A lot happening!Interesting flights in Klix!

Our  “old”  family club, the Gelderse, had their one-day-competition on Saturday with 14 pilots in an open/mixed class and 8 in club class. The weather, which was to ” cry for”  in the East of Europe, was  a tiny bit better  here. They flew , but only  the better -performance-gliders  gained points. The Nimbus 4DM won the 181 km. with  7 other finishing gliders in open class and in club the best distance was 66 km. from the set 130.
Another nice day for a bit of flying, ” tasting”  the field and catching up with friends, beer  and talks, but no goulash this time.

Z Paul en Rien

The WINNERS in open class; Paul Wijsman and Rien Bastiaanse as seen and shared by Ricky Bastiaanse.

Klix, had in  18 m. class 2 Dutch winners on day 1; Jeroen Verkuijl [Ventus 2cxaj] and Hadriaan van Nes,[DG800/18m]  both got the 711 points.
They all had to fly in changing circumstances from good lift to flying on a “zero”  but quite a few made it home;24 from 29!Distance; 223 km.
In 15 m. class Mac from Japan practiced for the WGC and was 5th from 15 on day 1, with 3 out landings.
In standard class 151 km and 2 winners  , one Dutch [ the younger brother of Baer Selen] and one German, both got 338 points.
In club class 22 pilots had to fly 108.2 km. and 18 did so.
In the 2 seater class 12 participants mostly flying all kind of varieties of the Duo Discus and one DG 1000 and an ARCUS and the last one won day 1, over 210.9 km.

Day 2 was flown only in 18 m and club class. Jeroen won again . Both classes had to fly around showers.
On day 3 small AAT’s in each of the 4 classes, but after postponing and postponing organizers cancelled the day.
Day 4 had a window for 2 classes again , so the 2-seaters and 15 m. class pilots went up to check this window. It turned out not too bad. Mac won the 1.30 AAT and one of the Duo Discusses won from the ARCUS. All starts after 3 PM.

Day 5; Finally a GOOD one, with an over- 2000 m. base and racing tasks between 388 and 491 km. with for each a  TP in Poland. Good for those practicing for the WGC in Leszno.
Cu’s all over , so lot’s of finishers and good results, so deserved after the pretty marginal days earlier.
In 18m. Polish pilot Thomasz Dul won the day with a speed of 129,16 km./h. over 490.9 km. in the ASG 29 . With 1963 points he leads the 18-m. pact at this moment.
In 15 m. another good day for Mac , winning with a speed of 126.61 km.h over 403.9 km. in the Ventus 2. At this stage Mac leads in his class.
In standard class Jacques Selen was runner up . Winner was Andreas Hillebrand with a speed of 118.86 against 118, 56. Pfffft…..A real ” fight”  here between those 2 pilots as the difference in overall points is TWO, in favor of Andreas.
In club class 2 winners, one from Holland Menno Beesten [ Hornet with winglets] and also 1000 points for  German pilot Peer Sitzmann.[Sta Jantar] They flew with 105.10 km./h. over a distance of 387.7 km.
The 2 seaters had a big task as well; 408 km and this time the pilots in the DG 1000 were the best  AND they top with ONE point the overall list till today.
More good weather is forecast so let’s wait and see what happens on the next couple of days, including today.

Yesterday in the same area Stefan Goretzki flew in the St. Cirrus from Locktow via Poland and Klix a nice 650 [500 FAItriangle] and Bernd Goretzki in the 18m Ventus starting at the same point ; 928.6 km [800 Fai triangle] So REALLY good weather .

By the way there are a lot of great pictures in the gallery of the site of this 22d Klix-Cup;

The reginonals in the USA [R5N] are over and won by Dick Butler in open class in his CONCORDIA, Fernando Silva in 15 m, Jerzy Szemplinsky in 18 m. and and Sarah Arnold in sports class.

Z DB by Baude1  Z DB by Baude 2

The SSA shared 2 fantastic pictures from Baude Litt from Dick’s Concordia- on -air!

In between they had time to raise funds for the teams going to Finland and Poland.
CD for these regionals at Perry International Airport, was Richard Maleady who is nowadays the president of the SSA .
Just to let you know!  Garret Willat  and Sean Franke fly for the USA, in club class, Bob Fletcher and Phillip Gaisford in standard class and Heinz and Karin in the ARCUS in the 20 m. class. So they travel to Rayskala.
To Leszno travels a team from 6 pilots with as TC Dennis Linneken. Dick Butler and Ron Tabery in open, Peter Alexander and Gary Ittner in 18 m. and Mark Keene and Dave Mockler in 15 m.

Z Dick butler  Z Jerzy

Z winner 15 m  Z Sarah 1

Dick, Jerzy, Fernando and Sarah, great winners.
Pictures shared by the SSA.


In Italy the 13.5 m gliders were on the grid in Alzate Brianza, combined with the club class for the Italian titles. 25 Competitors and a lot of good ones going for the titles.
All Silent 2 gliders in this competion, except for 2 PW 5’s. The Silents did well. Ricardo Brigliadori won day 1 and 2 , with toppers as Alberto Sironi, Stefano Ghiorzo, Luigi Bertoncini following him. Also UK pilot Ayala Truelove and USA pilot Francois Pin are in the race.
In Club class on the 2d day ,[ a 3 hour AAT]  , the 1000 points were for former junior Davide flying a Cirrus.
3 Flying days in the 13.5 m class till now and today is cancelled. Ricardo leads after those 3 days  with just over 100 points on Stefano.
Only 2 in club class where Davide leads after those 2 days.

Z Francois1  Z Francois 2

Luckily Francois was so kind to share some pictures from his flight.
Courtesy Francois Pin via FB.

Last Sunday ,places in Finland , Norway and Japan , belonged to the good soaring-spots.With tasks just under and above 500, they had better weather than some [other] European countries. Norway even had a flight over 600 km. in the Nimbus 4Dm. And Arne Martin Guettler mentioned that the 548 km.  he flew,  was the longest ever in his life [discus 2bt] ;” Awesome conditions, although the area with good conditions was somewhat limited.” 

In my last blog on www.soaringcafe.com  I wrote about an interesting flight from Marian Novak [Canada] ;900 km in an ZSD55.
The comment was :”Actually it is a glider that he designed and built himself. He calls it an “Egret”  Because the OLC has no entry for a one-of homebuilt, he logs it as a SZD55 as that appears to be close to its performance.”
For sure interesting to know.

Talking about SoaringCafe, when you visit me in the cafe on Sunday it will be different, even better and there will me more interaction. Looking forward to the new set up. I have been asked over the last months to give my input which I did as did other contributors.
Bill and Rand , the co-founders,  mention in their latest blog yesterday,that they will  launch the new site on Thursday;
The Café is a unique place that brings us all together to share our passion for flying. And although we come from different countries, speak different languages, work in all types of jobs and have diverse life experiences, we are a community. And we like to talk about and share our flying experiences. That’s why we made the changes to the website. So everyone has a chance to both share their stories and enjoy the experiences of others”
I can fully agree on this, have a look on www.soaringcafe.com

That’s it , you are up to date so see you next week. It’s already the last day of April, time flies and the 2 WGC’s will be there in a flash. Still pondering the possibilities of visiting both for a few days.

Cheers Ritz

Nitra pilots are eager to go for a nice long flight, but the weather does n’t co-operate ..yet!

After a pretty bad first day ,with all pilots still airborne but in the end an invalid day for all classes, day 2 in Nitra was a tad better.

Z Nitra day 1 by Swaantje  Z Nitra by Swaantje day 2

Day 1 and day 2 as seen and shared by Swaantje, who is competing.

Day 2 had in each class out-landings but also over 600 points for each of the winners on this 2 hour AAT.
Speed in 15 m. still 104 km. /h. and in open class 114.98 km./h.
Some pilots lost points by entering the forbidden airspace!

Day 3– ingredients; ” Competition area is in the flow of wet and warm air from the South. The air stratification is unstable giving us good conditions for forming updrafts. Rain showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon are expected.”
In each class a 2 hour AAT again. They were launched , but the conditions were so , that most pilots returned home or landed in a paddock. Tim Milner from the UK , managed to fly 73 km. in his St Cirrus but received 0 points. In open class Marcus Gauman flew  75 km. in his Nimbus 4M but also for him ZERO points, so an invalid/ cancelled day.

Day 4 yesterday; Cancelled!

Z Nitra in the rain

NO soaring! As shared by Martti.

For today Nitra expects better weather. Hope they can fly.
It’s fun as well , being together on the ground and lot’s of sight- seeing, BUT the pilots are there to fly, to compete, so hopefully the weather gods are ” gracious”  for all in Nitra, today and the rest of the days.
For results you can look tonight at www.soaringspot.com

Also small tasks in Goondiwindi where club class flew a 1.45 AAT on day 2 and 15 m. and sports class and the 2 seaters 2 hours.
Ray Stewart in the Discus bt won the first 2 days in club, so did Butch [John Buchanan] in his ASG 29 in the sports class .  Peter Trotter won day 2 in the Duo Discus.
Day 3 was cancelled.  As Mike Codling mentioned;
 Launch held , the 3 sniffers have all landed back. I suspect the day will get cancelled as the window is small and quickly closing. There’s just no hint of breeze or thermals coming through.
Day 4; ” Didn’t think we’d launch, let alone task, but it turned out to be a lovely day. My first real look at the place from the air – very scenic!” Comment by Les Milne on the OLC yesterday on their 1.30 AAT.
Mike [ HORNET]had a good day and won in club class ;183 km. in 2.11.
In sports class Butch [ASG 29/18m.]  had his 4th win; 158 km. in 1.36 and in the 2 seater class team Medlicott won the day in the ARCUS.
They had day 5 today. No results yet but I noticed a 305 km. in an LS 6 from Goondiwindi, so the weather was OK.

Z Mike and Charlie

Mike and Charlie  Downes , waiting in Goondiwindi on the grid!
Courtesy Mike via FB.

On other spots in Australia p.e . from George Lees Airfield , George himself flew 368 km. in his Nimbus 4DM.
In S.A. the Jonker brothers flew over 500 km from Potchefstroom, so still pretty good weather there as well.Also 574 km. from Orient!!! All flights in JS gliders. Also the 598 km. [500 FAI triangle] by Mannie, from Orient ,in the Duo Discus is worth mentioning.

What’s going to happen soon!!!
The KLIX competition starts end of this week and will be flown from April 25 till May 3 in Germany.
The Leonardo Brigliadori International Cup for 13.5 m will be held in Alzate Brianza.[Italy]
Very pleased to see that my good friend Leonardo is honored with a CUP in his name. SO deserved!!!
In about the same period they will fly in Austria [St Johan] for the Kitzbueheler Alpen Bokal and in France from Carpentras,  2 comps, the Coupe du Ventoux and the AMICALE ASW 20.
Hope the weather will be good for ALL!!! And lot’s of success!

And to finish some very HAPPY AUSSIE CHAPPIES! Andrew and Nick Maddocks on a day- out together. Just looking at the picture makes you feel good!

Z happy chappies

As shared by Andrew and Nick

First SOLO from members of my former club de ZES, praeses Kyle and member  Jasper, both on April 21.

Z solo 2

Z solo before  Z first solo 2

Jasper after and Kyle before and after.
Courtesy Sam Staassen via ZES FB site

in 45 years or so…however a Grunau Baby looks fancy or not?
Ritz before and after on the shoulders but the ” head disappeared”.

10250823_10152324907059235_1873196674_n  RdL 010

With my instructor Dickritz solo.

Thanks to Arjan for the digital version he made of  that day from my photo book .
More pictures from the lustrum and lot’s of digital pictures from the ZES-past, also from Kees Musters one of my instructors
at www.zweefvliegen.nu.
I am a donor- member from the ZES again. Still remember my ” flowers/garland”  in 1968 with a BIG smile!!!  

Have a great week and CU next Sunday in the CAFE!
Cheers Ritz
on Wednesday April 23 2014.

Australia’s soaring-future looks bright!

”  April doet wat ie wil ” is a saying in Holland and means as much as April does what it wants to do. It’s all about the weather. Last night we had after the great early sunshine ,…..MINUS 7 in the S of Holland and the fruit farmers had to take extra measures as heaters between the cherry trees and water over the pear –and apple- trees. We went from 25 to 8 dgr. but luckily the Easter weekend will be around 17/18 dgr C. again, which is good for the million guests we expect for that weekend in Holland.

Did I tell you that after Obama visited the Night watch in the Rijksmuseum NOT 250 people from the USA ,but 750 PER week, announce their arrival, to see what he saw. That’s PR!!!!

Several of my friends are practicing in, or on the road to ….Nitra for the Pribina Cup. The opening briefing will be on Saturday at 10 AM . Contest flying from Saturday the 19th till Saturday the 26th and the farewell party on the evening of the 26th at 8PM. Prize giving , same evening at 9 PM. The weather looks promising, but if necessary they have a reserve day at the 27th.

Z Nitra 1

One of my Finish mates on his way to; Martti Sucksdorff.

The last couple of weeks I have written about the fabulous future from the Australian Air Force Cadets in their brand new gliders.
Tom and Jane shared some pictures from the opening of the new hangar in Bathurst. Of course they were there as well.

Z Bathurst 3

 Z Bathurst  Z Bathurst 2

Courtesy Jane and Tom Gilbert ; the 2d DG 1001Club glider proud on display.

A $5 million facility built at the Bathurst Aerodrome for Australian Air Force Cadets was officially opened last week.
The Air Force has built the center as part of their strong commitment to youth development.
Cadets aged between 13 and 20 years of age will travel from all over Australia to participate in weekend and school holiday aviation camps in Bathurst.
Airforce Chief Air Marshall Geoff Brown , who flies regularly in the Aussie comps, attended the opening.
7200 Cadets will benefit from this new center in Bathurst [  in the state NSW,  about 200 km. W of Sydney] .Since 1970 cadets flew already from Bathurst.
Great to see that so many young pilots will be ” created”  by and for  the Australian Airforce.
Just a great development!!!

Jelmer Ameland    NK donderdag vrij 006

Jelmer  flying above Ameland and after the briefing during the Nationals in Holland.

Talking about DG; This is their latest project , the VOLOCOPTER and as I heard it got a lot of attention on the AERO in Friedrichshafen.
We’re happy that feetback was so great and are very much looking forward to the next steps of the project!” According to the news on  their site.
Involved in this project is Jelmer Wassenaar  one of the pilots in my junior team in 2005 in HusBos. He also flew a few WGC’s. Very talented and very nice young man ,who studied aerodynamics at the Delft University [Aero Space Engineering]  .He is one of the designers/development engineers  at DG and as I read somewhere, he is called ”  the father of the DG 1001TE” . Have to ask him when I see him.

Z volocopter

Picture courtesy DG.

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, as is written on the DG site.
Since the beginning of the Volocopter Project DG Flugzeugbau is the key-partner of this project. Beside the complex development of the fuselage and its rotor plane, DG was also in charge to manufacture the first prototype structure. All prototype parts were manufactured at the DG Factory in Bruchsal/Germany.You can read more about it , also in English, on their site;

Here is the movie of the Maiden Flight:


What happened more? Fabulous weather  yesterday in the mountains  from Austria. Several  [5] over 1000 km. flights.
1.347 km. in a Nimbus 3DM  and in a Nimbus 4DM 1.341 km. from Lienz Nikolsdorf is SUPER! Ridge, wave but also snow showers and low temperatures were the ingredients for a perfect , sometimes nerve breaking day for the  4 pilots flying and supporting each other,  with a speed of 132 km./h. and 123 km./h . over the mountains.
The same air as in Lienz was available for pilots having the day off yesterday in Italy [Bolzano 822 km. in an LS 6] and Celje [SL 877 km. in a Duo Discus]
The cold air from the North brought great conditions to Belgium as well. 2 Pilots flew from Keiheuvel 634 in an LS 8 an 579 in a DUODISCUS!

Wishing you ALL a great Easter weekend with great soaring conditions good food and interesting conversations.

2014-04-11 17.25.17  2014-04-11 17.23.44


Cheers Ritz
on Wednesday April 16 , the day Bill Riley celebrates his 90 thiest birthday and
the day before Kees Musters would have turned 68.

Bill Riley and Ritz  ZES 2 Kees

With Bill in 2010 in Tocumwal and with Kees in 1967  ready for a competition from either Malden or Gilze.

“Why not keeping the records in the family!?”

It was last winter somewhere in December ,when  my friends Hilde and Bert Schmelzer, traveled from Belgium to Kiripotib in Namibia. They knew already in January that they had a fabulous flight in the ASH 25/28,  from Bernd Dolba and filed the flight for a new Belgian record.
The commission who looks at the claims in Belgium was together for the first of their 3 meetings per year.
Last weekend Hilde and Bert  got the good news that the flight was recognized as a new Belgian record;
Category Free Distance FAI Triangle over 1.119.9 km in open class on January 2 2014;with an average speed of 138 km./h.

With 2 children who have their own records already the parents have one now as well.Pretty special!
Son Tijl flew in 2012 from the airport of Keiheuvel to Biaritz a 1000 k.  Belgian record in 18 m. and brother Bert jr. flew 3 European records in Mai 2013 in the Alps . You surely remember that great flight from Zurich to Vienna and back; 1000 km.PLUS in a Discus .
I just published some new pictures from Bert jr. in my Soaringcafe blog, when you are interested.
So in each of the classes ….open, 18 m and Standard class they have records now. Congratulations !!!!


Bert sr. and Hilde; now they have as parents their own Belgian record!

So when they travel again in the end of this year they will be honored with a special Oscar [see picture] in the special Kiripotib way.

IMG_0121  IMG_0095


This summer the family travels to Rayskala in Finland where both boys participate in the 33d WGC. Mum Hilde will be TC.
Another well known family from Belgium the Litt’s  travel to Poland, Emmanuel as participating pilot and brother Baudouin as TC.
The other well known Belgian family is the Huybreckx family and I meet them again somewhere in August at the airfield of Keiheuvel. Is n’t it great to fly with so many in one family and on a high level now and in the past ;Marc, Eddy, Tim, Dennis, Jeroen  and married into the family Wim and Jeff.
Of course there are more flying-families but I don’t know them all too good to write about them. Though I know in Belgium of course the Stouffs family and the Brocquevilles , the family The Coninck and the Van Eyken family……..
By the way Belgian Patrick Pauwels is in Finland as steward.

Familie op STH

The Schmelzer family.

Talking even more about Belgium. About 10 pilots from the Diest Aeroclub have set up camp in Germany and fly from Laucha.

We stay in Belgium, for a moment , as I LOVE BRUGGE!!!! Jeroen Jennen, one of the Huybreckx family shared some pictures from this lovely ancient town this week and I picked 2 for you. Whenever,…you should visit Brugge.

Z Brugge by Jeroen 2  Z Brugge by Jeroen1

Courtesy Jeroen Jennen.

Can you imagine the happiness of the Australian Air Force  Cadets when they can fly in these gliders ? The first 2 gliders have been handed over!!!!

Z DG 1  Z dg 3

Z dg 4  Z Dg5

As shared by John Welsh and congratulations to my friends Jane and Tom Gilbert from DG Australia.

More news about DG you can read in their newsletter number 174! With in it;
Australian Air Force Cadets order second batch of DG-1001Club. The first gliders were delivered in January already. Now they order some more.

 New Instrument Panel for DG-808C Competition . Now modern flight computers can be used too

Lisa Trotter from Australia breaks 31 records on a LS8 within one flight!

Australian duo breaks Australian 750km record.

Jim Payne and Dennis Tito catch >2000 Points!

Tony van Dyk wins New Zealand Nationals

Photo of the Month – Liberty

Service and Maintenance: Mobile Service and Maintenance by DG

DG-1000T propeller axis runs through all tests successfully

EASA Maintenance Programs

Composite: CNC Milling System has arrived.  In the meantime the system is running steadily.

DG successfully manufactures 250th wind blade.

To read all items;

They , Friedel Weber, Holger Back and the entire DG- and LS-Tea, wish all pilots a wonderful flight season.

It seems it’s over here for a while with the high temperatures. Monday was a day with at some places severe thunderstorms with hail and strong gusty wind, today it is back to the normal temperatures for the time of the year; between 11 and 13 dgr. We loved the up to 25 dgr. we had at some days!!! BUT,..the sun is still shining!!!!

Last Sunday 754 pilots entered their flight on the OLC, so a good Sunday !!!  Specially Italy contributed as lot’s of pilots flew from Calcinate, [the SAP] , with on day 3 a declared FAI triangle of 500 km. They had a successful couple of [training-] days there with more than 100 flights and good distances! Only happy pilots and enough gliders as you can see on the pictures from Alberto Sironi and shared by Aldo Cernezzi.

Z Alberto  Z Alberto 2

For more public shared pictures you can go to ;

On page 1 that day the first 50 flights were all over 500 km. The day was topped by Swiss pilot Didi Albrecht who flew from Locarno in the SILENT 2 targa 586.11 km.
Longest flight that day was from Sondrio in wave in a NIMBUS 4DM; 710 km.

And on Monday Austria had superb spring weather with flights up to 800 km . in the EB 29, from Lienz by Alexander Muller, but also  Trento in Italy  had good weather ; Walter Giordani flew  637 km. in Ventus 2CM/18m. and from Ajdovskina [SL] ;586 [ 500 FAI triangle] also in Ventus now 2C/18m..

Yesterday the ” ridge-soarers”  Brian and Dan in the USA had their 500- plus- days in a PIK 20 and a 17.4 m 304CZ from Ridge Soaring.Specially the afternoon/evening was perfect, according to the happy-sounding-pilots .
Brian has a real good ridge-season till now in his PIK 20; one flight over 1000 km on March 26 with 1.152,11km.  [speed 154,33 km./h] and in April 2 flights one from 799.19 km. [ speed 133.07 km./h] and the 584 km. from yesterday with a speed of 158,77 km./h.!!!
And in the UK  [Scotland]  they had good wave up to over 3000 m AGL. over Kinross, based on the shores of Loch Leven .
Fuentemilanos yesterday had the longest flight for the beginning of the season; 418 km. in a DG 808b/18m.

And ,…..for those interested in aeromodelling;
In Romania [Slanic Prahova]  they ” fought” from March 31 till April 5  for the titles for the FAI World Championship for Free Flight Indoor Model Aircraft&  FAI Junior World Championship for Free Flight Indoor Model Aircraft.A mouth-full!!
Here are the final results as I received them:

1st : Lee Yuan Kang     USA
2nd : Brett Sanborn     USA
3rd : Ivan Treger       SVK

Senior – Team
1st: USA
2nd: Romania
3rd: France

1st : Evab Guyett       USA
2nd : Calin BUlai       ROU
3rd : Antonin Ricou     FRA

Junior – Team
1st: Romania
2nd: France
3rd: USA

The full results can be found at the following address :

4 Of my 5 highschool friends visited me yesterday .A FUN_DAY, full of memories!
Enough for now!!!
Cheers and have a good week.CU back in the CAFE on Sunday  www.soaringcafe.com

On Wednesday April 9 2014.

” 8 U.S. National records in 6 weeks in the summer of 2013″, by Mitch Polinsky!

The month of March had 3 -over-20 dgr.-days here in Holland and belongs to the top 3 of the warmest, driest [only 33 mm. of rain normally that’s double or more] and sunniest [ 205 hours of sun instead of 198] month in history.The fantastic weather in parts of Europe attracts pilots to travel  AND to make pictures! And what pictures!!!

Z France

Dutch pilots on their way to the Alps in France, having a break.

Some of the Dutch pilots are flying in Vinon. Among them double WGC Champion Bear Selen with some members of the club from Venlo in the S. of Holland.Also Robert Werts is there with his Nimbus 3DT, he flew in the past 2 times a 1000 from Venlo.
” Always ”  there is Erik Borgmann,  2d at the Borlange WGC ; he lives close by.
About 13  other friends /pilots from Holland fly in Saint Auban.
As well as Denis Guerin one of the pilots representing France in Finland at the upcoming WGC.

AMAZING pictures!

Zwalter 4  Z walter 3

Z walter 1  Z walter 2

The WOW factor!
L’Adamello and Torri del Vajolet.
Courtesy Walter Giordani from Italy on March 28 2014.


Down-under they still fly 300 km. FAI triangles . Both from Lake Keepit and Tocumwal in JS 1 [extended to 412] and ASH 26 [extended to 376]  and …on the last day of March.
The first day of April started good……..2 TIMES a 1000 from St Gaudens [ in the French Haute -Garonne in the Mid Pyrenees] in a DG 600 17 m and an ARCUS  M [Robert Prat.]in what must have been great wave!
In March some of the Belgium pilots practiced there, among them the representative in open class, Daan Spruyt,  who will fly a NIMBUS 4 DM in Poland.The other open class pilot in Leszno from Belgium is Pierre de Broqueville in his EB 28.

Last year I wrote about Mitch Polinsky, who had a few awesome flights from ELY flying in the Great Bassin of Nevada/Utah.


  Polinsky--31Mi after July 2, 2013 record flight

Mitch after one of his record flights.
courtesy Mitch.

In March 2014 , the USA Magazine Soaring spend 5  pages on what Mitch achieved and I share some  parts of his story with you, because  his self reflection turns out, to a very interesting story with moments in it we all might know/have experienced.
It was touching to read that he dedicated the article to a friend who died earlier in the year and who was loved by ALL who knew him; meteorologist Doug Armstrong.

” My flying took off last summer in a way that delighted and puzzled me. Although I had never set a record previously in twenty-five years of soaring, I achieved eight U.S. national records over a period of six weeks in the summer of 2013.”
After a period in which he never thought of himself as one of  the top-tier Great Basin thermal pilots.
I was solidly in the second-tier, even though I aspired to fly like these guys.

The facts first about his great soaring in the Great Basin of Nevada/Utah ;

Free triangle distance: 1157.2 km.

Triangle speed 1000 km: 133.77 km/h.[not submitted b/c surpassed on 7/18/13]

Distance up to 3 TPs: 1070.67 km

Triangle distance: 1070.25 km

Triangle speed 1000 km: 138.99 km/h

Triangle speed 750 km: 150.72 km/h

Triangle speed 500 km: 156.87 km/h

Triangle speed 300 km: 156.87 km/h

Out-and-return speed 500 km:155.77 km/h
All of these flights were done from Ely except for the last one, which was done from Parowan.

Polinsky--26E looking NE near Ely  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

NE near ELY …………………AND ……………………  near ELY [by Hugh Milne]

Mitch has his own philosophy about gliding . Being a professor in economics at Stanford Law School, he has  a few professional obligations during the summer, other than continuing to do research and writing.So he has to juggle with his time .
But he loves soaring and every year he makes time  in summer ,to fly  . Also in the summer of 2013 flying from ELY.
One day after his arrival, he was invited  to fly with  John Bally in a two-seat EB 28 . John flew some great flights early in that  season and Mitch had seen that on the OLC and wanted to know how he did that. So he talked with him before John left. The invitation to fly with him was accepted eagerly and changed his look on flying. It inspired him!

Conclusion; What John did  was  “simply” the superb execution of the same lessons   ” as I had learned from my instructors/mentors.”
” I was inspired to think that if I just concentrated on doing better what I knew I should be doing, I might be able to improve my  flying outcomes significantly. “

So he changed from old habits to new ones by ,
1.  focusing more on his soaring,[ instead of being on a conference- phone-call,  while putting water ballast in the glider]
2. preparing himself better,[   I found time to study weather forecasts more thoroughly than I had in the past]
3. launching in time[and not an hour later because of distractions]  and
4. declaring his tasks.

A week later he flew the longest flight of his life (1244 km on the OLC), including the longest triangle of his life (1157 km), and broke his first record !!!!

In the end , 5. risk management was added. Though he considers  himself a conservative pilot in terms of safety , he scared himself twice in that month.

 I knew I was pushing myself harder than usual in order to have a chance at accomplishing the record flights”  ,but  this consisted mainly of taking “inconvenience risks,” where he might have to motor home a long distance or land at another airport.
On his final day of flying last summer, he landed not back in Parowan as widespread thunderstorms were hanging around there, but in Cedar City about 30 k  S. from Parowan.
“I expected the stormy weather around Parowan to clear and planned to take off from Cedar City about a half-hour before sunset and land back at Parowan” .
By the time he got back there,the cross wind was too strong to land there, so he returned back to Cedar City to stay there for the night.
BUT,…the cross-wind there was as strong.”  The only option then, now that it was sunset, was to land on the auxiliary runway, which only had a 30 dgr. cross wind component . I knew it was narrow, but only after I had landed  I noticed that I had landed on a 60 foot wide runway with a 69 foot wingspan. ”

The landing was in very gusty conditions and he bounced hard, but remained in control. Near the end of the roll-out a gust caused the right wing tip to go down just off the runway, scraping the bottom of it. Luckily the only damage was cosmetic.
I’ve got a new goal for next summer; no more scares!

I can advise you to read the full story, this is just a short  extract from 5 pages in the  USA MAGAZINE SOARING.
Thanks to both Mitch and the SSA/SOARING MAGAZINE [ Chuck Coyne] for allowing me to use the quotes.

Happy sounds from Kentucky in Australia. We knew already that the drought was broken but Bruce send some proof of green paddocks as well after a good drop of rain. By the way Bruce is one of the 3 Australian participants in the French Grand Prix.

Z bruce1  Z bruce2

Pictures as shared by Bruce AND good to see.

And to finish another nice recent picture this time from France;

Z Filipe

Courtesy Philippe  de Pechy.

See you next week,
cheers Ritz
On Wednesday April 2 2014