Pribina Cup ! Lasham Glide ! Hectic week!

Pribina Cup !
March 25-April 2.

With the Pribina Cup the European competition season started. 94 Pilots gathered in Nitra and with an early Easter , the weather is very important, as it can be still very unsettled . On Good Friday it was raining here cat’s and dog’s but in Nitra the news from the competition was :
—-“Good morning everybody!
Grid is open from 8.30 a.m. Runway in use 33. Grid sequence is 15m, 20m Multi-seat and Open class on 33R and Club class, 20m Multi – seat selflaunchers, Open class selflaunchers on 33L.
You can still register in the info office under the tower.
Opening briefing at 10am in the hangar.  See you all there!—”

So good news! The Pribina Cup was about to begin.And,….at 12 they started the launching and that went fast; in 45 minutes they had them all in the air. Good on the tuggies!!!
Racing tasks for all classes: Club class 153.8 km, 15 m class 189.4 km, 20 m double seat class 182.5 km and Open class 202.6 km.
Unfortunately the weather deteriorated during the afternoon, so out-landings were reported.
BUT ,…it was a valid day 1 ,for all classes with a base up to 1600 m. but only  after the starts and 2 m./s.
Winners on day 1;
CLUB; only 3 finishers from 24; Pegase pilot Marin Jurovic and 2 ST Jantar pilots all flying 153 km.with speed between 58 and 52 km./h..
The 2 pilots flying the 13.5 m Silent 2, who flew against each other in Pocuinai during the first WGC for this class, Italian Stefano and USA pilot Francois started well as number 4 and 15.
In 15 m. a good , very good first day for my young Belgian friend Dennis Huybreckx in his LS 8. [619 points]In this class 12 participants and only one out-landed. The task was a set 189.42 km.
In the 2 seater class 182.54 km. was set and flown by 12 of the 19 participants. 12 Of them finished among them more Belgium friends the Schmelzers in the ARCUS , the Tourula’s from Finland, Wolfgang and a mate and more.
11 ARCUS gliders in this class further on the good old Duo Discus and the DG 1000 and a Janus CRG.
Open/18 m.; From 22 in this class,  the set 202 km. was flown by 12 of them. Winner ; Matthias Sturm in the ASG 29 /18m. He is the Rieti 2008 WGC champion in Club class.

The next day was cancelled, weather conditions were too weak,so a happy sight seeing Easter Saturday for all.

Day 2 ; EASTER Sunday; Tuggies were ready, tasks were set and it turned out to be a 1000 points-day for 2 classes.
Club had 268 and the straight-away-starters had the best results in this class.
Michal Lesinger in the ASW 19 won the day; 950 points. The Silents [ handicap 96] had a great day and were on 2 [Francois] and 4 [Stefano].
15 m; 343 km. and 1000 points for Martin Schwab in de Discus CS. Dennis was runner up.2 From 12 out-landed.
2 seater class;352 km. and Wolfgang showed his class; 1000 points for him and his mate.
18 m./open; Simon Briel , who flew the JWGC in Narromine and Enrique Levin won together the 1000 points in the EB 28 with a speed of 117 km./h.
Matthias was fast as well in his ASG 29/18m. ;110 km./h so he was the runner up.

Francois mentioned: “The Pribina Cup in Nitra, Slovakia, is the first big contest of the year in Europe, about 75 gliders in 4 classes. Cloud base has been ABOVE the freezing level every day !!!! Everyone here arrived prepared, with electrically heated in-soles.
After nearly getting toe frost on the first day, my only resource was to get a pair of bedroom slippers from the lo
cal Tesco … With 3 pairs of socks, it almost makes the climbs to sub-zero cloudbase bearable… Plus, aren’t they cute? I had to remove the pompoms, though…
The air masses are very cold, but very convective, so we get to reach to the mountains to the North, near Poland and Czechia. Beautiful views on The Tatras, Fatras, and Carpathian Mountains that still have snow on their peaks.” 

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Very cute, indeed but WARM that’s the most important! Shared by Francois on FB.

Day 3; Easter Monday. 2 Hour AAT’s and 2.15 for open/18m. Launches were postponed to 1 PM and with a B task the pilots went on track. In between we , here in Holland, blew away from storms gusting to 110 km./h.
In the UK it was even worse with wind up to 170 km./h. and lot’s had no power.Also Germany, Belgium and France got their “portion”.
In the end the weather in Slovakia, improved quicker than expected and it turned out a to be a rather good day.
club; 26 started, 24 finished and nearly 200 km. was flown.
15 m; 12 started and 12 finished.
20 m;18 started AND 18 finished! ARCUS 2x in the top one of them Tilo with a mate [240 km.]  on 2 , together with Hannu and Lasse [243 km.] from Finland.Good on them.
open/18 m; 21 started AND 21 finished, best “deal”  and 714 points for Simon and Enrique flying 2.99 km. in 2.17, so for B task- weather a great 131 km./h. But then,…of course the EB 28 is a fabulous ship.
Thomas Suchanek did well as runner up with 280 km. in 2.20 in a 17.5 m. Ventus c.

Tuesday, yesterday….cancelled !
BUT TODAY, same grid order but runway 15, so they might fly.
More next week.


Warwick Easter Regatta 2016.
March 25-April 2.

On the other side of the world in Australia, the last competition of the season started in Queensland at Warwick with 39 competitors in one combined handicapped class.
On day 1 there was no task.
On the first flying-day a 2.30 AAT was set. Among the pilots husband and wife Tom and Kerrie Claffey, father and son Chris and Adam Woolley , the Ichikawa’s Mac and Akemi and one of the very early Sportavia season instructors in the 87/88 season Alain Potier.
It turned out to be a very marginal day , due to heavy overcast in the Western part of the task.
NOBODY finished.
The day was  won by Kris Kaufmann [When I remember well Anita’s brother] flying 158 km. in the ASW 24 E.
Brett Buchanan , yes son of Butch was runner up.[ASG 29/18m.]

Day 2; Here is Peter Summerfeldt:
“A few out landings yesterday, but, overall, a good day of Regatta Style Competition.
The task was suitable and I think we all pretty much had an enjoyable day.
Today is quite different, overcast at about 9000feet, continuous light rain.  There is a low-level cloud bank to the south so we won’t be flying for quite a while, today might be good for resting.

“Late Mail”,   the weather is a little questionable so we meet again for a new briefing at 11:00am, day decision will be made and ready for that 11:00am briefing.  The rain has stopped but there is still quite a bit of low cloud around.—”
A 1.30 AAT was set for this Easter Sunday and FLOWN by 18 and 10 finished. Speed from number 10 , John Tucker in that great bird, the St. Libelle, 36 km./h BUT he finished. Good on him.
Daily winner, Mal Williams,  in the ASH 31 MI/18 m. with a speed of 79 km./h over 131 km.

Yesterday they continued with a 3 hour AAT and dad Woolley was the best in this combined class. Chris flew 381 km in time 3.13 in his 18 m. Ventus 2CM; 1000 points. Son Adam was 4th.  They both started and finished in about the same time , but dad flew 25 km. more!!His speed was 118 km./h.,  Adam’s 110 km./h.
Kris was runner up, so after 3 days of soaring the overall scores are; Chris with 1439, Kris with 1434 and Brett with 1379. All 3 are members at Kingaroy.
One dad from Adam and 2 sons, one from Hank Kauffmann and one from John “Butch”  Buchanan.Nice to see the different generations.
By the way 21 pilots finished and 3 out-landings.

More next week.


Lasham Glide 2016.


To keep you informed:Here is news from Andy Davis, shared by Graham Garnett:
—-LashamGlide Entries Accepted, 21st March 2016

At the deadline for entries prioritised according to IGC ranking we have received 70 entries for LashamGlide: 31 in the 15 metre class, 13 in the 18 metre class and 24 in the Open Class. We are pleased to confirm acceptance of entry for all Overseas pilots who applied for entry before the deadline.

Late Entries: We now invite further entries up to our agreed class limits which will be accepted in order of date of entry (late entries from British pilots entering the 15 metre and Open Class Nationals will be handled in accordance with BGA Competition Rules late entry procedures).

British and Overseas pilots wishing to enter any LashamGlide class should apply for entry using the on-line entry form on the LashamGlide website or by contacting the Lasham office.

18 Metre Class: British pilots considering late entry for the LashamGlide 18 metre class should note that whilst this will be rated as a Regional competition, it will be run to the Nationals requirements of BGA Competition Rules including task setting, scoring and launch priority. With a very high standard of international entries, including many experienced and highly ranked overseas pilots this is expected to be a very exciting and competitive class.

Andy Davis, Competition Director” —


Lasham Airfield,..I was there,…it’s big and beautiful!!
Shared by Lasham Glide 2016.



The 13th edition of Euroglide will be flown between Monday June 20 and Saturday July 2. It’s not possible to register anymore. As every year it was booked out straight away.
83 Teams from Belgium , Germany , the UK and Holland will try to be the “first one”  back after 2000 km . Mind you some teams exist out of 8 pilots, some gliders have only one pilot and a crew driving behind him/her with the car and trailer. More and more pilots have interest in this kind of adventurous flying. Good to see. They start from Venlo in the S of Holland and fly this time direction EAST to discover Poland and back. Here is the route concept.
They always started from Eindhoven but the airport is after more than 70- years- soaring -pride now ONLY for military planes and airlines. All soaring is banned and glider-pilots moved to Venlo, Malden , Terlet and Soesterberg.



OLC flights last week.

A few impressive flights one by Davide Giovanelli from Switzerland who flew in the St. Cirrus  from Locarno a flight from 607 km.
By the way MILVUS has sponsored the Swiss juniors with Delta jackets.
Also still good weather in Lake Keepit with a nice over 500 km. flight in DG 800/18m.
On March 28 a nice long wave- flight from 752 km. in France from Issoire Broc  in the Auvergne.[Discus 2T]
Same day other field ;USA ….Inyokern…Perlan Project pilots Dennis [Tito] and Morgan [Sandercock] ….SPEED 170 km./h. over 480 km.
Yesterday the first flight [ the last one was on 4-12-2015] added to the OLC list from ridge soaringparadise Ridge Soaring was straight away a 1000 km. flown in an ASG 29/ Dan Reagan with a speed of nearly 150 km./h..
A bit of wave helped as well.
From Tocumwal Swiss Chris topped the OLC list on March 25 with a 502 [400FAI triangle] in his ASW 27. He was pleased with that. Chris lives in Melbourne but flies as long as I know him from Tocumwal, first Sportavia , now Sportaviation.


Very dedicated to his soaring; Swiss Chris.
Picture shared by him.


The aftermath from Brussels.

A lot happened after Brussels. 2 Dutch families lived for 3 days between hope and fear about their loved ones. Even FB was used to get info about their whereabouts.
Finally after they were identified a Maastricht [Lanaken] family heard on Good Friday morning that their son and daughter both in their early twenties and on their way to New York, were among the death. Bizarre is that the young ones were talking on the phone with their parents to tell them they had arrived safely at the airport when the bombs exploded and the poor parents could here the impact and the falling glass. After that,….. only silence till Friday morning.
Also a 41 year old lady from Deventer was on her way to New York and did nor survive this disaster , leaving a 13 year old daughter behind. SO sad.
Heard  that among the casualties and injured people at least 40 different nationalities were, making the already VERY difficult identification even more difficult.
At this stage 3 people have not been identified and the total loss of lives is tragically enough 32 now.

On March 24 it was an other  turbulent day. After all the extra breaking news about Belgium we had a day full of extra news about our SOCCER HERO Johan Cruijff, who died of lung cancer age 68.He was the face from Holland, everybody knows about Amsterdam, Ajax and Cruijff. Sad he died so young. He was and will remain a LEGEND an ICON,UNIQUE and for EVER number 14, the best soccer player ever.

In the Hague , at the Yugoslavia Tribunal Radovan Karadzic heard that day the verdict ; 40 years of prison due to the war crimes he was responsible for and for the murder on many men in Srebrenica.
He was the former president of the Bosnia Serbian Republic Srpska. Being 70 he will never be free again, though he  appealed straight away.

At the airport of Schiphol the coach from our prof tennis player Robin Haase was arrested for possible murder on a well know Dutch guy.Terrible week !!!

It was also a year ago that the German Wings plane with 150 people crashed in the mountains of France, CRASHED because the co pilot deliberately directed the plane against the rocks of these mountains. 150 Innocent people died among them several gymnasium students coming back from a study week in Spain.

Yesterday a hijack from an Egypt Air plane was scary for all involved but ended with no harm done by a “weird professor” .


Slowly getting better.
Cheers Ritz

Brussel ! Seminole’s “oldies” are YOUNG! News from DG !

All I wrote already under here about soaring,  seems unimportant as you see what happened in Brussels yesterday. With the euphoria of 4 days ago, when they finally caught the top terrorist Salah Abdeslam, involved in the terrible attacks in Paris, the happiness about that changed in to a very BLACK mood, when , most probably his mates created a nightmare scenario with multiple attacks in Brussels.
The airport Zaventem was attacked at 8.04 AM with 2 bombs and 11 people were killed and the metro station under the EU buildings  Maalbeek  at 9.11 YES 9.11 AM. A bomb exploded in one of the compartments of the metro- train, killing 20 people.
IS announced already that this was going to happen. German, French and Dutch intelligence services warned already too, but nobody knew were exactly the deadly attacks would be.It happened NOW in Brussels !!!
Suicide attacks and bombs , killing at this stage, more than 31 innocent people and injured over 260, some very badly, hit by glass and nails from the bomb!!!!
The European heart with the EU institutions was HIT HARD.
Brussels had a “lock-down” and everybody had to stay where he or she was. Noway to get into Brussels either, all traffic,all transport with  trains, planes, metro’s etc was cancelled.
Several Belgium soaring friends live in Brussels and around, so I feel in thought and friendship united with them.
As said to Patrick [Stouffs] ;” We are united in friendship”.
I heard that Pierre de Broqueville was AT the airport during the disaster. He arrived, went out of the car,  to find himself a luggage trolley to put his heavy luggage on and heard a big bang. He rushed back to his car ……..but  he was thrown to the ground by the blast of the second bomb and found himself between parts of the totally destroyed glass windows.He had a guardian angel with him that morning. Pfffff,……

Of course my sincere condolences go to all who lost their loved ones world wide, as Brussels is, like Amsterdam ,a very international town.
A black day, but life continues and as all politicians call out loud : “They are NOT going to win, we have to continue our lives”,….I have to do so too. It won’t be easy certainly not for those involved in both attacks in Brussels and have to live with what they saw/heard.
TERRIBLE. Having followed it on TV already “hurts”.



Seminole’s “young from heart ” pilots. Picture courtesy  Bozena Michalowski.

Last Friday was the last day. Not a real flash day , one with solid overcast.So ….cancellation was the only option and it seemed, nobody was sad about that.
During the 4 days of competition, Karl [Striedeck] did extremely well in the Duo Discus, but just missed out on 71 points. The winner was Ken Sorenson, the CD from Uvalde 2012 in the Ventus 2cxa.
Quite some mates were there. Yes I turn 70 this year , so I belong to the “young-from-heart-oldies” too !!!!
Last words by good old John Good [deputy CD in Uvalde in 2012] who I met again in Benalla and Narromine this year;

“So the 26th Senior Contest is over.  Ken Sorenson is the winner, thanks to a couple of excellent flights.  Karl Striedieck takes silver, and Ron Ridenour bronze. [Duo discus]  We had a safe contest with 4 decent flying days (many pilots enjoyed 4 more very good days in the week before the contest).  And Seminole Lake Gliderport has enhanced its already formidable reputation as a soaring destination.


Next year they all will be back!!!
Picture courtesy Bozena Michalowski.


DG Flugzeugbau GmbH.


News from DG where one of my friends Jelmer works:
” LS8 – New Winglets Maidenflight
Today, Jelmer Wassenaar, chief engineer and test pilot at DG Flugzeugbau, successfully performed multiple flights with our brand new 15m winglets for LS8! After the flights he was completely satisfied. Our impression is, that we were able to achieve our goals in all areas!
Now we can start to perform flights to test performance and complete certification.”



Pictures shared by DG Flugzeugbau GmbH.


When I looked at the News on Dutch TV last week, I saw in a shock reaction, that in Japan , a 2- seater had crashed in a suburb from Tokyo between houses. Sadly enough the pilots both did not survive. On the ground nobody was injured.
Several people will be VERY sad again. I do have many good friends in Japan from my Sportavia -period. I wish them all well.


You remember FOKKER? Our Dutch manufacturer from many types of Fokker planes , as the Fokker 11, the very first one  in 1920 [in one Fokker of this  type we had a share  in the past] , but also for airlines as KLM with Fokker 50 and 70.
An era is over, as the last Fokker 70 ‘s will be replaced for the Brazilian Embraer 175+. In total KLM City Hopper will have 17 of them. Till now they had already 30 from the 190-type.
Fokker went broke 20 years ago which was very sad. City Hopper [KLM Europe] will be the biggest “user”  from the Brazilian Embraer in Europe now.
“Our” old  Fokkers will continue flying from Curacao and also people in Suriname will see them in the air.

Talking about Holland,…..last Monday , at 11.40 AM, we welcomed resident/inhabitant number 17.000.000. It seems to difficult to find out who it is. For sure is that “we”  grow faster through refugees/immigrants  than through new born babies.
Mind you , Holland is just a “stamp”  compared to my 2d home- country Australia. MANY people on a relative small spot, but it does n’t feel worse or so for me,  than the last 10 years.
In the year 2000 we had 16.000.000 people.


Italian Squad.

The Italian squad got a tad better weather  on the last days. So …they flew for 3 days in a row on the 17th,18th and 19th. But,…the weather was still soso and none of the days was a 1000 points day.
Austrian pilot, but mostly flying in Italy, Peter Hartman won 2 of these 3 days, Alberto Sironi 1.
Alberto flew the ARCUS and on the winning day a 3 hour AAT was set. That it was a struggle but a character-building struggle showed the distance and time; 253 km. with a speed of 84.58 km./h. Only 16 from 24 started and 3 finished.
Peter flew the H 301 .
This handicapped competition was  good practice for the upcoming summer.


Nitra….Pribina CUP.


Courtesy Aero Bistro via FB.

As you can see it’s still quiet at Nitra Airport, but not long and it will be ” buzzing ” there.Over Easter the Pribina Cup will start and around 100 pilots will participate.More later.
Tracking at;,18.14494&z=13&o=1&p=3

The Czech container with JWGC gliders is back home from Australia , back from 40 dgr. C PLUS to SNOW. If the gliders will be ready for the CUP , I don’t know, maybe for those who really want it. First they will be checked and prepared for the new European season.

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Pictures shared by the Czech Rep. Gliding Team.


Back on track, but still not totally fit and with very low energy, so back to the doctor this afternoon. Have a bacterial infection in my right lung.
cheers Ritz

USA Soaring. Mountain flying for the German young ones in France and in Varese flies the Italian squad.

With the Senior Soaring Championship at Seminole Lake from March 12 till 18,  the USA started it’s soaring season as well. Straight after,  between March 20 and 26 , Seminole  also organizes  the Seminole Lake OLC Camp.
So the seniors , always very active and glad to see each other again after winter arrived with 63 confirmed pilots , one of them Karl Striedeck and on the waiting list still 10 pilots.A VERY popular event !!! On the practice day 68 participated


Pictures shared by Seminole-Lake Glider Airport and courtesy to Bozena Michalowkski.
Practice by the seniors.

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Day 1 with a 1.5 TAT ,was won by nobody else than KARL STRIEDECK in the Duo Discus. He still knows how to fly, so 1000 points for him.
Dennis Linnekin [ASG 29] was 3d and Sam Zimmerman 5th [ASH 31 MI]. I know both mainly from Uvalde. Gary [Carter]was on spot 46, he was Bill Elliott’s crew in Uvalde 2012.

Day 2 had ” few well defined cumulus under a diffuse overcast.  The forecast is for storms in the late afternoon.” Due to the quickly incoming thunderstorm, they cancelled the day during the launches.

Day 3  yesterday, was better with clouds and later going blue. 3 TAT’s [Turn area task] were set so with A [minimum time 2.15] or B [2 hours] or C [1.45] they surely would be able to fly. The unofficial scores show that Ken Sorenson won the day in the Ventus cxa in time 2.27.
Karl was 6th with 911 points still good enough for spot 1 overall.


The Air Expo in Abu Dhabi.

Kathrin , as I wrote in my last blog is there and after we saw great pictures from the Ritz, a beautiful stand in the Expo building but last Wednesday her news was less good:
—“ Today we had a very bad thunderstorm @ about 12 a.m. on the AIR EXPO in Abu Dhabi. Some aircrafts are damaged and the airport around the buildings looks in some places totally destroyed. All people have been evacuated quickly, because the tents wasn’t anymore safe. What a chaos!!! So fare we was very lucky with the Stemme aircraft, because it is protected between two large helicopter. Still raining in Abu Dhabi. Many trees crashed, the roads are floated.—“

This is how it should be; selling art at the exhibition.


Kathrin and Peggy at work.
Picture shared by Peggy.


Keith Essex was flying in NZ in February and flew a nice 1000 there and many more good flights. Back in good old Minden he flew , maybe with the overseas experiences, on March 10 1.609 km. with a speed of 251.58 km./h in a SW wave , high and fast in the ARCUS M!!!!!! WOW!!!Flying N of Minden, passing Minden going to the S.  , he mentioned in his OLC report;” Lots of moisture north, blue and soft to the south, good in the middle.”
A flight from Air Sailing, NE of Minden , by Robert Spielman in an ASW 20 finished with a speed of 192.71 km./h.over 712 km. When the weather is good, the weather is good!!!

THEN,……on March 13, Minden explodes resulting in awesome flights one of them  2.053 km. by Jim [Payne] in the ARCUS M; 178. km./h.
This time his mate Dennis []Tito] flew the DG 1010 M and for him 1.651 km.: speed 150 km. /h.
Fabulous MINDEN-WAVE!!!
Jackie , Jim’s wife added:
—-“Yesterday Dennis and Roger Tanner soared over 1600 kilometers in the DG 1001 landing at Inyokern. Third best flight in the world thus far this year. Jim and Miguel Iturmendi soared just over 2050 kilometers in the Arcus landing at Rosamond. Four Perlan pilots wave soared almost 12 hours each for excellent wave experience.“—-

The next day Jim tried a fast 300 declared km. out and return from Rosamond flying the 300 between Inyokern and Big Pine, during their legs on a  1.223 km. flight . Here is Jim’s OLC comment on the flight.
—-“” The forecast said the wave would be weak early with winds and lift increasing in the late afternoon.
During the first lap, the wave was not good between Cindercone and Manzanar…the turn was covered in cloud.
During the second lap, the lift was better…the speed was 278 kph.
By the third lap, the lift was ripping and the clouds much better…the speed was 305.12 kph (189.62 mph)…”—
As Jackie said in her report;
300 km O&R is not a world category only a national record category. The fastest world record is 306 kph set in Argentina.”
Dennis started from Inyokern and flew another 1.135 km. flight.
They both LOVE their long-distance-wave-flying and are on a mission!!!


21 Pilots from the Italian National team registered to fly this week from Varese for their first 2016 meeting.Unfortunately day 1 on March 14 was cancelled and in the end 3 pilots in the 2 seater class [ 2 x ARCUS and 1Duo Discus] and 7 in 15 m. class  and the rest in 15 m. , 18 m. and open were ready for the “fight” .
Day 2 was cancelled as well. So early in the season  March behaves sometimes not as you wish.


Lot’s of young German pilots have their mountain camp in France. It’s that time of the year again.
Some fly from Serres as Benjamin , who shares so now and then a great picture, others fly from Puimoisson , Vinon, or La Motte . Also Fayence and St Auban are active with mountain [wave ] flights. Around up to 500 km. flights…not too bad.


Benjamin [Bachmeier] shared this great picture, flying from Serres La Batie over the area there!


The Bailleau competition is NOW on line.

This is what I got from France and be aware, this competition is very popular, so when you want to participate there, you should be quick.
—“Hello ! From the 2nd to 12th of August, this summer, will be held the 42nd Bailleau International Gliding Contest, a classic flat-land gliding contest.
And like every year for 19 years now, Bailleau International will be accompanied by the now famous “Amical” Contest, one of the best ways for a pilot to take his first steps in competition …
The website has just opened, you will find there all useful information and the online registration form …—” 


Still NOT fit, off to the doctor tomorrow. He has no time due to all flu cases. I am one too but it’s over ONE month now!!!!!!!
Cheers Ritz

Lake Keepit ; NSW State Comps finished.Video from AustraGlide 1984 and Landing from Albatross on Lake Boga in 1998.


WOW !!!!!!What about this??? I never knew this could happen in Holland and when I got a message/question from France  from Juliette , if I had seen it , I could only say ” NO, are you sure it was in Holland “?
MORNING GLORY over our Northerly Provence Friesland on February 26 2016. And yesterday again !!!!!
Picture Photo: Annemiek de Boers via Reiner van den Berg / Severe Weather in Belgium
By the way the North of Holland [Friesland, Groningen and the Wadden Islands] had the pleasure last weekend of seeing the Northern Lights as well.

Lake Keepit !

The NSW State Comps are over and what great comps they were!!!
On Thursday they continued with day 5, with a 3.30 AAT in club and 15 m. whilst open and 18 m. went for 3 hours.
So still good weather. Though it was a tricky day with thunderstorms and large shadows over the TP’s 1 and 2, according to Paul [Dickson from the Hunter Valley] in his LS 3, who won another day with 368 km; “Didn’t go far enough into these TP’s so maxed out the last one & came in 5 min under.” .

Good to see local hero Jenny [Ganderton ] is flying so well in her Mosquito. With the WWGC in Lake Keepit in 2019 this is already great practice for her. She won 2 days and finished overall as runner up!!

Brad [Edwards] arrived in Lake Keepit,….. he is a very busy guy but loves his soaring, so when possible he flies …..and he straight away  won 1000 points for his first flight . His JS 1 flew 422 km. in time 3.03.59.
Tom was runner up with 419 km. in time 3.12. Of course you remember Brad was world champion in Uvalde in 1991.

Flying day 6 was last Friday on the 4th of March, another good day with great clouds and light winds, but again TP’s with over-development and rain .
In club the 4th “win”  for Paul, who has a real good lead overall. He flew 454 km in his LS 3 during a 4 hour AAT with a speed of 112.62 km./h.
Unfortunately for Jenny, she lost 300 points on Paul.
In 18 m./open it was Tom again , this time he flew over the set 520 km with a speed of 142.57 km./h.
The 2 HC pilots Bruce and Andrew[who did not fly the day before at some comps in Australia they  “work” with lay-days, meaning you can skip one day] ] followed and on spot 2 was Brad with 134 km./h.

Last flying day!March 5 yes the beginning of autumn,…and what week they had in Lake Keepit!
On the last day Paul was more than 200 points ahead on Jenny in club class , so more or less a “won race” for him, but,…nothing is assured till after the last scores are in .
The 3 hour AAT could spoil it,….. but no it did n’t. 5th Win in a row for Paul so clearly the NSW State champion with 6698 points. Runner up Jenny with 6518 points. Good on her!!!

In 15 m. a 3.30 AAT kept the 7 pilots in this class busy enough. Mick Webster achieved his 4th win in a row and with that he was the new 15 m. NSW State Champion; 6485 points.Good to see Kerry Claffey [ASW 28] on spot 3 with 5992 points.

In 18 m./open class Tom leads Bruce on the last but one day, with more than 200 points, but as Bruce flies HC it is Matthew Atkinson in the Ventus 2cxa/18 m.who is runner up with 600 points less, so no worries here either for Tom who won till now 4 days!!!!

AND Tom won the last day as well; 480 km. during a 3.30 AAT and a total of 6763 points . Matthew lost 275 points on the last day but it did not harm him too much,  he remained runner up with 5859 points. In between Bruce had ,as HC pilot, 6475 points.
So Tom is the well deserved 2016 NSW State CHAMPION .


Flying an ASG 29 /18 m. , Schleicher of course shared Tom’s happiness and this picture.

More news from Australia.

Not competing in Keepit, but having a day-time-to-fly from not- that- far- away Kingaroy, David Jansen showed a great autumn flight with 783 km. [500 FAI triangle[] in his ASG 29 e/18m.

I heard that Tocumwal this week enjoys a full week of 39 and 40 dgr. !!!!!It remains hot down under. My non- flying- friends over there are “sick of the heat”.
Great weather to fly though and several did on Monday with flights over 500 km. as 528 [ DG 600/17 m.] , 576 [JS 1] and 643 km. [600 FAI triangle in ASH 26] and as always Ingo , flying his Discus, landed last for the day, with 734 km.  , [700 FAI triangle] under his belt. And yesterday another top-of-the-OLC-list -spot with 678 km.[600FAI traingle]
Don’t forget the days are getting shorter and shorter over there! Great job also for Terry in his ASH 26 with this time 704 km.

As Francesco from Corowa said;” it’s autumn and every day is a bonus.”
Now the season is over he can finally fly by himself and he took the ASG 32 MI yesterday for “a ride” ;512 km.
His OLC-comment ; “Not as good as I expected. The first 2 hours the thermals did not break trough the strong inversion. It was hot in the cockpit.To the west it was perfect with climbs up to 5.5 m/s. but I lost too much speed in the first 2 hrs.”
The WEST was “used” by Terry [ASH 26] flying from Tocumwal;704 km.[664 FAI triangle]
Also for fun- flights there was time in the weekend.
Swiss Chris flew on the 5th in his ASW 27  586 km. And from Benalla German pilot Fabian Gaida flew in a Speed Astir 562 km.

And,…This year ,….. and  I was there at that moment,……., tuggy Bruce got back into gliding and solo in a Blanik and this weekend he tested his skills with Ingo in the IS 28 and later SOLO again.


Tuggy Bruce with Ingo smiling as always at an airfield. He never ever is bored  he told me this year, even not after so many years of flying.
Picture shared by SRGC.


Not only Australia enjoys great early autumn weather also South Africa showed just over and under 500 km. flights from Orient.One pilot Hanno Du Toit even flew his first 500 km. Good on him !!!!
Cloud base was 4000 m. not bad !!!


News from Mount Beauty from the ALPINE FLYER:
The Alpine Coaching and Regatta Week from 21st to 27th February was an enormous success this year, thanks to the excellent organisation by VSA President Ian Grant and his team of helpers. Of course the excellent soaring conditions most days also helped”.
Several pilots I know, visited there. Always a good week.


News for ” lovers of the St Libelle” .
—–” Yes, it is true! A Libelle Gathering will be held in Australia in late 2016 at the Bendigo Gliding Club, in central Victoria.See the link below for details.

Spread the word, it will be awesome ! If you can let any of your Libelle members and friends know it would be much appreciated.”—-


Benalla 1984.

AustraGlide ’84 was a ABC documentary on very high level, featuring Ingo [Renner], Kees [Musters], George [Schuit] , Eric ” Herbie”  Moser , Peter [Griffiths] and others. Have seen it so many times, still love it!!

austraglide 84

—” This is an ABC documentary about the 1984 gliding competition in Benalla, Australia. It was the largest gathering of gliders in Australia ever, and a precursor to the world championships in 1987.”

When the link does n’t work you can find it on  AustraGlide 84. Enjoy, it’s worth while looking at. It’s really the past with interesting weather forecast, camera’s for the TP’s and pilots as Ingo, who still are icons.
Also featuring Erik Moser, Kees Musters and George Schuit.
With Benalla 2017 around the corner it’s nostalgia on a high level.

Talking about this  I got info about the landing and start of the Albatross on Lake Boga in 1998, featuring Peter ” Griffo” Griffiths and George Schuit. Great video as well. Enjoy!!!


Girl POWER!!!!!


Introducing Kathrin’s new sales manager in a special way!
Picture from Mai 2013,  shared now by Pilotessa Design-com

Dear friends, it’s a big honor for me to introduce my new INTERNATIONAL SALES MANAGER: Mss Peggy Walentin!

Peggy is in the aviation business since 1994. Shortly after she became a pilot, obtained the aerobatic license and got the flight instructor licence for power planes! But she is not only a pilot.

From 1999 to 2015 Peggy Walentin has flown more than 600 displays as a wing-walker! She was the only one in Germany. The Boeing Stearman of “Peggy’s Wingwalkers Team” with the beautiful design of Mirco Pecorari is her own.

Peggy is also collecting extraordinary aviation presents, decorative goods and trendy fashion for aviators and aviation enthusiasts. Just have a look on her

 For sure you will love those things.Peggy is not only an outstanding person and beautiful woman; she is also a very good friend! I’m so glad she will support me on the AIR EXPO in Abu Dhabi.


Wishing Kathrin and Peggy lot’s of success in Abu Dhabi.GO GIRLS !!!!


And when I am sharing video links here is another one from my friends Karin [Wiesenthal] and Markus [Geisen] about their 1370 km. flight from Kuruman in South Africa on January 2 and shared by Schempp Hirth.
Dad Hans flew that day in his DG 800/18 m.  a great 1.246 km. flight.


In the March/April issue of Gliding International I read a lot of news again.
The Magazine opened with a few pages on the
—–SHARK. About the 304 S [Shark], the 304 TS [Twin Shark] , 304 C [WASP] and the 304 CZ a single seat flapped 15 m. glider.
—–The official accident report involving the the New Zealanders in Namibia in 2014 is very informative and finishes with safety recommendations.
—-Ramy Yanetz explored in 2015 the Western USA [400 hours of flying in one year !] and Elke Fuglsang-Petersen writes about it with great pictures from Ramy.
—-IGC Global membership Survey.
—-About the wave -heaven  Argentina, by Aussie glider pilot dr Rick Agnew.
And much more as,….lot’s of World Aviation news for glider pilots and 18 quick three-liners;  one of them with interesting results on the question did your gliding in 2015 increase, decrease or stay the same compared to 2014?


And to finish an interesting picture shared by Boerje and a lesson -in-life for those who are going to fly in Scandinavia.


With the message : ” Gliding in North part of Sweden. Learn how to canoeing“.


 Not long ,….March 25 till April 2 ….and we will follow the at this stage 95 pilots in Nitra “fighting ” for the Pribina Cup in 4 classes and MAYBE 5 ;when there are enough participants in the 13.5 m class there will be 5.
The season is about to begin.

Cheers Ritz

IGC Plenary 2016! Meteorological spring/autumn started !

When I was sick in bed , the delegates of the IGC had a busy 2 days….on the 26th and 27th…. in Luxembourg, where the 2016 IGC PLENARY brought a lot of them [from 34 countries]  to the Sofitel Luxembourg Europe Hotel.
How they can manage an agenda with SO many items in 2 days is a miracle to me, but with the very experienced Erik Moser as their leading guide and each group GOOD in their own business-department , it works out every year and then there is still time for fun as well.


At work ,….and after work there is fun, with a dinner in a brewery, a city trip and nice “talks”.

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Pictures shared by “our”  Dutch delegate Frouwke.

This year the Pelagia Majewska Medal went to Italian pilot  Margot Acquaderni from Italy.
The Pirat Gehriger Diploma to Roland Stuck and the Lilienthal Gliding Medal to Rainer Wienzek.
All so very much deserved!!! Congratulations !!!!!

From 2019 the 13.5 m. class will be open to motor gliders ONLY!!! The 2019 one will be in Italy.[Pavullo]
The 2019 JWGC will be in Hungary [Szeged ], the 2019 WWGC goes to Lake Keepit in Australia and the 2019 EGC for small ships is awarded to Slovakia [Prievidza] and the big ships go to Poland [Stalowa Wola].
The Pan America Gliding Championships 2017 will be in Argentina; Santa Rosa de Conlara .

The 20 m class gliders are allowed a maximum take off mass of 800 kilo instead of 750 , effective immediately and a ” race horse” start-option[ regatta start like in GP]  in contests,  will be effective in the future but not yet in Benalla.

Next plenary will be in Hungary on March 3-4.
Thank you so much to Rick for the info and “twitter-feed” .


The last weekend of the month of February and with that the end of the  overseas-2015/16  summer, was a good one.
Down under the weather is still perfect for soaring and flights from 875 by Allan Barnes in the LS 8 from Lake Keepit , the 2019 WWGC venue, are still possible. He flew 736 yesterday on March 1 the first day of the meteorological autumn down under.
The New South Wales State Comps were moved from early in the season to late  and started on the 27th also from Lake Keepit with 41 competitors in 4 classes and WHAT competitors.They continue till March 5.

Lake Keepit finish over Lake

Once again that great picture; finish over Lake Keepit.
I believe it was from Alex from NZ, correct me when I am wrong.

Yesterday they had a 3.30 AAT in Club class on day 3 and with 409 km. [time 3.34] Paul Dickson  the LS 3 won the day just ahead of Jenny [Ganderton] in the Mosquito with 392 km in time 3.27.
Some pilots called it a “cracker-day” others “another brilliant day with a too short task”!!
Open /18 m. had a set 418 km. flown by 8 from the 9 pilots with a best speed of 150.92 km./h by Tom Claffey. [ASG 29 /18m]
Bruce Taylor had a bit of an” off-day ” with 131 km./h.
Tom won every day ; day 1… 462 km.with 141 km./h.——Day 2….420 km with 146 km./h.  and then —–day 3.
Today , another ” pretty good day”  by some called a booming -day, with a 4 hour AAT in 18 m. and open and,….it was NOT Tom but Bruce and also Andrew, both flying HC who won the day;633 km for Bruce [speed 142.82 km./h] and 602 km [speed 139,70 km./h ] for Andrew.
The “regular”  pilots as Tom flew 571 km.
Club had a 3 hour AAT with Paul winning his second day in a row with the comment ;
Another fantastic day with 10+ kt thermals”  ;364 km. with 119 km./h. and in 15 m. Mick Webster in the SZD 55 won the 3.30 AAT;408 km with 114 km./h.

Benalla 759 km in a 16.6 m Ventus with a UK pilot , Tocumwal with 623 in the ASW 27 with Swiss Chris and yesterday with 610 by Terry,  but also Temora with 756 k. in the St Cirrus with Nathan and Grant flew in his LS 3a 655km. and there were several flights up to 839 km. from Pipers Field.
What an awesome AFTER-SUMMER!!!!!

AS,….on March 1 the meteorological spring/autumn started!!!
The first flights in Holland have been flown last Saturday , still in “our ”  winter and already over 100 km.[129 in DG 800/18m.] In Germany they even flew over 200 km. And at the Keiheuvel in Belgium some very -first- flights- for- the- season as well !!!

Looking at the combined Dutch and Belgian Nationals, the BeNeLux comps between May 18 and 27; 45 pilots at this stage in 5 classes!!!!!! GOOD!!
Still more to come and ,….by the way the local rules/procedures are on the net now !!


As she said : “Tocumwal! Those were the good old days! Please give my best regards to everyone in the gliderport.”
That was Kaoru,from Japan,  she flew with us in the past  and I remember she got a baby and then finished travelling to Australia. The baby is now a young man from 18 years old. Time flies.
She found me on FB, LIKE!
Via FB I also got in contact again with Dirk, a young German guy who flew years ago with us ; with Christophe and Daniel with Antje.
He and his wife Steffi got a baby too, now 16 year old Saskia and she is a beauty. Dirk still flies and has in his hangar an ASH 25 MI and ASH 31 MI.
Somewhere soon I will visit them…. nice to be their friend AGAIN now.


Still sick, terrible cough, full lungs and just miserable. Hopefully next week back to normal.

Cheers Ritz