Still perfect weather !! Short Sunderland ! EAC !

Alphen aan den Rijn       April 26 2009

Let’s hope  we do not get all the great soaring weather NOW in spring and nothing any more  in summer!!! That happened more or less 2 years ago.
Still fantastic weather for soaring, with distances over 700 km for Ventus 2 CT on the south site of the mountains in Italy and over 800 km for the Nimbus 4DM over the mountain-range from Switzerland and Italy.
But also in “flat -as- pancake-Holland ” a DG 1000 flew 558km.
Giorgio Galetto  {Ventus 2 c/18m.}flew a very nice 1004 km from his home field Bolzano and top pilot Robin May { ASH 25 EB 28} from the UK a very good 662 km  from Dunstable, [ more or less in the middle between Husbos-and Lasham airfield ], saying ” excellent dry air with streeting in strong southerly flow”.

Very special even for Holland  were the different flights up to and over the Dutch Wadden eilanden, the Islands to the NW of Holland. Pilots found it VERY special, to see lots of water under them instead of land.
For some a dream came true flying an out and return to Ameland, one of those islands.
The “only minor” thing the pilots complained about , was the tough wind up to 40 km/h. forcing some to outland or use the engine, on the way back home.
One of the junior pilots, 23 year old Frank Hiemstra, flying a standard cirrus and competing later in the year in Rayskala at the JWGC for Holland, made pictures to share with all of us  and if you have not seen them yet, you can find them on
 I had a look at them and was very impressed!

Anzac day was yesterday  and though I was sure Bill Riley flew a Catalina in the past I was wrong. Sorry!
I got the message that it was a Short Sunderland military water plane! Thanks for that!
To be precisely it was a British  flying boat control bomber, developed for the Royal Airforce  by Short Brothers. It was first flown on October 16 in 1937. It was one of the most powerful and widely used flying boats throughout the second World War.
Bill belonged to the RAAF 10 squadron formed in 1939.
I have heard many of Bill’s  stories ;he is a very  interesting person and I was hanging on his lips when he started to talk about the past ,as he is a very enthusiastic story-teller!! Now being 85 , that has changed a bit, but he still does “his  daily inspection round” at the Tocumwal airfield.
And …when I read all this about the Sunderland and the RAAF squadron 10 , I see Bill with different eyes  AGAIN!

A very sad story this morning.  On the radio I heard that a young 20 year old mum with her just born baby crashed with the helicopter bringing them to a Corsica hospital. Mum and baby died , as well as the crew by 2 and a doctor. It seems the weather was not good! Investigations are done by the French authorities.

Well it is raining here.  Finally some rain for the garden. No flying on their first possible soaring days for the EAC members [ after the great soaring weather from the last weeks!] , or…the weather must be better there. The difference is big here today ,  with sunny conditions and temperatures up to 22 dgr in the SE  from Holland where Eindhoven is  and 17 dgr and rain for the rest.
 No real Hurray feelings for the EAC members by now. I heard after the Friday evening briefing, that they are allowed to fly but
—-for the time being NOT with more then 6 gliders within the CTR
—-within the CTR there must always be radio-contact with the tower
—-there will be 3 sectors , one small just over the runway where the gliders start and land and  that sector has to be clear of all gliders within 15 minutes, when IFR planes start or land!!!!!!
 Not too easy for the pilots!!

No more news ………though,  stay far away from the A virus H1N1,the new influenza strain,  as it seems to have the potention to strike the world, which is NOT GOOD, so till Wednesday, cheers Ritz

Europe is booming!Hurray for the EAC!Nitra winners!Perth!

Alphen aan den Rijn       Wednesday April 22 2009

Last Sunday morning  I had the feeling that it would be a great day for soaring, with the blue skies in the early morning, the nice temperature and the predicted cumulus clouds. It all happened and not only in Holland, most parts of Europe were booming.
Bas Seiffert, participant in the last WGC for Holland in Rieti flew together with Ronald Termaat in the Nimbus 4 DT, { Happy Birthday Ronald,  44 years young since yesterday!} the runner up during the last 18 m. WGC and earlier European champion. Nice task good flight with 585 km.
 Bas will fly the nimbus 4 during the Nationals in Mai together with his father Frits who was 50 years ago , Dutch National champion. So maybe with some good practise dad will be champion again, this time together with his son. Is n’t that great?

In Belgium Yves Jeanmotte,   flew in the Ventus 2 CT 654 km so good weather in Belgium too.Uwe Thiele the ” Kilometer-eater ” from Germany had a long flight with the DG808 C 18m. Unterwoessen was good and I can go on, but you surely you have seen it yourself.
 What I only wanted to say is, that the European spring weather is just GOOD!

Nitra , the first major International competition in the season,   did not have the weather as good as the JWGC a few years ago. That was superb!!But with 7 days out of 7 it was a  good competition for the Pribina Cup participants with good winners. Wolfgang won in open class, Sebastian in 15/20m and Steffen in Clubclass. Congratulations !!!Also to Wim Akkermans with his 2d place behind Steffen!!

YES!…. WE can [fly again]!!!!!
EAC member and good friend Peter scanned the news and send it to me!
In the paper yesterday  morning was ;
” The EAC can stay and fly at AirBase Eindhoven.”
 They have divided the field in a better way, so that gliders and other planes using the main runway, are better separated! So it will be extra safe now. There will be also a more intense contact between the glider pilots and the tower!
So this Saturday the pilots can fly on their “own” field, where they flew the last 77 years. On Friday evening there will be a  general briefing, so everybody has been introduced then ,before flying, to the new rules. In between pilots have flown at guest airfields as Malden [ most of the students ] and Venlo [private owners/cc pilots/performance pilots].
I am very happy with the result and I hope the air space will be “open enough” to continue the nice flights from Eindhoven.

How stupid can you be??? 
A Virgin Blue Jet had a near miss with a remote controlled plane , as it was landing at Perth Airport. ”
The offender , who could face up to two years in jail,uploaded the footage to you tube , before taking it down over  the weekend.” [source;ninenewsnsm]

The video showed  the model plane , which weighs about 850 gram and had a wing span  of 1 meter, only around  30 m from the Virgin Blue Jet, before it plummets to the ground.
To do such a thing and even worse….put such a video on you tube ,is asking for problems and very stupid. Outraged aircraft enthusiasts made copies of the clip and handed them to the authorities!!!
Investigations by the Civil Aviation Safety Authorities have been confirmed!
It did not happen, but what if…the “toy”  was sucked in the engine, or had hit the canopy of the jet…????!!!!
Reckless…indeed! For sure he/she is not representing the group of remote controllers, as ALL of them I know , are just very enthusiastic about their sport and the young ones , when starting gliding ,have a very good co-ordination in handling the glider. Normally they go solo quickly!

Well, that’s it for today. CU on Sunday. The weather here has a bit of a dip today , but then we go on with “summer” again in spring ; I presume several April weather records will go in the bin.

cheers Ritz

War veteran!Pribina Cup!Varese!Charlie Spratt!EAC! Canada ! !

Alphen aan den Rijn        Sunday April 19 2009

This morning I had breakfast  in my garden at 9.30, with the loviest temperature. It will be 20 dgr. today , [12 is normal!] with in the afternoon lots of cumulus. So I presume the glider pilots are up early too today for a good flight.

Last thursday April 19 2009 ,  it was the birthday of a good friend from me and my family. BILL RILEY celebrated his 85th birthday in Tocumwal Australia. Bill was the founder of the Sportavia Soaring Center and invited long ago a lot of International pilots to come and fly in Australia and with huge success! In fact he put Australia on the map as a great place for soaring .
 After fighting in the war in the UK among other places and flying a Catalina Amphibian, he came back with a hip problem but this never stopped him of doing what he wanted to do. First he built a white-goods imperium , then sold it and with the money ,he bought a huge former military airfield ,built a little flat , for him , his wife and 3 children,in  a huge by the Americans built WW 2 hangar [ there were 4 at that time. A few years ago one burnt down, stil 3 left] in Tocumwal. Bought some gliders mainly in Rumania and started the flying school. In between he built a motel in the same hangar, a work shop for gliders , a restaurant , a bar [ if those walls could talk!!!] and an office. He also bought several blue and white Holden’s and I was the proud owner of one of them, the Holden Station wagon. It is now back with David , Bill’s son, who was brought to school in it. I loved that car!!!!! My ex, noticed it in a corner at the airfield ;it as a wreck , grass growing in it and snakes living in it, but after 3 or maybe 4 years it was a super car, with all original parts.
Bill was also the man behind Ingo Renner, supporting him and even visiting all world comps Ingo attended,  also the 4 he won. Ingo is still the one and only in this world, to have 4  world titles.

Bill will walk as a war veteran,  with his 3 children Denise, David and Chrissie on April 25 ANZAC day  through the mainstreet in Tocumwal . What a proud moment. For sure gliders and tugs will make that moment even more great for him and his family.
Congratulations Bill from the so many pilots in this world who got to know you!!!

The Pribina Cup is still fascinating  certainly in the open class.  On day 6 Wolfgang was the daily winner with Uli as runner up and Russell as 3d. But in the over all score Wolfgang is 1 , Uli 4 and Russell 7 on that day.
Yesterday they had a small task in all classes for open  220 km. devaluating the points,  but with good speed 122 km /ph.  for the number 1 in open and 124.6 for Sebastian in the SZD 56 Diana 2.
Sebastian Kawa is still the number one in 15/20 m .[multi-seat-]class . On day 6 he got 999 points loosing the winners place to CZE pilot Roman Mrazek. Sebastian is on day 6 , 500 points ahead on the number 2. Great class! He is such a fantastic pilot!!! Started as  as hang glider pilot and some of those those pilots just FEEL the air they fly in!! UK top pilot  Pete Harvey is such a former hang glider pilot too .
In club class,  a Belgian pilot, Wim Akkermans flying an LS 3, was doing a great job. Runner up on day 6!!! Today is the last day, so keep an eye on the results at 
A pity that the news under news is always ” no news yet”. Till today they flew 7 days out of 7.

7  Italian pilots are having fun  in the multi-seat- class [20 m.] Italian Nationals.  6 days out of 6 and wellknown  pilot Thomas Gosttner on top of the list , with another top pilot Stefano Ghiorzo on 2d place. In fact the co-pilot will have fun too, so 14 happy pilots!
Giorgio Ballarati is the comps director and the long time [ since I have met them in ’84 ] crew from Giorgio Galetto, Roberto is his right hand. The competition is in Calcinate-Varese and finishes today!

A pity I can’t show you the picture  Art has sent to me . It shows a river, totally flooded in  mid / central Canada, an area called Southern Manitoba. Only 60 km. North  is the gliding club . Art ‘s club , starts flying from today onwards again. But….for the time being , as usually, from a remote and dry airfield!
Rayskala has started flying. Two over 300 km flights in a discus 2 and an ASG 29! So the North of Europe is into soaring now too.

On the official site of the Dutch gliding association,  KNVvL, I read on april 17 at 17.05;
” Today, the Commander of the airforce, the Aeroclub from Eindhoven, EAC and the KNVvL ,  conferred about the closing of the airport for gliding-activities . It seems , after a report was presented by the NLR [ Dutch Laboratorium for Aviation and Space Travel ] , that under certain conditions gliding will be possible again, as safety will be guaranteed, by those new rules/ conditions . A letter to the EAC will be going out today”
This would be GREAT  news. Let’s hope we can celebrate the belated start of the EAC season  A.S.A.P.

Sad to hear that good old Charlie Spratt has died!  Charlie ” was ” , the finishlijn in Hobbs, Minden and Uvalde and during more comps. A real fascinating person, I can visualise him in a flash. His second kidney transplantation unfortunately failed and on April 10 he died piecefully.
A lot of pilots have known Charlie, he was some kind of soaring-icon. Charlie was more then 40 years in gliding, was not only the finish-line-guy, but also competition director for many comps and for 10 years the director, of the SSA. A lovely person, indeed loved by everyone! I am proud to have known him, though it is since Uvalde that I saw him.

 With this great weather I go back to the garden now and  I say

enjoy yourself, C U on Wednesday, Ritz

Soaring in Europe!!!COOL!!!

Alphen aan den Rijn             Wednesday April 15 2009

Did you enjoy your Easter weekend??
In Holland we were very blessed!  Not only by the Pope who wished us a good time and said thank you for the beautiful flowers we presented to the St. Pietersplein. But by the weather!!
The normal temperature around this time is 11 dgr. Since 1984, so 25 years ago,  we had now the warmest Easter with temperatures up to 20 dgr. and today we even expect 25 dgr. on some places !!!!!!
Easter Sunday was nice warm, but very hazy , due to the Easterly wind,  bringing smoke from the German  Easter -Bonfires.
We had 850.000 guests from abroad enjoying their time with us.
100.000 Of them visited the  Keukenhof in Lisse , the beautiful flower show.[bulbs/tulips/cherry-blossom.etc]

Wow, Easter weekend was busy  with soaring too , so  South and Middle Europe enjoyed great weather as well !!!! On April 10 over 1100, on April 11 over 1000 and on April 13 again over 1000 pilots , shared their flight with us on the OLC. And…lots of them just enjoy their soaring as you know, without mentioning it. But I am glad to see through this great system of OLC , where everybody is having fun.
On second Easter day Nitra had 3 days out of 3 and certainly the open class is interesting with 3 toppers “fighting” for the first place; Wolfgang Janowitsch [ Ventus 2 C 18m. ],Uli Schwenk [ Ash 25 EB 28]and Russel Cheetham [ASG 29 18m.]. All 3 have been  champion ‘s in the past!
But yesterday [ day 4] …..lot’s of out-landings so former WGC Champion Wolfgang is still on 1 but Uli and Russell are 7 and 9 now. With circumstances like this, a lot can still happen, so  keep an eye on  or the Nitra home site. Very interesting competition!
 Hockenheim had 4 days out of 5 till now and also lot’s of outlandings yesterday.

Pilots loving the mountains  [lot’s of them living between them!] had a great time in the Swiss and Austrian Alps. Stefan Leutenegger  flew a 1000 km flight in Switserland. Not only wave , but also the first thermal activity  in the Swiss mountains!!!
From Lienz in Austria 4 German pilots managed to fly 1000 km plus as well .
Unterwoessen with it’s “HANG” shared also in the fun and good old Hans Raschke flew at his home-field in the ASW 20 673 km. My good friends Maria and Dieter Bottcher are also members from this club and a few years ago I visited Unterwoessen with them. Nice big field and a “real hang” to fly alomng, up and down to climb high and to just…go!
Pilots not flying in the mountains had a good time as well.  It pleased me to see that at “The Hahnweide” former WGC competition director in Bayreuth , Walter Eisele flew 924 km. in a Ventus 2CM 18 m., while his son Michael flies in Nitra.

For some passengers it is their biggest nightmare  !!!! Flying in a plane and the captain dies!!!! For some however it is a “nasty ” dream come true!  I know discussions enough in , “how we would do it” if it would happen to us.
This week a small twin-engine aircraft in the USA, with 6 passengers aboard, lost its pilot in command. As the pilot flew on the automatic pilot, one of the passengers had time to take over. Not used to fly twin engines, but having a license on a single engine plane, he managed to put the plane safely on the ground with…the help of the tower. Great job!!!  

In the UK and Holland  planes from the Zodiac type have been forbidden already. Now the American Bureau for Safety and Transport  in the USA urged the FAA to stop this single engine plane from flying over there too, as it flutters and just breaks in pieces in the air!!! This has happened to 6 of these planes in 3 years ! I would not even think of flying such a plane anymore!!!

Busy enough this week, so that’s it for now. CU on Sunday.


HAPPY EASTER!Pribina Cup 2009 in Nitra!Easter Comps in Dalby!ARCUS flies!

Alphen aan den Rijn      Saturday April 11 2009

As I will be in Amsterdam  over Easter I write a day earlier to say HAPPY Easter to all of you wherever you are in the world.
In Holland ,we always had our first camp with the club in the Easter period. This was in 1967 when I was a member of the ZES, the student aeroclub from Eindhoven. We had the best weather, great flights and to get there we carried behind an old tractor an even older winch over the road  and it took us half a day over 70 km.  with lots of stress due to angry , umpatient drivers on the road who could not pass us or with difficulty, as also an old pick up with tents and other gear, was part of this Easter Parade.
This would not be possible anymore nowadays.
 We as club-members  had no field of our own and were during  the holidays guest at another airfield.  Easter was at Venlo, Summer at Malden [ where I went solo in the Grunau Baby after lessons in the Rhonlerche!] and the last one before autumn at the National Gliding Center Terlet together with the Student Aeroclub from Delft. Fantastic  memories !!!

The Pribina Cup 2009 in Nitra  [Slovakia] has started on Good Friday, with a practise day ! Lots of well-known to very well-known pilots under the 161 competitors  in 3 classes. Great practise for the Europeans and the World Comps in 2010 in Prievidza NE of Nitra.
The competition will be flown from April 10 – 19 -2009.
 I hear that there was snow and some showers and even thunderstorms, during practise, but for sure they will have some real NITRA-days as well.
 The C kader from the German juniors is having/ had a practise period in Nitra as well.
 For all info  , tasks and results you can go to ;

I heard several readers  had a look at the new site ;  and unanimous they found that it is  spectacular good! Well done!!!!

Several Australian top-pilots   participate in the Gliding Qeensland Easter Competition in Dalby for sports class and club class . They also started on Good Friday , with a practise day and fly till April 18. It is good to see that Dalby is organizing comps again. A few years ago it was closed. Good field with great soaring conditions! Also here you will be updated daily by

On April 7  , last Tuesday , Tilo  [Holighaus ] had the “maidenflight”  with the new Schempp Hirth two-sitter ARCUS at the famous airfield of Hahnweide. What a good looking new toy and it seems as easy to fly as a single seater. For sure a welcome addition at the gliding fields all over the world.
 I am very pleased to see how efficient Tilo took over the business after his dad, Klaus died in that sad glider accident. I knew Klaus pretty well, as well as his other son Ralf , both stayed with us in the past at Sportavia in Australia. As my ex only bought Schempp Hirth gliders, also  in the past , we got to know the whole family not to forget “the engine behind a lot of things”  mum Brigitte , pretty good. Lovely family!

Another competition  has started on Friday in the wellknown place Hockenheim. In 4 classes 51 pilots will fly for the first places, one of them Reinhard Haggenmueller flying in 15 m. class! Look for results and latest news on and for more pilot information to the Hockenheim home site;
On day 1 tasks were set around 300km.

Lucky me!  I just said yes  to the organizers of the Rieti comps from August 4 till 14 to be their journalist. In 1984 I was in Rieti as crew , in 1985 as guest during the WGC , in 1991 [I think ] as TC for the Dutch team during the EC , in 2007 as juror and editor for the JWGC, in 2008 for the WGC and now again in 2009. And…I am very pleased to go , it feels like home overthere in Rieti.

Still no good news  from the EAC, though negotitians are still in full swing and some pilots live in hope, I heard! Others made theirselves a member of another club , to be able to fly, certainly now the Easter days look good. I still find it weird that just when the season started and all pilots were ready to fly, the base commandant decided to stop any action for gliderpilots to fly. If  necessary for safety reasons, IF, then they could have done so end of the season 2008, so there would have been time to anticipate on it for the 2009 season. I am lost here!!!

Wishing you sunny weather , nice clouds, enoughs eggs,  a good rest or a great flight… if possible a few …and see you on Wednesday.

cheers Ritz

ITALY!!!L’Aquila-earthquake! CIM 2009 in Rieti!

Alphen aan den Rijn     Wednesday April 8 2009

When I woke up on Monday  morning and listened to the 9 o’ clock news , I heard that an earth quake had hit the middle of Italy. Worried about Rieti, I looked straight away at the news to see where the epic center had done so much damage that 16 people had died!!! L’Aquila was hit!!!! Everybody who has been in Rieti has passed or has been IN  L’Aquila and I felt VERY sorry for all the people over there. I wrote straightaway to Rieti friends to check if everything was OK in the area I have loved since my first visit in 1984.

The rest of Monday and Tuesday   I spend in Amsterdam, but received back news from some of my Italian friends that Rieti is safe.
 One of my friends wrote:

dear Ritz
thanks for your mail. This terrible event hasn’t fortunately hit Rieti at all. Despite the small distance between Rieti and the center of the earthquake, no major damns or victims are reported in the area. The situation is really tough and Rieti Airport is proving to be useful for the community as basis for many helicopters that are operating in the hit area.
The operations are really efficient and I’m hearing all the time helicopters flying in the area to transport injured and supplies. The earthquake has been really strong and I was awaken by the strength and the roaring of the moving terrain.
We are all praying and giving all the support to the close population. Many friends lost everything this night and they’re still lucky.”

As we write now on wednesday  more then 200 people have died, in fact the death toll has risen to 250 and 70.000 people have no house anymore..!Still pretty heavy after-shocks!!!One as heavy as 5.6 on the scale of Richter, killing 2 more people. The nights are just cold and it must be very bad for the people living in tents.
After 40 hours they found a young student from the university of L’Aquila ALIVE and after 34 hours a lady from 94, who knitted till she was found!!

Talking about Italy,  as life goes on; Rieti is organizing the INTERNATIONAL CIM 2009 with Giorgio, as their competition director. Georgini Ballarati was the deputy -WGC -2008-competition director working  very closely together with Leonardo Brigliadori ,the director.
As Leo is the new president of the Gliding Federation he wants to make this event a BIG one on a HIGH level with an international allure!!
 Many well known names , on the participants-list, several TOP pilots!  Look for the news on   The comps will be flown from August 4-14 2009.
You can still enter your name on the list till May 31 2009.  The comps are open for club and standard class, 15 m and 18 m., two-seater 20m and open class.
Have a look! I might even go myself !!!!  It would be great to see all pilots from nearly all classes together again during one competition!
One week later is the famous COPPA flown from August 19 -26 2009,  as well as the National 18 m. and open class championships and Italian Promotion Championship.
It seems the website is made by the POST FRONTAL guy’s, you remember their CONDOR system during the WGC????!!!
What a fabulous job!!!!

The Royal Fokker ,owned by the Dutch Government, was not a 28 model but a 70, sorry about that!!!I hesitated already , for that reason all the ?????

Off to the hospital now see you on Sunday.

Cheers Ritz

New web adresses! Schiphol without light aircrafts!Upload via mobile!

Alphen aan den Rijn       Sunday April 5 2009

We just had the nicest temperature  here 2 days ago with on some places 21 dgr. , called the first warm day of the year, which is 11 dgr. higher then normal. So not bad. The weekend is/was a bit less “flash” but no worries, still better then normal.

From yesterday onwards  light air-crafts are not welcome anymore to fly in the area’s around Schiphol Airport. Due to the compulsory transponders in ALL planes, the people on the tower see so much “spots” on their radar, that they are scared to loose the overview. As safety is an issue here, the Dutch Aviation Authorities have decided for this rule. According to the the Dutch Inspection, the “TOWER” has not prepared it self in time! This might mean it is just a temporarily solution. We will wait and see!

Nitra in Slovakia,  Unterwoessen in South Germany and Austria have also put their long distance flights on the OLC, meaning they enjoy the great weather as well. The Austrian Grand Prix Gliding is by the way  from  16-24 Mai 2009 in on the airfield of Feldkirchen.  One of the 15 pilots attending is my good friend Wolfgang Janowitsch.

You might still wait  on your glider coming back from either Africa or Australia, but you can book already again on the sites for places in the containers for the 2009/2010 season. If you want to go flying in Bitterwasser be aware, that the site and internet adress has changed;  to reach the Bitterwasser Lodges and Flying Centres and to read more about Bitterwasser see for
The rest of the sites from Corowa, Benalla, Naromine and Tocumwal are the same, though the Riverina Gliding Club at Tocumwal, has a new site, stil under construction, but you can find their new web adress at ;

” We “can nearly not live anymore, as glider pilots without the OLC. How did “we ” do that in the past???? I just read on the OLC site that you can now download your flight also with your mobile phone. In the past you had to bring your camera in and your barograph, then this all had to be checked, sometimes during WGC’s,  we had hot discussions about
” is the TP yes, or no ,or just on the picture.”
Now it is soooo easy. If you have not read it , here it is and I quote the OLC;

“Upload flightlogs with your mobile phone!!
As a result of the fruitful co-operation between  FLARM and OLC, the flights recorded by FLARM systems can be easily uploaded to the global OLC server just after landing.
You only need a mobile phone with an internet browser , supporting data upload and a micro SD/mini SD/SD cardslot.”

For how it works look at Latest news from April 5 on OLC.

About 20 years ago “our” Crown Prince   Willem Alexander started a relation with AMREF Flying Doctors by flying as a volunteer for this organisation. Yesterday they , [his wife Maxima was with him ] visited a theatre premiere, about how young people escape povertry in Africa, initiated by AMREF. The Prince still flies a lot. On most of the trips they do with their own plane [  a Fokker 28 ???] , he sits in the left chair!

Sun is shining,  so off I go into the garden. For sure pilots will have fun this afternoon as , when the fog disappears skies will be clear with later CLOUDS!!!!
Still no news from the EAC, but no news might be good news!

See you on Wednesday, a few days before Easter, for sure a busy weekend.
Cheers Ritz

Great weather!

Alphen aan den Rijn       April 1 2009

No it is NO April joke  on this first day of the month of April, the weather is really good here in Holland!!! With an over 500 km. task flown in Holland last Monday, we may say ; great spring weather! One of the young Dutch pilots flew till N.E of Oerlinghausen in Germany starting at Hoogeveen in a discus 2 A. Looking up from my chair in the garden I could see the great clouds and imagine how happy the pilots must have been over the last couple of days.
Terlet the National Gliding Center was busy , as well as Venlo in the S. of Holland. It is so good to hear the pilots say how happy they are with their first flights. And as you know our country is flat, flat as a pancake!!!!
Also from Soesterberg a great flight on Sunday. Bart and former Dutch team pilot Sikko flew an impressive flight, with even more interesting weather, as showers and a not to high cloud-base. Still 361 km.
One of our former “helpers” at Sportavia , Bert from Belgium flew a 299 km task in his standard libelle.
So let’s hope this great soaring weather will continue over summer and everywhere in Europe!!!

Europe is more  and more active in the air. Nearly from every country pilots enjoy their soaring. The UK with very nice flights over the Scottish mountains and from Dunstable and Lasham , where good old friend Roy flew a nice triangle in his ASG 29. The Swiss, the pilots from Italy and Spain , the Germans not only in France but also in their home country, it is ALL happening!!!!!

A few weeks ago  I wrote about the 6th WWGC in Sweden in 2011. Not to forget that before Sweden the next 5th WWGC will be in Szeded in Hungary from July 25-August 08 in 2009. They will be flown in 3 classes, club,standard and 15 m. Just a few months away!!
Winter is over !  And only in Holland “we” used 105.000 ton of salt to keep the roads ice-free. In 2005/06 they used 124.000 ton, but that is an all-time -record!

That ‘s it for now   the sun is shining brightly and also for non-flyers , this weather is perfect, so a few hours outside is lovely. By the way……..

The Mai issue of Gliding International is nearly finished. It will be the largest one produced till now with 72 pages. Some items;FAA report on Steve Fossett’s accident……….glasses;you can actually see thermals wih this pair……..full report on the IGC meeting in Lausanne and more…….more…..
Look for info on;
I will come back on it later too.

See you on sunday, European weather will be great till that day!!! The OLC will be full!

Cheers Ritz