Alphen aan den Rijn     Wednesday March 23 2011   ritzdeluy@hotmail.com


On March 1 the meteorological spring started, but  Holland prefers the date  March 21, the astronomical beginning of spring. And …it was a good day, we were overloaded with sun and the terasses and the just opened Italian ice -shops in Amsterdam had  people waiting in line.
The weekend was already good with nice flights, though the mornings are still a bit chilly.
If you click on the photo to enlarge you can see that the vase is a prize won by George,  as winner in open class in the early years at Angers ,where the un- official European championships were held. In that time there were no European Championships.  The tulips represent the spring feeling !

Boeing made a test flight with their new Super Jumbo 747 -8   and it went without problems which means it will be on the market around the end of this year. Lufthansa has ordered 20 to  be delivered in the beginning of 2012[was 2010].
467 Passengers are welcome in the longest plane in the world; 76.4 m.

Still a lot of problems in Japan,  though spirits were lifted by the fact that a young 16 year old got his way out of the ruble after 9 days , weak and  undercooled but  safe. He  also  pointed out that his 80 year old nan was still under the ruble. She was saved by the rescuers.
 Awful on the other hand,  to know that from the 300 rescuers/hero’s at the Fukushima nuclear plant, a lot , [experts say 150] , are going to die from too high  radiation.
No fresh vegetables and water is not good either. This morning Fukushima got some after-shocks. When does it stop????

The USA started their spring with active soaring weather. Moriarty [ 632 km in a Discus 2] , Minden [ 688 km in ASW27]  , Rosamond Skypark,[ 1.765 with ASH 25],  Blairstown [ 939 km. with an LS 3] , they all topped the OLC list with good long flights.
Last Sunday March 20 , 530  pilots worldwide, shared their flight on the OLC, with us.

Sadly enough it is busy in the air above Libya.  Sad because it was necessary to intervere in the domestic politics cause the world was not going to sit aside  to see how demonstrators are killed. The United Nations voted for a no-fly-zone above Libya.  France , the USA, with F 15’s and cruise missiles from their aircraft carrier  and the UK were the first to be active in and over Libya. Now F18’s from Spain , F 16’s from Norway have been added. Fighters from Denmark, Belgium and Italy have been sent as well to keep an eye on the weapon- embargo.This morning 6 Dutch F16’s will be added ,as well as a tanker plane a KDC10 and a mine-destroyer.The Dutch participation involves 200 men/women and the cost will be around 20 million!!!!!!

Very nice to hear that the club ZES   [Aeroclub from the Students from Eindhoven] were I was a member in 1967/68, started my very short career as glider pilot, has a new HPH 304 C. They own already 4 single seaters and 3 two seaters and I hope the new glider will fly during the Nationals in Mai.
 It is not yet on the list of 31 participants at this stage.
When I flew there we had about 20 members a KA7, Rhöhnlerche and Grunau Baby and a very old winch. Now the built their own winch [technical university] and have about 100 members.
 The HPH 304 C is a standard class glider [15 m] and built on the concept of  Glasf’lügel, which stopped in 1982, after building really good gliders as Libelle, Mosquito and Hornet. 
On the picture; Me while being a member of the ZES, enjoying chips and going SOLO.


The triangle South of the Alpes D Huez  ,where cyclists in summer are the “boss”  and where the Tour the France sometimes “passes by” ,  is now the area with most pilots. Aubenasson, Serres La Batie, Vinon and Saint Auban are very active with pilots enjoying themselves from all over Europe. Barcelonette belongs to this triangle as well, but mostly it is a bit later in the season busy over there. And Fayence I remember as a place where the club from my children had their camp. Mountain-flying, it is still very popular.
In between the pilots in the North of  Italy finished their height -performance- stage at Calcinate del Pesce with 3 flyable days.

To finish some nice pictures from the archive from mountains in Italy and Argentina.


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