Namibia is HOT! Spectacular soaring/hanging/running the Dutch dunes! Interesting links!

Alphen aan den Rijn   Wednesday November 30 2011 

Courtesy; Lars Boom

Last day of November  and it was another “weird ” month here in Holland; the dryest EVER! Tomorrow our metereological winter starts with temperatures around 9 dgr. +, so not too bad.  Down under the metereological summer starts and what I hear from friends,  ” we are coming into summer now 30 dgr.” [Tocumwal] and from Perth “summer has finally hit – mid 30s and a big, hot, gusty easterly wind. Big fires down south near Margaret River, about 20 houses gone, and 6 water bombers in action. The link is here

What a great weekend the pilots had in Namibia! Saturday was already good and Sunday even better. Another 12x 1000 km. and only one 20 m. glider made it and…again as best; Reinhard Schramme in the ARCUS!!!! This time; 1.153 km with a speed of 135 km/h. The French pilots showed up in Bitterwasser as well and Didier Hebrard flew the 1.150 km with a speed of 148 km/h. in a Nimbus 4DM.
A great weather- cycle there in Namibia. On Monday more super flights and…Reinhard was the best again ; 1.181 km with a speed of 134 km./h.
Good old Walter Binder flying from Pokweni flew his EB 28 over 1.154 km with 150km on the clock!!! And…one day later  1.109 km with 152 km/h.
AND Bert de Wijs from Holland is the first 18 m glider -pilot -for -this-season who flew 1.014 km. Good on him!!!  And…2 in a row!
Another 13 x1000 km. in Namibia; Bitterwasser 7, Pokweni 4 and Kiripotib with 3.
A lot of happy chappies, though I am pleased to see that more and more women are flying big distances overseas now as well. Good on them!
Yesterday  still GREAT circumstances in Namibia and AGAIN Reinhard was the best in the ARCUS; 1.152 km [133km./h]  4 Days in a row over 1000 km. Guess the Arcus “sits” well!!!!  Bitterwasser had another 6x 1000 km and Kiripotib and Pokweni each 1more.

The pilots in Temora flying the NSW State comps have fun as well. Bruce Taylor in the JS 1 won the first 2 days in 18 m/open class and  Mac Ichikawa is flying well in std./15m class. After 2 days he is 1 overall. A 3 hour AAT for all classes on this day 2; best flown distance by Bruce 373 km in 2 hours 59 minutes and 46 sec. THAT IS SPOT ON!!!!!
Day 3 and 4 were cancelled. ” Absolutely bucketing down. And windy! With a great lightning show. Wow” from Anita Taylor at Temora. And “Absolutely poured down this morning, so Another day called off. Long sessions in the coffee shop! Weather looks good for the next three days though, so fingers crossed for a reasonable comp from here on. BT.”‘

“Ridge”  flying in Holland ??????” Maybe better called dune-running! In one of the lowest countries in the world,” as Jelmer said!And one of the flattest!
Impossible??? …..No, nothing is impossible….we do have dunes, you know!!!!
Here is the proof. Courtesy to the Kennemer Soaring Club


 One of the pilots is Jelmer, who was in “my ” team in 2005 at the JWGC in Husbos. He then studied aerodynamic design in Delft, now he works for DG in Germany. The pictures are made on November 27 . Jelmer flew the'” spify”  DG1001TE [lectro] .WOW !!! About 5 gliders used the opportunity.
What do you need to hang over the sea and dunes?
A good Westerlywind  and that was there,  as the roof from the big bird cage from my neighbours went …with that wind on that day. And dunes to “catch” that wind and create lift to fly up and down. Great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Courtesy ;  Jelmer Wassenaar and Lars Boom.

 Look for more pictures on the next link,  with a BIG THANK YOU  to the webmaster of Zweefportaal, Ben Hiemstra at 
And….a huge THANK YOU to Jelmer for sending me straight away after my request the link to his video. A must see !

And more “Slope soaring”! From a friend in Italy , Marco ,  I received the next link; with the message; Pilot: Luca De Marchi – From Futa Pass to Campo Imperatore (Gran Sasso) and back. Glider: Ventus 2ax
By all means … Have a look !

And to finish a funny link. Nothing to do with gliding but it “soars”. Enjoy and thanks Peter.
cheers Ritz …… see I feel much better!

Chapelco ! and….Pokweni and Bitterwasser have 1000km. flights now as well!

Alphen aan den Rijn   Sunday November 27 2011

courtesy ; Bruce Cooper flying over the Andes last season.

Due to my flu and ischias, [sciatica] I was not able to visit one of the highlights in Holland in soaring; the Dutch National Soaring Day. That’s where you meet all your “mates”.
A pity as it looks it was more then well organised, with a market with the latest on gliding as in gliders and instruments and of course “toys for the boys”! Great speakers as Reiner Rose from the OLC and Glenn Fisher from the Perlan Project, as well as double World Champion Baer Selen with a workshop about training for solo pilots and young topper Frank Hiemstra with a workshop about glider tracking! Workshops also about medical issues, vintage gliders and the service center for gliders here at Terlet.
A REAL pity…. a missed change, but…such is life!
See if I can add a link to the winning movie and to the tracking system ….. Sorry NOT working but when you are interested  go to  you might be able to see both by clicking on the items.

In Argentina  the weather continues to be good for racing the ridges of the Andes and if you like that way of soaring you certainly enjoy looking at the good flights and stamina from the pilots from Germany and Czech Rep. flying long distances. And…in 15 m. conversion.1.295 with a speed of 162 km/h.  for Danes Crula is pretty good! From the 7 flights flown in this beginning of the season,  4 were over 1000 km.

Max Leenders our Dutch topper in Bitterwasser flying his Nimbus 4DM,  is not racing ridges, but flies out and returns and FAI triangles to set records!
I gave you already one here is the other;” Declared 900km FAI. Finished at 133km/h. New Dutch national record??. Excellent weather, mostly 1/8 CU. Blue sky on the third leg.” Well done Max!!!
I noticed that ” Trimmel Hermann” ,  as he was called during the WGC in Wiener Neustadt, where he was the very good meteo-forecaster , has arrived in Bitterwasser as well.
It is only waiting for the day Bitterwasser has a lot of 1000 km. flights, the pilots are there, good gliders as well, so now pilots ” only ” need the weather.
I had not written this down or the 1000 km flights are there ;3 in Bitterwasser, 3 more in Pokweni and 1 more for Gariep Dam.
Great effort from Reinhard Schramme in the 20 m. ARCUS;1.101 km with a speed of 129 km./h.  Other 1000 km. flights were all in open class gliders again. The 18 m. class gliders just did not make it!But Hans Wiesenthal was in Gariep,  close with his DG 808B/18m. ;978 km with a speed of 122km./h. Good on him! It is ALL happening now overseas!

In Temora a great little town, weatherwise even maybe better then Tocumwal and Corowa as it is more up N., more up to “nothing” , the NSW State Comps have started with a practice day and should be in full swing now with 45 participants in 5 classes! ” After rain there will be sunshine”,and I heard that’s happening ” it looks as if the rain may have stopped. 90mm at harvest time is not good for the farmers.”
Pilots as Bruce Taylor, Gerrit and Pam Kurstjens, Paul Mander and so many more are competing. Look for results at  and for more news to their great-looking site. On that picture you can clearly see the “”nothing” !

More news from Jo,  this time something to REALLY learn from. Keep your mind set,while rigging your glider!!! Don’t get disturbed/distracted!!!

Rain in Narromine, I told you already that most pilots had left the Narromine Cup, what should have been a fantastic week, “just fell in the water”. What can you do!!??
—-Torrential rain today … no phone landlines; no eftpos; harvest a disaster for some; unhappy glider pilots!! Only my garden is happy!— message from one of my FB friends.
But a bit more upnorth in the East of Australia they flew today 819 km. in a Ventus 2CM/18m.
The West of Australia is hit by fires and at least 20 houses have burned down. Saw on TV the guy who saved himself in the pool from the neighbours with oxygen and a mask. I remember when the big fire hit Tocumwal on January 3 in 1991, we were told to jump in the pool as well with woollen blankets over us for when the fire passed. That went quickly ,we did not need to  jump in the pool, the hangar surrounded by green wet grass was passed by as the wind turned a bit more to the S. ,  but those fires caused a lot of damage around the airfield.

The most expensive and most advanced space-robot, has been send to Mars yesterday by NASA. “Curiosity” is the name of this little “car ” on wheels with a compact but very fancy chemistry-lab in it.Cost; 1.5 milliard Euro.It will hopefully arrive in within 9 months! Same time as waiting for a baby, even bigger miracle.

Enjoy the 2d part of the SSC story. Click on soaring cafe above and you find part with lots of pictures [ here a few as well]which have been send to me by George but he thinks they are made by our former Swedish guest Lars. Cheers Ritz


When you are interetested; I heard, the Blanik, in the hangar,  pained by Dutch Artist Gerry Jillisen is for sale as ART-OBJECT for 59.000 Australian Dollar ex. Tocumwal.

First 1000 in Gariep Dam is a fact!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Thursday November 24 2011

Courtesy; Bruce Cooper while flying in Argentina last season and making this great picture of the Stemme.

Finally a bit of sun  after another weather-phenomena,[ the so-maniest in this year 2011,]  last week. 7 days of FOG! A real grey blanket covered not only Holland but also other parts of Europe. Traffic, boats and planes suffered! And of course the people !
Sorry I am one day late! In the middle of this nasty flu, I got from all the heavy coughing sciatica,[we call it here  ischias] VERY painful, but the medicins are helping.

No fog in Chapelco where German pilot, Jürgen Wenzel enjoyed another great flight “racing the ridges of the Andes”. Again in the Ventus 2cm 15m. figuration; 1.447,28 km. SPEED nearly 160 km. /h.[158.8]

No fog either in Gariep Dam where friends flew up to 882 km. on Tuesday. One day earlier the pilots in Namibia had the best of the weather with flights up to 921 [Nimbus3DM] from Pokweni, 665 from Bitterwasser in Ventus 2 CM/18m. but…also 657 from Kingaroy in the East of Australia in ventus 2 CM/18m.
Unfortunately the Narromine Cup is hit by bad weather so hopefully we will see some flights later this week, though I heard some pilots have left already as the forecast was not too flash!
When I was in pain,yesterday Klaus flew a 1000 km in Nimbus 3T from Gariep Dam , so they have their first 1000 as well.
And..though Narromine has not too good weather, Corowa had …with flights up to 902 km. in a Ventus 2CM/18m.
Great to see so many old friends back in Tocumwal,flying with both Sportaviation from Eddie and Sheryll and/or the Southern Riverina Gliding Club from Judy and Ingo. YES, there is still flying in Tocumwal!!! On an other scale and different then in the past , but flying …yes you can!
First Stephan and Aljoscha now, Björn and Lis [from Norway]  and Rhys and also good to see several former Sportavia guests who are very happy now in Corowa, but surely still remember the good times of Tocumwal!!! But that is the past …..we live now.

Have started a story / memories ,about how we ended up running the Sportavia Soaring Center in Tocumwal Australia for Soaring cafe to make it easier for USA readers to follow my links to this period. You can click on the top of this story to find the story including pictures which George has send to me, on soaring cafe!! Part 2 next Sunday with the pictures. Enjoy!

Shared with you the happiness of the Dutch  baseballplayers  winning the word title. Now they are all in mourning. One of the topplayers [he did not play for Holland because he was to valuable for his club the Seattle Mariners ]24 year old Gregory Halman, was killed with a knive, last monday morning by his 22 year old brother ,….because of too loud radio noise in the night!!!!!!
Also the American Major League is in deep mourning. Tragic such a great looking, lovely young man, here in Holland for a short period only,  to share his love for baseball with the young ones! Unbelievable!

Hope I will be fit enough to visit the Dutch Soaring Day on the 26th. Cheers Ritz

Chapelco; first flight of the season; 1.217 km in 15m. Ventus CM and first 1000 km. flights for the season from Kiripotib!

Alphen aan den Rijn     Sunday November 20 2011 

Andes seen  by Bruce Cooper, from above,  last season.

Thanks for the kind reactions of concern, on the message , I got the flu!! A real nasty one! But it is a bit better now!Very tired however and…worn out!!!So only some short news.

Overseas soaring; Yes…. when I was sick in bed a lot of people I know had happy-soaring- times.
The 15th was the day to be in Gariep Dam  with great flights up to  just over 750 km. Hans and Uwe had a great day. One day later Pierre [Belgium] had and even better day in Kiripotib, 1025 km in the EB 28 with a speed of 127 km/h, while UK pilot John Bally in EB 29 flew an even faster 1000 km;134 km/h.
Very nice to see Austrian friends in Bitterwasser. Ludwig and Heimo flew in the Arcus E and DG 808/18 m. resp. 794 and 775 km, while Gerd Marzinzik ,[ editor in the past ,maybe still now from Aerokurier, have n’tspoken with him or seen him for a while ]flew 756 km. in the Ventus 2 CM.
Danish pilot Anders enjoyed good circumstances in Bloemfontein with 725 km. in the JS1.
All happy chappies!!!
On the 18th of November the great weather was in Australia and both Tocumwal and Corowa enjoyed great conditions. Several very nice FAI triangles!!!!!
“Nearly ” 1000 [975 and he planned a 750!] for Hans Jürgen, [Ventus 2CM-Corowa] but no worries, his 1000 will come again!!! Terry flew his ASH 26 from Toc. over such a nice 600 km.  triangle as well [668 km] and…without engine! The engine is shipped for overhaul!!! Good on you Terry!
In Narromine the Narromine  Cup starts soon/tomorrow [November 21-26] and several pilots have arrived already. Some had to struggle with the 25 kn. Northerly. But…good practise, also for the NSW State Comps later and the 50thiest Multi Class Nationals from January 30 till February 10 2012 in Narromine.
In Argentina  the Andes  created  great “stuff”  for German pilot Jürgen Wenzel,  in a Ventus 2CM 15 meter!!!,  who flew from Chapelco  1.217 km with a nice speed of 132 km/h. First flight for the season and surely more great ones will follow!
Yesterday best flights from Gariep Dam with 870 km.  in the DG808 and 906 km. in a Nimbus 3T/25m, but a good flight as well from Dutch pilot Max Leenders. If you have not read his comment , here it is;
” Declared 400km out & return. Finished at 151.35 km/h. New Dutch national record?? We used a remote starting and finish point in order to fly in the best forecastedweather. Start was in almost blue sky, but after a few minutes very good cumulus developed with excellent thermals.”
Good to see more friends have arrived in Gariep, also Rob is there now, flying the duo discus XL  with a good 701 and  714 km flight to start with . And if I remember well, Brutus must be  there too now.

What terrific news for Boeing so in the end of the year 2011!!!! What an order!!!22 Milliard dollar for 230 Boeings from the type 373. The order is from Lion Air based in Indonesia and the biggest  private airline in the world.
Interesting is that a lot of students from the CAE here in Hoofddorp,[ Global Academy Amsterdam-Nationale Luchtvaartschool]  the head sponsor of the Dutch Gliding Nationals, will fly there in the future,  as they co-operate. Lion Air is one of the companies where the young students can fly, make hours / get experience and earn money!
I had the honour a few years ago to fly in one of the CAE 737- 800 simulators here in Hoofddorp !!!
Look for all their news on;

I had no clue,  but here in Alphen lives another person , Ronald van Rijn,who is crazy about aviation. This time parachute jumping!!! He is the president of POPS.NL , Parachutists Over Phorty Society.
In my paper I read this gentleman has made a bid and won….to have the over -40-parachute-world- championships to Holland.About 200 parachutists over 40 years old will visit Holland between June 28 and July 7 2012. The oldest Dutch parachutist is 81 and will jump as well. 2 Disciplines; precision jumping and formation jumping.

News for the younger ones! At least for those who visited the Musbach JWGC and the Finnish JWGC earlier. In the Australian paper,  Queensland Times, a nice article appeared about the “Maddocks”. Thanks Jo!!!!

Always wanted to visit Australia!?  The Last FrontiersNews Flash from Shanghai, has in this months special , …a flight over the Sunshine Coast with a landing on Fraser Island….and more….

My friend Maria left again back to Munich on Wednesday and she was lucky as several flights over the last days were cancelled or very much delayed due to fog.She came home without problems!


High tea for 2!
Just before I got sick!

Cu next week Ritz

South African soaring!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Sunday November 13 2011 

Courtesy; Mattias Hemborg 2006
double click to enlarge

Soaring in Africa started strong with NEARLY another 1000 km flight. I share with you the enthusiasm;
” Oscar declared a 1000km FAI triangle Potchefstroom-Dealsville-Pomfret-Potchefstroom yesterday and came close, landing out nears Klerksdorp some 60km short.  Some 5m/s climbs in the best part of the day and eventually 4800m but the last glide looks as if it was dead with a 186km glide to the landing…
  second longest flight in Africa this season (so far) after Uys’ 1000km o/r exactly one month ago. Oscar flew the JS1.

Another super flight that day, in the ASG 29 by Mannie a 700 km. triangle also from Potchefstroom.
And…the National record , distance over 750 km. with 3 fixed TP’s for open class [ Nimbus 3T/25.5m.] in Brasil by Henrique Navarro,  is not too bad either. 
Gariep was still struggling with a 50km./h wind, but some pilots enjoyed flying ……even with the tough wind.
Nice to see Pierre has settled in Kiripotib for some good overseas soaring and Sven had another good flight , this time on November 12 from Worchester , with 739 km. [ speed 121 km/h.] in ASW 27.

Very unusual to see in the middle of November poppies and cornflowers  in Holland [close to my house along the road] .We still enjoy nice weather during the days with very sunny conditions , but colder nights.


 The economical situation is world wide a bit of a problem.  Problems also for many European countries. The people who know , claim there will be soon a new recession.
Airbus has till now, as ALL carriers do, sold planes in dollars. Even the French businesses delevering to Airbus , were paid in dollars.
Now they deal with EUROS as most of the customers prefer to pay with that currency. Interesting!

The 2 young German pilots, Benjamin and Fabian, who have arrived in Australia to promote  Fly-Down-under, from the airfield of Stonefield, { NE of Gawler}  and started their soaring in a PIK 20D,{}, while waiting for their Discus 2B YB, who was send from Germany with 4 other gliders to Adelaide.

Talking about Australia, the first briefing and flights from guests at Corowa are a fact. Good to see Harry back in Australia and flying over Tocumwal on his first day starting at Corowa again after an absence of 2 years . He knows Toc. so well, as he flew several years at Sportavia. Even better to read that Grietje, together with Francesco the owner of Australian Soaring Corowa , has been allowed after an absence of 2 years , to fly the tug again. Knowing Grietje [ she worked for us in Tocumwal one season and Francesco was our guest] she will be over the moon. Good on you Grietje!!!
Also nice to see that Graham Parker , who had his glider with us on line in the past and toppilot for Australia at WGC’s,  is flying at Omarama.
In Tocumwal some pilots got together to fly a few days and flights up to 567 in ASH 26 were flown.

This year the Australian -Women- in- Gliding- week, will be held in Benalla from December 27 to 31. Ladies can come for an Ab Initio training or rent a glider or BYO [bring your own]  Next year the event will be in South Australia.

Not so nice ……the accident from one of the toppilots [35 years old] from the Red Arrows. His automatic chair went up on the ground , while going over the taxi-way. He “flew”  through the glass [ the canopy is supposed to disappear under these circumstances!!!] and was catapulted up to 60 m, to fall down again. He did not survive and with this tragic and curious way of dying,  the Red Arrows lost 2 pilots [one in August] in a short time. All the Hawk T1 planes are grounded now to find out what went wrong. Very sad!!!!

From Jo I received the next message  on behalf of Christopher Mac Donnell about a new book about Italian Vintage Sailplanes.
—-I am glad to inform you that my book “Italian Vintage Sailplanes” is finally coming out from the printer. It is now available by EQIP, who were also the same editors for Martin Simons’ books.

 It covers most of the sailplanes designed and built in Italy from the beginning of the 20th century through until the early 1970s.  It includes sailplanes in wood or tube and fabric and it fills the gap in Italian gliding history.
With my best regards

 Talking about vintage sailplanes . Cheers Ritz

Picture above; courtesy Fritz Schweikart and under Johan Ersson.[2006]


Gliding International!Botswana!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Wednesday    November 9 2011  

Gliding International;November/December 2011

The November/December issue from Gliding International  was on my mat when I arrived home from 2-days-Amsterdam yesterday. The “no compromise-glider” , an add  from Schempp-Hirth on the last page of the GI, looked at me.
I quickly sat down to read the magazine.
Interesting as always and a lot to read. I liked the story about another South African Project by Fritz Johl; he claims that a 1000 km. triangle is possible in 5 hours in a J-5 with 15 m. wingspan!!!! [see picture on cover of GI.]
Still a “fully functional quarter-scale model” at this stage….but it looks it will fly in the future… more in the latest GI.
ALSO….Klaus Ohlmanns 2138 km. straight distance flight…..Soaring Safaris with Dick Bradley from Bloemfontein, a selfmade flyingwing sailplane from Estonia and much , much more…..62 pages of reading-pleasure !!!!

My longtime friend Gerrit [Holland]travelled years ago to Tocumwal,got to know his wife Pam [UK] over there, both visited  Australia often to soar then moved down under and now they still live, work and fly there. Pam is even the very active president of the Darling Downs Soaring Club and this club just bought a brandnew Duodiscus XL. Here is the story send to me by Jo. Thanks Jo!
And…Good luck with the new plane; Happy flights and safe landings!

More news from Jo about high-flying, grandma’s! Here is the link to that story when you are interested;

Several friends have arrived at their overseas destinations  in both South Africa and Namibia and in Corowa [Australia] ; you can see the first flights already on the OLC. And lots more will follow, I am sure about that!
A bit of rain in Corowa but flights will follow soon as the containers have been unpacked and checked.
Botswana, topped the OLC on Monday with a flight of 868 km. in a Nimbus 3D, in it ,a great 823 km FAI triangle.
A German pilot ” found”  Orapa, the town in the middle of the Central District of Botswana in Africa. A town well known for it’s diamond mines, the largest in the world!
The gliding-field is on the main airport of Orapa. Later the pilot changed the name of airfield to Ntwetew. I have never been in that area, but found out that this  place provides  water for the diamond mines due to the Mopipi Dam. Interesting!!!! Anyway whatever field he started…it was a nice flight!

Yesterday more nice flights from Namibia and SA. Distances between 600 and 800-plus were only made by open class gliders and one by the 20m. Antares. One of our Dutch pilots is in Gariep Dam. Max had a nice comment:” Struggling for 5 hours against the wind is very rewarding when finally the groundspeed on the way back hits 330km/h.” .I look forward to nice long flights from Hans and Uwe as well, both fly from Gariep.

In my last blog I mentioned the weather.  It is still “weird”! The South of France was hit this time as a very unusual tropical depression had settled above the Mediterranean sea. Last time this happened was in 1995. The East coast from Spain and the South from France were hit badly by rain[ in a short time more rain fell then in 3 months, causing flooding from the rivers!]  and storms with up to 100 km./ h bft.. My son in law arrived home 3 days earlier then planned from his bike trip through Spain. Horrible weather!

Off to Schiphol now to pick up Maria, who arrives soon. Take care. CU Ritz

Butterflies are still hanging around!The weather is …the weather!

Picture;courtesy Joop Everse.

Alphen aan den Rijn   Sunday November 6 2011  

The weather here is still very soft for the time of the year. Yesterday I saw a calf in the paddock and I also noticed a duckie with a brandnew family behind her. Butterflies should be “sleeping” but they still hang around in my garden. Some of my plants think it is spring instead of autumn  and have popped up their “heads”.
Hope they all survive when the weather changes. It was between 15 and 20 dgr. here over the last couple of days.

For your information, new forms and updated information about  how to submit candidates for the next prize for  the Prince Alvaro de Borbon Orleans Fund  will be provided later this year . Got that news from the brand-new secretary -general from the FAI , Jean-Marc Badan…. who “after almost 30 years activities in air sports and commercial aviation'” finds it ” a honour to take up this position” . I have great admiration for people who spend SO much time and dedication to such jobs.Good luck Jean-Marc! 
You can read it all on the- still- under -construction- site of the FAI.

Africa is slowly starting up the operations. Flights have been already on the OLC from Gariep Dam, Bitterwasser, Bloemfontein , Pokweni, Kiripotib and Worchester.
Australia started earlier as well with some good flights from Kingaroy, Jondaryan, Tocumwal, Benalla, Temora, George Lees Airfield, Lake Keepit [where G Dale from the UK gave as I heard an amazing  coaching week , ]  Raywood , Beverley , Gawler,  Narromine and  from Waikiri and  I hope soon also from the new airfield in Coober Pedy [will tell you more about that when it is so far!! A Stemme left there this week for a 637 km. long flight to Forrest in Western Australia , that is a lot of flying over NOTHING!!!] and of course the biggest center in Australia for overseas guests Corowa , where the gliders arrive today or tomorrow. If all goes well , unpacking from the containers and the check by the quarantine people, will start on Tuesday.
“Let the show begin” is he device from Francesco , Grietje and their staff, so look for all the news at ; 

On November 3  the BIG ones, ASH25EB 28 flew already over 750 km. from Pokweni and Kiripotib, yes it has really started now!
And what a great wave flight from Tomas Suchanek  in the ventus 2  on that same day here in Europe; 890 km.from the airport of Krnov in the Czech Rep.
Yesterday more good flights in Australia even 603 km in a PIK 20 by Geoff Pratt  flown from Mareeba, a little town on the Atherton Tableland  in far North Queensland.
Another good ridge flight in Europe from Unterwössen;705 km. in a DG 1000/20m.

  And talking about good flights……what about young Bert Schmelzer [Belgium] ….who flew on Friday 720 km. in the Discus 2A, from Hausen am Albis in Switzerland. Bert lives and works in Zürich. Very kind of him to allow me the use of all pictures I need .
For a great line-up of pictures from this flight look at;

A bit further however,  in the North West of Italy  the weather is terrible. Heavy thunderstorms and rain have caused soo much trouble / floodings in Genua, that more people got killed again, even parents [4] waiting for their children[2]  to take them home from school.Happiness and sadness …. it can be so close.
Sadness due to the weather as well in the UK where the worst accident on the road[ M5] in history happened due to wet weather and heavy fog on Friday night. 7 People got killed, 51 injured from pretty bad to very bad!Straight after all cars[ trucks included] , collided a huge fire , some called it a “fire ball” started. Absolutely no hope for some!

News about Australian National comps by the competition director Tim Shirley.
The period for early entries to the 31st Club and Sports Class Nationals ended on the 31st October.  The event will be held at Benalla from 2nd to 13th January 2012.
At the close of early entries we had 64 entries of which 62 have paid their entry fee.  These 62 now have confirmed places at the competition.  Since we can accept up to 70 entries, there are 8 places available, and these will be filled in order of received (and paid) entries.  The entry fee from now on is $360.
  I’d like to thank all the entrants for their support.

If the numbers remain like this it will be the largest Club/Sports class Nationals ever held, and one of the
largest fields at any Nationals.
There are currently 34 confirmed entries in club class, 22 in Sports Class and 6 in 20m 2 seater.  We will not be able to run a championship class in 20m class unless we have 8 entries, so to encourage entries we will extend the early entry fee of $300 until the end of November for this class only.  Hopefully at least another two entries will appear.  If we don’t get the necessary 8 entries, the 20m class will be combined with Sports Class but we will also score them separately and there will be prizes – but unfortunately no Australian Championship.

The competition website, and online entry form, can be found at

 So go, go friends find 2 more 2 seater gliders with pilots and you have a National Championship in that class as well. I heard from Swaantje Geyer [ member of the German National Female team]she is participating as well.

A shocking accident in Holland this week !!! A young mum parked her car on the quay of a big canal in Utrecht. She stepped out to take out her 2 little boys sitting in the back in their maxi-cosies, when the car started to roll. She tried to stop it hanging on a door , cried out to get more help, but all failed, the car rolled in the water with the 2 little ones [2 and 3]. Mum and several other people jumped in the canal, but in vain. The 2 died! As a grand ma I find this TOO sad for words. When you then hear, who the grand parents of these children are and you find out you know them from the past as they were part of our aviation world, it feels like being in “HELL”. Could not sleep.

And….. EXCUSES for writing Qantas wrong ,should have known better. SORRY!!! Corrected it all. One of my friends wrote me that it is ” pretty stupid”,  which it is of course.
Qantas stands for Qeensland and Northern Territory Airlines, just to let you know!

Busy times ahead, [ guests; my Australian guest left on Friday my new guest from Munich arrives on Wednesday, birthdays, Sinterklaas, Christmas, New Year]  so blogs might be shorter or without pictures but keep reading, there is always something interesting….I hope. Of course on November 26 I will attend the NZD and I get a lift from some soaring mates, I travelled with last year. Just got the confirmation by one of them, from…. I guess an iPad, …..from his car ,….  on his way back home from Slovenia with an ASH 25 behind the car. Not everybody is home on a nice Saturday afternoon , not necessary either, as the social media take care that we keep in contact where ever we are. I still find that fascinating. I am on skype now as well !!!
Cheers Ritz


Qantas! South Africa warms up; Sven flies 749.53 km.!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Wednesday November 2 2011   

picture; courtesy Kai Monkkonen.

October finished on “a high”  here, with at some places  20 dgr. Terraces in Amsterdam were full , the skies blue and the sun fantastic and without “a bite”.  Even day 1 from November was partly sunny and very pleasant. I walked through the big Beatrix park in Amsterdam yesterday and “loved” the colours of the leaves of the trees.  Nearly as beautiful as the “famous for its autumn -colours ” town of Bright in Victoria [Australia]
Dieter , for friends Tocumwal Dundee, left Germany for Australia after troubles and stress with his visa [all ok on the very last minute!!] and with the tought “would Qantas  fly again on November 2 ? ” [all ok as well on the last minute]. On Monday November 7 he will settle in , in his “house”  at Tocumwal Airport.

Talking about Qantas. What a situation!!
BUT…. they started flying again on Monday and from yesterday onwards flights were on schedule again. Not that the problems are solved, but Fair Work Australia ordered a termination of the industrial action and  to talk to “get together and solve the problems within 3 weeks.”

The big carriers in Holland are KLM [bleu] Transavia [green] and Martin Air [red].On Monday the last Martin Air passenger-flight arrived with honors at Schiphol. Martin Air stops flying with passengers and continues “in red ” with freight only.
We also had a smaller company here; Amsterdam Airlines. I wrote about it a while ago. Till yesterday. Just read in the paper that they have finished all their actions , “the operational license has been stopped immediately “and  all employees were sent home . 2 of the 3 leased Airbuses are on a chain, because of problems with payments. Sad very sad as people I know are the victims.

In Taupo in New Zealand  a competition has started with 10 participants in one class; the Central Plateau 2011. They started with a 2 hour AAT and one pilot finished. All other pilots landed back home some coming back with 120 km.  I do not know any of the pilots but having been in NZ last year, I know the places where they come from as Hastings, Rotorua and Auckland and of course I visited Taupo. No …unfortunately not the airfield but the fantastic LAKE.


On the main road A1 passing Auckland and visiting Hastings.

In South Africa Sven Olivier  flew a nice 750 – a bit on October 29, from Worchester, claiming it was a “fantastic day”. Speed ;107 km/h in an ASW 27.
9 Containers have arrived in Bitterwasser, so enough guests to make long flights this season  and enough joy for us to follow the OLC, this is , when the weather co-operates. The start has not been  bad with a 1000 km and a 750 so early in the season in SA. The first flight from Gariep Dam is a fact as well.

 Sven Olivier , well known competition pilot.

The 20thiest FAI World Precision Flying Championship was also held in South Africa from October 23-29 . It was organised by the South African Power Flying Association and the Brits Flying Club.
2 Polish pilots , Michal Wieczorek and Boleslaw Radoski, were the best in Brits and for that reason Poland won the team cup as well,  before the Czech and French team.
56 Competitors representing 15 countries tried to be the best in navigation and landings in Cessna 150/152/172.

When you are not interested in Formula 1 you can skip this last part, but…..As you know one of my favourite sports is Formula 1 and I am a big fan from Vettel, no news either. I was impressed with the new circuit in India , shocked to see the difference in poor and rich over there [ I have never been in India]and pleased,  the pretty rich drivers,  donated money to some of the poorest. A drop on a heat plate I know, but  they were not forced to do so and did it!
It was the 16th pole position for Red Bull and the 13th pole for Vettel. And being already WORLD CHAMPION,  he is still eager/hungry to win, so races are still interesting to watch.
“Red Bull gives you wings”, is what’s written on the back of Seb’s outfit. He won again; the very first win during the very first , “inaugural ” GP from India in New Delhi. SUPER.
It has put India on the [racing-] map as everybody loved the circuit and with a cricket-god waving the checked flag , it was a happy day for nearly all Indian people.
Credit to the 3 winners , dedicating the first GP to their by recent crashes killed “mates” Dan [Indy car races] and Marco [ MotoGP] . All 3 were pretty emotional/ very human.

Off to the southern part of Holland [Den Bosch] for a high-tea-birthday-party from one of my highschool friends.

Cheers Ritz