Only ONE week to go and I rather unexpectedly travel to Australia !!!!Love it! High season is ON!!!!

Weird,…I was sure I was not going this year, though the rest of my family would be there. I even had peace with my staying alone here.
BUT,…… My daughter convinced me to come along. She straight away booked after my hesitating yes,….a trip to Melbourne, so I leave on December 7 and will be back home here again on January 12.
Got the ticket , got the visa, got the ticket for the shuttle from Tullamarine to Spencerstreet Station, got the first class train ticket to Shepparton and George and Dundee will be there to bring me to my second “home”. Even a temporarely mobile phone is organized.
Tocumwal here we come!!
I will NEVER forget the happy faces from my grandchildren ,when we told them I was coming as well.
This means that we, the entire family,  spend Christmas, New Year and Dennis-30 years without him- together and I can’t even recall when that happened!!!!!!!

The laptop travels with me, so I will keep ,as usual a diary,[ like the last couple of years, ] to let you share in the Toc adventures,…that is of course ,when you are interested.
Family , friends and neighbors will live in/take care of my house.So all under control.

—–Thunderstorms, heavy rain and hail were the ingredients for last weekend for the overseas pilots in the Tocumwal, Corowa, Benalla -triangle.
BUT no news,…on Monday it was “work”  again as normal. One of the Toc pilots flew to the N when the storm was in the East.
The news from Sportaviation;”Storms to the east.☂️💨🌪
KYO Flies to Moulamein-Coleambally in wonderful Cumulus conditions to the North.”615 km.!!!!
Stephan Soll was the pilot and he flew his LS 4 !! He knows Toc very good,  flying there already before us, during our time and now with Eddie.
One day later the weather was even better in the “triangle” with a lot of great flights up to up 776 in the Ventus 2 CM ’18 m. from Corowa.
George flew from Toc for the very first time in the just purchased Discus 2/18 m. from his wife Diana. A great glider he mentioned; 573 km. …no water!
Eddie from Sportaviation in Tocumwal showed some nice pictures from the clouds going with the earlier bad weather, so did Francesco from the Australian Soaring Center Corowa.
It was also pretty hot.
Today Stephan flew a 500 km triangle[ 638 km in total]  in his LS 4. Corowa and Benalla had flights up to over 700 km. in more fancy gliders as Nimbus 3DT and DG 808 B/18 m.


Clouds over COROWA
over Tocumwal.


Passing to the N. So the see Corowa more east ,got the full load!! Stephan had a good flight [picture;part of the trail] up NW and back.

——Last Monday the weather for soaring was also great in the Namibia and South Africa area. Alexander Mueller flew a nice 1000 FAI triangle from Pokweni in the BLUE with 133 km. on the clock.[EB 29]
15 x a 1000 km-plus in that area
Yesterday Alexander enjoyed another 1000 FAI triangle now as he mentioned with clouds and a few more kilometers; 1.298 km. and 145 km./h.
In total 3 over 1.250 km. in EB’s all FAI triangles and nearly a FULL OLC page with 1000 ‘s.
As said the season is HOT.
My Belgian friends , Hilde and Bert, arrived in Namibia as well and made their first flight from Veronica in the ARCUS M ;826 km. and yesterday a 1000.

——Quite a few Dutch pilots choose Douglas Backhouse in South Africa as there overseas destination and there are 3 Dutch Maxes there. Good fun. Even Laurens [Goudriaan ] was there and flew last Sunday  in his JS3 TJ…789 km. On Monday the Dutchies  flew up to just under 800 km. in an Arcus and Nimbus 4DM. Max L and Max D in the Arcus and Rob [Looisen] and Max B in the Nimbus 4DM. Evert Jan and Ronald flew 729 in the ARCUS T.
After a few technical problems Hadriaan started later, but still flew 571 km in the JS 1BTJ. A great day for my Dutch mates.

With Rob …..As shared by Max B.

From Gariep Dam our former guest at Sportavia , Uwe Thiele flew a 1000 from Gariep Dam. [DG 808 B/18 m.]
Other friends moved to Kuruman having nice flights over there. Also 2x a 1000 on Monday there in an ASW 22 BLE and Nimbus 4DM.
It’s great to see that the overseas destinations, where ever ,have good bookings now!!! It’s BUSY!!!High season!!! I know how that feels!!!!

Our new runway markings looks great from above..”
as shared by Gariep Dam Gliding.

—It’s cold already in Scotland .Look at these pictures from Roy and 2 other soaring friends from Lasham.


Freezing cold conditions ,…not for me.
“Successfully reached to Cairngorm Summit weather station in a white-out with Chris Starkey & Steve Ellis Ellis.”
As shared by Roy.

And it is not over yet. Read what Steve wrote;
Extreme Nordic Walking in the Cairngorms. Today we took our poles to the summit of Cairngorm (1245m), it was so cold with driving snow that stung exposed flesh like needles; and goggle’s that iced inside and out! Navigating at times was extremely challenging but we had a fantastic day; and are now hatching a 3-day/2-night adventure taking in remote valleys, bothies and more snow forecast. Roy  and Chris are on top form and we’re all looking forward to the next 3 days! Stay tuned folks….”


Pictures shared by Steve.The TEAM in good spirit and “invisible” Roy and Chris.

To finish a nice picture shared by Narromine Gliding Club Official on the last day of their always busy Narromine week. A picture from nice warm soaring weather again.

By the way , the 750 and 1000 km. pilots were en route already, Great skies.

AND …just before I publish some news shared by Schempp-Hirth;
FES flies again

After our initial notification regarding problems that occurred with the FES batteries from our competitors, we promised to inform you about any further developments. We regret having waited so long to publish this information, but we wanted to make absolutely sure that all of our proposals were officially accepted by the aviation authorities.

Yesterday, we received the EASA change approval number 100634863 and our FES equipped aircraft will be able to fly without restrictions after performing the required changes. We would like to thank everyone involved for the wonderful teamwork in solving this issue, including the investigation authority in Great Britain, the LBA and EASA, as well as our supplier Luka Znidarsik of LZ Design and our in house engineering team.

The main changes include the installation of improved batteries as well as a redundant, independent, fire warning system, a new firmware for the FES controller unit and revised manual pages involving use of the FES system. The changes will improve protection of the batteries from external and internal damage, and the pilot will receive quicker and better information in order to be better prepared to react appropriately in the unlikely event of an over heating battery.

Aircraft that are still here in the factory will under go these changes during production and will be appropriately licensed at delivery. For aircraft that have already been delivered, we will be publishing a TM with clear instructions for performing the necessary changes.

We are very happy about this news. We, as well as our customers, are still very excited about the simplicity and sophistication of the OSTIV award winning FES-propulsion system and its ability to melt the boundaries between gliding and powered flight, allowing for a whole new level of flight experience. The comfort, flexibility, and thereby safety, that the easy use of the FES system provides will be of definite advantage to clubs and flight schools around the world.”

So you are up to date with the latest on FES as well.

CU next week for the “last”  blog from 2017 in Holland!!!
And some newsy news;
Holland counts at this stage

Cheers Ritz



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