White Christmas!Lucky flight 253 !Christmas comps in Benalla!

Alphen aan den Rijn      December 27 2009      ritzdeluy@hotmail.com

Hope you all  had a few lovely Christmas days. It was white here [only on Christmas Day then the sun started shining and the snow slowly disappeared, but they still call it a White Christmas the first since 1981!!!!] and in more places in Europe. It was blue in Gariep Dam and  lovely weather for a good and well deserved rest after the many great flights in the rest of Africa and in the Southern part of Australia .Then the worst snowstorms in the middle of the USA and heavy storms with hurricane power in the Swiss Alps [136km/ph].Parts from Spain and Italy suffered rain , snow and avalanches, killing several people. VERY SAD!!!!
My poor friend Maria broke on the early morning of December 24  her left leg and arm in front of the door and had to spend Christmas in hospital for surgery, not what you want for Christmas!!! I wish her a speedy recovery and hope she will be fit again a.s.a.p.

One of the readers wrote to me , that I had forgotten a “nice” flight and INDEED , he was very right,I did !!!!! What about top-pilot John Coutts from New Zealand flying  1.269 km. in an ASW 20 /16.6 m. flown in Gariep Dam !!!!???? GREAT FLIGHT on December 21 and I love his comment “I love Gariep” !!!!! And till now it is not even the best season over there! I met him for the first time when he was still a junior and thought then: He will be GOOD!!!! Nice to see him in flying in Africa!

Flight 253 with 278 passengers and 11 crew had a lucky escape  on Christmas day. A 23 year old Nigerian student , studying on a a University college in Londen did an attempt , 20 minutes before landing on this flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, to blow up the plane  over American spoil. A hero -passenger jumped on him and stopped the sophisticated explosive devise which was on the  knees of the young man ,who said later he was an agent for Al Qaeda . Badly burned [on his legs] the student , known by the CIA, but not on their black list,[ as they had not enough negative information, ] was brought to hospital  and taken into custody!
And then to know that this guy was walking around at Schiphol airport’s transit zone for 3 hours !!!! And how is it possible that he entered the KLM flight in Nigeria with those devices!!!!! The USA , the UK and of course  Lagos-Airport were he entered the plane to Amsterdam  and Schiphol-Amsterdam-airport were he was in transit , are doing a full investigation!
In the end it seems that the HERO is a 32 year old, Dutch young man , you see we Dutch do have  some “tough” people! Fantastic job he did, as he says, in blind anger when he saw what the Nigerian was doing! He put the guy in a “lethal” hold , doing that , he burnt his hands , lost his shoes, wrecked his clothes, but only says, “never mind I had to do it”!

The Gliding Club of Victoria has a Christmas competition,  run on OLC speed rules and many pilots ” found the skies”, on this good day with nice Cu’s. Flights up to over 500 km were flown during these comps. Very nice flight from the Akaflieg[Stuttgart] pilot flying 419 km.  in the JUNIOR there in Benalla and a good 347 km.  in a standard Libelle.

Not so much more happening, so thanks again for all the season greetings I still receive. THANK YOU!!!! CU on Wednesday.
cheers Ritz

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