Alphen aan den Rijn  Tuesday September 25 2012

 Still nice flights on the OLC in this early autumn/spring. But NOT so many anymore, 34 only yesterday, a bit of cucumber-time.
Sorry, but I  have to talk about Uvalde again. This time cause Gary Ittner who flew for team USA in 18 m. class , had a great day last Sunday flying from Warner Springs in the Discus 2A this time; 726 km. in it… a nice nearly  600. km. triangle. Good on him and spot 2 on the worldwide OLC.
Best flight last Sunday was just over 1000 km. from St. Gaudens in France by Robert Prat.
A great flight in an LS 6 in New Zealand, where Vaughan Ruddick flew from Paraparaumu 396 km. using “fantastic convergences”.

Gary to the right.

And more Uvalde; Noticed today on FB, that Steven’s glider is back home from Uvalde ,[ pretty quick!] , with the words;
—” She’s home. After exactly a year the Texas adventure is over. Most epic contest ever.”—

Still get a lot of mails regarding Uvalde as well. So I am still in the mood! And….Steven is right, but he is also still very young, so there might be a few other “EPICS.” Who knows, atleast he has had this one!!!!

Time to ” leave ”  Holland soon as we had the first night-frost; -0.3 at the airport of Twenthe in the East from Holland, in the night from Saturday to Sunday. BUT….I depart only on December 29 for Australia, so I have to wait a bit to go back to the nice warm climate. By the way this traler goes to Twenthe and from 45 dgr. to 17 here now.
Even worse; we had the first autumn-storm yesterday. A left-over from Isaac! It really hit. Fantastic old willows did not survive and dropped in a pond in Woerden, where I was to talk and have dinner with Frouwke. She is the organizer from the IGC plenary in March here in THE NETHERLANDS at Papendal [close to Arnheim] !!!!
I was asked to help out with the ladies program, together with Ferdie,  Frouwkes husband, so I hope we will see a lot of the ladies as well. Though it is still early Frouwke has organized the most important things already as accomodation , she is a very good and clever organizer . A bit later you get more info about it. There will be atleast 50 people from different countries to attend the meetings! Looking forward to catch up here in  Holland with a A LOT OF INTERNATIONAL FRIENDS!!!!

Not a lot of soaring this time of the year so I enjoyed looking at  cycling as the World Championships were this year[ last weekend]  in Valkenburg in Holland. The Dutch young lady Marianne Vos, won the title her 2d,  after she was 5 times SECOND!!!! She also won the Olympic title and this seems to be HER year.
Her win was epic and far ahead of the Australian number 2 and Italian number 3[she lost from a few times] and far, far ahead of the rest.
Belgium cyclist Philippe Gilbert won the race for the men. No problem with that though I am more a fan of his country mate Tom Boonen.

Love snooker as well and enjoyed the max break from John Higgins at the Shanghai Masters, playing against Jedd Trump. It was the 6th maximum break in his career; 147!!!!

Got an invitation, PRIVATE -event via FB, [so we don’t go with a few 1000 as what happened in Holland, ]  to participate in another Oktober fest this time NOT in Munich but in Chilhowee, [USA] where Sarah Kelly Arnold is THE FACE.
—” Chilhowee Oktoberfest is always an enjoyable flying and social event. You are invited to be a part of our excitement as we meet to relive the highs of the season, appreciate our racing sailplanes, play with vintage gliders, fly the ridge, and drink in the breathtaking backdrop of autumn in the Tennessee Appalachians.—“
A bit TOO far for me, but nice to receive the invitation and…I will there with them in thoughts!

Sarah and Ritz in Uvalde.

Off to the Southern part of Holland and later Amsterdam. Next soaring-eu  blog will be on Wednesday October 3. SORRY!
See you then with some news from the WWGC in Issoudun, Cheers Ritz

Cross country soaring and more!

Alphen aan den Rijn   Sunday September 23 2012

Where is the Party??? Here is the party!
She turned 16
on Friday and invited her friends for a Sweet 16 -party via a Facebook- event-note. BUT …she forgot to add PRIVATE,…so about 15.000 “friends liked the message” thought you cannot refuse such an nice invitation and between 3000 and 5000  travelled from all places in Holland, even from Germany and Belgium to a tiny little place in the North of Holland. The mayor , hearing about it anticipated as quick as possible, closed the street where the girl lived, told her to leave with the family to an unknown spot and he placed notes as THERE IS NO PARTY HERE, at that stage even hoping/thinking they would only steal name plates from the street, so they removed them !
It did not help. Was 95 % there to just be part of a HYPE and see whó was there, 5 % made a mess from this innocent meant party. They ruined gardens and what’s in it, stole beers and cigarettes out of shops , put cars in fire and created total chaos around 8.30 PM till about 3 AM.
30 People , from project X , were injured in the battle with the police [ a total of 500 and special trained!!!!] , 2 had bad injuries, streets full of broken glass, empty beer can’s and bottles,  just ONE BIG MESS!!!!!!
Worst thing; the hooligans turned against ambulance personel and other helpers.
This morning some created on FB a new event; project X -cleaning the little town. But …town started yesterday morning to do that theirselves and thought it was kind of the AGAIN 15.000 “likes” to come and help with the cleaning, but they preferred to do it their selves.
About 400.000 tweets have been send during project X that evening/night.
Be warned, be precise while making events!!!

Young and old pilots , it does n’t matter as long as you are motivated, are invited here in Holland during the winter period,  to a training program, to learn all the in’s and out’s from cross country soaring. All who are interested in more then gliding over the field and who want to broaden their horizon are welcome to visit the TABOE [Training Aan Beginnende Overland Experts]  program, which started in 2003 and helps pilots to be a better cross country pilot and or to help them on their way to competition soaring.
On 3 Saturdays they will have indeas and input from top cc pilots and they will introduce the “new ones” to subjects as competition soaring, McCready flying, final glide, flight computers, meteo and how to be mentally strong.
Great effort from all ! 2 From the 3 people behind this project are Natasja , and Frans.[see pictures]
More news [in Dutch ] at


Lasham can have VERY good weather but also lot’s of rain. Last Wednesday some of my friends were flying happily  from Lasham. The autumn- weather was not perfect as Mark said, “Very strange day, very small window to fly in with lots of overdevelopment but lovely day out along the coast…” but Dave, Roy and Mark flew  530 [ LS 6] 493 k. [ASG29E/18m.] and nearly 200 in the Nimbus 4. Happy for them.
On Wednesday the weather was still good with a nearly 500 km. flight from Roy!

Like the {pimped}  site from the Bitterwasser Lodge and flying Centre [ ], well done and lovely pictures and good news for those who are not only going to fly,  but like the “rest” [ good food] as well,  will be happy with a new chef from Germany. Like the chef’s name; Lothar Ewigleben.[living-for-ever]
Their containers have been packed as well and I read at least one EB will be flying there.
More news in the future blogs also about Kiripotib, Pokweni, Gariep Dam airfield and Douglas Field, Bloemfontein and all other places with interesting flights in Africa. Quite a few of my friends will go there as well, so nice to keep an eye on it. Maybe I will go in the 2013/14 season myself.

“Friends”  now with Seminole Airport where Andreea is THE FACE. Met her as you know in Uvalde and she seems to be a copy of me in my earlier life. She wrote under the name Miss Daisy in Uvalde and I found out, she has her own blog now as well, good on her… so go to and you can read that she writes at a competition [Region 4 South] in New Castle  [USA] at the moment.
When I met her she had nearly not written a word, was even a bit afraid to put words in a blog and ….she is really doing well now!!!
She makes nice pictures too, here is one I found on her site and when you go there you see quite a few Uvalde-USA-faces on pictures as well.

Courtesy Andreea/Miss Daisy.

Noticed a nice picture from Sarah as well on FB from New Castle, you remember her as the tuggie in Uvalde and she is like Andreea involved in her own soaring business as owner operator from the Chilhowee Gliding Association  at Tenton in Tenessee. And…she will fly in Chaves!!!!!Glider this time!!!! |
Both are VERY active girls!!!

Before towing at New Castle.
“Guess it’s time to launch” courtesy by Sarah.

It’s great to keep in good contact with mates you know half your life! One of Australia’s former-top- glider -pilots Bruce Brockhoff, 3 times National Champion, represented Australia  10 times and still CHAMPION of the GOBI desert in China, read ALL the stories I wrote about Uvalde.  He was so keen to hear it all first hand that he called every 2d day via SKYPE with Brad Edwards. Both Brad and Bruce flew in the 1991 Uvalde WGC. This catching-up after a long time was for both a reason to see each other again. Both had a ride in the Citation Jet from Brad. Interesting is that this Citation is the one I flew over the LAKE Eyre with when there was water in it. Great memories on this trip, as we were flying as low as allowed , so we could see wild life and wild flowers in a Lake which is normally DRY. Unforgettable.
During that time the Citation was owned by another friend and glider pilot, Terry Snow, who has made from  the Airfield from Canberra , the most innovative and attractive  place to land in Australia.


The Citation Jet, Brad and Bruce . Their second love is “water” , catamaran’s and sailing boats.
AND LOOK AT THE STUNNING VIEW on the Barrier Reef and Whitehaven Beach below!!!!


For more about Brad’s business go to

Talking about Bruce,…….one of his daughter’s  Belle, was born during the Nationals in Benalla  19 years ago. We were all SO pleased for him as he was not 20 anymore!He has 2 lovely daughters, Belle and Brooke,  with his wife Christine. The girls however, have  NOTHING with soaring they love SNOW.
Belle,  is an ace in snow boarding and hopefully on her way to the winter Olympics in Sochi [Russia 2014] . She started this season well!
Last weekend she won 2 races in the resort of Cardona in New Zealand.
She belongs to the squad of the NSW Institute of Sport, which is part of the Australian Institute of Sport and that is part again of the Olympic Winter Institute in Australia.
I read on the site of the Australian Olympic Winter Institute [ an initiative of the Australian Olympic Committee]  ;
—“The second win in as many days of the Australia New Zealand Cup competition capped off a perfect two week training camp for the  19-year-old from Mount Buller,  in preparation for an assault on the coming World Cup season in the northern hemisphere, starting later this year.–”
7 World Cup Races in 7 countries from Spain to Norway , to the USSR and the USA!!!!!! Quite a schedule!!!
After a little more training in Australia  the athletes  will fly to Austria , where in early December in Montafon the first World Cup will be held. Mum Christine travels mostly to all spots in the world to accompany her daughter. Wishing them good luck! And great to keep track on the children from your mates.

Belle in the middle!

What about Giorgio Galetto ? He was sitting in a glider again!!! SO pleased and happy for him and Marina and of course Chiara!!!! Go for it Giorgio!
–“Today I made the first flight after the accident. Everything is OK, now I just have to take the physical form.–“

And more Aussie news this time ONLY for my Aussie mates as it is about a TV series IN Australia. Got the news from Judy Renner and I also read it on the Mount Beauty News Letter from this week. I also read there that 2 top pilots Paul Mander and maybe Dion Weston will attend the Mount Beauty Alpine  Gliding course in February. Both bringing their ASH 25. Will be a good training stage.

—“A four-part series called ‘Great Southern Land’ will feature Australia from an aerial perspective. On Sunday 23rd September at 7:30pm in Episode 1 , ‘Great Australian Bite’ , Maurice Little is seen flying a Janus glider above the wind turbines at Ararat .
ABC Website details at

You can see some photos from the filming here

And…the weather in the East of Australia is really nice with a 400 km triangle from Kingaroy in a St. Libelle and several other between 250 and 500 km flights in that area.

And last but not least….more REALLY BAD people in this world, look at this news I received via Natasja;

****STOLEN**** Dear Gliding Friends, At the German gliding club in Mosbach – Schreckhof burglars have stolen a lot of material. Please have a sharp look out for these stolen goods and contact the Police when found; Erik .
Item Manufacturer Type Serial No.
Parachute Brueggemann RFS I-11-A 80355
Parachute Brueggemann RFS I-11-A 80356 …
Parachute Mertens 12-82/23 R I 04-224614
Parachute Mertens 12-82/23 R I 04-224745
Parachute Mertens 12-82/23 R I 04-224419
Parachute Mertens 12-82/23 R I 04-224420
Parachute SPEKON RE-5 L4 73929
Airspeed Indic. Winter 6FMS421 115474
Airspeed Indic. Winter 6FMS421 115475
Altimeter Winter 4FGH20 203328
Altimeter Winter 4FGH10 203379
Variometer Winter 5StVM5 63832
Variometer Winter 5StVM5 63833
Radio Becker AR3201 12572

That’s it for now , oh, YES the Octoberfest has started in Munich. Last year guests drunk 7.5 million liters of beer!!!
More on Tuesday and than you have to do without me for a week, as I am off for a family- get- to- gether.

Cheers Ritz

All kind of news from Australia !A bit of a sad finish of the blog this time!

Alphen aan den Rijn  TUESDAY  September 18 2012

Overseas soaring is in progress now and starts normally first in the East of Australia. Kingaroy had  great weather last weekend. One of the young pilots said,  his satisfaction level was 10 out of 10.
Cracker of a day, though not easy – certainly had to work at it.”
Adam flew in the standard cirrus 410 km. [360 triangle]
You can read Adam’s  full report on

Also Hank Kauffmann , daddy from Anita Taylor, had a nice 433 km. flight in his ASW 19/18m. from Kingaroy,  as well as many-times-Aussie-WGC -pilot John Buchanan  .

By the way one of the first comps in this new season will be in Jondaryan, as between October 8 and 19 the 32d Club and Sportsclass Nationals will be flown.Lot’s of top pilots , also Hank and John, will attend and for the long list , counted 42 including 4 Uvalde participants , you can look under registrations at the site;

And even a bit earlier between September 29 and October 6 2012 the Queensland State Comps will be on, just got the news via Jo, so for all the details you can look at;

Always wanted to “have” a Nimbus 4 T, here is your chance!
—“A reminder that our Nimbus 4T is for sale, Gerrit’s Quintus is on the way here so the only addition to the advert is ‘o.n.o.’
The glider is currently at Jondaryan, and has a fresh Form 2

Aukje made here in Holland some pictures from the “packing” of the Corowa- containers”  last week at Terlet. Ready for Australia! Wishing all gliders a safe trip. Here they are before departure;


It’s even nicer to write about pilots adding their flights on the OLC when you know them. Got to know Dave Leonard in Uvalde, flying his ASW 27 ZL and noticed his top position last Monday morning.
He called it a “nice fall pre-frontal [SUN-] day” , flew 639 km.,  in that a 543 km. triangle and he launched from Kelly [ Colorado] .Good on him.
Another pilot I met in Uvalde as team member and mate from Dave  in the 15 m. class , is John Seaborn , he flew on Saturday from Boulder [ NW of Boulder], a nice distance 606 km. on as he called it a , ” Colorful Colorado day” .
From Hollister in the USA [CA] several pilots flew using the convergense line,  over more then 700 km. also in ASW 27 ‘s. One day earlier on Saturday they even “touched” 800 km.
Here is the comment from one of the pilots;
—“A second epic day out of Hollister, this time team flying with with Ramy, Buzz, and Darren (two ASW-27’s and two DG-800’s!) and Morgan out of Avenal (Duo Discus).  The convergence had moved far to the east and the day threatened to be blue — but turned from cloud wisps to nice streets.  We flew fast most of the day and getting home was never seriously in doubt.  A productive and enjoyable team effort.  This kind of flying really cries out for Power Flarm – I’ll have mine fully installed soon.—“

Europe showed that the mountains are always good for long distance soaring on Friday,  when French pilot Robert Prat flew from St Gaudens, a fantastic and high- wave-flight over the Pyrenees, with 6 legs , longest leg just over 300 km. , in the ARCUS M, one of those magic Schempp-Hirth -toys; 1. 272,42 km.
Last Sunday Gilles Navas flew from Vinon 626 km. in an ASG 29/18m.

Robert Danewid, CD in Eskilstuna enjoys and loves wave flying in Freya in Norway. Here is a link from FB to the pictures he made while flying “high” last weekend in the DG 1000 with a friend.

The inaugural AUSFLY Fly-in, in   Narromine  was a big succes, on a nearly 6 minutes video , made by Mark Rowe, you get a bit of an impression about what was flying there. A lot of different planes and helicopters. It’s on   AUSFLY-2012 Narromine Australia. Enjoy!

The more sad part of this blog. As you might have experienced life is not only fun and joy but …can be sad as well. When you are in a great mood and want to keep that ….skip reading the rest.
We lost last week a young and enthusiastic new pilot. I told you about it in SoaringCafe. 2 Day’s ago I read the full story in the paper and I remain sad and very much touched reading that kind of news.
He was already solo, went for his VFR exam and something must have gone terribly wrong, as he, the instructor and examiner,  did not survive ,by hitting a mountain in a remote area during this test-flight, not long after they started.
I did not know the young boy, Lucas,  but it is TOO tragic for words to see those kids loosing their live doing what they love most.
He was the son of a KLM pilot, a bit the same story and ordeal we had to go through nearly 25 years ago.
His examiner was an old collegue from George with Air Holland [69] and the USA young man [instructor] who died as well was only 26. Certainly the examiner was VERY experienced.
The KLM Flight Academy is stunned and tries to help their students as much as possible.
Unfortunately I do know that situation too good!
Wishing them all well.

More sad news or memories.
In memoriam….. Gert Huybreckx who died on September 17 , 20 years ago in France while flying over the mountains. He was one of those young charismatic friends you never forget. And..such a talent in flying!!!! It’s weird…. sometimes they say ” the best go first ” ,.. could be true!!!!
He was the brother from my good friends Marc,  Eddy and Chrisje and the uncle from young [J]WGC pilots as Tim and Dennis Huybreckx and Jeroen Jennen. Also from Sofie and Gitte!
Gert’s parents , still alive, are wonderful people and have been involved with “De Keiheuvel” ,both the airfield and the great hotel at the Airfield of Keiheuvel, part of  their live and Chrisje and Rudy are running it now!
A real dedicated soaring family!!!!! Have to see them all soon.

Off to the funeral from our good friend Peter, now [Tuesday morning]  . Peter was in gliding for about 50 years. The EAC in Eindhoven was his club! On the card is written that there will be a Fly-BY, at 12. Maybe finally, he gets the credits he not always got in life.
Straight after off to Amsterdam. I stay over there , that’s why the news is one day/24 hours  earlier. Back on Sunday!

Take care, cheers Ritz


Interesting choise!

Alphen aan den Rijn      Sunday September 16 2012

The world and certainly Europe was looking over our shoulder to see what the people in Holland would do with their votes. Though it was pretty  important for us, not everybody thought so , with about 3/4 of the population allowing to vote, indeed going to an election office.The lowest in 10 years.
Why did the world look at us? To see if we would vote in favour or against EUROPE. It was in favour of Europe and the Liberals are now the biggest party bigger in their nearly 65 year of existence,with 41 “chairs” in parliament and the Labour party, a few months ago only on 15 chairs got 39!!! Great job from a young guy , Diederik Samsom, who is smart, charismatic and when he was even younger a real front man for Greenpeace here.
Wilders , extreme right and strongly against Europe, lost 9 chairs, to the relief of many in Holland and Europe. Also interesting; Our prime minister Rutte can continue his work he started and in Europe’s time of recession and euro- crisis, NONE of the big leaders survived the elections, Sarkozy in France is ” out”, so is Berlusconi in Italy and 8 other European leaders had the same fate.


This is the Uvalde dust as seen by Roberto. Our political dust has hopefully cleared now as well.

Had a look for you at the new world rankinglist and after the WGC in Uvalde we see of course some changes.
Number 1 is now Zbigniew Nieradka [can write his name now without looking twice!] and he came from spot 3. Rating score is 997.4.
On spot 2 we see and saw  Sebastian Kawa [ 996.1] and on spot 3 Michael Sommer [992.8], who was on spot 1 before.
Big “jump-up”  for Laurent Aboulin who climbs 21 spots!!![991.7]
On spot 17 the biggest climber, 147 points higher…Oscar Goudriaan!! Rating score 972.0.

3 Containers are ready to travel from Holland to Australia. Today they were supposed to pack the 3d container and the days before the first 2 were already packed. BUT , with their experience and a new lifting-toy, they were ready on Friday!
Tomorrow a last check and I know how critical both Grietje and Francesco check if everything is OK, [they are experts by now in sending containers up and down, ] before the containers will be picked up on Tuesday.
YES the overseas season starts again with pilots from everywhere flying to mostly South Africa,[Gariep Dam had some changes]  Namibia [ Bitterwasser has/gets a new lodge manager] and Australia,  but also New Zealand and Argentina. Will keep an eye for you on what’s going to happen at all those overseas destinations. And of course I report straight from Tocumwal, Benalla and Corowa when I am there.
Of course containers travel from everywhere in Europe as well to Argentina, for the WGC in Chaves.


Busy and booming weather in Uvalde, same in Chaves? Hope so!
Picture courtesy Roberto.

On this site of the world on Thursday , pilots flying at Puimoisson had a good day with flights up to 823 a DG800/18m. But also the LS 8T/18m did well with 788 km.

In Australia Geoff Pratt flew in his PIK 20 a nice 522 km [FAI triangle 380].
First Japanese guests arrived in Narromine as well; Kimiko and Yoshi.

Frequent flyer in Narromine; Mac Ichikawa, here with TC Beryl Hartley who lives …and is very much the face of Narromine.
Picturte courtesy Roberto.

 It’s nice weather already according to Anne , cool, blue and a breeze and Narromine is “buzzing” from incoming flights with pilots for AUSFLY; The first ever, recreational history making aviation event in Australia.
As they say;  “It unifies our vibrant and diverse aviation organisations during a  spectacular weekend of airborne action . ”
You can find all the news on
Upcoming events for Narromine; Narromine Cup Week, NSW State Gliding Championship and the 20 m. 2-seat Nationals. Will come back on them when they are on.
Oh yes, not to forget just got some news from Jo.The Cup week is special this year .Why?

—“Something very special at Narromine Cup this year is the presence of G. Dale, one of the best cross country gliding coaches in the world.  G is employed full time at Lasham Gliding Club in the UK as a coach and has been coaching each season at Omarama with Gavin Wills for many years.

 G will be providing coaching theory lectures (not to be missed) and practical each day as a part of the NSW GA coaching initiative set up by Bryan Hayhow for Cup Week.  Narromine Gliding Club will have two Duo Discus and a Grob Twin Astir available for hire for one-on-one coaching.

 G’s coaching is provided at no cost to GFA members.—”

One of the German pilots in Standard Class in Chaves is Patrick Puskeiler,  like I am a busy blogger. I always try to keep an eye on the “young ones” too, to help or promote when necessary. Not long ago he was damm lucky to survive a power plane crash with the man who shared his glider [Ventus] with him and who was in a way his sponsor, mentor and best friend.
Unfortunately Klaus Lennart did not survive. Patrick tries to continue, living Klaus dream; soaring!
Now, as I read,  he “cries out for some financiel support”  to fly in Chaves. Who loves young enthusiastic pilots in sport and has some money left , please give him a “hand”. He is a terrific good pilot, won 2 times the German junior comps and certainly has potention to win more. I met him at JWGC’s. His site ; it’s in German. When you click on Informationsblatt also in German, you can see what he needs , the cost are clear, in every language. Normally I don’t do this, don’t know why now , but I did! Hopefully it helps him.

It is always sad to loose friends! Lost one last Thursday. I told you about our house-friend for 50 years, Peter, who did a lot for me, but also for the gliding club EAC in Eindhoven. Lot’s of pilots got his help, specially when it was about instruments and radio’s. He was a real radio- amateur as well. Will miss Peter!

CU next week, cheers Ritz

Looking ahead at Chaves;part 2 of the 32d WGC! And containers are prepared for their long trip.

Alphen aan den Rijn    Wednesday September 12 2012

Now Uvalde 2012 is part of our soaring history, we straight away look ahead at a new high-light in soaring, the WGC for non-flapped gliders in Argentina; Chaves. Part 2 of the 32d WGC.
Last year I heard already how great the atmosphere was there, so it can’t be else then another topper. Of course you can only say after it’s finished HOW good it was, but the news from the Pre Worlds was promising.
Today I noticed on the site that the final documents from the entries are available and …it is also possible to check on your glider when it is on a ship  ” on full sea” , for departure and arrival dates.
First flying-day will be on January 6 and the last one on January 19, a total of 14 days with for sure one rest-day! Still have some pictures from last year from Jeroen who will fly there for the Dutch team, by the way a pretty strong team.


Looking at the entries I thought straight away; would it be possible for Sebastian Kawa to win this championship as well??? And ……I guess it is possible, he defends his 2010 title in standard class and will be very motivated to keep that title. With the winning mood still in his brain, he should do well. His mate Tomasz Rubaj will be there as well and number 3 pilot from Poland in standard is Michal Lewczuk.
BUT…of course there are more potential winners!!!!!! 29 Competitors in this class will do their utmost best to win.
In club class even 44 , with USA tuggie now glider-pilot Sarah, as somebody we met already in Uvalde,  as well as the Russian pilot Dmitry Timoshenko and Louis Bouderlique, who was so unfortunate to be involved in that midair in Uvalde on the one-but-last-day. Wishing him this time an incident/accident-free competition, full of fun!!!!
It will be the last time for world class, as they will be on their own in the future and 25 pilots have entered in this PW5 class.

Sebastian Kawa after winning the 3d WGC in 15 m. class in Uvalde and “performing” in 2 WGC’s in one season.
Picture from FB.

Today it’s election-day in Holland and a very important one as we are going to choose who will get us out of the financial [European] crisis over the next 2 left-over years, as the last team did not agree anymore and left Holland in a bit of a shock already after 2 of the 4 years. 2 Parties have the same amount of “voices” both would have 35 “chairs” in parlament, so this morning we all go through rain , sun and wind to our election-stations.
Last weekend there was a clash in the air, that sounds less bad then a mid air,  as 2 light planes with banners behind, one for the CDA[  christen-democrats] and one from the SP , [socialists,] were flying along the crowdy coast line to get the attention from the many visitors on the sunny beach and a 3d plane making pictures from the SP -plane,  hit the CDA-banner-plane . This one had to land at the beach, where the pilot found a quiet spot and said after the ordeal, he had for sure a “little angel flying on his shoulder with him”. 
On the ground you could see how the wheels had “bitten”in the left wing of the CDA plane. It was only a few seconds of being stuck together , then they were loose again. The other plane with 3 passengers flew back to the airfield, both planes however are in custody for investigations. The 3d plane was OK.

The weather has changed into a more then 10dgr. drop of temperature [17 dgr.! now] and …..rain. More places in Europe have the same weather, so less soaring, though the young German pilots in Puimoisson with their companions, are still having fun with p.e. a nice flight by former Junior World Champion [Husbos]  Christophe Nacke in an LS 1 d; 469 km. They also have trouble however with rain and thunderstorms. Not the VERY best weather.
Some of those young ones , are the 2012/13 Sport Soldiers, having their training-camp and one of these Sport Soldiers will be in Chaves ; Marco Barth and 3 others go to Australia in November; Max Lecker[ got some pictures from him in the past] Felix Bauer and Simon Rautenberg. What experiences those young people get!!!!

The Netherlands will be one of the first European countries to “stream-line” air traffic. In short they are going to create more direct lines from A to B by rearranging the “lines”. There will be separated flying routes for airliners to Schiphol and for the regional carriers as well as for military traffic. No files anymore so traffic will be faster.
This makes the growth of Schiphol impressing; from 437.000 movements in 2011 to 510.000 in 2020. 
It also means that air space now only open for military flying, will be open for civil aviation.
I guess it means as well that with the increase of traffic….. gliding at Eindhoven Airport will be more and more impossible. After more then 70 years they have to find their selves a new field and that’s not easy.

The overseas season in Australia will start soon and on October 18 Dundee is already travelling back to Tocumwal. Looking at the Sportaviation site from Eddie and Sheryl,  I noticed that young Jake is a tuggie now as well. Good on him!!!

Tocumwal from above by Ronald Hermans.

The Southern Riverina Gliding Club , also flying from Tocumwal, [ Ingo and Judy]  just had their annual meeting and are ready for a new season . Wings night was part of the event and a dinner, this time at Neil and Glenda’s, who live permanently in Tocumwal now, instead of Melbourne.
New tuggie as well good old Bruce Wilson. We worked with him in the past as well. The other long time tuggie, chief-tow-pilot Bill Harvey of course keeps going also.Bill was awarded a LIFE membership as well as former president Mike Burns and long time chief instructor Ingo Renner.
The club is the proud owner of  a Cessna 150 with an upgraded engine and a “new” Bergfalke 2. 
It is great to be able to see the guests and friends flying at both locations at the field in the beginning of 2013, [till Jan 24 when I depart again]

A bit more to the East about 80 km. is the soaring center from Corowa and they are packing the 3 containers this upcoming weekend. They also installed an ADS-B base station , to have the most accurate height and position reports from the pilots, flying from Corowa.
On the 18th the containers,  leave Holland/ Terlet and 10 days later they leave the harbour of Rotterdam for a long trip to Melbourne where the estimated arrival day would be October  23. First estimated flight in Corowa is expected on November 1 2012.
Of course I will travel to Corowa as well to catch up and…to Benalla.

Benalla about 100 km in a straight line from Tocumwal is ready as well for their overseas guests and club members from the Gliding Club of Victoria. I noticed they celebrate “a 60 years Benalla party” with a big band on November 24 and of course the 51 Multi Class Nationals will be hold in Benalla as well in January 2013.

Of course there are more great places in Australia as Narromine where the next JWGC will be in 2015 , the first one outside of Europe , there is Stonefield, Gawler, Lake Keepit, Waikirie, Jondaryan and Kingaroy and even more, but I will talk about them when something interesting happens, or when they send me news!

That’s it , quickly off to vote and then to Amsterdam ,pretty busy till Sunday afternoon, but try to be there on Sunday as “normal”,

Cheers Ritz


Expensive, sleep well!Jubilee-parties…80 year!!!!!Mountain- comp in the UK!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Sunday September 9 2012

With temperatures here in Holland, up to 28 dgr. TODAY, this autumn is awesome. And ..not only the temperatures are good also the clouds at some days work harder then in summer. Good on them!!! On Wednesday Spain [Fuentemilanos] had a good day and Pepe managed to fly in his ASH 31 a great 745 km. distance with 118 km./h.
“Un dia increible”.. Such a great day made him forget some other more frustrating days.One day later he flew 830 km.
Paul van Dingenen a former Belgium airline pilot,[met him at several Keiheuvel comps]  flew from Santa Cilia Jaca also in Spain  also in an ASH but a 26 E. version , with 3 m. span less; 685 km. Friday he flew 713, while Denis Flamant in the same glider flew 945 km. after a 1000 on September 3. Good conditions over there in the Aragonese Pyrenees.
The French places as Vinon, Gap Tallard, Puimoisson, [ training-camp from the German Sport soldiers to close the European season] ] Sisteron and Serres La Batie are still making pilots from different countries happy with over 500 km. flights.
In the USA the DUST DEVIL DASH [ from Mountain Valley] was on….flying straight out as far as you can get…in a DG 1001 or an ASW 20, an LS 6 or Discus 2a.
A glorious autumn-day with between 700 and 880 km. as best results. Poor crew,….but some pilots made an out and return from it!!!!!!

While we are looking ahead at winter , down under they look ahead at summer and as they called it at Mount Beauty with the season “well and truly started ” , they should fly for “OLC points and review their look out procedures!” It’s nice to get their [Mount Beauty Gliding Club…S of Australia Victoria] updates via Ian Cohn, every week, VERY active club!!!!
Yesterday Geoff Pratt flew already 465 km. from Jondaryan [E of Australia Queensland] in the PIK 20.

Yesterday the ACvZ  [the Amsterdam Club for Soaring] celebrated  their 80 year anniversary/jubilee with a fly inn , a BBQ and a jubilee-task for members with a start point outside of Soesterberg and the finish OFCOURSE AT Soesterberg! The fantastic weather , the many guests and the always great atmosphere from the club will surely have made it an unforgettable party.

 First start was , after coffee first,…… at 6.49….early-morning-soaring!!!see picture from FB.
Distance for open was 165 km en for club/wooden gliders 85 k.

pictures from FB [Zwevers]  via one of the jubilee-organizers Ilse Hiemstra.
Ready to fly and for the party.

AND…also the club from the other big town in Holland Rotterdam [ZCR] celebrated an 80 year jubilee yesterday with BBQ for 107 guests, Fly in, passenger flying and a competetion day at Terlet . Task; 118 km. from Terlet. Before the BBQ  and to close the day in style a demo in the FOX by one of our best glider-demo-pilots Peter Houtman.

Pictures from FB [Zwevers] via one of the jubilee organizers Aukje Engel.
Below ready to go!!!!


What a fantastic line-up from ASK  13’s!!!! All happening at the Airport/aerodrome from St Crepin .[September 1] What a great event from and for  K 13 pilots !!!! There were 35 teams from different places in France and several  from Europe. [Germany, Holland and Switzerland]

picture from FB.

Lufthansa passengers knew in advance that last Friday they were better out to take the train, as after 2 short brakes in work the cabin staff [ 19.000 in total] now was on strike all Friday and all over Germany. But…there was good news as well as the direction and the representatives from the cabin staff were on speaking therms again, so this was one was the last one.
A total of 1000 from 1800 flights were cancelled, 100. 000 passengers had no flight! Specially the big towns/airfields had a problem as  Frankfurt, Munich , Stuttgart and Berlin. The railway did great business. And…as passengers knew before  they took it easy, one said with a big smile; “I had no time to see the town, now I go and visit it”.

In Aboyne, Scotland,  in the UK, the 15th open – mountain/wave -championship was flown with 15 participants organised by the  Deeside Gliding club, renowned for being the foremost wave- flying-site in the British Isles with the UK height altitude of 38.600 ft. .
They even had great weather with 6 days in total and a well known winner for distance , John Williams in the Antares [Z7] . [ 5253 points]
Pilots fly for the task but some prefer the height-comp. HXH , pilot Roy Garden [DISCUS] was concentrating more on height then distance during this competition.
Also on  Friday he asked for opening of the wave-box [13.49] and flew up to 14.939ft .3 Days in a row HXH won the height climb up .
In the end Roy won the height comps with a total of 56.634 ft.
As I read on their news site, on a strong wave day traces showed wind with 60 kts at 10.000 ft.
On the last, also warm day in the N of the UK, a 3 hour  AAT was set between 178 and 480 km. and David Williams won that day as well with 280 km.
Interesting competition never really looked at it good, but it seems great fun! Next year between September 1 and 7 it happens gain!!!! Will keep a better eye on it then!

Neil Armstrong who died age 82 last month, get’s his grave in the sea! That in a way that “belongs”to him. When he was “young” he flew fighters for the marine and it seems that quite a lot of those pilots choose for a “sailor’s grave”. An extremely interesting person. More about him in the next G I.

Expensive???? But you sleep well……Cost of this project ….280 million Euro.
What do you get for that money? 8 Private SLEEPING rooms , each with a dressing-room, in a Boeing 747-8 AEROLOFT  business jet, the newest biggest passenger plane in the world!!!
Necessary??? Don’t know, but when you have the money, or your business has the money, you work hard and travel a lot, it makes you a fitter person after arrival!!! Certainly when you are over 60. I feel it more and more and I look ahead at the next long flight already in the end of this year!!! Atleast ONE week of “suffering” in Tocumwal and one week back here in Holland,…but less!!!!

Another busy week ahead for me , even voting for a new government on Wednesday CU then. Cheers Ritz


Alphen aan den Rijn    Wednesday September 5 2012

A nice flight this week in an ASH 26 in Spain  by French pilot Denis Flament; 1.093 km. with 128 km./h. from Santa Celia flying in wave over the mountains far to the East, to Cerdanya even up to 7000 m. with 25 kt wind.
One of his French mates flew a bit less[841km.]  but in a MOSQUITO , not bad!!!! It’s autumn there as well.
Most other flights were under 500 km , more normal for this time of the year.

Nice to get such an enthusiastic reaction —“and what a flight it was !!!!!—“by Niel Deijgers,   on my report about the flight from the 2 Belgium Libelle pilots flying ALL the way over Holland and back on the first autumn day. Niel is a blogger himself and you can find his blogs , including the one about this great flight at;

The next IGC meeting/ plenary will be as announced in soaringcafe in……The Netherlands in March. Frouwke is in the organisation and I am helping her a bit with the touristic and ladies program. Looking forward to see many of my friends in HOLLAND. And….of course you share in that happiness as I will write ALL about it. This month we start “talking-about-it, ” meaning WE are in the mood already.

From the 4 weekend-days they could fly  for the BELGIUM MASTERS -title, only one day was good enough to fly. Last Saturday on September 1 when Holland had those nice long flights, the Belgium Ardene’s- area [St.Hubert] had a 247 km task and…the ARCUS won with Wim Akkermans flying it. With handicap 107 he won the day with a speed of 96 km./h. gaining 800 points. Runner up Jean Luc Colson in the ASG 29 [handicap 111]  with 30 points less and Olivier Brialmont in ASG 29 E with 775 points.

And last but not least something different. One of my friends Frank Versteegh , yes the one from flying under the Erasmus Bridge in Holland, the one racing between the pillars during many Red Bull Air Races WORLD WIDE, the one who landed AT the racing circuit of Zandvoort and started there again in a spectecular way, he Frank, wrote a book “Niet voor piloten” [“NOT FOR PILOTS”] and dedicated this book to Kay Howe, a beautiful 10 year old girl, who sadly died of cancer [acute leukemia]  in 2010. All revenues will go to the foundation KIKA, [children cancer-free] and the Ronald Mac Donald House! What a great gesture!!!
Frank describes his flying moments from the beginning when he was 17 and flew gliders,  to his triumphs during the Red Bull Air Races; 30 years of adventure, excitement , sensational aerobatics and passion for flying, with pictures from exotic places as Monument Valley, where he flew one of the best races in his life. But also with links you find in the book, to several impressive video’s at Internet.
228 Pages of inside information about a passionate pilot and an inspiring view in the world of aviation.
I ordered the book straight away , you can do so to;
Look at  , here  is a link to one video as well and I will sort out if this book will be out in English too. And….YES it will be out in English in 2013, so stay tuned!!!!

CU on Sunday, cheers Ritz


A photo-journal by Bert jr.! The latest GI is great!


Alphen aan den Rijn  Sunday  September 2 2012

Another link to a great photo series from Bert Schmelzer jr. This time about flying from Vinon. Here is the link and the above pictures are his as well. He takes you with him during his flight explaining where he goes and where he is/was. Fabulous!

We are in September already. Time to think of autumn , overseas soaring and travelling to Australia or Africa, to New Sealand or the USA. Last time I spoke about the few days with over 2000 entered flights on the OLC. Checking the year 2011 it was even less only ONE day with 2816 entered flights on June 12.
Getting MORE curious I had a look at 2010 as well with this result:
May 23 2306 flights
May 29 2202 flights
June 26 and June 27 were good days with 2603 and 2081 flights
July 18 with 2553 flights.
July 31 with 2058 flights.
So …a pretty good season in 2010!

The season is nearly over but the USA still has some great soaring weather. As I heard from most pilots visiting Uvalde, they had a great season. Still now they fly up to over 700 km. in Moriarty  [yesterday 747 km.] and Boulder. In Europe Rieti [Italy] Vinon [France, last Sunday 1.137 km. by Gilles Navas!!!] and Fuente [Spain] showed some longer flights last week. 
AND…….YESTERDAY Holland was good, while coming back by train from the S. I could see nice cu’s everywhere so checking Holland on the OLC I found great early autumn flights; Nico Koster in the ASH 31 ;649, and I say it again, no wave, no mountains, only flat-as-a-pancake-Holland.
595 km for Jeroen Kole in the discus…..young pilots Alfred Paul and Bart with  614 and 514 LS 8 and st. cirrus. A total of 106 entered flights ..not bad!!!!
Also from the N. of Belgium 2 LIBELLE flights all over Holland, one from Bert who flew with us in the past in Tocumwal;
—“a great team flight with Bert Van Eyken! Started out with the idea of a FAI500 Diest, Hoogeveen,Dinsdlaken,Diest. When flying north it looked like overcast in the direction of Dinslaken so decided to fly further North so we had 245km out of Diest and then returned. When we turned south we thought we would never make it back home. Some great thermals surprised us in the evening, a whopping 2m/s above Lommel @19h in the evening !—”
Today looks a bit grey so it might stay with this ONE GREAT day in Holland, but atleast they had that day!

I did not even know it existed but just received the results of the 14th FAI World Helicopter Championships. Clearly is that the Russian friends are good in this, winning OVERALL and with the women in their class on spot 1-2-and 3 as well.
Russia won the team cup too , before the UK and Germany ,…but in the groupe of juniors are no Russian pilots in the top 1 and 3 is for Belarus and 2 for a young German.
The comps were in Russia at Drakino Airfield. Just to let you know!

Schiphol Amsterdam International Airport was in the news this week and though it was n’t all so important it stirred a lot of  noise. First they found a German WW2  bomb [delays and cancellations, certainly for hall C and less for D] and let it explode controlled. Better then in Germany where they found one in an area in Munich, an English bomb this time and that one could  not be moved,  so they tried to explode it controlled as well…AT the spot. But that worked out not too good, as some houses got fire and lot’s of windows were broken.All people were before evacuated  and fire brigade was ready to get in action straight away!
Back to Amsterdam,  where a Spanish prize- fighter from Vueling [A320 with 180 passengers!] entered Dutch airspace without using the radio. No contact was possible so 2 fighters [ F16] according to the routine in cases like this, [quick reaction alert] went up to accompany the plane. The “tower ” had heard Arabic music and combined that with the fact they had no contact with….. maybe a highjack.
Another “thing” triggering the huge reaction was that when there was short contact with the pilot, who said that everything was ok, the plane went in  the opposite  direction as was said by the tower….mmm… maybe a silent sign something WAS wrong. But no…all was OK. Funny was that the people in the plane knew that nothing was wrong and with their social media contacted family and friends not to worry.
Good exercise for our anti-terror-unities.

Last Thursday Andre Kuipers was officially welcomed back on earth here in Holland [Noordwijk] where he lives and works [ESA] .He himself found it too much honour [ the crown prince and premier and thousands welcomed him!] , but we all think he deserved it as he is a “master-entertainer” with his stories and the way he even got me interested in a 193 -day-life around the world in a small , he thinks it is big enough, station.

Last but not least; There was a bit of pressure on me[ did that myself!]  in Uvalde to also have the story ready for Gliding International. John the editor had the September/ October -issue on hold and waited for the WGC-story , send to him straight away after the scores were known , so with only 2 days delay it was send to the printer and yesterday still before September 1,  I had it already on my doormath. Great job from them. The scores are also shown in a new format.
The centre spread has a TOP picture from Maria Szemplinska!!!!!
What’s more in it? A salute to DB ]Dick Butler]; his CONCORDIA project deserves the highest salute! A pity that cause we were all so busy there was not a lot of time to talk, but I read all about the CONCORDIA at SOARINGCAFE.
We had however  one evening time for a few words .

More in GI;
—the alternative for the OLC….XC-soar  [
…you now have a choise….. by Joseph King who also indicates the UK system the BGA ladder
—Does youth tick the declining membership box??? With  a good contribution from my Dutch friends [Frouwke Kuijper and Martin van Ommen] who explained why Holland still has the most succesfull membership retention. VERY interesting to read!!!!! by John Roake.
—Mount Cook by Rebecca Loncraine
—ELY versus PAROWAN….
—the flight test from the new JS 1-C by Richard Starke
—the ASK 14 by Rudolph Kaiser
—Farnborough 2012 with the new winglet’s from Boeing
—glider pilots and skin cancer
—ands much more …. this time 70 pages of soaring-fun. Enjoy!
There are 30 more new readers from GI as John donnated 30 free annual  subscriptions as day prizes during the 32 WGC in Uvalde. Welcome dear friends!
To finish another nice picture by Bert jr. Cu on Wednesday Cheers Ritz