2011 on it’s way!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Sunday October 31    ritzdeluy@hotmail.com

Last day of the month  and only 2 months to go and the year 2011 starts. The time is back to normal here [ since 3 this morning]  and the evenings are longer now. For a short while it felt like winter here with even temperatures under 0 in the night, and frost colouring the green grass white, but now we are back around 13 which is 2 dgr. above normal for here. We even had last Friday up to 16 dgr!!!!!!
The average for October here is a min. of 6 and a max of 14 dgr. Best ever temperature on the last day of October was in 2005 with 21.5 dgr. and the worst in 1983 with -3.4 dgr. Just to let you know!
Today it rains cat’s and dog’s with 12 dgr.

The Dutch Gliding Magazine Thermiek is out  and I enjoyed reading the different items. A lot about the more and more popular Euroglide,[ 10th edition!]  with specials about the DG 1000 by my former junior pilot Jelmer, who flew with 2 friends the 2.328 km in the companies plane  the new DG 1001M [after he finished his study at the University of Delft, Jelmer works for the DG business!]  and by the director for the the last 6 Nationals Max who flew the glider earlier at Terlet. Another new type of plane , the Pipistrel Taurus 503 was also new at the Euroglide. A good way for the producers to check their glider on long distance flights.
Further stories about the Dutch National junior comps[the 39 ‘s one!] , the Marianne [double seater for clubs] , a twin sister of the the Pegase both built by Centrair, aerodynamics by top professor in this area Loek Boermans, since last year FELLOW, from the Royal Aeronautical Society  and other news. Enjoy!It is online at www.zweefportaal.nl but…in Dutch.

You remember Julio Poch, the just retired Transavia airline captain  who was taken out of the cockpit in Spain just before he could fly the last “leg before retirement” back to Holland. He was accused of the fact that  he “maybe”  helped  to let 615 people disappear between 1976 and 1982 in Argentina. Colleagues had heard stories, he was supposed to have told on stops,  about his time flying as pilot for the Grupo de Tareas. But….for the time being it looks he will be a free man, as the judge could find NO proof he had done such terrible things AND accusations are NO proof. The judges have to find more proof first, till that time he is not allowed to leave the country but at-least he will be free! To be honest I am pleased with that as being involved-on-distance with Transavia and hearing inside stories about Julio, I could NOT believe he is that kind of  [bad] person.

Both the USA and Australia and I guess more countries have stepped up security and scrutiny   of packages at cargo planes coming from the Middle East [specially Adu Dhabi, Dohah, Dubai and Yemen, via another country as they do not have direct flights to Australia ] after 2 suspected packages , looking as from Al Quaida, have been intercepted in the UK and Dubai . Even the American president spoke about a potential terrorist threat. Australian president , Mrs Gillard, said these are precautions as there is no info that Australia is a target at this stage. This morning Germany has stepped up security around cargo from the Middle East as well.

Interesting story also yesterday in my paper, [AD] about our Dutch astronaut Wubbo Ockels, who travelled through space in the Challenger in 1985. Today it is exactly 25 years ago that he did so. The mission after him exploded as you might remember as well.
He is in his 6th life now. If you have indeed 7 he has one to go.
In 1982, he nearly died due to a bad bacterial infection called leptospirose in the USA, in 1985 he had the risky flight as astronaut, in 1989 he had an accident in France on the runway, with a propeller-plane,  as  an Airbus hit him in the back due to mis-communication of the tower and  bad visibility, in 2005 he got a heart attack and in 2008 doctors found a tumor in one of his kidneys.His daughter wrote a book about his life and they , father and daughter, went back to all places which had been important in his life. Nowadays he is a Professor on the University of Delft, involved in projects as the Nuna, [car driving on sun-energy] and the super-bus , driving 250 km/h. Interesting guy!!!

Good wave in New Zealand  where an LS 6 pilot flew yesterday 438 km. with a nice speed of 123 km /h. Even better wave on Friday in the USA where well-known Belgium pilot Baudouin Litt flew a 1000 km wave flight in an LS 8 from Mid Atlantic Soaring in the USA.
As far as I can see the first 1000 km flight in the 2011 season. In Australia’s East, good flights again yesterday with 451 km in the LS1f. What a pity, those bad rainy days a few weeks ago with the Nationals.
Talking about New Zealand today was the first flying day of the “Central Plateau 2010” in Taupo. Rain and only a base of 4500 forced the organisation to keep the 10 pilots on the ground. The forecast for tomorrow looks better for the afternoon.
I noticed one pilot with a very Dutch name;Roland van der Wal. He “belongs” to Taupo and flies LS 6, will keep an eye on him.
By the way, you might remember I was asked last year this time to fly to New Zealand to help out with PR for a new soaring-field. It is still happening and we are talking maybe December this year, now. Will keep you of course informed!!!

Sad news for the family of 4 French helicopter passengers at Antartica. The Helicopter crashed in bad weather and the pilot , engineer and 2 people from IPEV , an institute doing research at Antartica, died. The Australians took it upon them to recover the bodies.

Next Tuesday is Melbourne Cup Day  and it feels weird to not celebrate it with my friends in Tocumwal like last year  and many more years before. I got phone calls and mail this week, to assure me they will drink a glass of bubbles on me as well, which is good. I will follow it on internet! It remains a special day over there down-under, where they still deal with quite a lot of rain.
Not too far from Tocumwal and Corowa is another good and well known  soaring place Benalla where in 1987 the WGC was. Due to the bad weather Benalla is at this moment an incident control centre for the regional area, as warnings from the Bureau of Meteorology have been issued for different areas in Victoria and  the border of NSW.
The containers for Corowa are delayed with one week, but with the wet circumstances, this is not a big problem. Hope after the wet,  the real Aussie spring/summer- weather starts!!!

Poor people in Haiti!!  First last year January the earth quake, with still more then a million people living in tents now, then the cholera and today hurricane Tomas is on its way to make everything even more bad. Feel so sorry for them!

See you on Wednesday. Slowly guests arrive at their overseas soaring resorts and dreams of wonderful flights might come true again. November and December are THE months!!!!! Let’s wait and see.

Cheers Ritz

Hello again !

Alphen aan den Rijn     Friday  October 29 2010   ritzdeluy@hotmail.com

Long time , no see!! About time I write again! Was a hectic week since last Friday, but a great one!
What happened more?
I was very much impressed with the great flight from Beverley on October 23. Flying a 526 km in a Hornet still shows great weather in Western Australia. From the 526 there was an FAI triangle in it from 458 km.!! Great job!
I love the new system the OLC uses to show you the flights, another great job!!
Great to see that after the wet period, the East of Australia had good weather as well on the 23d, with “fresh” National Champion  Alan Barnes flying in his LS 1 f a nice 503 km flight from his home field Jondaryan. [441 FAI triangle!]
That Saturday great wave flights in Europe as well, from Mikulovice [CZ] and Jelenia Gora [Poland]. And my friends from Israel, Arnon and Rafi enjoyed , with several others, nice over 200 km flights in their “desert”.

Last Wednesday Narromine  had super weather and good old Shinzo flew in his Nimbus 4 DM nearly 500 k. Same day was the FIRST flying day in Corowa  and who else then co-owner [his wife Grietje is the other owner] Francesco flew the first flight. I wish them a safe and good season. Yesterday they had good weather again with a Danish- early- guest, flying over 400 km. in the ASG 29 E/18m., yes the season has started in Australia .
In Narromine Shizo had some time, before the season starts for him as well, to fly 560 km. in his Nimbus. Tocumwal had some great flights earlier as well.By the way… Ken has arrived “home” from Japan . Ken has 2 vintage planes in Tocumwal and in the past we helped him getting the gliders in Tocumwal arriving from the UK. At Sportaviations site/blog you can see Ken and Tery in the open Slingsby 21 . 2 Very enthusiastic boys’ with their toys!!! Lovely!
Not much news from Africa . Sorry! Bitterwasser ‘s season-organisation has arrived and all gliders arrived safe in their containers and…the temperature is promising with 30 dgr. C. Soon they will fly as well.

British Airways  had a big loss last year , but they are on the mend. Till now , they announced in the first half of the new financiel year  a profit of 122 million Euro!!!! Good on them!!!

The new Gliding International is out. Was impressed with some stunning  pictures , with the interview of John Roake , editor of GI with Australian  top pilot Graham Parker !! Why would a competent pilot withdraw from a WGC [Szeged] ???? and …..is Blanik’s future in doubt??? Also the ARCUS, the ASW 20 get-together in Tehachapi[California] , is the Diana about to be consigned to history???? and lots of news from our soaring world. Enjoy!! Loved the story about the Rolls’Royce with the tow bar and glider on tow, in a real UK trailer [Dart 15R] at the WGC in 1968.

Prize fighter EasyJet has complained  at the European Commission about the fact that Schiphol Amsterdam is 10 Euro more kind  to transferring passengers then to the European ones.

In the past I wrote regularly about the EAC,the Eindhoven Aero Club, where I was a member in the past.Due to more flying- airline- traffic at Eindhoven the club got into problems and they are still not over I heard. The EAC is the oldest user of the airport , since 1932,  but it looks they have to find another field. They still hope to stay at Eindhoven within the next 5 years , but right now they have send letters to municipalities 15 km outside the “control zone”. Also the new rules from the Ministry of Defense [ Eindhoven is a military base as well]  give restrictions to the 150 enthusiastic glider pilots. Hope they find a good field again where they can fly free like eagles!!!

That ‘s it see you back on Sunday, when the time has changed back  to normal! Cheers Ritz

Short update !

Alphen aan den Rijn          Friday evening  October 22 2010             ritzdeluy@hotmail.com

It took the jury of 12 last Wednesday , 4 hours to decide that 26 year old Lady E. is guilty of murdering  her friend and parachute colleague in 2006 . Though there is and was no proof, the jury thought she was the only one who could have done it ,as she had the knowledge, the opportunity and….. according to psychiatrists there is something wrong with her personality.
On Thursday the judge and jury sentenced her to 30 years in prison, which ends up normally with good behaviour with 10 years. With that,  one of the most sensational court cases in the lower countries of Europe  finished….we hope as there is 15 days time to fight the decision.

Yesterday the weather in Tocumwal  was good again for over 300 km. flights. Corowa starts in about 3 weeks , when all containers have arrived , have been checked by quarantine  and the first  pilots have arrived. The estimated arrival time of the containers in Melbourne is on November 1 and if all goes well, the first flying day will be on November 9.
It looks like a very busy African and Australian season again, which is great.

The Formula 1 will be this weekend at the brand new Korean International Circuit. Practise today showed Formula 1 Championshipsleader , Mark Webber as the fastest driver. Enjoy the race.

Ever heard of West Coast Soaring???  I had not! Shame on me! But it is in Holland and pilots fly alongside the dunes  of the Nordsea from Castricum . A tremendous kick I presume! It all happened yesterday and they even managed to fly this out and return of 144 km in the SZD 55. Look for fantastic  pictures and a video on www.zweefportaal.nl   Great stuff!!!

Not a lot happening in “soaring- land” , so then this …. a story at-least related to flying……In August a plane in Congo crashed and killed 20 people!!! The thought was,  that the plane had no fuel anymore, but the one and only survivor has a bizarre story about this accident. It seems that one of the passengers tried to take/smuggle with him a crocodile in a sports bag!!!! The animal escaped and all passengers ran behind the stewardess into the cockpit making the weight and balance unstable. The crocodile survived but was killed later. An African/Congo paper got the story from the survivor.Can’t imagine somebody makes such a story up, but if he had not survived we would have never known, not even imagined for ONE minute that such a thing could happen !???!

Preparing and…off for the weekend, CU you soon, cheers Ritz

OLC 2011! F 16 ‘s!

Alphen aan den Rijn   Wednesday October 20 2010      ritzdeluy@hotmail.com

Last weekend was superb!  It was not only blue , but there were even nice looking clouds. While travelling to Amsterdam however,  I noticed under those great skies 3 gliders at Valkenburg and they had difficulty enough to stay up.
Not when you were launched from  Soesterberg as Mark, one of the Dutch top pilots flew a nice 234 km distance this late in the year!! He enjoyed a cloud street going up from Mid Holland to the North East.
Daan , Sikko,Henk , Gert and more flew from Soesterberg as well, great-for-the-time-of-the-year-distances up to 381 km. Nice cloud streets , very clear but cold!!!!
Now we suffer from rain , wind up to 80 km/h on the coast , thunder and lightning and low temperatures with the possibility of WET SNOW!!!!!!. Welcome winter!

I read and was a bit down from the story of a young 26 year old man  who went for a joy-flight in Bayern , the southern part of Germany on that sunny sunday-afternoon. After trying to overcome the pilot, who defended himself while flying, he opened the door and “stepped”out. Suicide! The pilot had a lucky escape , for him it was still a good but a bit scary sunny afternoon, atleast he could repeat it.
Another pilot , Dutch this time and departing from Rotterdam,  showing around 2 people from South Africa,  during a joy-flight how beautiful Holland looks from above certainly on such a great day,  was just a tiny bit unlucky as well , due to an engine problem, which forced him to land at the beach. No body injured!The South Africans have a story to tell as well coming home.

I have always been interested in how “our ” tuggies got on in the world. From most of them I heard they have great jobs at airliners all over the world and a lot of them are captains now as well. Have n’t heard for a long time about James. But last weekend I got the message that James is also doing very well. I knew he flew for Air Malta in the past, but that all changed and James lives in Riga now flying for Baltic Air and he is also the chief instructor over there. Good on him.

The OLC has contributed a lot to our soaring world, no doubt about that. We know where our friends fly and are happy with them with their big achievements. Not everybody likes the fact that pilots just fly with the clouds to make the best distance , for that reason the OLC created the FAI OLC. For 2011 they even make it more interesting as on October 15 I read there foresight into the future.Read all about this ingenious combination of OLC Classic and OLC FAI triangle and the speed tasks at their site. [to the right where you find the scores and under latest news.] 

The new 2011 list of scores has started on October 12 with 72 flights. SUPER weather , “an other day in paradise “on the 16th of October in the USA where a pilot in a discus 2 flew a nearly 1200 km ridge-flight from Mifflin County.
A 935 km flight in an LS 3 from Blairstown is something to mention as well.
Also the pilots flying in Brasil at Luis Magalhaes were having great fun flying distances up to 835 km.

I loved the comment of a West Australian glider pilot flying 513  km FAI triangle  in a Hornet; “Eastern staters eat your heart out!”Indeed they DO have nice weather in the West and unfortunately they suffered badly from rain during the Nationals in the East. Heard from a friend in Perth that they enjoy 30 dgr. Good!!! 
Best flight last Sunday was from Cunderdin in WA with 765 km. in a DG 800 /18m. Yes it starts….the over-seas 2011 season!
On Monday Stephan had the best OLC flight from Tocumwal;350 km and 299 FAI. Son Aljoscha was practising thermal flying today.

Also in Bitterwasser.  The 7 containers have arrived safely, as well as the 2 for Pokweni. Their season can start now  too, but I read that had lot’s of thunderstorms. Somewhere in the middle of October the Gariep Dam soaring safari was supposed to start but till now I could not find any news about it to share with you.

Brussels Airlines, is certainly not the biggest airliner in the world not even from Belgium, but….there is something special. From 554 pilots, 52 are female!!!!! It still is only 10 % but not too bad, not too bad at all.
16 of the 52 are captain the rest is co-pilot. Brussels Airlines claims it is just co-incidence, pilots think that the equal way of treatment makes the success. [AD]

Winter still has to come but when you plan a 2011 summer soaring holiday in France  flying a competition in the mountains you can do so from July 6-16 with 4 practise days on July 2-3-4-5. Then the Coupe du Monde de vol a voile en montagne will be flown in Vinon. Classes; Open, 15 m , 2 seater and  18 m and  for the last 2 ,  these comps are the French Nationals  as well and for foreign pilots the registration will be limited for these 2 classes and will be on FFVV invitation only [ IGC ranking list] . Just to let you know already!

On the 6th of November the National Dutch Soaring day will be held at the airport of Volkel. Just this week a book will be presented from a military pilot telling us that during  the Cuba crises in 1962 , 52 nuclear type 28 bombs were in bunkers at Volkel. This type of bomb is 5 times more powerful as the one on Hiroshima .The book “Flirten met de dood”[ Flirt with death] written by one of the pilots Steve Netto, tells us that in the cold war period, 12 fighters were ready every day to start within 15 minutes with those deadly nucleaire bombs under them. The book will be on the market from Friday onwards and will be presented that day to the commodore of the airforce Jac Jansen, amongst 300 fighter pilots during a reunion. It seems , this is a public secret for years already, that there are still about 20 bombs at Volkel…  fitting under the F16’s  !! Of course where they are exactly, remains top secret. Interesting place to go to ,[ even Google Earth cannot find it as the organizing team from Volkel claims,] and to listen to what Dutch soaring did last year and is going to do next. Hope there will be A LOT of people!!!!
By the way , I ordered the book already!

Talking about this cold war with Russia in the past !!!!What happens on Tuesday at noon???? With really bad weather here in Holland with storm and heavy showers !!!! 2 F 16′ s this time not from Volkel but from Leeuwarden {up in the North} intercepted 2 Russian bombers from the type TU 95 MS , who had entered our space !!!!What they did here above the Nord sea?? No idea!! They  quickly disappeared, when they were intercepted. It seems that this is the 2d time in a short while that bombers from Russia, “visit” Europe as , Danish, British and German fighters had to intercept in the night of the 15th/16th  September as well.
It is NOT forbidden , as I heard, to fly over Europe for those Russian planes, but they have to use their radio!!! As the Dutch controllers could not reach them by radio, they were “accompanied”, till they left again. On their way to the UK again,  where they were warmly welcomed by the UK fighters .

Ireland has like a few more countries in Europe financial problems. Reason for Ryanair to try to take over Air Lingus again . They tried twice before, but political resistance stopped these plans. By the way Ryanair has already a 30 % interest  in Air Lingus!!

That’s about it.  By the way the verdict in the parachute-murder is tonight! A jury of 12 has to decide if Lady E has to go to prison for a life-long visit or will walk away free.
Looking forward to many long and interesting flights in both Africa and Australia.
Will be not there on Sunday  and next Wednesday, due to a 40thiest wedding party and visiting guests here. But if something interesting comes up before Saturday I will be back.

cheers Ritz

Blog 350 !!!!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Sunday October 17 2010   ritzdeluy@hotmail.com

The wettest ever Australian Nationals are over. As said they finished already 1 day earlier on Thursday instead of Friday and for some still earlier ,as they did not believe in the weather anymore and left Dalby. A pity!!!
BUT….it was a valid competition with new national champions, AND…it was  qualification for the Uvalde and Chaves WGC in 2012. They even managed , pretty unexpected, to fly 5 days.
Standard class; They had 5 days with 4 AAT’s. Even on day 5 they managed to fly a valid , but devalued day.Kilometer eater Alan Barnes flew in the task time of 2 hours ,135 km with a speed of 67.6 km/h. Shinzo owner of one of the schools at Narromine was second on the last day and climbed on the overall scores to spot 2 with 3920 points  , while Alan in the SZD 55 won with 4105 points.Mike Durant was 3d and the rest more or less gave up.
15 m. class ; Miles [Gore-Brown] won 3 and Peter [Trotter] won 2 days, making Miles after many years again National champion. Peter’s wive Lisa was on spot 3 . Well done!
18 m. class:10 from the 18 pilots continued and the struggle for spot 1 was between David and Graham, each winning days. On the last day [5] they were only 6 and 7 with 30 km less flown then last-day-winner Tom Claffey, [186 km] also not the first one in Australia. Francesco [ Corowa] had a great last flying-day being  4th with 171 km in 2 hours. Graham only had 16 points on day 3 while David had 535. David is the new Australian 18 m. champion with Bruce in the JS1 on a good 2d spot and Lars , [who was so unlucky in Szeged ], on a 3d place. Graham ended on 5th spot.
open class:John Buchanan] [Butch for intimi] won EACH DAY!!!!! No secret that he is the new champion. He flew already our ventus in 1985 during the WGC in Rieti. Had a great run over there but after a full day of heavy rain he did not check his [wet] pitot , had to come back and that was not such a good day for him then, which was a pity.
Pam was runner up here in Dalby[ congratulations] with husband Gerrit in the Antares on spot 3. Gerrit had a bad 3d day , only flying 58.7 km , while Pam flew 123 km and Butch 154 km. Only 4 from the 8 participants finished the comps.
A very challenging competition due to the wet circumstances and for that reason early-departing pilots, BUT nobody had to land in a wet paddock, no gliders were damaged and no pilots hurt and that means it was a good competition as ….the weather is not in our hands.
By the way ALL winners were from Queensland!!!!
And….I hope all pilots can safely  travel home as wild water lashes Queensland and there are floodwarnings for  NSW, while snow has fallen in Victoria in the Dandenongs and some  “sleed” in Canberra , where the tulpis flower already!!!!!!!WOW, not to good!!! But I know several are member of the Darling Downs Soaring Club so they only had to travel about 60 k from Dalby to Jondaryan.

A Qatar Airways  captain died, while doing his job , flying from A [ the Philippines] to B [Qatar] . The co pilot diverted to and landed at  Kuala Lumpur, where a new crew took care of the rest of the flight. As you can understand,  delay for the passengers was inevitable. Very sad for the family of the pilot. Qatar did not re-veil the reason of his death.

Yesterday a friend asked me if I had a picture  of another friend in our soaring world. I had a look in my photo books and was amazed to see how many pictures and books I have from so many different comps all over the world. I was very pleased to get some nice memories back , but also a bit sad to notice that a lot of friends have died already. It is very clear I am getting older , but that’s good the older the better.

We finally have a new government  and the Queen welcomed the “new 12” [ministers] in her palace and on the steps for a fotoshoot. This all happened on Thursday.  Our Belgium friends are back to 0, starting all over to get their new government.By the way the members of our government have spend over the last 4 years 4.6 million on private flights. In fact they can only do so when the government -plane is not available or one of the military planes suitable for passengers.

Great to see Aljoscha doing an AIC in Tocumwal. On the Sportaviation pictures I noticed both Stephan and Terry flying with their son. I love that!!!! A pity they had so much rain as well, but hopefully that helps growing the farmer- products, so they will be happy now with the sun, as the pilots will be. 106 mm is a lot and according to Eddie the most since 1974 in October. It seems 2010 is a year of wet records!!!!
Most of my friends visiting Sportavia in the past have visited/flown to The Rock as well. Yesterday 29 elderly residents of a nursing home were evacuated along with 6 carers after the nursing home flooded. Lot’s of major roads are cut off by flooding and the field of the Tumbarumba soaring club must be under water as the town was evacuated due to failure of the Mannus Dam. 

We are slowly going into winter , I noticed  white frost on my car this morning, today however we have  temperatures around 10 dgr. [13 is normal for this time of the year.] , but with the blue skies and the sun it looks fantastic and NO rain.

Cheers Ritz

Blog 349!

Alphen aan den Rijn      Wednesday October 13     ritzdeluy@hotmail.com

Last night I tried to stay up to see the first miner in Chile, see the surface again, but….I did not manage as at 0.30 I just fell a sleep. As well, as it took till 5 in the morning local time here, to see the first one happily embrace his family. GREAT job!!!!

The FAI General Conference in Ireland is over. For those who do not know, the FAI is the world governing body for airsports and aeronautical world records!!!
 The FAI Executive board is and I quote;
—the executive body of the FAI, implementing the policies and decisions of the General Conference and exercising those powers of the General Conference that are delegated to it by that body. The Executive Board, chaired by the FAI President, is jointly responsible to the General Conference for all decisions made and actions taken between General Conferences.—
The board has a new  president and to the surprise of some, Bob Henderson was not choosen as the new FAI president. Swedish medical doctor John Grubbström is the one and all expect he will do a great job. Bob remains in the BOARD , he was re-elected , as well as Alvaro. Also a new face in the board ; the Norwegian NAC president Otto Lagerhus. He is  the vice-president of Flight and Technical Operations at SAS,  as well as the Director of Civil Aviation in Norway. Look for more news at the FAI site.

On Monday morning a KLM plane had to make an emergency landing  and returned back to Entebbe airport in Uganda due to a bird strike in one engine. After the landing the technical staff straight away started to work on the engine.

Great to see Stephan is back in Tocumwal  and not [yet] with collegue Lufthansa pilot Jan this time, both flying as many kilometers as are possible in a day each in an LS4, but now with his son Aljoscha. I only remember the pictures of a vivid young kid , but the kid has grown up and flies the Janus CT now with dad. Great stuff! Yesterday they flew 208 km.
Still NO flying in Dalby  on Sunday and Monday. A lot of pilots have left and a groupe 0f about 30 , is still waiting if ONE more day for standard and 15 m. is possible to have a valid competition. The 18 m and open class pilots need 2 and as said all paddocks are VERY wet in the area, so the only way to fly, is good weather with possibilities to land if necessary on other airfields. The forecast for Wednesday and maybe Thursday looks hopefull, so let’s be hopeful as well.
Not too hopefull were my friends Tony and Jo , they are on the way home[ yesterday] ;2 or 3 days driving with the glider on tow. In the past they always had a stop over in Tocumwal, maybe this time as well.
Here is the blog from ” the mother of Narromine”  and a good friend, Beryl Hartley, so you know first-hand how wet it is.

BUT………they managed to squeeze out 2 days  for 18 m and open class, yesterday and today and one more for the standard and 15 m. today,  so it still looks like  a valid 4-day-competition. I saw a few of the preliminary results, from the AAT’s and it looks promesing. Will come back on it on Sunday! Last day ,Friday is definitely cancelled due to the weather forecast , but even tomorrow might be good enough to fly. Final party is on Thursday evening now.

 Since Sunday our country counts 18.000 inhabitants more  due to the fact that the people from Saba, Bonaire and St. Eustatius are part now of the Netherlands. I called them provinces in my last blog ,but in fact they are municipalities.

Do you have 3 million dollar or more on your account  and you always wanted to be the fastest on earth in a car, you can buy now “the spirit of America”. It is a rocket-car owned by the deceased Steve Fossett with , with a bid of work, a top speed of 1287 km. So you can even drive the highest speed till now out of the books; the record time of 1227 km . The “spirit”drove already 1080 km. /h. Even when I had 3 milliard I would not even think about it. But …I am not a daredevil!!

CU next cheers Ritz

Blog 348!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Sunday October 10    10-10-’10                ritzdeluy@hotmail.com

Wow, we have just the perfect autumn weather here. Still up to 22 dgr. yesterday, but slowly going back now to 17/15 , but no worries it will be dry and sunny and maybe … frost at the ground in the night!!!
What’s happening more. We have a new government, at-least it looks like we have. About time. Not the most favourite combination, the Liberals and Social democrats  with 12 ministers , with… allowance-support from the party for freedom [read -against islam- so very right-wing!] But let’s see what happens and give them a chance. Both the liberals and democrats should be able to keep the freedom party in a “healthy”grip.
Further on Holland was shocked by the suicide of one of their dear very charismatic actor’s/singers, who started as a soap actor 20 years ago. Only 44 years old was Antonie Kamerling and EVERYBODY knows/knew  him. It seems he was depressed. How that is possible with such a lovely wife , great gorgeous looking kids and an outstanding career,  will remain a guess for all of us , except for the ones who were close to him. RIP.

Dalby -pilots had their 3d day  at least standard and 15 m. class had, with small AAT’s with a time frame of 2 hours. The window was small due to expected showers and storms.
 Alan Barnes well-known- Aussie -kilometer-eater won the day with 161 km in  exact 2 hours, being 2d overall after 3 days and only 7 points behind number 1;Dave Shorter.
In 15 m. class it was the family Trotter who did well. Peter [LS 8]won the day in 2 .08 and with 187 km. His wife Lisa [ASW 20] who started 45 minutes earlier then Peter was 3d and Miles in the middle! The decision at what time to start was important that day!
After 3 days the same order in the overall scores as in the the day3 scores. 
No flying on Friday! SOOOOO much rain fell that it might take a few days to dry out. I hear some pilots have left already as they expect it will be all over. Not good, as we talk Australian Nationals mate and…the comps only finish on the 15th!
Yesterday …no flying but it was a dry day with heavy overcast and the wind helped to reduce the water from the tie-down area ,which looked like a lake. Over the last time, the whole flying area, has had lot’s of rain, so it is wet everywhere. The bad thing is that the expectations are not too good and certainly not for the last day, Friday. Let’s hope, wait and see, as they need 4 days to call it a valid competition!
Benalla in the South of Australia on the contrary, had good spring weather with great clouds and a nice 408 km thermal flight in an LS 4. Also Tocumwal and Corowa had super-looking-skies and in the West at Adelaide they had already fun as well with soaring.

It seems, India is going to buy 250 up to 300 very advanced Russian fighter jets. The Russian company Soechoi is going to co-operate with the Indian business Hindustan  Areonautic in developping and producing the new planes. On top of that they are going to co-operate in building a new transport- plane and 45 will be going to India. Lot’s of money involved; at least 21.5 milliard for the first order.

Slowly Africa is waking up from their wintersleep. In SA, from Potchefstroom , 2 pilots and very well known ones, Mannie and Oscar, flew yesterday just over and just under 600 km in ASG 29 and JS1 Revelation, with a speed of 116 and 119 km/h. On October 2 several nice 400/500 km. flights were flown as well.

The continuing story of the crime passionel in Belgium;in court this week the parachutist S. and he was very clear ; he thinks that his second lover ,killed his lover number 1 by cutting her straps/belts of the parachute.In 2 weeks we will know if this lady E did it out of jealousy, yes or no. The parachutist feels VERY guilty, so he should! What a mess!!!
Then there is out of the blue , on Thursday, only 1 day later, a letter with the anonymous accusation , that the parachutist S. , who by the way is Dutch… has done it. The story the court got was,  that S.  was drunk ,when he told this to somebody else.
The husband of the lady who died was in court as well and he thinks lady E did it , as she behaved very weird after the accident and at the funeral. But no prove yet that she did it , only words. Will be continued as more investigations will follow! When it was not SO sad, it would be good/interesting entertainment!

Though I do not know the 40 year old pilot living around the corner here, I was very sad about the fatal accident he had last weekend and the funeral last Friday. Maurice happily drove his motor bike , but a drunken [ 4 times more then allowed!!!] 64 year old lady drove for a moment on the wrong site of the road , killing him. She might be accused of an attempt of murder, but the grieving widow and his family ,” do not buy anything for that. ” Bikies from all over Holland , visited the funeral.
Maurice was in the past a member of the 312 squadron and nowadays a KLM City Hopper pilot, flying the Fokker 50 since 2005. May he rest in peace!!!

By the way, the Dutch Antilles DO NOT EXIST ANYMORE  from today on ;10-10- 2010 at 6.00 !!!  Aruba , Curacao and St. Maarten have the status- aparte [independent] and St Eustastia, Saba and Bonaire belong to Holland as a special province . I lived for nearly 2 years on the isle of Curacao and it was happy/relaxed living over there. Hope it all works out well. In the past all 6 were part of our kingdom.

VERY pleased to see that the 33 miners in Chile are nearly free now!!! Sitting in a dark small hole since August 5 is not a nice way of spending your time, but luckily the rescuers found signs of life on August 22 and since then they worked hard to free them. Tomorrow might be their day , a day of breathing normal again ,but …..with dark glasses to protect their eyes!!!It will be an awesome day for the miners and their family and friends.


What’s up? Dalby – Australia!Luis Magelhaes- Brasil !

Alphen aan den Rijn     Wednesday  October 6 2010      ritzdeluy@hotmail.com

Last Sunday was one out of a lotterie  as it is not often 24 dgr. here in Holland in the beginning of October.
Great weather also in Tocumwal where a long weekend gave “magic” weather to the many guests at Sportaviation. Looking at the pictures with the great skies, everybody must have been happy. Good to see Dundee, Vasant, Nicole and Richard and Tim and Laurel, friends from the first hour.

Dalby has organized the Australian Nationals this year  and lot’s of well known pilots participate.  Good to see that not only John Buchanan is flying but also his son Brett who visited me here in Holland in the past and had no interest at all in soaring at that time!
The welcome function on Saturday was visited by  70 guests and 53 pilots have entered the Nationals. Multi-functional  Pam Kurstjens, former top UK pilot , still a great pilot now AND a participant of this 49th National competition , as well as the wife from Gerrit and also the president of the Darling Downs Soaring Club , welcomed the guests. Monday was the first official training day, with for each of the 4 classes an AAT, with tricky weather, yesterday the first flying-day.
Good to see that Francesco , from Corowa is flying as well, just driving up with his family another 1300 km. to Dalby, after his arrival on the 26th in Melbourne from Holland. Grietje and their  2 lovely kids are crewing for him; a nice family -event, which I know SO well from the past.

The first competition-day had an AAT for Standard class and 15 m  in 2.30  and 3 hours for 18m and open. The weather looked better then it was, according to the pilots.
In standard class the 1000 points were for  Dave Shorter who flew 288 km in 2.38 with a speed of 109 km/h.
In 15 m. best pilot was good old Miles flying 311 km. with a speed of 114 km .h. in his LS 8 and another good friend Terry was 3d in his “old “LS 3.
In 18 m. who else then another friend , David won the day in his ASG 29. He has lots of competition in pilots as Bruce, Lars and Graham all , except for Bruce ,flying in the last WGC in Szeged. David flew in 3 hours[ nearly at the dot 14 sec too much ], but great effort, 335 km with a speed of 111 km /h. Another good friend Tony was 6th. Well done ! Great to see as well that Bob is back in competition flying after a very nasty accident a couple of years ago. Amazing!!!!!! By the way Bruce flies the JS 1.
Open class winner was John in ASG 29 , Gerrit in his new toy , 2d and his wife Pam was  3d in her nimbus 4T. Speed was 103 km /h for the winner over 338 km.
It is really great to see so many of my friends competing there. I have been at several Aussie- Nationals in the past and we even had one at Sportavia in the past.
A bad day for Brad Edwards, former world champion in 1991 in  Uvalde; after 62 km. it was over and out for him,  while the rest made it home!!!
He received  ONLY 63 points while David as winner got 1000.
In Uvalde he was the most relaxed winner I have ever seen, playing his guitar in front of the motel whenever he had time. Great guy!!!! The other most relaxed winner, I have seen,  was Brian Spreckley in 1987 in Benalla, where we could find him every evening after flying in the bar, having great fun and not leaving as the first.

Day 2 today, standard and 15 m had a 338 km task and 18 m and open 319 km. Not all results yet , on the OLC they slowly come in, but look at www.soaringspot.com  when you are interested . Miles is in 15 m. ,still 1 after 2 days but only with 11 points on Peter Trotter. David is in 18 m also still number 1 , 68 points ahead of Lars , 88 on Graham and 100 on Bruce. In open class John remains 1 and Gerrit 2d with Pam on spot 5.
I heard the weather-expectation for Thursday is not too good but you never know, the weather is the weather.

The Nationals in Brasil for club class [handicapped] are on as well  at Luis Magelhaes and several top pilots are flying there, as Joao Widmer and Egon Rehn. Very nice to see Pepe from Spain over there, flying a Nimbus 3 D and being very impressed with flying in Brasil . His own glider is in the container to Australia where he flies at Corowa this winter/summer. Till today they had 3 competition-days .

The October- feste is over .Not more people[ 6.4 million], compared to the all-record-season of 1985 with 7.1 million , BUT, more then last year and a new record on the consumption of the beer; SEVEN million!!!!This party on the field in big tents started 200 years ago with the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig von Bayern and Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. I guess they would smile in their grave, knowing it still exists and how!!!

CU next time Ritz

Just some news!

Alphen aan den Rijn           Sunday October 3 2010                 ritzdeluy@hotmail.com

October started with a great sunny day,….. at-least in Holland and ….till the evening when the rain started again. Great stuff as the last day of September was “only “rain here, but not in Boberg where  “our Sportavia-kilometer -eater”, Jan  still flew a nice 296 km .cross-country-flight in the discus 2T 18m. In the past we had a lot of Boberg pilots and Klaus  who flew this day in his Ventus 2 CM 276 km was one of them as well.
 October 2 was already good for a 473 km. [396 FAI traingle] from Burketown in Australia!!!! The flight was in a PIK 20 E over mainly flatland in the State Queensland. By the way the Australian NATIONALS at Dalby  have practise days at the moment and will start this Tuesday. One of my friends Gerrit will fly his new Antares during the comps. At the moment the weather is a bit tricky!
Today we expect here in Holland, 23 dgr. so another glorious day. Not yesterday however when a Corendon Plane [Turkey] , a 737-400 with 167 passengers and 6 crew, got of the runway at Schiphol Airport and got stuck with one wheel in the mud.It seems a very wet runway and the rain might have caused the incident. Nobody was hurt and there was not really a delay for other planes.
Yesterday was NOT a good day for 2 Belgium light-aircrafts and their passengers and pilots . They both departed from Koksijde in the S. of Belgium flew over the border to France and collided there. One pilot and passenger got killed and the other 2 were injured. Very sad!!!!
Something else; 20 years without WALL in Germany!

The CIF [Claims Funding International] settled in Ireland has prepared a gigantic claim against KLM, Air France and Martin Air, as they noticed  illegal price-agreements [cartel -formation] and they claim the money for different businesses who have paid too much for their cargo shipments. They talk half a milliard!!!!! Not good! This all happened in Amsterdam last Thursday!

Last Wednesday was a lovely day here in Holland, not only for me and the grand-kids visiting under a blue sky full of sun a bird- parc, but also for some pilots who had time to fly. The day was not too long as cirrus formed around 3 and got stronger by the minute. No worries for us , looking at condor’s, sea-eagles and vultures , but more for the pilots still flying a nice 291 km.  to the East from Terlet into the Germany direction of Ahlen [out 140km and return ]  in a DG 500 22m.
Only 49 flights that day and Rieti topped the OLC list with a 503 km flight.
Best day for the OLC in September was on the 5th with 1278 flights and the “worst “day on September 27 with 23 flights world wide.

I was too early with the end -of -the- September -month. It was not Wednesday but Thursday, sorry about that. And as I said already September was a wet month and also 0.7 dgr. to cold looking at the average. We had 13.6 dgr. and  90 mm of rain while the average is  74 mm. BUT….we had 4 hours of sun more then the average;136 hours, according to the Dutch meteo KNMI.

One of the pilots flying in Namibia in Bitterwasser is Austrian pilot  Cristian Hynek, the founder of the Austrian site for news; www.streckenflug.at  It will be his first time and for all who have time to read blogs, here is his blog with the first experiences in Bitterwasser. It is in German ‘; www.streckenflug.at/blog   His glider an ASH 25 MI is in the container on its way to Africa.
And ……..when you always dreamed of a soaring safari in Africa, here is your chance. It will be from the mid of October till the mid of November and all the news is at ; www.gariepgliding.com 
It is so organised that you can start your half -year- holiday in Gariep and end after a month in either Bloemfontein, Bitterwasser, Kiripotib , Pokweni or back in Gariep Dam, whatever your destination to fly is. Interesting!

The 104th  FAI General Conference starts on October 5 in Dublin going till October 10. On their site you can see what  happens. The next one, number 105 ,  will be in Belgrade [Serbia] from October 11/16 -2011, just to let you know.

The crime passionel; The of murder of her rival [in love with the same guy] , accused lady E. and co-parachutist, said already 4 years ago  to the police, just after the “deed”, that most probably 4 people could have done it.
1. The girl who died could have committed suicide, but …she struggled and fought for her life while falling, so that’s not on.
2. The husband of the girl who died, as he could collect her life-insurance and might have hated his wife for having a relation. Not on  as he was shocked when he heard it and NEVER knew about the relation of his wife [mother of 2] and the parachutist till that sad moment.
3. The PARACHUTIST himself but he really loved the girl and tried very hard to help her.
4. Lady E, the girl in love with the parachutist, she could have tried to kill her rival. Lady E claims that is very possible BUT, she did not do it!
Will be continued and I find it sad but also fascinating to hear what has really happened.

At the Geelong [Australia] World comps cycling, “our” Dutch young lady Marianne Vos just missed out on winning but got her so maniest [ 4th] silver medal. A young Italian lady just beat her on the finish line. Tor Hushovd from Norway won the very exiting race for men in Geelong. I loved it, but did not see it life during the night.
Edward Gal , also from Holland, with his horse Totilas was the best in Kentucky [USA]at the World- Horseman-Games and won his 3d gold medal on 3 different disciplines!!!

CU next Wednesday