Good spring conditions! State comps in Lake Keepit! G.I.

For some pilots, their heart beats faster when they only think of Namibia. We all know that Namibia is not only Bitterwasser, or Pokweni or Kiripotib, but over the last years Veronica makes hearts beating faster as well.
The container arrived there and from November 8 onward you can find flights.
Looking at the OLC some great flights have been flown already by Bruno [Gantenbrink] and Dieter Prang on November 12. Indeed in great gliders as ETA and ASH 31 /21m, but still…over 1000 km. and nearly a 1000 triangle. Those longer 1000 km flights for sure will come.
On you can find more info over the next weeks.

Some of my friends have arrived in Worcester, a place they love and return to, every year. 2 Flights over 700 k in the ARCUS M since November 9, by Marcus and one of the German top girls Stefanie Muehl, are promising for the season there.
And Orient had already nearly 700 km. flights as well.

Down under in Kingaroy flights from 878 km. by David Jansen on November 11 in the ARCUS T , though , as he shared, smoke spoiled the last 100 km. and 743 km by Adam in the Ventus 2CM/18m on November 15.
It’s great to see that Chris Hostettler , as you know I call him Swiss Chris, moved, now he is retired temperately from Tocumwal to the East “KINGAROY,….What a great place to fly over winter and in spring especially this year. Great club, members and food 😉. I sure will move to QLD over winter again next year. So far statistics say 16 flights, 60 hours and 6000km. Never had a spring like that in Australia – but partially that’s the benefit of retired life“.

Tocumwal hopes to be active as always again asap;
Here is a message from Tocumwal Soaring Centre
“There is still uncertainty around if and when all the borders will be open again.We are still working to ensure all our friends and customers will be looked after and be able to continue to fly with us at TSC once normality returns. Our LS4 GNP is in the final stages of its complete refinish and is looking awesome. The recovering of MPG ( super tug Callair ) is almost complete as well. We have added yet another glider to our fleet during these quite times and caters to our Schempp-Hirth fans. Along with our 4 x LS4’s and Cirrus in standard class, we can now also offer a Discus B. All of our gliders can also carry water if your looking to add some speed to your tasks.”

the new Discus….picture is definitely NOT in Toc.
! as shared by Tocumwal Soaring Centre.



The NSW State comps started last Sunday in good old LAKE KEEPIT!!!
They continue till the 21 with a presentation dinner that evening.
Wonder if that is in the club house, where I had my little but perfect room during the WWGC.
22 Pilots will “fight” for the highest honor, in 2 classes,11 in sports [club, standard, 15m.] and 18m/open. [12] Among them Brad Edwards, Bruce Taylor, Mac, Alan Barnes and some of the new friends, local pilots, I made there, as Chris and Lindy Bowman, Tim, Jay, Nick, Jacques , Dave and more !!!
Presentation of scores will be amended to two groups only: ‘Sports’ (Club/Std/15) and ’18m/Open’. The final awards for the 5 class-based winners and state champions won’t be affected.
Casey is the “organizer, scorer and “social media dude” operating from Hong Kong where he lives and has to stay due to COVID-19.Mac flies and keeps an eye on the weather. Bruce flies and is task setter.

Task 1 had a 339 km set task and was won by Bruce [Taylor] with a speed of 123 km./h. flying the 18m ASG 29 .Followed by his mate Brad Edwards in the JS 3 and when Brad is there, there is music and singing as well.
Day 1 winners;

Allan and Paul from sports class,…. Bruce from open.
Allan Barnes, Paul Dickson & Bruce Taylor (L to R) sporting the first bottles of liquid celebration and engraved glassware to go out the door at NSWSC20.”

Task 2 was a good one, much better than day 1 .
A trough with high cloud-base was forecast to the NW so a 4hr AAT was set. Windy and started in the blue, got to the clouds NW of Narrabri and had a great run West then North to the top of the circle. The climbs were much less strong on the way south, at least there was a tailwind. It looked like to door might shut with rain and heavy OD before I got home but got a climb onto final glide at Mt Kaputar. Worth the price of entry!” as said by Matthew Atkinson flying his 18m Ventus 2C.
Some 12 kn. thermals were mentioned up till 12.000 not bad!!!
Daily winner Bruce [Taylor] with 616 km. in time 4.33.
Task 3 ,with a set task of 253 km was won by Mac; 132.29 km./h, BUT Brad and Bruce were on his tail; 132.14 km./h and 129.51 km./h.
Casey mentioned ;”Weatherman Mac Ichikawa (1M) gave regular updates to the grid as temperatures climbed and cloud departed the tasking area.  He reported conditions for the most part following the forecast.”
Task 4, today, was indeed on a great soaring day!!
501 Km. was set and Mac’s combined skills in both disciplines, fabulous soaring and knowledge of weather, “translated” in a speed of 142 km./h, in his JS 3 !!!!So preliminary another day-win!!!
Bruce was runner up with 139 km./h .He still tops the overall scores with 3.429 points after 4 good soaring days.
Mac is runner up with 3.244 p.

Clouds popping up on day 4!!!

Sports class;
Task 1 was a prey for Allan [Barnes] He flew 318 km during the 3 hour AAT in time 3.03; 104 km./h.
He was 10 km./h. faster than runner up Kel Burgess in a Discus 2.[94 km./h over286 km.]
Task 2 had a 3.30 AAT and AGAIN Allan was the best in his LS 8. ;361 km in time 3.32.
Kimberly , who did the social media during the WWGC , flew her PEGASE to a nice 4th spot.
Task 3, 235 km and as they are used to see by now on spot 1 was Allan, with 112 km./h, BUT the runner up was interesting; Chris Bowman in his LS 8.
He departed half an hour earlier [14.23 for 14.01], and flew around with just over 100 km./h
During the WWGC he was busy as a bee with organizing nearly everything not in the least the total financials. When necessary HE took Gisela, Frouwke and me to the big hall where dinner was served every day for the staff.
So it pleases me now to see that he was runner up. Casey was pleased as well;
“Chris Bowman (PO) had a stellar day and perhaps achieving a personal best at 100.6kph, a mere 134 pts behind Sports day winner Allan Barnes (S7).  Chris reported: “It was a good day with fantastic thermals.  8-10kts repetitively with the only complaint being large areas of equivalent sink.  The sky was completely blue but no matter what we did, we kept managing to blunder into strong climbs.  I tracked along the edge of the Pilliga scrub, looking down on others more cocky than I that ventured deeper into that unlandable terrain.  It was a great day and tomorrow promises to be even better!
OH,…I remember all those names so well; Pilliga,Pine Ridge Narrabri…

Sometimes we had dinner in the club house, Chris with the blue pullover is sitting to the left.

Task 4 with 382 km. was NOT won by Allan, but by Paul Dickson in the LS 3; 107.95 km./h. Runner up was David Turner in an ASW 27 and Allan in his LS 8 was 3d. No problems for his overall scores; 3.423 points for 2.990 from Paul. So a nice comfortable lead!!!
As they flew today the scores are preliminary.

The next couple of days you can follow the scores on


Happy 100th birthday Qantas. Times are tough, but don’t forget you’ve been an amazing part of so many people’s lives, and will do so again in the near future! Thinking particularly of all the Qantas and Aussie tourism staff doing it tough at the moment.” written by one of my Aussie mates.
I hope this COVID-19 is over soon and the world including aviation turns back to normal.

as shared by Canberra Airport


Talking about history here is a Dutch story, with a 54th birthday.
54 years ago TRANSAVIA, the company where George flew and Inge still flies, flew for the first time to Naples in Italy on November 16.
This week the HV 6411 flew again to Naples, 54 years later!!!!
Transavia in nowadays a 100% daughter of KLM.

John Block to the left was the CEO.
as shared by Transavia


The NEW November Gliding International, the magazine I have written for , for several years because I found it a magazine with all kind of interesting news , not only technical also empathic, had a beautiful Polish cover. A photo-montage from a glider and Leszno…..THE place to be in Poland for soaring.
Further on news on the
—–LS 8 E- neo with FES; High performance paired with a lot of security.
Lot’s of data and pictures.
Good to see that Holger Back is the CEO there. I remember how he, after the WGC in Benalla in 1987 ,flew his first 1000 km from Tocumwal.
—–“Fly like a girl”…a film which is more than a film. Most inspiring!!
7.9 % of the total pilot population in the USA is female! An interview with Abbie, Abigail Harrison, an astronaut at the Kennedy Space Centre Visitors center.
—–The Purdue University developed a new white paint that can reflect over 95 % of sunlight.
—–a beautiful story about the epic flight from Hanna Reitsch in 1937 from Salzburg to Pieve di Cadore. An excerpt from her book “Fliegen mein Leben” translated by Aldo [Cernezzi].
—-great pictures in the PHOTO ALBUM.
—–The Wilga 32… tow plane. When I saw a WILGA for the first time I was truly amazed to see how high “it stands on it’s legs”.
—-How do you judge when it is better to stay at the ground?
——Could your canopy be the source of power for your motor glider?!
—–The federation of aeronautical sports of Russia and COVID -19.
An interview with Sergey Ananov, President of the Russian Federation of Aeronautical Sports.
—-Flying away – The experience of flying away from home by George Frost and where of all paces??? In Iran.
—-And lots of International Aviation news for glider pilots AND of course “things with wings”.
For subscriptions;

That’s it for now.
Next Wednesday the final results from the Queensland State comps in LAKE KEEPIT and what’s more interesting for all of us.
By the way, this morning I saw on the news the fires not far from Reno and south of it. When we were in Minden Nevada, for the pre worlds, there was one problem. Finishes HAD to be stopped when the fire bombers had to go out. We all understood why,…but that’s the main reason the WGC was moved to Uvalde in Texas.
Seeing those fires now I even understand better!!!
Cheers Ritz

Enough happening !Romain Fhal..AEROBATICS!!

——-Yes a lot of things are happening in this world. I followed with interest the USA elections,…Will keep my mouth shut,…but maybe I can confess that I do not understand , the voting from a lot …nearly half….of the people in the USA.
Hope this soap ends GOOD …NOT for the “red or blues” but, for the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.


Geen beschrijving beschikbaar.
Courtesy Romain.

….One of my FB mates celebrated his birthday and of course my annual congratulations were send to him. I do not know Romain personally but I am impressed with the fabulous results in the year 2020 .
This is what I noticed;
END! of the 2020 special season. 8 medals 4 gold 4 silver and 2 cups in unlimited aerobatics power and glider😊🥇🥈🏆. This week end will be the CIVA meeting and soon we will have news about the next season! now It is time for winter training camps.”

Geen beschrijving beschikbaar.
in a power plane and a glider as shared by Romain
Geen beschrijving beschikbaar.

CONGRATULATIONS Romain,.. so,…I got anxious to “see” the man behind the medals and decided to contact him for a bit more personal news.
I was very pleased to see that Romain reacted straight away ,so NOW we All know more about him .
“”I’m French and Russian .
For more then 10 years I was in the French team.
And won 6 national championships in different categories and was one time European champion per team, two times World champion per team and vice world aerobatics champion in 2014 and winner of 6 titles of world champion in unknown programs.
Unfortunately due covid -19 there were no international championships this year , so he only flew 2 National championships….
During the first, he was 2nd in unlimited Extra330LX. And the second was the Russian gliding national championship unlimited category and he won the two unknown and the championship in Swift S1.

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both pictures shared by Romain.
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 123593013_2804200846566215_2388722051439876149_o.jpg

After several requests from international competitors he became aerobatics coach (Romain FHAL AEROBATICS) in 2012. 
 “Since then I coach pilots on international level from intermediate to unlimited and organize from January to December training camps in Spain (winter time ) and in Hungary (spring and summer time)”
 In 2019 he and his partner, who is a coach as well, created a company called (FVA) and they bought 2× Extra 330SC in order to provide high performance training to their students.
From time to time he also coaches pilots in their own aircraft and when necessary he flies with them in two seater planes. 
I live in Moscow and fly and coach with my wife and our students here in Russia also. “
What a fabulous job and lifestyle …and to be able to share this with your wife …just amazing and very challenging!!!!
In between when he feels like “just flying” he hops in a Nimbus 4 as well.
He also told me that his first job was instructor in the French military air force, nowadays he wins all these prizes with one of the most difficult disciplines in our aviation world….aerobatics !!!!!CHAPEAU!!!!
For more info you can reach him at

Geen beschrijving beschikbaar.
with his wife Svetlana who is world champion aerobatics as well..
, shared by Romain.

——Tocumwal gets a fence around the airfield. I wrote about it last week. Here is a picture .
Building the New Kangaroo proof fence

t’s going to be a mighty looooong fence. Work is well underway on the perimeter fence around the Tocumwal Aerodrome.

—–More Tocumwal-news, as I was touched and very pleased to see how Eddie and Bones trimmed the oleander at Dennis grave. With this corona we can’t go there and to have the feeling that more people care ,… feels tremendously GOOD. For that reason, I share these pictures .

Geen beschrijving beschikbaar.
Before the trim from the oleander. Still withy the flowers from Bones…
Geen beschrijving beschikbaar.
“It looks brutal,” ….they said, but a good trim is the best thing happening for an oleander.
And they cleaned up as well!!!
Geen beschrijving beschikbaar.
A HUGE THANK YOU to Bones and Eddie!!!!! You remember the song…”That’s were friend are for”. I can sing it all day!

——–Whilst living in Australia, we were always looking out for the new calendar from the Bureau of Meteorology . It’s an excellent weather show as seen by different people who send their pictures to them.
The Bureau of Meteorology has revealed the winning photographs selected for next year’s 2021 Australian Weather Calendar. Check out these incredible shots of the Land Down Under!
I have selected 2;

FEBRUARY…..Image: Dust storm approaching Mildura, Victoria – Robert Klarich
Both shared by 7NEWS Brisbane
Image: Lightning over Gulf St Vincent and Happy Valley Reservoir, Adelaide, South Australia – Jody Shadgett picture for April

——-What about building your own plane ???? HP-24 Kit Sailplane can help.

Sneak preview, on November 3,of the next HP kit. Available as either sustainer or self-launch, both electric .
Compared to HP-24, it has a new cranked wing planform, a new nose profile, and of course it is only available as self-launch or sustainer.”

—–Great news from Omarama.
Alaskan-born Keith Essex has gone to great lengths to return to Omarama and to return gliders to its skies. “Kiwi” Keith, as he is known, was in Alaska when fears about the Covid-19 spread began to limit travel and close borders. Nonetheless, he decided to come back to New Zealand with two tow planes, a Dynamic and a Carbon Cub, complete the quarantine programme and set up a new towing operation, Southern Soaring Ltd. “I’ve been in aviation my whole life.” From the mid-80s, Keith owned a fixed wing and helicopter operation in Alaska.He began living in New Zealand about six years ago and gained residency.He sold the helicopter business two years ago.“I still work there, but at a lower level, to give me more time to help on the airfield here.” The new tow planes were the way of the future. “They’re more modern, more fuel efficient, they drink a 1/3 less fuel and are extremely quiet.”They have been built to meet stringent overseas noise abatement requirements. “Since we’re starting from scratch, we’re being conscious about the way we do things,” Keith said. Keith’s planes have been employed since mid-October. “We’re expecting [the activity at the airfield] will be similar to that of years past with the exception of the overseas tourists.” However, he was expecting more domestic travellers to visit.“Kiwis are movers.”
A lot of North Islanders are planning to come here who haven’t been here in years.”

Picture supplied to the Omarama Gazette

——News from Schempp-Hirth about their BEAUTIFUL ARCUS,…loved by many!!!
The new updated Arcus-M and Arcus-T type are now fully EASA certified.MTOW updated to 850kg, new thinner elevator, new wingtips, electrical retraction gear with redundancy, new ILEC engine controller on the “M” with fully readable information, new interior with not only good looking enhancement… BIG THUMBS UP to our engineer team and to the builder of each part of this amazing sailplane!!! Share your stories of adventures around the world with Arcus!”

As shared by Schempp-Hirth

No comps, not a lot of gliding, still no news about the appeal from the WWGC, but the “on-the-site’ news is interesting too.

To finish a fabulous picture shared by the British Gliding Association

For me and many others, they are a memory , symbol and tribute to fallen soldiers ,..not only from WW 1. Last Sunday was Remembrance Sunday in the UK and Common Wealth countries. In Australia we remembered the day as well.

By the way Berlin has a brand new airfield…finally… interesting to read was, that “our” glider pilot and Air France captain, Christophe Ruch flew the last plane from the old airfield TEGEL.

courtesy Air Plus News

CU next week, with news from the latest G.I.
Cheers Ritz

What about….

LATEST news from November 2; The 2020/21 season can start!!!
All administrative work is done.
Namibia airspace is defined and flyable.
The Botswana airspace is free for gliding.
The extension as ARO (Aviation Recreation Organisation) is made.
The overflight permissions are there.
Now “only” our pilots and our gliders have to arrive safely.
The container with the gliders is today (02.11.2020) on the north coast of Spain.”
So one container will be still there. Good news, after their very early news, on September 5, when they mentioned ” This year – due to the Covid 19 pandemic – there will be no gliding season in Bitterwasser!!.
Later [September 21] they hoped for a short season, so it looks that is going to happen!!!Good on them!!!When it can be done safe,…why not!!!
On September 21 they also mentioned;
And this is what the conditions for staying in Namibia look like now: Anyone who enters the country with a negative corona test which is not older than 72 hours can travel to Bitterwasser without quarantine. Another test is necessary after five days. If the result is negative, the country may be freely traveled

Image may contain: sky, ocean, outdoors, water, and nature
THAT IS rain.!!! A good drop!!!
As shared by Bitterwasser Lodge & Flying Center

By the way “the magic from Worcester” showed up already early in the season, on October 28 with a 683 km. flight in a DG 800/18 m.
AND, from Potchefstroom there was an 805 km. flight [ 702 FAI triangle] in a JS 1A.

—— Eddie Madden….Not long ago ,it looked he was not going to be long with us anymore. He announced to quit all flying , he was SO sick, but look who he is now!!!!He gave up on soaring in his business, Lumpy from Sportavia Tocumwal took over, but teaching in light aircrafts is still very much his goal in life.
I am just facilitating gliding with the private gliders in my hangar and check flights.”
His Sportaviation- Tocumwal -business now;
Aviation Flight Training …RAA & GlidingScenic flights …Flight training … Hangarage & Lawn tiedown….Public Caravan Park…Permanent Holiday sites.”

Eddie was already instructor at the SSC when we arrived there in the mid 80thies. Later when we were involved he was our CFI. So I know him already for many many, years!!!
So do lot’s of gliding guests from all over the world.
When the SSC stopped he started a new soaring business on the N side of the field. Quite a few of our guest- pilots followed him.
And then…he got really sick last year.
Not long ago he also lost Cheryl, his wife . [RIP] A lovely lady. In my idea, she was one of the best things happening to him and for SportAviation .
BUT,….He goes on with life,….good on him…!!!!Very much involved!
New fence built around the airport 8.2 Km in total 1.6 metres high.
Hope the cables behind the tugs , or low incoming gliders, from the West, are not going to hit them.
I have seen a few LOW, in the past, so I guess a minimum finish height will be compulsory now.
I also heard news that REALLY pleases me as former Toc resident;
Tocumwal town is going from strength to strength, difficult to get a park during the day“.
Still love the place,…you might have guessed ,…after all my writing about Toc.

Eddie, really looking happy and healthy!!!
As shared by SportAviation Tocumwal

—–“Skysight as a motivation-pusher!!! [note; From Matthew Scutter!!!]
A fantastic race with my electric Antares along the southeastern Alps, what a race horse. Once again a little bit late. Despite the reduced day length it would have been possible to make a 1600 km flight.
But a landing on another airfield is less comfortable, so home, sweet home
Words on the OLC from Klaus Ohlmann, who flew 1.465 km. last Thursday from Serres La Batie in France. He flew the Alps, over several European countries. And,..not for the first time!!

—— suffering like all other airlines!!! Big discussions about down seizing in people and wages. The pilots had no problem with that. They agreed already on 20 % less till 2022 and then look into the case again.
BUT….Last Friday they heard that 2 years was unacceptable. The Finance minister only gives them a few billion extra when they sign for 5 years!!!So no extra millions NOW. Will we still have KLM in the future???
YES we will , I hope, as yesterday the deal was made.

——Schempp-Hirth…they shared this great picture about their top gliders on October 30 2020.

Ventus-3TP “K1” 18m Ventus-3TS “3V” 18m, Ventus-2ax “VV” 15m
photo by Amelie Holighaus,
 Fliegergruppe Wolf Hirth Kirchheim unter Teck,

—-Many of the young pilots I know ,who have lost their jobs? Hopefully temporarily, but for how long is that ???!!! In Australia they have a great harvest this season, so a lot of them are going to help out on harvesters!!!
I heard that we won’t see Cathay Dragon anymore on the departure or arrival boards….a few mates were flying there.
Heard that 35 % of the staff has been dismissed and nearly 40 jets are in Alice Springs .

——the death of Sean Connery the one and only 7 times JAMES BOND!! Loved this tribute from Kiki, with the words…. R.I.P Sir!!!.

—–the GLIDING CALENDAR 2021 from SEGELFLIEGEN. This time from the French Alps.
“A very nice photo to start the month of November is available again today – the best glider calendar in the world!
Enjoy the view and don’t let the next short days get too long

—-Ridgesoaring ;”Lots of wind, lots of snow with ridge, wave and thermal flying. Lots of fun.” Happening yesterday with ridge soaring between 1000 [lowest 65 m. AGL] and 1256 m.[MSL] and one peak of wave up till 3567 m.[MSL] from Ridge Soaring, the mecca for ridge soaring.
3 Pilots flew between 816 and 868 km.
Porta Westfalica, the ridge-place to be for European pilots was busy yesterday too. Flights from around 400 km, great day but a bit short I read.
On the OLC [ on 15] is the flight from Peter Millenaar with lot’s of pictures!
Never had such a good and relaxed ride at the ridge; it was working perfectly all the time
By the way; “This beautiful Nimbus 4M is available for sale by the way. Anyone interested?”

—–the last soaring weekend at Terlet. It was still reasonable weather.

Busy, busy on the last day from the Gelderse at Terlet.

And I finish the season with this great …WOW…. picture, yes again from Arjan….

CU next week. By the way 20 dgr. C …yes plus…. on November 2 !!!!!The warmest EVER November 2. It REALLY is a WEIRD year!!!
No USA president yet…what a tragic “soap” this outcome of the elections is now. Awful.
Cheers Ritz