Flight 9525 !Phenomena ! 7th Helli Lasch ! Seniors in the USA !

HAVE to start with the huge tragedy in the South French Alps.
How very , very tragic to hear that an A 320 from German Wings [daughter from Lufthansa] crashed in the French Alps, on it’s way from Barcelona to Dusseldorf,  in the area from Barcelonette, an area where so many  glider pilots flew/fly with such great pleasure.How close can be happiness and sadness.
Now it looks that the slopes in this remote area, are a grave-yard  for the 150 people [144 passengers and 6 crew] who died, in this crash, among them 16 grammar school children with 2 teachers on their way back home from an student-exchange program in Barcelona. SO SAD!!!
Weird that the very experienced pilots, dived for 8 minutes and NEVER said that something was wrong.Were they unconscious???
Hope they find out quickly, such accidents are nerve-breaking for everybody, certainly for pilots flying the Airbus 320, [ some did not want to fly for personal reasons yesterday evening]but also for all of us as we mostly fly to our destinations!!!And for me personally with a daughter as airline pilot.
At least they found one of the black boxes, pretty amazing when you see the millions of little pieces, so hopefully we should know something soon.
I feel for all my friends in Germany, Spain , France and Turkey and my thoughts are with all who lost a loved one.
Life is tough!!!!!
But it continues,…I know so well!!!!! So I leave what I had already even about the mountains.


As I read on the DG site they had some “sparkling” spring weather in Austria as well. They shared some pictures I like to share with you as well;

zzzzAustria 3

zzzzAustria1 zzzzAustria 2

In Niederoeblarn/Austria they had a beautiful season start this year with their DG-1001Club!
Thank you Lukas for sharing these nice pictures! [DG] 


Last week we had some interesting and pretty unique phenomena.
First there was the northern lights , which you can’t see often in Holland. Very special and some managed to get a picture from it.
And then there was of course the total solar eclipse, not seen here since 1999…but ,…we had FOG here and due to the eclipse the sun-heat was not strong enough to burn away the fog in time, even if it was “only”  80 % here . The full 100 % was on the Faeroer Islands ……and on a population of 48.000, around 10.000 visited extra to be part of this phenomena.
A bit later the full 100 % was to be seen at Spitsbergen as well, but all who went there had not the best weather either.
We could see it however a bit on TV ..live.. 8 seconds!

I wrote a lot about record -chasing- pilot Max, last winter in South Africa. He is a colleague of my daughter at Transavia and he was the lucky one to fly the 737 full of eclipse-lovers. They looked at the eclipse FROM THE AIR!!!!!What do you want more, above the clouds so 100 % chance to see it. 2 People won a prize and had a free flight/”ride”  to the eclipse.

The combination ECLIPSE and the start of the astrological spring is another unique co-incident.


Max was so kind to share some pictures on FB as well. Here you are when you are not on FB!




Time for the SENIORS Championships in Seminole Lake , the 25th version. They started on March 14 and had some pretty good days and with one day off/rest day,  the 60 [55 plus 5 guests] pilots flew every day , so 6 out of 7 days.
Winner was Bif Huss,[5785]  in a Discus 2 b. Bif , who is a “young”  senior and a former Navy Fighter school instructor, won day 3 ,4 and 5 and was with that about 140 points better than Robert Fletcher in the 15 m. ASG 29.[5643]. Good “old” Karl Striedeck was on spot 3 with 5630 points in a DUO DISCUS.
Baude Litt [LS 8 15 m] finished on 6 and Ken Sorenson[Ventus 2cxa]  on 8, Dave Nadler in the ANTARES 18, on 18 and Tom Knauff in the DUO DISCUS on 20.
Bif and his wife had to drive back 3 days to go home,[close to Colorado Springs]  but it was all worth it.
As the daily reporter , John Good mentioned in his last blog;
“Today was the 12th straight soarable day in central Florida, which is possibly a record for Senior Contest weather.  It is certainly remarkable for 2015, which until pilots began assembling in earnest for this event had seen about the worst winter soaring weather in anyone’s memory.
Scorer Rick [Sheppe] says about this competition;
The Seniors contest is the happiest contest of the year.  Everyone is glad to get away from the winter conditions up north, and it is a great reunion of the most experienced pilots.”

zzzz semimole 3 zzzzseminole2

Pictures shared by Seminole Lake Gliderport and courtesy Bozena Michalowski.[great pictures!]


 Told you about the course at Mount Beauty. Here is the latest shared by the Gliding Federation of Australia.

—-“We have just finished the fabulous Mt Beauty/Victorian Soaring Association Alpine flying course. Standard Mt Beauty weather of course – thermal, ridge, wave and convergence lift to 10,000 ft and above in wave. Lots of flying hours. Excellent coaches and instructors.—-“
The participants lined up for the class photo.

zzzzzMount B.



Between May 30 and June 7 the ” OPEN FLY-PINK CUP ” will be flown in Italy. Location ; Ferrara in the North of Italy not too far from Bologna, not in a mountain area but flat country.
When you are interested and there should be ladies enough in Europe, willing to fly there,  you can contact the CD  Giampietro Magri via gpmagri@libero.it

By the way , Holland will be represented by 4 ladies during the WWGC in Arnborg in Denmark. VERY good!!!!
They can start with their training straight away, now the season is getting slowly more active.
RASP is up and running again,  which gives them a good idea about the soaring possibilities. [Regional Atmospheric Soaring Prediction]
It gives pilots a potential flight distance, strength and height of the thermals, cumulus clouds and wind over 3 days.

zzzzz Natasja

One of the Dutch WWGC womenen, Natasja, here on her first flight for the season , last Sunday.


Except for one day , they could fly till now, every day from Tswalu over the fabulous Kalahari Desert, the SA soaring paradise. Michael [Sommer] even topped the OLC list on Friday with a 757 km. flight [700 FAI triangle and Bert [Schmelzer] flew  678 km [500 FAI triangle]. They share gliders there . All JS 1 types as A, B, C and C-TJ and a DUO DISCUS T. It’s already the 7th Helli Lasch .
—-Since 2003 this biennial event has seen reigning World Champions and the South Africa Squad sharing 2 weeks of intense flying and moving experiences in an exclusive setting in the spirit of Helli Lasch.—
As said before it is an exclusive, invitation-only, all-expenses-paid event, as a tribute/ living memorial  to pilot Helli Lasch,to foster international relations,  to promote South Africa as a gliding destination and  to develop the competition skills of the South African gliding team.
More reasons to become a WORLD CHAMPION, when you are not a South African squad team member.

—-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.–
more on www.tswalu.com

Young Bert , here in his MILVUS outfit, shared some pictures as well. AND,….last Sunday he flew a new Belgium record over 300 km. out and return with a speed of 158.55 km./h.
By now he has gone back home after an excellent gliding holiday.

bert jr in Milvus

Tswalu 1 by Bert  Tswalu by bert 2

courtesy Bert jr Schmelzer.


Preparations are in full swing for the very first Pan American Championships and some pilots are already practicing. As is Tony Condon who participates in his St Cirrus and is proud to represent the IOWA STATE AEROSPACE ENGINEERING department.

zzzzSt Cirrus

Chilhowee was the place to be,…. but Rick Sheppe who is the director of this new event, had to write a letter to all competitors . Here are parts of it:
—” As you probably know, the Chilhowee Soaring Association has been working hard for at least two years to prepare for this groundbreaking event. Part of that preparation included some actual groundbreaking: the regrading and reseeding of the runway at the gliderport last fall. You may also be aware that the Eastern USA suffered an unusually cold and snowy winter this year. The result has been that the new grass has not yet taken hold, and the runway will still be too fragile to use on the first competition day. This possibility was anticipated from the beginning of our planning for the event. ”
With the approval of IGC, we have moved the contest operations to McMinn County Airport (KMMI) in the town of Athens, 12 miles north of Chilhowee Gliderport. It is a much larger airport, with a 6000 foot paved runway with grass on both sides. We have the full cooperation of the airport authority (McMinn County) who have agreed to close the airport for our gridding and launching, and have provided permissions for all the necessary access, trailer parking, etc.
The competition Organisation will still be based at the Chilhowee Gliderport, where many of us will be staying. The opening and closing ceremonies, and the social events, will take place there, as originally planned. Perhaps we will be able to have a ceremonial glider launch at the closing ceremony! “

Practice days for the 27 pilots from the United States, Canada, Brazil and Argentina are set for April 3-5, and the competition will run April 6-17. That allows for rainout days, but the nature of the sport requires a good deal of time anyway.
Seven current or recent national champions from the four countries represented ,will be in East Tennessee for the first Pan-Ams!


2 Of my USA friends Pete [Alexander] and Rick [Walters] flew the ARCUS around, better said up and down,  over 350 km.in great wave, on March 20 from Minden with an excellent speed of 188 .5 km./h. Not bad.
On March 23 another straight-forward-wave-day!!! This time for speed and distance.
Jim and Tom Payne flew 1.841,89 km. in the ARCUS M with a speed of 163,5 km,./h.
Even faster was Keith Essex  ;1.689,37 km. with a speed of 183,5 km./h. in his ASH 31/21m..
To show how good that day was Dennis {Tito} and Ron [Greg] flew 1.275,48 km. in the DG 1001 M.


Latest on the UPPSALA MASTERS, here is your chance;
-” There have been a few late cancellations so if you have considered entering the competition now is a good time to give us a heads up! Perhaps you are coming but have a friend that is still on the fence and needs a gentle nudge?–”
This National/International gliding competition held in Uppsala, in  Sweden in Racing (handicap coeff. 107-114) and Open class is set for May  23-30  2015.
At this stage there are 36 competitors in racing class among them my friends Teresa [Toivonen] and Ake [Pettersson].
In open class 14 ,with Goran [Ax] and Martti [Koivula].


Had a great Sunday afternoon, with Isabeau, the daughter of my good friend Lynn who lives in Sydney. Bowie is part of a 17-member-crew  on a 70 m. yacht and loving her life on the boat and outside of it. As they had to be in Holland for some maintenance we had the chance to catch up in Amsterdam and it was great to see, how this young girl   I met when she was a todler [ Lynn, George and James the rest of the family were my neighbors at the Tocumwal caravan area] grew out to a very  level headed gorgeous looking young lady with a warm open character.
For sure she is living the life.
By the way dad George , who died a few years ago, owned in the past the yellow hangar on the South site where Eddie runs Sportaviation now.He and Chris [Corrigan] owned a few Caproni gliders and build in one of them a jet engine!!!!
My very last flight at Tocumwal was in that Caproni with the jet engine flown by Ingo.

Isabeau en ritz 2 Isabeau en Ritz

That’s it CU next week,
cheers Ritz

Solar Impulse !Results hang gliding worlds! WSPA News!

Oh,..it has just been such great weather most of last week. A bit of rain here in the weekend, but who cares after such early lovely days, certainly when you could sit outside of the Easterly wind. After the 300 k by Bas [Schellenberg from Lemelerveld]on Tuesday,  it was on Wednesday another 166 km. Cross Country from Hoogeveen and mind you …..over flat as a pancake Holland and with a tough Easterly.[Ventus 2ct/18 m.]
On Friday , using his  LX 9070  pilot Maurits [Dortu] flew east into Germany  and back ; 237 km. in an ASG 29/18 m.
Also, in such a Ventus, a lovely flight in Germany from Burg Feuerstein; 431 km.[400 triangle]
Very nice to see that one of our former Sportavia guests Klaus [Warnke] had his first season -flight as well,  from his home-field Boberg. After Gariep Dam his first European flight again.
Many German pilots are in France [Serres , Puimoisson or St Auban] and the French mountains were good for up to 500 km. and not even with the best wave on Wednesday.And 401 km. in an LS 1 f by Benjamin is just good , I like the way he calls the south of France ” a wind museum”.He is not only good in soaring but also with words/blogs.
In the US Tony [Condon] had a lovely beginning of his season 255 km. in the St Cirrus;” Blue day, fun flight. ”
Down under,  George Lee still flies 500 km. from the field with his name  in his Nimbus 4DM,  whilst a bit more to the SE,  Alan Barnes flew 772 km [500 km. FAI triangle] from Mc Caffery Field in his LS 8 following a good convergence line.[March 14]
On March 16 another great day for him ;627 km.
“Always someone better” …….yes,…. also last week; A good wave flight from Minden [Nevada] 1.336 km. mainly between 4000 and 5000 m. AGL.
Young Bert Schmelzer is enjoying flying from Tswalo in SA in an JS 1;509 km. Flying at this resort is on invitation only this week and top-pilots as WGC champions get an invitation for it, as well as family and crew. Oscar [Goudriaan] and Michael [Sommer] are there as well

Tswalu 1   Tswalu2

First official flying day at Tswalu. Cloud base estimated 15000 ft with just over 500 km task set. 36 degrees @13h00.



Around the world in a solar plane; The SOLAR IMPULSE 2 left last week from Muscat (Oman), piloted by Bertrand Piccard in the direction of Ahmedabad (India).
It was a provisional world record for distance traveled in a solar plane.
Bertrand is a descendant from a very well known and famous  family. He himself, was the pilot from the first around-the-world balloon flight in 1999. His dad helped with the design of the submarine that was the first ever to hit the earth surface and his grand father piloted the first air balloon into the stratosphere in 1931!!!
More on www.solarimpulse.com


As shared on FB by Kiki.


One of the icons of British Gliding , Wally Kahn, died last Sunday. Here is the news from  the BGA ;
-It is with great sadness that we report the death of Wally Kahn MBE, who passed away earlier today. Wally served on the BGA Council from 1954-1990, was a member of the Royal Aero Club committee and received the Club’s Silver Medal in 1995. In 2011, he was awarded an MBE for services to gliding and, in 2014, was presented with a BGA Gold Medal.  Wally first soloed in 1946 and earned his Silver C in 1947 (number 85 on the UK register) and Diamond Badge number 50 in 1975. Having created the Lasham Trust in 1983, he was instrumental in securing the purchase of the airfield from the MoD.  More recently, along with the late Peter Redshaw, Wally was the driving force behind the creation of the Wally Kahn Library, a digital collection of UK gliding books.—



courtesy ; BGA.


The Victorian Aerobatic Championships were flown at Tocumwal Aerodrome on the 12th till the 15th of March. Every morning there was a briefing of the gliding activity and runways in use by the Toc. gliders and they operated within their box except when joining the circuit.So ALL had fun.

zzzz races     zzz races 2

Courtesy Tocumwal Residential Park.


News about our hang-gliding mates:
Sport: Hang Gliding class 1
Title: 20th FAI World Hang Gliding Class 1 Championship
Type : World
Date:  28.02 – 13.03.2015
Location: Valle de Bravo (Mexico)

Final Results :

1st : Christian Ciech           ITA
2nd : Antoine Boisselier        FRA
3rd : Christian Voiblet         SUI

1st : Italy
2nd : France
3rd : Australia

The full results can be found at the following address :


Got this news from Frauke Elber and I share it with you.
Dear WSPA members and friends,

It is my pleasure to announce that the registration for the 2015 Annual WSPA Seminar is open.  As you know, the Seminar is going to be hosted by SoaringNV in Minden from June 15-19, 2015.  It is not necessary to describe this famous soaring site to our community, as most of you already know quite a lot about it.  WSPA is very fortunate that one of our most esteemed members, Laurie Harden, has offered to host the Seminar through her soaring business, which is located at Minden Airport.  This seminar is going to be one of the best WSPA Seminars ever!!! Please, read the announcement of the Seminar on our website for an in depth description of this site: http://www.womensoaring.org/?p=seminar

At the bottom of the webpage you will find the link to register online for the Seminar.  If you prefer to print and mail your registration, you can download the pdf of the form, fill it out, and mail it in.  There are two options for payments: a check or a payment via PayPal.  The registration fee includes the usual items: Seminar Materials package, T-shirt, donation to the Briegleb Scholarship Fund for a young person to attend the Seminar the following year, and the food.  This year the entire meal package, all three meals for five days, is provided and paid for through the registration.  Do-it-yourself breakfast and lunch will be provided on the field every day.  Two dinners will be also on the field in the Taildragger Café.  One evening there will be a picnic which has been organized in a lovely neighboring town of Genoa, thanks to Phyllis Wells.  On Friday night our Annual WSPA Banquet with Awards will be held at the JT’s Basque family restaurant, where the food is delicious and plentiful, and we know you will have an excellent time!

Early in the week, there will be a special night and a special announcement made that will make soaring history!  WSPA is honored that the hosts have chosen to make that announcement during our seminar week.  It is still a surprise, so stay tuned!

Lodging information will be available online in the next few days: lists of local hotels and motels and RV parks will be provided where we have already booked blocks of rooms.  If you are bringing a glider, please follow all the instruction in the registration form, as well as on www.soaringnv.com on what is needed.  As a courtesy, the Douglas County Airport will waive tie-down fees for us that week.

International WSPA members who are interested in participating, please let us know of your intentions as soon as possible, and whether you have applied for a USA pilot’s license before.  Mark Montague has spoken with the local FSDO office in Reno to facilitate the issuance of USA licenses, if needed.  Mary Rust, WSPA Treasurer, has further details regarding the temporary US licensing also:  maryflies@roadrunner.com.

The glider and tow-plane fleet is already fantastic and still growing.  Soaring NV already has an outstanding fleet, but neighboring clubs and private owners are gathering their own gliders to add to the fun during the WSPA Seminar.  So far we have: LS4, Duo Discus, Duo Discus X, two ASK 21’s, 2-32, Discus B, Grob 103 Twin III, Grob 103 Twin II, and SGS 1-26. We are working hard to increase the list of available gliders, both dual- and single- seaters.  The list of gliders and tow-planes will be posted online shortly, along with prices.  Stay tuned!

Finally, if you know an eligible female pilot or you are one yourself, please consider applying for one of the WSPA Scholarships that are awarded during the Seminar.  All the relevant information is on the WSPA website: http://www.womensoaring.org.

Join us for some epic fun this summer!

On behalf of the entire WSPA Board,
Maja, WSPA Vice President/Seminar Coordinator


Enough for today cu next week,
Cheers Ritz

Spring is in the air! Air Force Cadets! 2016 SGP news!

Spring is in the air  and …..nature is about 14 days ahead of what we in fact should have here now. The weekend, with up to 18 dgr. C. , was so inviting to go outdoors ,   that we nearly all did here in Holland, eating ice-cream, walking along the beach or sitting on one of the so many terraces or in our own garden.
Also a lot of pilots went to the field, all over Europe for their first flight of the year.
Look at the airport of Malden. Frouwke shared some pictures from the activities there .Not yet cross country weather ,but to be in the air after winter is already an awesome moment for many and on Sunday it was already “thermisch”.
BUT…yesterday Dutch pilots COULD fly cross country with some Cirrus, but also working cloud streets; 306 km. in a DG 800/18 m. from Lemelerveld in the East of Holland. It really has started now!

zzzzMalden bij Frouwke   zzzzMalden by Frouwke 2


It will be a very interesting , active and busy season for the juniors with the JWGC end of this year in Naromine and maybe the future looks even brighter for young Australian pilots with the high quality gliders they nowadays use .
I told you in the past about the programs in Australia for Air Force Cadets and now they received most of their new self-launching gliders.

zzzzCadetsAs shared on FB by the Royal Australian Air Force, here at the AVALON air show.

“The new gliders are a great initiative which will help expose Air Force cadets to aviation training and flying skills.”
“The Air Force Cadets will receive 22 new gliders to be used throughout Australia, including 11 ASK-21 Mi self-launching gliders and 11 DG 1001 Club soaring gliders.”
” The Australian Air Force Cadets is a youth development program, supported by Air Force. There is a strong emphasis on gliding and aeronautical skills. I am delighted that Air Force can provide these new gliders to support AAFC flying activities,” AIRMSHL Brown said.
“Over 66 gliding scholarships are awarded to our young cadets throughout Australia each year.” 

Currently seven of the ASK-21 Mi self-launching gliders have been delivered to cadet units in Stonefield, South Australia, Bathurst, NSW, and Warwick in Queensland, with four more to be delivered in mid-2015 to units in to Point Cook in Victoria and Charters Towers in Queensland.
Eight DG 1001 Club gliders are also already being flown by cadet units in Bathurst, Warwick, Narrogin in Western Australia and Stonefield SA.


New Zealand topped several days the OLC  and the flight from Hans Peter Ueblacker from 743 km. in the 18 m. Discus 2 from Omarama, was a good one.
Pilots in Lake Keepit were very busy with their Lake Keepit Regatta flying every day.Even “rippers of a day” with wave, but also days with only 3 finishers!!!
28 Pilots started on the 28th in a mixed class with several 2 and 3 hour AAT’s. A combination of ARCUS and PW 5 and all in between.
With a total of 7 days the winner was Jacques Graells flying an LS 6, followed by the ARCUS [Harry Medlicott] and DUO DISCUS [Morgan Sandercock]. Jacques got in the ” right groove” , winning the last 3 days !! Good on him!

France topped the OLC list last Sunday, with a great wave-flight by topper Robert Prat in the ARCUS: 1.102,42 km. with a speed of 126 km./h. from St. Gaudens.

Yesterday the Seminole Lake– friends in the US had a good day of soaring, their season started as well with 500 km. by former CD of the Uvalde 2012 WGC Ken Sorenson in his Ventus 2ax /15 m.
And in Australia they fly with quite a lot pilots , club members as well as guests, from Mount Beauty the MOUNTAIN FLYING WEEK!

Also Norway [Freya] is active and had some great wave. Arne Martin mentioned :
”  I had my first thermal of the year, and it was a nice 800 m climb, averaging more then 3 m/s during the best part!”


Still a lot of snow on the mountains.
Courtesy Arne Martin Guettler.

As said it’s all happening!


I remember one year in Rieti 2 busy days, when SAR tried to find an Austrian pilot.Days I prefer to forget!
Last week it happened in France {Saint Auban }, but with a more happy end, they found the pilot alive ; As it is important to fly with FLARM here is the news I found on the OLC;
 We are pleased that the pilot of ASW27 F-CLCC who took off in St Auban on March 3 and was missing in the evening was found alive after helicopters could not fly due to bad weather during the night. And we are a little bit proud that – once again – FLARM was the source for the position where nearby, the aircraft was found. Read about the process at www.flarm.com/support/SAR_Text.pdf, don’t forget to register your unit at www.flarmnet.org, and always allow tracking even despite privacy concerns.” 


AND,….I copied and pasted as well for you the latest on the
so you are all up to date!

7th FAI Sailplane Grand Prix series announced

At the annual meeting of the International Gliding Commission in Lausanne the venues for the 7th series of the FAI Sailplane Grand Prix were announced. The 7th series will start in Chile in January 2016 with nine qualifying events and culminating with the world final in South Africa in October 2016.

There will be a qualifying SGP event in USA for the first time in the SGP, this will take place at Ionia in Michigan and we look forward to welcoming the US pilots into the competition series.

There are many new developments in the SGP organisation which we hope will engage a wider audience in these exciting competitions.

News of the events the pilots and the options to follow the racing will be regularly issued via the Sailplane Grand Prix event portal www.sgp.aero.

FAI sailplane Grand Prix 7th series event calendar

Country Dates Venue Class
Chile 23 to 30 January2016 Vitacura 15m
Spain 17 to 24 April 2016 Cerdanya 15m
Russia 01 to 08 May 2016 Usman Mono
Italy 14 to 21 May 2016 Varese 18m
France 04 to 11 June 2016 Rennes 15m
Austria 18 to 25 June 2016 Niederöblarn 15/18?
UK 02 to 09 July 2016 Bicester 18m
USA 24 to 31 July 2016 Ionia 15m
Germany 13 to 20 August 2016 Musbach 18m
8th FAI Sailplane Grand Prix World Final
South Africa 5 to 12 November 2016 Potchefstroom 18m


Last but not least, the Gliding International, issue March/April 2015, with a fabulous picture on the cover and an ” AAAH-moment” looking at the picture of the center spread with  1000 km.clouds in Tocumwal.
Not only great pictures also great stories as :
—tracking developments  …..a ” world” radar for sailplanes by Aldo
—the Mysteries of the AKAFLIEGS  [designing, building and flying new gliders]  by Elke
—David [Jansen] looks back on his longest flight
—a glider [Antares] used / tested as observant of crime [ transferring live images via microwave data link] .
—ADS-B a broadcast surveillance system with air to ground and air to air applications, a story  by Myles.
—and much more news as the first ever Pan American Gliding Championships. Glider pilots from North and South America gather at Sarah’s airfield at Chilhowee between April 6-17 in a handicapped 15 m. class .
Also about  the first 13.5 m. championships, flown from Ponciunai starting at August 1-August 15 2015.:


March 8 it was :

To finish this great colorful picture from an all female crew with the message :
On this International Women Day….Air India operates it’s first ever long haul All women crew flight B787…Delhi to Melbourne.

zzzzInt womens day

As shared by Nevedita Bhassin -Institute for women of aviation worldwide.

Cu you next week
Cheers Ritz

Soaring/medals and more! 36.000 hours of gliding for Ingo! The ” IT desk ” in your glider/office !

AND THEN,…..they call from Lausanne!!! Our Dutch delegate Frouwke!!! I was amazed and said “you are in Lausanne or not” ?
” Yes I am”  she said ,” and I have good news”.
Here you are , have to share it with you as well: I ” won” ,  the prestigious Pelagia Majewska Medal , a medal specially for women who have done ” something”  in/for our soaring world.
I was and still am STUNNED, even lost the plot for a few moments deciding to continue with my ironing!!!!!!!!!! BUT,…..What an honor.The first woman in Holland to receive this prestigious award. AND ,….totally unexpected!!!!
What a huge honor for Holland to even win the Otto Lilienthal Medal as well; Loek Boermans , SO deserved. More a bit further in this blog.

Pelagia Majewska Medal

Thanks for the many reactions!!!!! Phone calls, SMS, MAILS and FB messages!!!! Unbelievable!I am still sitting on my pink cloud.
One of the delegates mentioned:
 In the discussion before the vote, the Delegates realized that nearly all of us know you personally.  You are an international person of distinction, and we are fortunate to have a way to recognize you for your many contributions to our sport.

I noticed that a lot of people did not know about the Polish top pilot behind the name of this award . She was a true champion.
” This Medal was created by the FAI in 1989, following a proposal by the Aero Club of Poland, in memory of Madame Pelagia Majewska, eminent Polish glider pilot awarded the Lilienthal Medal for 1960, and holder of 17 world gliding records, who lost her life in an air accident in 1988. The Medal is offered to the FAI by the Aero Club of Poland.
It may be awarded annually, on recommendation by the FAI Gliding Commission, to a female glider pilot to reward: a particularly remarkable performance in gliding during the past year, or eminent services to gliding over a long period of time.” 
The last part of course fits me …they thought.Very proud to have brought her name on the map again!!!!


The meteorological spring started on March 1 and straight away last Saturday the soaring-season started for a few clubs in Holland [ some start next week, all of course weather-permitting] and [most] private gliders AND club gliders are ready for this new upcoming season.A few  are still on their way back home, from their overseas season .
Last weekend was rather nice with some local showers , a fresh tough wind,8 dgr. C.  but also CLOUDS and STREETS !!!!!Not usable now,  but it gives a great feeling that the season is about to begin.

On the last day of February Tom Gilbert from Temora topped the OLC with a 493 km. flight in his DG 400/17m.
That same day I heard that he and his wife Jane are visiting Holland in May and drop in to see me. Great!
On the other hand the speed skating season more or less finished with the World Champion-sprint titles in Astana last weekend and the All round World championships at Calgary next weekend
AND …the new European cycle season started in Belgium in Gent.



Quite a difference , those club gliders from the past and now. I know Ingo loves as less instruments as possible, only the ones he needs, but in out fast-world instruments are part of top soaring.
Look at this: the ASK 23 ‘s from the Amsterdam Club for Soaring the ACVZ have or will have all an LX 9050. Before the start of the season the cross country pilots got a workshop to get to know and how to deal with this LX 9050. A real good way to fly safe  and accurate as one of the pilots mentioned AND if necessary you can avoid mistakes as accidentally entering TMA’s now, by an early call  .
Here is the message from the GLIDER PILOT SHOP from Dutch glider pilots Maurits Dortu and former European champion Rene de Dreu;
The first of two LX 9050’s has been installed in an ASK23 of the Amsterdam Gliding Club. Flying season (finally) starts this saturday. With this ASK-23 the beginning (cross-country) pilots can start the new OLC-season well-equipped! But before that, on Friday, a workshop on flying with the LX9050 by Glider Pilot Shop. Good luck and have fun! ”
 A very active business : “ Over the past weeks the Glider Pilot Shop team was present at several events. Last weekend we gave a presentation about Next Generation Soaring Computers and a hands-on workshop at TABOE (an initiative to train glider pilots further in XC flying after obtaining their license). Two weeks ago LXNAV joined us to give a small presentation at the Dutch gliding IT day and to exchange thoughts with IT minded people in the gliding community.” 

These pictures are shared by Sikko ;

  zzzzAsh 23

Very spiffy!!!


Talking about instruments and Instrument panels, here is the latest from DG:
LX9000 Instrument Panel for DG-1000T/M available now

We have developed a new instrument panel which allows installation of large glide computers such as the LX9000 in our powered DG-1000 versions. A retrofit is possible. Please be aware, that the new front panel requires a new cover. The rear instrument panel cover does not require any modification.

You can order your new panel and cover via: spareparts@dg-flugzeugbau.de

Here are 2 pictures as shared by DG Flugzeugbau.


zzzzzLX 1


Tocumwal is already fueled up and ready  for the Australian Aerobatic Club Victorian Aerobatic Championships March 13 – 15. Just to let you know.
And the weather looks promising as you can see on the picture shared by the Tocumwal Residential Airpark.

zzzz weather Toc

And talking about Tocumwal, Ingo, just passed the 36.000 hours-gliding-mark!!!! THAT is something!!!! The Southern Riverina Gliding Club, thought it would be a nice surprise “ if we honored him with a presentation at a BBQ in the hangar after flying ” and that happened last Saturday. Ingo is at the moment the CFI and the president of the club, busy, busy!!!
And as Judy [Renner] mentioned;” We would also like to farewell some of our members who have been such a wonderful support to the club over the past months but now have to head back to their homelands overseas.”
People like Joergen ,[ who p.e. polished the club-ASTIR and Ingo did the check flight last Friday] , and Birgitte and Dieter ” Dundee” , [always helping out at the field] , as well as the Chinese guests and George.


Copyright Anton Wildberger and shared by the SRGC.


Dieter ” Dundee” Albrecht on his way home today, afte nearly 6 months.
Courtesy Southern Riverina Gliding Club.


Last weekend the IGC meeting was in Lausanne, as you know by now. Some more news !!!
A special one ,…as after 37 years of being involved in the OSTIV and many years as president, Loek Boermans said ”  thank you and goodbye” . I knew already in Leszno,as he told me then,  but I was not allowed to tell you, so now I can. Here is a picture from Loek, as shared by our Dutch IGC delegate  Frouwke.


Loek; winner of the Otto Lilienthal Medal!!!
Congratulations and THANK you for all those years!!!!

President of the IGC Herbie Moser, mentioned in his report to the 2015 IGC plenary-delegates, from January 2015;
”  I am proud to work with the incredibly capable and devoted volunteers that makeup the International Gliding Commission. These generous people work on behalf of glider pilots worldwide that strive to set records or aspire to fly in International Competitions. I wish everyone safe and enjoyable soaring in 2015!”

Can only agree on that!

Here is the latest on the IGC meeting, that is,…. what I think is important for all of us to know. Got all the news as ALWAYS from Rick [Sheppe] THANKS RICK!!!!!

UNOFFICIAL Summary of Decisions of the 2015 IGC Plenary

2 March 2015


The IGC Plenary meeting took place in Lausanne (CH) on 27 – 28 February 2015.  There were 33 countries represented.  As usual, it was an opportunity to renew international friendships as well as to do the business of the Commission.  The social highlight was an elegant dinner on Friday night, generously provided by a retiring member, whose identity was kept secret until the dinner itself.


IGC has begun its third formal study of the structure of World and Continental Gliding Championships.  A group has been formed that will make recommendations for the number and frequency of Championships, and the number of Classes supported.  Earliest change to the championships calendar would be in 2020, and the earliest that new class definitions would take effect would be 2021.


At the request of FAI, the sport of Gliding will be represented at the next World Air Games in Dubai (UAE), in December 2015.  This will be particularly challenging for IGC because there are no soaring conditions expected, and the competition area is restricted to a 5 km box!


Loek Boermanns presented his final report as President of OSTIV, the only scientific organization within FAI.  At a special meeting of OSTIV members, Prof. Dr. Ing. Rolf Radespiel was elected as new President of OSTIV.

Badge and Record Rules

The following changes were made to the main section of Sporting Code Section 3:

  • Only the Start Line will be used (no more OZ starts).
  • Barographs will no longer be used at all.
  • The 10 km Turn Point separation rule has been deleted.
  • A Silver Distance claim will require a fix at least 50 km from home.
  • The World Class record category is replaced by the 13.5 Meter Class record category.
Competition Rules

These changes were made to Sporting Code Section 3, Annex A:

  • The Finish must stay open until sunset.
  • Club Class handicaps will be adjusted for very lightweight pilots.
  • For scoring, the optimum (not necessarily last) Start will be used.
  • The distinction between primary and backup Flight Recorder is deleted.


And these proposals will return for voting next year:

  • Increased maximum takeoff mass in the 20 Meter Multiseat Class
  • Devaluation of “distance” days
  • Changes to Team Cup calculation
  • Legibility of Contest ID on gliders
Future Competitions

The 2018 World Gliding Championships were awarded to Czech Republic [Pribram] in the Open, 18 Meter and 20 Meter Multiseat Classes; and to Poland [ Ostrow] in the 15 Meter, Standard, and Club Classes.  There was no discussion of whether this re-grouping of classes will be temporary or permanent.


Lilienthal Gliding Medal:    Loek Boermanns (NED)

Pirat Gehriger Diploma:       Antonio Martinez-Moneo Rico (ESP)

Pelagia Majewska Medal:    Ritz de Luy (NED)


President:                    Eric Mozer

First Vice-President:   Brian Spreckley

Vice-Presidents:          Terry Cubley, Christof Geissler, Rene Vidal, Marina Vigorito, Alexander Georgas

Secretary of Honour:  Peter Eriksen

Congratulations of course as well to Antonio from Spain for his AWARD.


Just to let you know as I just got the message ; the 41 st. International Gliding Competition in Bailleau is from August 4 till 14 2015. You can find the news on



That’s it for now.
Cu next Wednesday
Cheers Ritz,…. still looking around from my pink cloud!!!!