Still perfect weather !! Short Sunderland ! EAC !

Alphen aan den Rijn       April 26 2009

Let’s hope  we do not get all the great soaring weather NOW in spring and nothing any more  in summer!!! That happened more or less 2 years ago.
Still fantastic weather for soaring, with distances over 700 km for Ventus 2 CT on the south site of the mountains in Italy and over 800 km for the Nimbus 4DM over the mountain-range from Switzerland and Italy.
But also in “flat -as- pancake-Holland ” a DG 1000 flew 558km.
Giorgio Galetto  {Ventus 2 c/18m.}flew a very nice 1004 km from his home field Bolzano and top pilot Robin May { ASH 25 EB 28} from the UK a very good 662 km  from Dunstable, [ more or less in the middle between Husbos-and Lasham airfield ], saying ” excellent dry air with streeting in strong southerly flow”.

Very special even for Holland  were the different flights up to and over the Dutch Wadden eilanden, the Islands to the NW of Holland. Pilots found it VERY special, to see lots of water under them instead of land.
For some a dream came true flying an out and return to Ameland, one of those islands.
The “only minor” thing the pilots complained about , was the tough wind up to 40 km/h. forcing some to outland or use the engine, on the way back home.
One of the junior pilots, 23 year old Frank Hiemstra, flying a standard cirrus and competing later in the year in Rayskala at the JWGC for Holland, made pictures to share with all of us  and if you have not seen them yet, you can find them on
 I had a look at them and was very impressed!

Anzac day was yesterday  and though I was sure Bill Riley flew a Catalina in the past I was wrong. Sorry!
I got the message that it was a Short Sunderland military water plane! Thanks for that!
To be precisely it was a British  flying boat control bomber, developed for the Royal Airforce  by Short Brothers. It was first flown on October 16 in 1937. It was one of the most powerful and widely used flying boats throughout the second World War.
Bill belonged to the RAAF 10 squadron formed in 1939.
I have heard many of Bill’s  stories ;he is a very  interesting person and I was hanging on his lips when he started to talk about the past ,as he is a very enthusiastic story-teller!! Now being 85 , that has changed a bit, but he still does “his  daily inspection round” at the Tocumwal airfield.
And …when I read all this about the Sunderland and the RAAF squadron 10 , I see Bill with different eyes  AGAIN!

A very sad story this morning.  On the radio I heard that a young 20 year old mum with her just born baby crashed with the helicopter bringing them to a Corsica hospital. Mum and baby died , as well as the crew by 2 and a doctor. It seems the weather was not good! Investigations are done by the French authorities.

Well it is raining here.  Finally some rain for the garden. No flying on their first possible soaring days for the EAC members [ after the great soaring weather from the last weeks!] , or…the weather must be better there. The difference is big here today ,  with sunny conditions and temperatures up to 22 dgr in the SE  from Holland where Eindhoven is  and 17 dgr and rain for the rest.
 No real Hurray feelings for the EAC members by now. I heard after the Friday evening briefing, that they are allowed to fly but
—-for the time being NOT with more then 6 gliders within the CTR
—-within the CTR there must always be radio-contact with the tower
—-there will be 3 sectors , one small just over the runway where the gliders start and land and  that sector has to be clear of all gliders within 15 minutes, when IFR planes start or land!!!!!!
 Not too easy for the pilots!!

No more news ………though,  stay far away from the A virus H1N1,the new influenza strain,  as it seems to have the potention to strike the world, which is NOT GOOD, so till Wednesday, cheers Ritz

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