OLC 2016 and now 2017!!! Aboyne,..again, now with an epic flight!

On September 20 2016, the new world wide OLC list 2017 started with 80 added flights and a top spot that day, for Bahia Gliding with a 776 km. flight in an ARCUS . 2 Toppers in it,Claudio Eduardo Schmidt and Jao Widmer. And straight away it was a nice flight as the comment was;”FAI 750km Record 149km/h.”
Good on them.One day later they flew 639 km. Topper on that day was the DG 1001 M flown by Dennis Tito;1.040 km. So the first 1000 km flight in the 2017 season was a fact as well.

Looking at 2016 worldwide ,..the CHAMPION is not Dennis, he was 3d on the list,  but who else than his mate  Jim Payne.Both belong to the Perlan Project as you know!!
In between on 2, was Keith Essex USA National Champion and pre-eminently- long- distance- pilot , not even that long busy with this kind of soaring.
But,…… Keith was the best in the other OLC discipline ; best 2016 flight 2.674 km. flown from Minden in the JS 1 C.
The stats looking at ALL OLC flights, show Keith on top as well;56.662,04 km. during 99 flights .
The busiest 2016 airfield was Puimoisson in France and very clearly; 838.619,57 km. was flown during 2130 flights by 316 pilots.
Runner up with 573.934,86 km. was Bitterwasser where during 765 flights , 127 pilots were active.

The Dutch OLC champion is Mark Leeuwenburg with 4067,13 points and good runner up junior pilot Robin Smit.[3426,52.]
All Europe; Guy Bechtold from Luxembourg; 7192,24 points. Germany;Matthias Schunk [6460,84] France;Robert Prat [6188.05]
South Africa had a Polish pilot as champion; Adam Czeladski with 7691,45 points.
Namibia; German pilot Wilfried Grosskinsky with 7527,35 points.
All North America; Jim Payne .USA; Jim Payne 9879,56 points.  Canada; Trevor Florence 4118.05 points.
All South America; Jean Marc Perrin with 7862,32 points. Argentina; Jean Marc Perrin. Brazil;Branko Stojkovic with 5120,28 points.
All Australia; Pepe Gresa from Spain 5957,52 points. Queensland;Geoff Pratt 4325,80 points. Victoria; Max Dolfin from Holland.
All Asia;Rafi Luski from Israel [3117.90] Japan; Shigeru Ishiama[ 2423,51]

For all the different countries and or states you can go to ;http://www.onlinecontest.org/


Records and friends in Holland!

Records….. no not about gliding but about the weather. Last Sunday September 26, we had up to 26 dgr. C  in the southern part of Holland. Anyhow in Holland the hottest 25th EVER.
VERY unusual!!!
Of course another record!!
Great weather to catch up with my Aussie friends Chrissie [Tuck-Riley] and Stuart. They had a fabulous trip via Greece, France and Holland and we caught up for a drink,….bubbles OF COURSE!!!….in Amsterdam, our VERY INTERNATIONAL capital. They even were impressed with the many, many different languages and how busy it was!!!
They left yesterday but will be back.
Dundee leaves today first to Brisbane, to celebrate 3 birthdays [together 180 years and the 80 years are from Dundee himself ]  then Toc for his  “hibernation”.

chrissie-3   chrissie-1

Still not fit, but happy with my very-long-time-mates!


Interesting OLC flights!

And,…believe it or not , the Deesite Gliding Club in Scotland, you remember from the Mountain Wave Comps a few weeks ago,  was the place to be last Sunday. German guests were on the right spot on the right time and enjoyed great wave-rides .You have to look to the traces on the OLC that day. The comment from Christof and Thomas:
“Very cool flight. Skye is not the limit. Thanks to Deeside Gliding for the early tow and the fireworks for the landing! Wind was 200°, 60 to 80 km/h. Again spectacular cloud optics, as it seems to be common in Scotland. Unfortunately difficult to read, as rotor clouds were disturbed by towering cumulus and high lenticulars were absent. Lift was at best 4 m/s in the beginning, weakening to 2.5 m/s at maximum in the afternoon, with increasing shower activitiy. Daring the jump to the Hebrides needed some mental and physical effort, but once one has set off, second thoughts aren’t really helpful. I wonder how a retrieve from Stornoway would be like.”

I wonder too. But luckily it was not necessary a total of 719  km. in the ARCUS T from Aboyne. Well done guy’s!!!
Another great flight same field ,same wave , different  track,  was flown in the Duo Discus also by 2 pilots from Germany on the same camp in Scotland;735 km.
Their comment ; Scotland is amazing !!!
And OLC topper number 1 that day  was from Aboyne as well , a flight in an ARCUS T with 794 km.by Timo and Bjoern-Christian.


Fabulous picture from the ARCUS T in the wave  from the Scottish Highlands .
As shared on FB by one of the pilots Soufian El Allouki flying in the Duo Discus T.

One day later Sebastian Kawa took an ARCUS M and flew from Kislovods in Russia [North Kaukasus]  over the  Kaukasus Area; 800 km. Height up to 7309 m MSL.


Another great picture this time shared by Sebastian.

That same day Tim Kuijpers , former junior world champion took an LS 4 out of the hangar for a nice , very -late -in -the- season-autumn flight from Malden in Holland ;366 km. [300 FAI triangle]


AND……don’t let them get away with it!!!

Schempp Hirth shared a message which I share as well;
Your help is needed:

Swedish registered Mini-Nimbus serial no. 121, registration SE-TVA, was stolen from its hangar at Älvsbyn airfield in Northern Sweden between September 5th and 18th with its Langenfeld trailer, registration CRM815.

The owner welcomes any clues. Please inform us via Facebook message – we will forward.

Please share where appropriate!



And to finish some pictures from “above” , shared by Swiss Chris, from my beloved Tocumwal, where after lot’s of rain the Murray has reached 6.8 m. and the flooding on the low-lands, is pretty bad but believe me in another 1 or 2 months, [depending on the weather]  it will be all dry again and there will be huge dry paddocks to land in,….. if necessary.
Look as well at this panoramic picture from Tocumwal’s Sportaviation. Eddie put a lot of effort in making the camping area green. With “help from above”  ,a  good drop of rain, it looks fabulous.


Recreational Area and Amenities.
As shared by Eddie Madden from Sportaviation.


Tocumwal Airport surrounded by acres full of  “canola” .





cheers Ritz

Most containers on their way to the Benalla WGC ! Schiphol–100 years!

Specially the southern part of Holland “survived” the regional heat wave last week. The VERY FIRST EVER in Holland; a heatwave in SEPTEMBER.
So did we. Dundee picked a good time to visit Holland, before he moves to Australia again, end of this month.
On Friday we were nearly back to normal [around 20] and I guess a lot of people were happy , that the heat during day and night was over for this year even  with the pretty “lousy” summer in mind.


Containers for Benalla.


The Finnish container, travelling from Finland to Melbourne for the Benalla WGC.
as shared by Antii.


And another Finnish glider travels from Germany  and is half packed now
as shared by Martti.

14292276_1772220316354249_6576401995653751284_n   14322314_1772220723020875_7426968046483464116_n   14370118_1772220283020919_3048852559323725250_n

The containers leaving Holland have been packed as well last weekend and will leave Holland on the 24th. Mainly for Corowa-pilots but some as Jeroen Verkuijl and Boerje Erikson have their gliders in it for the Benalla WGC.


Very experienced packing as you can see by the Australian Soaring Center Corowa here in Venlo over the weekend. They ship 3 containers to OZ this season.
Shared by Jeroen Verkuijl.


OLC news !

When Israel tops the OLC list , it is great to see , but shows on the other hand that the rest from the world is waiting for the 2d part of great soaring conditions. The new 2016/2017 season starts soon, but in between Rafi and Avron  flew 440 km. in the DG 505/20 m. Good on them !
Both airfields Beer Sheba Teysa and Meggido had great flights.
One flight in the ASW 24 was, if I remember well,  from Arnon who flew with us in the past in Tocumwal.
His message makes me smile:“First XC flight for autumn 2016. Checking out if I still have a passion for this sport, if I still enjoy it….apparently, I do.” 248 km.for him.
7 Flights last Saturday, from Beer Sheba and 9 from Meggido . GOOD!!!!


Schiphol Airport ….100 year!!!

On September 19 in 1916 the first ever planes landed, at the at that time, small muddy military airfield,… a paddock not far from Amsterdam; 3 planes from the Airforce Division of the Royal land forces. It was a farmers-paddock ,growing from 1916 till the end of the first WW from 16 to 76 hect.
In May 1920 the KLM landed for the first time at the airfield of Schiphol and the flight from London was welcomed by the founder and first president of KLM  Dr Albert Plesman.
Nowadays KLM has 243 destinations in 103 countries per day, as I read . With 6 runways to start from and to land ,on a huge field . On it as well 500 business and a total of more than 65.000 people working there.

I live close to the Airport and next week some of my friends arrive there from Australia and others depart from there to Australia. Last year 58 million people flew to or via Schiphol. This year they expect 63 million people a record. They hope to grow to 80 million in the future.
Beautiful very modern airfield and from NOW on also…… with the title ROYAL !!!! Congratulations!!!!!


AND…..this is the 2017 DUTCH JUNIOR TEAM!


Happy smiling , keen , talented and good young pilots; Jelmer, Rick, Lars,Nick, Sjors , Thijs , Robin, Matthijs and Sjoerd. The young lady does not need introduction,…. Annemiek who flew  JWGC’s already and the WWGC . Now she is also the assistant from manager Alexander for this team.


The French,…..

are very proud and so they should:
The new IGC ranking list shows 4 French pilots in the top 10 and Laurent Aboulin is now the NUMBER 1!!!!!
Ahead of Sebastian and Michael.
With Louis [Bouderlique ] on 4, and Didier [Hauss] and Eric [Bernard] on 7 and 8.
Looking at the top of the several nations,…It’s France again on spot 1 followed by Poland and Germany.




As shared by Alisport with the text;
Our tests at Alisport continue in different ways.
You can see what we did with this beautiful glider, this week-end (24-25 September) at Pavullo nel Frigano (Modena) airport, for the Italian gliding day.”
the more enthusiastic text from pilotessa design.com [Kathrin his wife]
The FES-System on Stefano’s VERSUS (ex Diana)!
A large 120cm propeller, 27KW-motor (the strongest FES-engine ever) and extended range by bigger battery!
Everything in the mini fuselage. 



And to finish a fabulous picture shared by Matthew Scutters Gliding
Uluru ‘wave’
(from https://twitter.com/blahblahellis)

Cheers Ritz


Aboyne’s UK Mountain comps finished on a high! Pictures; Schleicher’s test flight with ASG 32 EL !

Autumn / summer in  Holland!

With up to 30 dgr. C last week and not one day but several, even NOW up to 32 !!!,it felt like summer in autumn. GOOD!!!! BUT,…maybe not….. It shows very clear the change in climate. Here, we have never had so many tropical days in September in history, though we had hot not tropical days , in 1949.
It’s record after record even the hottest night ever last night with 21.6 dgr. C. When we came from the beach yesterday the temperature on a sign along the road showed 35.9 dgr. C.
In parts of Spain France and the UK is was much colder and in the UK there was so much rain and a forecast for thunderstorms that the Champions League game between Manchester City and Borussia Dordmund yesterday evening was cancelled.


In the hope the clouds would break, the organizers set a small task last Wednesday ; a 1 hour AAT . During this competition , at the Deesite Gliding Club it is not only about speed and distance ,also about height!!
–“It is intended to be a friendly yet competitive event. It is a non-rated, handicapped competition. –”
It was even so that on Monday the clouds disappeared at 6 PM and several pilots were launched to achieve a good height.
Glider 97 made the best of the day climbing to just short of 17,000 feet for a gain of 14,868 feet.”
On Tuesday , one of the pilots flew up to 16.935 ft. gaining 13.002 and was with that the best in height-section!
Tuesday’s skies as shared on FB by the BGA.


Picture courtesy Stuart Naylor on day 1.

They did fly the small task on Wednesday and there were winners;Colin Hamilton [Ventus CT /18 m.]  who gained 184 points for the day and Tony Brown with 181 points.[DG 808 C/18m.]
The Thursday morning news was ;
” We have woken to an overcast sky with some rain about, however I can hear the copier working hard.”
A bit longer AAT was set, this time 2 hours.BUT,……it started to rain . Another briefing , shorter task, but all in vain so, in the end,  NO cross country task but later in the evening as done before,…for those who wanted,… gliders were launched for height gain.
Glider A 98 has been to 18,920 feet today, with a gain of 15,758
Friday was TOO windy,…. so better not to fly.
They flew however again on Saturday, LAST DAY, and a 2 hour AAT was set.
The sniffer announced 9 kts of wave so a good day and quick lift up to 7000 ft for the start.
Ritchie Toon [A 98] in the LS 7 won the day with 260 km. in time 2.29. 10 from 17 starters finished the task.
With a total of 1.740 points , out of 3 valid cross country days, Ritchie  won the comps as well.
6 Flyable days in total , height gaining included. Martin Phillimore ( call sign FCB) won the overall height gain in his Pegase 101 A.
Next years mountain comps will be on September 3 till 9.
Not the best year for well know pilot John Williams in his 20 m. Antares . He finished on spot 10.


OTT 16 !
9-11 September.


As shared by Juliette Charlie.

The Old Timers met at the Hahnweide last weekend and both belong to each other in history and in “grandeur”.
Yes in French as their is some kind of liaison between Germany and France in this old timer-meeting;
Seit 61 Jahren pflegen wir von der Fliegergruppe Wolf Hirth e.V. eine enge Freundschaft zu unserem Partnerverein, dem Aero-Club Albert Mangeot aus Pont Saint-Vincent in Frankreich. Unseren Freunden aus Frankreich ist es nun auch zu verdanken, dass am Freitag gegen 15:20 Uhr die Patrouille de France über der Hahnweide zu sehen sein wird. Das gibt Gänsehaut!
So ,..since 61 years there is a close friendship between both clubs, as mentioned above.Due to this friendship the PATROUILLE DE FRANCE was supposed to fly last Friday afternoon at 3.20 PM.OVER the Hahnweide.
But so many flew in with their plane [about 300 where at the field] , that it was impossible to fly for the patrouille.


As shared by Pilotessadesign.com [Great picture Kathrin]
With her words:”Merci Alain ODOLANT, merci Pierre FAGES! Bon vol!!!!”



14344682_10211059013578105_1933887179166244048_n   14225514_10211059010858037_853688682458688490_n   14330175_10211059013618106_3594820057262941163_n

 As shared by Juliette Charlie.


And the first “glider” as shared by pilotessadesign.com with the words
“Bleriot XI (1918)”

During this weekend not only the “old timers” , but the world, got the very sad news , that Air- Race- pilot Hannes Arch [49 ]died after  the helicopter he flew crashed in the mountains.
He did so many “dangerous-looking” -things during many Red Bull-races and dies on a slope of a mountain after bringing provision to a mountain hut, on a good-weather-day in an helicopter !!!??? Weird,..tragic….sad….
In 2008 he was world champion in the Red Bull Race and a year later 2d during the World Championship. A real hero!
It took quite a while for SAR, to reach the very remote spot .Unfortunately the owner of  the hut [62] flew with him , and was brought to hospital badly injured , but seems to be out of danger now.

R.I.P. Hannes.


Alexander Schleicher !

Last week I had some pictures from Schempp-Hirth, this time it’s Schleicher with great pictures of their latest toy.
ASG 32 El – Photos during a test flight this morning..
[September 8]


14192181_1366492336709142_6834272755876469434_n   14232606_1366493056709070_645087129844749628_n   14191991_1366493320042377_6154189004487697292_n



OLC flights and other short news.


This picture shared by Henrique says it all, no more words needed but this flight on September 11 from Bebedouro in a Nimbus 4T, kept 3 Brazilian records in open class  for 500 km , 300 and 100 km. Here is the OLC comment [spot 32] from Henrique:
” 3 National speed records – open class: FAI triangles of 500 km, 300 km and 100 km at 161km/h.
Fastest speed ever recorded in a glider in Brazil.
In memory of late Wolfi Gabler who used to hold the open class FAI triangle speed record of 100km at 151km/h – flying a 15-meter Discus…

Congratulations !!

One day earlier Keith Essex , flew in the ARCUS M a 1.108 km. from a for him new place Choteau, the Gateway to the Rocky Mountain Front,  with as he mentioned ;
Tricky unstable wave day in a new place. Weather changed very rapidly. Seems like half the flight was in weak broken rotor. The other half was in great wave.”

Never heard about flying in Cyprus but on FB I found a link [Glider Forever] , just to let you know;
Scheibe SF-25 Falke, 5B-CIZ
RAF Crusaders Gliding Club
Kingsfield, Dhekelia, Larnaca

The 2017 Dutch Nationals will be flown between May 24 and June 2. After 2 years of “sharing” the comps with our Belgian friends,once in St Hubert and once at Terlet,  evaluation showed that both should go their own way again , so Terlet will be the spot to be.


Last but not least a summery of  the soaring news in the latest
Gliding International.

—“A revelation indeed”, about the history of Jonker sailplanes and it’s 10 year anniversary. Great story.
—” The Wasserkuppe Meeting” how to tackle the future with Germany’s major sailplane manufacturers…..
— THE NEW VENTUS 3 by Aldo Cernezzi. 9 Pages including great pictures…..
— Importing a used sailplane from Europe, tips and advices…..
— FES is changing soaring as we know it,….
And much more newsy news , a total of 63 pages with on the cover a picture of the Perlan Project hero Jim Payne and his glider. They are in Argentina awaiting the wave season for their huge potential flight.

Cheers Ritz

Cucumber time but also time to look back and ahead.

Not a lot happening this time of the year. THOUGH ….containers will be packed .
AND,…..more than ever before!!!! They will leave from Europe,Africa,  the USA and NZ ,  because of the WGC in Benalla .
A lot of pilots however swap or rent a glider in Australia, so no hassle for them of shipping, only the hassle to know another glider and the instruments.
We did that many times in the far past.
At this stage,  containers are packed for travelling from Europe to Namibia, South Africa, [ where the first big competition ,….the SA Nationals start on October 1-8 in Potchefstroom with 38 competitors in 3 classes] and to Australia, where as said,   the WGC will be flown . For lovers from mountain soaring,….the wave soaring at the OMARAMA Paradise will be busy again but they have gliders available.
The down- under-competition- season starts  in the East also on October 1-8, with the Queensland State Comps flown from Jondaryan with 24 competitors in 2 classes.


WGC in Benalla.
January 8-21 2017

Love all the pre-news from Benalla written on their official site;

” As the official entry deadlines approaches, WGC 2017 Benalla has received 114 entries from 29 Countries. There are 35 entrants in Open Class, 43 in 18m Class and 36 in 15m Class. Over the next few days, the competing pilots’ details will be entered on the left hand side of this page.Some exciting gliders are on their way to Benalla that have not previously been seen in Australia. ”

You can see the rest of the story and pictures from p.e. the CONCORDIA, the VENTUS 3 and DIANA 2, on their site.
By the way the official deadline for entrees was August 31, so the numbers are clear now.

A great video as well from Bruce Taylor who thinks that the pilot with the best skills in low blue challenging weather will belong to the top 3 in Benalla. Bruce flies in open class and as all Aussies fly a lot in the blue , that might be an advantage for them. It’s Bruce’s 13th WGC and he flies for 33 years.Have a look at FB .
Mind you the  blue conditions are mostly VERY good in Australia. Ingo flew a 1000 in the blue, but then Ingo is Ingo.

Good practice is possible as well in Horsham.
“The Australian Grand Prix – first qualifier of Series 8, will be held at Horsham, approx 300km west of Benalla, from 14-20 December in 18m class. Good practice for the world comps. Book via the web page .



12 pilots, among them 2 from NZ and one from Germany and Japan [Mac] .Among the Aussies David Jansen, Terry Cubley, Pete Temple and young ones as Adam Woolley and Andrew Maddocks.
The area is beautiful and  has very few airspace restrictions  and for that reason ,it is possible to set tasks in almost any direction from the airfield.

The countryside is mostly open large scale farmland, with some areas of natural vegetation  In the unlikely event they are needed, out-landing options abound.  The Grampians to the south is a range of low mountains which rise to about 3000 ft. When weather permits task setters will make use of this feature.”

I guess most teams have already decided where to fly and practice before the WGC starts, but when something would go wrong this is an opportunity as well for a few as there are 12 already.


OLC news!

Though this summer was for sure not the best ever, we still did see some marvelous soaring days. Unfortunately not enough!
With autumn now, even flights from up to 876 km. in Spain from Fuente in an ASH 31/21m.[800 km. FAI triangle!]
The mountains in France attract a lot of pilots, as always this time of the year. Courses or [team-] training periods are visited well by pilots from other countries.
The [young] German team flies from both Serres and Puimoisson . Some great flights from Puimoisson with 850 km. in an LS 8.
Vinon is busy this time of the year as well.


As shared by Francois Hersen on FB.

Serres had 2 x a 1000 km. flight with well known pilots;
First of all Klaus Ohlmann , in the Stemme S10, who started as you can see on the trace on September 5 , with ridge soaring but flew further on in wave.Still 1.034 km.
” Bad idea to start with ridge soaring. Anyway, the day was not the one…too much humidity. But finally with 7,5 octas a nice flight.”
Young Benjamin Bachmeier flew with Vincent Heckert in the Duo Discus about the same distance ; 1.029 km.
The ” mistral-day “was “not long enough” so to make the 1000 they flew to Vinon and landed there [south from Serres] to be picked up not much after they landed. Good organization, fast crew!


Picture by Vincent Heckert.

Also Brazil had a good soaring period with flights up to just over 800 from Luis Ed Magalhaes and over 700 from Bahia. Even 578  km. in a St. Jantar, and even better…..a diamond 500 km..
All Brazilian flights were FAI triangles!!!


Aboyne UK Mountain Comps!


As shared by Keith Lorenz.

At this time the annual mountain competition in Scotland is flown from Aboyne with 20 competitors in one class.

Not the best weather but they still fly till the weekend and the weather should be better.
Till now they flew 2 days after there was no task on day 1.
Day 2 looked better with a 2 hour AAT , but no flying.
Day 3 had a 391 km. task and was flown by 12 from the 18 pilots who started.
More next week!


At the Hahnweide!


Three new Ventus, a Minimoa and a SHK all on one photo taken yesterday on Hahnweide airfield.
As shared by Schempp-Hirth.




” Three gliders, two generations.
Ventus-2ax plus serial number two and three of the new Ventus. Thanks for photos to Christoph Wannenmacher, who took them while flying the new Ventus prototype.”

As shared by Schempp-Hirth.


And to finish a nice picture -story from Arne Martin flying over beautiful Norway. He always makes great pictures and tells you about his flight.


In a wave by Blefjell (view towards Tinnsjø).
Unfortunately the clouds closed in so I had to descend again just as I was getting good lift.

14222196_10154328228590605_4403956006421721656_n  14199752_10154328228570605_2064945880550461604_n  14222213_10154328228745605_7951355687888907902_n

1. Low in Uvdal. Difficult when low here, and I eventually I had to run the engine a little to get back in the wave.
2.Back up in the wave
3.After a difficult day, there was a cloud street with good lift appearing just as I got back to Hokksund.


Still not the fittest person in the world.
Sorry……just for the time being , short blogs!!
Cheers Ritz