Post 981,…March 29 in 1967 changed my life….. 50 years in this gliding world!!!!


On March 29 1967 ,……there was snow. Not a real flash day to go to a gliding field for the very first time in your life, but we had no clue what to expect, so off we went.

I had a nice boy-friend Hans, BUT,he was ONLY talking about gliding. He was smart , so ENOUGH to talk about when you are young, but he stayed on the subject SOARING. We had been at the same Duke John College , but Hans [ picture below] was a bit older than I was.
We all belonged to a Youth Society E 7, with mainly Duke John students who missed the school and each other.
One day we were fed up with Hans’ gliding-tales, with all those movements from arms and hands making spins and following clouds, so he invited us to come and see what he was doing and loved so much!!

In an old “Deux-Cheveaux ” with a bloc of concrete on the bottom to not “fly out of the corners” , Toon, Liesbeth and I traveled from Valkenswaard [from Mai 1 I will live there again,…back to the roots!!]  to Venlo, where the students of the ZES had their spring camp.
It was cold and windy and I noticed already quickly that we would not stay in a nice room with a good wood burner , but we were supposed to sit in some kind of dual seater with wings ,…….OUTSIDE at the cold windy field.
Dick, we are still mates, told us with whom we were going to fly and 2 could go , one had to wait. I wanted to wait, but no I had to go.
I did want to fly with an older student and NOT with the youngest member of the club , even when  they said he was a real talent.
But, again, I had to sit in the KA 7 with the young one, called George and at 14.10 we were airborne.
Liesbeth went in the Rhoenlerche with Dick.
It was overwhelming, high up in the air, cold and a bit scary. Dick thought I was waving  to them, so full of enthusiasm, they came closer and closer, but the only thing I did was trying to let them know to go,…as far away from us as possible.

pictures before start with 1. Toontje talking to George  and me nervously waving on the ground,
2.  after the flight happily smiling as the plastic bag was not necessary [ with George then already looking a bit mmm……]
3. with Martin and Henk at and Theo in the glider.
AND,….ON HIGH HEELS with an Audrey Hepburn scarf !!!!!!!! You see indeed no clue what to expect.

We landed both safe and it was interesting for the boys that  George and I had the longest flight for the day; 30 minutes!!!That sounded and seemed “special”.
Not for me, I was “gone”, the cold and wind and tension got into me and I fainted at the spot.
George turned around, thought what a stupid girl and left ,while Dick asked for help to get me back to “normal”.
My very first experience with soaring!!!!
After 2 years George and I married , got 2 lovely children Dennis [ who more than  sadly had a fatal accident on January 3 1988 in the Belanca Scout] and Inge [ my pride , support and “everything” and mum of my 2 adorable grand kids Dexter and Indya from 11 and 13]  and have been married for nearly 30 years and though he is married now to Diana, we are all still good mates.

Hans was right, it was a GREAT SPORT. So on May 10 I traveled with the boy’s  to the airport at The Peel and had my first lessons in the Rhoen from Dick, who later let me solo too.
The Student Aeroclub first had to deal with a girl in the club. Some thought nice , others that it would disturb the male hegemony and male atmosphere.
A special meeting and voting were necessary to find out what to do with a “girl” and a student from an academy not from the technical university. Was the ZES ready for a girl??!!
They voted and I was in; first girl in the student aeroclub. As far as I remember the president was not amused and left the club.

My instructors turned out later to be toppers. Kees Musters became World champion in Hobbs and Dick Teuling has been Dutch Champion and flew international comps. The other members were great young guy’s and I turned out to be a mascot for them; they were very protective for me.
As we had only camps,[ the ZES had no field] , we moved from Venlo in spring , to Malden in summer and Terlet in autumn, this one mostly with the students of Delft. They all flew with a “tie”, but were nice fellows too.


Kees and Dick at Terlet, both “my” instructors.

When a camp was over , I had to wait for another one , had to get in the groove again , but after 68 flights I went SOLO in the GRUNAU BABY with summer canopy on July 9 1986.
The 2d flight had a beautiful landing and then the camp was over ,………but it turned out later that it was my last solo flight as well.


After,…all happy chappies no head but who cares[d].

With instructor Dick and fellow students/pilots from the ZES, Wim[pie] , who was solo during that camp as well, Wim Dortu flew his 5 hours .He has by the way 2 son’s Willem and Maurits, who belong to the Dutch top now [Maurits flew the WGC in Benalla this year]  and Martin who went solo after 22 starts!!!!.

AND with head!!!

an impression of the several camps.


At one of the camps we had a huge fire [ no we had nothing to do with it , we even helped the fire brigade!!] and I sat there on request and some of the E7 friends wanted to know what gliding was and showed up as well.

CAMP life and “cooking” pancakes for the boy’s after they taught me how to make them.

With my friend Hans[ who sadly died a few years ago on a camp from the ZES in Germany in his DG 400]  and Kees [who sadly died in a hang-glider accident in France in 1987 and my friend Ans , who is still my friend, with me in the glider just for the “show” and fun with Kees on his  Tomos????

1.At the tractor to get the cables for the winch
2. keeping the time log from the flights against Boudewijn’s car
3. lazy sun baking with my friend Ans between the military tents where the boy’s slept and we shared a little kitchen and had LONG conversations!!!!
As my parents did not want me as sole girl between all those men [boy’s] I asked Ans to join gliding as well. She did and was SOLO too. Nowadays more girls fly at the ZES.

What happened after the solo flights?
I tried  another club later in Eindhoven , but the instructor who flew around with me , asked me to point out the airfield and I had NO CLUE. In the end I had no orientation feeling at all. I could do what was told to me and repeat that nicely but after thermalling,….I was straight totally lost.
A huge disappointment!!!

So,… I loved the sport could fly with others but not by myself and with George flying national and international comps we got to know a lot of lovely people and I started writing about what happened on comps.
That’s how I started blogging, LONG  before the word blog was invented.
That’s how I traveled the world and met the most interesting people.
That’s how I became juror and steward, TC and crew , as well as ‘journalist on invitation of the organization of EGC’s , WGC’s and JWGC’s.
That’s why we moved from Curacao to Australia to run the Sportavia Soaring Center in Tocumwal.
Still love the sport, the people and the airfields.
They said thank you to me for my contribution as a female for our sport with the Pelagia Majewska Medal[international] and the Golden Pin from the KNVvL.[National]

In fact I should say thank you for 50 fantastic years , even with all the tragic and sad losses in “our” world!!!!
Sharing this blog full of private pictures  is a thank you to all who have been good to me!!!

TODAY……50 years  ago…….. was my introduction to gliding,……quite a milestone,……..THANK YOU!!!!!


Share please
Dear Gliding Friends. Please share this on Facebook and far and wide in Europe, particularly in Belgium. Thanks.

Please can everyone keep an eye out for a Ventus 2cM s/n 41 G-IIIO that was stolen with trailer and metallic grey BMW 530d m sport.
Number plate on trailer and car is WG08ULV.

Taken from hotel car park in Arlon, Belgium on 24/03/17. If you see it or know where it is please contact Belgian Police on +32 63 21 43 76. Email for case officer:

Next week the USA SGP
Cheers Ritz

Post 980….with the continuing story on seniors…the beauty of flying “a boat”…schedule for Aussie comps.

Senior comps in Florida from Seminole Lake Gliderport.

It all started a bit slow , with less good weather than the practice days, but they continued with task 2 on March 15 and the weather man there, Fernando Silva, seems to be good or he “knows more than the rest “, or  he “reads his weather better than the rest”, as he won AGAIN. So 2000 points in his pocket.
Karl [Striedeck] showed his quality in the Duo with “maybe”  Sarah in the back again; 957 points [1942 total] for day 2 with a 2 hour TAT and as best actual  distance 112 miles in 2.03. All 62 pilots flew!!!


My Uvalde mates Chris and Gary Carter and senior soaring doggy “Mate”  .Chris and Gary have a SUPER “house on wheels”! Can’t call that a trailer, van, or caravan, not even a mobile home.
As shared by Leigh Zimmermann.

With 2 more days to go , I checked with Rick [Sheppe] who is there and writes about this competition, about those tuggies, here is what he had to say and it remains IMPRESSIVE!!
“We have six towplanes, three from here, and three from other clubs.  The expert tow pilots, combined with the 7 energetic youngsters on the line crew, have produced some very impressive launch times.  62 gliders in under one hour.
Our weather has not been outstanding, unfortunately.  It finally stopped raining two days ago, but now we have cold days with weak lift and no clouds at all.
They have a short Area Task today, and several departed under 1000m AGL.
It will be a struggle! 

Other than the difficult flying, this has been a delightful reunion of old friends, with parties every night in the Briefing hangar, and lots of story-telling.  Collectively, we have over 2700 years of aviation experience!”

What about that!!!!
So another difficult day on Thursday March 16  ; 1.45 TAT, [turn area task] but the 61 pilots launched for  the day, with a B task in the pocket. It seemed to be a good day for a glider as the SILENT 2A,  as the pilot Steve Arndt “got”  the daily 1000 points!!!
Weather man Fernando was 4th and Karl 2d , so in the top nothing changed AND Steve is on spot 3 overall.

LAST DAY with “back to normal spring conditions”-weather!!!!
A last day on a senior’s, is not so important as on a WGC or EGC , but still for competing pilots certainly those in the top, every competition is a competition ,with ALL what belongs to it.
Fernando won this day too , so no news there, but Steve Arndt in the Silent had a less day and finished on spot 24, not enough to keep his good 3d spot.
4 Days of flying and winning 3 of them ; 3973 points for Fernando in his ASW 27,   “pretty” good! Well done.
Karl finished on spot 2 with 3868 in the Duo Discus.
New 3d place for Robin Clark in the ASG 29 with 3658 and not far behind the CD of the Uvalde WGC in 2012 Ken Sorenson with 3647. ONLY one point behind…..for 2 teams/pilots; The Arcus M and Steve both with 3646 points.
Here is Rick;” The competition is over, and we had a nice awards banquet in a local resort.
Official as shared on the site;
The 27th Senior Contest is now in the books. Weather presented many challenges, but yielded 4 (of 6 possible) valid contest days in a variety of conditions. We had a damage-free week (the worst casualty was a flagpole temporarily flattened by a stray pickup truck). And Seminole Lake Gliderport renewed its reputation as the best place in North America for a March soaring contest.”

AND he send  a picture of the winners. Thanks Rick.

  From left to right;  Robin Clark (3rd), Karl
Striedieck (2nd), and Fernando Silva (champion).

Rick was so kind to send me a picture from ALL “oldies”  as well. Thanks Rick.

The 2017 SENIORS.
Courtesy Rick.


 2017 USA Sailplane Grand Prix.

From MARCH 26 the second ever   SGP in the USA will be flown from this airfield Seminole Lake,  as well with  John Godfrey (Scorer at Uvalde 2012] as CD.So one week rest ,……and interesting activities continue!!!!
This is by the way, the daily winners medal!!

As shared by the SGP.

If I remember well,  I might have written that this is the very first SGP in the USA. WRONG!!!!!Sorry about that.
I checked with Rick and OF COURSE I knew/should have known  ” the first USA Sailplane Grand Prix was in Ionia, Michigan last year.
The winners were Jerzy Szemplinkski, Jerzy Zieba, and Sergei Morozov.”
“Also, we have dropped the word “Qualifying” from the names of these events.  They are now called the National Grand Prix.  The next one is the “2017 USA Sailplane Grand Prix.

Good to know!!!More next week.And,…with only 4 days to go there is still only 1 approved entree; Tom Kelley a retired airline pilot flying an ASG 29.
At this stage 12 pilots; 1 from the UK, 2 from Canada and the rest is from the USA.
The official practice day is already this upcoming Saturday and then it is 7 days of hopefully great flying.
You can find in between all the news on or wait till I have done all research for you.


South Australian State Championships at Gawler.

Ready for the launches on day 3,
As shared by the Adelaide Soaring Club.

Between March 11 and 19 this Regatta was not blessed with good weather. There were some pilots elsewhere in the South of Australia [Victoria and NSW] ,flying  up to 400 km. The participating pilots however, had a reasonable practice day with a 3 hour AAT, on the 10th and then unfortunately , only 3 out of 9 days.
This is a “serious -fun”  competition with lay-days and coaching in 2 seaters, so very difficult to call winners but on the 3 days they flew they had a 2.15, 2 hour and on the last day a 3.30 AAT.
On this finally good day the 1000 points were for Paul Clift who flew his LS 3 over 353 km in time 3.38.
On March 8 , Matthew Scutter had a ” Cracking day out of Gawler exploring two convergences” . Such a pity this weather was not “on”  during the Regatta.
By the way Matthew started his world tour visiting interesting [soaring-] places and has arrived already in cold London.
Another young Aussie pilot Adam, arrived in Scandinavia.



And on FB I found last Friday the next news
“Shark eS (FES)… Born Today… Bound for Granden Lodge soon…”


NARROMINE 2018 and the announcement of more comps !

Looking VERY FAR AHEAD!!!!BUT…good to know….


 YES it’s TRUE! The Narromine Gliding Club is delighted to have been chosen for the 6th consecutive year to host the Two Seat National Gliding Competition in 2018.

 The competition dates are yet to be finalized but most likely the competition will be run at the same time of year in late February 2018

 The Competition will again be run in two classes, 2 SEAT OPEN CLASS and 20m 2 SEAT CLASS. Same Rules, same Tasks, same Starts, separate scores and winners and both classes will receive day prizes and winners trophies.

The Club and Sports Class Nationals will be at Goondiwindi later this year – dates to be confirmed shortly.

The Multiclass are at Waikerie in January 2018.

Dates for the following season should be known soon.
Lake Keepit will host a Nationals which will double as the Pre-Worlds for the Women’s World Gliding Championship the following year.


And news from France Bailleau 2017
Website is online …Hello ! From the 1nd to 11th of August, this summer, will be held the 43rd Bailleau International Gliding Contest, a classic flat-land gliding contest.
And like every year for 20 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.


To finish this great picture by Bones one of our former tuggies.
He flew in his Sportavia period not only the Scouts, but also the Albatross and moved on to  flying Mallards [ Paspaley pearls] for 12 years up in the North of Australia, the -Territory-.
He now moves on to flying freight from Hong Kong with Air Hongkong.
He will meet Cameron there, also one of the Sportavia tuggies in the past.
Cam is now the chief pilot for the Airbus Fleet Freighters.

“The Pleasures of fly boating”

The Albatross at the Tocumwal Airfield. All nostalgia!!
As shared by George.


The Mallard as shared by Bones.

Cheers Ritz
Sadly enough,…The first incidents in soaring have happened already in this early spring. 2 German pilots in their early 50thies crashed in their 2 seater with engine,  after they departed Sisteron in France and are badly injured.
Blog 981 will be special.
On March 29 1967, I saw a glider for the first time in my life. How this day inspired me you can read next week.

Post 979…with active soaring seniors,….old timers as HP-10…..Duo Discus favorite club 2- seater….

Active Soaring Seniors!!


With Gary in the middle , Karl [striedeck] to the R. and Ken to the left. …Dinner line on day off ..ready to go.
All pictures courtesy Jim Price.

Quite a few of the seniors , participating in the 27 th Senior comps in Florida from the airfield of Semininole, flew WGC’s in the past. Practice started on the 10th and the comps go from March 11 till 17 and 62 participants entered and with that ,…it was FULL.
I am sure there will be a lot of catching up . Good old John Good is the director! John Price the contest manager.
Other “rules”  as in “normal”  comps, as according to the rules of “The Seniors”, a crew day is mandatory so team members can enjoy some of the other attractions that are present in the Orlando area.
And,…..It is tradition at “The Seniors”, that final scores are not revealed until the banquet awards ceremony after dinner.

Talking about WGC participants/winners.When you look at the history of winners since they started in 1991, George Moffat won in 1993, Karl Striedieck in ’96,’97 ,’98 ,2005 ,’ 09 and ’13 and ’14.
Doug Jacob’s in 2004,’06 and ‘ 12 and Dick Butler in 2008 . Got to know George in Angers and Doug, Karl and Dick at WGC’s.
In 2015 Marvin “Bif ” Huss had his first win. He and his wife had to drive 3 days to get to Seminole [ from Colorado] but could go back with the trophy in the back of the car for another 3 days of driving home.

Male topper Karl Striedeck with female topper Sarah Kelly Arnold,
Picture shared by Walt Connelly.

So Friday was the more or less official practice day, but the day’s before certainly on Thursday , they had already a very strong day , with powerful cu’s with 5-6 kts and flights up to 500km.
Friday was less good but after 3 good days , most pilots took it easy though, there were 14 out landings!!
One of the pilots commented:
“Flight went great till the very end. Good out landing 1 mile from the finish circle. Hitch hiked back to gliderport, got my car and trailer and was back in 50 minutes from landing.”

Saturday March 11; Task 1. 62 Launches in ONE hour!!!! Pretty good, CHAPEAU!!!!!! Have to check how many tuggies they have.
The weather man ,Fernando Silva, predicted about the ” same air-mass as the day before , but winds much lighter. . Severe blue, light cirrus/no factor and no wave. Hi temps probably 81, tops of thermals at or below 4000 ft. winds 8-12 knots from NE Day ends early, around 5. “
So not a real flash day, but,…. HE, the weather man,  did well. He won the day, so he knows everything about weather in theory and practice.
They had a TAT from 1.45 and he flew in his ASW 27 133 miles in 1.50.
The first 10 pilots in the 900/1000 points range; 3x ASW 27, 2x LS 8 and 2x ASG 29 and a duo Discus with Karl Striedeck an Antares 20E and Ventus 2cxa.
March 12; love the REALLY easy- going- style and I copy and paste the news on Sunday March 12;
Overcast skies, intermittent rain, scoring anomalies, handicap issues, etc.  Let’s call the whole thing off.”
March 13; rest-day, “based on a hopeless soaring forecast.”[contest manager Jim Price] But with interesting news for the USA juniors. As in many other countries the established pilots help the young ones ,certainly when they attend a JWGC funds are necessary. Leigh Zimmermann, who is very involved in USA soaring not only because her husband Sam, belongs already for years, to the good pilots but also because she knows “our ” world so well,  wrote;
To benefit the US Junior Soaring Team, 3 of whom hope to fly in the Worlds this summer in Lithuania, Dave Nadler (YO) [ Arcus] and Roger Buchanan (R9) [ASH 30 MI] are offering their second seats for a day at Seminole Lake Glider Port this week.  For a $300 donation to the team.  ”
March 14 yesterday no news YET.

Ray Smith Chief Tow Pilot for 2017 Seniors

Courtesy Jim Price.[]


HP-10 !!!!!

Talking and writing fondly about the  “oldies”, made me think of old timers as well. It just happened that I got news from friends about an HP- 10?
HP- 10, I see already the faces of the young ones with a huge question mark! No worries I had the question- mark as well.
In 1961 this glider won several days of the US Nationals. It was designed by Dick Schreder has a V tail and an interesting construction for the wings, with many little bolts.
Wikipedia says; “The Schreder Airmate HP-10 is an American, high wing, single seat, FAI Standard Class glider that was designed by Richard Schreder. Airmate was the name of Schreder’s design company.”
Here you are….. the HP- 10.

As shared by George and Diana.

This aluminium glider , only 9 were built, was for more than 30 years “hidden”  in one of the old WW2 hangar’s in Tocumwal. Now they are planning on making it the one and only still flying HP- 10 in the world!!!
After that,…. the other unique glider the A -15 will be restored!! A very special Caproni.

As you can see these are the screws and bolts to keep the wings together and then some more [4] will keep the wings on the fuselage AND the old authentic instrument panel.


As shared by George and Diana.

Will keep you informed about these projects!!!


Interesting OLC news.

On March 10 the N of Italy had a great [wave]-day and Ugo Pavesi [ASG 29] flew 1.047,65 km from Calcinate and Alessandro Busca 1.058,17 from Aosta.[Ventus 2cxa / 18m.]
I remember my great holidays to Aosta, the boy’s flying , the girls skiing [ from Pila] and for apres ski, we all met again in the evening. Good times.
March 11 had some good flights in Tocumwal, with a temperature of 30 dgr. C. [autumn!!!] a bit windy and according to Swiss Chris the  day with “ the highest cloudbase for me this season.” [3539 MSL/3440 AGL]
 Terry flew in his ASH 26E , 653 km. and Chris 547 in his ASW 27.


Dutch gliding season started!

Courtesy Ilse Hiemstra from the Amsterdam  Aeroclub flying from the airfield of Soesterberg.

The season here in Europe is around the corner and most clubs here in Holland have started. We had a fantastic sunny weekend and only happy chappies at all airfields!!!
One of the Dutch clubs, the not even so big one from Veendam, starts this season with 2 Duo Discusses , a moment to look at with pride. Good luck with both gliders!! This one “comes”  from Deelen.

Courtesy Alexander Venema.


The club at the airport from Deelen has a new “toy” too a Duo Discus XLT. It will be soooo beautiful in the sky.

As shared by Patrick Hoeve.


 DG -LS 1 f-NEO -NEWS !

Last Friday, Holger Back took the chance to take the LS1-f neo out for a test flight. Wonderful sunny weather joined him on his one hour flight across the Rhine valley.”



As shared by DG Flugzeugbau GmbH


 That’s all for now CU next week. Off to Amsterdam, but first ELECTIONS.
With future important elections in Europe , France , Turkey and Germany, and after the mess created by populists in the USA and UK, the world press looks over “our”  shoulder to see what’s happening. 13 million Dutch people vote today and it is all VERY Close.

With the mean rewriting of history and other attack’s  by Turkey all  based on lies ,the new choosen Dutch parlement will have their hands full.On my way to VOTE!!!!!
Cheers Ritz

Post 978 …..with safety first,……Gliding International March/April……IGC-Plenary news!

Always good to keep in mind.
As shared by the GFA.

With the beginning of the new European season this article from the Gliding Federation of Australia , might be good reading for you, though  I am sure that EVERYBODY , ALWAYS tries to fly as safe as possible :
“The GFA Operations Panel is promoting a stronger safety message aimed at improving operational safety – “Target Zero – Zero accidents. Zero harm to people.”
Every pilot in-command must have this focus on every flight, plus all other people involved in gliding operations, maintenance and support must be vigilant about the safety standards and margins being applied on the day.
We have a collective responsibility for achieving an injury free outcome. We know that some human error is inevitable, so we must work hard to reduce the probability of these errors occurring and then limit the severity of the consequences.
Self-awareness of our own biases, fallibilities and limits of performance is critical to our safety.
Our operations feedback and occurrence reporting in Gliding Australia magazine is important reading for all pilots.
Remember, a good safety culture begins with you!
Happy soaring, and happy landings to you all



March started with great autumn flights in Australia.
From Ararat, Gary Stevenson, flew 773 [ 691 FIA triangle] in a Discus 2B. Ararat had a good week.
Bernie Sizer in his PIK 20 flew from there 630 [500 FAI triangle] .AND,…549 in a St. Jantar is not bad either.
Another 700 for Bob from Benalla, so a nice first day of autumn down-under.
On the first 5 days of March/autumn, Bob Nicholls flew a total of 3392 km. from Benalla. During the WGC, when there is not a lot of flying for house guests, and after the pretty poor summer , it is quality time now and he gets the best out of what’s left of the season.Good on him !!!

Over Yarrawonga not too far from Benalla, Corowa and Tocumwal.
As shared by Swiss Chris.

March 1 was nice for a 500- plus-one-way-trip- with- wind -in- the- back, for USA kilometer- eater Tony Condon; 531 km. direction SE from Sunflower close to Wichita in Kansas, to….. Paris, not in France, but in Texas about 15 miles over the border! So from the Mid West to the S. with tail wind all the way.
Parked on the compass rose in Paris, TX. Crew only 40 minutes behind when I landed. Quite the flight! First two hours weak and low. Then it popped and it was off to the races with a big hole near McAllester. Save off a hill with a cross.on it (hallelujah) then airport hopped to my declared goal of Paris. Quite surprised by the late lift. I was sure I was going to end up in Antlers or Hugo.
TopMeteo was pretty spot on with the distance prediction today, although they and most other forecasts were predicting better lift early.

as shared by Tony.

For March 4, a spring-foehn-storm was announced , so it was interesting to see if pilots would dare to use this as heavy predicted weather , for some long flights in the Alps.
They did both from Germany and Switzerland with flights over 1000 km.
Bert Schmelzer jr. flew the Discus 2T over 1.045,45 km. with a speed of 137.45 km./h. from Hausen am Albis up to 6023 MSL [4391 AGL]
He commented:
“What a wonderful start of the season…

03:00 waking up in Lenzerheide and telling Barbara that I will skip skiing today. Instead I will drive to Hausen am Albis to have my first flight of 2017. She mumbles something, gives me a kiss and falls asleep again.
05:00 arrival in Hausen
06:30 launch into the sunrise. Thank you for the tow, once again, Ruedi !
14:00 1000 km completed at a speed of 137 kph 🙂
14:30 snowshowers everywhere, from Arlberg until Geneva. The day was short but brilliant.
18:00 diner with Barbara in Lenzerheide.

I love it !!

What a day and Benjamin Bachmeier must have  thought about the same ; up early in the morning, quickly to his home-field Koenigsberg and up in the air; 1.007,93 km. with a speed of 96.06 km./h. in his Discus 2.He just celebrated his birthday so this weather , this power/force of nature, was a nice present for him. He reached 4526 MSL [ 2361 AGL] but flew most of the flight lower than that ,even 110 or 377 AGL, but he knows the area very well.

Also great wave in Omarama where Jyry Laukkanen flew 920 km. in an LS 3a.


The LAKE KEEPIT REGATTA is on as well and their task 5 was one with many over 300 km. flights!
They fly in a ” ballasted mono class” with between 23 and 30 pilots as some do not fly every day and have “lay-days”. So does Bruce Taylor  flying an ASW 24 this time, who when he flew, occupied spot 1 [twice] and 2 [twice].
Gliders as Hornet, ASH 25 MI  , JS 1, Pegase, St. Libelle 201B , Duo Discus and more each with their own handicap, between 980[ St Libelle 201B] and 1225 [ASH 25 MI].
On task 3 ONLY NZ pilot Lyndsey Stephens in his ASW 27 b, finished on a day with a 3.30 AAT ;5 hours and 20  minutes of flying over 366 km and ALL FOR NOTHING as the day was invalid.
The last day with task  6 ,was a not so good one for Lyndsey, as he missed the start point, so zero points, such a pity but also a nuisance.
Great last day for Bruce who “got” the 1000 points for 356 km. in time 3.05 [3 hour AAT] and won the REGATTA with 3982 points flying 4 tasks, followed by Dave Shorter in the JS 1 b, 3637.

indeed very nice weather.
As shared by Robert.



As every year Rick from the USA, was so kind to send me a great summary of facts so here you are ,…very easy and you know the most important things.Thanks Rick!!! For ALL the facts you can go to the site.

—–The 2017 IGC Plenary took place on March 3-4 in Budapest, hosted by the Hungarian Federation.  The Hungarian Delegate, Andras Gyongyosi, made the arrangements for our meeting and accommodations, and for the dinner cruise on the Danube on Friday night.

34 countries were represented, and the agenda was full.  There were some significant changes to the Championships calendar, and we approved the bids of Germany and France to hold the World Championships in 2020.

No changes were made to the class definitions, but we have made a commitment to move toward fewer and more exciting competitions, and this will probably mean that there will be only one pilot per country per class in certain World Championship classes, beginning in 2022.

Here are the decisions that will affect competitions after 2018:

2019 Pan American Gliding Championships will be held in Ontario, Canada

2019 WGC in 13.5m Class in Pavullo, Italy (LIDP) will use electric self-launch

2020 WGC in Open, 18m, and 20m Classes in Stendal-Borstel, Germany (EDOV)

2020 WGC in 15m, Std, and Club Classes in Châlons-en-Champagne, France (LFQK)

No additional invitations to reigning Champions, except Women and Juniors

Distance days will be devalued (e.g. 600 points for winner if no finishers)

New Ranking List rules, including elimination of the 20m Class Ranking List

Possibility to combine JWGC and WWGC beginning in 2021

Possibility to reduce number of entries per country, beginning in 2022

In other decisions:

Reform of scoring formulas was approved.

The use of airframe parachutes in place of personal parachutes was approved.

Certain anomalies in the Badge and Record requirement were removed.

The use of water ballast in the Club Class was not approved.


The Lilienthal Medal was awarded to Patrick Pauwels (BEL), for his many years of service to IGC and as President of the European Gliding Union.  The Pirat Gehriger Diploma and the Pelagia Majewska Medal were not awarded this year.


Eric Mozer (USA) was re-elected President of IGC, and the new Bureau members will be Alexander Georgas (GR), Brian Spreckley (UK), Frouwke Kuijpers (NED), Marina Vigorito (ITA), Rene Vidal (CL), and Terry Cubley (AUS).
The next meeting will be on March 2 and 3 in 2018.

I am still very proud on my Pelagia Majewska Medal from 2015 [international recognition] and the Golden Pin from the KNVvl in 2016!!![National recognition]



—-a long and nicely written report of the Benalla WGC with co-operation /assistance from Sean Young. 14 Pages of very pleasant reading!!!!!
—-the new Ventus 3,.. a story written by an old mate Gerd Marzinzik for the Aerokurier and translated by Elke Fuglsang-Pedersen.
The New Ventus can carry 180 litres of water that will boost the take off weight to 600 kg. The inner tanks of the wings can be dumped without emptying the tank in the tail.
—-the 2017 OSTIV congress…..The 2017 OSTIV Prize went to the sailplane ‘sustainer’ FES….Morgan Sandercock ‘s address “First year in Argentina with the Perlan 2 glider” was a success…
—-Virtual reality has arrived…
—-The JS 3 development story …a spectacular 10 years!!!
—-Veronica the new place to go to in Namibia as shared by Bert Schmelzer sr. who had a great time there.
—- a review; the Soaring Engine volume 2 a new book by G Dale….
—-Russia,…immeasurable opportunities,..also for gliding…an expedition to investigate the potential of  the Urals is the dream of  Dimetria Ivanichev.

To subscribe on the digital Gliding International you can go
It’s easy enough.


And to finish;
In Holland some clubs started the 2017 season already. Here a nice sunset with the last flight for the day from the FAC the Frysian Aero Club up in the N.
NOW today , it’s raining “cat’s and dogs” totally wet,… no flying possible but they had their first weekend good on them . A very enthusiastic club full of nice people young and old[er]!!!

as shared by the FAC.

Cheers Ritz looking ahead at a good and and safe new 2017 season.
In Seminole [Florida] in the USA,the oldies WITH RESPECT  and 60 of them which means it is full, are practicing and enjoying each others company ahead of the senior contest [ March 11-17]  lead by good old John Good!!!
Must be great fun!!! Will come back on that next week.

Post 977,…with all kind of news! Over 700 km. on last day of “summer” down under.

It is MARCH 1 2017, the beginning of the meteorological spring here and autumn/fall, down-under.
It does n’t feel like it ,as it looks more  ,that the weather-gods  swapped the weather from them and us and autumn started here.
We had also a severe February-storm last Thursday  up to bft 11. Code orange was set for all coastal areas and that just reached us here too. Not long anymore as I am moving to the SE of Holland, but now I had to deal with it and I do not like storms. Lot’s of damage in the UK [and even 1 dead] , Belgium , Germany ,the Eastern countries as Hungary and Holland, but “our”  damage bill stays under  10 million Euro.Still sounds like a lot of money !!
Tomorrow looks bad again for parts of Europe.


Looking back at November 30 2016 in NAMIBIA !

As said they had an excellent season and I showed you the OLC stats on the 4 places, Bitterwasser, Pokweni, Kiripotib and the new place-to-be- Veronica.
Looking back at November 30 2016, even the organizers there, were stunned by the circumstances. Over all these places a total of 43 over-1000-km-flights on one day!!!! That had never happened before.
Weather wise it was special, no convergences only reliable and fabulous thermals up to 5000 m.
From Pokweni , they flew 11 x a 1000 and mentioned on their site:
in the entire gliding area of ​​Namibia there were good cumulus that were not overdeveloped and absolutely reliable thermal with high climbing values ​​and that at a high base. This day will certainly be remembered for a long time.”


NEWS from/via Schempp Hirth !

Congratulations to Luka Žnidaršič, founder and owner of LZ Design, who was awarded this year’s OSTIV Prize for the Front Electric Sustainer (FES) system designed and produced by his company.

OSTIV stand for Organisation Scientifique et Technique du Vol à Voile and is a body associated with the FAI Gliding Commission (IGC). The FAI IGC oversees the sport of gliding worldwide and is a department of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI).

FES is an innovative, silent and user-friendly sustainer engine system and is available for various Schempp-Hirth models, including the new Ventus and the Discus-2c.


AND,…. Dave Springford who flew the Benalla WGC for Canada has news as well;
“I am happy to announce that I am now the Canadian Representative for #SchemppHirth and their line of amazing gliders, including the new Ventus 3, Arcus, Quintus, Duo Discus and Discus.”


NEWS from Waikirie!

The next Multi Class Nationals in Australia will be held at Waikerie .
Practice Day 8th January with a possible 11 competition days from the 9th January to the 19th January 2018.

By the way,….last Monday , pretty late in the season, 2 Japanese pilots flew 629 km [570 FAI triangle] from Waikiri in an ARCUS M.


News From FAI SPG in the USA.

Not long and the very first USA- FAI- SGP will be held in Orlando at the Seminole Lake Gliderport  in Clermont Florida;March 26-April 1. |As I read at their site they have grown ” to become one of the most active glider operations in the United States. ”
They are a commercial operation, but a private airfield,all to be seen at

One of the sponsors, USA dealer for Schleicher, Williams Soaring Center , shares some news and a link;
“Top US Soaring supplier Williams Soaring Center provides substantial support to the FAI SGP USA Orlando.”

11 Pilots have entered with their 18 m. gliders and at this stage , as far as I can see, nobody is approved yet. Gliders of less than 18M span are welcome too. A total of 20 is allowed.
Only know Tony [Condon], Pete [Alexander] and Jerzy [Szemplinsky from Canada]
Jon Gatfield from the UK will be there as well, [5 foreign pilots are allowed ]  so will be Sean Fidler [USA] who flew the WGC in Benalla.
Sean is the  FAI SGP USA Orlando Event Manager

They use IN-REACH trackers [GARMIN] and as I did not know them and you might not either, I share what they write about it,
InReach offers pilots, fans and commentators much more detail in the live sailplane tracking experience.  It also provides excellent signal reliability.  Unlike Spot devices which provide only 10-minute cycle, “location only” tracking data, InReach provides location tracking cycles of as little as 30 seconds BUT ALSO INCLUDE altitude, ground Speed and heading.  This critical data makes the experience of live sailplane tracking much more exciting for all involved.  For example, with a Spot device you might appear to be sitting in the same location for 20 minutes (2 cycles) on the tracking page (such as Glideport.Aero or the SSA tracker).  Fan’s viewing your flight live do not know if your climbing or struggling to stay up, over a field (or landed).  They also won’t know how you’re doing vs. other gliders in the same area.  With InReach we can see that you came in fairly low, found a weak thermal after a few minutes of scratching around and then climbed out from 1100 AGL to over 7000 MSL in a weak 2 knot thermal (all in great detail).  This data is amplified when other gliders around you provide the same tracking detail. There is simply no comparison, and the slightly extra cost of an investment in InReach is WELL worth it, not only for SGP purposes but in your normal flying.”
BUT, you can also use there mobile trackers
Android users can download the Android App ($10) – IGCDroid app.
iPhone owners can download the free tracking app GlideTrack app

AND in the past “we” were fiddling around with 1,2 or 3 instruments in the glider, camera’s, barographs and real paper maps! A lot has changed in the 50 years I “walk” around in this world!!!

Will come back on the USA SGP when it is on.
Seminole hosts, as every year  since 1991,the Senior Soaring Championship, the 27th version from March 10 onward !!!
“The Seniors” started almost 25 years ago when Tom Knauff and Charlie Spratt talked about a “fun” contest for seniors.
Good old Charlie , such a nice and colorful guy,who died after a long battle of kidney failure in 2009.[RIP]



We could not call this Aussie soaring season one of the best, no ….it was pretty “poor” , but after the WGC in Benalla was over the weather improved and in February , unfortunately with shorter days, the weather improved even more and mainly Aussie pilots could enjoy it.
End of Februar [23]  Ian de Ferranti still flew 806 km [600 FAI triangle] from Pipers Field in a Ventus 2C/18m.
One day later on Friday he improved this flight and how;1.022,85 km. with a speed of 141 km./h.
A flight up to 322 km. OUT from Piepers field passing Narromine and Gilgandra to the NW and back. Nearly up to 4000 m.[ 3980]  MSL [3052 AGL] Great weather ;February 24 ,…nearly autumn, there you go!!!!

Also from Narromine and already on February 11, a great flight, with a good video from the flight on, from young female pilot, Ailsa [Mc Millan] and Matt [Cage] during the 2 seater comps. On a 46 C. dgr. day, they went up in the Geelong Duo Discus  and attempted a new speed record over 100 km !!!
” We started our task at about 3500m, and finished a touch over 2700m, finishing with a speed of 163.11kph. The climbs went to almost 4300m, where we climbed to later on.
The record claim paperwork is in the process of being completed as of 24/02/2017 – here’s hoping everything’s ok!” Ailsa mentioned.
So do I. Well done congratulations!!!
A great video by the way, very good for seminars were also young [future] pilots visit. It’s also on FB .

And talking about young pilots,….the RAAF gliding club from Richmond [close to Melbourne] took their DG 1000/20m. to Forbes to fly there a 750 km …. more or less out and return with some added kilometers to reach 750!! Good on them.

They took an IS 28 as well with a .,………REAL GOOD trailer!!!! What an advantage to be a member of an RAAF club.
In the past [2004]  we had at Tocumwal the Australian Army Cadets from the Sebastopol Cadet Unit. They all learned to fly with us within one week!!

with the text;”Richmond Gliding Club with their unique IS 28 B2 glider at Forbes.”
The weekend of the 26th and the 27th was good in Benalla,  664 km.[500 Fai triangle] in Ventus 16.6 m, Corowa, 611 km. in ASG 32 MI,  , Tocumwal 628 km. [400 FAI triangle]  in ASH 26, , Temora 592 km. in DG 800/18m and Mount Beauty had a nice flight from 367 km. [300 FAI triangle] in the ASK 21.
It seems the day was MUCH better than forecasted .
Swiss Chris flew from his homefield Tocumwal and mentioned:
Tocumwal Sunday Feb 27: Better than Saturday and much better than forecast. Cloudbase 2000-2500msl, climbs up to 4.5m/s and nice CU’s. >555km with 110km/h and <14% circling. 🙂 Average L/D of 75 isn’t bad for an ASW27″
He shared some pictures as well.
The area around Tocumwal, the skies in the area and a fabulous sunset.
Courtesy Swiss Chris.
And the great weather was still there on the last day of “summer” in Tocumwal, now summer mmm….????? but a great month of February and the last day was good as well. Terry Ryan flew in his ASH 26 E , a 722 km.[ 689 FAI triangle] and topped the OLC.
From Temora Brian Du Rieu flew in his LS 10 a 751 km [651 FAI triangle] and what about  617 [600 FAI triangle]  from Benalla in a SZD 55 by Charles Day.
Today March 1 Bob Nicholls still flew 701 km.[500 FAI triangle]  from Benalla in his 18 m. Ventus 2CT.
One of the Corowa owners Francesco enjoyed , now all overseas gliders and most guests are gone, from a few nice flights around 600 km. in the ASG 32 MI.

Talking about Australia , they recently had to abandon the original GFA Facebook page .We were not at all amused,…. BUT ,…..they have recently created a new page to replace it. Good on them !!!!!! Have a look and enjoy!!!
The new page,  to put in your favorites , is at :


About AEROMODELLING. Don’t know much about that but they had their World Championships and what I know is the value for events like this for participating “pilots” and their supporters. So here are the results as shared by the FAI Championship Results Notification Service.
F3P – Indoor aerobatics
Title:  2017 FAI F3P World Championship for Indoor Aerobatic Model Aircraft
Type : World
Date:  19.02 – 25.02.2017
Location:Strasbourg France

Final Results :
F3P – Overall
1st: Gernot Bruckmann AUT
2nd: Janne Lappi FIN
3rd: Donatas Pauzuolis LTU

F3P – Junior
1st: Felix Scander SWE
2nd: Joseph Szczur USA
3rd: Mattia Zeni ITA

F3P – Team
1st: Austria
2nd: France
3rd: Finland

Congratulations to ALL.


And to finish;

news from HpH Sailplanes UK.

Shark eS (FES) on its Maiden flight over the snow-covered countryside.”
As shared by HpH

That’s enough again for today. Though,… in Budapest  the International Gliding Commission meeting starts soon and participants from all over the world are arriving at the moment in Hungary.
Cu next week.
Cheers Ritz