Alphen aan den Rijn Sunday July 11… final of the soccer championship tonight, for what it is worth! firstname.lastname@example.org
The worst nightmare of a competition not only for the organizers but also for the pilots and ALL involved in gliding,we readers at home as well, is a fatal accident and that happened last Thursday when the French pilots saw another friend from Russia spin his glider and crash in the mountains. The French stayed there to mark the place for search and rescue. The day for standard class was there for neutralised in the air.
What can we do !!?? Nothing , it seems more and more that we have to accept that it is part of our beautiful sport, as HOW many times do we all cry out KEEP IT SAFE, BE CAREFUL. But…. we are all ”only” human beings!!
There are too many of our friends already in heaven, which is deeply sad, TRAGIC!!!!
My thoughts , ALL OUR thoughts are with Alexanders family and friends and the Russian team. On Friday they did not fly and then everybody had to try to focus on the comps again. Life goes on and the pilot, who was good in gliding [ otherwise he would not have been on a WGC, 9oo hours] and who must have loved his sport , would if he could , agree with this. Here are the words , when you have not yet read them, from the chief steward Roland Stuck who I personally know and who is one of the best and most experienced chief stewards in the world. I totally stand behind him!!!!
—–Dear competitors, dear team members,
I would like to express the condolences of the IGC officials present here to the family of Alexander, to the Russian team and to the organisers.The Secretary General of the FAI and the President of the FAI also asked me to pass on their sincere condolences and sympathy to the Russian Team and to the Organizers.
As you know, the CD has decided to cancel the day in order to honour the memory of our friend
I would like you to make use of this rest day to think a little about the situation we have here at this competition
During the four first days of this competition we had one fatal accident, one mid air collision and yesterday morning we were very close to have another collision. We also have several gliders damaged during outlandings.
This is definitely the worst safety record we ever had in a WGC!
Is this only due to bad luck?
I do not think so
Every day we have pilots reporting dangerous flying, complaining about other pilots making silly manoeuvres before the start, entering into gaggles in a wild way, flying in clouds and so on, and so on.
Is this situation the fault of the organisers?
I do not think so
The organisers pay due attention to safety. They have set up safe launching, start, finishing, and landing procedures, they made every day safety briefings, they made the right decision after the mid air collision.
So only YOU can improve the situation!
- – Remain concentrating during your flights!
- – Look out; do not look too much to your instruments or your PDA!
- – Respect the rules of the air; give the way if you have to do so!
- – Avoid leaching and flying in gaggles, make your own decisions!
- – Do not fly recklessly!
- – Do not fly aggressively!
No medal, no placing in a WGC is worth to put at stake your integrity or the life of other competitors!
Think about your family, about your children and about your friends!
Please make sure we will have no more accident at this championship!
In MEMORY of Alexander is a touching 2 minute video which you can see at www.wgc2010.sk ; look for video’s!
I continue with what I had written already since Wednesday.
They did fly on Wednesday in Prievidza, very short AAT’s in 2 hours and after cancelling the world class, both club -and standard class had a reasonable day with the expectation of wave! Some ”found”it! A pity the tracking system fails so often as it is nice to hear Art’s [from Canada] comment with the great images. I even flew virtual with some pilots.
In the end a tricky day with several out-landings and yes G Dale on top!!!! He ”did” it it this day together with his UK mate Ian. Good on them.
Sebastian tops the over- all -scores in Standard class, after 3 days of flying.He was lucky; in Prievidza they do not have a finish line but a finish ring and he just made it in the ring 2 km out, but he had to stay above 50 m, which he did not. So…a warning [only] and next time penalty points , but this day he was 2d!!!
Pleased to see young Bert Schmelzer is flying so constant till now he is at spot 8 over all!
In between soccer is more and more important in Holland and Spain, as they are in the final match to ”decide” who will be the best team in the world. The semi-final had in Holland an absolute record of people looking at TV; 12.3 million. And then there is this phenomena …. Octopus Paul from Sealife in Oberhausen in Germany, he predicts that Spain will win. Parakeet Mani in Singapore predicts that Holland wins and the people in Spain believe in their team and ”we ” in ours!!! May the best win tonight, it sometimes seems the world has gone crazy!!!
KLM and IBERIA the official carriers of the teams have doubled their flights, the bought- beer has made supermarkets already rich, [it is both in Spain and in Holland in the thirties, ]and business making the champions-flag-2010 here, have sold already more then 10.000 and the game still has to be played!!!
A plane flying TOTALLY on sun energy has flown over 24 hours . It is the prototype HB-SIA and it flew from the military airfield of Payerne in Switzerland. The plane produced by Solar Impulse, wants to show the possibilities of solar energy and they built 7 years on it. This ”24- hours- up- in- the -air ” is a new record and proves that you can store enough energy during the day to use it during the night. This opens new possibilities.
Thursday started blue in Prievidza and the expectation it would stay blue, but mountains sometimes keep their nice fluffy friends/clouds . Another day with new chances.In the morning I heard weather alarms for the East-bloc countries specially Rumania, but no problems in Prievidza.
Thursday ended sad , with the fatal accident of Alexander. Standard class was cancelled and Club and World pilots continued their flight.
On Friday they had a briefing at 10 AM with one minute silence for Alexander and a TC briefing at 11 in Prievidza. A day to be together and think if possible on something totally different then gliding…fishing, hiking, swimming, sailing…. clear the mind and then on Saturday there was time to concentrate on soaring again, even more concentrated then before…I guess , I hope.
That some pilots doubted the day off, is beyond me,[would they think the same if their team was hit !!!???] but I am pleased the organizers respected the wish of the Russian team and TC who wanted, and for sure mentally needed, this day off.
And what about the organizers…such a huge impact…. they needed the day as well!!!
On Saturday life continued and soaring in Prievidza as well. This accident had nothing to do with hazardous flying, but I heard they show a video about safety every day before briefing;perfect nothing wrong with that, certainly not when you had a mid air and a nearly-mid-air! The beginning of the day was not easy as the temperature had problems to lift up to 31, needed for good lift but got stuck at 28, so reason to go from task A to task B. In the end it was difficult again to come home and several pilots landed somewhere in a field. The tracking system was working and WHEN it works it is just fantastic!! It adds something to the comps.
After one week the overall results are as follows;
Standard class;1.Sebastian Kawa [Poland]–2.Mario Kiessling [Germany]–3.Michael Buchtal [Germany]
Club class; 1.Arndt Hovestadt [Germany]–2.Volker Sailer [Germany]–3.Mario Schupfer [Austria]
World class;1.Laurent Couture [France],–2.Martin Hriva[CZE]–3.Denis Geurin [France]
In Club class the 2 UK pilots have not yet given up and are on 4 and 5
What will the last week bring us ????? Hopefully only nice flying and happy pilots, which makes it easier to forget about the sad parts of the first week. And the scores now might be different then, let’s wait and see.
We here in Holland had severe thunderstorms last night with quite some damage, they came from the South of Europe so ”with damage” we might not have been the only ones. Train traffic at the busiest spot, Utrecht was stopped by flash of lightning, several fires also due to lightning, flooding, trees on the road and tracks, but gardens and farmers were happy with some rain. It is very dry here!
Preparing now for a nice soccer -night. Thousands of orange flowers will be “falling out of the sky” tonight over the 80 to 100.000 people looking at a big screen in Amsterdam. The sky will turn orange. What about that, a marketing-gesture from our famous flower -growers and they do the same over Madrid. Hopefully the thunderstorms pass by tonight somewhere else !!! By the way Germany won the match for 3d place. While waiting we can look at the Formula 1 at Silverstone and the Davis Cup match between Holland and White Russia , is that Belarus??
See you next Wednesday, and…sorry I would have been in Prievidza this weekend , but I was not in the mood and on top of that , the plane we were going with was ”in service” and not ready in time.
And…don’t forget life is much more valuable then a gold medal, also the lives of [y]our friends !!!!!!!Ritz