Life changer….

The year 2020 is a real life changer. We all started it happy. I did in Lake Keepit.
Great …., no a fantastic time there, till the moment we heard of the problems with the Aussie team.
As you could read in my last blog, the last words have not been said yet.
Have n’t heard anything new.

Then we thought that those small problems were big, we were all full of it.
NOW we share CORONA!!!!!What a disaster, a real disaster…..That’s a problem.
Loosing family and friends, not be able to see the elderly and doctors and nurses who work so hard that they nearly fall over.
Lock downs, young people who are restricted to their houses and can’t go to school.
People loosing jobs, also friends flying for airlines . Some are at home waiting for better times to come,….they might still hope.

The world will change. I even think the aviation world will be hit worst, still hope not TOO bad, but I do not see me quickly back in Australia, where I lived and worked with so much pleasure for so many years.
There will be a new reality and when we stay healthy and safe we should already be happy.
So let’s stay optimistic and enjoy what we have and can do.Not a lot of soaring, though the weather here has been great for it.

I still noticed some flights on the OLC world wide, though most clubs here are closed and some countries even closed the airspace for soaring.
Best day in April was last Sunday, that is ,..looking at how many flew; 310 world wide.
Even 3 over 1000 km. flights in Germany [2] and Czech Rep.
Specially the Swiss pilots have had some great runs.Just over 1000 km. on April 24.
Yesterday also a 1000 km-ridge-flight in the USA, set as a 750 FAI triangle ,but the weather did not co-operate as low clouds stopped the pilot to reach the TP, but a nice long flight in a Ventus 3. Speed 143 km./h.
Also in the USA…. ,Tony [Condon] flew in his Cirrus nearly 500 km ,after his wife Leah towed him with the CAR , to about 1400 AGL on April 25.
He loves the post frontal weather, he mentioned.
They are so lucky they can fly.
Mind you ,…worldwide, on April 26 in 2015 there were 615 flights and on April 27 last season 505 ,but on Saturday, April 20 1886!!!!!
So showing that a lot of pilots are looking at great skies.
We had yesterday the first rain in 6 weeks,…yes VERY DRY here.

From Claudia’s Gliding Page this great picture
” German gliders are following government guidelines “
courtesy one of Claudia’s German friends Ute.


Here is a mix of some nice pictures to cheer you up too. Don’t know from all who took them, but they are in my file “special pictures”.

2015 FAI Awards Ceremony Rotterdam, The Netherlands 24 September 2015 Photo credit: Frans Guise
Narromine Nationals ..long ago.
Picture courtesy Brutus.
Bones on the wing of the Mallard. One of our tuggies in the past.
Manfred Radius at the airshow cutting the ribbon with the tail. He was a regular guest at Sportavia.[SSC]
The SOARING CAFE team in Uvalde in 2012, with Carol, Bill, Ritz and Rand.
GREAT picture,no words needed.Courtesy Jacek Lewinsky.
Fabulous finishes in the UK.
“Good old “Dick Butler in his CONCORDIA
Courtesy Jacek Lewinsky.
With Bill Riley [RIP] , founder of the SSC ,in front of Eddie’s hangar.
Joey glide..finish in Lake Keepit, when there was WATER IN THE LAKE.
I believe it is Nick from New Zealand.
Finishes at Terlet “Courtesy Arjan Vrieze.
No idea where this was. Sorry,….Maybe Nitra????
Long ago…..Mac and Stan Witek [RIP].
Last but not least SARAH, the winner in Lake Keepit this year when everything was still “normal”.
The VERY last one for this blog,…granddaughter Indya to the left after going solo at Terlet.

CU next week in good health and spirit…Stay safe certainly all friends as old as I am or older…..
Cheers Ritz

Aussie ladies share their opinion and back to 2014…. LESZNO!!!

As I wrote in my last blog the ladies from the Australian team were then planning an appeal, here is a message about their appeal.

A message from the WWGC Australian Team Pilots

The Australian team pilots from the WWGC have not spoken to date about the penalty controversy but are aware that some people want to hear what we have to say. This is a brief statement to explain our position.

One week ago all of the Australian team pilots lodged an appeal via the Air Sports Australian Confederation (ASAC) to the FAI. The appeal documents have been received and we are waiting to learn of the process that the Appeal Panel will follow.

Suffice to say, the International Jury process that took place on the last day of the Competition was non-compliant and failed on the most basic principles of fairness. As a result, the case for the team pilots was not properly examined and the Jury’s decision to impose a points penalty to each pilot was based on factually incorrect information. The team pilots believe that when the full facts are considered that the penalties will be withdrawn and the final results revised accordingly.

The GFA determined not to appeal the penalty, again without all the facts, and advised the Australian and international gliding community of this unilaterally without advising or consulting with the team pilots.

The team Pilots prepared and funded the appeal document themselves and submitted it to FAI with the support of ASAC which is the National Airsport Control (NAC). Further, the GFA Board unanimously agreed less than one month before the closing of the appeal period “to not stand in the way of any separate appeal that the pilots wish to make through the NAC (ASAC)”.

The intention of making this appeal is that the team pilots can access a fair hearing in accordance with due process as stipulated by FAI.  

Jenny Thompson (as spokesperson for the Australian team pilots at the WWGC)

16 April 2020

So,…as far as I heard the TC’s have had to react quickly as well, as the deadline was mid April. They did.
Here is a statement by the BGA on April 21!!!.
The UK’s Royal Aero Club (RAeC), advised by the BGA, and the German Deutscher Aero Club (DAeC), advised by its gliding section, have made a joint appeal to FAI requesting a review of the judgement by the FAI/IGC Jury on a protest submitted by them during the WWGC 2019 at Lake Keepit. The decision to appeal was made to ensure that the FAI tribunal were presented with all the facts related to the use of live tracking during the WWGC.

Following additional rules approved by the FAI/IGC in March and the publication of a report by the Gliding Federation of Australia (GFA), the gliding authorities in the UK and Germany had previously advised that an appeal was not in the best interests of the sport. The subsequent submission of an Australian appeal shortly before the expiration of the appeal deadline despite previously stating they would not appeal has caused this decision to be revisited.

The RAeC and DAeC remain concerned for the integrity of gliding and fair play in competition.  Our joint appeal asks the FAI to uphold the international sporting principle that competing sportspeople are held responsible for the actions of their team and impose the correct and appropriate penalty

Well, I agree that the jury lacked time to do the proper procedures!
There should have been more time for “words and re-words” with the team captains, organizers and juror/steward, as written in the annex.

BUT,…..the real point is that ,…when we allow pilots to enter the by a WWGC given compulsory tracker ,…to get rid of the 15 minute delay,….WITHOUT telling the CD,…… so having a huge advantage on all the other pilots, they are cheating. I can’t make it more friendly than this. The other 9 countries had no clue, from what was going on!!
That had to be punished and it was a fact admitted by the one who still had the ” key ” from the tracker to open it…still blows me how he dared too….and by the Aussie TC, ….so for sure the penalty points should stay like that, as cheating NEVER can be part of a fair competition. More words or re-words ,..that would not have helped.
Then we better stop competition soaring!!!!!
My opinion!!!
I continue to look into this matter, no worries!!!

One of my friends wrote the next sentence;
It’s a shame that the Australians did not decide to draw a line and chose to submit a formal protest which prompted an inevitable response. “
I can only agree with this. NOW, ….It might not only be points, they loose but maybe even worse…..
Let’s wait for the FAI to decide.


Looking back at the 33d WGC at Leszno where I was for a long weekend to feel the WGC spirit of 2014. [26-7/10-8-2014] A short impression from East European tug’s, a nice International fleet of gliders , good weather and a memory on the lady who ‘s name is on my award!!!!


Great new hangar.As shared by Frits.

A few years ago in 2015, the EAC [Eindhovense Aero Club] HAD to leave Eindhoven airport after nearly 100 years. [started Oktober 1932!!!!] Commercial flying was more interesting for the industrial- Eindhoven-area. Nowadays Eindhoven Airport is abase for airlines as Transavia, WizzAir and Ryan Air. Also the Air Force uses the field.
In this Corona time not a lot is happening.
Venlo, about 70 k south,a very “old” club as well, were I started gliding with the ZES in 1967 [the student aeroclub from Eindhoven was guest at Venlo] was so kind to give their mates-without-a-field , a new home to fly from.
The VEZC [Venlo Eindhoven Zweefvlieg Club] was born.
This week they finished the last jobs on the brand new hangar and the special “tarmac” in front of it.

Good luck with this brand new hangar!!!
As shared by Frits Urselmann.


Message from Schempp-Hirth;
We could test fly four new gliders. Thank you Markus Voelter for the nice photos.
We hope all glider pilots will be allowed to fly again soon!
Thank you to all of out team for being engaged, careful and loyal! We could n‘t cope without your continuous support.
Another thank our loyal customers who still collect and pay their new toys even though most of them won’t be allowed to use then (yet)

Pictures courtesy Markus Voelter

Enough for now,..will keep you posted.
It might take a while before we hear the final outcome by the FAI
Though it should not take too much time, as it is all pretty clear.

Not the fittest person in the world but slowly getting there again.
Cheers Ritz

WWGC….2020, not over yet….

—–EASTER, in The Netherlands had 2 “faces”. Easter Sunday was like summer with 25.6 dgr. C , the warmest ever April 12. Easter Monday the temperature dropped to 8 dgr. C with some rain……grrrr…..Just back to fall again….After today it should be better .

Pretty cherry blossom in my back garden. A pity it stays for just ONE week.

—-About the next WWGC held at Husbos,…..
The Women’s World Gliding Championship 2021 (WWGC21) which was to be held at The Gliding Centre at Husbands Bosworth in August 2021 has been postponed until August 2022.
Full details of the WWGC22 will be published in due course.”

——The last one in Lake Keepit is still fresh in many “heads”.
NO DOUBT at all, that Lake Keepit put on a GREAT SHOW. Never met so many enthusiastic volunteers and members of the club, who had to work really hard and not from 9 to 5, but still had time for their guests!!
Also the organization under the leadership of Mandy stood!!!! EVERY DAY…..
That the WWGC finally turned out “difficult” had NOTHING to do with Lake Keepit.
Also not with the organizers ,who were shocked as well and had to take unpopular measurements.
This last WWGC is still “boiling”. Till mid April an appeal is possible to the FAI, about the final results. As you know they changed after the Australian TC and his helper, admitted in a briefing, they had access to the tracking system without the 15 minutes delay.
For that reason the Aussie girls had an advantage over all other girls. They were “punished” with 25 points per day a total of 225 ,costing Jo Davis her title which went to Elena and Lisa Trotter her 3d place.
From the 10 countries flying there, 9 protested against this in their eyes unfair behavior of the Aussie team.NOBODY ELSE HAD THAT INFO!!!!
3 Countries [Germany, the UK and Luxembourg] filed a protest to the IGC which was honored.
Just before Easter I heard that the Australian team has filed an appeal against this punishment with the FAI.
So the international teams could protest too, by their NAC. Their last possibility to do so!!!
Till now there was only that protest to the jury at the end of the WWGC .
Will follow it for you. Though I really feel for the Aussie girls, as I like ALL of them, their problem is that they never can prove anymore why they did so well thanks to the involvement of their TC.
I like Terry but what he did was wrong,….he knows,..he admitted to what they did,….the girls should blame him for bringing them in this terrible situation!!!!
AND, far as I read or heard that has not happened,…WHY????
I don’t know, do they still believe in him …. do they know perhaps more than we do, OR…… are they not allowed to talk????

A few memories from not so long ago at Lake Keepit!!!! To never forget the joy there was as well.

4 of the 9 Aussie girls in good spirit!!!Jenny,Lisa [Trotter] and Lisa [Turner] and Jo.
And,…the 3 girls from the USA….Sarah,Kathryn and Sylvia.
The Italian ladies Elena and Margot and TC Ricardo.
CD Mandy. …Chief steward Frouwke and deputy CD Anita.
The very successful French team, a real close team as well. Pilots, crew and TC.

—–The gliders from Corowa arrived back in Holland last week. All in top condition,..what do you want more. A season to fly….maybe??????

—–Today the Dutch Government talks about the aviation in Holland. How to continue after corona/great losses.
Very interesting and a bit scary, as lot’s of my friends fly KLM and Transavia.
I just read that Qantas “culls its flying fleet to 3 aircraft. A drastic downsizing”!!Pfff…….Not to think of all those people who have lost their job’s already!!!!! Bloody virus!!!!!
Even worse…..about 125.000 people died world wide and it ain’t not over yet.

Not much to say today. Stay SAFE!!!
CU next week again.

Cheers Ritz

Time to get back in history!HAPPY EASTER !!!!

All pilots from the WGC in 1991!!! In 2023 the WGC will be back in Uvalde.
I was there in 1991 and 2012.

Yes,…. 2 times I had the pleasure and honor to share with “my” Dutch team the WGC in Uvalde [Texas].So I grabbed my books again to see how we spend our time over there.

The Dutch team with me and Dick Reparon[RIP] , Baer, Gerrit and Sikko, Daan with crew Hans [Disma] , Jan [ RIP…crew from Gerrit] Christianne [RIP, partner and crew from Baer].
And the airport from above in 1991.

We loved the cartoons from Alf from Sweden.

By Alf Ingeson Thor ,TC from Sweden.
Gretha Musters who wanted to be part of this WGC, after her husband Kees [WGC champion in Hobbs New Mexico] died in 1987, with Hans Disma, crew and the Dutch table with Daan Pare, Baer Selen [WGC champion that year] Sikko Vermeer and Gerrit Kurstjens.
I am sitting at the table in front of them, …my neighbor…. Christopher Davison, who I later met again as Chris ,flying with us in Tocumwal at the SSC. By the way,..all of them are still my friends. Chris lives in Monaco and Corowa nowadays and still flies from Tocumwal.

Lot’s of coverage in several papers!!!!
With Ian…Nimbus …Newman, to the right [Aussie team] and Adrian Schuit, brother in law.

The young ones had a lot of fun as well and friendships -for- life started, some growing so strong that they still exist.

Young ones from the UK,[ Sally plus 2] ] from Australia Brett and New Zealand Jamie and my daughter Inge.
We will not forget him , promised!!!
The Prize giving and champions in standard class.
With “our” Baer Selen on spot 1 , Janusz Trzeciak from Poland on 2 and Eric Moser from the USA on 3.
Great weather,..very hot though,..great company,..a great team and great hosts there in UVALDE in 1991.
And, …some statistics after 12 day’s of soaring.

News from NOW!!!!
Not good! But ,…understandable!!!
My Friends,
I have just received the following notice from the organizers of the WGC in Stendal:
Dear Eric,thank you for the swift arrangement with the Hungarian Soaring Association.After receiving your email earlier today, we aligned in the organizing team and made the decision to move the 36th WGC at Stendal from 2020 to 2021. We believe that it is highly unlikely that the Corona Crisis will settle down in a timeframe that allows competitors to make all the necessary arrangements. Delaying the decision to move until May may also cause further financial damage to the teams.In addition to that decision, we propose the following schedule for the 36th WGC 2021 at Stendal:- Beginning of training: July 18th, 2021- Opening ceremony: July 25th- Closing ceremony and prize giving: August 8th.
The Hungarian Soaring Association (HSA), the organizers of the 37th FAI World Gliding Championships in Hungary, were incredibly understanding of the world wide COVID-19 situation and its impact on the 2020 competitions.  They have swiftly acted and graciously agreed to move their WGC to 2022.  On behalf of everyone at IGC, I wish to thank HSA for this decision. 
I hope you, your family and colleagues are all safe and healthy in these difficult times,
Eric Mozer
IGC – President

I presume the WGC for the small ships …..36th WGC at Châlons-en-Champagne is not yet postponed …. August is still far away. ..123 day’s!!!!Though this is what I received this morning;
Dear Eric,
We read carefully your letter received on 30 March 2020 and we thank you for the new opportunities proposed by IGC bureau.
Health situation is still degrading in Europe and we don’t know when the epidemic peak will be reached. Meanwhile, we received many informations from pilots and volunteers regarding their lack of availability next summer. So, we are now considering that conditions won’t be gathered to organize a good WGC in 2020.
Hence, as proposed in your letter,
we actually wish to postpone the WGC in the Club, Standard and 15m classes to the summer of 2021. It will allow us to organize a successful WGC in the french flatland.
We wish you, and all the IGC members, a safe and healthy period home.
Yours sincerely,
Jean-Emile ROUAU

More “bad ,…but also understandable news, now from the FAI SGP.
Due to the uncertainty of future travel restrictions and national restrictions affecting gliding the following changes are being made to the 2020 SGP events schedule. “
The next one should be in Russia in Usman between August 25 and September 1 2020.
That means that several GP’s have been scrubbed.
France [Rion-des-Landes] has reacted with a date in 2021;
The SGP France 2020 is postponed to May 2021 (contest days 1 to 8 May)
Sweden [Boras] postponed as well;
” The decision has now been made. Due to the spread of the covid-19 virus, we postpone SGP in Borås to 9-15 May 2021.”
Italy [ Varese]
“Dear pilots. It is with much regret that we inform you that due to the global situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the QGP Italy 2020 is postponed to June 2021 same week (June 19th to June 25th).
USA [ BERMUDA HIGH].              
The 2020 event is still on schedule with a confirmation decision on the April 10th. If it is not possible to hold the contest in May 2020 there will be a postponement to September 2020.

20th edition of Pribina Cup is postponed to 2021.

FOR YOU; Holland is THE country from flowers in all varieties specially tulips!!

A beautiful tulip from my garden for ALL OF YOU, as well.
Stay healthy!!!
And,…sport-minding people like I am,…I think we best forget the year 2020 and try to stay safe. That might be already difficult enough.
Cheers Ritz

For all of you!!!!

The influence from CORONA on soaring and the aviation world!

Our flying “mates”.
Courtesy Arjan Vrieze

APRIL 1 2020….no time for jokes!!
Whilst the world still tries to deal and cope with COVID-19, the first signs of a new crises are mentioned already.
After we lost too many people worldwide and we are till loosing them mostly in the USA now as far as we know, too many got sick with lung problems, now a lot lost their jobs, hence [temporarily] no money to live or for gliding anymore.
SURVIVING is the word!!!!
For some “no worries” for others the loss of a way to relax in these difficult times.
Clubs are closed at the moment, but try to help where possible by asking no money or postponing the membership with 6 months as there is no soaring now.

Great picture by ARJAN VRIEZE.
They still can fly!!!! Arjan Vrieze

In several countries the spring weather however, looks very promising for the summer flying,…indeed when flying is on!!!
I showed you earlier some pictures from Holland and Belgium in spring time here is Australia in autumn time, in the “heart of the continent” Alice Springs.

On the ground. All gliding in Alice Springs cancelled.
Courtesy Robert Smits.


More bad than good news nowadays ,so here is as it seems some REAL good news from OMARAMA;
Update from Glide Omarama

Glide Omarama is now shuttered down and isolated and the unfortunate glitch with CAA is behind us. The plan is that towing and training services at Omarama will reopen in September, subject of course to lockdowns and a degree of economic recovery.

Luckily Glide Om has no debt so the business can survive a long period of inactivity provided we still have some instructors and tow pilots available.

In the meantime, all the best to our friends and gliding community in these difficult times. We hope to see many of you again at Omarama next season! Thank you for your support. Please follow us on Facebook for updates
Glide Omarama

Glide Omarama


Related to COVID-19 is the EARLY retirement of the 747 in both The Netherlands and Australia.
The Qantas Boeing 747 ‘Queen of the Skies’ journey comes to an end today. After 5 decades flying for the ‘Spirit of Australia’, the final flight took place today as VH-OEE landing into Sydney Airport on 28th March 2020. Qantas 747 retirement 747 final flight Qantas Jumbo Jet. “
A few of my Aussie mates flew this type for years!!!
In Holland was last Sunday the forced last flight from the 747. After nearly 50 years; 49 to be accurate.
Also one year earlier than foreseen. The freight ones continue flying.
Several “spotters” came to look and say good bye ,but were send away because of the virus.
By the way, KLM replaces them for the more economical , twin engine 777 and the DREAMLINER 787.

—–To show you how bad this virus is for the aviation world , here some pictures shared by Casey. No more words needed!!!!

TOO sad for words…who would have EVER thought this could happen in our modern world????

Some of my friends are hit HARD!!!! I share some of the heart breaking news they shared.
Hard to imagine that only a few weeks ago I thought this was all a storm in a teacup. After 8 years with the same employer, I find myself looking for work at a time where a lot of people are doing the same thing.”

Last Wednesday the Virgin CEO told us most Virgin pilots would be stood down temporarily but all Tiger pilots would be stood down permanently ie made redundant. He said that all aircraft will remain – no fleet reduction. TigerAir as an airline will fly again and even the TigerAir cabin crew will remain. BUT when flying starts he will use Virgin pilots to fly the aircraft.  “

To those that are in lockdown, be patient. To those that are not, keep your distance.
Hopefully we can soar again soon

That’s it for now, try to enjoy life …I try too. But above all….stay safe!!!!

Cheers Ritz