Happy Easter!

pasen 2013 006  pasen 2013 008



ritzdeluy@hotmail.com     www.soaringcafe.com     www.glidinginternational.com

We moved in time ONE hour ahead this weekend ;
BUT summer is still far away.

The 50thiest lustrum of the ZES , last Wednesday was one big feast of recognation. One thing was evident; we surely got older!!!!!! But “happy ” older and some wrinkles show the identity of the 50 years of good and bad days! All of them from the year 1967, had those nice “46 year old wrinkles”  to show they were still there and HAD LIVED and ….are still alive,  as I knew some had died as Kees Musters and Hans Jonkers, both very charismatic icons from the ZES, but I heard even more  are not amongst us anymore as Rudy van Brienen and Martin Panis!!!!
Some however were older than 80,…. some in their 90thies !!!!!! And you would not believe that!!!!!!

ZES lustrum 015  ZES lustrum 013

Paul van Geuns is in his early 80thies [l.] and left one day later for Vinon “glider on tow” , here with Wim Korenromp, both in the board in the 5 first years. Prof. and Mrs. Schlösser are in their 90thies! Prof. Schlösser was the ENGINE behind the ZES , “organising” gliders with help from DAF and PHILIPS  and building with the section electro- technik from the Technical University in Eindhoven , the ZES-winch. He is busy with a book now about the history of soaring and when there is more news you will hear it.

ZES lustrum 001  ZES lustrum 017
Wim Korenromp here with Angela, was from before my time and Peter, Dick and Boudewijn were from “my” year.

ZES lustrum 006  ZES lustrum 009

Peter Cornelisse was in the board in my time and is STILL an instructor for the ZES now!!! He defenitely is one of the longtime members.
AND,..the future, the president at this time!

What I always remember first from Easter is something from the past; that it was the final busy part of our business SPORTAVIA, in Tocumwal for the season. We started already early in November with WINGS night and the OUTBACK race and had guests till early or mid April depending on when Easter had the long weekend, for the last x-country flights for overseas guests and or regulars from Melbourne.
The horse races were in the same weekend  at the Toc race court and not always [because it was too busy ],but sometimes,  I could escape for a few hours to sip champagne with friends, betting on horses and just sitting on a blanket, enjoying the company of friends who came along or from town .
Great memories! But we were more or less worn out as well after so many intensive months.

Easter is the start as well for the NITRA competition; The Pribina Cup. I am afraid they will be cold as we all are over Easter here. But no worries with the right [thermo]-clothes you do NOT feel the cold, you only need soaring-weather! Let’s see what the week will bring.
Last Wednesday there was still snow at the field, but,…the sun was shining as well, so the snow melted quickly. On Thursday about 20 pilots could check their glider and their instruments.
No flying today and yesterday! But ,..there is hope!
More news and pictures also on www.soaringcafe.com

Till now the first weekend in March had  349 entrees on the OLC. The next weekend 429, the weekend from week 11 counted 476 flights and last weekend with the cold freezing wind in parts of Europe , “only” 264. This Easter weekend hopefully will be busy with good x-country soaring world wide.
The weather here is still about 6 dgr. TOO low than the average temperature but someway or another BETTER soaring must be possible soon. Good to see at least different squads are practising in the mountains at several places.
By the way it looks like our strawberry and asparagus harvest will be small due to the bad frost, so expensive vegies and fruit this summer !

The VINTAGE REGATTA is on in Australia  flown from Warkworth. Nice to see names on the OLC as, the Maupin Woodstock 11.9, not long ago back on the old nest in Tocumwal , where I met Peter again, KA 6 E, LS 3 , Jantar 2 B and Mosquito.

And,…The EASTER comps are in progress in Goondiwindi.
Several AUSSIE- top- pilots are flying here as Bruce Taylor, Alan Barnes, the Claffey’s, Shinzo, Michael Codling and more.
For results see www.soaringspot.com
Nice to see one of our season-instructors from the past in Goondiwindie as well; Alain Potier, flying as PZL Krosno Puchatek a Polish glider.
This competition is on till April 6 and “provides an opportunity for pilots of all experience levels to compete in a friendly and social setting.  Our aim is to run a competition that is fun, safe and friendly and we  will try to provide challenging competition to everyone from the novice  to the experienced. To this end, assigned area tasks will be the norm in three classes – Sports, Club and Two Seaters class.”

Nice flight by the way in New Zealand, where Max Stevens flew in the Discus a nice long [715 km] and high – nearly 400 m. AGL] flight from Omarama.

Enjoy your Easter weekend!

cheers Ritz and to finish some more pictures from the ZES party.

ZES lustrum 002  ZES lustrum 004

Boudewijn, my instructor Dick and Ans. Paul, Peter, Theo and Dick.

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AND…Evelyn Schlösser, yes daughter from and ……sister from Karin, who I met in Uvalde with husband Heinz and daughter Hannah. Did see both girls not for at least 30 years. Evelyn is a very well known balloonist.

Scandinavia wakes up! Tornado-story..updated! Nitra welcomes over 100 pilots end of this week!


ritzdeluy@hotmail.com     www.soaringcafe.com      www.glidinginternational.com

lente2010 004

Longing for SPRING!

The pilots from AKAflieg Frankfurt have settled down for their Wave Research Camp in Spain, since March 18; at LA Cerdanya. Flying on the South side of the Pyrenees, they enjoy thermals, wave and fly on the “hang” in gliders as ARCUS, Duo Discus ,but also LS 3 , Hornet . Wave ; there was even superb wave over a convergence line on March 19!!
According to Christoph Maul, who flies with AKAflieg club members in the Duo discus and shares his experience with us on the OLC, March 20 had 2 “faces”. One part had great NW wave from Perpignan to Andorra; Height 6344 MSL /4507 AGL—wind 320 and 70 km./h.
On March 22 they reached in the DUO 5000 m. AGL in SW wave ; wind there 240 with 90 km./h.
Nice to see how active they fly together with members from the SFG Bremen.

The German squad has settled in Vinon, with TC Uli [ yesterday 524 k. in ARCUS] , and pilots as Patrick Puskeiler [716 k yesterday in Nimbus 4], Matthias Sturm , Michael Sommer [678 k in EB 28]and more.
No secret that the next EGC  for 15m. 18m. and open class is from June 8 till 28 this year…… in Vinon. So good practise!
For more news;

And I received more news from France this time for the LADIES; Certainly for those who want to practise a bit more for the WWGC, here is your chance!
—“ We still have some place for the French women nationals, this will be from 5 to 12 may in Buno (about 150km north of Issoudun).
The French team will be there to train before Issoudun.
We  will also have the 18m French Nationals some pilots from Belgium and UK are coming.
The website here:         aave-buno.net   –“

And look at the GREAT pictures I received  from the open class competition in 2012 in Buno!!!!Thanks Christophe!!!!
For more pictures you can go to;   http://picasaweb.google.com/photosbuno

And for their FB site to;

2 Fantastic impressions about WAITING.

Women in Buno  Women in Buno crew
Nice to see also, that Scandinavian pilots woke up from their hibernation.
In Denmark from Arnborg , last weekend 4 flights by 2 brave pilots flying  over 200 km. and over 300 km in the Discus and Ventus, starting the OLC season over there.
And,… North of Arnborg pilots woke up as well ,flying in the Discus from Herning Skinnerh, mentioning even “working cloud streets” !
Swedish pilot Bernt Hall so much enjoyed his first flight of the season/year , even circling with an eagle; the eagle won, he mentions in his OLC comment! 244 km. in the DG 400 from Skoevde Maal and up to nearly 1500 m.. Must have been VERY cold.
One of the 2 first flights added to the OLC list this year for Sweden.


This eagle flew / was spotted in Australia .
courtesy; Morgen Sandercock.

124 pilots start this weekend in Nitra with hope to be the winner in one of the 4 classes of that big Pribina Cup.
On her way Swaantje Geyer from Germany had to defy cold -4 and snow , while driving up to Nitra through the hils of the HARZ and Thüringer forest and via Nürnberg to finish her jobs. HOPE the weather will be GOOD there, it looks like it will improve !!!!!!

Swaantje  Swaantje 2
as shared by Swaantje on FB.

The competition and selection committee in Holland has decided to agree on the next handicap in the combi class during the CAE/NLS Dutch Nationals from Mai 9 till 17 2013
100 Standaard klasse
101 Duo Discus & DG-1000
103 15 meter klasse
104 Arcus
Pilots can register at least till March 31!

The tornado-power had a direct impact I heard now on places VERY close to Tocumwal, as Barooga where lot’s of our guests played golf or had dinner at the Barooga Golf club. Also Cobram the town we all do/did our BIG shopping, was hit . Here is the link I got from Doris , who loved in the past being in Tocumwal as well.


Of course I started to worry a bit. Knowing that Eddie , from Sportaviation, who knows the area very good AND knows a lot about weather could inform me best and of course to check if they and all  new trees they planted and the new hangars and the beautiful new camping site,  were still ok, he answered;
—” We could hear the start of the tornado quite clearly from here, like a jet or high speed train.
It set down about 1Km west of Koonoomoo through the store and a few houses travelled for 4Km lifted and set down twice in Barooga gaining power to full strength at Mt Gwin destroying a farm. It then lifted again and come down with even more power on the North side of Lake Mulwala totally destroying the caravan park ,in the forest on the west side the trees were ripped from the ground and the trees devoid of leaves . It travelled across the lake  to Bundalong doing the same thing there. Total destruction!

Not much happened at Tocumwal as the cells developed south and NE of us and we got much needed rain with a bit of wind.—“

Koonoomoo , is a tiny place with lots of fruit as apricots and kiwis. Strawberries are famous there and you find them in all varietees in the BIG STRAWBERRY, which you pass by travelling from Melbourne to Toc..

Hearing that,  I was worried again about Richard our former instructor at Sportavia and in the past a longtime owner of a KESTREL ,  as he just built a new house in Koonoomoo, with sheds and lot’s of trees, but also animals, “cattle & horses were behaving very weirdly in the 10 minutes or so that the tornado was forming – I guess the atmospheric pressures upset them.”

Here is what he had to say:
—“it was a very very scary event. I watched the tornado from my place form almost right over the little Koonoomoo store at the highway intersection about 2 klms south of my cattle yards. I had no idea how serious it was until I drove in that direction on my way to Cobram for dinner about 15 minutes later. I couldn’t get through with all roads blocked in every direction by fallen red gums. It was as if somebody had used a giant hedge trimmer to cut the tree trunks about 20 feet above ground! The broken limbs were dumped by the tornado onto houses, cars, caravans & sheds – about 7 houses were destroyed in Koonoomoo all around that intersection, including the shop which exists no more. The young girl in the shop thought she was going to die when a large glass fronted drinks refrigerator fell towards her but luckily fell against a wall which held it off her while the roof and walls were blown away by the 250 klm whirlwind. Strangely the “Big Strawberry” building only 20 metres away suffered only 1 broken glass window – no damage on that side of the intersection.

The tornado then moved east at about 80 klms p/hour towards Barooga cutting a path about 50 – 100 metres wide where lots of trees were broken and the Golf Club lost it’s roof; then on to Mulwala where trees were broken and 2 caravan parks were completely destroyed and 19 people injured, some of them trapped in their caravans while being picked up by the tornado and dumped onto the ground!! It then moved on to Bundalong and did a lot of damage to homes there and finally to Rutherglen where it petered out.

I eventually got to my dinner & red wine in Cobram about an hour & a half late after helping people in Koonoomoo chainsaw tree branches off the roads and in their driveways……………It was like a bomb site and even this morning driving to the Clinic it felt really strange seeing blue skies all above where previously there were 40 & 50 feet high gum trees with their foliage.

How lucky that there was no loss of life.—”

So far about the tornado, specially for my friends, who have flown with us and were worried as I heard , like I was.
Thanks Richard!


Of course I support the “kick off” as published by my friends Bill and Rand from Soaringcafe:
—“Richard Glassock, an Australian glider pilot and aircraft designer, is the originator and designer of a breath-taking six-seat sailplane design concept. On March 27, 2013, he will kick off a 90-day crowd-funding project with a goal of A$5,000,000. Visit his website to learn more about this ground-breaking project and to support him by making a pledge. The kickoff announcement is also posted on www.soaringcafe.com —“

And to finish , speed as speed should be, even expressed/caught  in the picture.

JS 1 speed jet

This is Tassilo Bode flying as a jet in JET, the JS 1 in Tswalu.
High speed finish, indeed the picture “shows the speed”.
Shared on FB by Sven Olivier.
Picture courtesy; Iain Rennie.

Off to the Southern part from Holland now for the 50thiest anniversary of the ZES. Camera,  paper and pen with me! Old fashioned, no i-phone, i-pad , blackberry , Samsung or whatever they are all called, just back to the basics, today; memories and fun.
cheers Ritz

A junior aviator day! 17th FAI EGC in Poland! Calcinate!


ritzdeluy@hotmail.com     www.soaringcafe.com     www.glidinginternational.com

Good morning on this sunny Sunday morning here, but freezing cold.
Not a lot of time anymore so here is an important reminder , for those who are interested and have not read it yet,  this next invitation-mail  for the 17th FAI EGC in Ostrow Poland. When you are qualified to go and your NAC wants to send you , be in time ;

—“Dear Pilots, Team Captains and Regional Aeroclubs,

 Only 10 days are left until the deadline for the confirmation of the participation in the 17th FAI European Gliding Championships in Ostrów.

Currently 72 pilots have confirmed their participation in the Gliding Championships that will take place this summer at EPOM. The limit is 124 places, thus please send us notifications as soon as possible.

In case you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 PS. We consciously send this information to everyone – even if you already did send us the participation form, please do follow up with your friends that haven’t yet done so.

 On behalf of the organisers,

Pozdrawiam / Best regards Bogusława Wolniewicz-Niemiec Aeroklub Ostrowski
mobile 1: +48 695 771 390 mobile 2: +31 621 296 182

With numbers in gliding clubs going down, the initiative from Judy and Ingo Renner and their Southern Riverina Gliding Club, to specially focus a day on juniors and create a full day of interesting items for them yesterday at the Tocumwal Aerodrome , is a good one.
Club members have been asked to donate some money to pay for the tow fees for the young ones, a few days before there was an interview on ABC TV and a morning program starting at 10 , with all kinds of short speeches, DVD’s [ 15 min. Otto Lilienthal and 15 min. an introduction to gliding by John Roake] and lunch at 1.15 , looks very entertaining for the young aviators.
Speeches about the development of flying machines, the history about soaring , modelling, principles of flight, airworthiness and maintenance of gliders , learning to fly powered aircraft and career options , control surfaces and gliding instruments ,[ How to DI a glider?]   meteorology and safety and launch signals are programmed.
In the afternoon they will have their first flight and Ingo is one of the pilots.
Hope the weather was good for them.


As seen by Dundee from his “house”at the camping area. To the East it looked “RED”.

 There was FINALLY rain I heard after “a very hot summer with long spells of 35 plus days. March has seen an Australian record of “above 30 degrees” for 13 days in a row, whilst the temperatures in Toc have been in the mid to high 30’s over the same period. We have all found it extremely trying.”

Tocumwal by Ronald

That’s what the kids see from above!
Courtesy ;Ronald Hermans

Nice to see that Mount Beauty topped the OLC list on March 19 with a 622 km. flight in a 15 m. Ventus b by Andy Smith.
Just got some pictures from some friends who flew there during the mountain-flying-course. This way , by seeing it, you share a bit of their joy.

Mount Beauty Jorgen 1

The city and airfield seen from the West.
courtesy Jörgen Thomsen

Mount Beauty Jorgen 2  Mount Beauty Jorgen 3

The landscape Jörgen , Brigitte and Roger flew over in the ARCUS.

Mount Beauty Jorgen briefing 3
Morning briefings with a few hours of theory lessons, discussion on techniques, and safety of flying in the mountains
during this course at Mount Beauty.

From France [Bailleau] I got an interesting link about unmanned gliders. Thanks Anthony!
It’s an article in THE ECONOMIST , [so don’t worry in English ] and it explains more about TALEUAS,  the hand-launched Tactical Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial System (TALEUAS) “which  is being developed at the Unites States’ Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. It needs an electric propeller to get airborne, but give it a few minutes to reach a reasonable altitude and TALEUAS can fly all day just by riding rising currents of warm air called thermals.”
Here is the link and ENJOY:


It was supposed to be REAL practise when the German police, with 400 people,  came together to try-out, an action against hooligans in the Olympic Stadium in Berlin.
It turned out to be a black day as 2 helicopters collided not far from the stadium, killing one of the pilots and injuring 4, 2 of them badly. The weather was not too good , with snow and while practising , the helicopters flew low. On TV it looked as if they were landing,  but investigation will tell us why it happened. The action was stopped immediately.
Even worse was the accident with a Chopper in NSW [Australia] where 4 were killed on their way to a fancy restaurant for lunch. The Robinson R44 light helicopter crashed after clipping a tree and  burst into fire.

 Calcinate del Peche [Varese]  , the Italian Alps, is the place to be for high performance soaring/training/stages and lots of Italian pilots are there right now. Even topping the OLC with flights up to over 400 km.
When you read as comment “bellissimo primo volo SAP2013, eccellente tutor!” it is all OK!!!!
Varese is an important place for soaring in Italy with at least 3 clubs at the lake.
One of them is called ” Aero Club  Adele Orsi. ” in short ICAO, very special is n’t it? Giorgio Ballarati is the “master”, who gives x-country-training there in the duo discus during the season, starting in March.
I know Giorgio from several comps and even worked for/with him in Rieti.Lovely guy and an excellent pilot!
Of course he also flew the ETA during the WGC in Eskilstuna.
I remember Adeles husband Giorgio as some kind of king, sitting/laying in his open class glider , with a crew around him with umbrellas during the Pre WGC. We were even invited in their castle-looking house , in the mountains at that time visible from Rieti airport. Impressive kind people, who did a lot for gliding in Italy!
The “ICAO” has by the way just recently chosen a new chairwoman; Margherita Acquaderni, holder of 28 Italian records and she was a participant in 6 WCG’s.

This weather???? I don’t know about it!!!
As said Australia had the hottest March ever, it looks like Europe has the coldest March ever. With the cold easterly it feels like minus 15 this weekend and the colourful tulips in the KEUKENHOF, one of the most famous attractions in Holland in spring, has no flowering tulips.
The UK suffers from REAL snow at the moment and we here have frozen seawater on the borders of the WADDENsea and even more weird, the tough Easterly wind annoyed ferries to go to the islands up North, as the water -level was temporarily too low. Pretty unique , certainly for this time of the year.
Spring started in Canada with MINUS 30 and chaos on the roads with deadly accidents.
Victoria in the South of Australia, was hit by damaging tornadoes and the rain, storm and gales lashed NSW as well. This picture below is from Yarrawonga close to Corowa , Benalla and Tocumwal, where wind up to 250 km./h. ruined a lot and injured at least 20 people, 2 pretty badly.
Not so much later  the Narromine/Dubbo area was hit by “destructive wind, large hails and heavy rainfall”.
AND….AGAIN 2 days later the runner up from Chaves , Tobias Geiger, flew again over 400  km.  in his LS 4 from Benalla. Indeed, that’s  how quickly the weather can change over there. I was sometimes amazed!!

Victoria tornado

 Picture on TV from Victorian Storm Chasers.As seen on FB by Tammie, the lovely wife from one of our tuggies Glenn, now a proud AG pilot.

And as extra UPDATE to these tornadoes, a link to this video, thanks Vanessa;

And this one close to the Lake Mulwala, for those who flew at Tocumwal, the lake with the “dead trees”.
Same but under 1 minute!

 I am looking forward to the 50 thiest anniversary of the ZES ….1963-2013…..next Wednesday. About 140 soaring-friends have announced their arrival and a few from “my ” year 1967.
It will be busy over Easter with guests here, but I try to keep writing as well as of course Nitra starts with 124 pilots ;the first big competition in 2013 in Europe. It’s all going to happen again.

CU next week .When you have n’t got enough of reading …….and want to read more ……and have not read it yet, …….there is a nice interview with Uys Jonker on the OLC page as well as  “shared” on www.soaringcafe.com . Enjoy, as I did.

Off to look at the world championship ice speed skating in the Olympic hall in Sochi now, but I look downstairs nice warm in my room in front of the TV. As expected but certainly also hoped for in our speed skating-crazy-country,  “WE” are doing well, with 4 gold, 4 silver topping the medal list and more to come on this last day.

Cheers Ritz

Icy soaring conditions, give pleasure as well!

….the astronomical  SPRING or ….autumn down under, starts….

ritzdeluy@hotmail.com    www.soaringcafe.com     www.glidinginternational.com

NOT that we FEEL that spring is about to start here.
With a cold easterly and temperatures up to 8 dgr. LOWER than the average 10 for this time of the year, it seems we long more for a bit of sun and warmth than ever before.

Enough pilots however love these icy conditions. As said in my  blog in SOARINGCAFE last Sunday, it’s [nearly] all about wave, hang and ridge soaring during this time of the year.

Parade and opening 076
Werner above , with Carol and Bill Elliott [SOARINGCAFE] at Uvalde

When you are waiting for the promised story about RIDGE soaring , from Werner, it arrived just in time to use it in my Sunday-soaring-cafe-blog, so you can read it there. Enjoy! [link above!]


soaring on ice 4
The team at Vaga in Norway with Robert 3d to the left.

Other friends “stand the icy-cold conditions” as Robert Danewid every year does. Soaring from an ice- runway and freezing cold, but lot’s of fun! Their Vaga camp is an adventure from 7 days in the Norwegian Mountains, giving the pilots however the pleasure of wave up to 5000 m. QNH, hang and ridge soaring.
As I read on their site , it was a great week and they hope to see everybody and even more guests back in week 11 in 2014!
Stats; —” 173.700 altitude meters towed during the camp.The latest update of the blog says that there have been 153 tows. This gives an average tow height of 1.132 meters.”

See for more stats and news ; www.wavecamp.no 

soaring on ice 3

soaring on ice 2  soaring on ice

All pictures courtesy Robert Danewid.
for more pictures;

More icy conditions and more fantastic pictures by blogger Benjamin Bachmeier who flies from Serres La Batie. Impressive with text.Here is one of them;

Benjamin Mont Aiguille

Courtesy Benjamin Bachmeier


Australia now; Dundee [Dieter] shared a nice link from an outlanding check;” starring ” in this just under 15 minutes you- tube -video, pilot Zack and his instructor Ingo.


News from SEE YOU;
“New versions of SeeYou Recorder are released for both iPhone, iPad and Android devices. They include stability improvements, minor bug fixes and a feedback form. We love to hear back from you and for this reason we are making it more simple.” On FB you only have to click , for feedback and/or settings, but I guess on their site as well. Have a look.

With 289  flights last Sunday on the OLC, it looks the season  slowly starts.
Nice to see an over 500 km. flight from Nagano in Japan in a DG 505M/20m.
Still just under  500 km. flights  from Orient in South Africa [ ASW 27] and over 500 k. from Mc Cafferey Field [South from George Lee Field] in Australia in ASW 19 , where the season is over and autumn started.

The “OLDIES” and I say that with love and pride, flew from Seminole Lake , “the home of the senior Nationals”. Hope you enjoyed reading the stories written by Frank Paynter on Soaringcafe. They “were cold” over there as well.
About the last day you can go to ;http://soaringcafe.com/2013/03/2013-senior-nationals-day-5/?fb_source=pubv1
Interesting to read about the “elimination of the ban on pilot-to-pilot communication”. Something we do not know  in Europe, as we all happily talk and talk, sometimes too much and you hear loud: RADIO DISCIPLINE!!!

One of the pilots is Hartley Faltbaum, “our ” designated medical doctor at Uvalde last year.
He was n’t very busy then, but was the first to take care of Peter Hartmann [CH]  when he was brought back from the place where he bailed out and his plane crashed,  after the collission in mid air with French pilot Louis Bouderlique.
The helicopter owned and flown by Mark Huffstutler , came back to the field , so we could see pretty fast Peter was OK , by stepping out of the heli himself.
Hartley still put him down on the ground , to check on him, but after that he was free to go for an all- over -precautionary -check/scan in hospital.

Briefing last day 002
Peter; Still pretty emotional on the next days briefing, talking about the incident.
Last Sunday I noticed Peter on top 4 of the OLC  flying a DG 505/20 m from Bad Ragas in Switzerland.

It was also very good from Hartley to give all people suffering from the heat , tips to “survive”. He did that when necessary before briefing. I still drink every morning a lot of water to start the day, as he advised and as you can see, we took at that time his advise of “eating” well too.

gary 003
With Gary, crew from Bill Elliott [WE] in Uvalde.

 Indonesian Airline Lion Air has ordered 234 Airbusses of the A 320 type. A huge order ; 18 milliard Euro is involved!
Airbus is doing well , as last week orders were set by Lufthansa[100 A320’s] and Turkish Airlines [82 A 320’s]
The CAE Oxford Aviation Academy , sponsor from the Dutch Nationals as CAE/NLS , held in May [9-18 with a practise day on May 8] from this year, is one of the “providers”  from young pilots to Lion Air, as well as to German Wings [ full daughter of Lufthansa ] and Ryan Air. This company just ordered 175 Boeing’s; type 737.
So you would think, that for the future there should be enough new jobs again for young pilots. At the moment it is not easy to find a job!

Talking about the Dutch Nationals; 36 participants at this stage, 4 in standard class, 4 in open class, 14 in club class, 1 in the 2-seater [20m] class , 11 in 18 m. class and 2 in 15 m. So maybe a few of the smaller classes will have to join into one mixed class, or in the end a few more pilots must/should  enter.
Natasja is the CD again with some new and old faces supporting her and my “mates” Daan, Sjoerd and Bertje the tuggies with , when necessary also Zweef [Evert Jan] and Ralph.


Tuggies last year Sjoerd, Bertje and Daan.

The DUTCH NATIONALS will be at Terlet  and last Monday one of the pilots flew from there already a nice 318 km. cross country flight , direction East straight in to Germany over Münster in a 17m. DG 400. As a member of the winning OLC club last year,  the Gelderse,  he has made a few steps to the 2013-top already.

To finish “for those who are not on FB , a VERY HAPPY Giorgio.
Finally he was back in the air .
Marina called it;
“The Ridge rat is back.”

A happy Giorgio after 4.30 hours flying over the Alps.

Till Sunday, cheers Ritz

Nostalgia-1988- EGC-video! Ridge soaring from Brown Field !

 ALPHEN AAN DEN RIJN     Sunday March 17 2013

ritzdeluy@hotmail.com     www.soaringcafe.com     www.glidinginternational.com

What a lovely video produced by Finnish TV about the EGC in 1988!!!It brings back so many good/sweet moments and nostalgic ones, as running around with camera’s and barographs.

Familiar faces from Klaus Holighaus , Ernst Gernot Peter , Karin Lysakowski  and her dad Ted, Alf Schubert, Pierro Morelli, Gerd Huybreckx , Tapio Savolainen, Smilian Sibic and Markku Kuittinen all there,  but sadly not amongst us any more.

A young Kiki,[Jacky Clerbaux]  Patrick Stouffs, Fred Gai [German TC] Werner Meuser, Jarislav Vach, Eddie Huybreckx, Paul Bourgard ,Jan Andersen, Reinhard Schramme,  Giorgio Galetto and crew Robert  , Luigi Bertoncini, Ralph Jones, Holger Back…..and Jaques Aboulin . Written in my book: “His last comps , he has enough of it, starts aerobatics now”!And of course many more pilots.

In the video “a lazy looking me , sipping wine!!!!” but also a hard working one “doing”the radio.
I was Team Captain,  that year with in “my” team, Daan Pare,[9] Gerrit Kurstjens,[6]  Sikko Vermeer [5], Onno Blankenzee [18] and George Schuit.[10]
According to my brother in law Ad, the Finnish TV crew wanted us to show what we did during the day, while the pilots were up in the air.
So I did, as if I was very busy talking to my pilots by radio and Ad looked on the map, it shows in the video. Had all forgotten about it.
But,…..I was on my radio post as well when Sikko arrived home in a thunderstorm, not letting the radio ” go” sitting in the rain while lightning hit besides me, giving him my best advise.
Stupid , yes now I do see that, but it was pure duty then!!

The biggest job was the organization of the trip by ferry with the cars and trailers. I had to find my photo book , to remember what all happened. The way up from Travemunde to Helsinki with Silja Line and back via Turku and driving through Sweden.
We swapped t- shirts with Russian pilot Alexander Silvanovitch in exchange for “moon/space-food” , it all comes back, a landing from George in a too small field -ground-looping before the lake and all OK, dinners together with 20 in ONE tent and cointreau to sleep well in the evening!!
Umbrellas to hide for the rain, a paper-airplane-competition, sitting on a Finnish  ”  polisi-motorbike”,….

With all the rain “we “still had 11 days .In standard class Janusz Trzeciak won from 28 participants , in 15 m. class 10 days with Gerard Lherm as winner, from 30 and in open Klaus Holighaus from 13 and also 10 days.
Also days that pilots started 3 times, some could depart , others not; result they all got stuck where the rain hit both.
My pictures say it all! A pity I can’t scan a few! That was like all comps I visited in Finland,  a real pleasure to be part of .Like the JWGC and most special the EGC ,where we started with a 1000 k. on day 1 and more than 50 % flew that 1000.

As Antti said on FB, where he shared this video;
—“A nice video of 1988 EGC in Räyskälä, made by finnish TV.  Many familiar faces…—”
Indeed worthwhile to look at, certainly when you have never flown or been in Räyskälä and you will be part of the next 33d WGC in 2014 !!!

Good flight this week and one of my Uvalde- 2012 -friends ,Werner had a very nice one in his ASW 27 on Wednesday with 770 km. ridge soaring from Marion County-Brown in Tennessee;Also called Brown Field, close to the town with the nice name JASPER. He was on top of the OLC list that day.
Sarah, you remember her name as tuggie in Uvalde, pilot in Chaves and future pilot in the Issoudun WWGC and important as well,  Chilhowie Glider port owner, was the organiser of a 10 days ridge camp from Brown Field.
As Werner said; “We had two (2 ½) great ridge days with lots of exceptional flights!”
He will write a bit more about it , so you get that when I have it.
Sarah mentioned already early during the camp; —-“A nice day on the Sequatchie ridge. The count so far: six diamond legs, one silver, three gold, and a state record.”—


One of the young soaring-bloggers Benjamin Bachmeier flies from Serres at the moment ; 723 km. and high up to 5858 MSL/4517 AGL, with a nice Northerly and topping Fridays OLC list! Good on him. His blogs , in German, are on ;

Serres by Benjamin

As shared by Benjamin on FB.

And in Holland the first flights on OLC appeared as well. 3 Flights from Terlet , best distance 187 km in ASW 28E/18m. But this weekend is freezing cold again with showers with in it rain or snow, depending where you are.Yesterday evening one of the clubs at Terlet the GEZC , opened their season with a real openings-party. Always great fun, but too far for me!

A not too bad looking sky as seen by Rens North of Schiphol.

Seizoen begint Rens


Helli Lasch Challenge 2013.
Pictures from Sebastian Kawa shared by Sven Olivier; Have look at the beauty of Sout Africa. ENJOY!!!!!
The last day on March 14 of this event , was fun, fast and high. Thunderstorms as well, but they could not stop the pleasure.

About 5 minutes past 7, last Wednesday evening, the world got pretty excited by white smoke in Rome. And after one more hour ,….. HABEMUS PAPAM, …..we have a pope and,…we could see the new 76 year old Pope Francis 1, before called Jorge Bergoglio and Arch bishop from Buenos Aires  in Argentina on the balcony.
For the first time in history a Jesuit, for  the very first time a South American pope,  so since 1272 years a non-European !
Let’s wait and see how he is going to do it. By just saying “good evening ” he started well.

Cheers Ritz

Wings over Sweden project goes ahead.


ritzdeluy@hotmail.com     www.soaringcafe.com      www.glidinginternational.com

This ,by the Australian Soaring Center from Corowa sponsored container for the Dutch team flying in Argentina, arrived last weekend back from Chaves. All gliders in good order, meaning this WGC is finished now !! Evaluation and a reunion normally follow later and than,……… it’s looking ahead at the next WGC. No containers needed then as both will be in Europe.

Chaves unloading1Chaves unloading2

Crews and pilots eager to see how it looks inside,…..and …..this time IN THE DUTCH RAIN , so the Argentinian mud will disappear in a flash.
It all looked good! courtesy Frans Guise.

Just in time the “Wings over Sweden ” team received the 34.000 -plus pounds to go ahead with this project by UK initiator Anthony Mc Quiggan. Between 10 and 5000 pound could be pledged with a thank you in different ways. Soaringcafe was one of the pledgers.
The goal  ;— “More than 250km/h over Sweden, purely on renewable energies: a pilot prepares for new form of aerial racing.—“ With that they will promote gliding in a great way.

 Have a look;
The start is there now the rest has to follow. Here is how they describe stage 1 the rest you can read on their site with nice pictures as well;

—“TV shows need a pilot episode to convince the world that their concept works.
But since this project is full of glider pilots, we’re calling this The Promo.
It will introduce our “stars” and give a taste of what’s to come in the  documentary, which will be called “Wings over Sweden”.
The Promo won’t be shown on TV, but will be used to woo broadcasters, advertisers,film funds, tourist boards and the like. And, of course, we will share it withall our pledgers, starting with YOU.—“

“MAD MARCH ” , is what Matthew Scutter called this month. I can only agree. We had a new record at the Bilt, never before we had there 24 hours of steady rain last Saturday and after a ‘small taste’ of spring with temperatures up to 19 dgr. ,  we are back in winter with minus 8/13 and snow at several places and unfortunately new accidents on the slippery roads.
Not as bad here as in Germany [ Frankfurt Airport was closed on Tuesday and 100 cars/trucks involved in ONE collision] and France,[ one person frozen dead stuck in his car and trucks waiting without any movement for over 24 hours]  even Belgium [ No Thalys train  and 1600 km. of slow driving cars including 500 km. of real traffic- jam] had awful cold and white weather. Also the SSW of the UK did not escape from white “stuff”.

In Australia however, from Gawler Matthew flew 742 k in his LS 4  , that’s better.
Also a great autumn flight by kilometer-eater Terry Bellair from Raywood in his DG 400/17m.   showing even in the end of the season that he loves his long-distance-flying; 706 km [652 FAI triangle]
Terry is the best Aussie at the moment on the OLC list for 2013.
More Terries; An “almost” perfect flight in the ASH 26 by Terry Ryan from Tocumwal last Tuesday; 696 km. [667 FAI triangle]
And from Benalla , the place-to-be in 2016 for the WGC , and having the “best club on the OLC”  [Gliding Club of Victoria] at the moment, a nice flight up North by Benalla -icon Graham Garlick in the KA 4 [Kookaburra 11.7 wing span] ; 180 km.!!

Matthew Scutter with Terry and his sister

Matthew and his sister surround our new [one of the 5 ] vice president Terry Cubley.
I guess it will never be so cold in the area of Gawler as he felt here during the IGC meeting last week.
Picture shared  from FB

At Seminole Lake in Florida , about 20 minutes South of Orlando [Clermont] , the SENIORS started their comps and Frank Paynter keeps a blog on SOARINGCAFE. Here is what he said about day 1.

—” We found a good thermal to anchor the turn, and as we were just getting it cored up, in comes Karl Striedieck (KS) [ born on April 7 1937!!! Ritz] with his Duo.  After climbing to the top of this thermal, KS also left going north, so BZ and I, no fools we, went with him.  For the next 80-100 miles, BZ, A1, and myself were treated to a master class on energy line flying by the man himself, and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.  I don’t know who was flying with Karl today, but I hope whoever it was appreciates the extraordinary talent on display today – I know I did!  —“

A good story also with his opinion about FLARM.

http://soaringcafe.com/2013/03/2013-seniors-day-1/?fb_source=pubv1  Enjoy!

Soaring for the SENIORS from Seminole continued and day 2 was a day “with lions and tigers” as Frank Paynter mentioned it so nicely in his blog on www.soaringcafe.com , on the left of the home page.
Day 3 was a rest day and the full story is on as well!

More senior soaring, this time called “OLD MATES WEEK” and this time in Australia; Benalla.
Loved Graham’s comment:
This flight claimed as K4. Flight with David Goldsmith, Old mate’s week.
Dave and I flew Ansett-ANA DC9’s together.
Today Dave in the  LHS! A lovely flight in the old girl.
The smell of wood, the sweet sound, the rush of air, upward movement, confirmed by the cosim green ball.Thanks Dave”.
Nearly poetry!!!!
Ingo and Judy Renner at Tocumwal do have a Kookaburra as well, lovely glider ,where you sit more or less beside each other.
Ingo even flew with Judy in it after the wedding in their garden a long time ago. From Toc airport they had a nice flight together.
Yesterday he took his Discus out of the hangar for a nice 634 [570 FAI triangle] flying to the N. and West [Swan Hill] with lift up to 2643 m. AGL.

Dundee Ingo and Hardy
Ingo here a few weeks ago with Hardy.
courtesy Dundee.

So not much more happened over the last couple of days, at least not to my knowledge, so I go for a nice cold walk in the snow but ALSO in the SUN.
By the way my friends from NZ are happy with their long summer but now problems start,  par example Wellington has not enough water anymore , it looks different.
“Only 20 days of water left”
Here is the story I found on FB by Dinant, who is Dutch , but lives and studies in Wellington now. He is a member of the ZES , the gliding club celebrating it’s 50thiest anniversary on the 27th of March.He can’t be part of it, I will, so he can read it all in my blog.
Here is the link to the NZ-news, about a lot of areas I visited when I was on the Nord Island in 2010.

Cheers Ritz

The repair of a broken ARCUS fuselage! Wings over Sweden,…only a few hours to go for a YES!!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Sunday March 10 2013

ritzdeluy@hotmail.com     www.soaringcafe.com     www.glidinginternational.com

Sunday today, maybe no important jobs for you  to do , so time enough to look at the next video, that is ,…when you have not seen it yet.
This video,  just under 20 minutes,  is MORE than worthwhile to look at.
It is made by Peter Jansen in Holland at the Dutch Glider Repair Center bv [ www.sct-terlet.nl] an  EASA approved center. This means that they can work on all European registered gliders and motorgliders up to weight [ max. 5700] , within the EASA and on parts/components of planes.
Since 2010 they are also CAMEO approved, which means that they are a Continious Airworthiness Management Organisation!

An ARCUS T was brought in with a broken fuselage! Now you can see how a very professional team repairs such a beautiful glider, to the same beautiful glider it was.

The beautiful ARCUS
courtesy website Schempp Hirth

One of the gentlemen working on it is Andre [ Evers] . He was one of the friends from my son Dennis about 28 years ago and is more or less brought up AT Terlet.
The other one who works at this center, is Sikko [Vermeer] and he was one of the pilots in “my” team during the EGC in 1988 in Räyskälä and in 1991 in Uvalde at the WGC. Sikko is involved in technical support and planning.
Peter himself is in the direction and takes care of the administration and the storehouse and makes beautiful videos.
Bobo, [ Slobodan Djandara] is head of the work shop.
Enjoy to the fullest!!!!!! I did!!!!


At vimeo http://vimeo.com/user1925143 are a few more of his great videos.

And I received a link as well to the Bailleau 2013 contest, in August. So nicely in time for you, to enter;

—”  Hello ! From the 6th to the 16th of August, this summer, will be held the 39th Bailleau International Gliding Contest, a classic flat-land gliding contest. And like every year for 16 years now, Bailleau International will be accompanied by the now famous “Amical” Contest, one of the best ways for a pilot to take his first steps in competition …
  website http://2013.planeur-baileau.org   has just opened, you will find there all useful information and the online registration form ..

See you soon !—” from the Bailleau team.

Wrote about flying in South Africa last time from Tswalu, a place looking to me as paradise . Here ia a bit more news I received from Sven [Olivier].
—” Hi Ritz, yes it is indeed the 6th Helli Lasch Challenge at Tswalu from 4 to 16 March 2013 . It was the first day there, and I guess from the trace that it was a late afternoon flight (after travelling and rigging) and it looks like Tasilo flew a storm front. The overseas contingent consists of Tassilo Bode, Zbigniew Nieradka, Sebastian Kawa and Agnete Olesen. G Dale is the coach for the SA squad.—“

AND, also from Sven and you might remember this as I have written about it in the past , but for the new readers or to refresh,….

—” After the 27th World Gliding Championships (WGC) held at Mafikeng in 2001, the Helli Lasch Challenge (HLC) was formed – this is an exclusive gliding event held at the Tswalu Kalahari Reserve and is hosted and funded entirely by Nicky & Strilli Oppenheimer in memory of Strilli’s late father, Helli Lasch.
Objectives of the Helli Lasch Challenge
1. A Living Memorial to Helli Lasch
2. Foster International relations
3. Promote South Africa as a gliding destination
4. Develop the competition skills of the S.African gliding team—” 

On Friday Tassilo flew at Tswalu, 2 small triangles in the training with others in a team and the 2d triangle was with a speed of 170km./h. WITHOUT water!!!WOW


!2031  2029

courtesy Iain Baker

So ,…there is 500km difference in distance on the OLC; best flight on Wednesday from Rosemount Sky Park was by Jim Payne with Dennis in the back, with 1.095 km. and….. runner up Terry Bellair from Raywood in the 17 m. DG 400,  with 527 km . But the distance between both places is HUGE.
Good to see another fast [168.61 km./h]  and high [ 5887 AGL/7592MSL] wave flight by these 2 pilots so involved with the Perlan Project and so keen to be fast, far and high in the DG 1001 M and this time not with the Andes under them, but with the Sierra Nevada.
Jim went for a speed run,  as he said in his comment, [due to working in the morning] , but when the weather  turned out to be ” a hammer down day … ” he could not resist to fly fast and far, adding another 1000 km to his list.
More about the Rosemount Park at http://www.skypark.org/about/skypark_history.html and his flight is on the OLC , of course on March 6, when you have missed it.

No secret I still love Tocumwal, always did , always will do. Got from Sportaviation a nice under 10 minute video made by their guest -for-the-season, Mike Birch.
Eddie , ” performing” in it, was our former CFI at Sportavia, an ace-instructor and very knowledgeable man.
Talking about Sportavia, just received a mail from Hiroko, a frequent flyer with us . She is well and hopes to see me back in Tocumwal, which means she will be back too.Great to hear.
Last Friday Toc was still on the “map” with a 512 km. distance in the ASH 26, even topping the OLC list! And yesterday with a 620 [500FAI triangle] same glider same pilot ; Terry Ryan.
Today it was Swiss Chris,  who flew in his ASW 27 a nice autumn flight; 680 km. [643 FAI triangle] visiting the East,North, West and South from Tocumwal up to 2785 AGL !!!
Enjoy Mike’s  video about Tocumwal.



The Mount Beauty mountain gliding course finishes this long weekend, as Monday is a public holiday due to LABOURDAY and was well attended.
—“Flying has started slowly with  very stable weather on Monday and Tuesday, getting better  on Wednesday and Thursday. —”

From March 16 onwards KLM will fly once a week on Thursday to New York with a Boeing 777 -200, on BIO-FUEL. 1/4 Part of the fuel is distilled from the oil used to bake potato chips.

Will the WINGS OVER SWEDEN project have a go??????? Today is the LAST day to get the final amount of money to make it!!!! Only 400 pound from 34.000 pound to go. THAT could NOT be a problem, or,…..?????
In the afternoon I got a message/comment from a reader that WINGS OVER SWEDEN goes ahead.   Thanks to my reader Nicholas!!!. The goal has been reached ; 34.576 has been reached TOP!!!!

Wings over Sweden: http://www.kickst…r-sweden-0

After a few sunny spring days we are back to zero! Winter is back!
Pfff,…. Cheers Ritz and enjoy the blog at ” THE CAFE ” [ main page left] as well.

And to finish a few nice pictures from Bert Kuijper from the 2011 Nationals in Holland.

WAITING is the word, waiting for summer, with just a little bit of snow again this morning here, waiting as pilot/crew for the first launch during Nationals, waiting as “glider” , as tuggie and waiting as organisation.


P1070216  P1070236


Pelagia Majewska Medal 2013 is for Maria Bolla. And, the past,…. with a story about the Bridge and Rhine!

Alphen aan den Rijn     Wednesday March 6 2013

ritzdeluy@hotmail.com     www.soaringcafe.com     www.glidinginternational.com

The last words about the PLENARY, specially for the younger people.
Like me you might not know too much about the winner of the Majewska award but, ” between us girls”  we always find extra news, to honnor a lady  deserving such an award, in the correct way. Not by only mentioning her name.
Thanks to Frauke,  this time Elber,  from the USA and WSPA [Women Soaring Pilots Asoociation]  editor from the Magazine “Hangar Soaring”, I can share with you a picture and a story which Frauke had in her file. She met Maria at the WWGC in  Klix in 2005 and this story most probably was published in the news letter that year. Here is the nice story about Maria with a picture from her send by Frauke.

Maria Bolla 2

Courtesy Frauke Elber

Maria Bolla a legend in International Women Soaring,

—“Born  in 1945 in Hungary, Maria Bolla can look back to many years of successful soaring which continues
with her participation at the 3rd Women World Gliding Championship 2005 in Klix, Germany.

An instructor for more than 30 years, Maria has logged 5200 hours in  sailplanes. She is holding 14 Hungarian  records and she participated in many  nationals and international competitions, winning many of them. In 1983 she was  second in the European Women Championships flying in the Standard Class. She  instructed many beginners but also taught the art of advanced soaring, aerobatics, cross country, instrument flying, cloud flying and soaring cross  country.

Maria  doesn’t hesitate when asked for her biggest challenge and achievement in  soaring.
It was a high altitude flight that earned her the third diamond. This  achievement gave her the distinction of being the first Hungarian woman  completing the Diamond badge. The flight took place in 1974. In previous  flights she had reached 3000 m in wave which she considered easy. Therefore she  was determined to reach that altitude in pure thermal flight also.

The chance came on a hot and balmy summer day with strongly developing clouds, which later overdeveloped and produced thunderstorms. Maria observed the  formation of a Cumulus Congestus from the ground and carefully planned, before take-off, which course  she had to fly to safely exit the billowing cloud to get sight of the ground
Entering the cloud did not pose any problem and she quickly reached 3000 and 4000 meter. The turbulence increased with altitude: 25m/sec climb one  moment and 5 m/sink the next, a real roller coaster ride. Ice was forming on  the leading edges of the wing but she continued her climb while the towering   cloud grew bigger and bigger.
It suddenly dawned on her that this was her chance for a 5000 m altitude gain and therefore the completion of her Diamond  badge. She left the cloud when her altimeter read 5200m and started her  descent. Curious and impatient to find out if she had a good barograph trace  she yanked the barograph out from behind her and happily realized that she had  a good trace. Relieved she continued her descent and landed overjoyed back at  the airport.

Years  later on a trip through Hungary Gill van den Broeck from Belgium, a  journalist, professional translator, a well-known figure in the international soaring scene and a jury member at the present World Championship, met a
professional pilot near Lake Balaton. Talking about flying Gill mentioned that she „only“ was a glider pilot. The pilot  vehemently rejected the attribute „only“. He had received his instrument  training from an expert woman glider pilot. Without a name mentioned Gill immediately knew that this female instructor was no other than MARIA BOLLA.—”

By the way Frauke’s  Magazine issue of February 2013 is on line;  Enjoy!http://www.womensoaring.org/hsarchive/02_13.pdf

Spring finally has arrived in Holland with up to 15.2 dgr. at the Bilt  the Dutch place to measure the temperature and straight away the hottest day in history , ever on March 5 and full sun and blue skies. It was even 18 dgr. C. in the southern part of Holland.
I did a bit in my garden yesterday and have been sitting in the sun for a while , yes with 30 plus on.
It was not yet sunny or warm however last Sunday, but,…. several clubs here started their season. One little “man” had the day of his live flying with Robin [son of one of my friends “Smitje”]
Also the GEZC had their first day of flying , surely they try to be the “best” airfield on the OLC again, this season. Pictures as shared on FB by Michiel and Hobbit.

spring in Holland  Spring2
A happy day up to 700 m. and still very warm -clothed members from the GEZC flying from Terlet [Arnhem] but here in their club house.

The first weekend in March started with 285 flights added to the OLC. Not a lot from European flatland, as it is still more or less “hanging around”, BUT the beginning is there, as you can see also by flights from Leverkussen in Germany; nearly 250 km. in an ASG 29/18m.!
Talking about Hungary,  I had to smile looking at the aborted flight from an Hungaryan pilot flying in an ASW 15,  ”  Wrong declaration, but good first flight.”  Better now than on a fantastic mid -summer -day , is n’t it?

Last Monday morning, no panique but a bit unusual; 2 planes had to come back after their start from Schiphol Airport. I thought straight away of the delegates but luckily as far as I knew all of them  had left already .
One was Delta Airlines on its way to Mumbai with as I heard an engine problem and one from KLM on its way to Milan, with as I read  smoke in the cockpit. Both planes landed without futher problems but kept rescue teams on high alert.
Believe it or not a bit later an Easyjet got into problems as well due to a  birdstrike in the left engine. They also landed without a problem. A bit of a hectic day there at Schiphol!

156 km./h is what I noticed on the OLC for a flight from Tassilo Bode from Tswalo Game Reese in South Africa ; he calls it a “Paradise for gliding” .Checking the area I found their site;
—“Tswalu Kalahari is South Africa’s largest private game reserve, covering an area of over 100,000 hectares. Owned by the Oppenheimer family, Tswalu takes conservation as its absolute priority; our vision is simply ‘to restore the Kalahari to itself’. No more than thirty guests at a time can discover the beauty of this landscape, its diverse wildlife, and the serenity of what may well be South Africa’s last great wilderness.—”
To be invited there and even more to fly over it must be MAGIC!!!!

In the bus from Papendal to Malden via Nijmegen, Dutch Frouwke told us where the “BRIDGE TOO FAR” was, while passing the Rhine. USA Frauke has a nice story about that time as well and I share it with you. Enjoy it, and THANKS Frauke for sharing it with us.

Trip into the Past by Frauke Elber

October 1988. A railway station somewhere in Holland. I am waiting for a train that is going to bring me back into the past, back to my early childhood, the years 1943/44.

Holland, late in1943, was still under German occupation and relatively peaceful. Therefore the German government decided to give mothers and children from the very heavily bombed cities of the Ruhr Valley, where most of Germany’s coal and steel industry was concentrated, a break and send them for a 6 week reprieve to a Dutch resort area just across the border. Summer resort hotels were used for that purpose. My mother and grandmother were in charge of one of these places. While my mother went back and forth every 6 weeks to accompany one group back and bring a new one to Holland, I stayed put in Holland.

At the second half of  1944 the war theater in Europe had drastically  changed in favor of the allies. The invasion had taken place and the allied  forces were on the march to the Rhine  River, the artery of Germany.  I did not know anything about this. For me,  a  three year old, it was a beautiful time and many memories were imbedded into my

It wasn’t until 1970 when, together with my husband, I saw the film “A Bridge Too Far”, a war film about the battle of Arnhem, that my memory was jolted. My reaction to the film was: “That bridge isn’t right. I remember that bridge. I walked across it with my mother.” What was so memorable to my small child brain was the big steel arch that spanned the bridge like a coat hanger. Out of my perspective everything was big and far. But this film awoke my curiosity: how much of my memory was true? How much was fantasy?

 Waiting now at the railway station watching the yellow, streamlined, electrical trains arriving and departing the station the clock started turning back. Suddenly, 44 years earlier, I saw myself at another Dutch station and the same yellow, streamlined, electrical trains passed through. Germany’s trains were still operated with steam locomotives. Watching a youngster waiting for a train, eating a cone of soft ice cream, I could almost taste it. It was in Holland, many years back, that I first tasted soft ice cream while Germany was in a survival mode and treats like this were unheard of.

My train reached Nijmegen. But how to get  from here to Berg en Dal? I was told to take bus line 5. I found the bus and  secured a window seat. I had no idea how long it would take to reach my  destination, I didn’t remember the town or its surroundings. All that was left  in my memory was a single house: “House Erica”, a summer resort hotel that was  converted to house weary mothers and their children. “House Erica”, a building  with large glass windows surrounded by big, shade dispensing trees, an outdoor shelter with lounge chairs, where, when the weather cooperated we children had to take our  afternoon nap; a  playground with apparatus mostly made for the pleasure and amusement of adults  including a multi-story, wooden slide that had to be covered with a tarp during  the winter, and a big maze with three distorting mirrors in its center. I still  could hear the laughter of the adults when they had conquered the maze, reached  the center for the first time and saw themselves in the distorting mirrors. We  children were small enough to take a short cut to the center by crawling  through the hedges.

The inside of the house consisted of a very big room that served as dining hall and play room, and the big kitchen downstairs beside some other non-descript rooms. Upstairs were several bed rooms, one being furnished with many cribs for the children. I don’t remember where the mothers slept.

 I don’t remember what time of the year we arrived. I remember some winter scenes and one scene in particular when one of the German officials, clad in uniform and riding a horse, tried, what we children did: sliding under the tarp that covered the wooden slide. He, with a mighty gird got stuck and the tarp had to be taken off to get him out. I remembered some summer activities: fun at the play ground, naps under the outdoor shelter, walks in the nearby heather where the ferns were taller then we children. How many of these memories would I find again?

I got off the bus at “Hotel Erica”. A short walk through the woods and I stood in front of a big, Best Western hotel with several annexes. Nothing looked familiar. There was no play ground, no maze, no outdoor shelter, only a parking lot and a lush grassy area with tables set for outdoor dining. My spirits sank and a big disappointment settled in, when all at a sudden out of the cluster of buildings appeared the original “House Erica”. There it was, almost like I remembered it and the scenes of the past started rolling by again: the owner family, van Vliet was its name, an elderly mother, a girl, Juliana, a few years older than I and a boy my age whose name I had forgotten. The big room on the ground level, wild chases with the boy and the other children through the downstairs rooms, the big, wooden swinging door to the kitchen, forbidden territory for us children. Our bedroom on the second floor, a bright, airy room with a sunroom, sparsely furnished with a wardrobe, a double bed, a washbasin a dresser and a crib. I was allowed to share the room with my mother and grandmother while all the other children shared the common bedroom next door. Only once did I have to sleep in that room after painting the walls in our room with a mixture of brown, facial powder and water during my afternoon nap. All these memories suddenly returned.

Who were the present  owners? Should I go in and ask the receptionist? Or should I take the next bus  back to the railway station? The urge to follow the track of my past succeeded.  I was told by the young receptionist that the van Vliet family owned the hotel.
Could I please talk to any member of the family? “I am Mr. van Vliet” an older,  balding gentleman behind the reception desk intervened. “Can I help you?”  My name is Frauke  Elber, what’s your first name? How old are you? Do you have  an older sister by the name of Diana? I have lived here 45 years ago. It’s my  first visit back….I brought some pictures” I blurted out. His name was Wim and  he was 49 years old. Yes he had an older sister, Diana and his mother was still  living in Berg en Dal. The lady of the house, Wim’s  wife, joined us.
I told  her my story and memories. Yes, it is all true. She showed me the house: the  big room, now a fancy restaurant. The kitchen was still the same as 45 years  earlier with its big, wooden swinging door, so was the wide staircase that lead  to the upstairs rooms. I walked straight to the door of “our room”, room number  4. We entered the room. The room had drastically changed. The sunroom had  fallen victim to all the modern building additions. Instead of a single wash  basin it had an attached, modern bathroom, Wallpaper and furniture gave the  room the look of solid elegance. A short tour through the modern part of the  hotel and then a trip down into the basement, where to my surprise, behind a  closed door of a recreational room I found the three mirrors from the  maze.  I got goose bumps and  emotions  started to overcome me.

In the meantime the older Mrs. van Vliet, the one who was the proprietress of the house when we lived there, had arrived at the hotel. I recognized her at once and she too pointed to my mother and grandmother in the pictures I had brought. And despite the language barrier –Mrs. Van Vliet spoke Flemish- we quickly found ourselves in a lively conservation for the rest of the afternoon.

Mrs. Van Vliet filled in some pieces of the puzzle. I remembered that we had left Holland very suddenly on army trucks. I remember the green trees on both sides of the road forming a canopy. From history books and the film “A Bridge too Far” I had learned about the hard fought battles that took place around Nijmegen during Operation Market Garden. Now I learned that we escaped these battles only by hours back in September 1944. “House Erica” suffered greatly during these battles. Pictures of that time showed a gutted interior and damage from tank tracks and artillery shells outdoors. But I also learned that the memory of “my” bridge, the “Bridge too Far” was correct.

Back on the train later in the afternoon, I felt like awakening from a long dream. But the little statue of a jumping rabbit, the mascot of Hotel Erica, a farewell gift from the van Vliet  family,  was proof that that day had really happened.


A few years later on a train to Switzerland, I shared the compartment with two Dutch women. When I told them my story they informed me that the old Mrs. van Vliet had passed away. One woman’s husband was a cook in “Hotel Erica”

SSA Convention, Reno,NV,2012
Frauke,  here together with Mike Green at the Reno Convention in 2012.
Picture via Frauke courtesy Maria Szemplinska

Enough news again.Back in the weekend, both with my own blog and the CAFE blog with some of the items in  the latest Gliding International which just arrived with the most beautiful picture on the cover from Sebastian Kawa , from ,…who else……Maria Szemplinska and a story about Ann Welch [written by Fred Weinholz] the first vice president in IGC and the 2d lady as vice president in the IGC bureau now, Marina.

To finish a nice picture from my favourite river the Murray.

Murray River

As shared by Francoise Curtis,[ via Dundee ]who misses Tocumwal; The IS 28 over the mighty Murray on March 2.

cheers Ritz

Searching for whales in a duo discus! Perlan Project News!

Alphen aan den Rijn  Sunday 03-03- 2013

ritzdeluy@hotmail.com     www.soaringcafe.com     www.glidinginternational.com

Back from Papendal and back to the “normal” blogs.
More stories about Papendal in todays “soaringcafe”,  with the pictures from Jiri ” hanging on the ceiling”.

Received a nice mail from Jarek from the Geelong Gliding Club flying from Bacchus Mars in Australia about  “WHALES watching“. Whales ?????? I see you think. BUT,… as always I like to share interesting stories and pictures with all of you. And,..I am pleased more and more readers see me as a “soaring-hub”!Thanks for that!
Here we go;

—“I was rostered as a coach on Saturday, 23/02/2013. The weather looked  promising and of Thursday Ziggy  called me asking for an opportunity for a coaching flight in the Duo.

We had a weather and task briefing at 9am on Saturday and proceeded to  prepare the
glider for the flight. It was a busy morning with all club gliders being DI-ed and flown that day.

Jarek map

We launched just before 1pm  and after one blue climb, connected with the first Cu some 15 km to the West. The weather was better than expected, soon we reached our height band of 6000 ‘ to 8500’; we decided that we would not  take climbs less than 5 knots (the average climb rate for the entire flight was 4.8 knots).

We were moving quickly with the average x/c speed well above 100 kph; as we approached the circle around the
first turn point, Penshurst, I could see a glimpse of the ocean in the distance down South. 
There was a nice line of Cus  leading south so after a quick consultation with my co-pilot we turned left in the general direction of Warrnambool.

Jarek Warrnambool  Jarek ocean 2

As we approached the ocean, we could see that the N-E wind pushes some Cus over the water some 5 – 10km in. This presented an opportunity not to be missed, we took a climb to 7500′ some 5 km before the shoreline and headed
for a Cu over the water; it looked quite good, but there was no lift underneath.

Jarek ocean 3  Jarek ocean

We turned back, the time was 14:45 and 175 km to run to Bacchus Marsh  and  the whales, we did not spot any perhaps we will have better luck next time.—”

Thanks Jarek and you can see the flight on the OLC on February 23 ; flight number 15 on the list!
That day was called by Rolf as “another brilliant February day in Victoria.”
Just to let you know; Warrnambool is an old whaling town and now is a destination for whales- watching -tours.

From the Perlan Project Friends I received the latest news letter, full of newsy news.For example;  On March 16 2013 the Perlan Team is invited to visit Seattle to make a presentation and provide an exhib at the Soaring Expo 2013, sponsored by the Seattle Glider Council.
It will be held at the Seattle Museum of Flight at Boeing Field.

http://perlanproject.org/news/ and

Talking about the Project ,…..Last Thursday morning after waking up,  I put my TV on and looked straight in the smiling face of Dennis Tito. What a truly inspiring and interesting guy. He wants [with a group of investors] , to send a couple [ preferable husband and wife]  for just over 500 days to MARS in 2018. Not visiting but passing by pretty close. Dangerous but spectacular. I would n’t do it , but I am old like Dennis , for him a reason to not do it himself, but he has been already in the ISS as the first space tourist,  travelling “up” with a Russian capsule.

This week the Mount Beauty Alpine Gliding Course starts [tomorrow], from March 4 till March 11.
Received the ALPINE FLYER as well. In this Flyer an interesting story from the CFI Mark Bland, about a cable break on low altitude “solved” by the instructor and a comment I share with him
—“Safer gliding is about not repeating accidents that have occured many times before in some cases hundreds of times.
That requires knowledge, skill, good airmanship and an ability to evaluate risk.—“So far Mark.
More at www.mtbeauty.com/mt-beauty-gliding-club/

“Enough Ritz” for now, cu on Wednesday again,

Just received the link to the up-side-down glider and Jiri. http://youtu.be/WlllGQ3MCqI
Thanks Reno!!!!!!


Cheers Ritz

03-03-2013, last news from Papendal before I leave!

10 AM;
What a splendid evening we had yesterday. A bit excited ,like on a school trip and after the good and quick meeting with for nearly everybody good results , [at lot of applause yesterday afternoon before it was over!] we drove to Nijmegen the oldest town from Holland and than to Malden the home of the club from Nijmegen called NIJAC.

igc final evening 002  igc final evening 003

All happy and relaxed delegates after doing a big job!

The bus stopped in front of the hangar after driving through very small roads hitting a few branches, but the driver was just good and got a huge applause.
Delegates were very pleased to see the new hangar; gliders  stood there clean and shiny as in a static show as well as the famous van Gelder winch and Mr. Peter van Gelder was there to explain about the winch he built years ago and he got a lot of interesting listeners.

igc final evening 007  igc final evening 011

Eric “our” new president in the hangar on ground level and the Russian delegate Nina Shalneva in the basement.

igc final evening 008  igc final evening 012

Climbing on and sitting in the VAN GELDER.

igc final evening 013

Mr Peter van Gelder explaining how it works.

More about this excellent evening in soaringcafe , later from home as I nearly have to leave now.
Very important as well; MARINA GALETTO is one of the new 5 vice presidents in the IGC board. She is the 2d lady after Ann Welch who has this honor and she finds it a huge honor , but she said : “Ritz it’s only starting now”.
More about that later as well.
So we have 5 new vice presidents in the bureau, 3 from Europe Artur Rutkowski from Poland, Christof Geissler from Germany and Marina from Italy.
From Chile there is Rene Vidal and from Australia Terry Cubley.
The new 1st vice president and representing Eric when necessary is Brian Spreckley from the UK.

All about how the young boys from the NIJAC lifted Jiri from Czech Rep. in a SOHAJ 4 ,hanging up-side-down, on the ceiling of the club house with pictures and a link to a video from Reno Filla later from Alphen , as well as the regular Sunday blog with an interesting story from Australia about WHALE SEARCHING in a duo discus.
Just said goodbye to a few stiil here and ready to leave Papendal now,
Hope you enjoyed it. I did.

Cheers and CU later today from soaring.eu and soaringcafe