March 10, 2013

The repair of a broken ARCUS fuselage! Wings over Sweden,…only a few hours to go for a YES!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 7:14 pm

Alphen aan den Rijn    Sunday March 10 2013

Sunday today, maybe no important jobs for you  to do , so time enough to look at the next video, that is ,…when you have not seen it yet.
This video,  just under 20 minutes,  is MORE than worthwhile to look at.
It is made by Peter Jansen in Holland at the Dutch Glider Repair Center bv [] an  EASA approved center. This means that they can work on all European registered gliders and motorgliders up to weight [ max. 5700] , within the EASA and on parts/components of planes.
Since 2010 they are also CAMEO approved, which means that they are a Continious Airworthiness Management Organisation!

An ARCUS T was brought in with a broken fuselage! Now you can see how a very professional team repairs such a beautiful glider, to the same beautiful glider it was.

The beautiful ARCUS
courtesy website Schempp Hirth

One of the gentlemen working on it is Andre [ Evers] . He was one of the friends from my son Dennis about 28 years ago and is more or less brought up AT Terlet.
The other one who works at this center, is Sikko [Vermeer] and he was one of the pilots in “my” team during the EGC in 1988 in Räyskälä and in 1991 in Uvalde at the WGC. Sikko is involved in technical support and planning.
Peter himself is in the direction and takes care of the administration and the storehouse and makes beautiful videos.
Bobo, [ Slobodan Djandara] is head of the work shop.
Enjoy to the fullest!!!!!! I did!!!!

At vimeo are a few more of his great videos.

And I received a link as well to the Bailleau 2013 contest, in August. So nicely in time for you, to enter;

—”  Hello ! From the 6th to the 16th of August, this summer, will be held the 39th Bailleau International Gliding Contest, a classic flat-land gliding contest. And like every year for 16 years now, Bailleau International will be accompanied by the now famous “Amical” Contest, one of the best ways for a pilot to take his first steps in competition …
  website   has just opened, you will find there all useful information and the online registration form ..

See you soon !—” from the Bailleau team.

Wrote about flying in South Africa last time from Tswalu, a place looking to me as paradise . Here ia a bit more news I received from Sven [Olivier].
—” Hi Ritz, yes it is indeed the 6th Helli Lasch Challenge at Tswalu from 4 to 16 March 2013 . It was the first day there, and I guess from the trace that it was a late afternoon flight (after travelling and rigging) and it looks like Tasilo flew a storm front. The overseas contingent consists of Tassilo Bode, Zbigniew Nieradka, Sebastian Kawa and Agnete Olesen. G Dale is the coach for the SA squad.—”

AND, also from Sven and you might remember this as I have written about it in the past , but for the new readers or to refresh,….

—” After the 27th World Gliding Championships (WGC) held at Mafikeng in 2001, the Helli Lasch Challenge (HLC) was formed – this is an exclusive gliding event held at the Tswalu Kalahari Reserve and is hosted and funded entirely by Nicky & Strilli Oppenheimer in memory of Strilli’s late father, Helli Lasch.
Objectives of the Helli Lasch Challenge
1. A Living Memorial to Helli Lasch
2. Foster International relations
3. Promote South Africa as a gliding destination
4. Develop the competition skills of the S.African gliding team—” 

On Friday Tassilo flew at Tswalu, 2 small triangles in the training with others in a team and the 2d triangle was with a speed of 170km./h. WITHOUT water!!!WOW


!2031  2029

courtesy Iain Baker

So ,…there is 500km difference in distance on the OLC; best flight on Wednesday from Rosemount Sky Park was by Jim Payne with Dennis in the back, with 1.095 km. and….. runner up Terry Bellair from Raywood in the 17 m. DG 400,  with 527 km . But the distance between both places is HUGE.
Good to see another fast [168.61 km./h]  and high [ 5887 AGL/7592MSL] wave flight by these 2 pilots so involved with the Perlan Project and so keen to be fast, far and high in the DG 1001 M and this time not with the Andes under them, but with the Sierra Nevada.
Jim went for a speed run,  as he said in his comment, [due to working in the morning] , but when the weather  turned out to be ” a hammer down day … ” he could not resist to fly fast and far, adding another 1000 km to his list.
More about the Rosemount Park at and his flight is on the OLC , of course on March 6, when you have missed it.

No secret I still love Tocumwal, always did , always will do. Got from Sportaviation a nice under 10 minute video made by their guest -for-the-season, Mike Birch.
Eddie , ” performing” in it, was our former CFI at Sportavia, an ace-instructor and very knowledgeable man.
Talking about Sportavia, just received a mail from Hiroko, a frequent flyer with us . She is well and hopes to see me back in Tocumwal, which means she will be back too.Great to hear.
Last Friday Toc was still on the “map” with a 512 km. distance in the ASH 26, even topping the OLC list! And yesterday with a 620 [500FAI triangle] same glider same pilot ; Terry Ryan.
Today it was Swiss Chris,  who flew in his ASW 27 a nice autumn flight; 680 km. [643 FAI triangle] visiting the East,North, West and South from Tocumwal up to 2785 AGL !!!
Enjoy Mike’s  video about Tocumwal.


The Mount Beauty mountain gliding course finishes this long weekend, as Monday is a public holiday due to LABOURDAY and was well attended.
—”Flying has started slowly with  very stable weather on Monday and Tuesday, getting better  on Wednesday and Thursday. —”

From March 16 onwards KLM will fly once a week on Thursday to New York with a Boeing 777 -200, on BIO-FUEL. 1/4 Part of the fuel is distilled from the oil used to bake potato chips.

Will the WINGS OVER SWEDEN project have a go??????? Today is the LAST day to get the final amount of money to make it!!!! Only 400 pound from 34.000 pound to go. THAT could NOT be a problem, or,…..?????
In the afternoon I got a message/comment from a reader that WINGS OVER SWEDEN goes ahead.   Thanks to my reader Nicholas!!!. The goal has been reached ; 34.576 has been reached TOP!!!!

Wings over Sweden: http://www.kickst…r-sweden-0

After a few sunny spring days we are back to zero! Winter is back!
Pfff,…. Cheers Ritz and enjoy the blog at ” THE CAFE ” [ main page left] as well.

And to finish a few nice pictures from Bert Kuijper from the 2011 Nationals in Holland.

WAITING is the word, waiting for summer, with just a little bit of snow again this morning here, waiting as pilot/crew for the first launch during Nationals, waiting as “glider” , as tuggie and waiting as organisation.


P1070216  P1070236


March 6, 2013

Pelagia Majewska Medal 2013 is for Maria Bolla. And, the past,…. with a story about the Bridge and Rhine!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 5:53 pm

Alphen aan den Rijn     Wednesday March 6 2013

The last words about the PLENARY, specially for the younger people.
Like me you might not know too much about the winner of the Majewska award but, ” between us girls”  we always find extra news, to honnor a lady  deserving such an award, in the correct way. Not by only mentioning her name.
Thanks to Frauke,  this time Elber,  from the USA and WSPA [Women Soaring Pilots Asoociation]  editor from the Magazine “Hangar Soaring”, I can share with you a picture and a story which Frauke had in her file. She met Maria at the WWGC in  Klix in 2005 and this story most probably was published in the news letter that year. Here is the nice story about Maria with a picture from her send by Frauke.

Maria Bolla 2

Courtesy Frauke Elber

Maria Bolla a legend in International Women Soaring,

—”Born  in 1945 in Hungary, Maria Bolla can look back to many years of successful soaring which continues
with her participation at the 3rd Women World Gliding Championship 2005 in Klix, Germany.

An instructor for more than 30 years, Maria has logged 5200 hours in  sailplanes. She is holding 14 Hungarian  records and she participated in many  nationals and international competitions, winning many of them. In 1983 she was  second in the European Women Championships flying in the Standard Class. She  instructed many beginners but also taught the art of advanced soaring, aerobatics, cross country, instrument flying, cloud flying and soaring cross  country.

Maria  doesn’t hesitate when asked for her biggest challenge and achievement in  soaring.
It was a high altitude flight that earned her the third diamond. This  achievement gave her the distinction of being the first Hungarian woman  completing the Diamond badge. The flight took place in 1974. In previous  flights she had reached 3000 m in wave which she considered easy. Therefore she  was determined to reach that altitude in pure thermal flight also.

The chance came on a hot and balmy summer day with strongly developing clouds, which later overdeveloped and produced thunderstorms. Maria observed the  formation of a Cumulus Congestus from the ground and carefully planned, before take-off, which course  she had to fly to safely exit the billowing cloud to get sight of the ground
Entering the cloud did not pose any problem and she quickly reached 3000 and 4000 meter. The turbulence increased with altitude: 25m/sec climb one  moment and 5 m/sink the next, a real roller coaster ride. Ice was forming on  the leading edges of the wing but she continued her climb while the towering   cloud grew bigger and bigger.
It suddenly dawned on her that this was her chance for a 5000 m altitude gain and therefore the completion of her Diamond  badge. She left the cloud when her altimeter read 5200m and started her  descent. Curious and impatient to find out if she had a good barograph trace  she yanked the barograph out from behind her and happily realized that she had  a good trace. Relieved she continued her descent and landed overjoyed back at  the airport.

Years  later on a trip through Hungary Gill van den Broeck from Belgium, a  journalist, professional translator, a well-known figure in the international soaring scene and a jury member at the present World Championship, met a
professional pilot near Lake Balaton. Talking about flying Gill mentioned that she „only“ was a glider pilot. The pilot  vehemently rejected the attribute „only“. He had received his instrument  training from an expert woman glider pilot. Without a name mentioned Gill immediately knew that this female instructor was no other than MARIA BOLLA.—”

By the way Frauke’s  Magazine issue of February 2013 is on line;  Enjoy!

Spring finally has arrived in Holland with up to 15.2 dgr. at the Bilt  the Dutch place to measure the temperature and straight away the hottest day in history , ever on March 5 and full sun and blue skies. It was even 18 dgr. C. in the southern part of Holland.
I did a bit in my garden yesterday and have been sitting in the sun for a while , yes with 30 plus on.
It was not yet sunny or warm however last Sunday, but,…. several clubs here started their season. One little “man” had the day of his live flying with Robin [son of one of my friends "Smitje"]
Also the GEZC had their first day of flying , surely they try to be the “best” airfield on the OLC again, this season. Pictures as shared on FB by Michiel and Hobbit.

spring in Holland  Spring2
A happy day up to 700 m. and still very warm -clothed members from the GEZC flying from Terlet [Arnhem] but here in their club house.

The first weekend in March started with 285 flights added to the OLC. Not a lot from European flatland, as it is still more or less “hanging around”, BUT the beginning is there, as you can see also by flights from Leverkussen in Germany; nearly 250 km. in an ASG 29/18m.!
Talking about Hungary,  I had to smile looking at the aborted flight from an Hungaryan pilot flying in an ASW 15,  ”  Wrong declaration, but good first flight.”  Better now than on a fantastic mid -summer -day , is n’t it?

Last Monday morning, no panique but a bit unusual; 2 planes had to come back after their start from Schiphol Airport. I thought straight away of the delegates but luckily as far as I knew all of them  had left already .
One was Delta Airlines on its way to Mumbai with as I heard an engine problem and one from KLM on its way to Milan, with as I read  smoke in the cockpit. Both planes landed without futher problems but kept rescue teams on high alert.
Believe it or not a bit later an Easyjet got into problems as well due to a  birdstrike in the left engine. They also landed without a problem. A bit of a hectic day there at Schiphol!

156 km./h is what I noticed on the OLC for a flight from Tassilo Bode from Tswalo Game Reese in South Africa ; he calls it a “Paradise for gliding” .Checking the area I found their site;
—”Tswalu Kalahari is South Africa’s largest private game reserve, covering an area of over 100,000 hectares. Owned by the Oppenheimer family, Tswalu takes conservation as its absolute priority; our vision is simply ‘to restore the Kalahari to itself’. No more than thirty guests at a time can discover the beauty of this landscape, its diverse wildlife, and the serenity of what may well be South Africa’s last great wilderness.—”
To be invited there and even more to fly over it must be MAGIC!!!!

In the bus from Papendal to Malden via Nijmegen, Dutch Frouwke told us where the “BRIDGE TOO FAR” was, while passing the Rhine. USA Frauke has a nice story about that time as well and I share it with you. Enjoy it, and THANKS Frauke for sharing it with us.

Trip into the Past by Frauke Elber

October 1988. A railway station somewhere in Holland. I am waiting for a train that is going to bring me back into the past, back to my early childhood, the years 1943/44.

Holland, late in1943, was still under German occupation and relatively peaceful. Therefore the German government decided to give mothers and children from the very heavily bombed cities of the Ruhr Valley, where most of Germany’s coal and steel industry was concentrated, a break and send them for a 6 week reprieve to a Dutch resort area just across the border. Summer resort hotels were used for that purpose. My mother and grandmother were in charge of one of these places. While my mother went back and forth every 6 weeks to accompany one group back and bring a new one to Holland, I stayed put in Holland.

At the second half of  1944 the war theater in Europe had drastically  changed in favor of the allies. The invasion had taken place and the allied  forces were on the march to the Rhine  River, the artery of Germany.  I did not know anything about this. For me,  a  three year old, it was a beautiful time and many memories were imbedded into my

It wasn’t until 1970 when, together with my husband, I saw the film “A Bridge Too Far”, a war film about the battle of Arnhem, that my memory was jolted. My reaction to the film was: “That bridge isn’t right. I remember that bridge. I walked across it with my mother.” What was so memorable to my small child brain was the big steel arch that spanned the bridge like a coat hanger. Out of my perspective everything was big and far. But this film awoke my curiosity: how much of my memory was true? How much was fantasy?

 Waiting now at the railway station watching the yellow, streamlined, electrical trains arriving and departing the station the clock started turning back. Suddenly, 44 years earlier, I saw myself at another Dutch station and the same yellow, streamlined, electrical trains passed through. Germany’s trains were still operated with steam locomotives. Watching a youngster waiting for a train, eating a cone of soft ice cream, I could almost taste it. It was in Holland, many years back, that I first tasted soft ice cream while Germany was in a survival mode and treats like this were unheard of.

My train reached Nijmegen. But how to get  from here to Berg en Dal? I was told to take bus line 5. I found the bus and  secured a window seat. I had no idea how long it would take to reach my  destination, I didn’t remember the town or its surroundings. All that was left  in my memory was a single house: “House Erica”, a summer resort hotel that was  converted to house weary mothers and their children. “House Erica”, a building  with large glass windows surrounded by big, shade dispensing trees, an outdoor shelter with lounge chairs, where, when the weather cooperated we children had to take our  afternoon nap; a  playground with apparatus mostly made for the pleasure and amusement of adults  including a multi-story, wooden slide that had to be covered with a tarp during  the winter, and a big maze with three distorting mirrors in its center. I still  could hear the laughter of the adults when they had conquered the maze, reached  the center for the first time and saw themselves in the distorting mirrors. We  children were small enough to take a short cut to the center by crawling  through the hedges.

The inside of the house consisted of a very big room that served as dining hall and play room, and the big kitchen downstairs beside some other non-descript rooms. Upstairs were several bed rooms, one being furnished with many cribs for the children. I don’t remember where the mothers slept.

 I don’t remember what time of the year we arrived. I remember some winter scenes and one scene in particular when one of the German officials, clad in uniform and riding a horse, tried, what we children did: sliding under the tarp that covered the wooden slide. He, with a mighty gird got stuck and the tarp had to be taken off to get him out. I remembered some summer activities: fun at the play ground, naps under the outdoor shelter, walks in the nearby heather where the ferns were taller then we children. How many of these memories would I find again?

I got off the bus at “Hotel Erica”. A short walk through the woods and I stood in front of a big, Best Western hotel with several annexes. Nothing looked familiar. There was no play ground, no maze, no outdoor shelter, only a parking lot and a lush grassy area with tables set for outdoor dining. My spirits sank and a big disappointment settled in, when all at a sudden out of the cluster of buildings appeared the original “House Erica”. There it was, almost like I remembered it and the scenes of the past started rolling by again: the owner family, van Vliet was its name, an elderly mother, a girl, Juliana, a few years older than I and a boy my age whose name I had forgotten. The big room on the ground level, wild chases with the boy and the other children through the downstairs rooms, the big, wooden swinging door to the kitchen, forbidden territory for us children. Our bedroom on the second floor, a bright, airy room with a sunroom, sparsely furnished with a wardrobe, a double bed, a washbasin a dresser and a crib. I was allowed to share the room with my mother and grandmother while all the other children shared the common bedroom next door. Only once did I have to sleep in that room after painting the walls in our room with a mixture of brown, facial powder and water during my afternoon nap. All these memories suddenly returned.

Who were the present  owners? Should I go in and ask the receptionist? Or should I take the next bus  back to the railway station? The urge to follow the track of my past succeeded.  I was told by the young receptionist that the van Vliet family owned the hotel.
Could I please talk to any member of the family? “I am Mr. van Vliet” an older,  balding gentleman behind the reception desk intervened. “Can I help you?”  My name is Frauke  Elber, what’s your first name? How old are you? Do you have  an older sister by the name of Diana? I have lived here 45 years ago. It’s my  first visit back….I brought some pictures” I blurted out. His name was Wim and  he was 49 years old. Yes he had an older sister, Diana and his mother was still  living in Berg en Dal. The lady of the house, Wim’s  wife, joined us.
I told  her my story and memories. Yes, it is all true. She showed me the house: the  big room, now a fancy restaurant. The kitchen was still the same as 45 years  earlier with its big, wooden swinging door, so was the wide staircase that lead  to the upstairs rooms. I walked straight to the door of “our room”, room number  4. We entered the room. The room had drastically changed. The sunroom had  fallen victim to all the modern building additions. Instead of a single wash  basin it had an attached, modern bathroom, Wallpaper and furniture gave the  room the look of solid elegance. A short tour through the modern part of the  hotel and then a trip down into the basement, where to my surprise, behind a  closed door of a recreational room I found the three mirrors from the  maze.  I got goose bumps and  emotions  started to overcome me.

In the meantime the older Mrs. van Vliet, the one who was the proprietress of the house when we lived there, had arrived at the hotel. I recognized her at once and she too pointed to my mother and grandmother in the pictures I had brought. And despite the language barrier –Mrs. Van Vliet spoke Flemish- we quickly found ourselves in a lively conservation for the rest of the afternoon.

Mrs. Van Vliet filled in some pieces of the puzzle. I remembered that we had left Holland very suddenly on army trucks. I remember the green trees on both sides of the road forming a canopy. From history books and the film “A Bridge too Far” I had learned about the hard fought battles that took place around Nijmegen during Operation Market Garden. Now I learned that we escaped these battles only by hours back in September 1944. “House Erica” suffered greatly during these battles. Pictures of that time showed a gutted interior and damage from tank tracks and artillery shells outdoors. But I also learned that the memory of “my” bridge, the “Bridge too Far” was correct.

Back on the train later in the afternoon, I felt like awakening from a long dream. But the little statue of a jumping rabbit, the mascot of Hotel Erica, a farewell gift from the van Vliet  family,  was proof that that day had really happened.


A few years later on a train to Switzerland, I shared the compartment with two Dutch women. When I told them my story they informed me that the old Mrs. van Vliet had passed away. One woman’s husband was a cook in “Hotel Erica”

SSA Convention, Reno,NV,2012
Frauke,  here together with Mike Green at the Reno Convention in 2012.
Picture via Frauke courtesy Maria Szemplinska

Enough news again.Back in the weekend, both with my own blog and the CAFE blog with some of the items in  the latest Gliding International which just arrived with the most beautiful picture on the cover from Sebastian Kawa , from ,…who else……Maria Szemplinska and a story about Ann Welch [written by Fred Weinholz] the first vice president in IGC and the 2d lady as vice president in the IGC bureau now, Marina.

To finish a nice picture from my favourite river the Murray.

Murray River

As shared by Francoise Curtis,[ via Dundee ]who misses Tocumwal; The IS 28 over the mighty Murray on March 2.

cheers Ritz

March 4, 2013

Searching for whales in a duo discus! Perlan Project News!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 1:11 am

Alphen aan den Rijn  Sunday 03-03- 2013

Back from Papendal and back to the “normal” blogs.
More stories about Papendal in todays “soaringcafe”,  with the pictures from Jiri ” hanging on the ceiling”.

Received a nice mail from Jarek from the Geelong Gliding Club flying from Bacchus Mars in Australia about  “WHALES watching“. Whales ?????? I see you think. BUT,… as always I like to share interesting stories and pictures with all of you. And,..I am pleased more and more readers see me as a “soaring-hub”!Thanks for that!
Here we go;

—”I was rostered as a coach on Saturday, 23/02/2013. The weather looked  promising and of Thursday Ziggy  called me asking for an opportunity for a coaching flight in the Duo.

We had a weather and task briefing at 9am on Saturday and proceeded to  prepare the
glider for the flight. It was a busy morning with all club gliders being DI-ed and flown that day.

Jarek map

We launched just before 1pm  and after one blue climb, connected with the first Cu some 15 km to the West. The weather was better than expected, soon we reached our height band of 6000 ‘ to 8500′; we decided that we would not  take climbs less than 5 knots (the average climb rate for the entire flight was 4.8 knots).

We were moving quickly with the average x/c speed well above 100 kph; as we approached the circle around the
first turn point, Penshurst, I could see a glimpse of the ocean in the distance down South. 
There was a nice line of Cus  leading south so after a quick consultation with my co-pilot we turned left in the general direction of Warrnambool.

Jarek Warrnambool  Jarek ocean 2

As we approached the ocean, we could see that the N-E wind pushes some Cus over the water some 5 – 10km in. This presented an opportunity not to be missed, we took a climb to 7500′ some 5 km before the shoreline and headed
for a Cu over the water; it looked quite good, but there was no lift underneath.

Jarek ocean 3  Jarek ocean

We turned back, the time was 14:45 and 175 km to run to Bacchus Marsh  and  the whales, we did not spot any perhaps we will have better luck next time.—”

Thanks Jarek and you can see the flight on the OLC on February 23 ; flight number 15 on the list!
That day was called by Rolf as “another brilliant February day in Victoria.”
Just to let you know; Warrnambool is an old whaling town and now is a destination for whales- watching -tours.

From the Perlan Project Friends I received the latest news letter, full of newsy news.For example;  On March 16 2013 the Perlan Team is invited to visit Seattle to make a presentation and provide an exhib at the Soaring Expo 2013, sponsored by the Seattle Glider Council.
It will be held at the Seattle Museum of Flight at Boeing Field. and

Talking about the Project ,…..Last Thursday morning after waking up,  I put my TV on and looked straight in the smiling face of Dennis Tito. What a truly inspiring and interesting guy. He wants [with a group of investors] , to send a couple [ preferable husband and wife]  for just over 500 days to MARS in 2018. Not visiting but passing by pretty close. Dangerous but spectacular. I would n’t do it , but I am old like Dennis , for him a reason to not do it himself, but he has been already in the ISS as the first space tourist,  travelling “up” with a Russian capsule.

This week the Mount Beauty Alpine Gliding Course starts [tomorrow], from March 4 till March 11.
Received the ALPINE FLYER as well. In this Flyer an interesting story from the CFI Mark Bland, about a cable break on low altitude “solved” by the instructor and a comment I share with him
—”Safer gliding is about not repeating accidents that have occured many times before in some cases hundreds of times.
That requires knowledge, skill, good airmanship and an ability to evaluate risk.—”So far Mark.
More at

“Enough Ritz” for now, cu on Wednesday again,

Just received the link to the up-side-down glider and Jiri.
Thanks Reno!!!!!!


Cheers Ritz

March 3, 2013

03-03-2013, last news from Papendal before I leave!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 7:05 pm

10 AM;
What a splendid evening we had yesterday. A bit excited ,like on a school trip and after the good and quick meeting with for nearly everybody good results , [at lot of applause yesterday afternoon before it was over!] we drove to Nijmegen the oldest town from Holland and than to Malden the home of the club from Nijmegen called NIJAC.

igc final evening 002  igc final evening 003

All happy and relaxed delegates after doing a big job!

The bus stopped in front of the hangar after driving through very small roads hitting a few branches, but the driver was just good and got a huge applause.
Delegates were very pleased to see the new hangar; gliders  stood there clean and shiny as in a static show as well as the famous van Gelder winch and Mr. Peter van Gelder was there to explain about the winch he built years ago and he got a lot of interesting listeners.

igc final evening 007  igc final evening 011

Eric “our” new president in the hangar on ground level and the Russian delegate Nina Shalneva in the basement.

igc final evening 008  igc final evening 012

Climbing on and sitting in the VAN GELDER.

igc final evening 013

Mr Peter van Gelder explaining how it works.

More about this excellent evening in soaringcafe , later from home as I nearly have to leave now.
Very important as well; MARINA GALETTO is one of the new 5 vice presidents in the IGC board. She is the 2d lady after Ann Welch who has this honor and she finds it a huge honor , but she said : “Ritz it’s only starting now”.
More about that later as well.
So we have 5 new vice presidents in the bureau, 3 from Europe Artur Rutkowski from Poland, Christof Geissler from Germany and Marina from Italy.
From Chile there is Rene Vidal and from Australia Terry Cubley.
The new 1st vice president and representing Eric when necessary is Brian Spreckley from the UK.

All about how the young boys from the NIJAC lifted Jiri from Czech Rep. in a SOHAJ 4 ,hanging up-side-down, on the ceiling of the club house with pictures and a link to a video from Reno Filla later from Alphen , as well as the regular Sunday blog with an interesting story from Australia about WHALE SEARCHING in a duo discus.
Just said goodbye to a few stiil here and ready to leave Papendal now,
Hope you enjoyed it. I did.

Cheers and CU later today from and soaringcafe

March 2, 2013

About yesterday’s plenum and todays plans! UPDATED with the decisions!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:24 pm

9 AM on Saturday;

Just received the compact information about yesterdays plenum from Rick. I love the way he can say a lot of things in just a few words. Where I need 10, he just only uses 2!!!
So here you go again,…”fresh from the press!”:

—”Good morning, Ritz!

We counted ourselves and found 35 countries represented (counting 4proxies).  Not a bad turnout.
On the first day of the meeting we received the annual reports from the  various Committees and Working Groups, and made one important decision.

We heard about the workings of the FAI office during the past year, and  we listened to reports  regarding the two recently completed World  Championships (six Champions) and  the 2012 OLC season (29.5 million kilometers flown).

There were presentations of bids for the 2016 World Championships by  Australia, UK, and  Lithuania.  The bid from Austria was withdrawn,  unfortunately, due to lack of  permission from the military to use the  airfield at

The big news is that we elected Eric Mozer to be our  President for the  next two years. Not a big surprise, but it was nice to make it official  after Eric’s very effective leadership during the past year  as Acting  President.

On Saturday, all the voting on bids, proposals, and awards will take  place.  It will be a busy day!

More news from Rick later. He knows already how much I appreciate his input every year!!!!

We, “the ladies”  are off early today ; Departure at 9.45 to visit the beautiful town of Arnhem. Same group today  as yesterday,  but Frouwke introduced me to a new lady from Luxembourg who arrived last night and she will be part of our international- shopping -tour through Arnhem as well.
We will be back in time, as at 6.30 sharp, the bus is leaving from Papendal to the airfield of Malden for a nice evening out as farewell to so many “old” and new friends.

CU later!

5 PM;
I only heard good things about the new president of the IGC. He did so well , that they voted for Eric again and he seems to run a meeting so efficient, that they finished at 3.30 already!!!!!
The- board -only , than had a meeting , but the 2013 PLENARY was over. With a smile from ear to ear Vitautas came out of the room. He got 2 WGC’s !!!
Benalla got the WGC and Terry could n’t hide a smile as well, though he mentioned it was all “close”  [ it turned out 17 for Benalla and 16 for Lasham!!!] but maybe the smile was because he was choosen as VICE PRESIDENT!!!!!!Good on you Terry!

All the rest will be in Rick’s news and I noticed on his list were a lot of decisions which have been  made.
It seems it was a GOOD meeting. As a Dutch person that makes me happy.
Just said goodbye to Dick Bradley and Brian Spreckley , they are on their way home , as is Vitautas and Laima, but they are going by car to Pocuinai. Long drive over 10 hours.

We had a lovely shopping day , but also bought things like boots, we did n’t need but were to good to let go for the price. Lunch was in a gorgeous old building in Arnhem town. Not the best food maybe , but a great setting and very kind people. My international friends were pleased with the way the Dutch treated them, even with a free ride in the bus!!!!

Arnhem 001  Arnhem 002

And Rick has completed his “job” and here is his very short summary of the decisions. Thanks Rick.

Summary of voting:
For implemention this year:
1. Mandatory FLARM at competitions
2. Flight Recorders recalibration interval: 5 years
3. No change to Free/Declared distance record rules

For implementation next year:
4. New start height limit rules
5. Start time reporting is deleted.
6. Turnpoint geometry changed in competitions
7. No change to
Finish Ring rules

2016 WGC in Open, 18, 15:  Benalla
2016 WGC in Std, Club, 20: Pociunai
2015 WGC in 13.5: Pociunai

Lilienthal: Bob Henderson (NZ)
Gehriger: Jaroslav Vach (CZ)
Majewska: Maria Bolla (HU)

Our new President is Eric Mozer (USA)

And our next meeting will be in Varese, Italy.

You are totally up to date , so I can start relaxing now!
My congratulations go to the Award Winners Bob, Jaroslav and Maria, very well deserved!
And to the countries winning the bids for the WGC in 2015 Pocuinai and 2016, Benalla and Pocuinai.

So off to Malden tonight by bus at 6.30.

CU tomorrow cheers Ritz


March 1, 2013

IGC meeting for the delegates and van Gogh for the ladies!Updated!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:37 pm

Friday 9.15 AM;

The Meeting/Plenum started at 9 sharp in a full conference room.
The FAI Gliding Commission meets once a year in plenary session to discuss and work on the development of sport gliding, rules changes and sporting events.This year meeting is for reasons not in Lausanne but in the Netherlands.
Everybody was eager to start talking and listening. A long list -of- to- do -things and a long day and,..when there is news you can find it on;

My news in fact Rick’s news will be here whenever I receive it.

Off to the Kröller Müller Museum now with ladies from Lithuania, Austria, Argentina , NZ/UK and Holland. Not only Vincent van Gogh - the Dutch years,  but also an Italian exhibition Arte Povera will be visited as well as the famous sculpture garden and the park where we can just take a bike to travel around through nature. The sun is not shining yet, but hopeful , at least it is promised, we will see the sun as well.
It will be a good , long day for us as well.

CU later.

lunch at museum 004

The entrance of the museum.The “white” art on the ground is snow, guess left over from a snowman.

5 PM;
Lovely day at the museum and seeing van Gogh remains a HUGE pleasure even for me . The 2 Argentinian ladies went together as one of them did not speak English, so we went with Laima, who runs with Vitautas the Pocuinai airfield where in August 2011 the 16th European Championships were flown.
With “Trimmel Herman’s”  wife Edeltraud, who I met in the past at Wolfgangs wedding. Herman was called so at the Wiener Neustad WGC, when he took care in a perfect way of the weather.
Also with us Marion Macintyre who lived in New Zealand and now lives in the UK close to Cambridge. Never met Marion before but Ross I know from comps and once in Italy , I took over his job as juror  because he could n’t come for reasons.

lunch at museum 001  lunch at museum 002

lunch at museum 003

Lunch at the museum with Marion, Laima,Edeltraud .
You see real Dutch pea- soupe on one site and biological bread with with French Brie and Dutch Old cheese on the other site.

So a very nice INTERNATIONAL ” Bunch”  of ladies. After arriving back at the hotel, we had tea looking out over the beautiful golf area here at Papendal
At 4PM  all the hardworking men came out for a little, 5 minutes  coffee/tea break , after talking about flight safety and ,… we heard the meeting -schedule was running in time. This IGC meeting is pretty “male”, but I noticed some female delegates as well, other than Marina and Frouwke ,who are doing this already for a longer time

I am impressed they are real  professionals. I heard yesterday that  the TOP of the IGC, who is here already since Wednesday “have “dot the i’s and crossed the t’s. Everything has been prepared  to the finesse, to make this meeting smooth, fast and to the point . Compliments!!!!!
Pure dedication to soaring, from ALL here, president, vice president and delegates,….. for ALL of us.

So off to dinner tonight. CU later,…..maybe!?

10 PM;
Lovely evening, very pleasant. The Dutch top of gliding joined in as well, had a “sip” of Japanese whisky mixed with water -50 %- as they do in Scotland , shared lot’s of great stories with Marina , Tor and Silva about Räyskälä and Rieti and enjoyed the stories from Marion and Ross Macintyre.

dinner at papendal 001  dinner at papendal 003

dinner at papendal 004

Very good to see young female delegates from Turkey and Russia, as well as young male delegates for example from Finland,  Germany and France.
If you want to see what happened today and what’s going to happen tomorrow you can go to

For example tomorrow:
—strategy and votes on bids
—past and future championships
—IGC Awards
—proposals requiring voting

Off to bed, tomorrow is another day

Cheers Ritz

Greetings from Papendal and NEWS about KIRIPOTIB; FLYING WITH THE CHAMPIONS!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 2:12 am

 Papendal on Thursday February 28 2013
last day of this pope in function ,
last day of the month and
last day of the metereological winter.
Spring is there, finally.
First day of a live -blog till Sunday morning.
Updated as much as possible!

It’s on line today  ….fresh from the press and what a great idea!!!!
Even more info with pictures on later today.
Here is the story as I received it this morning:

Wolfgang Janowitsch and Ludwig Starkl have founded a new company “Rent-a-Glider”. Within this renting company, they are organizing a big training event in Kiripotib next November and they have 8 former World or European Champions as their Coaches.

„Flying with the Champions“

Behind this headline hides a very special training event.

Organized by Ludwig Starkl and Wolfgang Janowitsch, within the scope of their recently established business Rent-a-Glider, eight former World- and European Champions spontaneously agreed to share their experience as coaches.

In particular there are:


Janusz Centka, Poland                     World Champion       1991, 1993, 2006   European Champion 1996, 2007, 2009

Andy Davis, Great Britain                World Champion       1993, 2003

Stefano Ghiorzo, Italy                      World Champion       2010                         European Champion 1994

Pete Harvey, Great Britain             European Champion 2005, 2007, 2009

Wolfgang Janowitsch, Austria        World Champion       2003                         European Champion 2004, 2005

Holger Karow, Germany                 World Champion       1999, 2003

Reinhard Schramme, Germany     European Champion 1994

Uli Schwenk, Germany European Champion                    1998


To have a team of world class pilots like this as trainers in one event, is unique in the world of soaring so far. In double-seaters they will pass on their experience and knowledge from many years of gliding. Besides specification of a clear target every day in a common briefing and analyses of flights after landing, the schedule of the course includes at least two speed- or assigned area tasks, like flown in competitions.

The location of the event should ensure maximum reliability weather-wise: Kiripotib, Namibia. Even in the early part of the season, beginning of November, flyable weather can be expected almost every day. And if someone wishes to implement the lessons learned right after the course, he/she can probably do it in daily improving conditions.

Target group are experienced cross country pilots or even competition pilots, aiming for exchange of knowledge and improvement of their skills on a very high level.

Logistics is in the hands of a well known and practiced team: Bernd Dolba and Christian Hynek are Namibia-experts. They are responsible for flight operations, accommodation, shipping of containers, weather-briefing, scoring and so on.  The gliders, several Arcus and ASH25, are organized by Rent-a-Glider. Ludwig Starkl is responsible for coordination.

The package includes virtually everything, except the trip to Windhoek. But even for booking the necessary airline-tickets the team will offer assistance.

Sounds interesting? Get more detailed information on the organizer’s homepage on line NOW:


Arrived at Papendal “Your Olympic experience” and settled in. What a fantastic complex this is. I have a lovely room, the ladies behind the desk are very friendly and internet as you see works straight away.
As written on their welcome-letter:” Only outstanding is good enough.”
Hotel Papendal is nicely situated in the woods around Arnhem. It is part of the Dutch sport academy “PAPENDAL”.

papendal 2 001

Pictures from Olympic Heroes everywhere so I choose one of my favourites.

While walking over the roads here from the hotel to other buildings you might see the Dutch athletic team preparing for the EGC , soccer players from top club Vitesse and people preparing for Soichi the Olympics in Russia.
Don’t know if “we ” try to do our utmost best to impress the IGC delegates, but ,…the sun is shining, FINALLY!

Papendal hotel 001  papendal 2 003
They are still expanding here .                                    My  beautiful modern room, with the SUN.

papendal 2 002

A modern open fire in a waiting launch

In a minute I am going to see where the conference room is , [at the moment the stewards are talking there] , the bar and the breakfast/diningroom.
Frouwke needs lots of feathers, as it is all organized in a super way. Coins  were ready for the welcome-drink tonight  , as well as  a welcome from our hosts, who want us to feel ” the energy ” from this Hotel and Conference Centre.

Don’t expect from me too much about the meetings as I most probably will be not there,  as I take care of the ladies program. But I am going to find Rick now and make a deal with him. He will be at the plenum from 9 till 5 , both days.

Cu later after drinks.

Lovely evening and,…finally I met Rene Vidal. Always wanted to meet him. Tor was so kind to introduce me to him.Caught up with the ladies who are going to see Vincent van Gogh in  the Kröller Museum Museum tomorrow with me. Congratulated Terry Cubley from Australia with his 60thiest birthday ; he arrived this morning and had never had such a long birthday and …yes Rick is going to give me all the details from this meeting on Saturday evening when it is all over again. The stewards meeting was one hour longer than planned and it was a great pleasure to see many young delegates , not only grey and very familiar faces. Good for the IGC to have input from the young ones as well. Most people left early as tomorrow is a big day;9 till 5. Saturday after 12 PM we know what FAI WGC will be where.

CU tomorrow, cheers Ritz

IGC borrel 002  IGC borrel 004

“Old and grey ” Peter Ryder, Tor Johannessen and Dick Bradley and young!!!!

IGC borrel 003  IGC borrel 005

Rick who is happy to write down for me what’s happening and the birthday boy Terry.



February 27, 2013

OLC Glider Race! Lake Keepit Regatta! Ready for Papendal!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 8:37 pm


We had snow again in the weekend.” Poor delegates ” from warm countries , who will arrive here this week. They have to adjust to Dutch weather, as it remains like this till next weekend. No snow, I hope, but still only around 5 dgr. C,  plus…. that is, but 8 plus would be the normal average!That will only happen next week!!!!

Everybody is looking forward to flying, but no hope yet.

Gelderse in sneeuw

The winning airfield in the “OLC stats”  last year from the Gelderse.
Terlet last sunday in the snow!
As seen on FB.

 On the OLC news, I noticed that they are going to start an OLC GLIDER RACE, for standard class gliders. Flown from the famous Wasserkuppe, this RACE will add new elan to this class and to soaring in general. It will be flown between July 27 and August 3 and on the OLC you can see how to contact them .
Only 20 pilots allowed so better be quick when you want to be part of this historic first race. Of course you need sufficient experience . Price will be friendly under 200 E.  and camping and tows will be sponsored by the friends of Wasserkuppe. What a fantastic idea!
Wasserkuppe also has a very nice and interesting museum with over 30 vintage gliders.
All the news on
It’s in German but you can use the language button on top, to go to English.

Flyer as shared on the OLC site and with permission.

The Lake Keepit Regatta started on Sunday with 35 participants and a 2 hour AAT.
—”Lake Keepit Soaring Club’s annual Regatta is a fun, friendly and informal cross country event to introduce pilots to cross country competition.
The  idea is that the regatta is a mentoring event where pilot pairs are scored together around an AAT task. So we match up early cross country pilots with a seasoned pro, and they compete together as a team, either in two gliders or in a twin.
Only the slowest time of the pair is scored, so it is in the interest of the more experienced pilot to coach and assist right throughout the flight. –”
as is written on their site.

So  very experienced pilot Paul Mander won day 1 , a 2 hour AAT in the ASH 25 with 220 km in 2 hours and 3 minutes .David Mc Manus got 1000 points as well .
Indeed lot’s on two-seaters/teams as 2 x ARCUS , several duo discus’, twin astirs , NIMBUS 3DM, but also Libelle, LS 6 JS1 etc.You can see the list on
Day 2 and 3 had AAT’s as well, on day 2 only one finisher, Nick Singer in the JS 1 [625 p.] and  day 3 was a 1000 points day again for the JS 1 from Dave Shorter this time.Nick got 970.90 points as runner up.
BUT,…as said it is not about the points , but about the fun and the learning-curve.


Lake Keepit finish over Lake
A finish over the LAKE by one of the NZ juniors during their comps “JOEYGLIDE” in 2012.

Talking about support to young pilots here is another example from the SRGC from Tocumwal;
The Junior Aviators Day on March 23, with a DVD introduction to gliding from John Roake and one of the speakers , about the “history of gliding” is Ingo Renner. Other experienced pilots will share their thoughts with the young ones.
After morning tea they visit the gliders in the hangar for ID and to identify the control surfaces. After the BBQ lunch it is flying!!!!In the end they all get a Certificate of Participation.


Ingo and Dundee.

Looking at the Pribina Cup which will be flown between March 30 and April 6, I noticed 45 pilots at this stage for club class. The UK arrives with 7 pilots amongst them G Dale, Tim Milner ,[our former tuggie in Tocumwal] and 3 ladies; Claudia, Ayala and Elisabeth.
In the two-seater class 13 [ so 26 pilots including the co's] amongst them 4 teams from Finland.
In open class 30 participants amongst them 4 from Poland and 4 from Hungary and 9 from Austria with toppers as Wolfgang , but also Sebastian, Josef, Sven , Ludwig and Friedel. STRONG TEAM!!!
In 15 m. 20 , with for me well known pilots as Heimo and Reinhard both from Austria.
Registration closes at February 28!!!! You can enter online!

Fatraglide is a bit later between May 4 and 12 and they have already 30 participants,  so place for 3o more, as they have a max of 60.

Before going to fly for a week from Mount Beauty with Jörgen and Roger, Birgitte flew with Jörgen in Bruces ARCUS 535 km [500 FAI] from Tocumwal.
The last flight from this season in the LS 6 at Tocumwal from Finnish friend Kari ,was a nice nearly 500 km. flight up N.E. , passing Leeton. The day before he was “beaten ” for the topspot on  the OLC ,by 2 pilots flying in wave from Mid Atlantic Soaring;Brian in a PIK 20 b with distance 775 km and height 3432 MSL but only in the beginning. Baudouin Litt from Belgium, but living already for a long time in the USA , flew 731 km. and added in his comment that it was not everywhere good;
Should not have gone on the ridges to the north. I got stuck in snow showers, low ceilings and complete OVC. Made many unsuccesful attempts to connect back. Apart from that, nice wave day, but could have been 900K.”

Baude belgium team  Corowa Jörgen
Baude 3d from l. with the Belgium team in Uvalde last year. And Jörgen who flew this year in Stonefield , Tocumwal and Mount Beauty. Now practising in Roger’s ARCUS but next season flying their own.

On soaringcafe I published a blog in co-operation with Mike Anastasiou about flying in wave in Greece. In a comment somebody asked for a video and  Mike has a  video from this flight, but it is un-edited for the moment. At the same location they did some flying in December 2012.
Here is the link to the video on youtube from 2012.

With Bitterwasser closed now,  I have copied and pasted their impressive results from a thank you note written by Dieter Schwenk, and…….you can book already for the next season; available gliders are on their site  !
And not the least gliders as there are Ventusses, Arcusses  , Antares and DG 800,  as well as  Nimbus 3 and 4 DM .
You can contact them at
“To all our guests who spent their well-deserved holiday with us in Bitterwasser, all pilots who flew Bitterwasser with very good flights again to No. 1 in the OLC.
New record – 194 flights over 1,000 kilometers, 548,320 total kilometers, 4 new palm trees and some new records and all pilots who came to Bitterwasser just for fun.
A great atmosphere and a lot of positive feedback about the organization and the visitors to our website, since December over 20,000!—”
Good on them!!!!!

This upcoming weekend on March 2 and/or 3 the airfield of Keiheuvel in Belgium invites pilots to see who makes the best goal-landing at the field.20E. for a start.
Go to when you are interested and live close by, for online registration.
But,..when looking at the webcam the field was yesterday still WHITE.

Segelfliegen maart 2013
picture as shared by FB.

Segelfliegen Magazine edition 2 2013 is out
with Flugtechnik: So bleibt man im Bart, /so you stay in a thermal
Meteorologie: Der Bart, das unbekannte Wesen,/ thermals unknown terrain
Fluggebiet: Schleswig-Holstein/ as flying area
Sicherheit: Pech gehabt (Teil 2)/ Safety; Being unlucky part 2
Wettbewerb: WM-Nachbericht/competiton ; about the WGC

And after writing so much about the Club class Nationals from Taupo here is a nice link to 89 pictures for when you are interested;

Club Class and Matamata Soaring Centre Gliding Comps 2013

Off to Papendal tomorrow. A great sportcentrum for the Dutch topsporters on the border of the beautiful Veluwe, with fantastic nature. A place for congresses , events and training facilities.
Will keep you informed!

Cheers Ritz

February 24, 2013

IGC Plenary ! Interesting Taupo club class nationals finished!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:48 pm


Australie2010 113  Australie2010 112

Beautiful area close to Taupo

Australie2010 196

Boiling mud

He did not fly on day 8 ,[ presume his main wheel was repaired after an outlanding,] but on day 9 and 10 from the Taupo Club Class Nationals, he was back in ” full glory” ,Mark Wilson,  flying his St Libelle to a great daily- spot -2 , during 2 AAT’s from 2.30. One with 291 km. in nearly 3 hours, [925] while the winner Mike in the ASW 20 flew 266 km. in 2 hours 38 [1000] and the day before behind the Mosquito from Steve with 279 km. in 3 hour 6,[960 p]. while Steve flew 231 km in 2 hour 30. [ On the dot!!! and 1000 points!]
On day 9, Tim flying the Discus b , flew 4 hours and 20 minutes , BUT ,…he made it back. What about his perseverance!!!???

Mark was over-all on spot 1 on day 1-2-3,  than 2 on day 4,  but back on spot 1 on day 5 and 6 . On day 7 he was on spot 2[outlanding] , on his “bad” day 8,[ he did not fly ,so no points] , he dropped to 4 and on day 9 and 10 he moved back to spot 3, where he stayed as on day 11, [not bad 11 days of x-country soaring during a competition !] he was 2d again on a devalued day [AAT 2 hour] as only one pilot , Bob in the DG 100 finished!
The pilots had a meeting as well, about airspace penalties and “dropping the worst day when calculating final scores” , like they sometimes do in Australia !!
That would change the final scores!I reckon the” vote” did not win as the scores did n’t look like it.
So Steve in the Mosquito won with 9558 points. Runner up was Mike in the ASW 20 with 8617 points and Mark in the St Libelle at 3 with 8243. Congratulations!
A nice competition to follow from home! Welldone !

Taupo St Libelle Taupo outlanding
Mark with the Standard Libelle after a landing. And the winning Mosquito after the landing on the last day!
pictures  with permission via FB.

The Matamata open-class-pilots flew 7 days out of 7 , parallel with the last week of the Taupo Club Class Nationals and well known pilot Patrick Driessen won every day except day 6, missing out on 3 points that day.With more than 1000 points , [6472] he won the comps in his Ventus 2C before good old Tony van Dyk [LS8 and 5298 points]!! Pretty good from Tony, as he is not spring chicken anymore!

And to finish these nice comps flown in New Zealand, a fantastic picture I found yesterday on FB about the superb nature in N.Z combined with our gliding-sport:

Whangarei Gliding club in NZ.

Courtesy Philipp Stapfer from the Wangarei Gliding Club and shared on FB by Jill McCaw, the editor and publisher of Soaring New Zealand and a like me a devoted blogger  .

Only one week to go and the next IGC Plenary 2013 will be over again. More than 60 guests from all over the world will arrive this upcoming week, in THE NETHERLANDS to attend the meetings at Papendal,close to Arnhem, on March 1 and 2.
Frouwke, our very busy Dutch delegate ,created a nice programme,  with a steward meeting on Thursday afternoon and a welcome for all guests in the evening.
On Friday they talk and talk and listen and listen…..between 9AM and 5PM.
On Friday evening time for rest and a nice dinner together.

arnhem-korenmarkt-2(w 560)(h 190)(p city,arnhem)(s 0)(c 1)

Arnhem town

On Saturday more talking and listening… same time-schedule, so a long day again and in the evening , we than visit the airport of Malden for a farewell /final evening. Malden has a fantastic new 2 storey- hangar and it will be interesting for many to see this. On top of that evenings in the Malden pub , “Zweef-inn”at the field are always great fun.
So a lot of serious talking, some fun and during fun a lot of business will happen as well.
I have never attended such a meeting , will try to have a “glance” on how it all works and look after the female guests, who accompany their husbands involved in this top of our soaring world.
Will take my laptop for live-news [if possible ], my camera to make pictures and as Rick {Sheppe-USA} is there during all meetings ,you will have his analyses short and to the point in the blog , as every year.[I hope as I still have to ask him, but he is just such a nice guy, he won't say no.]

Malden  Malden vintage happening 007
Malden Airport with the “field” and the brand new 2 storey hangar.
UNDER the hangar is the same space as above the ground for all gliders in the trailers.

Malden vintage happening 009

This part of the season is over,  certainly when you see only 26 flights on a day this month on the OLC. Not much.
Noticed that in 2012 the lowest number was in February as well with 13 flights on 2 days and in 2011 ….11 flights.
Is n’t it great that we can all easily see this thanks to the OLC!!!!
But not long anymore and pilots can fly here again .On March 1 next Friday our meteorological spring will start and on the other site of the world the meteorological autumn. Time flies!!!
We can follow comps again and all kind of interesting flights shared with us via the OLC.
Benalla had by the way still a 700 km flight this week; UK pilot Bob Nicholls,flew it in his Ventus 2CT.
And yesterday Peter Temple flew 731 in his LS 8 from Gawler.
—”Brilliant day with convergences everywhere. Watched for sharks on the southern tip of Yorke Peninsula.—”
What do you want more?
Today Kari flew in the LS 6 a distance of 652 km [524 FAI triangle] from Tocumwal, Swiss Chris 610  in the ASW 27 and Terry in the ASH 26E a nice 500 FAI triangle as well.[542 total].
Graham flew from Benalla in his ASW 20 ; 659 km.
Love the weather,…there,…not here,…snow again and everything is WHITE!!!! I want to see GREEN.
From South Africa also x- country news ; 613 from Orient!

Looking at the Schemmp-Hirth site , I noticed that the OLC Discus , generously offered by Wilfried Grosskinsky, for a year of absolute perfect training for a young-one-under-25, goes  to Robert Schymala. Robert flew himself in 2012 to  the best 10 of the OLC junior Challenge and amongst them, he draw the lucky number to fly the glider in 2013.

discus OLC

A happy Robert in the OLC Discus.
picture Schemmp-Hirth site.

It’s nice to see that some stories bring back memories by readers.
—”This awoke memories. Part what Pam and Gerrit saw from the air, Wolf and I saw
from the ground driving from Sydney to Waikerie to the World Championships in
1974 in an old, battered car that every 200 km had to go in a garage. It was an
adventure in a lifetime.—” By Frauke  from the USA.

They had since November NO rain, this week Tocumwal had 4 to 5 mm. due to a passing thunderstorm, not much but more up North they were pleased with over 40 mm.


Dieter Dundee had new visotors trying out his bike.

The Southern Riverina Gliding Club has bought a Caproni to replace the IS 28 which will be out of hours in 2 years.
—”I would like to announce to you all that Southern Riverina Gliding Club Inc, has now secured the purchase of the Caproni Glider and we look forward to having it ready for flying in the future.  A huge thank you to those who have assisted with funds so far.

 As informed previously this glider will be a great addition to our fleet and enable good cross country gliding etc to our members.  The Caproni is a very suitable replacement for the future when the IS28 is retired due to expiry of lifetime in about 2 years time.—”
I flew with Ingo in the Jet-engined-Caproni as a “farewell gift” before I left Tocumwal. Great flight.


Finally rain in Toc.
Lot’s of rain in the S. of Europe as well,  with over 60 mm. in Athens in Greece, with a flooding river and one person died in the strong current.

 On February 20 , last Wednesday, a 747 from Cargo Lux had  precious cargo; the SOLAR IMPULSE from Bertrand Piccard.
The Jumbo Jet landed at Payerne’s small military airfield in Switzerland, to pick up the ” load” [ the plane was demantled and all parts were in the fuselage] and than fly to Moffett Airfield at the Ames Research Center of NASA close to San Francisco, where from the Silicon Valley this years Across- America- mission starts.
At Moffett the 747 was parked , nose-in ,in a in 1930 built all wooden-hangar.
source; one of my friends, Wieger who flies for Cargolux,  via FB.

Cargo lux Wieger

Before departure and after landing at Moffett with the crew ;
Wieger, who flew with my “kids” in the far past, to the left.
As shared on FB.

 Not so much news today so enjoy your new week. Will be back from home on Wednesday , I hope as I have a very busy week ahead and than from Papendal, as much as possible.

And,…look what happens when you donate your old pictures to scan them to make them visible for everybody during and after the reunion? Somebody else send one from me during the Nationals in 1968, where we were crewing; don’t laugh!!!???

Ritz in 1986 during nationals

Cheers Ritz

February 20, 2013

Nearly Spring! IGC meeting in The Netherlands! Taupo continues!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 7:19 pm


What a great weekend of soaring in South and SW Australia. Benalla, Tocumwal, Gawler , Ararat, Bacchus Mars, Stonefield, all pilots flying there had a great weekend. Guess Terry had the best one flying his LS 3 over nearly 800 km. and topping the OLC list on Sunday.
Will see him within 2 weeks at the IGC Plenary in Holland so be sure I am going to ask him all about it.

Benalla night 012

Topper Terry here with former topper Bruce Brockhoff at Benalla in January.

 On Monday the good weather stayed with nearly 600 km. by Lothar Arndt [who recently started competition flying ] in the ASW 28 from Tocumwal and Stonefield pilot Steffen Krush in the LS4 flying over pretty remote land 815 km., while pilot Konrad Maierhofen , the “engine” behind Fly Down Under, had a really nice last flight in the DG 500/22m. before it will be shipped back home to Germany again; 781 km [ 562 FAI triangle] or and


Oscar in JS 1


With all the good soaring still in Australia I forget sometimes to look at South Africa. It ‘s still not over there yet either, as Oscar showed last Saturday with a speedy flight over 407 the 21 m. JS 1C from Potchefstroom;
—” Riding the storm front. 156 km/h takeoff to landing, as well as fooling around taking photos of the B8. What looked like a below average day turned out to be one to remember.–”

I did not know the story from the B8, I copied and pasted it from Oscar as I was touched by it.

-”Today, after almost 18 years, the B8 took to the skies again. The B8 was designed and built by the legendary Pat Beatty, a designer who designed and built first the BJ and later the B series gliders.
The glider was brought back to life by Paul Beatty, Pat’s son, and test flown today by Uys Jonker.
I last saw this glider flying before Pat and his wife Betty died tragically in a motor car accident in the 1980′s.
Truly a nostalgic day—”


—”Video of B8 flying after being restored by Paul Beatty, son of designer and builder of the BJ and later B series gliders. The B8 was the last glider Pat designed before his untimely death in the 1980′s. it took the commercial glider builders twenty years to realize the benefits of an epiliptical planform. Pat, together with Fritz Johl, who still resides in Cape Town, were streets ahead with revolutionary glider designs, with variable geometry wings, in flight adjustable wing span, camber changing aerofoils. Their gliders ran circles around the then competition. One wonders what he could have come up with if he had lived longer, and had the use of modern building materials and computer processing power. Most of Pat’s wings were designed using a slide rule.—”

B8 over Poch on
and Uys Jonker about the B8; “It was a privilege to fly the B8! Defenitely a highlight in my career!”

Poch is short for Potchefstroom but is also the surname of Julio Poch the former , now retired collegue of my daughter with Transavia, who already is 3 years in prison in Argentina and as far as I know totally innocent!!!
One of my friends Henri Cramer and a retired Transavia [chief] pilot himself has put a petition on FB to help Julio.In any case the Minister of foreign affairs has now FINALLY agreed on support for Julio. That might help!

Julio Poch

Julio Poch via Henri at FB.

Taupo continued with a 3 hour AAT task on day 7 from their Club class Nationals. The best pilot this day with 263.6 km in 3 hours 3, was Steve in the Mosquito. Only 4 finishers and some flew nearly 4 hours!
One of the outlandings by topper and overall leader till that day, Mark flying the St. Libelle. Only 457 points for the 171 km. he flew. Unfortunately for him he dropped a spot even more bad luck for him as he damaged his main wheel with the outlanding.
CD Roy mentioned;”Todays task will be the 7th at this Nationals.  The last Nationals at Taupo only managed 6 scored days over the the entire contest. The weather synopsis says fine weather for the rest of the week.”
So that’s good to hear!

NZ from above
Picture made by and shared by Mike Stathern before the start.Mike flies the ASW 20 during the Nationals and is overall on day 8 on spot 2.
This is the Huka Falls AND I have been there!!!!!!

So knowing that I looked ahead at day 8. But another day with problems for the toppers. 6 From 11 finished amongst them, the Mosquito with Steve, but Tim in the Discus b landed after 141 km and Mark in the Libelle seems to have not been flying  ….. he did n’t get points for the day so I guess he is out! A pity!!!!!

Bob in the DG 100 won the 2.30 AAT with 207 km. in 2 hours 27. Today is day 9 and they have flown. More on Sunday! Or you can look at or  Enjoy!!!

Taupo veld

A short Video of Day 5 from Philip Dunlop is to be seen here.Look at the skies!!!!

Some of them might practise for the next WGC in Finland at Räyskälä. The pre worlds are from the  8th to 16th June 2013.
The competition will be organised in conjunction with the Finnish Open National Championships flown in Standard, 15-m and 20-m Multi-seat Classes. You can enter till April 15 or later but than, only when place available.

JWGC2009 033

Beautiful Räyskälä

On the 27th of March the ZES , the Club from the students in Eindhoven will exist 50 years. A reunion with dinner will be part of it. Yes I have put my name on the list. As you know I was the very first girl flying in that club in 1967 so it will be great to meet a lot of “old ” friends and even more new ones.
A new one, I will meet this afternoon , giving him my photo book with pictures from that time. Arjan , a ZES member already for 18 years, is going to put them digital on their site
Another ” new one” will not be there as he is in N.Z. his name is Dinant. He reads my blogs so that’s how I got in contact with him.
“He LOVES soaring” but a flight down under under a hang glider is not bad either.Soaring will follow soon!
And….. he did so from Omarama in a two-seater up to 9000 Ft and he flew half of the time himself.

ZES Dinant
Dinant over NZ as shared by him on FB.

That ‘s it! You are up to date.
And,…….. I always “complain” when it is cold! What about MINUS 71 C. That happened in Siberia in a 500 people population in Oymyakon. A new record for them even when they are used to this climate; cold to very cold in winter and hot to pretty hot , over 30 dgr. in summer.Glad I am not living there!!!!!

Got some nice pictures from Dundee in Tocumwal , where it is still warm but days and flights are getting definitely shorter . I share them with you.By the way , from Benalla a Kestrel/17m. flew today an out and return up N. from 656 km adding some km. going S. to beautiful Mount Buller.Still going in thermals over 3000 m. MSL.


More thirsty friends visiting the bird bath at his caravan and one of his “neighbours” a lady with a baby in the pouch. A whole family lives so close you can see them from the balcony of the caravan.

Dundee Ingo and Hardy

A first time guest for Tocumwal; Hardy Krüger 85 now!
Both  looking VERY well!!!!!

Next Sunday at the SOARINGCAFE the very interesting and easy -to-read story with pictures about wave in Greece by Michael Anastasiou, something to look ahead at!

wave in greece 5

cheers Ritz!

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