Sad story ! European Agents for Jonker Sailplanes!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Wednesday March 31

Last day of March and we are looking ahead at April,… aware tomorrow ,who knows somebody will “hit”you with a “joke” on April Fools Day. The next story is NO joke.
It is a very  sad story ! A Spanish pilot took last Saturday a very wealthy sheik from Abu Dhabi, in his early 40thies AND a member of the Royal Family, for a ride in a glider south of Rabat in Morocco.
What should have been a great flight ended one way or another totally wrong as they crashed in a lake , also south of Rabat. The Spanish pilot was saved according to the BBC, but the sheik, last year number 27 on the Forbes list of wealthiest men drowned. At-least they are still trying to find him! Have not yet heard more and do not know what glider it was!

One of the aldermen from the Shire of Eindhoven Mary Fiers, has opened the new season with a flight , of course with an instructor,  in a duo discus. She hopes the EAC will have an excellent and safe season. The president from the club was grateful  for her support to lower high obstacles along the gliding field , one of the reasons soaring nearly had to stop in Eindhoven after 70 years.

Great new job for our Dutch top pilot Ronald Termaat. He and Maarten Baltussen will be the Central European Agents for Jonker Sailplanes. Good luck guys and “happy selling”! For sure this seems to be a great glider!!!!
Here is the news, I received,  from the 2d news letter from Jonker Sailplanes;

New Central European Agents for Jonker Sailplanes Glider-Import BV based in the Netherlands now represents Jonker Sailplanes in central Europe.
The owners of Glider-Import BV are Maarten Baltussen and Ronald Termaat. They both have more than 25 years experience in flying gliders.
As former European Champion and Vice-World Champion in the 18m Class, Ronald Termaat is a very well known name in the international gliding scene. In 2009 he changed his professional career from the IT industry, where he had numerous management positions, to become the Director of the Royal Netherland Air Sports Association (KNVvL).
Maarten Baltussen holds a Diamond FAI certificate. He has flown the last two editions of the Euroglide, a 2000 km . gliding race across Europe, and flew the longest distance flight from the Netherlands in 2009. Professionally he
has been successfully growing his IT company over the last two years. Before that he had numerous international management positions in big software companies.
Ronald and Maarten explain:
“At the WGC 2004 in Poland, Uys and Attie told us about their plans to build a high performance sailplane. Ever since then we have maintained contact with JS, and had
numerous conversations about the JS1 Revelation. The Jonker Sailplanes brand is born out of dedication to a dream and in this way we were able to live the dream
with them.
We always said we would like to represent a sailplane manufacturer that has the same passion for our sport as we do, and to share developing sailplanes with the latest technology. The philosophy behind Jonker Sailplanes matched our own views exactly.
So here we are, European Jonker Sailplanes Agency for Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Italy. A good agent approaches the market from a Product, Marketing, Sales and Operations point of view. Ronald will take care of the Product and Operations aspects whilst Maarten will look after
Marketing and Communications. Both of us will be taking responsibility for Sales.”
Glider-Import also currently acts for Scandinavia and the Eastern European market for the moment.

Western Europe Region including the UK, Ireland and currently Spain, France and Portugal will be in the capable hands of Iain Evans and former World champion for the UK Andy Davis.

Now spring has started  we can look back on a pretty tough winter. ONLY in Holland 36.000 people needed first aid and this is more then in first case anticipated on and 7 % more then in normal years. More then half of them,  had broken “something”and 15 % had to stay in hospital.So …we deserve a nice warm summer.
Italy had some nice spring weather, specially on March 28 when Giorgio Galetto flew from Bolzano a great 669 km.[ wave ]  flight. Another 4 pilots flew over-500km. flights, from Rieti, Trento and Calcinate.
By the way….the 38th Trofeo Citta di Torino  has started with 25 participants in one class. After 2 days Alberto Sironi is on top in a duo discus with 1755 points. The competition ‘s last day will be on April 5 2010.

Cheers and see you on EASTER SUNDAY,

Ridge soaring in the USA !ACER !Red Bull Races !

Alphen aan den Rijn   Sunday March 28 2010

After 7 years my good old laptop  from Dick Smith in Australia, started to do few weird things and before loosing all my “stuff” and before not been able to write anymore, I bought myself a nice new one. I guess specially my friends in Italy will be more then pleased , so they don’t have to struggle anymore with my Australian WIFI.
WIFI is superb now and I even have a built in webcam, my new acer crystal eye””. A new world opens here for me , but also some stress as a lot of things have to be installed again.Luckily at this stage I can work on the old and the new one.
Yesterday I started windows messenger and names of all kind of friends popped up and “asked” if they were welcome in my system, of course they were, but…I prefer not to be on facebook, on linked -in and plaxo.
My old Acer has done a great job! Travelled with me all over the world and I hope it still can be used for a while.

Great ridge soaring weather in the USA.  What about Blairstone where a pilot managed to fly 972 km. in an LS 3 !! Also the Schweizer pilots had a beautiful day flying just over and just under 500 km.
The Swiss and Italian mountain- pilots had their fun as well last week.

This weekend the first RED BULL RACE for 2010 will be flown in Abu Dhabi. A very thrilling sport and a spectecular way of flying and…the 10th time  they are on!! There will be 8 races this year in 5 continents with 15 pilots , between age 26 and 53!!! Some of those pilots have started with soaring. The 2 debutants are from Brasil, 36 year old Adilson Kindlemann and 31 year old Czech pilot Martin Sonka. The 2010 season will have a new rule; Like in gliding there will be a min.weight of 82 kilo. So if you are only 70 kilo, you have to take 10 kilo of ballast.
Races are 3 times in Europe [ Lausitz -Germany, Budapest,Lissabon] further on in Perth[Australia],Rio de Janeiro[Brasil],Windsor [Canada] New York [USA] and this weekend as said ; Abu Dhabi.
Holland had one pilot participating for a few years in this Race and a good one!! He retired however in 2007 . His name Frank Versteegh in his 50thies and very popular and wellknown in Holland. This year he and I are going to do the main part of the PR for the CAE NLS Dutch Nationals. So you will hear his name more over the next few months.
By the way ,with the selection for this year and for the first time in history, one woman tried to be part of this race, but unfortunately the 2 new mentioned men were better.

British Airways cabin crews started a new series of strikes yesterday.  This time for 4 days! Several flights were cancelled, but most people knew , as it was advised last week already that this was going to happen.

Just a short blog this time, have been away, so more news on Wednesday.

Cheers Ritz

Press release ; JS1 Revelation ! Storm in Perth !

Alphen aan den Rijn   Wednesday March 24 2010

Spring really has arrived now  with temperatures up to 18/19 dgr. More pilots get their glider out of the winter sleep and start flying. This upcoming weekend most gliding places in Holland will be open. I also heard good news for the EAC. They , the club from Eindhoven,  started on a very low scale last year with all kind of restrictions, after flying for 70 years under “normal” conditions,  but it seems that for this year it is going to be a bit better! Happy with that! It has cost the club quite some pilots, as they decided to fly somewhere else. A pity as they are /were a club full of enthusiast pilots putting a lot of time in competition flying and the education of young pilots. I hope they can continue with that!

Yesterday the French Alps were HOT again with a lot of flights.Great to see 2 of my friends flying there. Easy for Erik [Borgmann] who lives in that area, but a bit of a trip for Baer [Selen] ,who flies there now as well. Erik was runner up in the Borlange WGC and Baer was twice WORLD CHAMPION in Chateuaroux and in Uvalde [Texas], where I had the honor to be his TC. Both fly for fun now and  they deserve only the best! And….they are still good!
See that , between all the German guests is also another Dutch pilot, Jan Seton,  the father of one of my juniors in HusBos, Robbie. Robbie is on the list of participants in Twente but might not come as their big dog might not be allowed. Would be a pity as he is a good pilot, but certainly on a military base rules are rules! Hope there will be a good other solution!

Here some news  from Australia from my friend Vanessa. She lives in Perth on the West Coast. Thanks Vanessa! Just to let you know that the weather is and remains the weather and is not good everywhere!

What a massive storm!

After two days of building clouds and humidity the atmosphere finally exploded with some of the most spectacular storms Perth has seen in 20 years. The storm hit Kensington at about 4pm and the power went out around 5.15pm. I was at uni on the 3rd floor of the library when the power went out – absolute darkness. We were all wishing we had the torch app on our phones! Finally the emergency lighting kicked in & the staff with the hardhats and loud hailers came around to evacuate us. It was clear the storm wasn’t going away in a hurry. The power to the campus was out so of course everyone decided to jump in their car and drive home. Usually I cycle the 10min to uni but because of the weather I had driven. 20 minutes to get out of the car park, and another 20 minutes to get home. Lots of traffic lights out, branches and trees all over roads, houses etc, lots of localized flooding too.

 The power was back on by 9pm.

 We had wind up to 120km/hr, mini tornadoes, hail the size of golf balls and the lightning was massive. We had 59mm of rain in our gauge in less than an hour, although I suspect most of it went sideways across the top! Lovely to have rain again – it has been 6 dry months and the garden looks much happier for it.

Our immediate area is OK. Some apartments in town which are at the base of the hill Kings Park sits on have 1.5m of sand/mud in the ground floor. There are a lot of trees down and they are estimating a $1billion damage bill. So many cars with hail damage and many of the beautiful old stained glass windows at the University of WA are smashed. Still thousands of people without power. Fortunately no-one seriously injured that I’ve heard of.

The photos you can see at  Also there is a photo of a boy on the Wesley school oval which is well worth a look at .
As you see the weather is not everywhere “nice”.

Exciting news from South Africa as I received the next mail:

Jonker Sailplanes

Press Release

March 19th, 2010

JS1 Revelation Awarded the

First South African CAA Type Certification

On March 12th, 2010 the Jonker Sailplanes JS1 Revelation 18-metre class sailplane received South African Civil Aviation Authority (SA CAA) Type Certification.

This is a historic milestone for the JS1 Revelation, for Jonker Sailplanes (JS) and for the SA CAA as this is the first South African designed and manufactured aircraft certificated to modern airworthiness standards. The certification requirements for the JS1 Revelation are the latest issue of EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) CS-22 Certification Standards for Sailplanes and Powered Sailplanes.

For this pioneering work, the SA CAA formed a highly capable team from CAA Engineering, led by Kavita Vanmari.
Throughout the Type Certification (TC) process the SA CAA team was thorough and meticulous, while being practical and working with JS towards the common goal of TC. As this is the first TC awarded by the SA CAA, it was essential that the process was rigorous, especially as the TC will be subject to the scrutiny of EASA and FAA prior to their validation of the TC.

The TC award follows an extensive programme of engineering analysis, ground-based structural testing and flight testing to demonstrate that the certification requirements have been met.

There will be a formal handover of the Type Certificate by Captain Colin Jordaan, CEO/Commissioner, SA CAA at CAA Headquarters, near Johannesburg, South Africa during April with full local and international media coverage.

With a TC to the highest and latest international standards, the JS1 Revelation can now be operated with South African registration in any ICAO country.

CONGRATULATIONS to the S A Boys ; what a great achievement. When there is more news you read it of course here!

Cheers Ritz

The French mountains are popular!

Alphen aan den Rijn     March 21 2010     SPRING

As every year most of the Spring [training] camps  are in the French Mountains. Most popular is , when I look at the OLC, Vinon, where a  lot of young pilots like Alexander Spaeth , [JWGC] are flying to get in the soaring-mood for the 2010 season. But in that same area , Serres la Batie is popular as well , so is Sisteron. A bit amazed that St Aubain and Gap  are not so busy.

For the Italian high performance stage pilots  the week is over and I did not hear a lot of news. Saw on the European weatherstations that the North of Italy had not always the best soaring weather. Atleast they flew 4 days !
A competition under supervision of TOP pilots as their coach, is of course not bad. THE way to learn from experts how to fly in the mountains, like they do in St. Auban already for years. A good initiative from the brand new group CTF, with very familiar and wellknown names , as Giorgino Ballarati.

Last date to register for the Dutch Nationals is March 31. Only 53 days to go and the comps will start . Practise day will be on the 12th. At this stage 53 pilots are on the list of participants; 10 in standard class, 7 in club, 4 in open and 4 in the 20 m. two-seater class and  22 in 18 m.  and 6 in 15 m. class. For the 2d time in history the CAE NLS comps will be held on the former air base Twente. Long, very long ago I was there as my ex flew passengers for the Flying Syndicate of Twente. I remember some nice parties though…I was very pregnant in that time. So I am looking forward to see if something comes back to my “brain”.

103 days to go, for the Prievidza WGC where ALL 115 pilots are accepted . So after payment BEFORE March 31 2010, we hope to see indeed 115 pilots in club,standard and world class.
Szeged, where 15 m. 18m. and open class will fly, has no extra news and not yet a list of definite competitors. Will keep you updated!

I was a bit amazed to not see more and longer flights  on March 18 when we all felt in Holland that SPRING had arrived. Terraces were full, flowers popping up in all parks in all colours , but …as you all know , spring does not per defenition mean soaring straight away. Even in Holland nobody took the glider out for “a ride”, as in a lot of places the sun was covered by very high and thin clouds. So….glider pilots have to wait a bit longer here.

12.000 British Airways cabin staff started their strike  in the night from Friday to Saturday and for 3 days. They do not agree with the 70 million cut back. For next week another 4-day-strike is announced! Premier Brown is very unhappy with it and is scared this might cause the end of BA. Hope not!!! Lots of flights have been cancelled and BA has tried hard to ask help from other companies. 2 Dutch companies, Transavia and Arke Fly have answered with yes on that, making the union unhappy and “breaking the strike”.
This morning I saw that BA “thinks” , it is all not TOO bad, as some of the cabin staff went to work as well, but the Union claims 80% is on strike.

What about this………Have you ever seen the boxing kangaroo with a brown “glove” on green and yellow Aussie flags and PR material? Now such a kangaroo REALLY exists! A jogger was knocked down by ….a kangaroo not far from Canberra town !!! The young man does not recall very well what happened. He looked over his shoulder was hit by a direct punch in his face , was found unconscious by a passer-by and brought to hospital , where he was diagnosed with a blue eye , but no more harm was done!!!

And this…….In 1968 a hijacker forced a PanAm plane with 100 passengers to go from New York to Cuba instead of the planned destination , Puerto Rico. With a knife on the throat of a stewardess,  he arrived in Cuba to visit his sick father and stayed there. Now after 42 years  this 67 year old guy, has admitted his deed and might be in prison for maybe up to 21 years. A bit weird he moved back from Cuba to the USA.

Off to Arnhem now , for the 2d meeting  of the CAE -NLS- Dutch -Nationals- TEAM. Still impressed with the high quality capacities and expertise in different ways from the members of this TEAM.
Take care and have good beginning of the next week, and CU on Wednesday
Cheers Ritz

Spring !CAE NLS !

Alphen aan den Rijn    March 17 2010  

” They ” predict that Spring starts today, with maybe temperatures up to 17 dgr. tomorrow. OK , good ….I am ready!
Though spring , [the astronomical at March 21] is coming and already 88 pilots sent their file to the OLC  last Sunday, the best flight that day with a sunny 27 dgr., was from Benalla in Australia in autumn ;512 km. by Tobias Geiger in his LS 4 with a nice polygon with 4 TP’s. I know Hiroko was very happy with her flight from Toc. also in LS 4; 393 km. Worthwhile for her to travel up all the way from Japan.
Chris flew in his ASW 27 a good 457 km. distance. Also “the Club” in Toc. had a great day with their first solo pilot. Well done!
Interesting to see that the South, West and East of Australia, still have great autumn weather .
One day earlier on Saturday even more pilots “went up” world wide and a good amount of 176 world , enjoyed good to very good conditions. The UK had wave at their mountain area and with 610 km. a nice up and down flight across the ridges was made in a DG 400.

In Calcinate in Italy, several of my Italian friends  are flying a high performance -mountain-competition / training-camp,  organised by the Centro Tecnico Federale. Between March 12 and 20 ,  38 pilots will fly in one class , 23 participants , the rest coaches. Interesting is that top pilots as Georgio Ballarati, Ricky Brigliadori, Stefano Ghiorzo , Alberto Sironi and Luciano Avanzini and more,  are coaches to fly with pilots, who are interested. They even had to refuse pilots in excess. They had a racing task of 254 km. to start with. The weather was good yesterday and the pilots flew 315 km.

Today I spend some hours in Hoofddorp on the CAE NLS flying school. As they are the main sponsor of the Dutch Gliding Nationals ,I was interested who they are and what they are exactly doing, to promote them in our best way. The CAE stands for Canadian Aviation Electronics and they are a type rating training organisation, for pilots from all over the world.[TRTO]
They are the parent company for the NLS , which is the Dutch Flying School and they are a Flight Training Organisation.[FTO]
It was a very pleasant atmosphere in which I was even allowed to make a little trip in a Full Flight  Simulator [737] . VERY EXCITING!!!! This was one of the 7 simulators they have.
The school counts 144 students per year and there is an average of 4 women on 24 men, though this year they have one class starting last September with 7 girls.The NLS has their own finance system, so that pilots- to-be, between 18 and 28 with whatever financial background, still can do such an expensive study. For more news look at;  and for selection procedures at;

And then this……..It should have been a wonderful Sunday-afternoon for father and son. The 42 year old son took his dad 71, for a nice ride in a home built Ultravia Pelican [1998] , but….they got engine problems, in fact the engine totally failed in the air and the pilot could not reach anymore the strip he started from. He had to land in a field , hit with one wing the ground first and “fell on his nose”.  A bit of a different afternoon then hoped for and expected, but they have a lot to talk about,as a bit of excitement like this will be a hot item on many parties to come, as luckily dad and son were unharmed. The plane however was pretty badly damaged and the incident is under investigation.
And what about this……..a jogger enjoyed his run along the beach in North Carolina [USA] but….was hit by an Experimental IV-P Lancair making an emergency landing at the beach after loosing oil. This oil splashed on his window so he could not go to the closest-by airfield, due to lack of visibility. This story is sad as the jogger did not survive. But what a terrible way to die, though most probably he never knew what happened to him.

Sorry I was late today.
Cheers Ritz and…… fly safely!

Soaring world wide !

Alphen aan den Rijn     Sunday March 14 2010

Of course I do not have to tell you  that the weather sometimes is weird ! Only last week;
Flooding in the NE of NSW in Australia.
Heavy snow hit ” winter-rest-paradises” in France and Spain.
 Slippery roads caused  ONE kilometer of damaged cars and trucks in Germany.
And today; heavy thunderstorms in the East of the USA ; result delayed flights and/or no flights and no electricity for thousands of people, due to fallen trees on powerlines.
On the contrary, Orient in SA had a beautiful flight last Thursday with 769 km. in a Nimbus 3 DM.
But also in the USA the weather did not “help” in flying a perfect ” every-day-is-a-flying-day” competition in Seminole-Lake; rain was here spoilsport.
Official last day was yesterday with fly-able weather  but,…… as Rick wrote ” the talk is about runway conditions . The runway is very wet and we may not be able to launch the gliders”. In the end they did NOT fly. ” They had strong post frontal winds and the combination with the wet field was too much to allow for a safe and fair competition day.”
The official rest day, was [as rain was forecasted] on Friday March 12, but still a report from Rick. Thursday was cancelled due to rain and here is the news from Wednesday and Friday;

Report for March 10

Florida weather cooperated rather well today.  Some pessimistic forecasts of yesterday gave way to sunny skies and predictions of blue lift to 4000’.  Winds looked to be a problem: one forecast said we’d see 30 knots at 3000’ AGL. 

In the event, thermals were stronger (5 knots) and higher (5000’) than predicted, and winds aloft were about half of the dire values predicted.  Even better, some area had useful cumulus clouds – the first seen during this contest (local wisdom says that southerly winds will yield cumulus clouds in Florida even when soundings say the day must remain blue).

The result was the best winning speeds of the contest thus far. But area of suppressed lift and troubles at low altitudes also led to more abandoned tasks, outlandings and motor starts than on any previous day.

Dick Butler did the best job of handling the variable conditions, posting an unhandicapped speed of 68.5 mph over a task of 185 miles.  Like contest leader Tom Kelley, Dick is flying an ASG-29 at 15 meters span, which seems to yield a good combination of performance, wingloading and handicap.  (It also helps if you can fly as well as Tom & Dick consistently do.)

With three good flying days out of four, this easily qualifies as the best soaring week in Florida so far this year (a number of pilots that have been here for a couple of months have doubled their total flying hours during this contest).  The forecast for Thursday and Friday calls for rain, and so Friday has been declared the official rest day (a feature of the Senior Contest).  Based on current predictions, we have some chance of good flying on Saturday.

2010 Senior Contest – Seminole Lake Gliderport, Clermont Florida

Report for March 12

Florida rain continues unabated – we’ve had a total of about 4 inches in the past 2 days. We have some hope this may cease by this evening, though satellite images suggest this may not be worth betting on. 

There is lots of sand in the soil here, and it’s thus said that soaring can be possibly only a short time after strong rains cease.  But optimism for the chances of a task tomorrow seems to be declining.

We have been reduced to telling stories from contests past, and flying model aircraft inside the airfield office.  Just now, Karl Striedieck is maneuvering a 5-inch-long RC helicopter past the noses of surprised observers with considerable skill.

Tom Kelley is the winner, after 3 racing days out of the possible 6. He will be flying for the USA in the Szeged WGC this summer in 18 m. class. Other wellknown pilots were at  spot;
2 Chip Garner—–3 Dick Butler—–5 Karl Striedeck—-13 Tom Knauff—-17 Ed Hollestelle.
I foud it fun to work together with Rick and we are going to do this again. Thanks Rick!

Last Friday I had dinner with Frouwke Kuijpers. She is one of the delegates representing the Dutch NAC at the plenary in Lausanne. Caught up with all the stories and heard about the preparations of Szeged where she will be steward. She is since October 2009  the coordinator between ALL air-sports and the NOC NSF, in Holland. To receive money from this organisation, you really have to be at a TOP LEVEL. The next 3 year she will put a lot of her energy in helping the different air sports to get , or to keep this high level. A lot of people know her international as the Dutch TC during WGC and EGC and I know she is a great and dedicated coach as well. And…a pilot who flies the Military comps in Holland ….and ……a mum of 3 flying kids and ….the wife of a pilot who flew international comps.

I was very pleased to see the Kookaburras from Australia win the Hockey WGC in India.They won from the young German players in a high standard match and as the German hockeyers  have won the last years it is good to see that somebody else won this time, though a hattrick would have been fantastic as well for our “neighbours”. The Dutch were first unhappy not being in the finals, but after being behind in the game for bronze they turned 3-1 behind around to a 4-3 win over England and that made  them feel good again.
The Aussie coach won years ago the world title as player and now as coach. He is the second achieving this as a Dutch player did in the past the same. His name was Jorritsma and he won as player in 1973 and as coach in 1990 and 1994.Not bad! And both Aussie players who made the goals are playing competition- hockey in Holland!
Looking also ahead to the new Formula 1 season starting today in Bahrein.

John Roake’s Gliding International for March is published, which again very interesting subjects. Here are a few ;
sailplanes as unmanned areal vehicles—new sustainer for all sailplanes—-grand prix final in Chile—ELT’s success rate investigated. Further on of course all international news for glider pilots, the Stemme, the progress on the PIK 27 home built tug , my report from Europe and the report on the world membership on gliding.[]

Good to see Hiroko back in Tocumwal. For her nothing has changed. She always arrived twice a year , sometimes “only” for ONE weekend, all the way from Japan with heavy luggage , to not miss out on whatever she needed for her soaring.For sure she will have an evening out with Dieter Dundee, who is in Tocumwal already since September and will leave, after some more travelling around,  in the beginning of June.

My Aussie friends are preparing for the different comps down-under for the new season and for them I have the latest about the Club class nationals in January 2011. Thanks Jo !A pity I can’t show pictures as she sent me a beauty from the airfield Bacchus March, where a lightning hit the ground. Luckily all gliders were in the hangars before this severe thunderstorm hit the town , after hitting Melbourne first last weekend.Here’s what Jo has sent me;

Hi all, 
The 2011 Club and Sports Class Nationals will be held at Benalla from 10th-21st Jan 2011.  Details of entry fees are still being finalised but all details will appear on the website at Please keep checking the site – it does not have a lot of detail at present but that will change rapidly.  Entries should be available around the beginning of May.  We will accept a maximum of 60, and the cutoff date for normal entries will be 30th November.GCV looks forward to welcoming all competition pilots to this event.  Please note that we operate every day during the summer months, and you are welcome to come early to practice or just take advantage of the weather and local area. Hope to see you there. Tim Shirley     Contest Director
Yesterday a pilot flew in his LS 4 a nice distance from Benalla, from 427 km. He went to the East to enjoy the mountains and flew over the great area of Mount Beauty. I flew there myself in the back of a Blanik with Bill one of our tuggies and instructors in the past. In that period we had a spring camp in the mountains at Mount Beauty, with some of our guests. Very nice!

Do you remember Kees Musters? He won the WGC in Hobbs in New Mexico. Sometimes I read the local papers and one day I found an article about a new to make Wall of Fame here in my town even in the KeesMusters street. I reacted on that article that they should nor forget Kees. They did not and last week the Wall was opened and Gretha , Kees wife, was there to be part of it. She was very proud and said she was sure Kees would have loved it! Kees and Gretha and George and I have lived for many years in Alphen in the past as this was close to Schiphol Airport were both “boys” worked.
Unfortunately the organisation forgot to invite me !!!! MINUS point for them!

That’s about it. Busy enough with the preparations for the Dutch Nationals, but NOT as busy as some of the others!!! I am only a small part of a very dedicated and hard working team.
Have not heard from Szeged anymore, so for the first time in a few years I will be not writing about the WGC, weird, but I will read all about it on the sites from both Szeged and Prievidza , where they have invited local writers, which is maybe even better and of course I do have some friends over there who support me with news for
And…I will not be bored , as I have a lot to do and made other arrangements already! But I will be writing my blog on every Wednesday and Sunday . I believe I am close to BLOG 300  !!!
Cheers Ritz

Soaring in Europe!Seminole-Lake !

Alphen aan den Rijn    Wednesday March 10 2010

Last Sunday was another beautiful but VERY cold  day here in Holland. And again more parts of Europe were good enough to give the pilots a great feeling for this beginning of the season. In Germany a nice wave flight in a Phoebus B from Rheinstetten with 707 km. made me hold my breath!
Some top pilots from Germany have a spring camp to brush up their mountain-skills in St . Auban. Reinhard Schramme and Tassilo Bode are flying there,  as well as Bernd Weber , who flew in the past with us in Tocumwal. Bernd works for Schempp Hirth and has the ARCUS T with him!!!!

The latest USA magazine Soaring  had a lot of news about the Little Rock 2010 Soaring Society of America Convention,  I mentioned a while ago. I was most interested in the pictures and technical data from several planes, which were exhibited during this convention. You can get all the news about the ARCUS T , the HpH 304S, the Pipistrel Taurus, AMS Flight CARAT, the TST 14, the SparrowHawk and the Jonkers JS1 Revelation.
Soar Minden , the commercial premier gliding site is still for sale, including gliders 3 towplanes and land leases of 25 years.
Once my ex and I took over a commercial soaring center in Australia , Tocumwal, a few of our guests started later their own center in Corowa and they are still running it with success. I can tell you it is a lot of hard work, you should not do it to make money, but it is a fantastic life style.
So if you always dreamed of your own center, here is your chance, go for it!!

In Holland we might have a new Fokker  flying from 2015 onwards. As you surely know , Fokker was a good ” builder” of planes and in the past every 4 working days a new Fokker 100 left the factory, but unfortunately they got broke about 14 years ago, pretty sad as several of my friends were working there. It seems now, so I heard , that the Fokker 100 will be built again but with the latest brand-new systems, silent and ECO. There are orders already, the money  20 million,  comes from a loan from the government [economic affairs]and the rest another 70 million is organized for half of it. Will keep an eye on this ‘MAGIC’ FOKKER for you.

On March 6 the Australian Coaching Week  started in Narromine, with 13 in Australia well known and good pilots. After 2 days of practise the pilots flying in 2 classes, standard and 18 m. started yesterday.
Talking about Narromine, the well known “godmother” of many pilots,  Beryl Hartley,  living and working for soaring all her life in Narromine and International as Australian representative for FAI,  received during the last IGC plenary in Lausanne  the Majewska medal. Very well deserved!!! Congratulations Beryl! And…when I send congratulations I can add Ross Macintyre ,[NZ]  who I replaced once as juror at the WGC in Italy due to personnel circumstances in his life , he received a well deserved Lilienthal medal.

Last week I received the preliminary “results” of the IGC  by USA friend Rick Sheppe. He ia a long time “faithful “reader of my blog, as he calls it him self . He had to rush from Lausanne to Seminole -Lake for the USA senior comps ,where he is the scorer. Now…he also writes daily bulletins for us. Thanks Rick! And as we normally do not hear too much about the USA comps ,I am very pleased to inform you with this news as well.
So here are the first days;

2010 Senior Contest – Seminole Lake Gliderport, Clermont Florida

Report for March 6

It’s the 20th annual Senior Contest.  We checked, and this contest is still being held in central Florida – though based on recent weather you could be excused for thinking it had been moved to Wisconsin.  The past two days have seen near record low overnight temperatures and hard frosts at sunrise (few Florida vehicles are equipped with the windshield ice scrapers they needed to deal with this).

 In fact this has been the coldest winter of the past 30 years or so in this area – and cold days aren’t quite the thing for good Florida soaring.  But the Senior Contest has enjoyed a lot of good weather luck in its long history, and the forecast seems to be obliging again this year – if you believe current predictions, we could be looking at a week better than any during the past 3 months.

Today was the unofficial practice day, and featured bright sun and blue thermals to as much as 5000’.  A few pilots reported the odd 7-knot climb, but most were happy with 4 knots; best speeds around a 6-turnpoint “sightseeing” turn-area task approached 60 mph. It wasn’t a super day, but pilots who’ve been here for several weeks pronounced it one of the best of 2010.


2010 Senior Contest – Seminole Lake Gliderport, Clermont Florida

Report for March 7

Weather for the first competition day was, as forecast, little different from what preceded it.  We again awoke to a hard frost with substantial ice on windshields.  But the sun did its work and with lower winds it was actually rather pleasant by grid time (11:30).  No cumulus clouds were visible at any time, but lift in the blue was mostly dependable, 3 to 4 knots to 4000 ft being typical.  This is scarcely a match for last year (which featured 10 straight 500-km days in central Florida, something to be expected perhaps once in 25 years) but is about as good as anything yet seen in 2010.

The task followed a friendly course a bit east of due south, past such towns as Winter Haven and Frostproof (which this winter no doubt failed to live up to its name).  The boldest pilots got as far as Sebring (one reported seeing cars racing around the track there).  Best distances for the Turn-Area Task were around 150 miles; best raw speeds were just under 60 mph.

Pending handicap tweaking, Tom Kelley in his ASG-29 (flying with 15 meters of wingspan) did it best, edging out several other US Team pilots: Chip Garner, Karl Striedieck, Dick Butler and Ken Sorenson. Frank Paynter was the only one in the top 6 who has not (yet) been on a US Soaring Team.

Unlike some past years, there is no great influx of new designs in this contest.  One exception is the Arcus Turbo, the new Schempp-Hirth 2-place ship.  Most pilots think of this as the “flapped Duo Discus”.

2010 Senior Contest – Seminole Lake Gliderport, Clermont Florida

Report for March 8

Florida actually seems to have warmed up a bit.  With only a small shove, today could have passed for a pleasant winter day here.  To be sure, several blankets were needed last night – but there was no frost, and bright sun raised afternoon temperatures above 70 degrees.  It was again entirely blue in our task area, but thermals – and speeds – were generally good.

A significant feature today was fires.  In addition to temperatures well below normal, Florida has had plenty of rain (and even some traces of snow) this winter, so it’s a bit of a mystery why brush fires should be happening.  But pillars of smoke have been seen every day here, and today they affected areas south of home, where a Turn-Area task was set.  Those who used them (most of the fleet) reported restricted visibility, considerable turbulence, and often impressive lift – 10 knots was commonplace, and one pilot briefly saw 18 knots on his averager.

Yet the task also had some tricky areas, and spreading cirrus clouds caused problems late in the day.  A few pilots landed at Winter Haven airport, 25 miles south of home, and a couple of motor glider pilots invoked their “iron thermals”.

Familiar names were again at the top of the scoresheet.  Tom Kelley did 66 mph for first place, closely followed by Ken Sorenson.  Dave Nadler is a guest here (not yet of eligible Senior age) but he had the best speed of the day at 68 mph.

Day 2 was won by Tom Kelley , while wellknown pilots as Chip Garner, Dick Butler and Karl Striedieck were 3-4 and 5.

See you next Sunday with more news ,also about Seminole…….I hope , as I heard the weather is about to get weaker and……just got the message that yesterday’s flying [March 9] was cancelled!

Cheers Ritz

IGC 2010 meeting !Europe uses wave, ridges and thermals for nice soaring !No license !

Alphen aan den Rijn          Sunday March 7 2010

A few sunny days do make you feel so good  and last Thursday the weather was like  real spring-weather. I even enjoyed 2 hours of sun baking!!! Nice sunny conditions and for the pilots great cumulus clouds. Of course I looked straight away on Friday morning, if some pilots did use this weather and yes they did , they flew from Germany [ Borken] just over the border , to the N East of Holland . This is flatland flying with cu’s ! Good on them , 314 km. in a Ventus 2CM 18m!
In Holland most clubs get their first annual -opening- briefing this weekend!But….yesterday the first flights were made from Soesterberg as well ,by 2 pilots from the Amsterdam Club for Soaring,Mark and Sikko,  both participating in the CAE NLS Nationals in May.They had nice cloud streets and a bit too much wind but a great start of the season with just over 300 km. flown. And as you know, Holland , flat as a pancake, has no ridge flying and or wave , “we” use thermals!!!

Not only here in Holland the weather was good , but at several places in Europe as well and not only France, Spain and Italy. So more pilots are back in the air! Nitra had a few good soaring days and in Germany they even flew last Wednesday a 533 km in ASW 20. Mostly wave or ridge flying, but sometimes you hear the word  “thermal” as well.
Also former WGC champion Robin May tried his ASH 25 EB from Dunstable  so the UK slowly wakes up as well.

In Prievidza [Slovakia]the preliminary entries have been closed  and the result is very good; 116 pilots entered from 28 different countries. Club class has 51 pilots from 26 different countries , standard 49 from 24 countries and world class 16 from 9 countries. They anticipated before on 110 pilots from 24 countries, so when the “preliminaries” are all coming , they go over this number.
Jozef Snirc is the WGC director. I met Jozef in Italy where he was steward checking out and learning for his “own” competition. Aerospool the producer of the popular aircraft WT 9 Dynamic is the main sponsor and this is his company . All tow planes, he told me then,  will be Dynamics during this WGC. And…they are good, fast and low-noise!!! I saw one in Rieti!!!
Condor will run parallel with the comps , the VIRTUAL comps with the same tasks, scoring and rules.
For the WGC in Hungary [Szeged] around 100 pilots have, at this stage,  preliminary applied , from 23 countries.

The plenary meeting from the IGC is over and was on March 5 and 6.  You can read all of it , also the amendments from the German and Dutch Aeroclub for the pilot selection process,  on ; 
Between igc and plenary is an “underscore like _, just to let you know!
Just received from the USA  a summary of the unofficial voting details, this news is public but only official after it is published by the FAI. THANKS to one of my USA friends!

IGC Plenary Meeting

Unofficial Results of Votes 2010

March 6, 2010 

8.1.1 Pilot Selection Process Use the IGC Pilot Ranking List to reduce the number of entries in oversubscribed championships Amended to use Country Ranking, not Pilot Ranking.  Amended version accepted.

8.1.2 Immediate application of Pilot Selection Process (1st April 2010)

(2/3rds majority required)

Advance the effective date of proposal 8.1.1 by 18 months Accepted
8.1.3 FAI Decentralised Gliding Competition Seek a partner in a venture to create a decentralized competition, with tasks defined by FAI. Accepted
8.1.4 IGC Safety Strategy and Plan Continued work by Bureau Accepted
8.1.5 Special budget for History Committee 2500 Euro for expenses Accepted
8.2.2 Proposal for establishment of Continental Records (Year 2) Start keeping Continental Records after October 1, 2010 Accepted
8.3.2a Establishment of 13.5m Class New class Accepted
8.3.2b Handicap in 13.5m Class Use handicaps Rejected
8.3.2c Use of ballast in 13.5m Class No ballast Rejected, and the MTOW is not limited
8.3.2d Sub-classes in 13.5m Class Recognize dominant type within class Rejected
8.4.2 Revised Annex A of the Sporting Code Section 3 (Year 2) The new Annex A, to become effective October 1, 2010 Amended to become effective April 1, 2010.  Amended version accepted.
8.5.2 Revision to Annex D (Competition quality factor) Computational change Accepted

8.6.1 Introduction of 20m Two-seater class at WGC

Add 20M2S class to WGC, beginning in 2012 Accepted, but not for 2012
8.7.1 Use of GPS Position recorders for silver and gold badge flights Remove some of IGC’s authority for approval of position recorders Accepted

8.8.1 Acceptance of discussing the notion from Australia (2/3rds majority


Allow 8.8.2 to be discussed Accepted
8.8.2. Allocation of WWGC and JWGC outside Europe At least once every 10 years Accepted
Site of 16th European Gliding Championships 2011 Open, 18 Meter, 15 Meter Pociunai, Lithuania
Site of 16th European Gliding Championships 2011 Standard, Club, World, 20 Meter 2 Seat Nitra, Slovakia
Site of 7th Junior World Gliding Championships 2013   Leszno, Poland
Site of 6th Women’s World Gliding Championships 2013   Issoudun, France
Lilienthal Medal   Ross Macintyre ( New Zealand)
Majewska Medal   Beryl Hartley ( Australia)
Gehriger Diploma   Igidio Galli ( Italy)
Place and date of 2011 meeting   Lausanne, Switzerland, March 4-5, 2011

Thank you to the Finnish team organizing the JWGC  last year. We all received our dvd, which gave back straight away great memories.

And then this…last Tuesday a pilot was arrested at Schiphol Airport. He was ready to fly from Schiphol to Ankara with 110 passengers,  but…..without a license to fly!!!!!
The 41 year old pilot , living in Milano, with the Swedish nationality flew over 10.000 hours for Italian, Belgium and UK airlines and was now in function for the Turkish company Corendon. For 13 years he flew with false, “own-made”  papers, never had an ATPL  to fly Airliners, only a CPL license years ago and that was expired!!!! Swedish authorities found out about it and tipped the Dutch.
Weird, that he could continue for such a long time!!!! They do so many prof and line-checks through the years, at-least he must have been able to keep a 737 in the air, otherwise they would have found out much earlier. 

And…..what about the young kid “helping” his father in the tower…..????!!!!!

And ….what about the 28 year old British helicopter pilot shot by the Taliban in Afghanistan, a few days ago. He picked up victims from the fight between the Americans and some Afghan rebels. The bullets hit the helicopter and the pilot. One bullit went in his helmet but also hit him between his eyes. While bleeding ,he flew his 20 mates in 8 minutes back to safety before being treated in the camp hospital. There are still heroes in this world!!!
When I read news like this, I often think of the French helicopter pilot , Killian Walbrou, who flew last year, in Rayskala the junior WGC in Club Class, becoming 4th overall. After the comps he had to go straight back to Kabul to his sometimes dangerous  mission,[ he calls 10% dangerous,] to fly people to and from 20 different drop zones in an EC 725 CARACAL . By the way, I did not see him on the list of participants in Club Class in Prievidza. He might be still in Kabul.

See you on Wednesday

cheers Ritz

Giders and pilots slowly out of wintersleep!

Alphen aan den Rijn     March 3 2010

Europe had some severe storms  last weekend  and ” Xynthia ” killed 62 people in different countries. Spain and even worse, France were hit by it; dyke’s broke and caused deadly flooding. Belgium ,Holland and Germany had their share but not so bad, we “only” had a damage bill of 23 million Euro.
Chile turned out to be really hit last week, with this 8.8 earth quake, even after they have built their houses ,after earlier bad experiences, more or less earth quake-proof. The tsunamis caused a lot of damage as well. After Haiti another huge disaster!

It is nice to see that carefully pilots here in Europe  think of gliding again. It is still a bit cold, but pilots used to fly in the mountains, don’t care and are “well-dressed for the occasion”.
I noticed on the last day of February “modest” flights in Germany [Koeningsdorf] with 137 km. in duo discus, Ocana in Spain  with 130 km in ASW 27 and Jelinia Gora in Poland with 94 km. in a Puchacz. Pilots were either using moderate thermals up to 900 m or hang / ridges or wave.
Yesterday was even more active with several pilots saying; ” What a great start of the new season” . Love it!
Italian kilometer eater Alfredo Giretti flew in Rieti 453 km . Belgium top pilot Jean -Luc Colson flew from St Hubert 313 km in his home country and French top pilot Gerard Lherm flew 350 km.  in France. A group of German pilots enjoys the nice soaring weather in France in Serres La Batie with a best flight of 398 km.

Like last year I will keep an eye for you on the “Oldies ” in the USA. In fact the first gliding competition of the Northern hemisphere is the SENIOR SOARING CHAMPIONSHIP in Seminole-Lake, Florida not too far, about 20 minutes  from Orlando ,where a few of them live , enjoying the “always” nice ” good- for- the -bones-climate.
A total of 55 pilots participates , while on a waiting list a few others are hoping for cancellations so they might enter as well. BIG names from former world champions are on this list as Karl Striedeck, Dick Butler and former WGC pilots as Tom Knauf  and Canadian pilot Ed Hollestelle. The practise day will be on March 6 and the comps will go till March 13 2010.

The fantastic book ” History of gliding in Vlaanderen”  has been sold already 600 times in 3 months. Only 800 have been published, so for my Dutch and Belgian friends , when you do not have it and you do wish to have it,  order it now, so you will be the lucky one to have such a real collectors-item as well . Just send a mail to

2 Days of after-celebrating  with our Olympic sport heroes, yesterday in Haarlem for everybody and thousands filled a huge square and today in The Hague where the guests will be  invited by the government, then by the Queen and after they go  through town  and then …. the end of the 21st Olympic Games ; it is  over and OUT! I enjoyed it to the fullest!!!! Look already ahead at the Summer Olympics in London in 2 years.

And then this….a 48 year old man in Malaysia prepared his model plane for a nice flight . Another guy was flying his  1.30 m.long  model ,  a Richmodel Quicky 40 RC , which can fly with a speed of 200 km/h and is made in China….but lost control over it and the poor 48 year old was  hit full on the head and sadly enough died. [source;New Straits Times] .
On the more “sunny site” , the IATA sees a grow with passengers for Airliners in January with 6.4 %, that is encouraging! Also freight went up with 28.3 %, even more encouraging! 

See you on Sunday