Fall has started,…. for the lucky ones…time to leave the colder countries, ,…maybe,…very maybe,..I belong to the lucky ones too!!

—–Autumn started here in Holland and it started with late- summer- weather,..just beautiful. We deserved that after the much too early autumn- days earlier in summer.

Autumn in Holland.

—–I heard already the first messages of travelling to South Africa, Namibia or Australia . October 23, Dieter Dundee leaves for Tocumwal and will spend his winter over there.
He is 81 now and still going strong. Here is how I remember his arrival.
—I never forget his arrival many years ago. The bus had arrived at 7 PM at the fore- shore in the center of town and he had no clue where to go to. A nice fellow from Toc brought him to the airfield,about 5 km. ..big bag-pack nearly as high as he is himself. It was after -office-time , but we never had a problem with that and Brutus and I were still working.
He entered with a big smile saying, “I am Dieter from Germany and I speak no English”. Both Brutus and I are fluent with German, so we welcomed him in his native language. Bigger smile.
We asked him what he would like from us? He had no booking, neither for a room or a glider.
He wanted to stay  for certainly 3 months ,maybe longer. I looked a bit pale. We were fully booked for rooms in summer, so no way we could accommodate him. ” You have not booked???” …”No” he said . “Ingo always said in Oerlinghausen, that if I wanted to come and see him in Australia, I should come and here I am”
Brutus [Peter] a quick thinker said to me “room 6 is empty it is used for storage maybe we can make a nice room for him there.”
We brought him to the dinner room where some more German people welcomed him too.
Next day the room was ready freshly cleaned, a good bed, a small table and a chair. For more there was no room.

Every year he returned. In between he was called Tocumwal Dundee and over the years his English improved as well. For a few years he stayed in room 6 cheeky calling it room sex.

When our beautiful caravan-houses were on sale we offered them first to long time guests. Dieter and Swiss Chriss were the lucky ones and they straight away said yes and bought them . They still live in those caravans with a balcony, a nice snug and dining area, as well as a kitchen. A shower room and a big double-bedroom and a smaller one with 4 bunk beds.

No need to say that his life after his first visit changed dramatically, seeing so much more from the world and getting to know SO many people from so many different countries. He still loves it!!!!
Dieter here with the soaring icon “mister”  Ingo Renner, who invited him ,as he did with many others , to visit Tocumwal.

A few years ago at Toc.


—–Potchefstroom is a place I mainly know from the JS-gliders and brothers Uys and Atiie, the Nationals , AKAFLIEG and from Oscar and Laurens flying there. So talking about South Africa, their  news is ” about brand new accommodation at the airfield. Good news.”

Airfield apartments almost finished.”
as shared by AKA -flieg Potch Gliding.

—–Sad news!! Jeremy Thompson,  [62] Darling Downs Chief flying instructor,– very well known and liked/loved by all– , has died whilst flying/ instructing. His wife Jenny saw it all happen. Ready to land,….. the glider nose-dived and crashed. Sadly enough the student, only 60 years old died as well.
My thoughts are with Jenny, Elisabeth and Sarah, who is the Darling Downs Club president since last week. They are a real soaring family.
R.I.P. Jeremy.
And of course with the family of the new student;just TRAGIC !

—–Just a reminder; The World Gliding Championships for Club, Standard and 15 m. classes are to be held at Ostrow Wielkopolski, Poland in July 2018, and  20 m. Multi-Seat, 18 m. and Open Classes are to be held at Pribram, Czech Republic in August 2018.

—–OLC 2017; On September 25 the OLC 2017 finished with one flight by Geoff Pratt from Burketown the place to see …and fly with the ” rolling-wave-cloud” ,called “MORNING GLORY”.
Worldwide stats from 2017;
The 2017 OLC Champion is Klaus Ohlmann with 12.612,28 points over the 6 best flights.
Statistics from the best flight; Klaus Ohlmann with 2.407,40 km. flown in Argentina from Zapala Neuquen in a STEMME.
Distance record since 2011; Jim Payne…2.907,47 !!!Flown from Minden in 2015 on April 5 in an ARCUS M.
Stats from all flights in 2017; Keith Essex [USA] with a total of 69.747,54 km. during 107 flights.
Stats airfield; Puimoisson with 889.491,90 km. during 2.188 flights by 353 pilots.
Stats clubs; OUR DUTCH club ,de GELDERSE, and not for the first time….flying from Terlet they covered 306.886,77 km. during 1026 flights by 100 pilots.
Congratulations to ALL.

The 2018 OLC started


Container-packing-time! And,….this time Tocumwal pictures from the beginning of 1995 !

A bit later then normal,as I was in Amsterdam and Alphen for 2 day’s.
In Amsterdam I had the great pleasure of catching up with Rand and Charlotte Baldwin. You surely remember “the guy’s” from SOARING CAFE and he is one of them.
We , Bill, Rand and I , had a SUPER co-operation in Uvalde during the WGC in 2012 and we still are “mates”.

Rand ,Bill and me .

Rand and his wife visited Amsterdam and from there they went on a cruise. They invited me for a lovely dinner and I welcomed them with bubbles. And,..as I had to be in Amsterdam anyhow, it all worked out well. I was amazed that they survived. They skipped a night…. had the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum and “Ritz”  on the daily menu and they did it ALL. Good on them. AND,…finally we had nice weather too.


With Rand and Charlotte at “Loetje Centraal” in Amsterdam.
Enjoy your trip “guy’s”.



Last Thursday the containers left for Namibia with “RENT A GLIDER” Gliders in it [Flying with the champions”]; this time , 9 x Arcus, 2 x Antares 23, 2 x Shark and one  Ventus.

ready to go and hoping and looking forward to another SUPER Namibia season.
As shared by Rent a Glider.

This weekend they packed the containers for Corowa [ Australian Soaring Corowa in Australia] in Venlo in the Netherlands. Not too many this year ,as Corowa sold their 2 tug’s and only self launching gliders will fly there now.
Their container-ship leaves on September 14 and the first possible flying-action will be on the 11th of the 11th 2017.We then start CARNAVAL here in Holland.

Diana ,whose glider “travels” to Australia as well, send me a few pictures of the packing and the shared pleasure with which these actions are going along.


With expertise for many years, Grietje and Francesco took the lead in this annual packing. Astonished to hear that in one morning the job for one container was fixed. Fabulous !!

Talking about Francesco and Grietje,[owners from” Corowa “] ; they flew in the past in Tocumwal. Grietje even worked a season for us. Here are some pictures;

Last week I showed some pictures from December 1994, this time it will be the beginning of 1995, so the 94/95 season, with a bit of history. And ALL of them at our caravan with different guests.

Morning coffee at our caravan a place where many visited. With George, Francesco ,Harm and Grietje’s dad Klaas.


from Narromine we had as guests Dieter and Sandra, who were closing their gliding business; Australian Soaring Center due to “organisational restructuring”  . Harm was involved in this business as well. Their gliders LS 4, LS 6, ASW 20 and ASW 24, were available for hire through Sportavia.

Breakfast this time with my beautiful old and fully restored Holden in the back.The  Sportavia WW 2 hangar was still in full glory!

Season nearly over so some really good girl-fun….yes again at the caravan.

With Inge, Robyn , June and Vicky. EARLY in the evening.

and LATER in the evening after 6 bottles of bubbles.Won’t share the MUCH LATER pictures.


we did not have a lot of USA guests but here is one of them . Ralph, “Woody”  however, mainly flew in winter in Bitterwasser.

Ralph from Aspen on the head of the table,at Sportavia’s dining room, with Bill [RIP] and Val Riley founders of Sportavia and my Aussie mate Bruce.

Enough pictures for now.


—– La Cerdanya in Spain had a Grand-Prix-like weekend for club class. 2 From 3 days were flyable. Jorge Arias in the St. Cirrus, won both days and was the winner with 11 points.
Jeff Billy from France in a St. Libelle,  was twice runner up, so also runner up in the overall scores; 8 points.

—–Great [wave-]flight from Mikulovice (TS / CZ) by Milos Pajr in an HPH 304 S Shark; 774 km. He flew at one stage up to 7.190 m. MSL/ 6812 AGL.
Not as high as the Perlan-boy’s with their  staggering 16,640 meters on September 3, they are profi’s ] but still VERY GOOD!!

—–“Pleased to announce I am now the APAC agent for the MDM-1 Fox. If you’re after a glider with a higher G rating than yourself, get in touch.” by Matthew Scutter former junior world champion, travelling Europe at the moment.

As shared by Matthew.

—–In September we celebrate “our” freedom here in Holland. It brings tears to my eyes to see how those veterans still love to come to Holland. A place where they lost many of their mates and where they had to fight and live in fear for “us”.
They were heroes, are heroes and always will be heroes!
For the first time the GEZC, the Gelderse Soaring Club close to Arnhem ,flew a few veterans , who participated in the 1944-operation “Market Garden” in much more fancy gliders than they flew in the past. For sure you have seen the movie ” A bridge too far”? I saw it a few times.
They started at Terlet and landed in a field in the neighborhood ,where these veterans landed in the past too. What a fantastic idea.


Very happy chappies.
These great pictures are courtesy Arjan Vrieze via FB.

—–1.500 km. in a glider is  THE NEW MAGIC 1000 km from the past. It remains special but more and more pilots try a 1.300 or 1.500 km. Also last week when Keith Essex flew this distance from Minden in Nevada in the JS 1 C and what about the speed over 1.508 km??? 194.9 km./h. !!!!!
His OLC comment;”Tough on the ends but easy in the middle. Lots of moisture to deal with in the north and blue broken lift in the south. The whole wave system went unstable at the end of the flight.”
It looks on the barogramm as great wave between 4000 and over 5000 m most of the time.



 And to finish this great picture shared by DG Flugzeugbau GmbH.

Ein Bild von Jason Adriaan mit einer DG-1000 bei Nacht.”

Cheers Ritz

Newsy news!And,…looking back at some interesting pictures from Tocumwal 1994.

I updated Tony Condon’s flight later in my last blog, just to let you know!! It’s quite an adventure….going far away and then having , at least, the luck you are picked up in a Mooney,…but still have to go the long road to pick up the glider by car and trailer.
No worries when you love it. Nearly 7 hours of flying , no idea how long in the car….



As promised I will share pictures from the past, when occasions occur to do so. I looked back in my “old” 1994- book about Tocumwal ,to find some nice pictures from Eddie, who turned 70 last week.
Happy 70 thiest birthday Eddie.

We look at the year 1994 with in the middle my daughter Inge who was a tuggie in that season, Eddie, 47 years young and his sons Lachlan and Damon and Mr.Massa from Japan and me, ” not always on my best”.

in the same book my 48 th birthday on December 16 1994

With the Snow family and Kimi from Japan.
Ingo and Judies Wedding a few days later.

With the lady who married them in their own garden.
a visit to Yulupna Island where the koala’s live in the “wild”, was a “must ”  for all guests on a non-flying-day.

Christmas 1994 when Don [and Joan]and Jeff [and Margie] were running the show.
Drinks in the bar first , then dinner.

George , June and Don’s wife Joan and Judy and Ingo[l.] and Harold and Ann Kathrin.[r.]


The Japanese table and the German table with the Wiesenthals and Kellers and many more guests that season in the fully-filled diningroom.

So far some interesting pictures from 1994. More in another blog.

Australia slowly wakes up after winter. At some places it was a “cold”  winter. Now some pilots fly nice 300 k’s already. One of them “kilometer-eater”  Allan Barnes:”First flight back in Australia. Lovely spring day, 8000ft cloudbase and 4-8kt climbs. Down to Quirindi, up to Narrabri and then out to Manilla for 300km triangle.”
Of course flown from Lake Keepit in the LS 8!

I read that the Chinese ARCUS M has made it’s last flight for the season in China now and will travel to Australia again.Andrew Peng Du mentioned; “VH-CHA last landing NingXia of western of China before back Australia.”

Narromine , a great place to fly and full of activities nowadays, starts the new season with Ge Dale;
“The G Dale Cross Country Soaring coaching courses at Narromine have almost sold out for this year but we have just two spots left.
• 13 to 17 November – Available (week before Narromine Cup)
• 11 to 15 December – 1 spot available to share with two others already booked.

For details on the course click on the link below, to make a booking just email me directly offline.
Better move quickly though.


The 59th CHAMPIONSHIPS from Brasil were flown from Formoza, between September 2 and 9. They had some good flying with 7 out of 8 days and in the 3 classes they flew, also good winners!!!
Enrique Navarro, in the Nimbus 4T,  had 4 daily wins and turned out to be the CHAMPION in open class with 6.470 points. Runner up was Egon Rehn in the ARCUS M with 6165 points.
In the racing class Fabian Weber won in a St. Jantar with 6.290 points. Runner up with 6199 points Claudio Schmidt also in St. Jantar. [8 of them in this class] Fabian won 3 days .
5 Pilots in club /KW1-class in gliders as PW 5, KW 1 and Elfe S4. Sergio Bassi was the best with 2.881 points. The runner up “only”  had 2.218 points.

Enrique with the Nimbus 4 with call sign N1, before start.
As shared by him.


Long long time to go , but the 2018 MASTERS at Rayskala will be ,as all comps over there….exciting!!
Interested??? For sure these pictures  by Pekka Ylipaavalniemithey will help;


Have seen this many times and it remains spectacular.
MASTERS  9th – 16th of June -2018


The Perlan 2 reached 52,172 feet on Sept. 3.  On September 9 they flew again and you could follow them on   http://perlanproject.cloud/VirtualCockpit.html
Maybe in the future as well …….Keep an eye on it.


Message from Schempp-Hirth;
“Some of you may have heard that there have been two incidents of inflaming batteries in gliders equipped with the Front Electric Sustainer (FES) system that is also available for a variety of our gliders. Even though no Schempp-Hirth glider was involved in these incidents, we still take this very seriously. While the investigations are on-going, we cannot provide you with any more detailed information at this moment as we are still awaiting the results.

Rest assured, however, that we are in permanent contact with the authorities and LZ Design, the inventor and manufacturer of the FES system, to assess what may have caused these incidents and what we can do to prevent any similar incidents from happening to owners of our gliders. In the next days, we will reach out to all owners of Schempp-Hirth gliders equipped with FES to provide them with instructions for immediate measures of caution.


And to finish another great picture/advertisement shared by Howard Jones and pictures courtesy to Rob Millenaar [ finishing gliders] and Max Kirschner.

CU next week
cheers Ritz

Here we go again,….up to 2000????? Not sure yet about that!! PERLAN SUCCESS…..downwind dash UPDATED

A GREAT THANK YOU, to all lovely reactions on my blog 1000. Really appreciated that and I translate that into the words ” Continue Ritz”.

Just picked a few, some brought me to tears;
Dear Ritz,
I’m quite sure that the whole community of gliding is more than pleased and very grateful to you for you have done over the years. Your 1000 blogs were always informative, interesting and full of news. Your last blog about the EGC 2017 at Lasham gave the best overview with superb pictures and nice comments. One friend of us wrote, thanks to Ritz I was fully up-to-date about many activities and could look at all those lovely pictures. Most of all we admired your kindness in writing about people and your appreciation for what they have done as human beings. You never forgot any friend, always positive words and commentary or good-looking pictures about everyone.
The future is laying in the past. The last comment and picture of your 1000. blog is dedicated to the young people, also here you do have the right vision.
Thank you for all and be sure that many of us will follow your upcoming blogs and waiting eagerly.

Congratulations Ritz on your 1000th blog posting! You’ve bought many readers all over the globe many smiles & quality updates – looking forward to the next 1000 🙂)”

Ritz, congratulations on 1000 blogs which I have been following since we met in Tocumwal about 20 years ago.
Your blogs are always full of interest on achievements and the characters in gliding. It is very fitting that you finish you competition blogs on EGC 2017 at Lasham. We were proud to hold a successful competition, maybe the first time that an international contest has co-existed with club flying on the same airfield.
Best of luck for the future and keep the blogs going please!”

Congratulations, Ritz. A great accomplishment. I will continue to look forward to the next thousand.”



You remember the great flight from Gilles Navas on July 14.

After the flight from  Vinon to Buno-Bonnevaux and back in July.

To remind you,…..1.526, 18 km. was this flight from Vinon in an ASG 29E /18m. Looking at the statistic’s of this year’s  OLC , this flight is the BEST IN EUROPE!!!
The next best European flight is also flown in France by Baptiste Innocent, in an ARCUS M from Fayence; 1.362,75 km.
In total only 5 European flights in the OLC top 50.
2 From Lienz  Nikolsdorf flown by Tobias Welsh ;1.490,03 km. in the ARCUS M  and one by Oliver Schwenk also in the ARCUS M 1.452,61 km.and one more from France from by Gil Souviron in the TAURUS;1.263,  41 km.
The rest of the 50 have been flown in the USA, Namibia and Argentina.

So a fabulous “job”  from Gilles. Here is some news I received from him.
This flight discard 2 French and 2 European records on out and return distance and free out and return distance.
Moreover it was just a game to win the Buno Challenge.
The Buno challenge was held by AVVE to celebrate the 50 birthday from the club. They allow a price for the longest distance done from April to the 27th of August with Buno Bonnevaux airfield declared as turn point. This was the reason of such a flight.
And fun is to start an out distance return in wave then changing to thermal in the day, shifting again with slope and wave in the evening,…
Price giving ceremony will be held in Buno on the 16 September.”
Congratulations AGAIN and I share a picture of the prize-giving, when I have it.

He knew he got the CUP already but,…… After writing all this,  Gilles DOES IT AGAIN!!! Another great flight, same glider but now on September 2; 1.305,91 km. From Vinon, up and then nearly to south of Aosta in Italy. Best height; 6064 MSL and 5167 AGL.
Baptiste Innocent added another long flight from Fayence;1.115 km. in the ASH 25.
Mind you it was on September 2 , the meteorological autumn has started. But,…good wave does not depend on seasons and again,…it was not only wave.


Gilles ; another SUPER flight,…early morning…another long day!!!
As shared by him.
And some pictures from the flight.


                              ” Cevennes   ”                                                    “back after turn point ST Pons on Le Vigan  “

Wave of Lure in the evening. Rotors up to FL 195



OVERSEAS DESTINATIONS …the next goal …….and polar air in Holland!!!!

Still the end of summer here, but pilots are running around already, to have EVERYTHING ready in good/clean state and condition for the rest of the 2017 season in either Namibia, South Africa or Australia and for some New Zealand.
Containers are waiting for gliders and equipment and already half of September the first gliders will be transported  to the different destinations.

In between we got over the weekend nice cold nights, as cold polar- air “streamed” over our country giving us some good autumn soaring weather on Saturday and Sunday and still on Monday.
On Saturday, Steven Raimond flew from Terlet all the way to West of Holland to Zeeland [ big islands and a first for him, he never flew there before] and mentioned huge visibility;525 km.[see  OLC on September 2.]
Ronald Berg flew from Soesterberg 544 km. He had to fly around some showers.
On Sunday another cool morning ,but quickly some great clouds, also here in the SE of Holland and another nice day. So looking again at the OLC in the evening and ….YES Sikko flew 606 km. from Soesterberg.
Their ASG 29 E/18m. was the topper on the Dutch OLC with 2x a 500 km. flight this weekend. It shows the great quality of the ASG 29 and more Dutch pilots flew good distances in this glider they “love”.
More great flights; 450 and 423 km. in an LS 3 and St. Cirrus from Soesterberg and Leeuwarden is not bad either and worth mentioning!!!
Leeuwarden is high up in the N of Holland. They flew a new Frysian-day-record;
72.13 hours over 56 flights,… so 1.17 hour average per flight and a total of 2969 OLC km. according to Frank. Great and enthusiastic club. Well done !!!
On Monday , for those who still had a that day off, over 446 FAI triangle in JS 1 c/21m.


This is very interesting…about the Lasham EGC !!!

As “created ” by Arne Boye- Moeller.[pictures and text!!!]

Despite the complex airspace we only suffered a total of a few incursions – well done team Lasham in the thorough work and pilot briefings.”

Start and Arrival Track Art”

Just had to add this one, where start times are synchronized.”



The September /Oktober Magazine 2017, is out  and of course full of newsy news about;
—–The JS 3 is not only a 15 m racer , but also 18 m.
A wing loading ranging from 40kg/m2 to 60.3 kg/m and an aspect ratio of 32, makes it the most slender 18m glider available today.” A race to have one has already begun. Aussie Lumpy Paterson bought one , but he had to travel half around the world to see if he fitted in it.
—–Germany,..the land of the ideas:
Germany is lifting its image with the German Mobility Award. The ‘Germany – Land of Ideas’ initiative has a goal of raising public awareness of smart mobility solutions and digital innovation.” Very interesting.
—–The tow pilot ended up facing the magistrate after deciding to release the glider behind him ,who over- controlled the tug and ” forcing it to mush into the fast approaching trees .” Never knew that this could happen.
—–The Perlan Team back in Argentina is enough reason to read…
—–Looking back at the 13.5 m. WGC with extra info about the winning glider and manufacturer; GP Gliders, produced by PESZKE S.C. based in Krosno, Poland. The GP 14 velo, flown by Sebastian Kawa and he looks back as well.
—– GPS turned 40!!!
—-and much MUCH more….enjoy
You can read the PDF on line by subscribing on ; www.glidinginternational.com. You then get a code to get in.


And some last minute news:
—-TONY CONDON left Ames
for what his mates call  “an epic flight” .
Tony is attempting a “downwind dash” from Ames, IA to Bloomington, Indiana.

Before departure ….very relaxed…. at Ames.
As shared by Tony.

News en route; cloud base 6300…..7000 no circling required.

Shared by Tony.

How far will he go ???? Will he reach his goal??
I don’t know yet ,have to go to bed ….anyway he passed the Mississippi and entered Illinois.  More when I am back from Amsterdam.

Back now!!!!
Tony flew from Airport to airport over flat country  but with ” Corn and soybeans still filling the fields in midwest“. This interstate goal-flight  , flown in the St. Cirrus was 878 km. long. GOOD ON YOU TONY!!!!

TopMeteo predicted I would run into the back of the front and then I would be on the ground at 6:20. I did run into the back of the front and landed at 6, but went about 60 miles further then predicted.

Here is the OLS comment from the adventurer ;

“Fall go South! Thanks so much to Matt for the encouragement, training, and help. Nice to be back in Ames, got to see some old friends during my brief visit. Forecast said launch at 11. Cu started popping at 10:45. 

Past Pella the cu were really nice. I had an AWESOME street run across SE Iowa. Then NE of St. Louis there was a patch that had had some heavy rain yesterday and had some high cirrus shading it before I got there. Initially I was afraid I had already caught the front. That hole caused some tip toeing and then the day sort of started over.

About 5 PM I could see that I was catching the real front and dumped the water and took anything I could find going up, which wasn’t much. Had a real marginal glide to Muhlenburg County but wasn’t ready to try it with a lot of trees between me and there so landed at Madisonville.

Matt showed up an hour later in his Mooney and brought me home. Tomorrow I’ll go get the glider. What an adventure!”

“Greetings from Madisonville, KY.”

Congratulations to the Perlan team Jim Payne & Aussie Morgan Sandercock  ;
New world absolute altitude claim. 52,172 feet GPS altitude. 53,955 feet pressure altitude.

They share their happiness with a lot….Thanks to Einar and Steve for the vision, to the fantastic Perlan Project Team for 11 years of hard work, to Dennis and Airbus for believing in us, to Cholo for the tow by the CNVVM Aero Boero 180, to our many friends in Argentina, and to Jackie. You all played a part in making this possible!

See www.PerlanProject.org/blogs altitude record, FL520!

Well done Guy’s!!!Happy chappies!!!!
As shared by the Perlan Project.

AND the TEAM behind it shared by Nate Mcaughlin.


And to finish some great pictures from the airfield of SEPPE in Holland by Martin Smit;  http://www.sierramikephoto.nl/


cheers Ritz.
Cu on Wednesday!