Alphen aan den Rijn      Wednesday September 30 2010

Last day of September ! And …September was pretty wet  AGAIN! Last Sunday” we had to travel to Brasil ” to be able to fly over 600 km. [in a Ventus 2 CM]. Best registered flight on the OLC in Europe was in Fayence ;357 km in a Ventus 15.5 m.
In Australia the FAI Qualifying Sailplane Grand Prix in 18 m. class was supposed to start at Boonah on September 26 going till October 2. Boonah is not far , about an hour, from Brisbane and delivers for their guests , thermal, wave and ridge soaring. I do not know for what reason, but this GP for a max of 20 pilots, has been postponed till March;practise on March 19 and comps from March 20-26 /2011.

And then this;
—The trial of a Crime Passional has started in Belgium. 2 Female parachutists loved one, but the same, parachute jumper. The 3 jumped out of the plane and one of the ladies just dies on the ground from 4000 m height, as her chute did not open. Sabotage by the other girl is what has to be proofed now, as the belts of her chute were cut. Suicide is not on, as the girl who died fought while falling for her life even the guy tried to help her , but all in vain.This all happened 4 years ago, but it has kept many people under a spell. Will keep you informed.

Only short news as I have guests.

Cheers Ritz

MAC !Facebook and more…..

Alphen aan den Rijn     Sunday September 26 2010

The cover page of the Thursday morning paper said ; “The red heart is bleeding….”.It means Martin Air Charter is stopping , after more then 50 years, with its passenger flights to all holiday destinations world wide and will only continue with cargo. That has a big impact on aviation in Holland and….. we are going to miss in the future, the red stewardesses at Schiphol Airport .
KLM took over Martinair in  2008 as a 100 % daughter. But it seems that losses up to 70 million, forced KLM to this step.
As the wife of a Transavia pilot in the past , we ,[ that we-feeling was very strong,] thought  asnd felt “green”, as “our” stewardesses were dressed in nice green out fits . KLM was dressed in blue and as said Martinair in red. That friendly-concurrence-feeling was always there, you belonged to either blue, green or red.
As Transavia is a 100% daughter from KLM as well, I hope they are not going to re-organize the “green ” as well. 
Martin Schröder former owner and founder of Martinair is shocked that after 52 years his business will be gone out of Dutch Aviation history , but though he is very emotional under it, he also is a realist.
I feel sad about it as well, as through the years I was from a distance involved with the weal and woe from the different companies, including Air Holland, a company from a later date and “not living too long”. And of course with the cargo site continuing, still a bit of Martin air will exist.
They hope that nobody has to be sacked and that most of the employees can be fit in the KLM and or Transavia , so red turns blue/green.

26 years old and a man of 7 Milliard, is Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook. It is nice to see that such a lot of people use his social network. I always tried to avoid it, but since 3 months I “collapsed”under the pressure of my friends and to be honest I like it. Don’t do too much on it, but it is nice to see how specially my younger friends react on things. Sometimes I just have to react on an item as well , out of full enthusiasm. And…it is nice to be remembered that friends celebrate their birthday, so a short congratulation makes 2 people  feel good.
I just found pictures from 2007 about some of the young ones at Sportavia in that period, lovely!
And…..all FAI ECG’s,  WCG’s , JWGC’s and WWGC’s use it as well.
Our queen was very much against it in her last Christmas speech, as she thought that personnel relations , talking, writing were better/ more human, but after everybody “fell over her”, she is on both Facebook and since yesterday on twitter as well!! Good on her! 

Best OLC  FAI pilot this year clearly was Alexander Müller who flew himself in the picture of all cross country lovers. In the next October issue of Aerokurier you can read a portrait on him. He flew this year till now 23 x1000 and 7 of them were flown in Germany. Great guy, great pilot!
By the way in the new 2011 OLC season the Baron Hilton Challenge is back. More news about the 2011 OLC season can also be read in the Aerokurier.

Good to see that glider “3 W “, the new straight -from-the -factory SUPER-toy is in a container to Australia / Corowa, as well. The ASH31 MI, self launcher has a span of 21 or18 m. can fly in open class and 18 m. class. It looks really  fabulous. Have a look for yourself at  under Flugzeuge.

From Australia I received the message that Virgin had some problems [again!].
Computers are great when they work…

“Computer glitch strands thousands of travellers

A computer problem has disrupted the travel plans of thousands of Virgin Blue passengers who remain stranded at airports around the country.”

This morning I heard that the top of the Mont Blanc is full of snow with minus 10 and lower it is very wet. Yes autumn is in full swing now with winter looking around the corner. Here it really is autumn with sometimes sun, heavy rain and heavy showers.

Still nice long flights in the Europe – mountain -destinations, with Vinon as the topper yesterday with 755 km in a CIRRUS!!!!! That IS good!And the flight last Friday in an ASW 20 was great as well; 884 km from good old Wiener Neustadt in Austria over the ridges to the area of Unterwössen in Germany. This area had good wave that day and pilots from the local club enjoyed a fantastic day as if it was  spring!
See you on Wednesday
cheers Ritz

Autumn sun!Cucumber-news-time!Jondaryan cancelled !

Alphen aan den Rijn       September 22 2010

Yesterday we had bad fog,  causing a lot of delays at Schiphol Airport,  but today is glorious with 23 dgr. C. A few after-summer days, great!
Talking about fog, now in a different way, my friends in Munich celebrate das October Fest auf der Wiese, as Bayern is drinking beer as usual in the beginning of October , though it still is September now. Anyway the FEST started last Saturday  and continues for 17 days .They expect that 66.5 MILLION liters of beer will be gone through many, most male throats. Though….more and more females visit the FEST  and not to forget the many tourists.I know that quite some Dutch people travel to the Southern part of Germany , to be part of it.
In 1950 the consumption was 15 million!!!! What a difference , is n’t it?
One 72 year old man can’t go next year as he sadly died , after falling first and then of a heart attack as a result of drinking too much.

Flying in a transparant Airbus and looking at stars and the earth….. in 2050 this might be reality. According to an article in Der Spiegel, Airbus is busy with a concept plane and a transparent fuselage could be part of it. I guess I won’t live then anymore, but would have loved to fly in it!Other new items; anti-turbulence-sensors to detect in time air-pockets to avoid “spilling coffee” and worse.

An unlucky Monday morning for an American pilot flying his single engine Piper Saragota. In the morning- peak- traffic , he had to land his plane on the highway I85 at Atlanta due to technical problems, causing more traffic jam then normal as one site of  the highway was closed for several hours,  cause the plane had to be lifted from the road by a crane.Nobody was hurt which is the good site of this story.

Tilo Holighaus from Shempp- Hirth has “rolled out” his new ARCUS  E  at the famous airport of Hahnweide. for electric motors, so no CO2 involved! The electric engine is from Windreich AG and Schempp- Hirth customer Willi Bals is the big man behind it.
Talking about electric motors another official maiden flight at Le Bourget from the ALL electric Cri-Cri. When you are interested I share this link with you,  which I received from a friend. Enjoy!

Our new parlament-year started yesterday  with the traditional ride,[ since 1903, ] from the Queen , Crown prince Willem Alexander and his wife Maxima, in the golden carriage, from the working palace in The Hague , to the Ridderzaal, where the Queen reads her speech from the throne. As we have a demissionair Parliament nothing really important could be said, but we know that the next year will be difficult for everybody as we have to cut back for about 17 milliard.
A minor incident again, as the golden carriage was hit by a projectile [later it was just a candle-light-holder] thrown by a 29 year old psychiatric patient.

Not such good news for the Andre Rieu fans  in the UK , Ireland and Australia. Talking music now but I guess everybody has heard from Andre and his Straus music. Andre has to postpone his performances due to a viral infection in his auditory organ. I know lot’s of my Aussie friends will be sad now. Andre himself is the most sad as no money comes in and expenses continue but, even more because he really is a nice fellow and hates to let his admirer/fans down.

It really is cucumber time now, as soaring in Europe is nearly over , while soaring overseas has not yet started. Gliders are on their way to their destinations and around mid October the season will start slowly.The OLC had only 59 flights on Monday and the first competition of the new season at Jondaryan in Australia had their first 3 days cancelled!!! Yesterday, it even went more wrong as the organisers of the comps, normally going till the 25th, unfortunately had to cancel the comps , due to the current and forecast weather .All 56 participants in 5 classes had to go home again, and I can tell you distances are “bad” over there. So not THE best beginning of the 20120/2011 season!!

I am going to enjoy 23 dgr. now , see you on Sunday cheers Ritz

Namibia !South Africa !

Alphen aan den Rijn                                                     

The ” container-packers” at Venlo were pretty lucky as between the showers the sun was shining as well. Tuesday was a horrible day, Wednesday pretty bad in the evening but pretty good the rest of the day with a “sportive flight” of 248 km, from former EGChampion Steven Raimond with 60 km upperwind and Thursday was a bit better again for us on the ground but not so much for pilots due to a 8/8 cloud coverage.
So all in all, not too bad for packing containers , but…dust and sand/leaves should be avoided, I know how terribly precisely the quarantine people are, so they should.

Talking about overseas-soaring , I wrote about Australia last time, this time Namibia has its turn. A special season also for Bitterwasser as it celebrates its 50thiest birthday!!!! For that reason they have 30 % discount on lodging in the early [1-11/12-11-2010] and later season [18-01/31-01-2011].
Also they expect a BIG season as, they have organized 5 containers and till now 3100 “nights ” have been booked. Some of the containers are on  their way since September 13 travelling from Mengen and Ötisheim , with a total of 24 gliders. They expect 46 in total. Indeed a BIG season!!!! For more news look at;

Since 2002 pilots also travel to Namibia to fly at Pokweni. On Thursday September 9 they started packing their containers in Germany. For more news look at ; or this site is from Axel Nuss.
And Kiripotib is getting more and more popular as well. Bernd Dolba is very active here and you can find news for the 10/11 season soon at

End of September , beginning of October containers will be packed in the UK to travel to Bloemfontein, where soaring-safaris from Dick Bradley welcomes you for some great soaring in South Africa. They have now 9 years of experience and long-distance-soaring is possible between mid November and the end of January.
The core of the 10/11 season will be their summer performance camp that will start at Sunday October 31. at Bloemfontein and continues till February 19 2011.
There will be a 25 % discount on  glider-hire -rates  for the early visitors booking between  October 31 and November 13 2010.
Look at ; for more news.

Last but not least Gariep Dam in South Africa, where a few of my friends regurlarly fly. The gliding safari , I wrote about last year, is still on and organized between the middle of October and the middle of November 2010.
As they write; “Built 30 years ago, and used by glider pilots for 25 years,the airfield is owned by glider pilots dedicating to provide the best facilities and infra-structure that top pilots require, at an affordable price.” Read the 13 features at ;  I liked the “crime-free , quiet rural atmosphere. ”

I was impressed with the comment of junior pilot Alexander Spaeth on the OLC. He is a sportsoldier as well and “is a lot in the air”. His last day in France flying at Vinon ended with an outlanding at Barcelonette, where he and 2 mates were warmly welcomed. They even got a car to look at the sunset at Col d’Allos and they loved it, ” something which would not have happened if the would have had a turbo!!” He is gratefull for all things happening in his life. Alsop the open thank you to his friend Patrick, who borrowed him his discus 2 a, is heartwarming. He really is a nice young man and very down-to-earth. I wish him only the very best!!!!!I know of you of those young men in all parts of the world and it is great to now them.

To get back at the “drunken sai….pilot”, this is pretty rare incident,  as the social controle amongst the people in the aviation world is strong. Only in Holland it happened twice in 5 years that a pilot was stopped to fly. A 52 year old [is this the age they drink a bit more????] Norwegian pilot was stopped in 2008. Most companies have their own system to check and when they know about a problem-pilot, they mostly send him in time for sickness-leave for a while, or when older on an earlier pension.
In 2006 Schiphol Airport organized a big alcohol- check on 56 pilots and ALL those pilots were sober.

That’s it for now. The family weekend was awesome with great weather and tandem-bikes .
A friend here in Holland send me the next, a bit scaring link, but…… it looks it went well in the end for the pilot.
 Cheers Ritz

Preparations in full swing!Pribina SGP started!

Alphen aan den Rijn     Wednesday September 16 2010

Preparations for the new season are in full swing. From Tocumwal I got news that Sportaviation is very busy to put the last points on the i , to be ready for an even bigger season then the one from last year. They flew through the winter with the Skyfox and also did some training with “to-be-glider-pilots”  and of course the “regulars/die-hards “arrived on all nice soaring days.
Young Jake will be at the field in the weekends to help out. He is doing some navigational training with Eddie, while the temperature is a nice 20 dgr. C. Jake loves this soaring world and I hope we might see him in the future at JWGC’s!Look for pictures at;
Their first overseas -guest for the  season, Dundee will arrive tomorrow in Melbourne.

The Southern Riverina Gliding Club  members at Tocumwal Airport have some activities in the upcoming weekends.
This is what I received ;
Dear Members,

This is a reminder that our  FIRST  WINGS  NIGHT is only two and a half weeks away.  We would like to see as many of you here as possible as we have many wings to present and also some other awards. 

There will be a lighter side to the evening and there will be a lucky door prize and some raffles.  After flying we will have a BBQ at approximately 6pm with presentations to follow.

A donation of nibbles, a salad or sweet would be welcome but not necessary.  Please let me know if you can make it as this will help with catering.

Happy soaring

Judy Renner

at Saturday October 2
at the Toths hangar
BBQ at around 6 pm

Some changes as well in Tocumwal, as I read in Judy’s news letter, which I will publish as well in case you are thinking of visiting Tocumwal.
Dear members,

Recently changes have been made to our operating procedures and it is now mandatory for every pilot flying from Tocumwal aerodrome to have a radio operators licence or a log book endorsement for operating the radio while flying a glider.  Also all gliders must be fitted with a serviceable radio.

Because of this we would like to see every pilot, irrespective of his/her  level of experience have a check flight with one of the club’s instructors before flying.

Even if you are familiar with radio operating procedures please read the GFA Ops Manual (attachment enclosed) as it was recently updated (June 2010).

The GFA Ops Manual 005 Airways and Radio Procedure can be found here:

Of course the biggest center in Australia and celebrating their 10th anniversary, Australian Soaring Corowa ,is ready for the many guests for the ‘ 10-’11 season. The 2 tugs are waiting to go up in the air to make pilots happy with nice long cross country flights.
Today till the 19th ,they are packing their containers in the South of Holland and pilots from all over Europe have to travel through pretty tough autumn weather, with wind up to  8 bft. and lots of rain to be in time,  as schedules are strict. By now Francesco and Grietje are so experienced , that it does not look or feel like a job anymore. On top of that most pilots have been going for a few years as well, some even the 10 years, plus the ones they spend at Sportavia and also they know how to deal with packing. It normally is a feast of recognition there in the South of Holland, after a year not seeing each other.
But I know , as a former owner, that there is always a bit of tension to give it out of hand, as on the big container ships it is waiting, for them as well,  if it all goes perfect. But as far as I know , NEVER in all those years something went  wrong.
One container will be packed in Prievidza as well . All news at;

Talking about Slovakia, in Nitra the Pribina Sailplane Grand Prix 2010 has started on September 11. The 20 18 m. pilots  flew 3 days till now and day 3 changed the results dramatically as, after 2 days,  the number 1 position was occupied by 2 Czech pilots with 2 points, each winning one day and finishing as sole pilot. Day 3 showed the talent from Polish pilot Christoph Matkowski who has 10 points now and who had NO penalty points while others had a lot, mainly because the finish altitude was exceeded. Pavol Cerny has 8 points and then a few pilots with 7 points.  
Pilots flying are from Germany, Czech Rep, Lithuania, Austria, Slovakia and Poland. See for results and more at

You have money or….you have n’t!!!Saudi Arabia just ordered , weapons, figthing planes and helicopters in the USA, for a total amount of 60 milliard. On September 13 Obama  presented the plan in the Congress. It is among other things about 84 F 15’s, 178 helicopters as Apaches and Black Hawks and they are still talking about “maritime-stuff “for a value of 30 milliard.

China suffers a bit with their aviation. Last month a plane crashed killing 40 people and after research it seems now the pilot might have made a mistake. Even worse after more investigation they found out that lots of pilots have false CV’s.
Yesterday a plane got fire and within 24 hours another one as well. One plane had a starting fire in the luggage department while the passengers had just entered the plane , the other one had on Sunday ,smoke due to an oil-leak combined with the hot temperatures of the wheels . Both planes belong to China Southern.

Yesterday a 52 year old captain  from the USA, just sitting in the cockpit ready to fly to New York from Schiphol Airport, had to leave the Delta Airlines plane again [after an anonymous tip] as just a bit too much alcohol [ just over the allowed 0.2 promille- 0.23] was still in his blood. The plane with 200 waiting passengers stayed at Schiphol, but passengers left later. His fine was 700 Euro, which he payed at the spot!!

Our hang -gliding mates are flying the Santa Cruz flats Race  in the USA at Casa Grande. In the HG flexible wing,  both Jonny Durand jr. and sr. are flying the Moyes Litespeed RS 3.5. Great to see Jonny jr. is still the best, at this stage , he is number ONE, after 2 days of flying. Davis Staub from The Oz Report is on spot 20 while dad Jon sr.  is on 21.

That’s about it. Most probably no news on Sunday as I attend a family weekend, but …you never know later in the evening, otherwise the next day.

Cheers Ritz.

Not a lot happening!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Sunday September 12 2010

Nearly 23.000 spam- messages have been deleted from this blog, since it started, all in the comments “department”. With my hotmail address it is in fact not really necessary to have this possibility for comments, so I might close it!

Not a lot happening, yesterdays weather was superb, today we are back to autumn in the morning but the afternoon was not too bad. On September 11 a lot remembered that dramatic day, some in the USA with a nearly 700 km flight. Nice to see “the dust-devil-trace” from the LS 1 from Mountain Valley all the way up to Truckee close to Minden, with cloud streets till nearly the evening.

1702 points for the winner of the UK mountain  comps after 3 days and lots of scrubbed ones. Winner at Aboyne was Phil King with an 18 m. LS 8.

In the past  I mentioned that I was asked while being at the JWGC at Rayskala , via a lobby, if I was interested to be editor during  the JWGC in Musbach. As I heard nothing officially anymore,  I was glad to see that my friend Katja from Finland did a good job during the Pre JWGC in Germany , being also the webmaster overthere. This ” being editor ” is new to her , but she asked for some tips which I gave her with pleasure, so when the competition director decides and…… decides for her, she will be totally ready.
I have 2 other competitions to attend in 2011 and as you know I do only 2 a year.

Just saw a fabulous performance on a RAI TV  sport channel, about the Frecce Tricolori. WOW, what a show !!!! They are just amazing!!!!!

Gliders from pilots who are spending their holiday-soaring overseas  as in South Africa , Namibia or Australia and New Zealand , have booked a glider or are busy with the very last preparations to send their glider. I noticed that a Cirrus flew a nice 389 km flight in SA, so the beginning is there. In a few weeks those pilots are going to “top” the OLC list.
Places as Bitterwasser, Pokweni, Kiripotib and Corowa, Narromine and Tocumwal are finishing their jobs to be good hosts again! By the way , Australia, also Tocumwal and Corowa,  got quite some rain and a lot of places really look nice and green or yellow from the conola fields, yes it is that time of the year. The well known Murray River has a high water-level  at the moment.

Congratulations to the Argentinian hockey girls winning the WHC. “We ” lost as they played more effective , not really so much better.
As I said not a lot happening, so see you next Wednesday, cheers Ritz

Lot’s of newsy news!

Alphen aan den Rijn     Wednesday September 8 2010

Last Sunday was a glorious day weatherwise! Not only were the beaches full of people, the airfields were busy as well , certainly here in Holland. Around 1100 pilots world- wide shared with us their flight on the OLC. In Holland nearly 60 pilots and the weather was  good for flights up to 531 km and one of my friends enjoyed a bit of a cool , but great flight of 207 km.  in the oldtimer, Slingsby-t30 Prefect.
More “old-type” planes went up and in Germany a pilot flew in his LS1-d 623 km enjoying every minute of the cloud streets , the super visibility and the thermals till the end. Only spoilsport was the seabreeze just making the average speed of  83 km a bit lower then neccesary.Most of the pilots have forgotten after this nice day how wet August was.
Vinon is still good for 700 km + flights. Nice to see that 2 French pilots “from my time ” , Gilles and Gerard, both had a great day of flying with a flight of 762 km and 740. Gilles in the ASG 29 and as usual, Gerard in an open class glider the Nimbus 4D.
But also in a lot of other parts the weather was nice for a day out. In Germany this was fatal for a 47 year old lady , looking at the airshow in Schnaittach-Lillinghof. A vintage plane broke out while starting for a formation flight and run in the public hitting with the prop the poor lady. The pilot [68] had to go to hospital because of a shock and 38 other people were injured.
Investigation will learn us what went wrong and why the plane rolled to the right instead of straight on.

Monday was another glorious day, sunny, nice fluffy clouds and 23 dgr. but I could not find ONE flight on the OLC for the Netherlands. Unfortunately rain and storm on Tuesday ,with only in Holland at the morning peak hour,  a traffic jam of 700 km, worst for this year, but later they adjust it in 562 km.

The Dutch Nationals will be back next year at the National Gliding Center Terlet. Period; May 16-27. Official opening on Sunday May 15 and official closing ceremony on Saturday May 28.
After 6 years there will be a new competition director; Jeppe de Boer.

They managed to fly a 3d day during the Masters at St Hubert in Belgium. Young Bert Schmelzer won the day ; a task over 161 km with a speed of 105 km/h. After 3 days Yves Jeanmotte was the winner of these first Masters with “only” 893 points in total!!!!

The UK Mountain Soaring comps have started as a Regional competition at Aboyne on September 5 going till September 11. Till now no flying days and the expectation is ….maybe after today. As there was a lot of wind , rain and turbulence the editor of the comps wrote; “It is better to sit down here wishing we were up then vice versa. ”

In Australia one of the first comps of the new season 10/11 has started at the gorgeous field of Lake Keepit. Brian Hayhow, one of our regular guests at Sportavia, won the first day of the Keepit Speed Week in his Discus. In October the Australian Nationals will be flown at Dalby. Both Keepit and Dalby are on the East Coast where the new summer-flying-season always starts.
Also over there the weather is not yet really flash with only small tasks set and AAT ‘s of 2 hours.

Upcoming BIG events for the next season 2011;
 6 th FAI WWGC in Arboga in Sweden starting on June 15.
 16th FAI EGC at Nitra in Slovakia  starting on July 17
 4 th FAI World Grand Prix at Wasserkuppe in Germany starting on July 23
16 th FAI EGC in Pociunai in Lithuanian starting on July 31 [ BIG ships]
 7 th FAI JWGC at Musbach in Germany starting on August 6

Ever heard of SCUM??? Years and years ago we laughed about the “forming”of SCUM, the union for the crews; Sailplane Crew Union Member. The proud members walked around in t shirts with SCUM on it and told everybody who wanted to hear it that “they had rights”. It is nice to see that the SCUM revived in Szeged where a groupe wants to “go European”with a meeting in December in Barcelona. Look for more news at .
I noticed that except for wellknown crew member Baldrick , several Dutch crew members will visit Barcelona. Great idea, this meeting of international crews/friends!

KLM- AirFrance had in August a tiny little bit less passengers;0.8 %. And…foreign guests have less frequently visited Holland over the last 2 years . Was the number in 2007 still 11 million and in 2008 10 million-plus, 2009 haD 9.9 visitors.  The special tax in ’08 and ’09, which does n’t have to be paid anymore now, decreased the number of flight connections. Also the recession lowered the number of business passengers but the holiday makers increased in number.

By the way, keep an eye on ” our” hockey girls playing for and hopefully defending,  in Argentina their world title. They are doing a great job. They now play against the girls from England in the semi-final, while Argentina will play either Germany or Australia.
Looking forward to the finals!

Cheers Ritz

Summer is over ???? Not yet!

Alphen aan den Rijn     Sunday September 5 2010

While reading the statistics  in the paper about the summer in Holland in 2010, I was quite correct that it was a good one , even for soaring, but… said in my last blog the month of August spoiled the total view on it. According to the meteo, we had a warm and sunny, but wet summer. We enjoyed 692 hours of sun while 591 is normal ,BUT we had 270 mm. of rain instead of 202 mm. But enough of this summer, we look ahead at a nice after-summer period with hopefully still some nice soaring, not only in Holland but all over Europe.

Rieti still has some great weather with a flight of 898 km  in the ASH 25, but also the DG808 did well with a declared and flown 822 km flight on September 1. And…great to see that , on that same day, Francesco Bernardinetti flew his first 300 km in Rieti in an LS 4! Well done!Yesterday 683 was flown from Rieti, while one of the USA pilots had a super day flying “for fun -no task set” a 908 km in a Discus, with over development in the morning and super weather in the afternoon from Frederick.
And…in FLAT Holland we had a very nice cross -country-  500- km -day , with super visibility and good streets, but also showers to avoid.So nice after-summer-weather!

Received a mail from Ron and let’s see if we can help him. This is his question!
—I am looking for a second hand cobra or Swan or similar trailer for a 18 metre glider with four piece wing  ie 15m trailer will do with some holders for the extra wing bits. Of course I have been looking on and the UK advertising sites but would like to widen my search so do you know the web addresses for sites in Holland Belgium France Austria etc where gliders and instruments and trailers might be advertised for sale??—-

The new Gliding International dropped on my floor- mat yesterday and after looking at it and  reading in it, I was very pleased to see the new lay out ,the bigger seize of the magazine and the interesting contents, including the news that on August 5 was recommended that 20 m gliders can enter the WGC in 2014 while the world class will disappear .
The 13.5 m class will have its own WGC to be held fort the first time in 2015!!! 
At-least these are the recommendations accepted by the IGC Bureau and they will be formally proposed to the IGC Plenum in 2011 for adoption.
I am not sure about another WGC as 2 at 2 several places is already a lot, but let’s wait and see.This WGC would be biennially in odd years with 4 entries per N[ational A[ero] C[lub] with a “try out” in 2013 and the first “real one” in 2015.
By the way the proposal for class entries will be as follows; 2 entries per NAC in standard class and club class and ONE for 20 m. class.
I also liked the interview with the Polish National Coach, as indeed those Polish pilots are “pretty” successful and the story about the VFR flight from North Africa to Germany; the INTERCONTINENTAL motor glider.
Hope John, the editor of GI and his wife Chris are OK after the 7.1 earth quake  and ……the aftershocks and the 130 km.h wind. Was sad to hear also that a plane with 9 sky -divers crashed in NZ , killing all of them.

The first Belgium Masters had another soaring day with a 199km. set task. This time the task was flown by most of the pilots so a VALID day.Yves Jeanmotte won the day with 114. km /h. , together with Louis Bouderlique; same speed and both got 495 points for their effort. 2 Pilots out-landed and 4 did not start, under them Rene de Dreu and Tijl Schmelzer.

Never a boring moment when you read stories about the “boss” of price fighter Ryan Air.  He thinks one pilot is enough to fly the plane and in case of emergency a stewardess or steward could help out and bring the plane safely down,he thinks by the way, that she/he needs a course  first to do so!!!!!I don’t think I will fly Ryan Air anymore!!!!

Tha’t s it for this nice sunny Sunday. Cheers Ritz

Masters in Belgium! Better weather!??

Alphen aan den Rijn     Wednesday September 1 2010

September 1, means summer is over , meteorological spoken I mean , as we might enjoy a nice after-summer, who knows. So autumn starts , something we felt over the last week in several parts of Europe. The Alps from Bayern not far from Munich had SNOW at 1300 m!!!!! That is VERY unusual for the end of August!!! That low it still melts but higher then 1800 m. there is already real snow!!!!
“Our”August was the wettest since 1906 with an average of 170 mm instead of 62 mm.It was also cooler then normal with an average of 16.8 dgr. C instead of 17.2 dgr. and more dark,  as we had “only” 165 hours of sun instead of 198 hours.

They did not succeed to squeeze  another day out ,during the 18 m Nationals in the UK . They waited till nearly 4 PM and had to scrub another day, their last one. Mike Young is the winner in 18 m. class and the Regionals were won by Kim Tipple. The worst thing is that on Monday the nicer weather started!!!! Our meteo here advised even a holiday to the UK !!!!!
We had more fallen trees and damaged roofs over the weekend ,but is pretty good here now too.

The Masters , the very first for Belgium,started in St. Hubert. From August 28 till September 5 20 selected pilots  fight for the honnour. Quite some top pilots do so as Rene de Dreu the former  young European champion , but also Patrick Stouffs who flies since ages. The Schmelzer -brothers are there as well as is dad. And some of the French speaking Belgium toppilots, as Jean- Luc Colson, and Yves Jeanmotte as well as French pilot Louis Bouderlique.
In fact ONLY the best 10 pilots from Belgium according to the IGC list have been invited as well as ,  5 from the Club of St Hubert and 5 wild cards!!!
 On the the first day a task was set but nobody finished some did not even start. Yves Jeanmotte [ President of the ACRA] flew 53 of the 148 km. and was the best, so NO day. In fact the same weather- description as above in  Holland.
On Monday and Tuesday the weather slightly improved  ……but …was still not good enough to fly. Maybe tomorrow!
Gliders with a handicap between 98 and 110 BGA handicap [discus to 18 m. gliders] are allowed.

The OLC showed for the end of August  perfect flights from the mountains in France and Italy. Serres la Batie showed 4 over 1000 km flights in a Stemme, LS 8 , LS10 and DG 8oo, flights were over Aosta,the Mecca [ in my time] for wave,  while Vinon had one as well. In Italy flights up to 727 km from Trento and 609  from Rieti.
And….indeed the weather improved over the UK with flights up to over 500 km. from Booker and around 400 from Dunstable, where a few of my ” Sportavia-soaring-friends “fly and Lasham, with some SSC friends as well. AND…..This weather is slowly arriving here!

Just back from Amsterdam , so enough to do. See you on Sunday,

Cheers Ritz