Europe is awake!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Wednesday March 28 2012

With 842 flights on the OLC list worldwide, last  Saturday and 796 on Sunday, the soaring season started strong and early this season. Lot’s of flights flown in Europe.
Last year the best day in March world wide was with 589 on March 20.
In 2010 the best day in March ” only”  had 264 flights.
That says something!!!!
Nice flights as well, as the one from Kai Lindenberg in ASW 27; 662 km and from the famous Hahnweide one from Schempp-Hirth’ Bernd Weber in the Ventus 2CT/18m; 765 km.
But also from Blairstown , a ridge soaring paradise,but with also good thermal and wave lift in the USA,  New Jersey, about 65 miles from New York and about 100 from Philadelphia, where a declared 1000 was flown in an LS 4 and 688 in a Schweizer!!!!
Pilot Paul Seifried, who flew the LS 4 commented; “Wild day with too many cracks to the noggin and less good conditions at the southern end of the flight”!But …he made it!
Know the area a bit as I spend some holidays in Delaware in the far past.

Quite a lot of my Dutch friends moved to Vinon and Saint Aubanto enjoy the mountains we do not have here in Holland. Great weather as you can see on the “pinched”   [with permission!] great pictures from Rens, who was one of my JWGC pilots in Husbos in 2005.


Rens on his way to nice lift. What a great/stunning view!

The German Magazine Segelfliegen appears every 2 months and the digital International version in English, 3 times a year in February, June and October.
In the latest Magazine [February 2012] items as, an interview with German TC and trainer Uli Gmelin, the Quintus M and the Antares 23E., the meteo, wave over the Rhein valley, the kitchen for thermals…The Black Forest , oldtimers and much more,  74 pages of reading for you .
You can go to to order the Magazine or to get a subscription.
The latest English issue is available as an eZine.

The Black Forest with the last snow.
Picture courtesy Jelmer Wassenaar, who works for DG and was flying from Bruchsal, where it was 20 dgr.

Last week I mentioned that nice flight from Jim Payne in the DG 1001M  with Dennis Tito as co-pilot.  This glider is owned by Dennis Tito , the 2d one he bought . Dennis was, as I heard the first space -tourist AND…he is sponsor of the Perlan Project [Spoke with you about that too last week]  He owns another DG 1001M, which is stationed in Argentina and used for training for the Perlan team.
A few weeks ago Dennis visited DG in Germany for a motor -course together with Morgan Sandercock from Australia , who found me by reading the blog. Small world is n’t it! 
More news from DG at

Not a long time ago I had a story about one of my mates, a former Aussie National Champion in gliding; Bruce Brockhoff. Long ago I told you about his generous donation to build a hangar at Bacchus March. Here is a list of very vintage and special gliders in that museum/hangar:

Gliders in Brockhoff Storage and Restoration Hangar

 Thanks to the generosity of Bruce the Australian Gliding Museum now have virtually all of the 46 airframes representing 42 types in their collection safely stored ready for restoration.

The glide types are as follows:

Edmund Schneider-Club 2 seater, ES49,Es49b, ES59,ES52 Mark1, ES52 components of other marks and ESka6br.

Proctor ‘Coogee’

Gurr/Adair ‘Altair’

Hearn ‘Hi-Jack’

Lessing glider

Pascoe ‘Spruce Goose’ EP-1

Hutter H-17

Let l-13 ‘Blanik’

Dunstable ‘Kestrel’

Slingsby –T31b, T35, Skylark 4, Gull 4.

Eon Olympia Mark 2

Rhon Ranger

Schneider Grunau Baby 2 and 3A

Vogt LO 150

Schleicher K7

Schemp Hirth Open Cirrus

Bolkow ‘Phoebus’C

Morelli Aer-Pegaso M-100S

Bocian SZD 9

Mucha SZD -12

Silimon IS-28B2

Northrop Primary

Schweizer TG-3A

Backstrom ‘Flying Plank’

Schreder HP-14T

Hall Cherokee 2

Taylor Glider replica

Also in our collection are a ‘Sunbird’ Powered glider, ‘Mosquito’ Ultralight and a Trike Ultralight.

Where possible these are being restored to an airworthy condition and if not, for static display. This work is being done by a small group of volunteers at both Bacchus Marsh and the Ferntree Gully workshops. The Slingsby T-31 is flying and the Eon Olympia when painted will join the flight group.

Also housed inside the Brockhoff hangar is an insulated room containing our archival collection of drawings, magazines, technical reports etc. Along with the gliders is a collection of gliding artifacts such as instruments, winches and the first automobile engine used in a Piper ‘Pawnee’ Towing aircraft.  

An interesting list and some of those gliders come from “our” old WW2 hangar in Tocumwal and were owned by Bill Riley, who is still going, but not as strong anymore as before. Nearly 87 or 88 now [in April]

Last but not least  the story from the pilot who “lost the plot”, tragic for the guy [ AND his family] as I do not see him quickly back in the cockpit and pretty scary for the passengers. Flying as captain [ for JetBlue] from New York to Las Vegas he got psychotic and was overpowered by the crew, who set him out of the cockpit and locked the door. He banged on the door crying out weird words , so that even the passengers saw something was totally wrong. With about 8 passengers helping out they kept him till the in-between -landing in Amarillo [Texas] where a passenger who happened to be a pilot landed the plane safely. What a story! I know from pilots who were drunk and removed from the cockpit /plane , even pilots who got so scared they did not dare to enter the plane anymore but this is new for me. “a medical case”, the company said. True and sad, most for the pilot!

Enjoy the rest of this week. It ‘s getting a bit cooler here [10 dgr.], still very dry , but lovely weather for March . See you on April 1 ….no jokes though.

 Cheers Ritz

Wave, tracking system,time,20dgr. it’s all happening!

Alphen aan den Rijn      Sunday March 25 2012

Time changed all over Europe;we moved the hands from the clocks 1 hour forward! It was already nice light and sunny early in the morning , but still a bit early dark, now our evenings are longer too. With 20 dgr. [it has never been so warm in Holland in this time of the year ] we enjoy it to the fullest. And…the HIGH will keep its influence over  us the next week as well!!
Looking at soaring here; over 200km-flights were possible yesterday. Visibility , though, was pretty poor!

Good conditions for Robert in Norway on his wave camp.
Friday morning he mentioned; “Sunny morning with no wind and pleasantly warm here at Vågå/Frya. Maybe we do not need to freeze at altitude today? Perhaps a nice day on the airfield with a barbecue for lunch?
The day before he was full  of a great soaring-wave-day; Highest altitude on Thursday ; FL 210. And…on the last day , yesterday they had wave up to 7100 m and lentic skies all over Southern Norway. Great pictures again. Thanks Robert for sharing them.


Pictures courtesy Robert Danewid.

More wave in wave- paradise Minden close to the Lake Tahoe. On Thursday 3 pilots in Sparrow Hawk, DG 400/17m. and ASW 27 flew 849, [119 km./h] 771 [140 km./h] and 780 km.[]
Even more paradises as Rosamond where ” good old ” Jim Payne flew in the DG1001M a distance in blue circumstances , but with good wave, however  building up slowly with a rare southerly flow;1.264 km.
Heard that other paradises as Aosta in Italy and all wave center in France [ ” good young” Alexander Späth flew in a Dicus 2T from Puimoisson , nearly 750 km. even enjoying the impressive snow on the mountains!] are busy enough.
But nice thermal flights this week as well, one from the meteo man from the WGC in Wiener Neustadt Hermann Trimmel; 521 km. in the 17m. Ventus CT.
“Reading”  the weather always is important as glider pilot!

Talking about height!!! The Perlan Projectis still busy with a goal that has never been reached before; to soar higher then any fixed-wing manned aircraft has done. At the last SSA Conference in Reno , Rand from the SoaringCafe had an interview with Greg Cole, founder and chief designer of windward performance. You can find it one the next link;

I told you in the past about the tracking system “invented” by some young glider pilots here in Holland. I saw their enthusiasm during the Nationals, as we were sitting in the same room. This week they published their new website and with pleasure I announce it as well.
In the future they are integrating the live -tracking-page [ ] on this new site. The system is based on ADS-B and spot-signal.  News on the site will be soon in English as well. Keep an eye on it!

Really nice to see that in a family, father and 2 sons, enjoy a soaring-holiday and go solo in the same week!!! This happened at Sportaviation in Tocumwal, where the Daniels family went solo, first dad on Monday then the 2 sons on Thursday. A great family-event!Look for the nice pictures at

Not only the sportsoldiers in Germany have a “good soaring-life” look at this news I got from Jo . Should deliver new champions as well!!!–Artificial-Turf-Landing-Strip

Enjoy your new week, to start and finish some of our “great tuggies” in action, this time in Eskilstuna pictures courtesy Roger Karlsson. Grrrr….tropical  rain spoils the Formula 1 GP in Malaysia.
cheers Ritz


Wave ! Top weather here!

Alphen aan den Rijn   Wednesday March 21

The astronomic spring has started here as well yesterday at 6.14 AM. And…it is clearly spring. Nice VERY nice weather, bit cold in the morning and high up , but sunny with temperatures up to 20 in the rest of this week .

But what’s more and even better, great looking cloud streets on Monday. I saw them here and in Amsterdam and in the evening on TV at the meteo -news. The radar showed fantastic cloud streets also over the UK [519 km for Dave Masson from Lasham in 18m. LS 6] ] and the meteo-man kindly informed the Dutch viewers about this phenomena.
Of course you look straight away in the late evening if the weather was really that good and….some lucky pilots who had time to fly went up and one of them Peter Millenaar, who just finished his training at the CAE [Sponsor of the Dutch Nationals]and is a “real”  pilot now ,  had time and flew 514 km. [ in Discus 2A] over flat-as-a-pancake Holland/ Germany, without water as he still had his water tanks at home. With this flight he topped the OLC list on Monday.

Great start of the season though it was not a real easy flight he says;”It started difficult as I had to find out where the lift was, so I dropped to 220 m. ” , but….quickly he found 2m./s and off he went and with the 35km/h. wind in the back,  he raced over Holland to Germany, taking all kind of “streets ” with fantastic view on top of it.  The same streets did not always “work” on the way back , but he made it home to Hoogeveen with lots of OLC kilometers. Peter was already once our National champion [2009 in combi class] at age 20 , flew at the JWGC  in Rayskala and…… this was his first flight for the season.

Courtesy ;Peter Millenaar.

“3 Diamonds in One flight”, the overly happy reaction from USA pilot Richard Roelke. He tried this for years and NOW the moment was there; 566 km. and 3000 and 5000 m.
Flying his 17.4 m. Glasflügel 304 cz from Gorham ,  he thinks this is  the first time,  it happens in New England and as he says maybe also the first East of the Mississippi. Starting with ridge-soaring…. the rest of the flight was wave and exactly on the places it should be!! What do you want more!? Well done!!!

Great wave-conditions  in Norway as well.But a bit too much ground wind “taking the ASK 21 from the club for a ” low ride”. A pity as there was damage . According to Robert who flies every year from Freya, conditions have been good with great looking lenties up to 4000 m. as you can see on the pictures close to his hotel in Vaga and from the air.

Pictures courtesy; Robert Danewid

The track for the EUROGLIDE is now defenite and here you are and…if you want to see on the map how big this task is go to and click on 2012:

—“Starting in Eindhoven to the south east, to the Wustweiler airfield in the Saarland. Then heading east, crossing the Rhein and passing Nurnberg to enter the Czech republik in the south. Maintain heading east along the Czech-Austrian border into Slowakia, to the second turnpoint Ruzomberok. After that to the north, into Poland and back into Germany to the airfield Pasewalk Franzfelde, north of Berlin. The European footbal championships in Poland will not be a problem. From there to the south west, back to the Netherlands, to the glider field Malden. This task totals to 2350 km.—“
And the link is public now for the 2014 WGC in Finland at Räyskä
Already this year in June [3-10] the traditional local gliding competition Jannen Kisat will take place , the 30thiest anniversary and the Finnish 18 m. comps with Riku Rissanen as CD. In the summer from 2013 the Pre Worlds will be held.
For the full schedule you can go to the site.
Our young and talented pilot Tim Kuijpers , busy now in Oxford with a training to be an airline pilot and nearly ready to go to the USA for his flight training is as I saw on FB the number 1 on the World Junior ranking list, before the German pilots Alexander Späth and Sebastian Nägel. Tim won the last JWGC in Musbach and was runner up during an EGC behind Rene de Dreu , who is the Alexander Schleicher representative for Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg  and…..TC for the Dutch team in Uvalde this summer.
Rene [left] and Tim after the 2011 Dutch Nationals.
 Not so much news this week, so till Sunday, cheers Ritz
Just looked at the farewell ceremony from the 17 victims from Lommel [Belgium] , involved in that tragic bus accident in Switserland. Together we are strong , was the motto from the kids when they were still enjoying theirselves during an unforgettable ski-holiday.Only from that little town Lommel, 17 were killed. Impressive, emotional and unforgettable!

“The bus”! Hercules.

Alphen aan den Rijn    Sunday March 18 2012

On Friday the difference in temperature in Holland was more then 10 dgr.!!! And…Holland is small as a stamp.
In the South they enjoyed OVER 20 dgr. 20.7 to be precise and we here in the mid West had about 16 and up N only 7.6 and no sun.
The KNMI, [Dutch meteo] has new  computers now to predict weather even better and faster then in the past. 

After a few less good days in the beginning of this week,  good conditions in Puimoisson again , where the German squad including their trainers are enjoying a mountain stage. Former sport soldier [2009], pilot at junior Worlds [club class and runner up in Musbach] and just an active glider pilot enjoying his soaring to the fullest,  is Alexander Späth. Over the last couple of days he topped the European OLC list flying his 18 m. Discus 2T every time over 500 km. Good on him!

Enough sad news this week.The “bus” keeps the world and certainly Belgium and even more Lommel [just over our border ] busy and me as well. 28 People on their way home with great stories about their ski-holiday—22 children dead under them 6 young Dutch kids and 6 grown ups and 24 injured . Lommel is going to sadly miss 17 inhabitants !!! A whole class nearly wiped out.
Too much to comprehend.
Leuven lost 7 children , the school teacher and a lady helping out during the holiday.
Belgium military transport planes [Hercules] brought back the families , children and the coffins.

Talking about Hercules ! One with 5 crew aboard from Norway which disappeared last Thursday from the radar,  somewhere North of Sweden, has been found yesterday, on a glacier in a mountain area [2100 m.] . All 5 crew members  died . They were involved in a European NATO exercise, together with 16.000 military men/women , from army/navy/air force,  from 15 different countries, practising in arctic circumstances.
Even the search is difficult due to snow heavy wind and possibilty of avalanches. This part of exercise , they surely would have not wished. SAD!

The farewell drink at Papendrecht close to Arnhem was great. Specially because it was confirmed that the Dutch Magazine Thermiek will continue in another format. So the last Thermiek by Frits, will be on the mat soon and after nearly 50 years, it would be too sad for words as ONLY digital soaring news would be available.
Very nice, to catch up with several people I had not seen for ages, but as normal with a farewell of a 65 year old, lot’s of grey people!!!

Missed the Formula 1 race in Melbourne on TV, but a lot to come now the season has started.

Off to my guests, and to finish pictures from a serie I showed you already some from by Per Carlin.[Eskilstuna Sweden 2006]
cheers Ritz



Short news!

Alphen aan den Rijn     Wednesday March 14 2012

Found “some” time for “some” news!

A bit of good weather and good circumstances and off he goes…..Giorgio Galetto  flew last Sunday 723 km. in his Ventus 2CXA/18m. from Bolzano on his 2d flight for the season.
Will the Alps be as good as last season?????
A 239 k. “to get in the mood/groove” on Saturday and his 2012 season starts very promising.
A great wave flight also from Minden in Nevada, where a Sparrow Hawk flew nearly 900 km. with a nice speed of 134 km./h.
Still good soaring from Stonefield as well.

Bob Henderson  the President of the IGC for years, has said after the plenary in Potchefstroom that he is going to give the leading job to well know pilot Eric Moser , “Herbie” , at-least for us in the past, when I met him first in 1984 or so.

 Bob’s reasons for doing this are; 
 I have significant responsibilities at the FAI in my capacity as an Executive Board member. These include portfolios for Anti-Doping, the Sports Marketing Agency (FAI Commercial entity), the Sports Strategy, Sponsorship and the Statutes Working Group.

 I am also very conscious that the IGC is very well served by a large number of competent, dedicated and experienced people, especially in the Bureau.

Eric and I have therefore agreed (and we have the support of the Bureau and the Plenum) that I stand aside from the position of IGC President, at least until the FAI General Conference in Turkey in October, and that Eric, as 1st VP becomes acting IGC president on the grounds that I am not fully able to discharge my reponsabilities as IGC president at the moment .

This will make the way the IGC does business easier as I feel that I need to focus on the EB responsibilities. I also feel that this is the area where I have the maximum opportunity to have a positive influence and impact on the health of the FAI as a whole and the future development of the organisation.

I am confident that the IGC remains in good hands with strong leadership under Eric and the other members of the Bureau.

This move means that I remain a part of the Bureau but that Eric takes over the day-to-day management after we complete a hand-over in the next few days once we have finalised the Plenary meeting business.So far the news from our longtime and very good and amiable President Bob, written on March 7 2012.

Latest; What a tragic accident in Switzerland where 28 people from Belgium were killed in a bus accident in a tunnel ; no other cars were involved. 22 from 28 were , children on their way home from a ski-holiday with their sports class.
Also 24 badly to very badly injured. In the bus also 9 children from Holland, according to the news of a Belgium official [head of the firebrigade] from Lommel!
2 Schools were involved , one from Leuven and one from Lommel which is close to the Dutch border were I lived for 20 years; about 10 minutes driving! Also very close to the Keiheuvel- airfield All children were between 11 and 13!! Both bus drivers did not survive, as well as some teachers . Just so sad,..a real disaster!!! I feel for the parents and families and all the school mates from both schools.

Cu on Sunday.cheers Ritz

Puimoisson… Spring training!2011- FUKUSHIMA- 2012!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Sunday March 11 2012
I think of my Japanese friends today! 

It is REALLY spring now in The Netherlands. Spring starts here when the first egg of a peewit has been found and that happened yesterday!!! In Friesland! A traditional  ceremony goes with finding it! So we can relax now as spring is here! 
Temperatures will be good as well up to 16 dgr. C. next week!And the sun is shining brightly now!

Slowly the soaring action has started  and the first over 500 km. flights have been flown  in Europe. Wave and ridge-soaring surely made French pilot Robert Pratt happy and he should with a nice 841 km flight in the ARCUS M from St. Gaudens.
Also a nice flight from the Hahnweide in the Nimbus 4 from young German topper Patrick Puskeiler. He was a sportsoldier in 2009.
Could not find any Dutch flights on the OLC, but I know they made some starts at several clubs. Belgium had already some flights as well. One from Bert who worked for us in the past in Australia . He flew his Standard Libelle in the end of February over 123 km. using the first “streets” .

Slowly the soaring season has come to an end in Australia ,but still great soaring in the East and West. While NSW suffers from the worst flooding,[ Corowa and Tocumwal are surrounded by flooding as well, ] Queensland ,in the East, had some great flights yesterday in blue conditions with 543 km. in an LS 8 from Warwick as the best. Great flights from Jondaryan down to Warwick or from Warwick up to Jondaryan.
In the West the weather is good as well. “The best day in 5 years “, one pilot mentioned! What about a  500 FAI triangle in an LS 3 from Beverley, [ about 130 km. East of Perth] this late in the season, it is autumn over there!? And a 500 FAI triangle by 2 St. Jantars?? And…572 in a PIK 20 also 500k FAI Triangle.
And 614 in total but also a 500 km.  FAI triangle in a St.Cirrus ????? Good on them!!!

BEVERLEY in W.A.  courtesy; SoaringCafe issue 2011-March 8

And here is the reason WHY it is so good!!! News from Vanessa! Thanks!
Record breaking heat wave for Perth.
—” Hope your weather is warming up – I wish ours would cool down!
Perth looks set to break a record this weekend – an eighth heat wave (3 consecutive days of 35 degrees or more) this summer season – even though it’s not summer anymore! Yesterday  was 38, today 40 (it is still 38 degrees while I am typing this at 5.15pm), forecast 40 for Sunday and 37 Monday.—“

So we might look forward to more nice long flights this Sunday or tomorrow!

Professionnel Team Captain and trainer /coach, Uli Gmelin from Germany, has since last weekend, settled down  with his Sportsoldiers in Puimoisson in France for the annual practise and team building-time. Nice to read the gratitude from the pilots he flies with in the ARCUS T. The mountain-area is of course fantastic with thermals, wave and ridge soaring. The pilots share practise in a double seater , with flying single seaters as  ASW 24 , Discus or LS 8. They stay till March 31!!!
For 2012 there are 6 new Sportsoldiers and one of them is Max Lecker who keeps their website about what they are doing  [ ] and Felix Bauer made this brilliant picture. Got permission to publish it from Max and Felix. THANKS  to Benjamin as well for his intervention!

Courtesy; Felix Bauer. Worth to klick on and enlarge!

Other top pilots as Tassilo Bode , Reinhard Schramme and Bernd Weber [Schempp-Hirth] fly the ARCUS, at Saint Auban [ a bit more to the NW of Puimoisson] with in the back also pilots who want to practise mountain flying and wave. Also here pilots who fly single seaters with enthusiastic comments as: “Hold on…from -12 m/s to + 11 m/s in 2 seconds!!!!!! WOW!
Those Germans are doing a sterling job in training. Lot’s of flights from  Puimoisson and St. Auban on the OLC.
Some of our Dutch pilots soon move to France as well.

Talking about mountains here is some news from the Mount Beauty Gliding Club  in Victoria Australia. Also over-there lives the OLC. In their latest newsletter on the the subject ” internet ” they write  about the best airfield on the OLC in 2012 and though they were happy with their 8th place Australia-only and 12th World wide, they ascertain that they are still far behind the Geelong Gliding Club  I wrote you about, a few blogs ago.
For Easter they organize a Fly Inn and members from Victoria but also from South Australia and NSW have announced their arrival. For more CLUB-news , also about the Alpine Flyer their monthly newsbulletin……
Next week I get a splendid picture from wave over Mount Beauty.

The Mount Beauty area.

To finish something totally different and you might find me a bit chauvinistic, but it is more pride! From 2500 different pieces of cheese “our” Dutch cheese was the BEST in the WORLD. I did not even know a Cheese WC existed , but it does and was this year in Wisconsin in the USA. Love cheese , so I am going to buy “the best one”,  straight away.

Cu most probably on Sunday. Have a very busy week ahead with also on Saturday a farewell drink with the editor of the Thermiek, the Dutch Gliding Magazine. He retires after doing a great job. The Dutch Gliding Association offers him a reception and I was invited too.
The Magazine exists now for 48 years and I hope it continues. Will keep you informed.

MARCH 11…..One year Fukushima ! One year ago that terrible earth quake…. and that deadly  tsunami ….and a nuclear disaster, we not know now , what happens to the people, like the fire brigade,  in a few years. My thoughts are with  my Japanese friends.

Cheers Ritz


Alphen aan den Rijn    Wednesday March 7 2012 


Was so busy over the last days , that I just forgot that it is Wednesday today.
Ouch… nearly forgot you all …sorry that never happened before. So a short blog today with some nice pictures.

Nice to see that Dirk [Schleunsen-Germany] bought himself an ASH 31 MI 21 m. and seems to be very happy with it, after he flew it for the very first time in this early March weather from yesterday. 
Dirk was one of those guests at Sportavia you never forget.I was a bit shocked when he had the incident in Africa , was it already 2 seasons ago???, but and that’s Dirk as well , he promised in his comment to avoid “signs”  in the future. Please do!!!!

Talking about guests you not easy forget,  I must think of Marc [ Sluszney-Belgium] as well. Not long ago I opened my paper and recognised his face straight away. Headline above his smiling face with 2 pistols in his hand;
“The guy who can do everything and dares to do everything”, and  “from Davis Cup tennis-player to extreme adventurer”. 
Some of his escapades; number 8 at the World championships fence, water skiing on bare feet, air border, swimming with white sharks [ he made the documentary “Sharkwise” and won a prize with it] and he swum over the channel from France to the UK .
Walking 100 km. in the Belgium Death-expedition, he does n’t call extreme. [source AD]
He was a good glider pilot as well, but I guess he did this only for a short time ,…not enough challenge/adrenaline ????
Nice fellow, in fact ALL our guests in the past were nice, male or female.
Talking about female guests , Tracie [Wark-Canada] for sure was one who ” created ” a nice/positive atmosphere for herself and other guests and she was a keen and good pilot. Just received not long ago,  a mail from her after I found her again. Kees and I travelled half a year ago to Germany to visit the Wiesenthals on Doris 50thiest and we both wondered how she would be. Well she is FINE! Still airline pilot and instructor.
Of course I keep ALL details for myself, as privacy is a BIG good.

Enough nice flights already from Europe this early in the season. Several wave flights and Gerard [Lherm]  had a nice one again from St Martin de Londres in France. This time in EB 28.[476 km.]
No flights over 500 km. but pilots are getting there. Everywhere in Europe the well known places showed already “some action”. And… a flight in ASW 20  from 438 km. West from Musbach , where the JWGC was last year, [Black Forest-area] is just good.
As well as the one from Beverley in Australia where they do not struggle with flooding from overfull rivers, in a Hornet from 445 km [ 400 FAI triangle ]
I feel sorry for all my Aussie friends, who have problems with the flooding, at some places it is REALLY bad!Keep up the spirit!

The pictures are again from my Eskilstuna cd, this time from Fritz Schweikart . To enlarge…just click on them. Enjoy !!
Cheers Ritz


Winter /summer is over! Latest IGC news by Rick!Bacchus March!

Not yet that far![2011]
Alphen aan den Rijn    Sunday March 4 2012


Winter is over here and summer down under!  We had a “mild” winter according to the meteo, even with temperatures from minus 23! The average temperature in Holland for winter normally seems to be  3.4 , it seems we had 4.1. Also; this last winter was sunny and wet here , 269 mm and normally it is 208.
Predictions for summer here,  are  for “wild” weather,  with storms and high temperatures in July and August , by one meteo station. Even tornado’s are predicted as a possibility !! Looking at those evil ones in the USA from last week I really hope it will not be like that . What a disaster!!!!Some places , like Marysville in Indiana, have just “gone by the wind”, they totally disappeared!!!With up to 200 km./h. wind , atleast 40 people have been killed! TRAGIC!
Back to the predictions; An other meteo station here however, calls all long-time- predictions  “Nonsense”! So….
Let’s wait and see, as  from reliable meteo -people I know ,  how difficult it is to predict weather longer then a week.
Compared to the Mid West of the USA we should not complain.
And …what about the thousands of people who flee for the power of the water around Sydney and other areas in NSW , were rivers grow cause of heavy rain. Even the Canberra area has a problem and on the Corowa site I see ; status…flooded! Have to check with my Tocumwal friends how they are. The Murray river is a mighty river not only in the positive way, as I have seen flooded areas in the past there as well. But that’s normally around October. Absolutely weird weather.

The IGC plenary is over and in Potchefstroom  all delegates worked hard to make the life from glider- pilots easier by setting rules, giving opinions , having discussions and announcing where new WGC ‘s or EGC’s will be held .Some delegates had a nice flight before as I noticed [Terry- Australia, Frouwke-The Netherlands] and were in good maybe even better mood to listen.
Here is the news I got from my USA friend Rick, compact and to the point for you readers and I am more then grateful , as I could n’t do it better !!!! Thanks Rick, CU in Uvalde!
By the way the next agenda will be published on January 17 2013 and the next plenary will be in Lausanne on March 1-2 in 2013.

Summary of voting results:

7th WWGC (2015) – Arnborg, Denmark
8th JWGC (2015) – Narromine, Australia
18th EGC in 18m, 20m2seat, Open (2015) – Ocseny, Hungary
18th EGC in Standard, Club, 15m (2015) – Rieti, Italy
Bid for 1st WGC in 13.5m class (2015) withdrawn, due to unavailability of open airspace in the task area.

Class definition:

20 meter multiseat class: handicapping allowed in Continental Gliding Championships;
No handicapping allowed in World Gliding Championships beginning 2016.

New rules (effective October 2012):

Club class reference weight will be taken from a list of constant values.  Handicaps to be adjusted for overweight, but not underweight.

GPS altitude, not pressure altitude, will be used for altitude record flights above 15000 meters.

For Silver and Gold claims, Pilot ID and Glider ID in the Flight Recorder need not match official statement of Observer.

GPS altitude may be used for Silver and Gold claims.

World Class entry limits raised from 2 to 3 entries per country in 2012 WGC.

Proposals to be considered again in 2013:

Establish Team Medals in WGC and CGC.

Unification of three separate safety programs.

Class structure, merged class competitions, handicaps for gliders other than Club Class.

Free distance claimed must be at least 110% of declared distance claimed, if both are claimed on the same flight.

Ranking list rules established for 20m multiplace entries.

2012 FAI Awards:

Pirat Gehriger Diploma awarded to Andrea Tomasi (Italy)
Pelagia Majewska Medal awarded to Gill Van den Broeck (Belgium)
Lilienthal Medal awarded to Giorgio Galletto (Italy)

 Giorgio after he won the Grand Prix.

Congratulations to Narromine for being the host of the 2015 JWGC.Big job …YES,  but they can do it!!! No worries!!! It is a long time ago that a competition on this level went to Australia, I know it is far for the European and USA pilots but I know already now they will love it. They surely will have the same happy feelings as Fabian and Benjamin who at young age had the opportunity to fly in Stonefield last year. And a 1000 k. before or after the comps or while practising in the pre worlds the year before , it is all possible. Only point is that the weather should be normal as always and NOT like last year!

 Narromine as it should be.

For sure the strong team of young Aussie glider pilots , flying together in Joeyglide, as they call their comps ,will help where necessary.
Congratulations also to the other places having their WWGC or EGC’s. Great to see “my” Rieti is under them as well.
Also congratulations to Gill, Andrea and Giorgio, more then deserved for all 3 as I know them and have seen how dedicated they are to our sport.

That the Sierra Wave season is open now   was very clearly  “showed” by Jim Payne flying the DG 1001M. with for sure a happy co-pilot Dennis Tito in the back seat; 1.805, 40 with a speed of 167.87 km/h. on the clock!!!WOW!!!! As Jim said in his comment; ” the wave was generated by a strong frontal system that was moving South…each trip North was halted by the front. Winds were generally stronger then optimum…saw 82 knots at 20 k feet on the computer later in the day.”
Rosamond Skypark was the place he started from.
So…in the top of the OLC list of best flight for 2012, we see now 2 DG gliders! Good on them !

From Australia I got the next mail from Rolf, member from the Geelong Gliding Club at Bacchus March. He commented on my last blog where I mentioned the first 2 clubs on the OLC list worldwide….both from Australia by the way.
I totally agree with him that his club had a “sterling” season and want to state again that you should see ALL what’s on the OLC and my opinion or analyses on it,  in the correct perspective. World wide Geelong was 7th ,  Australia- only… a great 4th!
 —” The Geelong Gliding Club will never be able to challenge the top 3 OLC placed clubs in Australia but is doing a sterling job to place 4th. That should be seen against the background of serious handicaps compared to other Australian clubs. Operating from Bacchus Marsh we are restricted to 4,500 feet max altitude (4,000 ft AGL) by the Tullamarine controlled airspace above the airfield. To reach higher airspace 20 km away we have to fly over rising ground, leaving only 3,500 feet AGL to play with. On good cross country days the seabreeze penetrates to the site and beyond around mid afternoon. The club still managed to collect more than 61,000 OLC points, albeit not only flown from Bacchus Marsh, which demonstrates our participation in comps not only around Australia. One of our current members, Michael Durant is to represent Australia in standard class in Argentina.—“

 Thanks Rolf for your input and …. looking at flights, you can’t compare flights flown in wave, with declared FAI flights  or with just “flying with the clouds” flights on the OLC,  but it gives us  a great way of keeping contact with each other and to learn from those flights, or to just share the feeling of happiness with such a pilot doing so well.
Pilots with a lot of money, time and a  top glider will be higher on a- best -flight- list as a friend who has the opportunity to fly one week in a soaring mecca. Perspective, it is all perspective!
And a soaring mecca with 80 guests and lot’s of staff will be different [ higher on the airfield-list] then a 2-person-small-scale-club with 25 guests. Looking with percentage as measure, they might be as good.
 So please look at all my analyses of these flights , of airfields , clubs and the rest in the correct perpective as well. THANKS!!!

Talking about the OLC , not a lot happening but what a nice ridge flight from the Schweitzer [ handicap 0.63!!] from Blairstown. Nearly 400 km.

 Looking at the Uvalde list of teams, I was very pleased to see that my Aussie friends have entered now.  
I was amazed to see Willem Langelaan who was born in Holland,  but lives already for a long time in Canada as team captain for the Swiss team!
The South African team is interesting as well with 4 pilots, Oscar and Lourens Goudriaan and Atty and Uys Jonker [ from 6 ]  who are brothers and with Carol as very experienced TC.
24 Team-entries with 108 pilots at this stage….and a few ladies amongst them…and several female TC’s !!!

Last update from “our ” Prince Friso. He has been flown in an ambulance-plane from Innsbruck to London , where he is close to his wife and his 2 daughters,  who are living around the corner of the hospital, known as one of the best private hospitals in the world. Also not too far for mum Beatrix to travel up and down to see her son. She starts her job tomorrow again, after spending the long weekend in London.

CU next week, cheers Ritz