What a splendid weekend!!!

Last weekend was “special”.
First of all of course summer started in this part of the world and winter for my mates down under.
WE had the longest day…so on our way to winter again…and THEY the shortest with in a few months…. longer days and summer again.
Our Scandinavian mates celebrated MIDSUMMER NIGHT.
Do I remember such a night??
YES I do…it’s some kind of magic evening around the fire and as it nearly stays light all night you feel some kind of “lost”.
I spend a few of those nights in either Sweden or Finland and always something special happened. Great memories!!!!
Also very special, at the beginning of this summer 2020 …a solar eclipse was to be seen,…unfortunately not here… .

The weather last Saturday as seen at Terlet by Marloes.

Our summer started really well with …if we still have the fore-casted 31 dgr. C next Sunday …a HEATWAVE!!!
Last Saturday was nice warm but they need 1 week here for a heat wave with temperatures above 25 dgr. C and from them 3 should be over 30. That started yesterday with great clouds over my garden and 28 dgr.C.. So we are in the middle of a heatwave now,…. over 30 here today,… if it is local or for the whole country I tell you next week.
The weather is definitely changing, we have many more sunny day’s than 10 years ago and drought??? We did not even know about it here.
Now they have vineyards in Norway!!!!!

Back to Saturday Tim Kuijpers flew NEARLY a declared 1000 km from Holland in his ASW 20; 999.98 km!!!Mind you over flat-land.
Another young pilot Robin Smit flew 915 km in his LS 4!!
Both flew JWGC’s. Tim was JWGC CHAMPION in 2011 [Musbach] and Robin vice- JWGC champion in 2015.[Narromine]
My Belgian mates flew from Keiheuvel 721 km in LS 8 [Jeroen] and 840km. in Ventus 3E [Tijl].They both flew JWGC’s as well.

Picture courtesy Jeroen Jennen, who flew together with Keiheuvel mate Pieter over Belgium, Germany and Holland. Long live the open borders again.

Sunday was another great day with 5 x a 1000 and
MONDAY was very special, at least for ASH31/21m pilot Hermann Eingang from Austria who manged to fly 1.408 km. from Noetsch.
1.251 km. was flown as well in a DG 600M/18m. !!!!
And 1.099 in an LS 7 WL!!!
Just over the border in Slovenia a few 1000’s as well…. one in a St. Cirrus and 2 in a DG 300!!!!! Well done!!!!
Worldwide 12 new 1000 km. flights .
Skysight shared the picture from the Slovenian situation.

as shared by SkySight

AND YES,…Holland had another 1000 as well now by Alfred Paul from Terlet in his ASG 29 E/18m.
My grandchildren had Sunday a great time at Terlet as well, with nice young mates and instructors at the Gelderse and 3 starts each!!!
A total of around 40 pilots added their flight from Terlet on the OLC.
Dutch weather impression by Frank

Weather on June 20 as seen and shared by Frank Hiemstra.


Fresh news from Matthew Scutter. ” Please welcome the newest member of the #skysight family. “
Congratulations,…..talking about former JWGC pilots ,Matthew is another one ,..he even was world champion at the Narromine JWGC.

Date of birth: 23.6.2020
Name: LL
Width: 15m
Weight: 269.2kg
Type: SZD-56-3 Diana 2-NG FES
Shared by Matthew Scutter’s Gliding


Some different skies in the UK yesterday. VERY interesting and huge lenti !!!

This pic was taken by Stuart Woolger who shared it on an Exmouth Facebook group
as shared by British Gliding Association

That’s it for now. The world slowly opens up more here on this side of the world. Let’s hope no new cases are going to ruin a bit more freedom.
Stay safe
Cheers Ritz

Hot!!!!Looking back at Minden.

Last weekend was HOT, HUMID and WET.
On Sunday, code yellow was in place, but more to the NE of Holland. They had 87 mm. of rain, twice as much as normally in the WHOLE month of June.
The station counted 2500 lightning strikes.
We had this spectacle on Saturday evening.
Germany had it as well and their NW was even hit harder than our NE.

Minden-Tahoe had a few very good flights last week, even with pilots saying “finally a good day”!
Jim [Payne] in the NIXUS flew 1.108 km. with a speed of 144 km./h
Bested two records that my brother, Tom, and I set 24 years and 2 days ago: US two-place open class distance around a triangle and speed around a 1,000 km triangle plus a record that did not exist then: free distance around a triangle. “
Some places had TOP- soaring weather
Friday; Rainer Cronjaeger in his ASH 31/21 m. flew 1.343 km , from Hausen am Albis in Switzerland. TOP!!!!
Saturday; it was Keith Essex again with an awesome flight from Moriarty; 1.228 km. in the JS 3/18 m. It was not good everywhere, due to thunderstorms, but some places were ”  were ripping good, ” as he called it.
His 5th 1000 km. flight from there in June only. The 11th for this season.
Number 12 was flown yesterday.
In Finland Antti flew his 4th 1000 k. for the season from Rayskala.

When I see Minden I think of our stay there, when the pre- worlds were flown in 1990.

Minden Town/Gardnerville were we drove trough to go to the airport.

I told the story before, but it is such a nice story that I am sure you don’t mind I tell it again in this COVID-19 period.
I was TC of 5 Dutch pilots who trained in Minden as preparation of the next WGC over there.
In the end we finished a year later in Uvalde, [ due to the flying-fire -brigade in Minden , which HAD to be able to fly out at ALL times] my first visit to that airfield in hot Texas,with far more good memories as the 2d visit in 2012.

Ready for the day with Mary,Daan, Rob George and in the golf car Rolf who as far as I remember worked there that year.
Bernald “Bernie” Smith and Hannes Linke were in the organisation . Mary and I walk behind them.

Of course we had social events and on a BBQ evening, we met Joe Lodato. He liked my friend, the blond Janet [Hider Smith R.I.P.] from Australia and after a few drinks he invited her and a few of her mates for a flight in his Albatross. We had to be there at 6 in the morning the next day, with food for a pick nick at the wing in the middle of the Lake Tahoe.
Haha we thought,….nice joke!!!
BUT,….we decided with a few to wake up early and to go to the Carson City airport to see what would/could happen,….luckily we did,……yes he was there!!! Joe and his huge amphibian plane.
George turned 41 that day and he was as present [and as airline pilot], allowed to fly as co with Joe behind the “wheel”.

Joe and George.

After a short but very exciting flight we landed at the beautiful lake and were surrounded in a very short time by jet skiers and speed boats who wanted to see what this “weird” bird did at the lake.
We had our pick nick AT the wing at LAKE TAHOE. Never thought of such a thing!!!!

With Daan.?? George and Bruce Brockhoff, me [sitting and holding on as it was a wobbly] and Janet, Joe and Janet’s crew who I met last year again in Lake Keepit.

Flying gliders there was according to my pilots [ Daan, Rob, Sikko, Gerrit and George ] TOP. Why not,…with such a view!

Rob, Daan and Sikko flying together over the Lake. When I remember well Sikko made this great picture.

A few weeks after we had left Minden, Joe called us. His Albatross was for sale, if George maybe was interested?? Unfortunately he was, ,,,pffff…. that beautiful- nail-on-your-death-coffin….it’s just a TOO EXPENSIVE toy.
So it was flown from Carson City [USA] to Tocumwal [Australia} ,has been there for a while and I believe it is still in Tocumwal.
After a flight it arrived back and one of the engines got fire and damaged the plane. They then found some corrosion in one wing too, so it’s in the hangar with one wing off.

The Albatross in Tocumwal. Several, also young pilots ,learned how to fly it. Our tuggie Bones was one of them and he later was chief pilot at Paspaley Pearls flying another flying boat the Mallard.

The lesson of this story,…..be careful at either competition you attend, you might not know with what you arrive home. HAHA……
Won’t talk about some pilots taking home a new lady friend,……
By the way, “we” bought Joe’s CONTINENTAL, with suicide doors as well, that arrived later in Holland…….

The green one is the CONTINENTAL. We took it for a day out to explore the area we went to Truckee as well


That’s it for now.
Soccer has started in some countries,not in Holland, we don’t finish the competition,…. but Italy, Spain, Germany and the UK do.

To finish this picture of the 2 Dutch Junior Gliders the AU and AG. From Cirrus now to LS 4 and LS 4 WL. First time they flew together with in AG Noud Kaay and in AU Simon van den Eijkel. Good luck guy’s.

Finally for the first time flying together, at the airfield of Terlet, but for sure not the last time.

Dutch Junior Gliding Team

Cheers Ritz

Rain feels good too!!!!

After all those hot day’s , a bit of rain felt good too. A whole weekend, …maybe is a bit much , but…..still not enough to get out of the drought-impasse.
My garden certainly looked greener straight away , though I was pretty busy every day to water the plants.
My grand children could not fly last Sunday due to final exams [Dexter] and not the best weather. Though as you can see the Gelderse flies whenever possible.

Courtesy Arjan Vrieze who was instructor for the day.
Same day, same photographer,…other skies, but impressive!!

Look what looks greener too;

YES,….LAKE KEEPIT,….good to see.
Picture shared by an Aussie mate.

Wednesday ,when I published my post , the weather here in this part of Europe was still good.
Antti in Finland flew his 3d 1000 .The fastest of the 3, with 119.5 km./h!! All flown from good old Rayskala.
I felt sorry for another Finish pilot, flying an 18 m. from Hyvinkaa, DG 600; 999.36 km.!!!!!
A total of 16 pilots enjoying flights from this great field surrounded by lakes and trees.
Mathias Schunk flew in his Quintus M from Koenigsberg his 2d 1000 km. A flight he mentioned with all facet’s belonging to soaring.
The USA had some happy 1000 km-pilots as well, with Keith in his JS 3 and Jim Payne in the NIXUS. He mentioned :
Another amazing Minden day…if the 2020 Open & 15 Meter Nationals were in session there would be a lot of happy campers tonight.
Best early escape from Minden (in thermals) that I remember!
Forecast said the last leg might be less than desired but the first two legs were so good we had to go for it…there were a few ragged cu but a thick band of cirrus got us. Was one good climb short of making it home.

Then the rain arrived and the booming weather came to a stand still for a few day’s.
Not in the USA as Keith flew from Moriarty his 8th 1000 for this year. The best one definitely on April 30; 1.314,80 km. Speed….a fabulous 183,63 km../h. This time ;1.145 km. with a speed of 136 km./h.
In fact he flew 3 in a row!!!!!On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. So June 3-4 and 5.

Whilst we were sitting in the rain last Friday some French and UK pilots had pretty good weather. From St Martin, good “old” Gerard Lherm flew 707 km in a Ventus 1 and from Lasham Andy Aveling 737 km. in the ARCUS T. A flight as he called it to bond with this new glider.

Air-cadets awaiting wave flights.
Courtesy Eric Napoléon 

Talking about France,…the Air France Cadets did some wave training with Eric Napoleon flying and great lenties showed up to give them the right feeling.

Wave training..Nice to see they get training in ALL aspects of soaring. Eric Napoléon 


A nice memory-story from Finland by Riku Rissanen
Today 6.6.2020 exactly 45 years from Hans-Werner Grosse´s first 1000km triangle flight in the world. Glider was ASW 17. He took off from Nummela. In the same day, Mikko Asikainen flew worlds first 750km triangle with standard class glider (ASW 15B) from Räyskälä.
They did not have GPS and weather forecasts weren´t like today

Photo from AS webpage

No clue how long we have to wait for the first competitions again, but safety for all.
By the way the Scandinavian countries still have 700/800 km. weather.So do France and Germany.
Yesterday…..804 km. in Sweden in Discus and 832 km. in France in LS 1c.

Today the well known restaurant and bar TAVERNE DE KEI opens it’s doors again.For me just over the border in Belgium, at the airfield of the KEIHEUVEL.
Great place!!!All will be corona proof. More rules,..BUT.. same hospitality.

Normally there are many more chairs and tables but in corona time this looks safe and inviting.
Pictures shared by Brigitte.

Some more news,….bit sad,… though dying at 98 is not too bad….a real female icon;

We are sad to report that Ginny Schweizer died on June 4, 2020, just shy of her 98th birthday. Ginny was a well-known soaring champion in the 40s and wife of Paul A. Schweizer. In recognition of her many accomplishments, she was inducted into the United States Soaring Hall of Fame in 1971.

So…not too long blogs nowadays,…. still no news on the “Aussie girls” so enjoy your week and CU next week.
Cheers Ritz

Still awesome spring weather !

1000 km. flights “fly around your ears” …so many and it is only end of spring. Here in Holland the driest and sunniest ever. A drought… and water restrictions …who would have ever thought that about “wet” Holland.
Germany has the same top weather at least for soaring,..clearly not for farmers and gardens…and last Wednesday Alexander Mueller managed to fly 1.227 km [1.068 km FAI triangle] in his EB 29..top job!!!!
He flew from Bayreuth his home home field , a former WGC venue.
Also a former WGC venue,…Wiener Neustadt where Wolfgang flew a 1000 in his Ventus 3 T.
1.130 from Austria in a JS 3 /18 m.as well….great!!!!!
Jonker Sailplanes mentioned;
Our JS3 customer Martin Stressl flew 1130 km – 12 hours (27.05.2020) from Weiz (Austria) over Lienz to Chur/Arosa in Switzerland and back over Meran/Cortina d’Ampezo (Italy). Well done dear Martin. I hope you enjoyed your first 1000km flight!
His comment:
“My first 1000km flight. Thank you Uys and the whole JS Team for this fantastic toy.

Flugplatz Weiz-Unterfladnitz. in Austria where Martin started.
courtesy Jonker Sailplanes

A 500 FAI triangle in a KA 6 says enough about the weather that day,..the pilot and this good old glider. Flown from Cham Janahof [Germany] ,..to be honest never heard about that field, so Gerhard put in on the map for me/us.
A total of 13 x a 1000 km. among them 2 from the USA where Keith Essex flew from Moriarty, 1.210 km. [ Wave was up to 5,197 MSL /3.136 MSL. ] in a JS 3/18 m. James Lee flew it from Minden in JS 1 /21 m..

Thursday showed a 1000 from Rayskala in Finland by Antti in his Ventus-2cxa 18m FES .It felt like flying in Namibia he mentioned.
James Lee had another top day in his JS 1/21 m. from Minden ,1.175 km.[800 FAI triangle] and mentioned :
Cloudbase was over 21,000 at the end of the day. That’s how good it was. Blue to start, then clouds from Boundary Peak south, east, north, everywhere. Never got low, easy flight, especially going home at the end of the day .”
World wide many happy pilots again.

Friday was good too .
So good that glider pilots can go out again to “play” with the weather elements.
Another 10 x a 1000 km. from Germany, Switzerland and Luxembourg .So a huge area of Europe is pretty good,…… ‘understatement’.

Belgium unexpected opened the borders to Holland again on Saturday and pilots were allowed to fly again, not yet over all borders but still in fabulous weather.
Same, same in Holland where 128 pilots “played” with the clouds. A flight in an LS6/18m resulted in 746 km!!!! Best flight for the day 913 [744 triangle] in an ASW22 BLE,…no doubt a fabulous glider!!!
Some even called it the best day in Holland they could ever remember.

Back at the Keiheuvel[Belgium] again, after what Jeroen called an awesome day certainly in the Ardennes.
Courtesy Jeroen Jennen.

On June 1 the meteorological summer started and summer it is!!!Pfff…it feels like Australia here with 30 dgr.C. yesterday… BUT as you know,…I love it!!!

The Pentecost weekend was great for everything,sunbathing , walking, surfing ,biking, soaring and so many more out-door-sports.
The OLC showed a total of 5.118 flights over 3 day’s worldwide !!!!
On Saturday another 3 x 1000 km. flights from Holland, it’s unreal!!?? Alfred Paul and Mark ,who mostly fly long distances together in each their ASG 29 E, tried “other tasks” for a change.
Mark declared an 715 FAI triangle and flew it with 123 km./h. and added a few extra to make the 1000.
Alfred Paul tried the Eiffel and Sauerland direction Trier;.1005 km.
Dirk Nieuwenhout and Ronald Termaat flew together in the EB 28 from Dirk. They set an 800 km as the weather was good but the expectation was not that good. They even broke off their task, flew 750 k. and as the weather was unreal at the time they were back at Terlet, they “just” added another 250 k to make it a nice 1.012 km.
Robin Smit , back from N.Z. again, flew in his new glider the LS 4 843 km.
I am going a bit on and on, but this weather is so special for Holland and also for Germany. Most Dutch pilots flew far into Germany.

Yesterday was TOP again;no 1000 k in Holland…it’s not every day party time,…but still great flights…and a normal working-day. Tim Kuijpers ,who just won the CONDOR-virtual-E-nationals, flew 600 km in his ASW 20 from his home field Malden and stayed ALL over Holland!!!
Germany showed 2 x a 1000. Austria 1 x.


News from Jonker Sailplanes;
JS2 SL Manufacturing Started on 30.5.2020.
What an exciting day! The long wait is over! The Prototyping team has commenced with the manufacturing of the first JS2 Self Launcher Prototype. The first skin layup has been completed! More to come

as shared by Jonker Sailplanes


The Dutch organized, because the NATIONALS were not allowed to be flown due to CID-19, an E -championship soaring ,which finished on Sunday Mai 31. Top Meteo was involved for the weather and every time there were different tasks for the 2 classes.[ club,standard and 20 m AND 15m,18m.,and open] The best results of the 7 flying days, the worst 2 day’s have been skipped, were used to crown the champion.
In the flapped class Reinier van Rijnberk won with 6896 points, before Erwin de Bruin with 6809 points….51 flew in this class.
2 Belgian pilots [Jeroen Jennen 6898 points and Quinten Hermans 6805 p.] were up in the top, in the non-flapped class, but can’t be Dutch champion.
So Tim Kuijpers won with 6777 points just ahead of Frank Hiemstra with 6668 points……..68 pilots in this class.
Congratulations to all Dutch and Belgian E-pilots!!!
Great show!!!They even “think” about an E-WGC. Why not….

a picture from CONDOR live on youtube.
As shared by https://blog.topmeteo.eu/en/the-dutch-make-a-show-of-their-online-competition


a dedicated, purpose built facility to showcase Tocumwal’s unique and significant military and civilian aviation heritage.
courtesy Tocumwal Aviation Museum

I am very pleased with the picture holding the message that the Aviation Museum will open in 2021.
For several years we had the unique collection of lot’s and lot’s of WW2 heritage in our WW2 hangar. Buses came from Melbourne with people to play in the casino, but a lot also came for a visit to see the unique heritage and to listen to our friend Bob Brown who had the best voice to tell the stories full of passion about the hangar , the people and planes at the airfield.
All who visited us still remember,I am sure!!!
Bob and Gina are the “engines” behind the museum and maybe I travel up to be there for their great moment [Bob is in his 90thies] if this corona world is normal again.

Talking about Tocumwal , it was Ingo’s 80-tiest birthday!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY INGO!!!! Can’t believe he is already 80!!!All the best Ingo. I remember many opportunities we celebrated together, even his wedding.He ALWAYS is a GENTLEMAN and SUCH A GREAT pilot!!!!

Ingo, here together with another old friend Tony Tabart [TT]

Very pleased to hear that my grand children enjoyed their time soaring , last weekend at Terlet. Even with the strong thermals, creating high turbulence.
As said it was the first experience in Holland for Dexter. Indya got solo last season.
After grandma and granddad, mum and dad,… it’s the new generation now flying around. Proud grandma!!!
Tomorrow my granddaughter gets her diploma after finishing 6 years of study at the Sygnus gymnasium. She is “only” 16 years old!!!!!

One of my Aussie mates shared this picture/cartoon from Michael Leunig Appreciation Page

no words needed….I could laugh about it….

Cheers Ritz