Soaring in Europe!!!COOL!!!

Alphen aan den Rijn             Wednesday April 15 2009

Did you enjoy your Easter weekend??
In Holland we were very blessed!  Not only by the Pope who wished us a good time and said thank you for the beautiful flowers we presented to the St. Pietersplein. But by the weather!!
The normal temperature around this time is 11 dgr. Since 1984, so 25 years ago,  we had now the warmest Easter with temperatures up to 20 dgr. and today we even expect 25 dgr. on some places !!!!!!
Easter Sunday was nice warm, but very hazy , due to the Easterly wind,  bringing smoke from the German  Easter -Bonfires.
We had 850.000 guests from abroad enjoying their time with us.
100.000 Of them visited the  Keukenhof in Lisse , the beautiful flower show.[bulbs/tulips/cherry-blossom.etc]

Wow, Easter weekend was busy  with soaring too , so  South and Middle Europe enjoyed great weather as well !!!! On April 10 over 1100, on April 11 over 1000 and on April 13 again over 1000 pilots , shared their flight with us on the OLC. And…lots of them just enjoy their soaring as you know, without mentioning it. But I am glad to see through this great system of OLC , where everybody is having fun.
On second Easter day Nitra had 3 days out of 3 and certainly the open class is interesting with 3 toppers “fighting” for the first place; Wolfgang Janowitsch [ Ventus 2 C 18m. ],Uli Schwenk [ Ash 25 EB 28]and Russel Cheetham [ASG 29 18m.]. All 3 have been  champion ‘s in the past!
But yesterday [ day 4] …..lot’s of out-landings so former WGC Champion Wolfgang is still on 1 but Uli and Russell are 7 and 9 now. With circumstances like this, a lot can still happen, so  keep an eye on  or the Nitra home site. Very interesting competition!
 Hockenheim had 4 days out of 5 till now and also lot’s of outlandings yesterday.

Pilots loving the mountains  [lot’s of them living between them!] had a great time in the Swiss and Austrian Alps. Stefan Leutenegger  flew a 1000 km flight in Switserland. Not only wave , but also the first thermal activity  in the Swiss mountains!!!
From Lienz in Austria 4 German pilots managed to fly 1000 km plus as well .
Unterwoessen with it’s “HANG” shared also in the fun and good old Hans Raschke flew at his home-field in the ASW 20 673 km. My good friends Maria and Dieter Bottcher are also members from this club and a few years ago I visited Unterwoessen with them. Nice big field and a “real hang” to fly alomng, up and down to climb high and to just…go!
Pilots not flying in the mountains had a good time as well.  It pleased me to see that at “The Hahnweide” former WGC competition director in Bayreuth , Walter Eisele flew 924 km. in a Ventus 2CM 18 m., while his son Michael flies in Nitra.

For some passengers it is their biggest nightmare  !!!! Flying in a plane and the captain dies!!!! For some however it is a “nasty ” dream come true!  I know discussions enough in , “how we would do it” if it would happen to us.
This week a small twin-engine aircraft in the USA, with 6 passengers aboard, lost its pilot in command. As the pilot flew on the automatic pilot, one of the passengers had time to take over. Not used to fly twin engines, but having a license on a single engine plane, he managed to put the plane safely on the ground with…the help of the tower. Great job!!!  

In the UK and Holland  planes from the Zodiac type have been forbidden already. Now the American Bureau for Safety and Transport  in the USA urged the FAA to stop this single engine plane from flying over there too, as it flutters and just breaks in pieces in the air!!! This has happened to 6 of these planes in 3 years ! I would not even think of flying such a plane anymore!!!

Busy enough this week, so that’s it for now. CU on Sunday.


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