Summer is over. Memories…..back to the last day of the year 1989 and the first day’s of 1990 !!

We thought this 2018 -summer was never ending here in Holland, but on Friday , the day the astronomical autumn started, it turned into REAL autumn with wind BFT 9 , heavy rain and… a drop of temperature from 27 on Thursday to 15 on Friday.
Sunday was RAIN and more RAIN over 20 mm.
By the way it was the coldest EVER 23 d of September in history with a temperature of 10.9 dgr C. measured at the official meteo- station of De Bilt.
My friend Art in Canada suffered from the first snow in autumn and wind breaking trees. Ottawa was hit by a tornado and lot’s of houses an trees were ruined!!
My Aussie mates “splash” in early spring weather and fly up to over 600 km.!!!

Several “lucky ones” are looking ahead with great joy to their overseas trips. Most had a great European summer, but  also in the soaring-scene the grass is ” greener ”  on the other site.
It’s a bit like competition soaring ; a feast of recognition from friends with the same interest.
Sportaviation welcomed his first overseas guest already.

So I looked , as there is not a lot happening , in my holiday books and found a few interesting ,old pictures for you.

We are going back to the last day of 1989 in Tocumwal and the first scary day’s from 1990 with the huge fires around the Tocumwal airfield.
Most of you know and remember the day our Dennis crashed with the Scout between Tocumwal and Jerilderie close to Finley. That was on January 3 1988. So this was our first holiday , back to the place we loved,after this tragic event and our family was with 3 now; George and Inge and I.


mother and daughter.                     Stan Witek [RIP] with some Polish friends. Stan was then instructor at Sportavia.

After Dennis died the founder of Sportavia, Bill Riley,  did not want to continue. The story is that he said so at a bar in town. 3 Farmers Don Escott, [RIP]  Jeff Close [RIP] and Stewart Crawford heard this and after thinking about it they bought Sportavia.
Here at the picture Don and his wife Joan and Stewart, who was there only for a short while. Not at the picture but working very hard, Jeff and Margie. It was Don and Jeff  and Margie with CFI Eddie who ran the business.Not to forget David Riley, Peter Menhennitt and Corkey working on the gliders and planes.
Don sold his shares to us in 1995.

And then it was day 1 of 1990 and the party went on till the early morning.
Then disaster struck again !!!!AND,…again on January 3.
A huge fire , one of the biggest in Australia , hit Tocumwal too and the airfield was surrounded by huge fires and smoke. The worst inferno since 1983, ASH Wednesday, when 72 people died in Victoria.
At Tocumwal 6 houses burnt down including the Tocumwal Hotel and 1500 residents and campers at the Murray River were threatened. The fire even “jumped over” the river.
This all happened on January 3 and I wanted to be at the cemetery at 5PM, but was n’t allowed to go. Only the next day I saw why no…..t the fire just moved along the street there.

Scary moments we wanted to leave but that was impossible as the fire surrounded the hangar area.
We were lucky ,…the wind turned and the airfield was saved, not the forest on the East side and many animals died. SAD, very sad!!!!

My friends Gerrit [Kurstjens] and Geoff [Moar] looked at how close the fire reached to Geoff’s house. He kept the area wet by standing on the roof with a hose. The fire brigade was nor really happy with that.
Gerrit took Geoff’s wife and 3 children in the car to safety and went back later.

Shortly after the fires , happier times again, we moved to the NATIONALS in Benalla and caught up with Bertje [Kuypers ] from Holland and Wolfgang [Janowitsch] from Austria. YES with beautiful hair!!!

Bruce [Brockhoff] and George [Schuit] participated as well.

Another weird year full of stress but also fun. A memorable 1989 /1990. Hope you enjoyed the memories.

By the way Benalla was in the news this morning!!! GOOD news. In September 2015 the gliding club of Victoria  started negotiations with the Rural City Council:
“Three 25-year leases have been finalized for the Gliding Club and its hangars, the Aeropark for the accommodation area and the State Gliding Club for the clubhouse.”
Absolutely fabulous news!!!!!!!


—- Competition  in progress this week in Brasil from Bebedouro,September 22-September 29 in open ,[7] racing [10] and club [7] class!! They had great weather with good tasks till now.

60º Campeonato Brasileiro de Voo a Vela


Ready to go .
Courtesy Henrique Navarro.

Open; day 1 started with a 3 hour AAT and Henrique Navarro in the Nimbus 4T won the day with 392 km in time 3.05.1000 points!!! Only 4 from 7 finished!!!
Day 2; 440 km. was a prey for Henrique again ;speed 142 km./h.
Day 3; 485 km. Herique-time  again; 137 km./h.
With 3000 points he leads at this stage overall.

Racing;3 hour AAT and 10 participants . Luis Affonso flew in St Jantar 340 km. in time 3.05 and “got”  the 1000 points. All finished.
Day 2; 357 km. and Itamar Lessa was the next daily winner; speed 129 km./h in ASW 20 B.
Day 3; 405 km and the win from the day earlier tasted after more….Itamar won again now with 116 km./h on the ” clock”. 2836 points after 3 days for Itamar and 2.735 for Affonso. Everything is possible.

Club; 3 hour AAT and 7 pilots started AND finished. Winner was  Sérgio Bassi in and Elfe S4; 261 km. in 3 hours at the dot!!!!
Day 2; 288 km. and,…it’s getting boring but also here the same winner as the day before;Sergio flew around with 98.91 km./h.
Day 3; 2.30 AAT …also for Sergio with 237 km. in time 2.42.
One of the pilots in the club class is Valéria Caselato. She shared this picture and text to the groupe Female Glider Pilots. She flies a St . Libelle and was 6th. on day 1, unfortunately out on day 2 and 3 , but that’s practice as well .

My first experience as a competing pilot in the Brazilian National Gliding Championship: I and my Libelle! My goal is going to Australia 2020… maybe 🙋🏼😃😊”

Not only one lady but 2 and they shared more news from Bebedouro.
This is the first Brazilian championship that counts on the female participation of two competitors, Valéria Caselato and Carolina Foganholo. For 10 years there were no women participating in the national stage of the competition. Another important fact is the participation of the Air Force Academy, with a tugboat, 3 gliders and all its staff. For 17 years the Air Force Academy Sailing Club did not participate in competitions.”

Carolina flies in the KW 1 Class and is 5th from 7 participants. Good on her.



—-Whilst most gliders are on their way to overseas destinations, the S.A gliders just arrived back in time for the Nationals. They start on the 29th and “go” till October 6 with 37 participants in 4 classes from Potchefstroom.

As shared by Oscar.



——-And,…last Monday it was a long “sit ” again for Klaus Ohlmann and co pilot  Marcel Zemauli from France;1.268,43 km from Serres in his Stemme . A goal flight from one site of the Alps Serres in France  to the other Lesce Bled [Slovenia];
We are very happy!!! Weather exactly like in the forecast. We followed the windfield, used some thermals in the Pustervalley and then Karawanken Surf like planned.
Marcel first time from Serres to the end of the Alps, first time 1000 km, first time Austria. Total happiness…….” was the OLC comment.
Starting from Noetsch , to the West of Lesce , but in Austria, a 1000- up -and -down, was flown by Johannes Hausmann from Austria in an 18m. Ventus 2C.
And a bit later a flight from Noetsch was added in a KA 6; 693 km. good on you Dietmar Poll.

CU next week.
Cheers Ritz

Perlan doing a fabulous job!!! SKYSIGHT !!!!

Shared by Matthew;”Low drag low lift configuration.”

——What about 1.749,93 km. with a speed of 206,99 km./h.?????? The Perlan Arcus J raced with this speed from Inyokern with Dennis Tito and Bill Hill.
They are doing an amazing job, those Perlan people!!!!!!!!
One way or another I heard or read that Matthew Scutter…[ JWGC champion in Narromine]  seems to be involved in the Perlan Project, so I checked with him:
My company, skysight, supplies perlan’s weather forecasts. So I came to visit to help out and see how it’s going“.
Not bad, not bad at all.
I get already for a long time, all Perlan-updates and part of the last one was about the flight from Jim and Morgan:
For Flight #53 the objective was envelope expansion and a functional check flight of some recent upgrades performed by the Perlan Team. The goal was to fly faster, not higher, to clear more flutter excitation modeling to the right. (More details below.) Our weather man Walt Rogers was joined by Matthew Scutter, founder of SkySight, to analyze the potential clouds and any possible stratospheric wave.  Lots of clouds and very little chance of lift was the verdict. Perfect for our purposes.”
Yes even written in part of an update by Jacky, Jim’s wife in the Perlan Blog after his flight with Morgan.[]

On September 2 Matthew shared this picture [ SkySight ]  :

Perlan has recentred into the best lift on the SkySight forecasts and has continued climbing through 73,000ft!
You can see the glider position on the “Perlan” region on SkySight, and the height at ”

All his data are from cloud computers via Amazon and Google!!!!!!
Great job!!!!
Of course I googled his business as well and found news on his own site[]  and  on one from the USA;
SkySight is the next generation soaring weather forecast service for Australia & NZ, South Africa, Europe and America. [ Japan as well] It was created by Matthew Scutter of Australia. It works great with SeeYou for PC to help you optimize your cross-country soaring and wave flying.”

  • 5+ days forecast range
  • Half-hourly time steps
  • High resolution forecasts
  • One price for access to all covered regions
  • Route forecasts
  • SkewT forecasts
  • Modern user interface
  • Phone & Tablet friendly


— September 13 was ,especially in the UK ,a top day. Roy [18 m. ASG 29 E] added his 570 k-flight to the BGA ladder and finished with the comment;”Probably the best September day that I have flown! Second leg of task at 146 kph so underset, an easy 500k day starting at noon.”
Also Gary and Andy flew a 563 k in an ARCUS T. Both flights from Lasham.



——Containers for Corowa were packed last weekend and the truck picked them up on Monday. As always it was a smooth and easy going “happening” under supervision of Francesco.
The containers ETA , is on November 11 with the 15th as the first possible flying day.
On February 15 2019 is the last flying day for the season.


Pictures courtesy George Schuit.



—-Of course I support ALL flying with and for women. I noticed a message from Aldo ;
The international women pilots’ meeting FlyDonna2018, hosted by ACAO Varese, has reached “top national TV news“. GREAT PR.
So I had a look at the short video and noticed ENOUGH female pilots and parachutists in Italy. As president of the ACAO Varese, Margo Aquaderni was making good PR as well. She is good for Italian soaring!!!
So is Aldo by the way. And not to forget Marina and Giorgio.


—–Tocumwal is a bit more in the news nowadays.The latest;
“The Tocumwal season has officially started today with Lumpy completing a flight just over 357kms in the LS4.
The day had a max temp of 16 deg with Cu’s around, going to 5000 feet.”
He took a few pictures as well.


The area around Tocumwal with the canola in full yellow bloom and the mighty Murray river with so to see enough water.The bridge is part of the Newell Highway.
Courtesy Lumpy Patterson.

Also Kingaroy had top soaring conditions early in the season and Adam’s dad Chris Woolleyflew 665 [500 FAI triangle] yesterday and from Mareeba not bad either, 455 in a PIK 20 by Geoff Pratt.


———-Bahia Gliding [Brasil] shows a great month of September-soaring with flights up to  819 km.!!!
They proudly shared a picture from the OLC from 2 day’s ago topping the list with 4 flights.
Branco[Stoikovitch] mentioned in his comment;
A complicated day with high clouds and OD. Still a lot of fun flying the Big Bird for the first time this season.”
The big bird is of course the Nimbus 3T/25.5 m.





——-Another extremely good day here in Holland , as well as yesterday! 30 dgr. C in mid September AWESOME!!!!
Cu next week, Off early in the morning, so an early publish of the blog.
cheers Ritz

Tuggies and more!


The weather in Holland on September 7 as seen  and shared by top photographer Arjan Vrieze.


By Arjan.

Still great autumn-soaring conditions in Holland as you can see. That day a flight from 578 km. from Axel in an ASH 26E.
Down under they flew at the same day, from Kingaroy in some nice spring conditions just under and above 300 km. flights.Today even a 500 FAI triangle and a total of 556 in an 18 m.  Ventus 2 CM. by Adam’s dad Chris Woolley.
And from the N of Queensland in Australia a flight from 482 in a PIK 20 on September 10!!
On the 9th Matamata pilots in N.Z. enjoyed flights from 406 km. in DG 300 and 481 k. in JS 1 B.
It’s slowly finishing here and slowly starting there.
By the way Dundee, frequent flyer at Tocumwal is already back home there.

Sportavia Tocumwal, where the SRGC from top pilot and ” true gentleman”, Ingo “lives” ,added several gliders to their fleet, mostly club class gliders. The latest edition, an LS 4 , CQL, only has 1800 hrs since new and flies beautifully, as they say. It will be on line this upcoming season.
This club is on the N side of the airfield.
AND,…Sportaviation Tocumwal from Eddie, on the S side of the field; he is ready for a new season as well.


The new LS 4 from Sportavia and the great looking entrance from Sportaviation.
as shared by Sportavia Tocumwal  and by SportAviation Tocumwal

South Africa and Namibia are ready for a huge new season as well. Sven shared this picture from the Breede Valley [S.A.], where you can still see the last snow , but disappearing soon now it is spring there.

By Sven.

Also Bahia’s Gliding in Brasil is ready with 2 over 800 km. flights yesterday


—–Looking back at the 2018 OLC season, busiest day’s, “we”  started with the first real busy day on Saturday April 14 with 1355 pilots . A day with a 750 k. in a Nimbus 4T  in Germany.
One week later[ April 21] it was 2195, the season was “ON” with 5 over 900 km. flights.
Busy day on Mai 12 with 2590 flights some over 800 k. Topped by Mai 26 with 2816  flights, several over 900 km.
Mai had 7 days, with over 1000 km. flights.
June; busiest day was the last one,…June 30 with 2233 flights with 4 over 1000, even 1.202 km.
July; busiest July 7 with 2019 flights. Many busy days in that month; 14 over 1000.
August; 1884 flights on August 26 and not that many busy day’s; 7 over 1000.
September ; the first day had straight away 1012 flights.

Mind you as most pilots have the weekends off, most of these busy  day’s are Saturday or /and Sunday. Of course the busiest are not automatically the best day’s.


——Most of the tuggies from our Sportavia -past are doing extremely well.
Here is Ashok, with us known as Bones because when he was young and started with us , he was slim, very slim.
In the past I showed you several pictures from his flights and career on flying boats, with Paspaly Pearls, flying from Darwin.
Now he flies , the big machines, in the USA.
Here is his news:
Few of the returning Aussie Fire Fighting Heroes via LA after risking it all saving lives n homes in California wild fires.. 6 weeks of 19 hr days ! …. NSW and QLD Rural and Aviation Fire Dept…. Bless”

With some fellow Aussie mates.
As shared by Bones.


——Some containers are packed at the moment here in Holland ;these  go to Namibia, this upcoming weekend they pack the containers for Corowa. Hopefully for another exciting overseas season.


These ones travel to Namibia. “Container pleasure; packing the first gliders for Namibia; New adventure!”
Shared by Luc Stalman.


—–On September 10, Israel topped the OLC list. Israel???? Yes !!!!! Gaby Tabak, flew in a Twin Astir a distance of 520 km. The speed from 75 km./h was unimportant!!!
Also Rafi Luske and Yehuda Yavets chen flew a nice distance 524 k. ,  from the same airport Beer Sheba Teyma in a 20 m. DG 505 .Good on them.
Also from Megiddo good flights;450 in a PIK 20 B, 447 and 421 km,. in an ASW 24.
Special day !!!!!


——Fly Girls, shared this message AND picture  in “zwevers” ;
Colonel Regina Sabric, call sign “Torch”, of Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania has become the first female Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. Col. Sabric is also commander of the 419th Fighter Wing at Hill AFB in Utah, a unit she assumed command of in April of 2018.  [ theavionist .com] 

Congratulations, Colonel Sabric!!!

Wow what an exciting life!!!

Ready to go. Great job!

The season slows down , so do I ,till it is full active again.
CU next week. Hope hurricane FLORENCE does n’t create TOO much damage on the East Coast of the USA.
Cheers Ritz

Autumn is here! All kind of news!

The meteorological autumn started and here in Holland we got some stats on the 2018 summer.
AND …a real summer it was!!!! But in the night from last Thursday into Friday we had our first night frost -0.3 and that was early for the season.
All summer months this 2018 were hot. 2 Times we had a heat wave!! Average temperature was 19 dgr. C , which is 2 dgr. more than normal.
We had only 100 mm. of rain and normally it should have been 220 mm. So a very dry year. I could see that on my garden ; brown grass instead of green.
Though Holland is just a small country, there was a remarkable difference in rain looking at the N part and the S.;120/160 against 40/70, so that declares my dry yellow garden.
So the hottest summer EVER. Interesting!!!!! BUT,…at least GREAT for some fantastic gliding as well.
Still great weather with up to 27 yesterday!!!!
AND,also good for gliding,…….September 1…….465 km in the N. of Holland by Frank Hiemstra in the St Cirrus and same glider but with Robin Smit more in the S. of Holland 548 km [400 FAI triangle over Holland, Belgium and Germany]!!!!AND,….691 k by Mark Leeuwenburgh in the 18m. ASG 29 !!!



With a lot of pleasure I read the renewed digital version of GLIDING INTERNATIONAL.
I have n’t been a real fan from digital reading ,but now it was easy and pleasant and I read it all!!!
We have spent considerable time updating the format of the Digital version  of Gliding International.
Well,….they did!!!!
What’s to be read in the new 2018 September/October issue volume 11 number 5? Lot’s!!!
The B-version of the ASK 21,…..this well proven 2-seater trainer receives a major upgrading!!! The trainer has been purchased already by the Royal Air Forces from Australia, Portugal and the UK.

–The AS 33; the new 15/18 m. sailplane by Schleicher , the successor of the mighty successful ASG 29!!

–Soaring,..a sport in need of identity….by Australian correspondent John Styles.

–Piper Cub; history about this tug I know from when I just was involved in gliding. I remember Kees[Musters] flying one, a nice green military “toy”.Story written down by Joseph King.

–World Aviation news for glider pilots about 12 pages and one page full of “things with wings”.
A total of 62 pages of interesting reading.
Janice is the one who takes care of the subscriptions.





“Bid deadlines for 10th series FAI Sailplane Grand Prix

10th FAI Sailplane Grand Prix final to be held in Turkey as a participating event in the FAI World Air Games.

The 10th series national events will be held between June 1st 2019 and June 30th 2020. Bids should be sent before the 31st October 2018.

Bids are invited for national events and bid documents are available at.

Bids will be accepted for up to 7 national events in the 10th series, the winning pilots to compete in the final in Turkey September 2020 and participate in the FAI World Air Games




Something different than gliding…riding my bike over the old railway station to Eindhoven. [25 km up and down] One lane in the middle of the most beautiful nature.
We stopped for lunch at the “silicon Valley” from Europe;The HIGH TECH CAMPUS in Eindhoven…all kind of languages and all kind of food. Never knew it was there.
Loved the words from Albert Einstein;” Logic will get you from A to B .Imagination will take you everywhere”.


Pretty busy and beautiful place. Guess all overseas mostly very bright guests will feel happy here.

The lab from Philips is there as well, and then we have a link to soaring as Mr. Frits Philips was the beneficiary from our gliding club the ZES . One of the glider ‘s the KA 7, even had his name on the fuselage.

March 29 1967 …. unfortunately the name of F. Philips is not very visible anymore on this old picture.
with Theo in the glider, Henk and Martin at the canopy and Liesbeth and I looking with freezing cold conditions.AND,….on high heels???!!!Ha Ha,……




After the remarkable epic flight from the Perlan-glider “AIRBUS” the Perlan Project shared this picture. I looked at the video too, AMAZING!!!!
Fasten your seat belts and see what it’s like to soar above 76,000 feet pressure altitude. Check out this raw footage from today’s extraordinary, record-setting flight in the engineless Perlan 2 glider on #AirbusPerlanMission II.”

Heroes,….that’s what they are!!!!


The next news was shared after last Sunday’s flight

RESPECT!!!! Higher and HIGHER !!!
Shared by Soaring Society of America




And,…to finish 2 great pictures shared by Arnaud de Broqueville, flying at the Binder week on day 3, from

Aérodrome de Saint-Gaudens – Montréjeau.


Having fun with Michael in the majestic EB’s!!!


Cu next week, by the way Keith Essex flew yesterday, his 17th over 1000 km. flight this season; 1.106,93 km from Minden, with a speed of 145.70 km./h.
His best speed was on April 11; 174.89 km./h over 1.197 km. also from Minden.
Starting on April 10 and,…it’s back to work now,…season is over for him and a great one it was.

Cheers Ritz