2011 season has really started !Cold!

Alphen aan den Rijn     Monday  November 29 2010    ritzdeluy@hotmail.com

A bit later then you are used too,but as I told you already , times are hectic at the moment. Anyhow the weekend was great and very relaxed. It is however bitter cold here , but the fore-casted snow seems to only arrive today or tomorrow. My poor friends in the UK are suffering from minus -17 dgr and loads of snow. Now my friends in Munich seem to have the same problem, so better see IF I can travel to Munich on Friday. Today they cancelled 125 flights at Munich.
My friends in Scandinavia have cold weather as well, but they are used to it  and will think, “what’s new”?!

With another 9 x1000 km.  and a really impressive one by Alexander Müller from Kiripotib , an FAI triangle, as he calls it himself BIG and FAT, Namibia has presented his business-card as well. The 18 m gliders still struggle , but the big ones just go for it. Lot’s of over 900 km tasks were flown as well. Bitterwasser straight away went up to spot 1 on the OLC list for airfields with Gariep following as well as Corowa. But this will change again.
AND…..then one day earlier Argentina is in the 1000 km-picture as well, as Klaus {Ohlman} was racing the ridges up and down “making” 1543 km.

Now at Monday morning even more 1000 km flights have been flown and I even can’t count them anymore, are there 25 till now!?
Alexander has flown 6 flights since he started in Kiripotib and 2 are 950 km-plus and 4 of them are 1000 plus kilometers and VERY nice great 1000 [1.225 km] FAI triangles. Very impressed again…and the speed was 135 km/h!!!!!! 
Top pilots from all over the world are flying “overseas”now and it is good to see names as Gerard Lherm , who I met most during the 8 jours d’Angers, Walter Binder, Wilfried Grosskinsky and earlier Reinhard Schramme and Tassilo Bode.

Still meeting friends as Facebook  and last I became friends with “The Perlan Project”. I am not their only friend as 1.244 have joined in before me. The Perlan project is and I quote now  a research project to study atmospheric conditions utilizing sailplanes designed to fly at extremely high altitudes. I had never heard of it shame on me , maybe you neither so that’s why I mention it.

In Lake Keepit , Australia, the State comps are on  with 50 pilots flying in 5 classes. They started on the 27th and the 28th was cancelled but the 29th was a flying day. Look for progress and scores from this competition at soaring.spot. The comps will finish on the 4th of December. I like the field of Lake Keepit, close to a beautiful lake and the accommodation over there is very pleasant.

Sad day yesterday for a  very experienced 44 year old Dutch parachutist. His parachute and his emergency- parachute did not open……He died at Teuge Airport.

As you know I travel on December 11 to Melbourne via  Hongkong  and today a plane will fly from Hongkong to Kazachstan ,  to pick up over 300 passengers , [several from Holland,] and 20 crew , after the cabin-pressure dropped yesterday  in the 747 flight CX  270, after 6 hours of flying from Amsterdam . As precaution they landed at the closest airfield. This way the trip is 34 hours…with excuses from Cathay!!!! Hope I will not have to go trough that as I fly Cathay as well. But…at-least everybody is sound and safe.

Tonight the first marathon on speed skates will be skated on natural ice and ….it still is autumn!! A very cold one and very white one. Also Scotland suffers a lot. Greetings from cold and grey , but still not white Alphen. Don’t know what will happen on Friday but I will be back on Thursday,
Cheers Ritz

November down under turns out to normal!11×1000 km in 2011-OLC till today!

Alphen aan den Rijn     Wednesday November 24        ritzdeluy@hotmail.com

The great-soaring-flow in NSW in Australia continued  and only happy pilots in the air, with distances up to over 700 km in both Corowa and Tocumwal.Later then normal, but it is still there that great spring -November-weather in NSW. Love it!!!
And what’s even better , more and more pilots fly real tasks , I mean set triangles, not “just going with the weather”!  Corowa stimulates that in setting tasks,  for whoever wants to fly them and last Sunday this was a Hay -Pyramid Hill ….a 600 km.   FAI  triangle . That area is pretty remote, certainly the way to Hay, a sort of desert with in 300 km. only ONE pub and of course I visited that one in the past for a cool beer. We travelled by car from Mildura via Hay to Tocumwal with 2 cars WITH radio , on my very first visit to Australia. I felt from one astonishment in the other, first fighting and swallowing grasshoppers and later this trip through the desert!!! But our friend Bruce Brockhoff was a great host and coach in this for Dutch people difficult area.
In the middle of November we usually had the Shoot- out in Tocumwal with free distance flying and pilots really flew long distances with the best weather. So very happy it is still there.

A bizar incident in Birmingham, in the UK , where a small plane crashed in heavy fog with aboard a donor liver. Luckily a police found the liver , brought it straight to hospital and the person waiting  for the liver had his operation and is doing well. The pilot and another person were badly injured.

The statistics of best airfield on the OLC  in 2011 are , as I announced already , changing quickly. Gariep Dam jumped to first place with 21 pilots flying 47.894 km in 84 flights while , now it gets busier in Corowa , this field jumped to place 4 with 22 pilots flying 31.000 km. over 74 flights. It will change more in the future! Till now 2011 showed us 11 x 1000 km. flights. [26th of November!]
1 in Austria and 1 in Switzerland, 5 in the USA and 3 in South Africa an 1 in Namibia.
Yesterday it was all Namibia in the top of the list. And….about time as he says himself, another 1000 km.  for Alexander Müller, flown  from Kiripotib, first for him from …how many?? We will find out in the end of the season.

This time the USA had a lucky escape with an airliner as Delta flight 30 [ Boeing 767] on its way from New York to Moscow had to return just after the start, after one of the 2 engines failed. Safe landing ,after flying around for an hour to first get rid of the kerosine .One of the passengers was movie star Leonardo DiCaprio, who mentioned that he he wanted to thank the pilots and cabin staff for the safe landing. It must have looked a bit scary on the ground , as 160 people from the fire brigade with their trucks were waiting . First reactions are that it might be a bird strike, but let’s wait and see/hear!

In between guests and writing and visiting and shopping and more, I prepare for Munich with a suitcase of warm clothes and on the spare guest bed, all the stuff for warm Australia and New Zealand are waiting to go. I heard Australia has in the low thirthies high twenthies, so that is good! Have no clue what NZ would be, but know that,  if we are getting snow , maybe already this weekend  here in Holland, I might have that too in Munich and or Salzburg. I am a bit worried about all the treaths Germany has received and hope it is all safe for everybody over there. Atleast there is a lot of green in every corner, meaning policemen everywhere!

I love flying with Cathay, but this morning I saw in the paper that one of the two Dutch  3-star -Michelin restaurants [so one of the 50 best WORLD WIDE, ]  is going to prepare the food on Intercontinental flights by KLM, between December now and Sptember 2011. But…only in the World Business Class…a pity! Would have been good!

When you are a fan of  speed skating you are going to miss this season, like I do , our hero Sven Kramer. First he was overtrained and now he has a muscle in his leg, not doing what he wants it to do. A pity!!

Well a busy weekend ahead for me , travelling to the East, so NO news on Sunday or maybe later in the day!
Cheers Ritz

1000 km x2 @ Gariep Dam ! A380 !KLM -Dutch pioneer -mentality !

Alphen aan den Rijn         Sunday December 21 2010                  ritzdeluy@hotmail.com

In Waikerie , the WGC host in 1974, pilots are flying the South Australian State Comps from last Wednesday till the 21st. There are 7 competitors in one class and the most well-known are Terry Cubley and Peter Temple! First day was an AAT in 3 hours, won by Peter in 3 hours and 6 minutes over 302 km. After 3 days Terry was leading Peter with 40 points. Today after 5 days of flying
 it is over and the winner is; my good friend Terry, who flew the WGC already in 1984 in Rieti , where I met him and his wife Vicky. She and I  just got friends again on Facebook.
Terry flew the 5th and last day with a speed of 131 km /ph in his “old “LS 3 over 415 km during an 3 hour AAT. Day 4 he received also 1000 points, some called that day a “cracker”!!! Good on you Terry!!!!
Peter was a good runner up.

Slowly the weather improves as well   in the south of Australia were both Corowa and Tocumwal were active. The 2d ASH 31 Mi flies now in Corowa as well , owned by Dutch pilot Jos who shipped his new toy to Australia, another maiden flight ….super and 684 km! Spiffy gliders!
Corowa had flights up to 753 km.[Ventus 2 CM] , Tocumwal up to 573 km.[ASH 26e] and Benalla 527 km in an LS 4. The WEST , down under , Gawler still has super weather ,  with a 600 km flight in a Standard Libelle, and a nice triangle!!! Graham, yes the one who left the WGC in Szeged, flew a nice 766 km flight [ 750 FAI triangle!!] from Gawler airfield, in his ASG 29, he is and remains a TOP PILOT. Speed ;130 km/h.
In Narromine Shinzo flew 759 km in the Nimbus 3. Good practise as the Narromine Cup starts TODAYtill the 27th.

Gariep Dam pilots were having great fun with several over 700 km- FAI -triangle- flights last Wednesday.
In this short time 14 pilots made 54 flights together good for 27.117.51 km. at Gariep. It is only a question of time and the first 1000 km will be flown at the popular overseas destinations. Bitterwasser was close with a 923 km flight on Thursday, in an ASH 25 EB 28.
BUT ….indeed a question of ONE day,  as 2 pilots,  one our Dutch Max flew their 1000 km in Gariep and nice 1000 km. triangles on Friday.
Over the weekend the pilots just were happy, as the only more or less minus point was that it is still a bit too cold in Namibia, but for sure that will change!
Nice to see Dirk in Kiripotib [770 km yesterday in ASH 26 e] and Karin in Gariep [775 in the duo discus]. Have fun!

More and more it is clear that without the very experienced pilots aboard the A380 from Quantas , a disaster  could have happened. Not only the engine exploded but parts of the engine have damaged vital parts of the plane as well , due to a hole in the fuselage and the plane was full of fuel after the start . A VERY lucky escape for the 440 passengers. Those pilots are heroes, but they will say “it is our job , we are trained to do so!!! Chapeau!
It seems Airbus is going to change 40 Rolls Royce engines not only in Australia, but also for Singapore airlines  and maybe in Germany. A construction fault in the engine is the reason. Air France and Emirates have no problems.

“No worries “, the CEO of  TransAsia Airways from Taiwan  must have thought , as they ordered 8 new planes with Airbus for an amount of 1 milliard euro. They will fly in the future with 2 wide body’s the A330-300 and 6 of  the type A 321. Since 1996 they fly Airbuses from the type A321 [x5] and A320[x2] for their domestic and regional network.

KLM-Air France had a great second financial part of the year. They turned a 147 million loss in the same period last year into a 290 million profit on a turnaround of 6.65 milliard Euro.
New is that KLM is going to give you a ” 45 minute-life- changing -experience “, as from 2014 onwards you can go in the Lynx into space for a commercial flight up to 100 km.. Price will be 70.000 E pp. The Lynx will be flown by ONE pilot and one passenger will be sitting with him/her. Next year will be the first test flight. KLM really believes in this project , which will start close to HATO airport at the Island of Curacao,…yes where I lived in the past.
They even want to build a space- park on the island for research and where you p.e can experience weightless situations.
KLM is not the only one who wants to go in space flights and the future looks like a space future. Virgin has done already some test flights and NASA supports Armadillo , who are doing 3 test- flights this year  from the rocket base in New Mexico not too far from the former WGC field at Hobbs and Blue Origin, do not know much about them.
Virgins Spaceship 2  can handle 2 pilots and 6 passengers. One ticket will be Euro 148.000 and it seems that already 380 people paid a deposit on it.
The CEO of KLM predicted this week that in about 15/20 years , my flight to Australia next month from about 24 hours , will ONLY take 2 or 3 hours!!!!!! WOW!!! Hope my grand children enjoy those facilities.

See you next Wednesday, Cheers Ritz

Preparations ! Problems !

Alphen aan den Rijn        Wednesday November 17 2010    ritzdeluy@hotmail.com

Slowly the water in Belgium and the south of Holland is getting lower. In Belgium the flooding  cost the  lives of 3 people. On Monday and Tuesday we even had  dry and sunny days with 7 dgr….but frost in the night. Only -1 dgr. but still!  Time to sort out winter clothes for Munich and Salzburg, as the weather forecast  is for much colder weather, real winter, here as well as in Germany, but in Germany they had last weekend 14 dgr in Munich I heard from Maria and on TV I saw at some places even 21 dgr. Amazing! The long forecast is for another cold winter and this time the trains and the municipalities are better prepared, then last year when we had not salt enough to keep the traffic going and trains nearly all stopped!!!!
Summer clothes are nearly ready for Australia and New Zealand. Still some time left.

VERY pleased to hear  that Grietje was the one who made the first flight in Australia at Corowa , with their beautyful  brand-new ASH 31 Mi, with her OWN call-sign 3W.  Also great to see that Pepe is back in Corowa, as well as good old Anders!! In the week I am allowed to spend in Tocumwal I go and visit Corowa as well.

On Monday morning I heard that Quantas had another problem with one of its planes. It had to return  to Sydney where  it just had departed , as smoke entered the cockpit of the 747-400. An electrical failure seems the be the reason the 220 passengers and crew were delayed.
6 Incidents with Quantas planes within 2 weeks, was the headline in Australian papers !! A bit of a worry ! But….at least they still keep it safe!!!!
More , but minor problems, as on Tuesday a KLM 737 landed at Schiphol , result 2 burst  tyres. Don’t know why, but best guess is a too hard landing??? Maybe??? The 737 reached the gate without problems and everybody was fine! No worries !!!
No flying traffic yesterday morning in Eindhoven, the South of Holland where fog delayed out -going planes and forced in-coming ones to leave for Belgium or Gemany.Here the sun was shining brightly, with nice bleu skies and some clouds.

Did you enjoy the last race from Formula 1 as much as I did? Loved it! A pity to see Ferrari bet on the wrong horse. Poor Alonso had no way to pass the Russian rookie in Formula 1, but the good man only did his job. Webber missed out mainly because he qualified as 5th and young Vettel….I just “cried” with him!!! Stunning performance for a 23 year old !!!
Those young German top junior pilots at JWGC’s have the same mentality, they believe in their selves and receive what ever is best for them  from the team around them .
Guess, that Vettel, like some of the JWGC winners behaved in the same way as  after winning their title of WORLD CHAMPION ; just out of  his mind from happiness, [so he should!] drunk till he fell over ,  finger in the mouth…..throw up and start again. I have seen it all !!! A huge release  after a deserved win!

Just checking if the links work now;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEosFxnBaDw  ) this is for the second Aosta video, the winning one from 2010!
Now for the spectecular video over New Zealand;
Thanks Peter for the advises!!!!!
The music with the NZ video,” For ever young ” might be symbolic. Do you remember that I wrote my very last Sportavia – blog in 2006 in my caravan , while “for ever young” was on my radio ??? I mentioned that in the blog. Now a new soaring centre is on the verge of beginning and , for ever young shows up again……!!!!

Nice news that Kate and Prince William are going to marry in 2011 after 8 years of dating. Last October they both spend a while in Kenya and there they got engaged!  It will be a huge happening, looking forward to that. I am a fan of Royal weddings,  a real romanticus, …sorry guy’s.

Till Sunday later in the day! Have guests for the weekend.
Cheers Ritz

“The land of the Long White Cloud ! New Zealand , here I come!Australia..see you for ONE week!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Sunday November 14 2010     ritzdeluy@hotmail.com

SORRY it seems the links in this blog and may even in earlier blogs are not working correct in every country. They give an error. I am trying to find out how to solve this. Thanks for the message I received about this problem for Holland!

The land of the Long White Cloud……New Zealand ……here I come !!!!!
Yes it is all booked and finally I can , on an invitation- business- trip, see with my own eyes the beauty of New Zealand.
Prior to this visit I am allowed to visit for one week my beloved Tocumwal from December 13 till 19 in the morning. Can even celebrate my birthday there with all my Aussie friends !!!!
Get rid of the jetlag to be ready for  brainstorm- sessions to see how we can create a new gliding resort in the spirit of Sportavia, this time in New Zealand.

Then it is off to NZ,on the 19th; really looking forward to that and of course the main reason for this trip. I heard  from so many, that it is like magic over there in NZ !!!!
Of course I invite you all to come virtual with me and  …I will share with you all preparations before.
So the month December will be busy. From December 3 till 8 , I will be in Munich and Salzburg with my [soaring-] friends Maria and Dieter.
On December 11 it is off to Melbourne, with Cathay, still hope to have once as captain-up-front ,  one of our former Cathay-soaring -friends , who learned how to fly a glider in Tocumwal with us. And they were quick to do so  ,I can assure you!!

 On December 19 it is off to NZ  to look , smell, inhale and enjoy to the fullest, this great country and the property with runway and hangars from one of my friends Tony . It would be absolutely fabulous  to create a new soaring centre with the spirit of Sportavia , now at Springhill.  ” A  center of excellence for the glider pilots of the world  which should also be a great addition to the economy in the area. ”
As Tony says;

—New Zealand thrives on Tourism, if we create an Aviation Retreat base at Springhill, it becomes a perfect starting point to explore this wonderful country and have many aviation experiences along the way.—

Christmas time….I have the pleasure to spend with Chris and John Roake, yes my “boss ” from Gliding International, who will bring me after those special days on the 27th to Auckland airport for my flight back to Amsterdam. The beginning of 2011 will be with my family here in Holland.
As said you can follow me as I continue writing this blog.
Here is a link [2.23 minutes] to enjoy New Zealand already NOW!!!! Fascinating!!!!!


All test flights with the 787 DREAMLINER are on hold!!! They stopped them , as they want to do more research about what went wrong this time again, with the smoke/fire  in the cockpit/cabin.

The storm depression reached us on Thursday at noon , stayed over for the night to Friday and the North had up to gusts from 115 km /h. I moved garden chairs and table against the wall of my house to avoid problems. At 11 AM nothing was happening and then it slowly started and wind and at some times heavy rain , from the SW , really hit. But it was not as worse as it has been in the past. Though 2 people , [one was the captain] , on a tug boat , towing the Stena Line Ferry from London into the harbour, drowned as the boat capsized. Sad!!! The storm was mainly at the coast-line.
Only 150 messages of damage, so …no worries!
Now however the damage bill will be bigger due to flooding after heavy rain, specially in the S of Holland. France, Germany and Belgium suffer at places, as we do !! In Belgium at the border with France , 2 people drowned, The Ruhr area in Germany is in trouble and the army helps out in The Ardene’s to evacuate people and to bring sand bags to hold the water. 
In many , many houses people walk around with wet feet.

Great to see that Björn from Norway is back in Tocumwal. Unfortunately the weather with some troughs in the area is not super , but it will improve , I know !! When I was in Sweden during the WGC in Eskilstuna I met Björn and his wife  again . They came to visit me and to show me their glorious looking vintage Morgan, my favourite car. Pictures then made , turned out great.

In Argentina they were flying a regional competition  and the weather -gods were in the beginning pretty good for them  with a nice FAI triangle last Tuesday of 600 km., flying a total of  636 km in an ASW 20. On Wednesday they had a nearly 400 km -day at America Buenos and on Thursday the best flight over there was 449 in a Nimbus 3DM, as only open class flew that day  from the 3 classes.
The competition was till yesterday. In standard class Lucas Goldenzweig was 3d after 2 days!
So weather-wise the end of the comps was not so good , with only a total of 2/3 days. It seems it is wet everywhere in the world!!!!!

 My friends Uwe and Hans and our Dutch pilot Max are getting in the rhythm for the longer flights soon in Gariep Dam  and few over 500 km .on Wednesday and nearly 800 and over 800 km on Thursday. It is starting ..this  good weather in S. A .Also Namibia had at the 3 fields some nice soaring to start with; the best around 700 km. Nice to see Tassilo has arrived for ” some fire-work-flights”  in Bitterwasser, starting with a good first day to get in the Bitterwasser-mood.
And also nice to see that German pilot Otto Toenges , who  I have not seen for maybe 30 years flies from Worcester in SA, where another well known SA pilot Sven, flew yesterday a nice 542 km in the ASW 27. As said before it ‘s all happening, atleast the beginning is there!!!!
And…Sunday might be the first soaring day for the gliders which have arrived  by container in Corowa.
 In the West of Australia they still enjoy the best weather .Last Friday another 824 km in a Ventus 17.6 m. That day the Hornet pilot John , flew a great FAI  500 km triangle and I loved his comment; “I am knackered”! while he had good post frontal conditions and great CU’s and streeting, as he mentioned as well. Must have been the chair in the glider.
And…what about the flight from the SZD 55 also in the WEST of Australia yesterday ; a great 687 triangle!! Well done!!
Good to see on the OLC that Omarama is pretty busy as well. Might be able to visit this former site of the WGC this time. Did not go there during that WGC  as TC , as I had no experience with mountains neither most of my pilots had at that time.

 For sure you know that in Seoul the  G20 of powerful countries was held  with , unfortunately, not too many flashing results. French President Sarkozy, tried out his new toy to fly to Seoul. He has a second hand A330 from 1998 and built that into a little flying paradise. With a double bed and shower/toilet, a private office, meeting room for 12, communication room and 60 chairs for staff, journalists and ministers. It even has anti -rocket- weapons!!!
I guess Air Sarko One will be used often, though it is rather expensive to fly with 20.000 Euro an hour!

On Friday morning was announced that Roll’s Royce  indeed has found a mistake in the design of their engine.The mistake is found in one of the parts of the Trent 900 engines. They expect that there will be delay in delivering the next Airbus 380.

Last time I wrote about the Blanik. For who is more interested in the construction here are 2 extra links to show you quickly what’s happening.Thanks Peter!

“mandatory bulletin L13/109a.  The bulletin prohibited aerobatics, required an inspection,”

“On 14 September 2010, FAA wrote a letter (original version, updated version) to SSA ”

Carnaval, for whoever loves that way of spending time, has started at time 11.11 on 11-11,  but next year surely will be special , as it will start at time 11.11 on 11-11-11. What do you want more.

Better stop now , see you on Wednesday, Sorry about the bleu in the middle, just copied and pasted one sentence and …..!
 Looking forward to the last race of the Formula 1 circus. Hope Vettel wins as he is a nice “wild very talented young dog” , but I would be happy with Webber as well  , as this might his only chance to win a Formula 1 title. Like Alonso too, great driver , so may the best win today. Ritz

Airbus ! Blanik L 13! Award winning Dutch video!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Wednesday October 10 2010   ritzdeluy@hotmail.com

“Silence before the storm “! That’s what ‘s happening here. A Dutch meteo forecaster  called “weer plaza ” , has announced the first real autumn storm with wind up to 9 bft and gusting to 10 bft. for Thursday and Friday, specially for the North and NW  of Holland. The KNMI the DutchNational  meteo-forecaster only advises from 48 hours onwards, but they say that it will be stormy and keep a good eye on things.
9 bft. happens here  3 or 4 times a year , 10 even less. Warnings have been issued!  Due to lot’s of rain over the last weeks , trees might be in weak ground and could fall over, so do not parc your car under a tree. Let’s wait and see!!!

Quantas has announced last Monday,  that they have found oil leaks in the Rolls Royce engines from the A 380. More investigation is necessary to find out why, and till further notice all their flights with the biggest airplane in the world are suspended with at-least 72 hours. They found the oil leaks in 3 engines on 3 different aircraft. All engines  from type Trent 900 Rolls Royce are new and will be replaced!!! Luckily Quantas had 3 spare ones!
Quantas had to put on additional flights as 30 passengers had stranded in London and 500 in Los Angeles.
They co-operate with Airbus and Rolls-Royce to solve the problems as quick as possible.
Singapore Airlines has the A 380 as well, but they have different engines, so they normally fly. ……till today , as this morning I heard that they have grounded 3 of their Airbus 380 planes as well after inspection of all 11 planes . They replace the engines of those 3.

Several airlines [11 in total] received huge bills for not sticking to the freight cartel-rules. KLM-Air France and Martin Air belong to them. Also Quantas got an 8.8 million bill. Not good as Quantas was hoping to REALLY celebrate their 90thiest birthday in a better way then loosing money to a fine or having problems with their new A 380 engines !!!
Several friends are flying for Quantas so still HAPPY 90thiest anniversary.
When you are interested what they write about it in Australia here is a link I received from Vanessa;


After the accident in Austria last June with a Blanik, all Blaniks are grounded. As Bill Riley [founder of Sportavia,] in 1979 imported the Blanik from Czech Rep. to Australia, quite a few were sold all over Australia. We had several in the past , real “work horses” they were/are and easy to fly, but when the wing can separate from the fuselage something is terribly wrong. Peter, one of my Dutch friends found out a very interesting link with information about the grounding of the Blanik L 13 and I share it with you. With the EASA [European Aviation Safety Agency]  all European countries have to stick to their rules, but here you can also read what happens to the Blanik world wide.


Last Sunday a few of my friends started their overseas season  with good flights to start with. Activity enough at Gariep Dam, Kiripotib, Pokweni and Bitterwasser . A day on which you find [NA] Namibia and South Africa [SA] frequently back in the top of the OLC list.
757 km was the best that day , but to be honest/realistic,  the longest flights were flown in top- open -class -gliders, nothing wrong with that but I do not have to tell you that they just have a better performance. Yesterday 806 km was the best result.
On November 8 I was impressed with the ridge flight , starting at Mifflin County from a pilot in a Discus 2; 1.126 km., with a speed of 123 km/h. Same day on the other site of those mountains from the Ridge Soaring -field well known USA pilot Tom Knauff flew in a duo discus  a flight of 757 km with a speed of 142 km/h. Hope the passenger had a good stomach! They had blue conditions , thermals only up to 4000 ft.  due to inversion, but great wind and super ridge- conditions!

No good news for Boeing as well. One of the Dreamliners they are testing got smoke in the cockpit. Only technici were on board and the plane landed without problems, but…you can’t sell a plane which produces smoke to the passengers in the cabin or chase the pilots out of their cockpit. A new problem for the Dreamliner which might postpone flying again. The Dreamliner Boeing 787 was supposed to fly 3 years ago already but all different problems occured.

As promised the link to the award winning video ! Enjoy, worthwhile looking !!!Thanks Kees!!! Here is first the link to the AWARD winning video from last year 2009;


and here is the link to find the winning video from 2010 on YOU TUBE flown in the ASH25 over Aosta! As said ENJOY!!!!


Last Sunday I gave you an address to reach Uli as the new Jaxida owner. Last but not least, here are 2 more used ones I received from him when you want to know more about the covers.
www.Jaxida-Cover.deund Uli.Schwenk@Jaxida-Cover.de.

 Cu next Sunday, cheers Ritz




NZD! A 380! Poch!Dreamliner! Hot news…Bryan Hayhow represents Schempp Hirth and Jaxida in Australia!

Alphen aan den Rijn     Sunday November 7 2010      ritzdeluy@hotmail.com

Yesterday  “we”  had the NZD, the Dutch Soaring Day.  Between 300 and 400 guests in all different ages visited. I was very pleased to see so many young ones!!! At 7.40 in the morning I was picked up by Maarten who , as I found out , lives close to me. He organised that I could drive with 6 very kind glider pilots from the Zuid Hollandse Aeroclub  [former airbase Valkenburg- www.zhvc.nl] to the south of Holland. After a pleasant drive , with 7 in one car, [some kind of space -wagon from Peugeot with indeed 7 roomy seats!]   we arrived at the airbase of ,  where F16’s are still very active,  as in Leeuwarden the Northern part of Holland.
In the car also friend and former Sportavia guest Kees, who travels to Australia this year again [Corowa]. So memories started straight away.
A huge white tent showed the static show of brand-new gliders, engines , instruments and what we/ gliderpilots need more to be happy.
Lectures about how we keep our young pilots not for 1 year , not for 5 but for “EVER”, also about meteo, stress -management [ relationship between stress and performance]  and aerobatic flying.  I particular liked the lecture about good airmenship,  from F16 pilot and instructor and former demo-pilot; Ralph “sheik” Aarts . He is such an enthusiastic young man he “gets” you while talking to you. On top of that,  this was in a special shelter with a small entrance -door from about  50 cm thick, the only shelter  where pictures were allowed to be made!Mysterious ? It is and stays an active military base and it was great from  Colonel  van der Mast , the commandant of the airbase Volkel,  to allow us to visit a small and secured part of it!!!
People interested in history looked in the museum at the history of planes and the airbase Volkel. One room had a glider-simulator, one showed video’s selected for the contest  [Kees and his mate won the first prize with a video about flying at one of the the wave mecca’s in Italy, Aosta and the link for this winning video will be here next Wednesday]
The Dutch webmaster, Ben Hiemstra  involved with the Dutch part of the OLC and the site Zweefportaal, received the gold medal from the KNVvL , for the valuable work he is doing for all of us.
More, …. as I met Uli [Schwenk] again after many ,many years. Nice talking to him. He is in textile as most of you know but  now also in “pyama’s”, I mean those for gliders , he took over JAXIDA and that is high quality; hail or UV will not get through !!! He even showed me men’s underwear [sloggi] in which it is easier to relieve the bladder while flying long distance.
The fly is horizontal and just under the elastic band. [www.uli-schwenk.de ]
Great part of course is to meet so many friends, for me friends from 1967 onwards!!!! Kisses, hug’s , memories , ONE BIG  party of recognition.
 One of “my” juniors , Jelmer, works for DG now and DG Flugzeugbau showed a brand-new DG 2-seater,which  looked ‘huge” but gracious and fabulous [ not the DG 101 M Jelmer flew during Euroglide an, even newer/later one! www.dg-flugzeugbau.de ]  and the businesses for selling glider-equipment had lots of visitors.
A great thank you  for the organizers even taking care of a good lunch and a very tasty dinner.
Just received fresh from the press the next news from Australia and I quickly add it, after I wrote about Uli.

Schempp-Hirth announce change of representative in Australia

Schempp-Hirth Flugzeugbau wish to announce that, after a fifteen year association with Chris Kiehn, that they will be changing their representative in Australia. Chris provided a very sound technical background to his role, spending some five years working as a direct employee of Schempp-Hirth in Kirchhiem unter Teck. He continued that relationship for a further ten years, after emigrating from Germany, working as their agent in Australia. Schempp-Hirth would like to offer their thanks to Chris, for his long service to the company, and wish him well with his increasing family & work commitments.Schempp-Hirth’s new representative in Australia will be Bryan Hayhow of High Speed Flight. Bryan comes from a hang gliding background, having run his own manufacturing operation that exported to some fifteen countries, before he began gliding ten years ago. He has a long association with those Schempp-Hirth competition pilots who also began flying in hang gliders, Tomas Suchanek, Peter Harvey, Patrick Driessen and also Ross Gaddes of Sailplane Services Ltd, who is Schempp-Hirth’s New Zealand representative. He will bring a great deal of sports aviation marketing experience to his role and is looking forward to getting to know Schempp-Hirth’s customer base in Australia. All new aircraft sales enquiries and spare parts orders should now be directed to:High Speed Flight Bryan Hayhow      Mob: 0414 672 709PO Box 293 Thirroul NSW 2515

gliders@highspeedflight.com.au             www.highspeedflight.com.au

It is a very busy time at Schempp-Hirth right now, particularly with strong ordering for the 20m two seat Arcus,  both the pure glider, the motorised self launcher and a great deal of interest in the recently test flown electric self launching version. The yet to be finalised, Quintus 23m Open Class concept, is also generating significant interest and the option book for this glider is growing steadily. We are looking forward to shipping the first Arcus to Australia shortly and feel that the Quintus, with it’s very high wing loading capability, will be very well suited to the Australian racing conditions. 

Jaxida Covers appoint High Speed Flight their Australian Agent
Having recently purchased the long established all weather cover business and transferring its operations to Germany, Uli and Daniela Schwenk have been looking to increase their international representation. They are pleased to announce the Australian Schempp-Hirth agent, High Speed Flight, will also be representing their covers to the gliding fraternity. With an established family textile marketing business and Uli being an internationally recognised competition pilot, who was also the Jaxida German agent for many years, Daniela and Uli bring a great deal of experience to the all weather cover business. They can custom build covers for almost any glider and are now marketing them into the general aviation industry as well. These are covers of the highest quality, that both protect your glider from UV & rain, while also allowing a good airflow around the aircraft.All enquiries for custom made covers should now be directed to High Speed Flight (see contact details on this page).

the new email & website are not up yet but will be soon…

With 14.5 dgr. in the night of Thursday to Friday, we had the warmest ever night in November. On Friday I saw people on the train station without a coat!!!! A bit unfortunate for 8 train passengers was that the train I normally go with to Leiden/Amsterdam , had a collision. 3 People had to go to hospital, 5 had minor,  most neck injuries. I was stuck for nearly an hour, as  due to police investigation no train traffic was possible for 2 hours on  the station,  but luckily I was NOT in that train.
By the way , today the temperature dropped to 6 dgr. it is grey and wet.

A bit of a scaring experience for the 433 passengers and 26 crew from the Quantas Airbus 380, when , as it looks, an engine exploded and forced the pilots to fly back to Singapore, where they just had departed 6 minutes earlier, heading to Sydney. The emergency landing , after dumping the fuel first, went without problems , the fire brigade rushed out but passengers could normally leave the plane, most probably with a bit of a higher blood pressure. Parts of the engine were found on a island and police has asked the farmers to bring each piece they found to the police, to have the best investigation of what happened .
The original departure was from London and on the  Indonesian and Australian news was for a moment the message that the plane had crashed. Luckily this was wrong information!!!It did have an engine failure and it is possible to fly with 3 engines , but the captain wisely decided to turn around to check the engines. Till further notice and after deep investigation, all Quantas A 380’s , 4 in total and only 3 years old, will stay on the ground. A huge decision! Safety first!!!!
And …the next day Quantas got into trouble again as a Boeing 747 had an engine failure and also that full plane had to return to Singapore where it just departed.
From Australia I received the next link, so I share it with you.
Here is the ABC link      http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/11/04/3057244.htm

and this is The Australian link;

 Julio Poch’s future looks brighter again as NO proof was found  in his diaries or log- books of him flying the deadly flights accused him from. It seems he only flew fighters!!!  The fact that some colleagues spoke bad about his behaviour in the junta-time and the fact that he flew for the navy, is not a proof , certainly not , now they found out he did not fly transport-or passenger planes for the navy.Next week some Dutch pilots will be involved in a video conference to declare , this time, more unburdening facts. Flying a 600 FAI triangle in a Hornet???   Yes they did it in Western Australia  [from Beverley] were temperatures are in the 30thies as I heard and great cross country flying is a result. Flying a Ventus that day [last Wednesday] resulted in 754 km.[ an out and return more or less] .
Very pleased to see that Kenshi flew a 168 km flight from Itakura in Japan in a DG 400 and great that Itakura is busy enough!!! Nice club!!!
Mikoluvice [CZ] pilots still find great wave up to over 6000 m.
After , as I heard from friends living in NZ , a very cold winter and a pretty wet spring  , pilots in Omara could make  great flights with good thermal conditions. A Discus flew 463 km.
Australian kilometer-eater Terry Bellair started his season , from his home-field Raywood, with a 475 km flight in his DG 400/17m.  and in Gariep Dam the first flights have been flown now as well. Also Bitterwasser and Kiripotib are active. Great cloud-skies for Benalla, Corowa and Benalla, where the first guests are enjoying nice flights too.
The Boeing 787 , DREAMLINER, arrived for a short visit at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, from Paris , urging hundreds of “spotters”  with  video camera’s and camera’s to the fence around the field on Friday evening. The dream liner visits some capitals  to test how this huge plane fits and what could be changed. Also potential customers and other guests were allowed to see the plane. Some of my Japanese friends , flying for All Nippon Airways will look forward to the first flight with this plane as they ordered the first Dreamliner which can fly about 16.000 km without a stop!!!!  Yesterday the plane left again. The one but last race in Formula 1.  “Poor “Jens Button, current  World champion, was stopped by armed criminals in his armoured car with driver in Brasil after he left the circuit  !!! Luckily they escaped by leaving as quick as possible the traffic jam  they were waiting in !!!
Hope it does n’t have any influence on his driving today, as he can still be world champion this year. A lot depends on today!!!
CU on Wednesday!! Ritz

150 thiest Melbourne Cup!R2 !

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

It is getting warmer and wetter in Holland  is what people from weather online have analyzed! It rains more in the winter, more local downpours in August and over the last 10 years the temperature raised with 0.42 dgr. That does not sound too much but Holland ‘s temperature rises TWICE as much as the rest of the world. They also claim that this might be the result of less pollution , so that the sun is stronger. Also the position from Holland is a factor in this.

And yes … the season/flights from Bitterwasser and Kiripotib  started as well on November 1 and on the OLC. The season now has really started, still waiting for the BIG days but they will come in a few days/weeks. Bernd Dolba , one of the organizers at Kiripotib flew a nice FAI triangle of 600 km with a speed of 143 km./h.in the ASH 25EB28.  As he says; Not as bad beginning of the season. Also Bitterwasser started nicely with an over 600 km flight in a Nimbus 4DM.

Favourite horse “so you think”  from Australian top trainer Bart Cummings was the horse tipped to win, but…it turned out different, making the bookmakers dancing in the rain, at this 150 thiest edition of the Melbourne Cup at Flemington.
Till about 200 m before the finish-line, indeed the horse was on steam , but then in the rainy , blowy and very wet conditions , a US- bread horse  called Americain, with Australian owners but  French trained and…with a French jockey, passed by and won with margin!!!!
Australia looked, came as always at 3 to a stand-still and after horses….., bubbles , great dresses and heads were the most important ingredients!! A tiny little bit of disappointment in Australia as well , as it was an import -horse winning this special CUP, but….at-least the owner is an Aussie.

How it is possible to steal a plane from one of the busiest airports in the world , La Mesa in Honduras  , I don’t know , but it happened as 5 men entered the military base , overcame 3 men from security  and took the plane out of the hangar to fly away with it!!!
It seems the plane was confiscated and used in the past to transport drugs. I guess this is just Honduras!

This time it is Indonesia who recommends to NOT fly over their country, more specific due to ash from one of the volcano’s over there. It is better to avoid it for the time being as yesterday volcano Merapi “exploded”again and the Mid-Java area should be avoided. A few international flights , so I heard on the radio yesterday, have been already cancelled!
Though people who know about hurricanes, predicted that Tomas would pass by far away from the former Dutch Antillean’s and would not do any harm there, unfortunately they were wrong. The hurricane turned into  a tropical storm with loads of rain, causing high water and flooding. It even cost , in the night from Monday on Tuesday, the lives of 2 people , one rescue-helper , who helped out in the hospital , but…a wall fell on him and an elderly lady in a car . Due to the tough wind  some places are without  electricity .
Also Bonaire and Aruba were hit by the violent weather.
As you know , I lived, for nearly 2 years, at the beautiful island of Curacao and though I have had once hurricane- force 4 , which scared the hell out of me, it was normally 33 dgr. and  dry but always with a breeze/ wind, just great holiday weather. In the hurricane -period our  TV was always tuned in,on the hurricane-station to be prepared !
By the way Tomas will “grow in strength”again and is on his way to Haiti now. What can we do???? Nothing!

Ever heard of R2??  I did not , till this morning when I read that R2 is the nice good looking robot with an upper-body only, who does the “dirty” stuff in the space shuttle, astronauts do not want to  or cannot do! Today is the one but last flight with the space shuttle Discovery and R2 is allowed to come. His first flight! R 2 is a product of NASA and GM and has already a twitter-account!!!!!!His future however is pretty sad , because, as all the work in the space station is finished in 2020 poor R2 will disappear in the Ocean as “boss” of  the abandoned space shuttle.

Going to Volkel this weekend, means visiting a military base and today I heard that we do not have a lot of F 16’s anymore. First we sold 18 to Chile , WITH all spare-parts belonging to them and now we only have 87 and from those 87 only 25 are flyable. There is no money for parts , so reparations are impossible for those planes.  A shame! And we still have to cut back 200 million on defense. What will happen to the pilots and the engineers?
 I am just enjoying to read the book about the fighter pilots in the past during the “cold ”  war. Never knew that so many had to use their ejector seat while practising!!! An expensive'” hobby”! Have to talk with “Eagle ” this weekend about all of this.

Cu on Sunday, with the latest news about the soaring congress in Volkel. It will be  later during the day.Cheers Ritz