings. There was a fire accident at the Eskilstuna club. No  people was hurt bur I lost the wings to my fox. Now I need to rent, borrow, buy or steal a Fox or a Swift to the team.

Best regards Pekka Havbrandt’

When YES , please let me know and I will forward the message.
Cheers Ritz

March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:48 pm

pasen 2013 006  pasen 2013 008



We moved in time ONE hour ahead this weekend ;
BUT summer is still far away.

The 50thiest lustrum of the ZES , last Wednesday was one big feast of recognation. One thing was evident; we surely got older!!!!!! But “happy ” older and some wrinkles show the identity of the 50 years of good and bad days! All of them from the year 1967, had those nice “46 year old wrinkles”  to show they were still there and HAD LIVED and ….are still alive,  as I knew some had died as Kees Musters and Hans Jonkers, both very charismatic icons from the ZES, but I heard even more  are not amongst us anymore as Rudy van Brienen and Martin Panis!!!!
Some however were older than 80,…. some in their 90thies !!!!!! And you would not believe that!!!!!!

ZES lustrum 015  ZES lustrum 013

Paul van Geuns is in his early 80thies [l.] and left one day later for Vinon “glider on tow” , here with Wim Korenromp, both in the board in the 5 first years. Prof. and Mrs. Schlösser are in their 90thies! Prof. Schlösser was the ENGINE behind the ZES , “organising” gliders with help from DAF and PHILIPS  and building with the section electro- technik from the Technical University in Eindhoven , the ZES-winch. He is busy with a book now about the history of soaring and when there is more news you will hear it.

ZES lustrum 001  ZES lustrum 017
Wim Korenromp here with Angela, was from before my time and Peter, Dick and Boudewijn were from “my” year.

ZES lustrum 006  ZES lustrum 009

Peter Cornelisse was in the board in my time and is STILL an instructor for the ZES now!!! He defenitely is one of the longtime members.
AND,..the future, the president at this time!

What I always remember first from Easter is something from the past; that it was the final busy part of our business SPORTAVIA, in Tocumwal for the season. We started already early in November with WINGS night and the OUTBACK race and had guests till early or mid April depending on when Easter had the long weekend, for the last x-country flights for overseas guests and or regulars from Melbourne.
The horse races were in the same weekend  at the Toc race court and not always [because it was too busy ],but sometimes,  I could escape for a few hours to sip champagne with friends, betting on horses and just sitting on a blanket, enjoying the company of friends who came along or from town .
Great memories! But we were more or less worn out as well after so many intensive months.

Easter is the start as well for the NITRA competition; The Pribina Cup. I am afraid they will be cold as we all are over Easter here. But no worries with the right [thermo]-clothes you do NOT feel the cold, you only need soaring-weather! Let’s see what the week will bring.
Last Wednesday there was still snow at the field, but,…the sun was shining as well, so the snow melted quickly. On Thursday about 20 pilots could check their glider and their instruments.
No flying today and yesterday! But ,..there is hope!
More news and pictures also on

Till now the first weekend in March had  349 entrees on the OLC. The next weekend 429, the weekend from week 11 counted 476 flights and last weekend with the cold freezing wind in parts of Europe , “only” 264. This Easter weekend hopefully will be busy with good x-country soaring world wide.
The weather here is still about 6 dgr. TOO low than the average temperature but someway or another BETTER soaring must be possible soon. Good to see at least different squads are practising in the mountains at several places.
By the way it looks like our strawberry and asparagus harvest will be small due to the bad frost, so expensive vegies and fruit this summer !

The VINTAGE REGATTA is on in Australia  flown from Warkworth. Nice to see names on the OLC as, the Maupin Woodstock 11.9, not long ago back on the old nest in Tocumwal , where I met Peter again, KA 6 E, LS 3 , Jantar 2 B and Mosquito.

And,…The EASTER comps are in progress in Goondiwindi.
Several AUSSIE- top- pilots are flying here as Bruce Taylor, Alan Barnes, the Claffey’s, Shinzo, Michael Codling and more.
For results see
Nice to see one of our season-instructors from the past in Goondiwindie as well; Alain Potier, flying as PZL Krosno Puchatek a Polish glider.
This competition is on till April 6 and “provides an opportunity for pilots of all experience levels to compete in a friendly and social setting.  Our aim is to run a competition that is fun, safe and friendly and we  will try to provide challenging competition to everyone from the novice  to the experienced. To this end, assigned area tasks will be the norm in three classes – Sports, Club and Two Seaters class.”

Nice flight by the way in New Zealand, where Max Stevens flew in the Discus a nice long [715 km] and high – nearly 400 m. AGL] flight from Omarama.

Enjoy your Easter weekend!

cheers Ritz and to finish some more pictures from the ZES party.

ZES lustrum 002  ZES lustrum 004

Boudewijn, my instructor Dick and Ans. Paul, Peter, Theo and Dick.

ZES lustrum 012
AND…Evelyn Schlösser, yes daughter from and ……sister from Karin, who I met in Uvalde with husband Heinz and daughter Hannah. Did see both girls not for at least 30 years. Evelyn is a very well known balloonist.

March 27, 2013

Scandinavia wakes up! Tornado-story..updated! Nitra welcomes over 100 pilots end of this week!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:01 pm


lente2010 004

Longing for SPRING!

The pilots from AKAflieg Frankfurt have settled down for their Wave Research Camp in Spain, since March 18; at LA Cerdanya. Flying on the South side of the Pyrenees, they enjoy thermals, wave and fly on the “hang” in gliders as ARCUS, Duo Discus ,but also LS 3 , Hornet . Wave ; there was even superb wave over a convergence line on March 19!!
According to Christoph Maul, who flies with AKAflieg club members in the Duo discus and shares his experience with us on the OLC, March 20 had 2 “faces”. One part had great NW wave from Perpignan to Andorra; Height 6344 MSL /4507 AGL—wind 320 and 70 km./h.
On March 22 they reached in the DUO 5000 m. AGL in SW wave ; wind there 240 with 90 km./h.
Nice to see how active they fly together with members from the SFG Bremen.

The German squad has settled in Vinon, with TC Uli [ yesterday 524 k. in ARCUS] , and pilots as Patrick Puskeiler [716 k yesterday in Nimbus 4], Matthias Sturm , Michael Sommer [678 k in EB 28]and more.
No secret that the next EGC  for 15m. 18m. and open class is from June 8 till 28 this year…… in Vinon. So good practise!
For more news;

And I received more news from France this time for the LADIES; Certainly for those who want to practise a bit more for the WWGC, here is your chance!
—” We still have some place for the French women nationals, this will be from 5 to 12 may in Buno (about 150km north of Issoudun).
The French team will be there to train before Issoudun.
We  will also have the 18m French Nationals some pilots from Belgium and UK are coming.
The website here:   –”

And look at the GREAT pictures I received  from the open class competition in 2012 in Buno!!!!Thanks Christophe!!!!
For more pictures you can go to;

And for their FB site to;éronautique-du-Val-dEssonne/213947788620784

2 Fantastic impressions about WAITING.

Women in Buno  Women in Buno crew
Nice to see also, that Scandinavian pilots woke up from their hibernation.
In Denmark from Arnborg , last weekend 4 flights by 2 brave pilots flying  over 200 km. and over 300 km in the Discus and Ventus, starting the OLC season over there.
And,… North of Arnborg pilots woke up as well ,flying in the Discus from Herning Skinnerh, mentioning even “working cloud streets” !
Swedish pilot Bernt Hall so much enjoyed his first flight of the season/year , even circling with an eagle; the eagle won, he mentions in his OLC comment! 244 km. in the DG 400 from Skoevde Maal and up to nearly 1500 m.. Must have been VERY cold.
One of the 2 first flights added to the OLC list this year for Sweden.


This eagle flew / was spotted in Australia .
courtesy; Morgen Sandercock.

124 pilots start this weekend in Nitra with hope to be the winner in one of the 4 classes of that big Pribina Cup.
On her way Swaantje Geyer from Germany had to defy cold -4 and snow , while driving up to Nitra through the hils of the HARZ and Thüringer forest and via Nürnberg to finish her jobs. HOPE the weather will be GOOD there, it looks like it will improve !!!!!!

Swaantje  Swaantje 2
as shared by Swaantje on FB.

The competition and selection committee in Holland has decided to agree on the next handicap in the combi class during the CAE/NLS Dutch Nationals from Mai 9 till 17 2013
100 Standaard klasse
101 Duo Discus & DG-1000
103 15 meter klasse
104 Arcus
Pilots can register at least till March 31!

The tornado-power had a direct impact I heard now on places VERY close to Tocumwal, as Barooga where lot’s of our guests played golf or had dinner at the Barooga Golf club. Also Cobram the town we all do/did our BIG shopping, was hit . Here is the link I got from Doris , who loved in the past being in Tocumwal as well.

Of course I started to worry a bit. Knowing that Eddie , from Sportaviation, who knows the area very good AND knows a lot about weather could inform me best and of course to check if they and all  new trees they planted and the new hangars and the beautiful new camping site,  were still ok, he answered;
—” We could hear the start of the tornado quite clearly from here, like a jet or high speed train.
It set down about 1Km west of Koonoomoo through the store and a few houses travelled for 4Km lifted and set down twice in Barooga gaining power to full strength at Mt Gwin destroying a farm. It then lifted again and come down with even more power on the North side of Lake Mulwala totally destroying the caravan park ,in the forest on the west side the trees were ripped from the ground and the trees devoid of leaves . It travelled across the lake  to Bundalong doing the same thing there. Total destruction!

Not much happened at Tocumwal as the cells developed south and NE of us and we got much needed rain with a bit of wind.—”

Koonoomoo , is a tiny place with lots of fruit as apricots and kiwis. Strawberries are famous there and you find them in all varietees in the BIG STRAWBERRY, which you pass by travelling from Melbourne to Toc..

Hearing that,  I was worried again about Richard our former instructor at Sportavia and in the past a longtime owner of a KESTREL ,  as he just built a new house in Koonoomoo, with sheds and lot’s of trees, but also animals, “cattle & horses were behaving very weirdly in the 10 minutes or so that the tornado was forming – I guess the atmospheric pressures upset them.”

Here is what he had to say:
—”it was a very very scary event. I watched the tornado from my place form almost right over the little Koonoomoo store at the highway intersection about 2 klms south of my cattle yards. I had no idea how serious it was until I drove in that direction on my way to Cobram for dinner about 15 minutes later. I couldn’t get through with all roads blocked in every direction by fallen red gums. It was as if somebody had used a giant hedge trimmer to cut the tree trunks about 20 feet above ground! The broken limbs were dumped by the tornado onto houses, cars, caravans & sheds – about 7 houses were destroyed in Koonoomoo all around that intersection, including the shop which exists no more. The young girl in the shop thought she was going to die when a large glass fronted drinks refrigerator fell towards her but luckily fell against a wall which held it off her while the roof and walls were blown away by the 250 klm whirlwind. Strangely the “Big Strawberry” building only 20 metres away suffered only 1 broken glass window – no damage on that side of the intersection.

The tornado then moved east at about 80 klms p/hour towards Barooga cutting a path about 50 – 100 metres wide where lots of trees were broken and the Golf Club lost it’s roof; then on to Mulwala where trees were broken and 2 caravan parks were completely destroyed and 19 people injured, some of them trapped in their caravans while being picked up by the tornado and dumped onto the ground!! It then moved on to Bundalong and did a lot of damage to homes there and finally to Rutherglen where it petered out.

I eventually got to my dinner & red wine in Cobram about an hour & a half late after helping people in Koonoomoo chainsaw tree branches off the roads and in their driveways……………It was like a bomb site and even this morning driving to the Clinic it felt really strange seeing blue skies all above where previously there were 40 & 50 feet high gum trees with their foliage.

How lucky that there was no loss of life.—”

So far about the tornado, specially for my friends, who have flown with us and were worried as I heard , like I was.
Thanks Richard!


Of course I support the “kick off” as published by my friends Bill and Rand from Soaringcafe:
—”Richard Glassock, an Australian glider pilot and aircraft designer, is the originator and designer of a breath-taking six-seat sailplane design concept. On March 27, 2013, he will kick off a 90-day crowd-funding project with a goal of A$5,000,000. Visit his website to learn more about this ground-breaking project and to support him by making a pledge. The kickoff announcement is also posted on —”

And to finish , speed as speed should be, even expressed/caught  in the picture.

JS 1 speed jet

This is Tassilo Bode flying as a jet in JET, the JS 1 in Tswalu.
High speed finish, indeed the picture “shows the speed”.
Shared on FB by Sven Olivier.
Picture courtesy; Iain Rennie.

Off to the Southern part from Holland now for the 50thiest anniversary of the ZES. Camera,  paper and pen with me! Old fashioned, no i-phone, i-pad , blackberry , Samsung or whatever they are all called, just back to the basics, today; memories and fun.
cheers Ritz

March 24, 2013

A junior aviator day! 17th FAI EGC in Poland! Calcinate!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 7:11 pm


Good morning on this sunny Sunday morning here, but freezing cold.
Not a lot of time anymore so here is an important reminder , for those who are interested and have not read it yet,  this next invitation-mail  for the 17th FAI EGC in Ostrow Poland. When you are qualified to go and your NAC wants to send you , be in time ;

—”Dear Pilots, Team Captains and Regional Aeroclubs,

 Only 10 days are left until the deadline for the confirmation of the participation in the 17th FAI European Gliding Championships in Ostrów.

Currently 72 pilots have confirmed their participation in the Gliding Championships that will take place this summer at EPOM. The limit is 124 places, thus please send us notifications as soon as possible.

In case you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 PS. We consciously send this information to everyone – even if you already did send us the participation form, please do follow up with your friends that haven’t yet done so.

 On behalf of the organisers,

Pozdrawiam / Best regards Bogusława Wolniewicz-Niemiec Aeroklub Ostrowski
mobile 1: +48 695 771 390 mobile 2: +31 621 296 182

With numbers in gliding clubs going down, the initiative from Judy and Ingo Renner and their Southern Riverina Gliding Club, to specially focus a day on juniors and create a full day of interesting items for them yesterday at the Tocumwal Aerodrome , is a good one.
Club members have been asked to donate some money to pay for the tow fees for the young ones, a few days before there was an interview on ABC TV and a morning program starting at 10 , with all kinds of short speeches, DVD’s [ 15 min. Otto Lilienthal and 15 min. an introduction to gliding by John Roake] and lunch at 1.15 , looks very entertaining for the young aviators.
Speeches about the development of flying machines, the history about soaring , modelling, principles of flight, airworthiness and maintenance of gliders , learning to fly powered aircraft and career options , control surfaces and gliding instruments ,[ How to DI a glider?]   meteorology and safety and launch signals are programmed.
In the afternoon they will have their first flight and Ingo is one of the pilots.
Hope the weather was good for them.


As seen by Dundee from his “house”at the camping area. To the East it looked “RED”.

 There was FINALLY rain I heard after “a very hot summer with long spells of 35 plus days. March has seen an Australian record of “above 30 degrees” for 13 days in a row, whilst the temperatures in Toc have been in the mid to high 30′s over the same period. We have all found it extremely trying.”

Tocumwal by Ronald

That’s what the kids see from above!
Courtesy ;Ronald Hermans

Nice to see that Mount Beauty topped the OLC list on March 19 with a 622 km. flight in a 15 m. Ventus b by Andy Smith.
Just got some pictures from some friends who flew there during the mountain-flying-course. This way , by seeing it, you share a bit of their joy.

Mount Beauty Jorgen 1

The city and airfield seen from the West.
courtesy Jörgen Thomsen

Mount Beauty Jorgen 2  Mount Beauty Jorgen 3

The landscape Jörgen , Brigitte and Roger flew over in the ARCUS.

Mount Beauty Jorgen briefing 3
Morning briefings with a few hours of theory lessons, discussion on techniques, and safety of flying in the mountains
during this course at Mount Beauty.

From France [Bailleau] I got an interesting link about unmanned gliders. Thanks Anthony!
It’s an article in THE ECONOMIST , [so don't worry in English ] and it explains more about TALEUAS,  the hand-launched Tactical Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial System (TALEUAS) “which  is being developed at the Unites States’ Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. It needs an electric propeller to get airborne, but give it a few minutes to reach a reasonable altitude and TALEUAS can fly all day just by riding rising currents of warm air called thermals.”
Here is the link and ENJOY:

It was supposed to be REAL practise when the German police, with 400 people,  came together to try-out, an action against hooligans in the Olympic Stadium in Berlin.
It turned out to be a black day as 2 helicopters collided not far from the stadium, killing one of the pilots and injuring 4, 2 of them badly. The weather was not too good , with snow and while practising , the helicopters flew low. On TV it looked as if they were landing,  but investigation will tell us why it happened. The action was stopped immediately.
Even worse was the accident with a Chopper in NSW [Australia] where 4 were killed on their way to a fancy restaurant for lunch. The Robinson R44 light helicopter crashed after clipping a tree and  burst into fire.

 Calcinate del Peche [Varese]  , the Italian Alps, is the place to be for high performance soaring/training/stages and lots of Italian pilots are there right now. Even topping the OLC with flights up to over 400 km.
When you read as comment “bellissimo primo volo SAP2013, eccellente tutor!” it is all OK!!!!
Varese is an important place for soaring in Italy with at least 3 clubs at the lake.
One of them is called ” Aero Club  Adele Orsi. ” in short ICAO, very special is n’t it? Giorgio Ballarati is the “master”, who gives x-country-training there in the duo discus during the season, starting in March.
I know Giorgio from several comps and even worked for/with him in Rieti.Lovely guy and an excellent pilot!
Of course he also flew the ETA during the WGC in Eskilstuna.
I remember Adeles husband Giorgio as some kind of king, sitting/laying in his open class glider , with a crew around him with umbrellas during the Pre WGC. We were even invited in their castle-looking house , in the mountains at that time visible from Rieti airport. Impressive kind people, who did a lot for gliding in Italy!
The “ICAO” has by the way just recently chosen a new chairwoman; Margherita Acquaderni, holder of 28 Italian records and she was a participant in 6 WCG’s.

This weather???? I don’t know about it!!!
As said Australia had the hottest March ever, it looks like Europe has the coldest March ever. With the cold easterly it feels like minus 15 this weekend and the colourful tulips in the KEUKENHOF, one of the most famous attractions in Holland in spring, has no flowering tulips.
The UK suffers from REAL snow at the moment and we here have frozen seawater on the borders of the WADDENsea and even more weird, the tough Easterly wind annoyed ferries to go to the islands up North, as the water -level was temporarily too low. Pretty unique , certainly for this time of the year.
Spring started in Canada with MINUS 30 and chaos on the roads with deadly accidents.
Victoria in the South of Australia, was hit by damaging tornadoes and the rain, storm and gales lashed NSW as well. This picture below is from Yarrawonga close to Corowa , Benalla and Tocumwal, where wind up to 250 km./h. ruined a lot and injured at least 20 people, 2 pretty badly.
Not so much later  the Narromine/Dubbo area was hit by “destructive wind, large hails and heavy rainfall”.
AND….AGAIN 2 days later the runner up from Chaves , Tobias Geiger, flew again over 400  km.  in his LS 4 from Benalla. Indeed, that’s  how quickly the weather can change over there. I was sometimes amazed!!

Victoria tornado

 Picture on TV from Victorian Storm Chasers.As seen on FB by Tammie, the lovely wife from one of our tuggies Glenn, now a proud AG pilot.

And as extra UPDATE to these tornadoes, a link to this video, thanks Vanessa;

And this one close to the Lake Mulwala, for those who flew at Tocumwal, the lake with the “dead trees”.
Same but under 1 minute!

 I am looking forward to the 50 thiest anniversary of the ZES ….1963-2013… Wednesday. About 140 soaring-friends have announced their arrival and a few from “my ” year 1967.
It will be busy over Easter with guests here, but I try to keep writing as well as of course Nitra starts with 124 pilots ;the first big competition in 2013 in Europe. It’s all going to happen again.

CU next week .When you have n’t got enough of reading …….and want to read more ……and have not read it yet, …….there is a nice interview with Uys Jonker on the OLC page as well as  “shared” on . Enjoy, as I did.

Off to look at the world championship ice speed skating in the Olympic hall in Sochi now, but I look downstairs nice warm in my room in front of the TV. As expected but certainly also hoped for in our speed skating-crazy-country,  “WE” are doing well, with 4 gold, 4 silver topping the medal list and more to come on this last day.

Cheers Ritz

March 20, 2013

Icy soaring conditions, give pleasure as well!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:39 pm

….the astronomical  SPRING or ….autumn down under, starts….

NOT that we FEEL that spring is about to start here.
With a cold easterly and temperatures up to 8 dgr. LOWER than the average 10 for this time of the year, it seems we long more for a bit of sun and warmth than ever before.

Enough pilots however love these icy conditions. As said in my  blog in SOARINGCAFE last Sunday, it’s [nearly] all about wave, hang and ridge soaring during this time of the year.

Parade and opening 076
Werner above , with Carol and Bill Elliott [SOARINGCAFE] at Uvalde

When you are waiting for the promised story about RIDGE soaring , from Werner, it arrived just in time to use it in my Sunday-soaring-cafe-blog, so you can read it there. Enjoy! [link above!]


soaring on ice 4
The team at Vaga in Norway with Robert 3d to the left.

Other friends “stand the icy-cold conditions” as Robert Danewid every year does. Soaring from an ice- runway and freezing cold, but lot’s of fun! Their Vaga camp is an adventure from 7 days in the Norwegian Mountains, giving the pilots however the pleasure of wave up to 5000 m. QNH, hang and ridge soaring.
As I read on their site , it was a great week and they hope to see everybody and even more guests back in week 11 in 2014!
Stats; —” 173.700 altitude meters towed during the camp.The latest update of the blog says that there have been 153 tows. This gives an average tow height of 1.132 meters.”

See for more stats and news ; 

soaring on ice 3

soaring on ice 2  soaring on ice

All pictures courtesy Robert Danewid.
for more pictures;

More icy conditions and more fantastic pictures by blogger Benjamin Bachmeier who flies from Serres La Batie. Impressive with text.Here is one of them;

Benjamin Mont Aiguille

Courtesy Benjamin Bachmeier

Australia now; Dundee [Dieter] shared a nice link from an outlanding check;” starring ” in this just under 15 minutes you- tube -video, pilot Zack and his instructor Ingo.

News from SEE YOU;
“New versions of SeeYou Recorder are released for both iPhone, iPad and Android devices. They include stability improvements, minor bug fixes and a feedback form. We love to hear back from you and for this reason we are making it more simple.” On FB you only have to click , for feedback and/or settings, but I guess on their site as well. Have a look.

With 289  flights last Sunday on the OLC, it looks the season  slowly starts.
Nice to see an over 500 km. flight from Nagano in Japan in a DG 505M/20m.
Still just under  500 km. flights  from Orient in South Africa [ ASW 27] and over 500 k. from Mc Cafferey Field [South from George Lee Field] in Australia in ASW 19 , where the season is over and autumn started.

The “OLDIES” and I say that with love and pride, flew from Seminole Lake , “the home of the senior Nationals”. Hope you enjoyed reading the stories written by Frank Paynter on Soaringcafe. They “were cold” over there as well.
About the last day you can go to ;
Interesting to read about the “elimination of the ban on pilot-to-pilot communication”. Something we do not know  in Europe, as we all happily talk and talk, sometimes too much and you hear loud: RADIO DISCIPLINE!!!

One of the pilots is Hartley Faltbaum, “our ” designated medical doctor at Uvalde last year.
He was n’t very busy then, but was the first to take care of Peter Hartmann [CH]  when he was brought back from the place where he bailed out and his plane crashed,  after the collission in mid air with French pilot Louis Bouderlique.
The helicopter owned and flown by Mark Huffstutler , came back to the field , so we could see pretty fast Peter was OK , by stepping out of the heli himself.
Hartley still put him down on the ground , to check on him, but after that he was free to go for an all- over -precautionary -check/scan in hospital.

Briefing last day 002
Peter; Still pretty emotional on the next days briefing, talking about the incident.
Last Sunday I noticed Peter on top 4 of the OLC  flying a DG 505/20 m from Bad Ragas in Switzerland.

It was also very good from Hartley to give all people suffering from the heat , tips to “survive”. He did that when necessary before briefing. I still drink every morning a lot of water to start the day, as he advised and as you can see, we took at that time his advise of “eating” well too.

gary 003
With Gary, crew from Bill Elliott [WE] in Uvalde.

 Indonesian Airline Lion Air has ordered 234 Airbusses of the A 320 type. A huge order ; 18 milliard Euro is involved!
Airbus is doing well , as last week orders were set by Lufthansa[100 A320's] and Turkish Airlines [82 A 320's]
The CAE Oxford Aviation Academy , sponsor from the Dutch Nationals as CAE/NLS , held in May [9-18 with a practise day on May 8] from this year, is one of the “providers”  from young pilots to Lion Air, as well as to German Wings [ full daughter of Lufthansa ] and Ryan Air. This company just ordered 175 Boeing’s; type 737.
So you would think, that for the future there should be enough new jobs again for young pilots. At the moment it is not easy to find a job!

Talking about the Dutch Nationals; 36 participants at this stage, 4 in standard class, 4 in open class, 14 in club class, 1 in the 2-seater [20m] class , 11 in 18 m. class and 2 in 15 m. So maybe a few of the smaller classes will have to join into one mixed class, or in the end a few more pilots must/should  enter.
Natasja is the CD again with some new and old faces supporting her and my “mates” Daan, Sjoerd and Bertje the tuggies with , when necessary also Zweef [Evert Jan] and Ralph.


Tuggies last year Sjoerd, Bertje and Daan.

The DUTCH NATIONALS will be at Terlet  and last Monday one of the pilots flew from there already a nice 318 km. cross country flight , direction East straight in to Germany over Münster in a 17m. DG 400. As a member of the winning OLC club last year,  the Gelderse,  he has made a few steps to the 2013-top already.

To finish “for those who are not on FB , a VERY HAPPY Giorgio.
Finally he was back in the air .
Marina called it;
“The Ridge rat is back.”

A happy Giorgio after 4.30 hours flying over the Alps.

Till Sunday, cheers Ritz

March 17, 2013

Nostalgia-1988- EGC-video! Ridge soaring from Brown Field !

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 7:30 pm

 ALPHEN AAN DEN RIJN     Sunday March 17 2013

What a lovely video produced by Finnish TV about the EGC in 1988!!!It brings back so many good/sweet moments and nostalgic ones, as running around with camera’s and barographs.

Familiar faces from Klaus Holighaus , Ernst Gernot Peter , Karin Lysakowski  and her dad Ted, Alf Schubert, Pierro Morelli, Gerd Huybreckx , Tapio Savolainen, Smilian Sibic and Markku Kuittinen all there,  but sadly not amongst us any more.

A young Kiki,[Jacky Clerbaux]  Patrick Stouffs, Fred Gai [German TC] Werner Meuser, Jarislav Vach, Eddie Huybreckx, Paul Bourgard ,Jan Andersen, Reinhard Schramme,  Giorgio Galetto and crew Robert  , Luigi Bertoncini, Ralph Jones, Holger Back…..and Jaques Aboulin . Written in my book: “His last comps , he has enough of it, starts aerobatics now”!And of course many more pilots.

In the video “a lazy looking me , sipping wine!!!!” but also a hard working one “doing”the radio.
I was Team Captain,  that year with in “my” team, Daan Pare,[9] Gerrit Kurstjens,[6]  Sikko Vermeer [5], Onno Blankenzee [18] and George Schuit.[10]
According to my brother in law Ad, the Finnish TV crew wanted us to show what we did during the day, while the pilots were up in the air.
So I did, as if I was very busy talking to my pilots by radio and Ad looked on the map, it shows in the video. Had all forgotten about it.
But,…..I was on my radio post as well when Sikko arrived home in a thunderstorm, not letting the radio ” go” sitting in the rain while lightning hit besides me, giving him my best advise.
Stupid , yes now I do see that, but it was pure duty then!!

The biggest job was the organization of the trip by ferry with the cars and trailers. I had to find my photo book , to remember what all happened. The way up from Travemunde to Helsinki with Silja Line and back via Turku and driving through Sweden.
We swapped t- shirts with Russian pilot Alexander Silvanovitch in exchange for “moon/space-food” , it all comes back, a landing from George in a too small field -ground-looping before the lake and all OK, dinners together with 20 in ONE tent and cointreau to sleep well in the evening!!
Umbrellas to hide for the rain, a paper-airplane-competition, sitting on a Finnish  ”  polisi-motorbike”,….

With all the rain “we “still had 11 days .In standard class Janusz Trzeciak won from 28 participants , in 15 m. class 10 days with Gerard Lherm as winner, from 30 and in open Klaus Holighaus from 13 and also 10 days.
Also days that pilots started 3 times, some could depart , others not; result they all got stuck where the rain hit both.
My pictures say it all! A pity I can’t scan a few! That was like all comps I visited in Finland,  a real pleasure to be part of .Like the JWGC and most special the EGC ,where we started with a 1000 k. on day 1 and more than 50 % flew that 1000.

As Antti said on FB, where he shared this video;
—”A nice video of 1988 EGC in Räyskälä, made by finnish TV.  Many familiar faces…—”
Indeed worthwhile to look at, certainly when you have never flown or been in Räyskälä and you will be part of the next 33d WGC in 2014 !!!

Good flight this week and one of my Uvalde- 2012 -friends ,Werner had a very nice one in his ASW 27 on Wednesday with 770 km. ridge soaring from Marion County-Brown in Tennessee;Also called Brown Field, close to the town with the nice name JASPER. He was on top of the OLC list that day.
Sarah, you remember her name as tuggie in Uvalde, pilot in Chaves and future pilot in the Issoudun WWGC and important as well,  Chilhowie Glider port owner, was the organiser of a 10 days ridge camp from Brown Field.
As Werner said; “We had two (2 ½) great ridge days with lots of exceptional flights!”
He will write a bit more about it , so you get that when I have it.
Sarah mentioned already early during the camp; —-”A nice day on the Sequatchie ridge. The count so far: six diamond legs, one silver, three gold, and a state record.”—

One of the young soaring-bloggers Benjamin Bachmeier flies from Serres at the moment ; 723 km. and high up to 5858 MSL/4517 AGL, with a nice Northerly and topping Fridays OLC list! Good on him. His blogs , in German, are on ;

Serres by Benjamin

As shared by Benjamin on FB.

And in Holland the first flights on OLC appeared as well. 3 Flights from Terlet , best distance 187 km in ASW 28E/18m. But this weekend is freezing cold again with showers with in it rain or snow, depending where you are.Yesterday evening one of the clubs at Terlet the GEZC , opened their season with a real openings-party. Always great fun, but too far for me!

A not too bad looking sky as seen by Rens North of Schiphol.

Seizoen begint Rens


Helli Lasch Challenge 2013.
Pictures from Sebastian Kawa shared by Sven Olivier; Have look at the beauty of Sout Africa. ENJOY!!!!!
The last day on March 14 of this event , was fun, fast and high. Thunderstorms as well, but they could not stop the pleasure.

About 5 minutes past 7, last Wednesday evening, the world got pretty excited by white smoke in Rome. And after one more hour ,….. HABEMUS PAPAM, …..we have a pope and,…we could see the new 76 year old Pope Francis 1, before called Jorge Bergoglio and Arch bishop from Buenos Aires  in Argentina on the balcony.
For the first time in history a Jesuit, for  the very first time a South American pope,  so since 1272 years a non-European !
Let’s wait and see how he is going to do it. By just saying “good evening ” he started well.

Cheers Ritz

March 13, 2013

Wings over Sweden project goes ahead.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 7:21 pm


This ,by the Australian Soaring Center from Corowa sponsored container for the Dutch team flying in Argentina, arrived last weekend back from Chaves. All gliders in good order, meaning this WGC is finished now !! Evaluation and a reunion normally follow later and than,……… it’s looking ahead at the next WGC. No containers needed then as both will be in Europe.

Chaves unloading1Chaves unloading2

Crews and pilots eager to see how it looks inside,…..and …..this time IN THE DUTCH RAIN , so the Argentinian mud will disappear in a flash.
It all looked good! courtesy Frans Guise.

Just in time the “Wings over Sweden ” team received the 34.000 -plus pounds to go ahead with this project by UK initiator Anthony Mc Quiggan. Between 10 and 5000 pound could be pledged with a thank you in different ways. Soaringcafe was one of the pledgers.
The goal  ;— “More than 250km/h over Sweden, purely on renewable energies: a pilot prepares for new form of aerial racing.—” With that they will promote gliding in a great way.

 Have a look;
The start is there now the rest has to follow. Here is how they describe stage 1 the rest you can read on their site with nice pictures as well;

—”TV shows need a pilot episode to convince the world that their concept works.
But since this project is full of glider pilots, we’re calling this The Promo.
It will introduce our “stars” and give a taste of what’s to come in the  documentary, which will be called “Wings over Sweden”.
The Promo won’t be shown on TV, but will be used to woo broadcasters, advertisers,film funds, tourist boards and the like. And, of course, we will share it withall our pledgers, starting with YOU.—”

“MAD MARCH ” , is what Matthew Scutter called this month. I can only agree. We had a new record at the Bilt, never before we had there 24 hours of steady rain last Saturday and after a ‘small taste’ of spring with temperatures up to 19 dgr. ,  we are back in winter with minus 8/13 and snow at several places and unfortunately new accidents on the slippery roads.
Not as bad here as in Germany [ Frankfurt Airport was closed on Tuesday and 100 cars/trucks involved in ONE collision] and France,[ one person frozen dead stuck in his car and trucks waiting without any movement for over 24 hours]  even Belgium [ No Thalys train  and 1600 km. of slow driving cars including 500 km. of real traffic- jam] had awful cold and white weather. Also the SSW of the UK did not escape from white “stuff”.

In Australia however, from Gawler Matthew flew 742 k in his LS 4  , that’s better.
Also a great autumn flight by kilometer-eater Terry Bellair from Raywood in his DG 400/17m.   showing even in the end of the season that he loves his long-distance-flying; 706 km [652 FAI triangle]
Terry is the best Aussie at the moment on the OLC list for 2013.
More Terries; An “almost” perfect flight in the ASH 26 by Terry Ryan from Tocumwal last Tuesday; 696 km. [667 FAI triangle]
And from Benalla , the place-to-be in 2016 for the WGC , and having the “best club on the OLC”  [Gliding Club of Victoria] at the moment, a nice flight up North by Benalla -icon Graham Garlick in the KA 4 [Kookaburra 11.7 wing span] ; 180 km.!!

Matthew Scutter with Terry and his sister

Matthew and his sister surround our new [one of the 5 ] vice president Terry Cubley.
I guess it will never be so cold in the area of Gawler as he felt here during the IGC meeting last week.
Picture shared  from FB

At Seminole Lake in Florida , about 20 minutes South of Orlando [Clermont] , the SENIORS started their comps and Frank Paynter keeps a blog on SOARINGCAFE. Here is what he said about day 1.

—” We found a good thermal to anchor the turn, and as we were just getting it cored up, in comes Karl Striedieck (KS) [ born on April 7 1937!!! Ritz] with his Duo.  After climbing to the top of this thermal, KS also left going north, so BZ and I, no fools we, went with him.  For the next 80-100 miles, BZ, A1, and myself were treated to a master class on energy line flying by the man himself, and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.  I don’t know who was flying with Karl today, but I hope whoever it was appreciates the extraordinary talent on display today – I know I did!  —”

A good story also with his opinion about FLARM.  Enjoy!

Soaring for the SENIORS from Seminole continued and day 2 was a day “with lions and tigers” as Frank Paynter mentioned it so nicely in his blog on , on the left of the home page.
Day 3 was a rest day and the full story is on as well!

More senior soaring, this time called “OLD MATES WEEK” and this time in Australia; Benalla.
Loved Graham’s comment:
This flight claimed as K4. Flight with David Goldsmith, Old mate’s week.
Dave and I flew Ansett-ANA DC9′s together.
Today Dave in the  LHS! A lovely flight in the old girl.
The smell of wood, the sweet sound, the rush of air, upward movement, confirmed by the cosim green ball.Thanks Dave”.
Nearly poetry!!!!
Ingo and Judy Renner at Tocumwal do have a Kookaburra as well, lovely glider ,where you sit more or less beside each other.
Ingo even flew with Judy in it after the wedding in their garden a long time ago. From Toc airport they had a nice flight together.
Yesterday he took his Discus out of the hangar for a nice 634 [570 FAI triangle] flying to the N. and West [Swan Hill] with lift up to 2643 m. AGL.

Dundee Ingo and Hardy
Ingo here a few weeks ago with Hardy.
courtesy Dundee.

So not much more happened over the last couple of days, at least not to my knowledge, so I go for a nice cold walk in the snow but ALSO in the SUN.
By the way my friends from NZ are happy with their long summer but now problems start,  par example Wellington has not enough water anymore , it looks different.
“Only 20 days of water left”
Here is the story I found on FB by Dinant, who is Dutch , but lives and studies in Wellington now. He is a member of the ZES , the gliding club celebrating it’s 50thiest anniversary on the 27th of March.He can’t be part of it, I will, so he can read it all in my blog.
Here is the link to the NZ-news, about a lot of areas I visited when I was on the Nord Island in 2010.

Cheers Ritz

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