Hottest spring ever in Holland!

Such a pity that the “new normal’ is not the “old normal” ,but what can you do.
At least rules are less strict now, but it shows as well more infected people.

Ken” incognito” in our new normal, with a compulsory mask.
As he said, “it’s either this or not flying” Easy choice.
As shared by Ken.

Last Wednesday when I published my blog ,the Swedes had sensational weather; 3 x a 1000 and all 3 flown from Dala Jarna , which is NW from Borlange, where the WGC was in the past.
Looking at the tracks they flew together in a Nimbus 3/25.5 m., in a Ventus 17.6 m and an LS 6. Some kind of yo-yo ,….must have been good over a big area. Most probably they declared the flights as well.
The 838 km. flight from Per Carlin in an LS 1f, from Arboga was TOP too.
Also Noetsch had a 1000 k. in in a DG 600m/18 m.

SKYSIGHT published this picture about the great weather in Sweden with text:
” Outstanding flights in Sweden today, looks like a declared 1200km flight in a Nimbus 3. “
It was a declared 1000 plus 200 km. so a total of 1.226.8 km.!!!!!!!!

Last Thursday ..Ascension-day….was a “day-off” in parts of Europe. Normally we have a million German guests at our Nord sea beaches and a lot from Belgium as well. BUT,…covid-19 keeps many borders closed.
With the great weather it could have been even more as most have, or take the Friday off as well.
You could see on the OLC that lots of pilots were happy with the weather and the fact that they could “play outside-again”.
2101 Flights on this Thursday including 5 x a 1000. One by Tomas Suchanek from CZ. in his Ventus C 17.6 m.
3 From Germany ….one special in a Nimbus 4 T ; a 1000 Triangle….and Wolfgang flew one from Austria in his Ventus 3.
Worth mentioning as well the 885 km[ 750 triangle] from Bamberg in an LS 4 WL.

Saturday was another awesome soaring- day in Holland.Mark [Leeuwenburgh] even topped the world wide OLC list that day, with 909 km [403 km triangle]
Also junior Maurits had a great day with 811 km in the Discus 2T/18m.
They partly flew together from Hilversum as their club , the Amsterdamse, at Soesterberg, has temporarily no soaring- action due to the breeding from some protected birds.
309 pilot’s added their flight to the OLC list.

Yesterday Finland enjoyed cold clear again, with superb conditions.
I still remember the first day from the Europeans in Rayskala with a 1000 as task , flown by nearly all pilots in open class.
In the evening I saw 3 x a 1000 from Finland. Twice from Rayskala with Antii in Ventus-2cxa 18m FES and Sami [EB 28] and 1 by Sorin from Jamijarvi in an ASH 31 /21 m.
987 km. in an LS 8 T by Kristian Roine was good!!!!! As well as the 750 FAI triangle from Antti[Koskiniemi] in the DISCUS 2!!!!
He tried a national speed record….112.74 km./h.
48 Flights from Finland and I saw flights from a lot of my mates.

The Pentecost weekend looks pretty good so my grand children hope to fly then too.

It is nice to see that my friend Teresa who lives in Sweden flew in Ekeby yesterday, whilst her son visited in his “chopper”.
In this COVID 19 period the helicopters are used as well to transport patients between hospitals, I heard. GOOD ON YOU MIKAEL.
Such a proud moment for a mum.
I remember when my son passed by in his plane over Keiheuvel, when he was still in training to be an airline pilot. Felt very proud then too.

As shared by Teresa.

And to finish this spectacular picture shared by many, but taken by Jan Erik Arud.
The video from this ASK 21 in landing in Norway is on you tube.There you can see lightning and hear THUNDER!!!!

ASK 21 in landing. Courtesy Jan Erik Arud.

And to remind you again that things can go terribly wrong as well, this picture, shared by the Italians, from the glider flown by a 29 year old/young lady.

Last Sunday this DG 200 was badly hurt. The female pilot survived this crash and had only minor injuries. How lucky she was!!!!

CU next week
Cheers Ritz

News from G.I. as promised and great SPRING soaring conditions.

Starting today with the GLIDING INTERNATIONAL, as I found a lot of the reading very interesting!!!
Specially of course the letter from Terry TC from team Australia at the WWGC.
Here are some items which are in more detail in the virtual or paper magazine.
—The SEVENTY 2 ONE adventure. The ETA 72;1 …ultimate soaring in a glider with this huge gliding angle. A co -operation between pilot Uli Schwenk [European Champion in 1998 and 3x vice world champion in NZ in open class and twice in 13.5 m] and Keith Gately, owner of the ETA. I know both pilots pretty well and met them again at the final party from the WWGC in Lake Keepit in the beginning of this year, where we had a long talk!!!
Great business for when you are interested.
By the way, I read that the wingspan equals the span of an Airbus 320.
7 Pages with pictures as well.
—-The Will’s family…John the editor of G.I. found in his “huge” archive a real interesting letter from Dick Georgeson , the first as he calls it, REAL AUTHORITY on wave soaring in the fifties and sixties.Of course at Omarama….so then the Wills family is in too.
—-IGC meeting 2020…about OGN…with of course the tragic circumstances at the WWGC and all new dates for the next comps and much more.
I wrote about it too in the past.
—-The “right of reply”…This is about Terry , the TC from Australia. I can’ t copy the text for you, but it was appalling to read how he “wildly” accuses EVERYBODY [jurors, steward and CD even all 9 TC’s who were really angry when they found out what had happened ,he calls them “emotional”] except himself and Matt, who found out / knew, as he worked on the development of the tracker years earlier, how to use the compulsory tracker, without delay.
And,…to confuse everybody he goes on and on over the OGN,….which had NOTHING to do with it. What can I say more??!!!
He keeps going on with “we did nothing wrong, it was all legal”, as well.
I heard that during one of the first TC meetings the question was put, if the competition tracking system could be made available without the 15 min delay. It was explicitly stated by the CD that the rules required the 15 min. delay and the raw data could not be provided to anyone without that delay.
Maybe he “forgot” the 15 minutes compulsory rule?!
—-The LS 8.…neo, AND the introduction of the FES for this glider.
—-Bureaucracy at it’s very worst…. NO DOUBT ,…it’s about OMARAMA.
—-the 2020 Helli Lasch… from how it started till now. Good to see that not only the South African top pilots but also their juniors had an invitation as well.Must have been great to compete and listen to world champions.
—-Magazine frequency…..from July 2020 the G.I. will be published monthly!!!!10 issues per annum monthly with the exception of December and January. There will be 2 versions printed/posted and digital.
And much more news, as always 62 pages of reading pleasure.


All over Europe ,after the lock downs , glider pilots are lyric about their first flights. They had to look for weeks at great skies but could not “do” something,BUT,… NOW at a lot of places they can and they do/did !!!!
“Just” on a Thursday 415 flights on the OLC and some VERY GOOD ones!!!!
Looking at our skies in Holland I was hoping for some long ones, as there were great clouds and a bit of wind and still cold, some ingredients for nice soaring.
It was !!!!
Holland had 42 flights that day and 5x a 1000 plus!!!! That does n’t happen every spring.
Steven Raimond had a flight of 1.048 km. [622 triangle] from Terlet in his ASG 29 E/18m.
He flew up N into Friesland and continued over the N of Germany. He declared a 750, but was so fast at the first TP that he stayed on for another 250 k.,though the way back, the last 484 km, was at places a bit difficult, he mentioned.
AND,…3 more over 1000 k. flights from Terlet. Thanks to the daily-Gelderse-crew at Terlet ,who made it possible to start with a few at 10 AM.
Alfred Paul Alfers flew 1.119 km. from Teuge in the same glider.
WHAT A DAY was his comment.
He declared a 1.025 km out and return ,
Also a great flight from Hilversum …840 [679 triangle] in an LS 4 by Maurits Hebels in the new LS 4 AU from the Dutch juniors!!
Top glider Top day was his comment!!!
Dutch pilot Paul Wijsman shared this picture below.

Also last Thursday, Germany had 305 pilots flying and 14x a 1000 km, so more happy pilots!!!
A 600 declared FAI triangle from Stade in a mosquito is worth mentioning too.
One of the German top pilots Tassilo Bode flew 929 km [461 triangle] from Wilsche in the Ventus 3 M WITHOUT water!!!
He shared this picture.

courtesy Tassilo Bode

On Friday another TOP DAY in Germany with a few [4] more 1000 k. flights.
A great start of the new season weather-wise. Without corona the world would have looked so different.419 flights in total on the OLC.
That day it was less good here here in Holland, but still a 600 km. FAI triangle for Steven.
On Saturday; In total 1309 flights worldwide,WOW, that IS SOARING again !!!!
4x a 1000 k , we are getting used to it this spring,and one very good 975 km [750 FAI triangle] in an LS 8 by the junior world champion from 2019 Simon Schroeder.

On Sunday ,1628 flights , and a few over or just under 700 km from Hilversum in Holland by Sikko and Mark. Skies looked great and you could “feel ” the thermals here more in the SE of Holland as well.
2 Flights just over 1000 k;what about 1.000.63 km!? by Alexander Mueller in the EB 29 from Bayreuth.
Bernd Goretzki flew 1.008,12 km from Locktow in Ventus 3M .

Sikko in the air last Sunday , as seen and shared by Mark.

On Monday it was Norway with great conditions. We saw already that Sweden and Denmark, as well as Finland enjoyed the cold clear air before.
The only 1000 km. flight on the OLC , that day, was in a Nimbus 4 DM from Elverum Starmoen by Erlend Sorbye.
708 k. from Austria in an 18 m. LS 8 is worth mentioning too.

Yesterday 5 over 800 km. flights from places in Germany!!!


As most comps have been cancelled due to CORONA, also the Dutch Nationals which were supposed to start last Monday -Mai 18, some Dutch had the great idea to set up an E NK; a competition on line on the CONDOR SOARING simulator.
There are 110 Dutch entries and 18 from Belgium.
You can follow the pilots on a live stream
Time schedule; Monday [Mai 18] till Sunday.[Mai 31]
Races at 8 PM European time.
There are 9 competition day’s 6 from the National Gliding Center in Holland, 3 from Le Versoud [Ardennen] ,7 races and 2 AAT’s.
Planning, kind of gliders and participants on


What a great soaring spring week here in parts of Europe. AWESOME.
“Playing” outside, if you are sticking to the rules,…. it’s all possible again,
Stay safe!!!

cheers Ritz

Thumbs up!!!!

—-During the AERO 2019, the General Aviation Safety AWARD was launched by EASA [ European Union Aviation Safety Agency ]
The GA Safety Award recognizes the most safety-beneficial smartphone/tablet application for use by GA pilots. Its aim is to promote development of reliable tools to improve safety, encourage investment in this area, support and enhance visibility of valuable products and further enhance the GA community’s engagement to safety.  “
Last week the 3 winners were announced;
1. 1st Prize – 8,000 €:  Awarded to Sebastian Chaumontet for the Open Glider Network (OGN).  OGN provides a unified tracking platform for gliders, GA aircraft, paragliders, drones and other small airborne objects.  The OGN platform helps to reduce mid-air collision risks by connecting information from a range of iconspicuity devices. It also enables easier provision of weather information directly into the cockpit to help pilots to cope with changing conditions.

2nd Prize – 5,000 €:   Awarded to the PocketFMS Foundation for EasyVFR 4 which provides a complete solution for flight preparation, route planning, and flight navigation.  EasyVFR 4 helps pilots to manage the flight and reduce the risk of mid-air collisions through the provision of planning tools that also enable the identification of different types of airspace and links to relevant NOTAMs.  It also helps pilots to cope with weather by providing weather graphics on the display in the cockpit.  

3rd Prize – 2,000 €:  Awarded to Flytool and their solution that provides both flight management and safety reporting.  Flytool offers a Safety Management solution for the GA Community that supports the management of the flight and also helps to reduce general risks across all accident categories.  It does this by providing a simple and easy occurrence reporting function that allows club managers to review occurrences and share lessons learned with the pilot community.  It also provides other functions such as an electronic logbook and licensing reminders.  

Congratulations to all. Thumps up!!!!!

—–Australia , Tocumwal ;in the early nineties, we had for several years a big family flying with us; the SNOW FAMILY. All of them lovely people.
Flying for them was fun, but later it turned out that this flying, had a great effect on them.
Terry Snow , head of the family, became the big “engine” behind Canberra Airport. Most what you see on the next link is built under supervision of the family.
He also is the owner from a world class equestrian center set on 41ha on the South Coast of NSW.
Now the SNOW FOUNDATION donates 5.5 million dollar to Covid-19 research.
The Canberra Airport owner’s Snow Medical Research Foundation will fund $5.5 million worth of projects to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on the community.
The funding will be carried out to four projects, which include more accurate tracking of the spread of coronavirus, a national bio-bank of samples from symptomatic and asymptomatic cases and research into genetic markers of the virus.
The projects will be a collaboration of two infectious disease research institutes: the Centre of Research Excellence in Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Australian Partnership for Preparedness Research on Infectious Diseases Emergencies
.” source; Canberra Times.
Thumbs up!!!!

—-The weather in the Scandinavian countries is still very good and they have started their flying again.
On Mai 7 already 7 flights from beautiful Rayskala and a total of 39 that day all over Finland. Even up to 670 km. in a DG 800B /18m.from Joensuu.
Sweden had 5 up to 428 km in a Ventus 2CT/18m.

Courtesy; Rayskala News letter 6 2020

—-Soaring in the USA:
One of those more interesting flights is always a goal flight.
Barry Yeager and Dick Andrews launched from Fairbault MN this morning at 10 AM (!)[Mai 8] on a downwind dash. Word is they are aiming for National Multiplace Distance to a Goal record.  “
They flew 1.034 km.
IF,…. Barry & Dick declared a Multiplace Distance to a Goal we may have a new U.S. National Distance Record in the making! “
Dick and I had an amazing flight after a long time of preparation and waiting for the right weather. “
Big job for the 2 girls who picked them up and had to drive all those kilometres!! TOP JOB!!!!

They had great soaring conditions in the Minden area with 2 over 1000 km. wave- flights by Keith Essex in the JS 3 [speed 150 km./h.] and Jim Payne in the Nixus.
Whilst New Castle [USA] had a great “low” flight,…ridge-soaring…;1.059 km. in an LS 6 with a nice speed of 134 km./h.
Yesterday , Daniel Sazhin, I guess still a junior, but of course he soes n’t always stay a junior ,flew 794 km. from Blairstown in an LS 4 ;a 750 FAI triangle .
He called it an excellent soaring day, really really cool!!!
I call it COOL too!!!!

In Holland soaring started last weekend too and quite a lot went for a flight, as we could see on the OGN.
Saturday had nice conditions with 27 dgr. C. here and you could feel the thermals.BUT only 2 added their flight to the OLC.
In Amsterdam Alfred Paul [ASG 29] started with 80 km. blue air, but then he had a nice run in to Germany and came back with 658 km. in the pocket.
A total of 573 pilots worldwide flew that day so soaring is “on” again.
In Switzerland Bert Schmelzer jr. [ASG 29] flew 700 km.
Before on April 25 he flew already 819 km.Quite unexpected as he mentioned in his comment, but those flights always feel good, no better or maybe even the best.
Slightly unexpected: a great day between La Chaux-de-Fonds and Säntis.
Strong climbs, rain showers and overcast, beautiful convergence lines everywhere and 2800m (!) cloudbase in the Swiss Mittelland
. “
Germany had flights from over 800 km. as well.
Last Sunday the weather was much cooler here …a drop of 10 dgr. The change brought some wild weather at places.
Germany even had snow and gusty winds destroying trees and roofs.

Last Monday the cold polar air made several pilots very happy again.
Hans Christian Christensen flew in Denmark from Arnborg, his LS 1-c over 900 km.!!!!He nearly covered the island from N to S.
Many great flights [27] from Denmark.
Germany had last Monday a 1000 k in an ARCUS M [Munster Osnabruck] and Austria as well this time in ASG 32MI from St Johann in Tirol.

Yesterday the weather was even better at some places and more 1000- early- spring- flights were flown.All just over 1000 and all in “fancy” gliders as ARCUS M, [Tobias Welsch] EB 29 [ Alexander Mueller] EB 29 R [Enrique Levin]and Nimbus 4M. [Wilfried Grosskinsky]
11 OVER 900 km. flights as well on a total of 373 flights [at this stage] for the day.
A nice cold and sunny day “,was what Czech pilot Ivan Harasta had to say after his 696 triangle in an ASW 15!!!!
AND, a flight in an LS 4 WL from Nastaetten[Germany] is worthwhile mentioning too.

The new Gliding International is “out” the May June issue. I had some problems reading the digital version, so it has to wait till next week.
Terry Cubley the Aussie TC from the 2020 WGC was allowed to say what he had to say as he thinks he was not heard enough.
BUT,…what is there to be heard ,…when you use a compulsory- competition-tracker without the 15 minute delay …breaking this way a local rule!!!
You can be angry on the IGC as the new rules for OGN are not yet in the annex, you can blame the jurors as they might have not let you say 2 or 3 times what you had to say but only once in face of all TC’ s world wide, BUT…..abusing the system is JUST SO WRONG!!!!! And that happened!!!!! SORRY!!!!!
I am going to investigate the story as I think it’s not totally correct, maybe even totally incorrect.

And to finish a few words about a disaster in Holland yesterday. Lot’s of glider pilots like surfing as well. Yesterday 5 surfers died in the Nord Sea. 2 students from the Delft university and 3 very experienced life guards from the beach in Scheveningen.
Just an evening in the sea ,,body surfing,..with the team before the season starts. TRAGIC!!!!
The official message from the surf association;
Last night May 11, 2020 a drama took place at the Northern Havenhead of Scheveningen. It concerns a group of very experienced watermen (surfers / swimmers), all great lovers of water sports and the sea. They were robbed due to the exceptional circumstances and fate has struck: 5 of them tragically died. We express our sympathy to the relatives and everyone involved. In the surf community in Scheveningen and far beyond there is great defeat, we are in deep mourning for this loss. We would like to express our big thanks to the rescue workers (KNRM, fire brigade, police) who have done everything they can and have constantly searched with man and power. We understand there are many questions. We will let the experts do research in peace in the coming time. Finally, we hope that the privacy of the relatives and involved will be respected and they will be awarded the peace they deserve. “

Take care, the virus seems less, but it knows it’s way now and we remain “just” people, when the sun shines we all run out side.
I think we might be stuck with it for a long ,long time.

cheers Ritz.

Slowly the world opens up again!!

—-Yes…. slowly some borders open and,….. some schools,….some shops ……also hair dressers start again…. an enormous job, Denmark had over 4000 who wanted a haircut on the first day they were open.We still wait here …with long hair!!!!Maybe tonight……there will be a meeting from the government and the corona-advisers.
KLM started flying, with 15 % of the capacity and in Belgium trains and buses drive again. EVERYBODY however needs a face mask.
In Germany as well.
Some glider-pilots fly again.
Quite a lot of Europeans pilots got messages from their NAC how slowly and carefully to open the flying season. Restrictions will be in place at several countries in different way’s.
On the BGA website I found the next news with lo’ts of links;
The COVID19 pandemic and resulting restrictions have resulted in the cessation of gliding operations with a significant impact on clubs and individuals. In due course, clubs and pilots will need to consider issues relating to restarting gliding, including the validity of licences and certificates.
You can find the links at

In Australia there is good news too. The season just finished there, but also in winter you can fly there at places.
Tuesday evening 12 May, 7 pm to 8:30 pm AEST
We propose to schedule a second seminar at a time to better suit our members in Western Australia.
One of the speakers is Professor Sydney Dekker. He is an expert/authority on human factors and system safety..
He lives in Brisbane and is a professor at the university there, as well as at the university of Queensland, [ Honorary Professor of Psychology ],but is Dutch. AND, the far past a good friend from our Dennis.They both started soaring at the same club. Sydney even visited Dennis grave in Tocumwal not long after Dennis died.
The seminar will cover:
0) Sidney Dekker — Introduction
1) Justin Couch — DI safety
2) Chris Thorpe — ground handling incidents and safety
3) Sidney Dekker and Chris Thorpe — currency and flight safety

You must register via your Go Membership account.

—-A lot of good things have happened as well in this corona time. Lots of people helped each other and nurses and doctors worked their way trough day and night to save patients.Applauded in many countries.Many showed their respect in a thousand way’s.

This is a real nice story which brought tears to my eyes. I copied it from Lizzy , as she uses the words I would have said:
Of all the amazing stories that have unfolded during this pandemic, this will certainly be one that stays with me forever …..
A 99 year old army veteran who set out to walk 100 laps of his garden to raise £500 for the NHS before his 100th birthday.
Having captured hearts and minds across the UK (and world), he looks set to smash £30m today!
Happy Birthday Captain Tom

At his old age he was still promoted to Colonel…What a hero!A well deserved RAF Flypast was his as well.
Picture shared by Lizzy.

—–The Fly Past over New York is well worth mentioning too.

The US Air Force Thunderbirds and US Navy Blue Angels conducted a special joint flyover of New York City, Philadelphia, and nearby communities. The mission, part of Operation America Strong, saw both teams launch from the Blue Angels’ home base at NAS Pensacola, fly up to NYC, then return home again at the end of the day. Along the way, the jets were supported by four KC-10 Extenders from JB McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey, an incredible sight of its own. The tankers were easily tracked as they lead the teams north and then orbited over New York while refueling.

—–News from Australia;
Canberra Airport first airport in the country with thermal cameras to help protect against COVID-19 to help us get flying again.
PS: please download the COVIDSafe app and let’s get life back to normal. “
Soaring as well, in the heart of the continent as Robert mentioned;
Great day flying today. Four out of the ten gliders based at Alice Springs were in the air all day! “

Red sand,…must be” the Alice”…Courtesy NT Soaring

——-Great “real” Dutch spring skies , as seen by Robert.

Courtesy Robert Jungblut.

—-Last weekend more pilots took the glider for a ride.
On Saturday 143 mostly in the USA and Brasil. None from Holland,..we had nice skies but also lot’s of showers with hail and at some place a thunderstorm.
On Sunday 312 flights most in Germany , with an 865 km flight [657 FAI triangle] in a Discus 2M/18m. from Worms.
The Kries family [No I do not know them] went out with 2 gliders; Felix in a Discus 2 A with 685 km[565 triangle] and Norbert in a Ventus 3 T, with 721 km [582 triangle]Good day for them.
Other good flights from Austria and an interesting one in a NIXUS by Jim Payne from Minden in the USA. A wave flight from 867 km.

On Monday Germany [5 ] , Hungary [9 ] and Denmark [12 flights] had good polar- weather-circumstances with that pretty cold air.
I know that visibility on such day’s is “huge”.
According to Vladimir Fedorov , there were more great flights from Denmark that day;
Great 718km together with Tom and Mikkel,  in the Arcus, Ole in ASH31 and Stig Øye in Ventus3! From scratching the bellies at 450m to racing at 200km/h at 1700m. Teamwork at the top level to make all come around the islands! Visited Møns Klint (chalk cliffs) for the first time, and crossed the Great Belt yet again “
Nice pictures too.

Courtesy Vladimir Fedorov
courtesy Vladimir Fedorov

Yesterday 16 Danish pilots enjoyed great circumstances. Even up to over 800 km in a 16.6 m. Ventus.
The Finnish mates had a good spring- day yesterday as well. Rayskala had an 800 km flight in an LS 8.
AND YES …you could wait for it a 1000 km……in Germany in an ARCUS M. Only just with 1.0001 . km. [584 FAI triangle]
The LS 4 flight in Germany from 851 km.[630 Fai triangle] from Stadtlohn [not too far from the Dutch border,a TP during several of our comps, we had on the OLC ONE flight in a Stemme!!!] is impressive.
And 866 an ASW 20 from the same field, as impressive.
87 flights only in Germany, it starts again…..

And to finish this nice heart high up in the air here over The Netherlands.

Shared by my niece Maria on our”day of freedom” yesterday.

Stay healthy,..hopefully we can go back soon to the new 1.5 m. normal…..

Cheers Ritz CU next week.