Update Dutch Nationals after visit ! CIM 2009 in Italy, the latest!

Alphen aan den Rijn      Friday  May 29    blog 201

As I told you on Wednesday I was going to visit Terlet  on Thursday. So  I did. I went to gether with friend Ans, who started gliding with me with the ZES in 1967! It was very nice to catch up with one of the student members from that time; Willem Dortu. ” I think we know eacht other”, he said when he shook hands. Memories came back and sadly enough we heard that several of our friends from that period have died already.
Both sons from Willem are flying the Nationals and ended up in the flying world. One is a pilot for Lufthansa, the other one for Martin Air here in Holland.
Talking about Martin Air,[ freight- and -long -distance -holiday-airline  ] I just read, they will NOT merge with Transavia [lowbudget -charter-and line-flying in Europe], both full daughters of KLM. Transavia was, as I also read , one of the few  flying companies in the world  closing the last financial year in the plus!!!! Good on them!!!

Another very pleasant day at Terlet, with as I heard straight away, not the best weather on that Wednesday with the “small window”. It was just cold in the morning with a lot of wind. For some the window was TOO small and they had to out land. One of them former European champion Steven. Unfortunately he dropped from 1 to 7!!!! In the top from the combi-class now rule 3 young “hot-shots”.
It looks like the next 3 days including this Friday will be good! Temperatures will go up to 26 dgr. on Sunday the last flying day and that day might be unstable as thunder storms “might” hit the East from Holland where Terlet is situated.
As I noticed already long tasks for today up to over 500 km in 2 AAT ‘s for club and 18 m. Open class can race over 428 km.and the combi class over 369 km.
For sure they will have fun, as skies are blue , some clouds 1/8 here, but that I noticed already a “million” times, will be different over there.

Yesterday we saw great finishes.Though ….not all pilots made it back home. Leeuwe, one of “my” Hus Bos boys, unfortunately landed straight after being on track, as he caught up with a shower; 19 km. and a score of 38 points , dropping from place 4 to 8!
He is back in gliding. After Hus Bos he concentrated on his commercial license and he is an airline pilot now, flying into the City center of London!!!!!! Wow.!! ” Must be scaring “, I said and with a smile he said “it is not boring”.He lives in Schotland!
The other Hus Bos boy Bart won the day in club class and with Leeuwe 2 other pilots landed out .
In 18 m. class European champion Ronald still leeds the class with over 400 points. Runner up at this stage is Sicco , who flew in “my” team in Uvalde in 1991.
 In open class Bas and Frits Seijffert still try to win and make dad Frits after 50 years AGAIN Dutch Champion, but…Francois, flying in the last EGC and WGC for Holland is a very good pilot too. We will see what happens!
Some sensational finishes yesterday and you can find pictures on the Dutch site

One of the outlandings on Wednesday was in Staphorst. It is a small pittoresque town, but very traditional as p.e Pennsylvania. Most women still wear traditional costumes which looks pretty “nostalgic ” , colourful  and impressive for foreigners. One of the pilots landing there, caught up with 2 young ladies driving a brand new BMW, …in their traditional clothes. Both he and his crew had to laugh a bit about that! It just seems to not match …..a BMW and such clothes!

Some of the pilots who seem to be flying the Nationals  for ages and for that reason not the youngest anymore are doing well. It is great to see the mix in Holland from young [up to 35] and a bit older pilots [ up to 50] and older pilots [over 50]. It gives a great atmosphere. Roel, Ferdi , Hein, Theo are some of the above 50 categorie and still going strong!
Keep your eyes on www.soaringspot.com for results and tasks and even the weather, that is….when you are interested.
 Today is a sponsor-/ press -day, and indeed they are doing a great job there too, to promote gliding. One of the PR people helping Diane is Frank Versteegh. He writes articles for the local paper the Gelderlander. Frank is tow pilot at the comps and the only Dutch participant [ between 2003 and 2007] in the Red Bull Air Races ever, but also since 1987 participant in World and European Aerobatic comps.
 In 2007 he had totalled 1350 displays in 38 countries.
His co-pilot is ……..a Jack Russell who goes everywhere where Frank goes! Of course the doggie was yesterday at Terlet.

Recently I received an e-mail from Leo  to tell me about the notam issued for the L’Aquila region, also concerning flying from Rieti. I hope and I am pretty convinced that it will work out well for the organizers, though I see that “helping” l’Aquila has first priority. The organizers have put a PDF file about the notam on their site and I share it with you.
Anyhow…I will be there to promote the CIM and I hope to see all competitors who have entered and even more in August at Rieti Airport!!!.

Rieti, May 24th 2009

To all the competitors of Rieti 2009 races

Dear competitor and Rieti’s friend,

the tragic earthquake of L’Aquila brought the Italian Civil Protection Authorities to issue a

special NOTAM to protect the activity of the rescue teams and then the reconstruction

workers. Extensive and massif helicopter activity are still under way. This NOTAM is

tremendously large having 25 NM of radius. We hoped this NOTAM would have been

cancelled after a couple of months; unfortunately the G8 meeting has been organized for

the beginning of July in the same area and consequently until the end of this meeting (11

of July) we are pretty sure there will be no way to have it cancelled.

Nevertheless we trust the massif action supported by all the Italian Air Sport Federations

and AOPA Italy, towards the Italian Government, through the assistance of Senator Leoni,

the President of Italian Aero Club, will be successful and we will at least obtain the

prohibition of flying from GND to a certain FL only in few small areas which will not prevent

our soaring activity over all the ridges we are normally using at South and East of Rieti.

However, in the unfortunate case our petition will be rejected, hypothesis we don’t

sincerely think will happen, we promise that:


Obviously, in this unlucky but improbable case, the tasks will have to be set only towards

North, going back to the beginning of Rieti’s competitions, when we were afraid and

reluctant to fly to the South in such high mountains and with less landable places.

We are inviting all the competitors, and in particular the Italians, to support the Rieti 2009

competitions and the airport itself, preventing the local authorities after 2 WGC to be afraid

that European pilots will abandon this Gliding Mecca.

We understand, however, that some pilots could be reluctant to risk to fly in a reduced

(and if it can help “more landable area”) and we have to respect their decision. For this

reason we ask all entrants which might be in this condition to let us know their renounce as

soon as possible and not after July 15th in order to adjust our organization consequently.

If we will have further information and developments in the next future you will find them on

our website www.rietigliding.it.

For any further detail you can contact the Contest Director Mr. Giorgio Ballarati at the

following numbers: +39 3929858592 or +39 0332320206.

The Organizing Committee

On Sunday I will be visiting the last day of the comps with Inge and the kids! So the very last news of the Dutch Nationals you can read then with some “inside-information-stories !

See you on Monday. It looks like a great weekend is laying ahead of us
cheers Ritz

BLOG 200!!!Horrific weather in Holland! Spain!

Alphen aan den Rijn        Wedenesday May 27 2009       blog 200

I feel very pleased with my blog!  Long ago I started to write daily on our Sportavia website. It was no effort, I just sat down and started writing. I observe what I see and “talk” to you! “We” had so many readers , that we became the 10th best read site in Australia. I NEVER thought about that , as I would not have been able to write then anymore. Of course I was excited, honnoured  and pleased , but …I just went on! With the demise of Sportavia I fell a bit in a “hole”.
Our webmaster at Sportavia, Tony, who ALWAYS helped me with everything concerning computers etc. was also in domaine names! He gave me the www.soaring.eu site.
In the beginning I just wrote casual….when I had some news. I had to find another way to “observe”! With the OLC and the research on several sites , I translate in my way, what’s going on in the soaring world, so people do not have to surf the net for gliding news. Further-on people send me info and due to the fact that I know a lot of pilots, it is easy to get news from them.
I do not pretend to know everything about gliding or the weather, or even that I am good, but do my best to be accurate and readable for a big group. In any case I enjoy the writing !

So first of all  THANK YOU to Tony, who makes it possible for me to write. It was very nice of him to tell me yesterday, that he will “put some web masters from his team” on my blog, so we will have pictures, clouds, gliders etc. in the future. I am very pleased with that !!!!
Sometimes I really get nice pictures from readers and cannot show them or share them with you. So thank you Tony!!!
 Phil is the constructor of  the site. He works for Tony and whenever there is a problem,…” he is there” ! Not long ago he put a spam filter in the system and nearly 10.000 nonsense-spams have been deleted in that short time, so that was really necessary. He made it very easy to use and manage the site. Thanks Phil!
Both Tony and Phil live in Australia , but no worries, in this world everything is CLOSE BY!!!!!
Also a thank you , to you for reading soaring.eu  and to Mike who wrote in the past, when he had more time, very good articles for “soaring” about gliding. He still sometimes advises!

From some casual writing , I went over to writing every Sunday and since I have retired ,it is twice a week that the blog is on. It is very nice to find out that from all parts in the world, people read the blog. Phil is looking for me how many readers there are as I have absolutely no clue. But how many or how less it does n’t matter, I just go on.

The Dutch Nationals have had 4 days now,  which makes this competition a valid National Championship. Yesterday was cancelled , the day before as well. After today the weather will improve , so we might have 4 days more! Today looks that a window might be “open” for a small task!
I was correct I just saw that the first launch will be at 11.00, so they fly again!
Thursday and Sunday I will be there to give you  fresh impressions from these comps.

We were struck by very violent weather.It started already on Monday afternoon. A double- seater from the Gliding club Midden Zeeland , was struck by very bad weather and crashed. Unfortunately 1 pilot died the other one was flown by the trauma helicopter to a hospital . Investigation has to show if the bad weather indeed was the cause of the accident. Very sorry for the family from the pilot who died on a day starting so beautiful!

The night from Monday to Tuesday was so horrific …I never experienced such weather. Wild storms over 105 km/h. , hailstones [luckily not here] from 5 cm. fell down locally, so much water that roads were flooded, trees over the road and the rails, so all train traffic and car traffic was upset in the morning on Tuesday. Over 600 km of traffic jam, trains not going or with a delay up to 60 minutes. Lightning set several houses in fire! We are not really used to such weather, so a lot of people did not sleep well that night. I was one of them. At this stage the damage is over 15 million Euro.
According to the Dutch Bureau for Metereology [KNMI] this phenomena happens here only once in 10 years . They claim that 75.000 lightnings were counted for , which is just under the record and that in the Schiphol area , where I live too,  50 mm.  of rain had fallen!!!! Normally this amount falls in the WHOLE month of May.The temperature dropped with 10 dgr. at some places from 27 to 17 !!!
More parts of Europe had the same weather problem. Also in Germany, Belgium and France was a lot of damage!

Airline pilots willing to land at Schiphol Airport,had to move to other airfields  as Niederrhein, Brussel and Rotterdam, cause Schiphol Airport had to close several times during the toughest moments of the thunderstorms. So did Munich Airport.
On the other hand , Croatie has much too early in the year, a heat-wave!!!With over 30 dgr. and 4 elderly people died.

A good observer in an airliner this week! An airliner ready to start from a Greek Island took the wrong exit to enter the runway. No worries , that happens more! Another plane took the correct one and so they more or less passed each other . A very observant passenger called the stewardes and mentioned , that it looked as if the “wrong plane” had a flat tyre!!!!She mentioned it to the captain who straight away warned the tower, so they called the plane. Indeed the tyre was flat, which is terribly dangerous while starting.
7 Hours later that plane could leave too and the passenger paying such good attention…….he had his drinks for free !

I received a mail from a readerfrom Prague  [CZ] and if you were just interested in buying a motor -glider or Blanik, here you are;

Dear Sirs,I was in Prague Aeroexpo and I would be glad if you know anybody who wants this

1986 year
Reg.: OK 6110
new engine from 2006: Mikron III
only flying 1218 hrs.
new seats
signalization of landing gear
Price EURO 33 000 exl. VAT2)
1986 year
only flying 1568 hrs
Price EURO 28 000 exl. VATThank you very much,
Peter Harnoc

mail: peter.harnoc@seznam.cz
direct: +420 724041124

Just to inform you, that as more or less expected Wolfgang won the Grand Prix in Austria, the Schmelzer family was in one class number 1 and 2 during the Kempen Cup and the UK pilots in Spain flying the overseas Nationals have now , with 3 days to go 7 days out of 9 with Russell still leading. The French Nationals for open, 15m. and double seater classes , with 56 participants, have still 4 days to go and 2 days were till now cancelled! Didier Hauss is at this stage number 1 with Kilian Walbrau, the young JWGC winner as runner up.
In open class another wellknown pilot, Sylvain Gerbaud is leading in a Nimbus 4M and in 3d place is now “curly” Jean Marc Caillard with an EB 28. In the double seaters  well-known WGC pilot from Russia Dimitri Timochenko,is on spot 3…..but they fly ofcourse HC , as the National winner can only be French.

Great to see that my friends Pepe [Spain] and Hans [Germany] ,” found each other again ” ,after flying at Corowa in Australia ,  now both in Beas Di Segura in Spain and topping the OLC list yesterday with great flights .Pepe flew 827 km [DG 800] and Hans 758 km.[DG 808] We can for sure expect more from them! They are pilots not flying with the clouds , but setting a task [FAI] and flying it, as Hans did yesterday!!!!

That’s it for now , up to blog 250 via 201 next Sunday or Monday depending at what time I will be back home from Terlet!
 Just to let you know, I will be off for a week to the Belgium coast with my high school friends so no blog between June 4 -13.
Cheers Ritz

Whispers from “Alice”! Hahnweide finished! Dutch Nationals going strong!

Alphen aan den Rijn        May 24 2009        blog 199

Kaiserwetter, is what I heard from a German friend  and indeed this word we can use at this stage for Holland; Kaiserweather!
 With already now at 10.00 am. 25 dgr. in my garden and very blue skies, hopefully later today with some nice cu’s like yesterday, this will be another good soaring day for a lot of places in Europe……and for the Dutch Nationals, busy on day 4!!!!
With the Minden area in the USA as TP,[ great mountain soaring ],  a good  877 km in a Ventus 2 was flown. For sure the pilot has seen the most beautiful high -levelled Lake Tahoe,  where we had that astonishing and unforgettable landing with an amphibian [Albatros] during the preworlds years ago.
Canada  has great weather now too and I was pleased to see that the members of the Canadian Rockies  Soaring Club had a great day from Invermere; one pilot flew 566 km. in a discus with a nice speed of 108 km/h.
Australian  pilots , still fly from Jondaryan on the East coast and it is nearly mid winter there. But other parts of the East coast suffer from heavy rain and flooding.  Gerrit wrote me that it was wild weather at the Gold Coast and sends a link to see the planting of seeds [he is a farmer] over the last weeks and this wild weather.
http;//picasaweb.google.com.au/gerritkurstjens/100NCD90#       Have fun!
Tocumwal  still has a pleasant 22 dgr. during the day, but my friends have had a tough and tiring summer with up to 47 dgr. and no rain.
News also from Alice Springs!!!!! There are whispers of a new SUPER SOARING SITE ,  opening up in Alice Springs. Very few details yet, but I will keep you advised of developments!

“Hahnweide ” is over!A good competition with great winners and with 6 days out of 8 in 15 m. class, with as winner , Belgium pilot Jean Luc Colson, a pilot to keep an eye on.
In 18 m. they flew 5 days out of 8 and the “fight” between Reinhard and Werner was firm. Reinhard won with 127 points more. Phil Jones, was a good third. He and his brother Steve, lost their  father not long ago, on March 8. Ralf was the wellknown founder of Southern Sailplanes , [UK sailplane and glider repairs]  and winner of the British Nationals in the past. Both Phil and Steve have been champions too.
Good to see Bernd Weber [from Schemmp Hirth ] on place 6!!
In standard class 6 days out of 8 . German pilot Tobias Lohner was in his LS 8 562 points ahead of the runner up, so a “good win”!!
Uli Schwenk is and was in so many other comps the best in open class [ 5 days] and in the double seater class Sigi just missed out on 50 points to win. [6 days]

Last Thursday the Dutch Nationals have started  with pretty marginal weather on day 1, when I was there. This weather was only on the east site of Holland and the rest had great weather. When we left Terlet at 7 it still looked beautiful on the way home.
So day 1 was a flying day, but as Baer Selen , who is “predicting” the weather for the first 4 days said, not the very best. All gliders started however , all gates opened even with the last launch after 4, but nobody flew the distance to make it a competition day ……except in the combi class , where Steven Raimond flew 104 km and got 20 points  for all the work!!! He decided to start again at 17.29, when the weather was improving.The runner up that first day flew 49 km.  so a huge difference.
 But it was good practise! The last 2 days looked great and after 3 days in the combi class, former European Champion Steven Raimond is already 250 points ahead of Peter Millenaar a young and upcoming talent, under 25 , so flying the JWGC for Holland in Finland. Steven won 3 days in a row!
In the club [yesterday 283 km.] and open class [AAT with best distance 429 km.] still everything is possible with several top-pilots fighting for the honors on Sunday next. As said before , in open class father and son Seijffert participate. Father Frits flew and won 50 years ago the nationals and this year he flies with son Bas in open class and they hope to win again. At this stage they are on 2d place.
In 18 m. class former European champion and runner up during the WGC , Roland Termaat, is leading after 3 days with 269 points ahead of the rest. Also in this class several good pilots who will for sure try to make it difficult for Roland, but he is a very good pilot, I know!!!
See for results www.soaringspot.com
If you can read Dutch go for all the latest to www.nkzweefvliegen.nl
Diane is doing a great job as PR lady.

It was great to be back at Terlet.  So many people I know,some I had not seen for 15 years,  so many nice talks and some cool beers on the terrace of the Thermiekbel, the local bar/restaurant. I lived for over 10 years every weekend and every holiday at the Terlet airport and I had not forgotten how beautiful the Veluwe is.
Will visit the comps at Terlet again on Thursday and on the last day; Sunday May 31!!!

The Kempen Cup is a short competition  [4 days] in Belgium with 68 participants in 3 classes. A lot of friends are flying this competition. Look for results at www.soaringblog.com
 The Kempen Cup is the first part of 3 regional comps flown on 3 different places. [ Kiewit and Keiheuvel]

“The story of the stolen flag”,  when you have attended WGC’s and EGC’s there is always the story of the flag from the FAI stolen on the last day. Read the very interesting story of the competition director ofrom the next JWGC in Rayskala Juha Silvennoinen, better known as Silva, about the flag-incident in 2005 during that wonderful weather EGC, with on day 1 a set 1000 km. flight in open class, flown by nearly all pilots!!!!

See you next Wednesday for blog 200 !

cheers Ritz

Dutch Nationals, ready to go!Hahnweide flies today, day 4!

Alphen aan den Rijn       Wednesday May 20 2009

Dundee has left this morning  again, so ready for some news. Of course the Dutch Nationals start tomorrow and I will visit the friends tomorrow with my daughter and my grand children. They know about gliding as they visited in Australia at the airfield where we lived. So they will be happy too. Today is great weather here with nice clouds and 21 dgr. The first week does n’t look too bad for the competition pilots though rain and showers are fore-casted as well. You can follow the news on www.soaring.spot.com and all results will be on as well as the tasks. I advised them to do so, so glad they did!It gives pilots ALL over the world the possibility to check, what’s going on.

Hahnweide, starts today with flying day 4.  Only one day cancelled till now and for today it looks good! In 15 m. class Belgium pilot Jean Luc Colson is on top at this stage. In 18m. class former world champions Reinhard Scrhamme and Werner Meuser fight for the best result with UK top-pilot not far behind. EVERYTHING can happen here, with 4 days to go including today.In standard class 4 pilots still have a chance to climb the platform. In open class Uli [Schwenk] more or less rules the show in an EB 28 edition and in the two seater class, good old Sigi Baumgartl is 2d with 2 points , ready to go to the highest spot. All duo discus flying only 2 Janus gliders. My Dutch friends flying in this class lost a few places!
Hahnweide really shows nice pictures!

Yesterday I was pleased  with the flight in a Club Libelle from  the Ottenrguener Heide [ Nordlich from Bayreuth the place where we flew the WGC in the past!] ; 571 km. Again several up to over 900 km. flights in Europe , so still no complaints about the weather.

The Uk Overseas Nationals have started in Spain at the airfield of Ocana. First day was May 18, last monday.With 23 competitors , one from Ireland, 4 from Spain and one from Portugal , a nice bunch of pilots with Russell Cheetham and Jill Spreckley as the most well-known under them. Today they start with day 3 and it seems not the best day, we will see tonight!

The Austrian Gliding Grand Prix started as well. On May 17 12 pilots were ready to go for the max amount of points. Under them several top-pilots as Wolfgang Janowitch, [ 14 points] , Heimo Demmerer [15 points] , Eduard Supersperger  [ 20 points] and Fridolin Hauser  [12 points] from Switzerland. With another 4 days to go a lot can still happen. Will keep you informed.

No more news as the sun is shining so nicely, that I have to go outside to enjoy the weather.See you on sunday,

cheers Ritz

Midsummernight! Klix!Feathers!Sweden!Hahnweide!

Alphen aan den Rijn       Sunday May 17-2009

Only 33 days to go  and I will meet at Helsinki Airport with Marina Galetto , one of the stewards at Rayskala during the JWGC. She has spend already a day in Helsinki then. We will travel together  to Rayskala, for a ,for sure,  great but busy time. We start on June 21 with the MIDSUMMERNIGHT and what I heard, the organization has anticipated on that wonderful event. This will be my 3d midsummer-night party and I remember from 88 that at midnight we were still reading a book[only to make pictures, but nobody could see we had a good drink before!]] , as it is incredible light still then.

In between,  competitions start and finish  in this period of the year. In Germany they had till now great weather but also at some places HEAVY thunderstorms with lots of damage by the terrible high -gusting- winds.
Klix had this week its 17th International Gliding Cup from May1 -May 9 with over 100 participants also from Holland ,Switzerland , Poland, Russia and Belgium  in 4 classes. In 2 classes Dutch pilots were the best. Only 4 days in open/18 m. class and in Club class. The mixed and 108 class had 3 days!
” Hahnweide “will be from May 15 to 23-2009.In 4 classes there are a total of 112 participants. 22 In standard class,12 in 15 m. ,41 in 18 m.,18 in open and 19 in the twoseater class.
Some well-known names; Jean Luc Colson from Belgium [ ASW 27]and Boerje Eriksson in 15 m class,[Ventus 2 A].
In 18 m. Werner Meuser and Reinhard Schramme, both former world champions, Mac Ichikawa,[ Japan] Yves Jeanmotte [Belgium] and Phil Jones[UK].
In open class Steve Jones [UK] and Uli Schwenk , more former champions.
In the double seater class is one of the well-known names;Patrick Stouffs.[Belgium]
All ingredients for a top competition!

In Holland we have a very well kept  and interesting site for the glider pilots. It is called www.zweefportaal.nland Ben Hiemstra is the “guy” who does a marvellous job there. He also will be the site -keeper for the Nationals next week.
 On his site I read the article by a science site www.nu.nlabout artificial feathers on wings!!!!!!It claims that if you cover the wings with artificial feathers,the planes would be much more efficient according to Italian researchers from the University of Genua.In the Journal of Fluid Mechanics they say that the air-resistance is lowered by 15 % due to the cover of feathers!!!!I don’t know……

I was most impressed with the 1000 km attempt  from Swedish pilot Ronny Lindell. In a Discus 2 T he tried from Landskrona a  1000 km. task, his first; a jo-jo up to more North over Sweden [Lidkoping]and back and the same nearly again , JUST missing out on 43 km. What a pity!!! In any case it means that Scandinavia will be seen more from now on , on the OLC. Yesterday it was Sweden again with a flight in a Duo Discus from Lidkoping; 472 km. and Rayskala with a 404 km. flight in a DG 505M 22m.

Just spoke to Maria from Munich  on the phone. She told me that I had written,in my last blog,  that I would be 4 month in Tocumwal, but…no she is correct it is “only” 4 weeks! Further on she gave me the best regards from Mac via her husband. Maria’s husband Dieter is helping in the organization and he does this already for years!She also mentioned to look at the fabulous pictures in the photo gallery [ Bilder] from the Hahnweide site. They have flown yesterday  with tasks between 275 and 390 km. and they fly today too. Here it has rained “like hell”! With thunderstorms as well last night.

That’s it . Jonny [tuggie in the past at Sportavia] and Corinne [ helping us with everyting in the past] are visiting  Dundee whilst he is here. CU on Wednesday, later in the day as Dundee leaves in the morning.

Cheers Ritz and on request, here is my email adress if you have news or a comment or just want to say hello,

Ridge soaring ! Lufthansa ! Great sunday!

Alphen aan den Rijn                     Wednesday May 13

If you are “fond” on Ridge Gliding  your heart must have been beaten faster while reading the great results flown in the USA from the field Ridge Soaring, where the clubmembers from the club with the  glorious name the Ridge Soaring Irregulars had the day of their life last sunday!!!
 I loved the comment from the pilot setting his first 1250 km and flying it, even 1355 km!!!! He flew a Janus C FG.
“1250 task completed, I am shaken …not stirred” !!! Gliderpilot talking with his heart!
 The best distance was flown by a German pilot Helmut Bauer, 1576 km.. in a Ventus 2 CM 18m. And did you see the speed???? 142 km/h.
8 Pilots flew over 750 km from them 4 over 1000.

But ….our flatland pilots had a great day too. I could see it already when I was sitting in my garden, wow what weather. In Belgium good friend Eddy Huybreckx flew a great 668 km flight from Belgium over Holland [ Eindhoven ,yes from the EAC] and over Germany. Dutch pilot Peter Millenaar , tried a 750 km FAI triangle from the Northern part of Holland but was too slow in the beginning , due to the less good develloping weather at that time, but still flew 615 km.

Lufthansa guests flying an Airbus A 321  from Munich to Lissabon had a rough flight. Due to the heavy turbulence the 147 passengers had a really rough ride and the captain decided to make an extra stop in Geneve, to bring some of the wounded , atleast 14, to a hospital. The flight was continued by another plane.

Yesterday was another day  for several pilots thinking,”they have a soaring-heaven on earth”. Specially Germany had the great weather with 50 pilots flying over 500 km. up to nearly 1000 in a discus.[ 916] Some fly big triangles and others use the good weather zone for jo-jo’s. And…it is still spring!!! We , here in Holland, have very turbulent weather with lots of wind.

Just received a mail from Brutus!  He was in Vinon with Rob , with not the very best of weather but stil 8 days out of 10 and 36 hours of flying. It was very nice to receive the very best regards from Daniel and Antje, flying with us in the past at Sportavia. I knew they had one child as it was “made in Tocumwal”, but now they have 3. Wonderful!!!!!Will see Brutus at Terlet oo, as well as SO many others!
That’ s it for now. I am listening to all kinds of stories from Dundee, about Australia , specially Tocumwal.  Not long and I will travel back for 4 months. It looks like Inge comes for ONE week too. Will keep you informed!


Dutch Nationals!Dream job!Accident in Belgium! Last day Fatra glide!

Alphen aan den Rijn          Sunday May 10

A lot of pilots flying international competitions  will be flying at Terlet during the Dutch Nationals from May 21 to 30. With at this stage 24 entrees in 18 m. class, 11 in club, 18 in the combi-class and 11 in open, there will be some “firework” to reach the first places.
Under them, young JWGC participants, former JWGC participants and several pilots flying WGC and EGC or having flown them, so in ALL ways a “HOT” competition!
Competition director is the very experienced Max Bloch, who is doing this  already for a few years now and does a great job. He has a new team around him , but still some who worked with him already for a longer time.
The NLS,  [www.nls.nl] close to Schiphol Airport, will be the head sponsor. They are the flying school where young enthusiast boys and girls get a professionnel education to be a pilot. Their slogan; NLS, the right way to the left seat! 
 In the past the KLS , [ school from the KLM] sponsored young people too, by donating money for their gliding training, in the hope to “win” them later for their school to have real motivated pilots.
I try to be there for a few days , so you will be up to date. Great to catch up with so many I have n’t seen for a while. Former WGC pilot Bert Kuyper will be the tug master and one of the “tuggies” is many times Dutch champion and former WGC pilot Daan Pare.

Do you remember the DREAM job in Australia??A young Brit, Ben Southall, won the the wages of 83,500 Euro for 6 months and….living in a dream house , having his own pool and golf car, on a dream island [Hamilton] to promote it.
 The Dutch girl from Amsterdam , still in the race with Ben till a few days ago,  as one of the last 15 who were invited to visit the island, was very fair and said that Ben was, when she would not win , her favourite candidate. He won from more then 34.000 people out of 200 different countries, reacting on the add.
The other winner is the Queensland bureau for tourism. They spend 750.000 Euro on the campaign and claim they got for 50 million free publicity.

Fatraglide 2009 ,an international competition in Slovakia  is on its last day and had 6 days out of 9. Jan Louda [ standard cirrus] is at the moment still number 1 in club class and with nearly 500 points ahead on fellow -country -mate Jan Kantor, it should be easy for him to win. In the combi class both Lubor and Pavel  from Slovakia are doing a great job, with Lubor still on number 1 and also with a big marge. Nice to see some of the the  Danish pilots on 3-4- and 5 at this stage.

Some sad news too;  Yesterday a 65 year old experienced pilot  [ father of 4 ] died after his glider crashed on the highway from Namen to Luik in Belgium. No cars were involved in the accident and the first reaction on the Belgium news was that, maybe the pilot has tried to land on the road. On the TV in Holland however a Belgium witness said that the glider went down in a “vrille”, a few minutes after it was launched.  It is under investigation , so it is better to wait what caused the accident. Sad it is, very sad! 

No more news , so CU on Wednesday. Dieter “Dundee” will be my guest this week, so I am eager to hear all his stories from Australia , where he lives for half a year ………in Tocumwal. This was blog number 195 so 5 to go for the 200!

Cheers Ritz

May 4 , special!Frata Glide, 3 days out of 6 , 4 to go!!

Alphen aan den Rijn                                  Wednesday May 6 2009

On Monday evening May 4 ,I was more anxious then normal, to see what had happened that day with soaring. The weather here above my head was so wonderful, that I knew some pilots would go to bed with a very happy and satisfying feeling. Huge cumulus clouds with “black bottoms” ! Really like fast growing cauliflowers.
I was not wrong. Here in Holland nearly a 750 was flown from Malden close to Nijmegen. The task was set , but just not made, the pilot in a Ventus 2 CT, missed out on one thermal in the southern part of Holland to bring him home and achieve his 750 km.
It is not every day here in Holland that pilots fly a 715 km task.
Some enjoyed flying from our National Gliding Center Terlet near Arnhem, over Belgium [ east from St Hubert] and even reached France before turning back home.[591 km. in a Nimbus 4 DT]

Looking at the different flights , the St. Hubert area was in the good weather situation and Yves Jeanmotte managed to fly from there 966 km. Guy , from Luxembourg, who flies most part of the summer in Fuente and in winter mostly in Bitterwasser, flew from his home field a great 925 km flight and he “used” big parts of Germany [area to N and S of Ludwigshafen] as lift! That whole area must have been booming!

I was very pleased to see  that one of our guests from the Sportavia -past , Carsten is still flying and had a good one as well; 534 km in a CARAT, what ever that is!!?? Have to find out, I have never heard of it! Sorry!

Today we had some rain, a tough wind , but the weekend will be good again. Not long , about 2 weeks and the Dutch Nationals with a strong field , will be flown from Terlet.

Unfortunately, Frata glide ,  which started on May 1,has till now 3 flying days out of 6. In 2 classes , pilots  go for 4 more days in Slovakia at Martin Field.In the combi class Lubor [ in ASG 29] is at this stage number one, with Danish top pilot Henrik Breidahl in ASH 26 ,  as runner up. In club class , CZ pilot Jan Louda in Cirrus is at this stage, number 1.

That ‘s it for now! Cheers Ritz


Alphen aan den Rijn          May 3 2009

We are a few days later  now after the disaster of Queensday and Holland is still in shock. Now, 7 people have been confirmed dead including the young man who tried to attack the big open bus of the Royal family, in his little black Susuki. It looks like a one-man-desperate act, [ the guy lost his job 3 months ago and had to leave his rented house on May 1] but why he did choose this day AND the Royal family,  we will never know now. Hopefully this unique-in-the-world day ,April 30, will and can continue for us ,the Dutch people!
Due to all the hectic around the Royal family, we forgot that Holland had it’s first Mexican flu victim. A young 3 year old boy, just back from a family party in Mexico. He and his family are well and all passengers from the same flight he came back with, are counted for.

Still that great spring weather  in Europe, after Austria and Switzerland now Italy has its turn of fantastic weather and the Swiss pilots still have it too! [881 km. by Stefan Leutenegger]
Top pilot Giorgio Galetto, had great flights till now; 2 in March with 673 and 481 km and 3 in April with 301 , 796 and 1.004 km. On May 1 he flew 870 km. and yesterday another 683,  all from his home field Bolzano in the Northern part of Italy, flying mostly the ridges over there.
Yesterday another great flight in Italy; 1015 from Alzate in a Ventus 2 C and this time NOT only ridge or wave flying!
And what about Slovenia?! 1043 km. in a DG 500! And…638 km. in an LS 7 !!!!

Holland again did not miss out  and Wim Akkermans , the runner up in Nitra during the Pribina Cup, flew in his LS 3 from Woensdrecht not so far from the Belgium border, a very nice 480 km.
I noticed that Bert, from Belgium , who worked for us in the past had a very nice flight from Diest 492 km .in his standard libelle , as well as Tijl who flew from Keiheuvel 516 km in the discus 2 A. Tijl , you might remember was invited by us in the past to do a gliding -clinic with Ingo Renner.
 I was very pleased and a bit amazed, [ young children grow so fast!] to see that young Jeroen Jennen already made his first cross country flight. He must be 14 or already over now. He flew in a KA 8 286 km. so nearly his 300 km !!! Well done Jeroen!
Jeroen comes from a well known gliding family  [ mix of Jennen and Huybreckx] in Belgium and is more or less  “born” on an airfield. He visited different soaring places in the world as crew, when he was still a “pup”, so we all met!!!
 He loved the thermals/lift,  but not so much the poor visibility during his first CC flight.

Though not all pilots are too happy  with the results of flying at the moment from Eindhoven, they started their belated CC season with some good flights, nearly 500 km. in an LS 6. One of the former [longtime] members has analysed the outcome of the negociations I received and it is as follows;

Eindhovense Aero Club

After having been grounded for a number of weeks the Eindhovense Aero Club can fly again, albeit with restrictions. The arrangement with Eindhoven ATC (Air Traffic Control) has as main points the following:

There are 3 area’s where gliders may fly in the control zone. One is a block of air relatively close to the main runway called Sector West; Second a larger block of air to the southeast of the airfield called Sector East 1and, third, a sort of aerial tunnel that connects the Sector East 1 with the area outside the control zone. At any time there can only be max 6 gliders in the control zone (and that is not much for a club operating over 30!!).

The Sector West is where the take-off and landing strip is. This area may be closed by the tower from time to time when IFR traffic arrives / departs. Closure stops all launching but still allows landings of gliders. All gliders in the control zone have to be on the tower frequency and they have to report leaving and re-entering the control zone (in view of the maximum of 6 gliders in the control zone). Gliders also have to get permission (actually a statement of no objection) from the tower prior to launch.

If you would look at Google Earth at “Eindhoven Airport” you can see the glider strip just to the south east of the main runway. The main problem is that the extended centreline of the glider strip crosses the main runway. They (the runways) should have been parallel to start with. In spite of this the gliders have operated for many years from this strip without causing problems. As soon as they reach the top of their winch launch they turn away from main runway. One can understand thoug that tower controllers are somewhat weary of this, even with the good track record of the past decades. With growing amounts of commercial air traffic planned for Eindhoven in the future it would be wise for the airport to make a budget allowance of several million euro’s to relocate the gliding strip at some point in time.


Good to see also that my friends in Japan  are having enjoyable soaring weather. Both Nagano and Itakura, which I visited during my visit to several Japanese airfields , had good flights.
 It was an eye-opener for me then, to see how some pilots have to fly in Japan. Just on windy grassfields between rivers but well kept!!! Not a huge field as we had in Australia, with out-landing possibilities everywhere!
Sometimes “carrying” their gliders over levy-banks , to reach the field.
I realized then, why so many Japanese pilots came to fly in Australia!

A bit of a shock to one of the passengers  [and later to all of them,]  flying KLM from  Curacao to Amsterdam. According to the news paper Telegraaf, a fire started 15 minutes after departure and was seen by this passenger. He called straight away one of the stewardesses and they started to distinguish the fire, [ after HE had to activate the distinguisher is what he claims—not too good!!], while the captain turned back to Curacao. He and his crew said “thank you” to the passenger.
 KLM says  that there was a fire and it was distinguished as a prevention.

A glider pilot from Australia  buys a glider from a USA glider pilot.  The USA glider pilot has to go to a conferenz in Bayern , the Southern part of Germany. He asks the Australian pilot , who flew international comps, an “entrance ” for gliding at Unterwossen. The Australian pilot writes to me, I have written to my friends Maria and Dieter who live in Munich. They have contacted Hans, who flies in the overseas season at Narromine and is a member of the Deutsche Alpenflieg Schule in short the DASSU at Unterwossen. So this week the USA gentleman can fly in Unterwossen. Is this networking?????
Great to see how glider pilots are always helping each other!

A dip in the great weather,  though the temperature is still higher then normal for the time of the year. Only a dip, as after the weekend the weather improves , the rain from today, so good for the garden , will disappear to Germany and the sun starts shining again , with temperatures going up to 20,  as we are nearly used to now, so what would we need more!

Cheers Ritz

Nice April except for the last day!

Alphen aan den rijn       April 30 2009

A very nice soaring day  , today here in Holland with a few over 300 km flights and  a 605 km. flight from St. Hubert in Belgium and nice flights as well in France and Italy, but Germany had at some places, severe thunderstorms and hail,  while Hungary had nice weather and tomorrow it will be 25 dgr. over there , the best temperature in Europe.

As expected April was GOOD!  The best if we do not count 2007. That year was better, but that period was the best time of the year, as far as I remember and after that the summer was pretty miserable.
“We” had now, 22 mm of rain in April and 226 hours sun with an average temperature of 12.2 dgr.
Normally the last day of April is one of the best in Holland , as we ALL have the day off and are ONE with the queen and her family. A long time tradition and even more special today as it would have been the hundred’s birthday of Juliana , the mum from our queen. I loved the morning and was glued to the TV with 2 million others , to look at the royal family united and between the people this year in Apeldoorn. A unique event!
In Amsterdam 600.000 people celebrated Queensday in orange outfits. Holland colours orange and everybody celebrates, BUT….today a lunatic drove with over 100 km p/h through 2 security fences with behind them people. They were thrown in the air , as were the fences and some dropped down meters further.
Till now 5 people are dead and still 5 fighting for their life, including the 38 year old Dutch guy, …..who tried to hit the bus of the Royals.

I am still shocked by what I saw. So is the rest from Holland!

Sorry I am one day late [ too busy!] and not with the best news. So CU on Sunday again!