Turkish Airlines!Dream job ‘s!Lausanne!Africa vs Australia!

Alphen aan den Rijn      March 1 – 2009

Our metereologic spring starts today with 13 dgr. C. Not bad!
Our winter was cold , the coldest in the last 12 years with an average temperature of 2.1 dgr. instead of 3.3 dgr. , but dry, 135 mm instead of the normal 194 mm. The lowest temperature was minus 20.8 dgr. THAT WAS BAD, fr Holland!!!!!
According to the news nature here is slow this year, nearly spectecular slow , up to 7/8 weeks. Not very normal and as they say, not so much due to the cold winter, but more because the winter before was a “soft one”, so a huge difference!

Biggest inpact in the news this week was the crash from Turkish Airlines flight TK 1951, which just crashed short of the runway in a field which was just plowed,[which might have saved lives,] at Schiphol-Amsterdam -Airport. 9 People got killed including the Turkish crew from 3 pilots , the youngest only 28 years old and busy with his configuration to this type.
As the plane fell just out of the sky, the “poor” crew was crushed in the cockpit, by  the instrumentpanel behind them. Many people broke their back after the huge impact and at this stage still 6 people fight for their life. The plane dropped and broke in 3 parts, the tail was totally loose from the fuselage. It’s there and in the front were the dead and badly hurt people were found.
135 People including the crew of 7 were on board.
At least 2 from 4 employees from Boeing were under them and died. They were in Turkey for business and on their way home to the USA via Schiphol Airport Amsterdam. One is still in hospital .
I saw the plane inside, on the news a few seconds after the crash. One of the passengers made a video with his mobile. I t was not nice and even less nice to hear. Amazing that so many people survived. Just amazing. Maybe wednesday we will hear what happened!

Ryan Air wants to ask money for going to the toilet during their flight???!!!!Only 1 euro but if you can “fight” with it , the 100 million Euro loss from last year……?????They also want to close all check -in – desks, so lots of ground personal will be sacked!

Something totally different now; I have to admit it; Carnival last weekend, was great fun again. With my medallion , received in 1968 for “being a fanatic carnivaller” [I made with 3 girl friends the special carnavals- flag which was hanging for 5 days every year on the balcony of the town hall ], proudly on my breast ,I even went in a huge swing mill, ……after 2 beers.
Last time I did that was in 1968, with my friend Hans at 11 PM after more beers then 2. He looked very pale, I remember that VERY well!!!!!!
Hans is the one who brought me in contact with gliding. Without him nobody in the gliding world would have ever known about me! Not that this is very important for all of you, but for me it is.I lost a lot due to gliding , but also got a lot back in return.
Sadly enough Hans died after a fatal accident in his DG 400 on a club camp, a few years ago!

35.000 people have send a reaction to the Queensland bureau of tourism to apply for the 6 month  “blogger job ” on Hamilton Island.Under them 151 people from Holland!! Indeed a dream-job. It crossed my mind, but …I prefer Finland for 2 weeks!!

I was most impressed with the nice ridge flights over the Appalachians [ up to North and south from Marion-County Brown] in the USA by the JS revelation [18m] , the ASW 20, the LS 3 , LS 8 and Schweitzer SGS1-26A. The pilots , one flew 2x a 1000 k. were excited about the amazing spring weather . Gaining your diamond in a Schweitzer is pretty special too !!!!

Sadly enough fires are treathening again some of the suburbs from Melbourne.
Jo asked me to tell you that during the Horsham Week an amount of 1300,- A. D. was collected as a donation to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal. Fantastic!!!

Former tuggie at Sportavia, Cameron Bodey , announced his engagement to Pan, a Thai young lady and stewardess at China Airlines. Congratulations!!! They are going to live in Thailand. Cameron is the son of Ross and Glenda Bodey , our former partners in Sportavia. Cameron’s life is a bit as ” a dream come through” in a boys book. He was asked to learn first and fly then, for Comores Airlines as co-pilot on a Boeing 747. They flew between Marseille and Moroni and  since then Cam is on the “rails”. He is a co-pilot now at Air Hong Kong, a cargo airline owned jointly by Cathay and DHL.
More or less the same happened to ” Bones ” [Ashock],another tuggie, who “ended” as captain on a Grumman Turbo Mallard , a water plane , flying employees  for  pearl- company Paspaly to open sea,[ the pearl-farms]  from Darwin. He started on “our” Grumman Albatross, an amphibian, which was flown from the USA [Nevada] to Australia [Tocumwal ]. Not a lot of young men, have the opportunity in their life  to learn how to fly such a big water-plane !
When talking about former tuggies, Simon, who is an airline pilot now in OZ, is going to marry on June 13 2009.

In Lausanne will be on March 5 2009, a meeting for ICG jurors and stewards. I was invited but had to apologize for personal reasons.
On the agenda;
1.Experience from 2008 WGC from the Chief stewards.
2.Stewards and jurors relationships and responsibilities.
3.Chief stewards role before the event.
4.Training and qualification for stewards and jury.
5.Any other business.
For sure all pilots flying ECG’s or WGC’s will benefit from the results of the discussions by having the best informed jurors and stewards.I put my opinion on paper and have send it to Peter Eriksen,{IGC secretary} who will take care that “my word will be spread”.

Interesting was the opinion from Woody Woodward in the International Gliding. He flies “for ages” in Bitterwasser. In the GI he writes; ” Contrary to what readers may have heard -we have had the worst weather for glider flying at Bitterwasser [and all of Namibia] since 1999. Very wet was the season opening with standing water everywhere. This is a very explosive situation, just add heat and you have a thunderstorm with lightning and rain and sometimes very heavy rain and high winds.”  Woody flew his new EB 28 and was more then happy with it. Read for more news International Gliding -issue March 2009.

Jo, is visiting Woody this week, so I am anxious to know more, as I had the feeling from all the stories from friends that Bitterwasser and even more Gariep Dam in S A were “hot” . Bitterwasser was as best airfield, 2d behind Corowa and Gariep Dam number 3, so TOO bad it can’t have been.What I just heard from friends was that Gariep Dam had super weather! No worries over there!
Some pilots doubt at this stage if they go to the 2009 / 2010 S.A. season as elections will be held. They first look what is happening, which seems to me a very good idea!

I just received some interesting statistics from one of my readers. THANK YOU!!!!!
He compared the OLC flights from Australia and Africa , based on the data from the 4 main soaring fields.
I give them to you as I got them and comments on his conclusions are welcome.
Here you are;
Africa in order of number OLC flights   #   km.
Bitterwasser                     747       648
Gariep Dam                      639      686
Pokweni                            369      642
Kiripotib                           108       565
TOTAL OLC FLIGHTS                         1863

Africa in order of average length of OLC flights   # km.
Gariep Dam                       686
Bitterwasser                      648
Pokweni                              642
Kiripotib                             565
                                                   AV km.

Australia in order of number OLC flights    # km.
Corowa                                901        557
Benalla                                 677        397
Narromine                          234        369
Tocumwal                           127         413
TOTAL OLC FLIGHTS                           1939

Australia in order of average length of OLC flights.
Corowa                                 557
Tocumwal                            413
Benalla                                 397
Narromine                          369
                                                   AV km.
TOTAL KILOMETERS FLOWN [Australia]   909.816        469
His conclusion;
Africa and Australia are AS BIG as winter-destinations with about the same amount of flights.
Africa shows MORE longer flights; 30% average more!
Australia has better outlanding possibilities.
Namibia dominates the African market and Victoria/NSW the Australian.

In his opinion Africa is better for European guests , less far travelling , no time zone and Australia for guests from China and Japan.

These are statistics, I DO NOT  DARE to tell you were to go, of course you decide for yourself! But ….it is interesting.

Received a mail from the AIRBUS VISIT SHOP! [Toulouse Blagnac]
” To the occasion of the 40thiest anniversary from the first CONCORDE flight the AIRBUS shop  sells a special edition of a t shirt.” [m-l-xl-xxl]
A real collectors item. Price 22 Euro. Available from MARCH 1 2009. Look for more information at

Last but not least; Peter “PIP” Borrman died in a tragic and fatal accident at Shepparton Airport last wednesday. I did not know Pip very well ,I only met him twice, but saw him in his nice red “machine” fly over Tocumwal many, many times. He was an outstanding aerobatic performer. We lost another great pilot!My sympathy goes out to his family and friends and…I know he had many!

Enough, ….. the sun is shining, time to go outside…..see you next week.
cheers Ritz

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