First report on Turkish Airlines! Europe wakes up!IGC meeting!

Alphen aan den Rijn       Sunday 08-03-2009

Last Wednesday we heard the first results of the investigation of the crash with Turkish Airlines. It seems that the lefthand instrument,  a radio-height -meter was failing ,so a technical problem…….but the crew reacted TOO late on that problem, so …..a combination of a technical problem and human problem it seems. You can read the  details on several web sites, if you have n’t done so already.
That instrument had failed before,…was repaired but during the last 8 flights which are “visible” on the black box , it failed according to the investigation, twice again!
Boeing had send ,as far as I have read, a memo on Februari 11 2009  to “tell” companies flying the 737-800 about this problem[ it can be rosty due to humidity they say] with the message DO NOT FLY on the automatic pilot , but by hand , if such a problem occurs.
Yesterday there was a ceremony at Schiphol airfield attended by 750 people, among them lots of survivors,ambassadors , recue- workers and politicians,  to remember all 9 victims , 5 from Turkey [ including the crew; captain , 2 co-pilots and one steward ] and 4 passengers from the USA [ 2 people employees from Boeing!]. All aircrafts and trains at Schiphol took head of 2 minutes silence.
23 Survivors are still in hospital, ONE still fighting for his life at intensive care.

Slowly Europe wakes up from its wintersleep. The first nice flights have been made in Germany with wave but also THERMALS  [Bruchsal,Hahnweide], the mountains from France [Vinon —Sisteron]  wave and ….from Dunstable in the UK.
In Holland the season opened for most clubs on March 1 with an annual  meeting about rules and regulations for the new season. The weather is not too bad but not good enough for flying at tis stage.
Also the USA wakes up from wintersleep, with lots of nice flights from p.e. Seminole Lake, even with good thermals!!
Australia still enjoys great autumn gliding weather and good old former world champion [x2] George Lee, flew from his own airfield yesterday a very nice 764 km flight in a nimbus 4 DM.
A bit more south,at Jondaryan,  Allen flew a 623 km set task in his LS1f, great effort. And….what about a Hornet flying 619 km…..same task, same airfield.
But also  in Benalla, in the south of Australia pilots flew over 300 km in an LS 4 [370 k.] and Standard Cirrus [336 k.].

Great to see Bob Ward is flying again!!!! A couple of years ago he had a really nasty accident with his glider, we were even very worried for his life, thought he would never fly again,  but….he is back,FANTASTIC!!!!!! Good on you, BOB!

It is weird, but on saturday [March 7] they flew , as said, on the East coast in Queensland great flights also from Jondaryan, while a bit higher but also in Queensland the  category 5 tropical cyclone Hamish passed by over the ocean ,tracking parallel to the East coast with wind up to 285 kp/h. It is not expected to make landfall within the next 24 hours but a warning has gone out for the NE parts. That is where my daughter and her family are on a holiday right now!!!!!!Cairns!!!But.,..everything seems to be OK there!!!!
Not so much for the Whitsundays , Fraser Island and Hamilton Island. They prepare for the worst. By the way 2 Dutch girls belong to the last 50 [ from 3500] for the “dream-job” on Hamilton Island. Hope the winds are not TOO destructive, so the “beauty” on the island and under water remains! Hamilton seems to have cyclone-proof resorts, but still….!!!
The cyclone is heading south to the Central Queensland Coast and might even hit in the next couple of days Brisbane as a category 4.
” Poor” Australia , it has been hit hard this beginning of 2009, by the elements of nature ; terrible fires, huge flooding and now a cyclone categorie 5, with lots of rain and savage winds.
Look for  the latest on

 This weekend the plenary meeting from IGC has been  held in Lausanne, on Friday and Saturday. One day earlier, on  Thursday the stewards, jurors and IGC delegates have met.
Will the WGC for open, 18 m. and 15 m. 2012, be held in Uvalde [ Texas ] or in Narromine [ Australia ]. I know both airfields well, so though I hope with my Aussie heart for Narromine , I can understand the vote for Uvalde.
For club, standard and world class only one bid is received at this stage; Adolf Gonzales Chaves Airfield in Argentina. Never been there!!!Would love to go there! The IGC is always a bit slow with their minutes, so till now I have heard nothing. Will keep you informed, as many more items wil have been discussed!
[look for news at]

One of “my” Dutch team pilots , Baer Selen, won gold in Uvalde when I was his team captain. I remember the great weather , the draught, the heat and  …….the parties at the Hufstuttlers, if I spell their name well after so many years .Was it 1991?? It was Baer’s second world title after Chatauroux in France .
This year Baer will be coach for the young and very talented team from Holland participating in Finland. So look out young -under -25 -pilots!!!!!

Sorry, but I did not look at the comment box for ages !!!! The box is filtered but I still  received 23 comments and 7 were good, the rest totally nonsense, that’s why I do not look. In the past I got up to 300 nonsens -comments so, the boys “keeping” my site in good order,have put a spam filter in. It still gives rubish, but luckily not as much anymore. Thank you for the comments and I will get back on to them.

That’s it for now, you are up to date! Enjoy your week, so will I.

cheers Ritz

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