“An absolute stonking day” Jenny called it!


“Much better day today. ” Is what Bruce shared with us about flying-day 4 in Lake Keepit.
”  We had clouds most of the way, though they became thin on the last leg, and climbs, while not really consistent, were of the order of 6 – 7 knots for most of the day. There were some climbs much stronger than this, with reports of 10 to 12 knots. “.

Jenny called it “an absolute stonking day!” You can read her full report about day 4  on the OLC on November 21 2013. She flew a “dry” ASH 26E and was 3d .
It’s over now! Nice comps!!
Bruce won not loosing one day only a few points on a no-1000-points-day.4 days 3983 points.
Allan won same story and out of 4 days he had 3797 points.
David Jansen won in 18 m. with more then 300 points on Tom.
Matthew Atkinson in 15 m. class with more the 500 points  and in the 2 seater class it was Derek Ruddock in the DG 1000.
For all scores; www.soaringspot.com

“The Southern Riverina Gliding club would like to congratulate our Life Member, Mike Burns as a worthy recipient of the Harry Ryan award for Services to Airworthiness 2013, from GFA on our nomination. THE MAN WHO KEEPS US ALL SAFE IN THE SKY!” is what Judy Renner wrote on their site. I know Mike for ages and indeed if someone deserves this award it is MIKE!! Congratulations!!

Mike Burns
Mike Burns
Courtesy SRGC.

Tocumwal did well with all these recipients, here is the news about Bill, another “gem ” in gliding and very devoted tuggie;

Bill Harvey
Bill Harvey
Courtesy SRGC.

“Bill receiving VSA Living Treasures Award 12/10/2013- Melbourne

After 1 practise day and 4 flyable days they had a rest day in Omarama and look how the skies looked: For more news; https://www.facebook.com/NzJoeyGlideTeam

 Omarama rest day
As shared on FB with the remark:
“Rest day. Not a bad sky after all.”

And the latest about the South African Grand Prix;
“Welcome all to the face book page for the next leg of the African Sailplane Grand Prix 2015 qualifying series. The event will be held at Worcester in the Western Cape from the 4th to the 10th January 2015. Follow this page for news, views, updates, information, pilot lists and much more.”


AND,..something totally different. When you have NEVER heard of a volo-copter please look at;

DG Flugzeugbau is a partner in this project and with that one of my “former” juniors in HusBos, Jelmer Wassenaar is involved in it as well. As you know he is now the constructor at DG Flugzeugbau.

volo copter

The volocopter
“DG Flugzeugbau as member and key-partner in the Volocopter Project is very proud to announce the VC200 maiden flight! On Sunday 17th of November 2013 a successful maiden flight and numerous other test flights had been performed. All flights were unmanned and took place inside the locked “dm-Arena” in Karlsruhe. ” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dndB6u5mfgg

Due do family circumstances I could NOT visit the ZES seminar, but Bert Schmelzer sr. was so kind to write up for me what he had heard. Here you are and thanks BERT!

Dreams of Flight: Flight of Dreams

That motto was dedicated to an inspiring and spectacular symposium on behalf of the 50th jubilee of  the Eindhoven Student Gliding Club at their Technical University’s auditorium maximum at November 22nd 2013. All was perfectly organized in detail and with the friendliness and effectiveness of whole the team.

180 attentive listeners were participating at an unseen compilation of newest technology in and around flying and energy.

Because of a huge hart for gliding the organizers invited two well-known experts in gliding with a scientific background and there approach to realize their dreams.

Ir. Tijl Schmelzer from Belgium,  member of the Belgian Gliding Team, opened the symposium. He started with his profound research and theoretical considerations about cross-country glider flights above 1000km from a difficult and wet area as Flanders. He proved his theory with 3 flights above 1000km from Flanders in a single season. The secret was his excellent preparation and use of modern weather models, airspace information including radio communication and use of transponders with a well-balanced  cockpit equipment. At least a motor as a “Turbo”-system  is of wish able value to start early in the morning. The use of power-plants in the late evening and again the Turbo to reach the airfield before sunset makes all possible.  Tijl realized the best performances in only one year from the low-counties, including two Belgian records. He looks forward to realize even more and longer flights in the nearest future.

The other speaker about gliders and gliding was the worldwide known  Ir. Loek Boermans from Delft University. His merits are countless. His presentation was all about how to develop and reach a glide ratio of 1:100. The audience was  stock-still whether the listener was interested in gliding that much or not. He is the one and only master. The trick lies in the lengths of the wingspan, in having flaps, in optimizing  the wing-fuselage transition and in boundary layer suction. And if we would have an until by IGC and FAI not accepted new open class definition with using the power of suctioned air in driving a propeller 30% of improvement of the glide ratio would be certainly achievable. And by knowing that the Concordia with a L/D of 75 (the actual best glider of the world) could be use that kind of technology it’s easy to belief that a glide ratio of 1:100 wouldn’t be a dream anymore.

The other aspect of the symposium was the use of sustainable energy, with a focus on aerodynamics. The students of the hosts of the symposium from Eindhoven University of Technology presented in a wonderful spirit of being eager for knowledge,  working hard and going for it, demonstrated  their “Stella” Solar Car. They said: “The solar car is a user friendly and comfortable electric car, powered mainly by solar energy”. The car is made for transport of four persons and can drive independently more than 750km on electric energy. All this incredible effort ends up in the “World Solar Challenge 2013” 3000km race in Australia from Darwin to Adelaide in a huge victory in the cruiser class. The enthusiasm of Karin Conen and Tim Jansen was contagious to all of us. www.solarteameindhoven.nl

The other item was about “Airborne Wind Energy”. The team around Drs.W.Allaart succeeded in developing the Ampyx Power Plane-Systems. A glider is fixed via a cable to a winch. The autopilot-controlled glider flies repetitive cross-wind patterns at an altitude between 300 and 600m. It  fetches wind  that power converts into mechanical power and will be converted in electrical power at the ground. That system is promised to be cheaper than all current forms of electricity production, and reliable in all circumstances. www.ampyxpower.com

The commercial realization of Dreams of Flight or Flight of Dreams were highlighted by two outstanding projects and well-known experts.

Lt.General Ben Droste, highly decorated former fighter-pilot of the Royal Netherlands Air Force, Professor and Dean of the Aerospace Faculty of the Technical University in Delft (The  Netherlands) and also a former gliderpilot and member of the ZES promotes “Your Ticket into Space”, it’s an upcoming reality and not any longer a dream. All of us looked fascinated which what drive and passion he advocated space traveling for common citizens with a common health, and with 100.000USD at their disposal for a ticket.  “Space Expedition Corporation will be carrying out the flights into space using two different spacecraft. The Mk I will be operational from 2014 and will take passengers to the edge of space (60 kilometers high). This spaceship will depart from Mojave Spaceport exclusively. The second spacecraft, the Mk II, will be operational in 2015/16 and will reach deep space (103km) from both the Curacao and Mojave spaceports.” General Droste said. He also said the sky is not the limit anymore. www.spacexc.com

Ir. Robert Dingemanse MBA and CEO of PAL-V Europe NV came up with a striking and revolutionary technology The PAL-V One, or simply the flying car. The speaker demonstrated elegantly the realization of an old dream in the best way. Many concepts were tried in the long history of flying, but that kind of using a vehicle to drive on earth and after a 10 minutes change of the configuration it transforms from car into a gyrocopter and overcome gravity  and fly away . It was astonishing to all of us. This  beautiful and certainly splendid concept is already  available in some month. The authorities of many countries and also fortuned investors are highly interested. The PAL-V (personal air and land vehicle) two seater  will be accepted in a minimum of time for many purposes and is the first usable car-aircraft hybrid which is developed in The Netherlands and will be spread over the world.  www.pal-v.com

Furthermore, commercial displays of new technology were present. Modern instrument and equipment technology were shown by Glider Pilot Shop, Millenair Glider Supplies and XCap Batteries. Glider manufacturer Alexander Schleicher Flugzeugbau presented the fuselage of the upcoming ASG32 double seater, HPH from the Czech Republic demonstrated its jet technology of the Shark glider, and the Dutch composite model aircraft manufacturer Weimo presented their large-scale glider and aerobatic models.

After being entertained by so many passionate speakers with already or nearly already realized newest projects in  mainly flying, the audience was more than grateful, we all thanked the organizers, the  moderators and helpers of Eindhoven Student Gliding with a big applause.

I will finish with a lovely saying: Those who are thinking the sky is the limit doesn’t have imagination.

Bert Sr. Schmelzer MD.Ph.D.

 Lustrumcommissie _ex Arjan

The lustrum commission.

Hope to be back on line soon again, but loosing a lot of details maybe not stored in the back up, can cause some problems. Sorry cheers Ritz
On Sunday November 24 2013

Championships downunder! “One year of flying” by Bert Schmelzer jr.!

With 2 regional comps, one in Lake Keepit Australia and one in New Zealand in Omarama , where the South Island Regional Gliding Championships are flown, we are going to the end of 2013. About 40 days and we “hit” 2014.
Last Sunday both comps started.
In Omarama they fly in open/18m. and 15m/standard class and club.
14 pilots in the first combined class , open/18m. amongst them Aussie Graham Parker flying the ASH 25 and on spot 7 after day 1 and  winning day 2 ;1000 points , even with a handicap of 114!
In the other class 2 young pilots we know from last years Australian National Junior Championships also  in Lake Keepit , Alex and Nick.They keep a blog and you can read their “adventures” on :
Nick won day 1, Alex was so unlucky to outland. In this class are 11 competitors.
In club only 5 and nobody I know.
For scores and more news you can go to;


as shared by Jill Mc Caw mum from Alex and editor of SoaringNZ.

In Australia , Adam wrote his blog and you can read what happened , looking through his eyes, at Lake Keepit on the first couple of days as he had to go back to work [as an airline pilot in PG];
Couldn’t get any more time off work that wouldn’t jeopardise the CC Nats, Squad Week & the WGC next year

Day 1 was won by Bruce, [JS1B/21m.] who thought he was slow during the 3 hour AAT, but he flew 387 km. in 3.23 and gained the 1000 points in open class , whilst runner up Jenny [ ASH 26E] flew 317 in 2.53. 7 Pilots in this class.
In 18 m. class , with 7 participants , it was David Jansen who won the 3 hour AAT in his ASG 29 E, with 342 km. in 2.39.
In 15 m. class an AAT from 2.30 and local pilot Jacques Graells won in the LS 6A.
In club Allan Barnes [LS1f] was the best flying 270 km. during an AAT of 2.30, flying 270 km. in 2.30 on the dot! In this class 12 pilots. Adam was 2d in his Cirrus 75.
In the 2-seater class 2.30 AAT won by Derek Ruddock in the DG 1000, 285 km in 2.48.
Day 2 was “scrubbed” due to the weather.
Day 3, bigger tasks but not for everybody easy.

Lake keepit day 2 by Adam
With Adams message:
Much better day today, 250-340km set. They’re playing it easy here today, because the weather looks BIIIG for Thurs – 750km big, not sure .”

Bruce one of the task setters on day 3, wrote:
Today was forecast to start slowly, and end early. Indeed it did start slowly, but the early finish was not the problem. We set a task north to Bingara, then NW to Moree, which on a good day can be a wonderful flight. The slow start meant a careful glide into the hills, while things warmed up and strengthened. The real problem was out to the NW, as it was completely blue there and the wind seemed …much stronger. Most of the big wings came home with some hard work, but the smaller classes and clubbies had a real struggle, and there were about a dozen out landings. That means I will have to endure some jeering in briefing tomorrow. That’s OK, the weather tomorrow looks to be very much better, so I will simply send them far, far away where the grizzles can’t be heard! I think David Jansen had a good flight today. I was slightly slow on the home leg.”

Bruce won the day [ 362 km] and I felt sorry for Jenny who was 2d the day before and now just outlanded a bit over 30 km. from the goal.
In Club 256 km and Alan and Adam were the best. Adam went after, for a retrieve arrived back home at 2.40 AM without the glider;
Couldn’t find it, or the access gate in the paddock during the night.”
In 18m. David won the day with 128 km./h. and runner up was Tom [Claffey] with 114 km./h. over 372 km.
In 15 m. nobody finished but the best performance was 197 km. from the set 308k.
Good old Harry [Medlicott] won the day in the ARCUS slow but steady with 79 km./h. over 254 km.

Day 4; today nearly 500 km in open class and won for the 3d time in a row by Bruce
In 18 m. also nearly 500 k. this day won by Tom and David “lost” only 10 points. After 3 days he is on top in the overall scores, with more than 200 points.
In club Allan is “the mini-Bruce” ,[ as in glider he has an LS 1-f]  also 3 wins in a row and more than 600 points ahead on the rest!

All scores you can find on; www.soaringspot.com, pretty interesting look at the club class today!!!

Hope to see a lot of friends on Friday at the Conference from the ZES , but I am still not sure if I can go there, due to personal reasons .
En passant I heard that dad Bert Schmelzer sr. gets concurrence from son Bert, as in writing books.
Bert sr. wrote a fantastic book about the history of gliding in Flanders , published in December 2009 and now in December , there will be a new book from Bert jr ;

“One year of gliding “

…. never stop exploring….

with the best 348 pictures from the more than 30.000 , with commentaries,  as we are used from him,  to combine it all. Looking forward to see the book, with 288 pages and  articles from Arndt Hovestadt and Daniel Rossier AND an interview with Tilo {Holighaus} with
” his vision on the future of gliding and the process of building high-tech gliders .”
As Bert said: “I really enjoyed making “One year of gliding” and, honestly, I am a little proud of the end result. I hope you like it!”

Bertje S genietenboven de Sahara
Bert jr. here enjoying a flight over the SAHARA.

You find  a preview, all the news and how to order the book [ from November 17 onwards ] on ;

By the way Bert jr’s FAI 1000 km flight “from Zurich to Vienna ” and back  this year  in the DISCUS 2B on May 18, is just recognised by the FAI . In that flight he set en passant, 3 new European records in 15 m. class. Busy as he is at the moment, he still found time to explain all of us a bit more, which is VERY MUCH appreciated.
You can read this in my Sunday Soaring café blog   www.soaringcafe.com , but here is already a small part. This flight will be also described in the new book.
I prepared myself for this specific flight on May 18 for 3 years! I had to learn to judge the meteo-situations, analysed IGC files for days and nights to get to know for me known , but even more un-known areas to fly over in all kinds of weather, optimise de waypoint and task database and,…I had to fly as much as possible, in all kind of weather situations  .”

Bert jr
Above the Dachstein Area.
1 of the pictures from this 1000 km. flight.

On top of that Bert has a busy job as architect in Zürich, but you will hear later, that just moving to Switzerland from Belgium had a great influence on his soaring ambitions and achievements.

Yesterday was a good day in my old area around Tocumwal. Luckily the Corowa gliders arrived and they have started their season too.
Jos from Holland has 3 flights now in his ASH 31/21 m. from Corowa  one over 500 and 2 over 700 km., so a great start of the season. Pepe enjoyed even an over 800 km. flight.
From Tocumwal Terry Ryan , a real kilometre -eater flew in his ASH 26 757 km [ 741 FAI triangle] and Ingo in his Discus 683 [ 623 FAI km.]

I liked the next story, what about you? It’s all about Human Factors!


Hope to see a few of you for a few hours in Eindhoven , if not I will be back on Sunday both in my European blog  and “in the soaringcafe”

Cheers Ritz
On Wednesday November 20 2013, nearly winter time, we have 5 dgr. now and MAYBE the first snow tonight.

CHAMPIONS happy,… trainees even happier! Being a guest at VITACURA!

The CHAMPIONS finished their jobs in Kiripotib and they and all their trainees went home with a smile and lots of new impressions, as I heard.
“Finally ten trainees participated and flew fourteen days. They all learned a lot, so we think our idea was a great success. Now we have to learn from this experience for the things to come. ” were the last words from the organisers on their site.


The last landing of FLYING WITH THE CHAMPIONS!

Looking back on the last days;
On Wednesday the forecast was GOOD, but turned out much BETTER then GOOD. ALL TRAINEES flew their first 1000 km., all 6 teams had an excellent day with as biggest distance 1181 km. and best speed 151 km./h. and a ground speed sometimes of up to 300 km./h. What do you want more!?
Ludwig in his Antares 23E showed again the potential of this glider. With 166,56 km./h. over 1029,72 km.,  he flow the best speed of the day.
Remarkable is the speed on OLC speed, where the fastest 2.5 hours are counted, here he made 195.28 km./h. , 488 km in that time, not so bad. “As written on their site!

I am not a chauvinist but proud on my country,  as well as on my 2d country. For that reason I was pleased to see Marten on top of the OLC list on November 13. With Holger in the back he showed what he had learned in Kiripotib.

On the last day the weather showed his less sunny site, a day you normally would leave your glider in the hangar, BUT again no worries for the “students”. As the organisers said; ” We followed the target that our trainees had to show what they learned, so they had to fly on their own with their champion only as a passenger.”
So they did! With a grand prix task and despite the weather 6 finishers.
As said a great concept, with pilots who have not enough words or superlatives to express what they experienced! That’s what it is all about in soaring,  is n’t it?
Here is a link to one of them , an Austrian pilot; Gerold Auerbach


When you are full of excitement as a glider pilot after a flight in a for you un-known area, something special must have happened. And that’s what I read in the blog from Ian from Mount Beauty, back home now down under, from his trip to Europe [ where we met] and Chile.
In Chile he had the chance to fly in a Duo Discus with Rodrigo and his host took the best out of the day AND flight for his Aussie guest. Here are some impressions I was allowed to share with you.
THANKS for that Ian.

—“Well. Today is the day. Rodrigo Lavanderos, Operations Manager of the Club de Planeadores de Vitacura, called to say that he had found a pilot to take me on a flight into the Andes – himself.”

Andes 5 Vitacura from above

Vitacura from above

—” We released at around 4,100 ft close to the western ridge of Cerro Manquehue and  after scraping the ridge for a while gradually gained height in ridge lift.”

Andes on tow

On tow

—“We made our way north using mainly 2 to 4 kt ridge lift with the occasional thermal  sometimes averaging over 9kt and occasionally using “S” turns to gain altitude before  proceeding along the next part of the ridge. Passing through 10,000 ft it was time to put  on our oxygen masks. Our maximum height was about 15,000 ft. above some  wispy cumulus cloud.”

Andes 3 instruments

—“About 50 min into the flight we encountered quite a reasonable  thermal. Rodrigo thought that we  needed proof so that we  could exercise bragging  rights. So he took this  picture of his instrument  panel with his phone.  The picture shows an  average climb rate of 4.9 m/s or about 1,000 ft per  min. The OLC GPS record shows a peak climb rate in this thermal of 5.5 m/s—“

Andes 1 by Ian

The partly frozen Lake Cuadrada

—” Maximum northerly point was 134 km north of Vitacura, and about 25km east of  Chincolco airport at a mountain called Y Griega (Greek Y) a bit north of Laguna  Cuadrada (the square lake, still partially frozen over] ). We then turned south at about 1 hour 55 min into the flight  at around 13,700 ft.
It was an easy glide back to Vitacura, averaging around 145 kph and landing there just  after 17:05 after a fantastic three hour flight.”

Andes 2 boys

Ian [to the r. ] with Rodrigo

This weekend the NSW State Comps  started at Lake Keepit, always a good comp to follow:

Here is what Bruce {Taylor}  wrote about the practise day;
Finally, back in the saddle again. I am at Lake Keepit for the NSW State Gliding Championships, starting tomorrow for one week. Practice day today, with a huge storm passing through early afternoon. Most elected not to fly, but I managed to sneak away just before the chaos. I escaped to the north, all the while thinking that it may well be a one-way trip. It ended up with a super flight to Moree and WeeWaa, climbs to 12,500 feet at 11knots near Moree, then a 115 km glide home behind the storm. Sure beats feeding the sheep!”

Adam { Woolley} was on his way to Keepit as well and when he has time he will update us on his site:https://www.facebook.com/W3Racing?hc_location=stream
Had to pull over to take this panoramic, wall to wall of goodness!!
CU’s at 9000′ at least.”

Adam 2

On day 1 today and 1 day later than the picture, they had a change of task at the grid. The weather ” looks ok on the surface, though some of the locals here are talking that it may storm later on? In the distance you can see high cirrus of the trough, let’s see what today brings – hope we fly!”
NO results yet!

Adam at Keepit
Courtesy Adam.

Just read; “Really interesting day for the beginning of the competition. Initially we set a task to the NW, but on the grid that area was covered by high overcast, so I pushed for a task to the SW and West. There were storms about, but not so violent as yesterday, and the task was challenging in places – great fun in others. Don’t know any scores yet, and won’t make any predictions, except that I think I was a bit slow. Enjoyed the flight.” by Bruce Taylor.

I wrote in my last blog, about the next 2014 Grand Prix ‘s and the final is in Italy , Varese in 2015. Marina , being Italian ,shared a document from Brian about Varese and I share it with you as it is about feedback.

—-“Class for 6th SGP final in Varese 2015

The bid for the Sailplane Grand Prix final to be held in Varese in 2015 was for the contest to be held in the 18m class, in previous finals the contest has been held in the 15m class.
After considerable discussion within the IGC bureau and with the contest organisers it has been… decided by the SGP management group to accept the bid for the contest to take place in the 18m class, with the condition that the change from 15m to 18m class is agreed at the IGC plenum meeting on the 7th of March 2013.
Changing the class for the SGP final may have an affect beyond the Sailplane Grand Prix events and we welcome any feedback or comments from any pilots who have a view on the most appropriate class for the SGP events.
Please address you views by e-mail to brian@sgp.aero
Brian Spreckley SGP management group—-

Talking about the Grand Prix the website from France for their 2014 Grand Prix is on line now;

CU you next Wednesday. Cheers Ritz
On Sunday November 17 2013.

Flying along the Dutch coast looks/remains sensational!

NOVEMBER 9 was the day for more dune-ridge-soaring in Holland cause the wind was favourite to do so.They started at 8, as the wind was forecasted to slown down after 1 PM.5 Different planes were participating and they flew 12 flights. Great pictures, here is one of them !!!

 duin vliegen1

Pictures courtesy;https://www.facebook.com/philippe.hendriks.3/media_set?set=a.615741705150131.1073741829.100001429212984&type=1

To see the flights you can use the next link;


The CHAMPIONS continued soaring in Kiripotib with week 2 and on day 2 they flew a few 1000 k’s again. Organiser Ludwig got the best out of his new ANTARES E [23 m. and 850 kg.] and flew around with 165 km./h on the “clock” in weather with a base of 5600 m. and up to 8 m. lift!! Swiss “student “Hans, [with Janusz]  flew with a speed 143 km./h. Not bad .


Ludwig,  here still in the factory from Lange in his new toy.

Yesterday was good again, after a slow start of the day, pilots had lift between 3 and 5 m. up to 5600, with still over 900 k.

 Champions3 champions 4

Ready to go. Pictures courtesy;

Also Bitterwasser added a -number-4-1000k-day, to their list.
Max Leenders started at Twee Rivieren in SA, {never heard from}  ;964 km. in his own glider the NIMBUS 4DM and 778, the only flights from there on the OLC, at least at this stage.
Pokweni had flights up to just over 800 km. whilst Danish  Brigitte and Jörgen flew for the first time in their ARCUS together from Stonefield , DOWN UNDER and loved the glider and each other.

Stonefield is not too far from Gawler and that was the place where Matthew Scutter had a great flight which he shared with us;
“—Finally flying the Discus 2 at home! Strange day. Abnormal to have such strong weather in a strong southerly with a max temp of 20c. Most of the day was below zero because of the low maximum temp and high cloudbase. Some nice convergences around, sometimes way out over the water. Feeling a bit robbed as it could have easily been an OLC 1000k+ flight, but due to much yakking on the radio too much on the first two legs, combined with old (and cold!) batteries I ended up like Voyager 2, every time my logger reported low voltage I’d pick an instrument to switch off (radio, FLARM display, spare logger, 303 nav, PDA, vario!!!). I finally ran out of instruments to turn off and still only had 8.3v on the battery so I jumped off the convergence and just made it home to catch the landing on the trace before the logger died.Still can’t complaint!—“

Convergence was clearly forecast (although I didn’t look at this before I flew…)convergence by Matthew

I mentioned in the past the Waikirie Nationals for club and sports class. This competition will be held between January 2 and 11 in 2014.This week the GFA added the next announcement:
Due to a low number of entries the Sports Committee has decided to make the Sports Class at Waikerie a ballasted competition. So if you were thinking of entering but didn’t want to fly dry now you can enter and fly wet.”
Click here to enter;


Talking about Waikirie, last week , Graham Parker, flew in the ARCUS M already 700 km. The more or less normal pattern when we lived in Australia was, that spring started with good weather in the East in Queensland and then slowly the weather improved more to the South East, South and West.
But the weather is different now, everywhere! Poor people in the Philippines!

The IGC has announced the 6th series of FAI GRAND PRIX for sailplanes for 2014 and ’15.
They will be held in :
—France in Rennes, just received the message from Philippe de Pechy ;”Welcome to the Grand Prix France 2014!The registration will start soon.”
—Italy in Varese,
—Spain in La Cerdanya,
—South Africa in Worcester, [18 m.] and happy pilots “Worcester (January 2015) is one of the venues” shared by Sven Olivier.
—Chile in Santiago de Chile,
—Poland in Zar,[ where Sebastian Kawa did the greater part of his basic glider training. He still calls it the best place for take-offs and landings] and
—Australia in Lake Keepit, where we can expect great finishes over the lake.
More info at ; www.sgp.aero

And to finish the mention of a soaring-symposium in Holland “Dreams of flight, Flight of dreams”on November 22 in Eindhoven at the Technical University , the last event of 50 years ZES and on November 23 in Lelystad in the Aviodrome a congress about PASSION FOR FLYING , the yearly event organised by Glider Pilot Shop.

 Millen air

Junior World Champion Peter Millenaar will attend both with his business MILLENAIR and shared this picture on FB!

You are up to date,  so till next Sunday,
cheers Ritz
On Wednesday November 13 2013.

All kind of CHAMPIONS !

Day 6 in Kiripotib was another 1000 km. -day for the CHAMPIONS! The trainees from Andy, Janusz and Holger flew them.
They changed pilots to “use” also the experience and soaring-knowhow, from the other top pilots. Great concept!

Champion Andy Davis

Andy explaining to his “student”.
Courtesy; www.rent-a-glider.com

On day 7 the weather was so-so, no worries ! With what they learned, the students made the best out of it. A regatta start over the field was set [max. 3000m. MSL] and a flat triangle from 430 km. direction North East, in the blue!
Ludwig could stop organizing for a day and jumped in his BRANDNEW ANTARES and won as they mentioned the day with 136 km./h.
The new team for week 2 had arrived in between and all news about that in my next week blogs. The new guests are from Holland [2] from Brazil, Germany , Austria and Switzerland. Unfortunately CHAMPION Stefano Ghiorzo was ill, so Ludwig replaced him.


Namibia pilots and “trainees”

Namibia, in general, was booming again over the last couple of days, with good spring soaring weather and also in  Bitterwasser the- first- 1000 -of- the- season was flown, whilst Pokweni had flights up to just over 900 k. As you know they had their first 1000 of the 2013 season on November 4.
The 819k [721 k FAI] in a not-open-class-glider [ Ventus 2CM/18m.] from Bitterwasser was good as well.

I am still “glowing” from pleasure; what fabulous flights on November 5 by Uys , John and Oscar from Potchefstroom. Uys and John flew the “normal” JS 1 and Oscar the 21 m. version! They flew to the South , passing places as Bloemfontein and Gariep Dam on their way to a fast and long flight from over 1200 km .with huge speed over and just under  160 km./h..

Oscar gezicht

Oscar on an “old ” picture from my archive!

 Of course I checked with him if this was pretty normal.
It is unusual, but with climate change I think the seasons are also upset. We normally have good weather in the central interior in November, although the days are still slightly too short. The longest day is only on 21st December, so the sun already sets at 18h35 now. What made this day special, was the large area of relatively good weather, as well as the lack of thundershower activity. But I have to say that there are more of these days available for flights like this, we just miss them sometimes.”
What makes flying from Potchefstroom nice, is that we are a couple of pilots with similar capabilities, so we can get together easier to attempt these flights. The previous 1000km I flew together with Pieter Nouwens, was actually a very average day, and I would have abandoned the task if I was on my own.  ”

It could have been even faster,  as Oscar mentioned as well.
On this flight I was not in a big hurry, and wasted a couple of minutes, especially
late on the first and second leg when we changed the task and I was looking for
new turnpoints to make the task longer. This distracts from the pilot’s
concentration and performance, I think. I also think what also makes a
difference is the performance of the new generation open class.”

Oscar has written a small account for a local aviation internet forum and I copied and pasted that for you with his permission for www.soaringcafe.com today.

By the way on November 9 Uys , this time with brother Attie and with John , did it again. As the proud club AKAVLIEG POTCH Gliding announced on FB:
Potchefstroom one and two (and three if John uploads his flight) on OLC distance, and 123 on OLC speed.”
Distances just over 1000 [ 750 FAI triangles] , speed 135 km./h.
Oscar flew another 865 km task

Also at Gariep Dam and Douglas Backhouse  guests arrived for the season and the first flights have been added on the OLC. Max Leenders [ Nimbus 4DM]  from Holland flies from Gariep, as well as Uwe Thiele,[DG 808 c/18m. and from Germany];  both kilometre-eaters!

Down under the gliders have arrived in Melbourne,  so the COROWA- season can start soon as well! Planning; on November 16.
Last Friday George Lee showed he still “can do it”!!! He flew from his own airfield, carrying  his name,  796 km. [646 km. Fai triangle] with a speed of 125 km./h. in his Nimbus 4DM.
And also Gerrit Kurstjens had a great flight with 870 km.[ 688 FAI triangle]  in his Quintus. And Chad Nowak enjoyed a great flight in his ASW 20; 776 [772 FAI]  both members from the Darling Downs Soaring Club and flying from Mc Cafferey Field, called after Dennis Mc Caffery a great Aussie mate .
The HORNET flew with Michael Codling, 683 km. He set a 750 but unfortunately the first 2 hours were too slow, still great achievement.

In the USA ,Michael Higgins had a pretty difficult flight , but still enjoyed it from Mid Atlantic Soaring in the Discus b with 805 km.
He had a
–tough and slow start.
–no wave at Fairfield
— heavy snow showers to north.
–got stuck early at Harpers Ferry for an hour or more.
–scattered and unpredictable wave
But then there is the big BUT; “after climbing out of that hole, all went well — strong thermals, high bases, and good ridge.  — but it proved useful to the far SW.”

When you missed the absolute fabulous flight on September 29 2013 by OLC CHAMPION 2013, Jim Payne, with Mitch Polinsky in the back, you should read the story  and look at the magic pictures,[I published one below!]  written by and taken by Mitch on the next link;

Mitch Polinsky
Courtesy; Mitch.

In a way Mitch was a trainee as well. He learned from Jim not only how to fly but also to “go for it”.

Quite a few Aussie pilots flew this week, the SPEED_WEEK in West Wyalong. For Tocumwal pilots West Wyalong was the 500 km. out and return.
On day 4 Grant Johnson flew his KESTREL [ I presume this is “our” old one , later owned by  Richard Vincent, but I am not sure!] over a 382 km. FAI triangle [total distance 407 k.] with a nice speed , certainly for a KESTREL of  101.79 km./h.
On the non flying day with temperatures up to 37 dgr. overcast and storms , Ingo was one of the speakers. Narromine still further to the NE had up to 40 dgr.

Ingo teaching in WW.

Ingo. As shared by Anne .
picture courtesy Stuart Fergusson!

That’s about it for today. Will enjoy some time with my weekend-guests again and my Sunday-Soaring-Cafe-blog, will be published soon as well, with a nice resume of that excellent flight by Oscar.

Cheers Ritz
On Sunday November 10, one day before the CARNAVAL -season starts ;11.11.2013


Great records by Mitch! War- birds- event great succes! “Champion-teams” fly over 1000 k!!!

Airshow Temora 1 Airshow Temora 3

The WARBIRDS – event at Temora airport,  was a huge success! Temora , a little town,  with a population of 4000 , hosted about 15.000 guests and that is something. It all looked great and inviting on the pictures, shared by Tom and Jane. Wished I was there too !
I share a few more with you;

 Airshow Temora 7 Airshow Temora 5

The military Warbirds were there as well.
Below the F 18 Hornet and in formation.

Airshow Temora F18 Airshow Temora F18 plus

Airshow Catalina Airshow Caribou

And the Catalina and Caribou.
last but not least the Super Constellation in full glory

 Airshow Super conny Airshow super connie 2

South Africa and Namibia are getting more active as well.
As you know the CHAMPIONS fly and practise in Kiripotib and Janusz and his trainee had a good day on Sunday with 650 km.[ 591 km.FAI triangle] with a good speed of 115 km./h. Also Holger and his “student had such a nice distance. [both in ARCUS M and E]

Champions 2 Champions 1
Janusz and Holger ready for their flight with the trainees.
Courtesy www.rent-a-glider.com news.

Not far away is Pokweni where Axel Nuss and his co pilot in the Nimbus 3D flew 756 km. [ 631 k.FAI triangle] and Bitterwasser started as well with a nice 500 k in the ASH 25 , whilst John Coutts flew from Potchef also over 500 km.
It’s all happening again and it will be for sure a great overseas season.
Also the USA had a good Sunday for [ridge] soaring; 687 k in an LS 4 from Blairstown and in Australia 723 was flown from Mc Caffery Field in an ASG 29/18m.

 On Monday all 4 CHAMPION- teams set/ declared a 1000 k. That magic 1000!!!! Direction was Botswana where they expected CLOUDS , finally,  and a base of 5000 m. At 11 AM they were launched and at that time they had already 3.5 m. lift!
AND,….YES,[1147]  YES, [1111] YES ,[ 1072] YES, [ 1071 k] …they did it!!
Of course the CHAMPIONS have their 1000 k. , but the trainees might be over the moon with such speed and distance. That’s what it’s all about!
What a great day for Ludwig and Wolfgang , the organizers from this event. AND what about SPEED!!!! 140 km./h. on the clock! Next step the 1000 FAI triangle! This time it was nearly 900 km. FAI triangle.

Day 5 in Kiripotib, looked promising as the weather forecast was perfect, but….the skies did n’t look like what was forecasted; cumulus congestus already in the early morning. No worries, for the CHAMPIONS and their “students”. And  as said , from difficult circumstances you learn more and you get a lot of satisfaction from it. The pretty heavy weather still allowed for flights between 500 and 874 km. and useful exciting and “why-they-are-there-for-moments” for the students.

Also the Pokweni Nimbus 3D flew over 1000 k. and Bitterwasser ” tuned up” to over 800K., whilst Gariep Dam guests flew up to over 600 km.
AND yesterday Potchef was HOT!!!
When Uys Jonker says in his comment “great flight”, it must have been an awesome flight and a booming day;”1.241,07 km { 1.126,09 FAI triangle} with 160 km./h. was the result.
Also Oscar [Goudriaan] and John {Coutts}  loved the day and all flew over 1000 km. FAI triangle. Oscar flew a total of 1.263 km with 161 km./h. and John 1.240 with 162 km./h. On the OLC you can see the amazing flights!
Those are the days!!!!

I am sure you noticed , like I did, the great flights from MITCH Polinsky in June, July and August from this year.
Slowly his USA records are validated and here is all the news from this in 2013 so successful pilot, I wanted to know.
” I’ve waited this long to send it to you because I thought by now that I would have received official confirmation of my soaring records, but only the first one is truly official (the other seven have been approved by the Soaring Society of America record keeper and sent to the National Aeronautic Association in Washington, D.C. for final approval). 

In any case, here’s his  report:
“In a six week period from the end of June until the middle of August I had
great fun and success flying my ASH 31Mi/21M in the Great Basin of Nevada
and Utah. 
During that period I broke eight U.S. National  soaring records in
the single-seat motorglider category, including  one of them twice.”

Here’s a summary of the record flights
6/29/13: Free triangle distance: 1157.2 km
7/2/13:  Triangle speed 1000 km: 133.77 km/h [surpassed on 7-18-13]
7/18/13: Distance up to 3 TPs: 1070.3 km
7/18/13: Triangle distance: 1070.3 km
7/18/13: Triangle speed 1000 km: 139.01 km/h
7/20/13: Triangle speed 750 km: 150.66 km/h
8/6/13:  Triangle speed 500 km: 156.63 km/h
8/6/13:  Triangle speed 300 km: 156.63 km/h
8/14/13: Out-and-return speed 500 km: 155.91 km/

All of these flights were done from Ely, NV except for the last one, which was done from Parowan, UT.
Part of the inspiration for these flights was the remarkable speeds achieved by John Bally in his EB28 at Ely during the first part of June, several times exceeding 160 km/h for 1,000 km OLC flights (plus a notable 173 km/h for a 910 km flight). 
It was shortly after flying in the back seat of John’s EB28 that I started succeeding in my record attempts!”
What a perfect way to be inspired!!! Thanks for sharing, Mitch!

Also on Sunday; The New York Marathon ……   60.000  runners, amongst them quite a few Dutch, had to run over 42 km. One of the participating ladies was a young Dutch female glider pilot Maaike, who also was my TC assistant in Husbos  during the JWGC. She finished within 4 hours,  an amazingly great performance . The winner, a top athlete from Kenia ran the course in 2.25,7.

The Melbourne Cup stopped the NATION again yesterday. Fiorente won the race, but not everybody was proud this time , as one of the favourites , Verema, had to be put down after injuring itself during the race. NOT good!!
Poor  5 million dollar horse, he only lived 5 years.

That’s it for now.
Cheers Ritz
On Wednesday November 6 one day before my lovely daughter Inge turns 41!

EUROGLIDE 2014! War birds down under!

The organisers from EUROGLIDE 2014 have published the track and this year it will be a distance of 2438 km. to be flown in the period June 23 and July 5. Here is the route  and you can keep an eye on it on;


“Starting from Eindhoven (EHEH) to Dahlemer Binz (EDKV) in Germany.

Then to the South West to Poitiers (LFBI) in France.

From there to the East, just North of the Massif Central, to Roanne (LFLO).

The following leg to Klatovy (LKKT)in the Czech Republic passes through four countries, France, Switserland, Germany and the Czech Republic.

The finish is in Malden, the Netherlands.

The total distance is 2438 km (clock-wise 2475 km). ”

A lot of pilots and crews are very pleased now, no HAPPY is a better word, as this race is more than popular!!!!Registrations just started from November 1 onwards and you can find all details on the site!
One reaction on FB;

Junior World Champion Peter Millenaar is very busy with his own business MillenAir. Not long and he will be co pilot as well for Ryan Air. And, I believe Tim Kuijpers the JWGC Champion from Musbach is going to fly there as well. Young airline pilots they are now and as we all know a glider pilot mostly is a good airline pilot.
When you were just trying to find a good radio here is one of Peter’s  offers:

Special offer this winter: Dittel KRT2 8.33kHz radio for only € 1099 instead of € 1142! Are you an aeroclub or group, ordering multiple radios? Contact us for a special offer and information.”

My Temora Friends Jane and Tom Gilbert will have a busy weekend:
“” Preparing for the big airshow on Saturday. Warbirds Down Under. 13000 visitors expected. Poor little Temora will be busting at the seams.”

Airbirds at Temora.
Courtesy Jane and Tom.


this great “toy” a CARIBOU, the “war horse of the skies” and a retired part of the Royal Australian Air Force,  arrived in Temora , as well as a P 51 , P 40, Catalina , Black Hawk and more….

Airshow 2

A Canadian built military plane, sometimes still used for bush flights.
Last but not least
nose art 1 nose art 2

nose art 3 nose art 4

NOSE ART!!!! Great or not?
As shared by Tom and Jane with their permission.

He flew last Wednesday,  756 km.[735 FAI triangle] in the West of Australia [ from Cunderdin] and that means very early in the season great weather in a big area; James Cooper in an SZD 55. Good on him! The best flight in the 2014 OLC-season world wide till now!
More good flights; On November 1 Geoff Pratt, in the PIK 20 with 614.89 km.[ 599.3 FAI triangle] from Mareeba and Tomas Suchanek from the wave camp in KRNOV 527 km.  in an ASW 15!!!!
And on November 2 Jenny Ganderton set a 750, had to turn short , but still managed to fly  640,63 [631 FIA triangle]in her ASH 26 from West Wyalong. A 551 [ 402 k.   ] in a Hornet from Warwick is not bad either.
From Potchefstroom  in S.A. a great flight on November 2 as well; 761 km.[ 648 FAI triangle ] with a good speed of 133 km./h. by Uys Jonker in his JS 1.
AND,…you might have noticed the flights on the OLC , from November 1 onwards, from FLYING WITH THE CHAMPIONS in Kiripotib. More about that in my Soaring Café blog.

 In my last blog I wrote about the nice ridge-flight from Max Gödde in the LS 4, [Porta Westfalica] even topping the OLC list that day. The reaction on his flight from the OLC was a bit weird and nearly “intimidating”.
I translated the reaction which created a huge amount of other comments. Don’t have to tell you why.
“Hallo Max,
unfortunately you did not add a SMILEY with your name.
That is a real pity!
Even better; The OLC team was pleased with your nice flight,  but when your participation on the OLC contest would have been  accompanied by spending a dime, p.e. 9 EURO for the season, we would have rewarded that also with a SMILEY.”
I stay out of this,  but can only add that the OLC has been one of the better things happening in our soaring-lives. Let’s call it a “mishap”. Nobody is perfect.

Good news for pilots who are planning to fly [ maybe the Nationals] in Omarama:
This just came in from the President of Gliding New Zealand regarding airspace restriction removal. Great news from those flying North of Omarama.
Yesterday it was formally released by CAA that the Mt Cook airspace change to class C controlled above FL 245 has been reversed and for the present time will remain uncontrolled . Probably till someone else wants to challenge it!  It’s been hard work but the outcome was worth it…  So go forth and use it to whatever height you feel like!”

More and more of my friends are buying or have bought the ARCUS!
Jorgen and Brigitte [Denmark] keep a blog about how they handled the first steps of this glider shipped to Australia. In Bacchus March they worked hard on the glider and trailer and oxygen was put in for the HIGH flights. Then it is travelling up to Stonefield for the first past of the soaring holiday. You will find them on the OLC. The last part will be in Tocumwal.

Arcus m 2 Arcus m 1

Trailers from Jorgen /Brigitte and Roger.
courtesy; The blog from J and B.

For more news, I will be back on Wednesday and today in Soaring Café.
Cheers Ritz
On Sunday November 3 2013, the day my last guest will leave , but new ones have announced their arrivals.