SSA Convention ! Italy ready for new season !Chaves ! Overseas season nearly over !

Alphen aan den Rijn        Sunday January 31 2010

Last day of January already,time flies!  Europe is still in the power of King Winter. A lot of countries have had the coldest and whitest January since 1997. In parts of Europe snow has “hit” again and cars , specially trucks were in deep trouble. We had severe snowstorms yesterday evening and in the Northern part of Holland the salt, to keep roads open ,is gone!!!!

The overseas season is nearly over now. Bitterwasser has packed up , Gariep Dam still flew between days with rain , but this weekend the containers will be packed there as well.
BUT  ….Corowa is still flying and how  , with a 962 km flight yesterday in a Ventus 2 CM. As I lived in Australia for over 10 years , I know that even February can be very good, but, still the days are getting shorter, so a very  nice  flight! Also 4 OVER 700 km. flights and a few over 800 km !!!! It is still “booming” weather  in the South of Australia.
 A German pilot flying from Benalla in a Speed Astir flew 638 km., another pilot in an LS 3 702 km. Not bad, not bad at all !! And….kilometer eater Terry Bellair topped the Australian OLC list yesterday  and the worldwide one , with an 866 km flight in his DG 400 17 m. He flies at the Bendigo Gliding Club , but spends a soaring holiday in Corowa as he did in Narromine before this year.
Half of February the containers will be packed in Corowa and for sure pilots will go home with a satisfied feeling and prepare with a smile,  their new home-season in Europe.
The Slovak container will be packed this weekend and I reckon the pilots looked with a bit of jealousy up to the air and the great distances of their friends, but …they have had some fabulous flights as well. For sure you remember the SEVEN 1000 km.-plus- flights from Lubor and 4 over 900 k.  in an ASG 29 /18 m in a period between November 11 and January 29 !
Next Wednesday my Aussie friend will have all statistics ready for the best 3 months [November, December, January] from the 5 top places for overseas soaring! Not difficult to predict that Africa was best in the end of 2009 and Australia  in the beginning of 2010. So , if you are interested, don’t forget to read on the 3d of February again.

The 2d FAI South American Comps  and the 57th Nationals for club class and combined 15m/open are over,  with for me some well known, but also a lot of unknown toppers.
The last flying day was Friday and at 9.25 it was not sure if the weather was good enough to fly. They did not!
So club class had 7 days of flying with Javier Sondon in Cirrus 75 as winner.
15 m. Class has , as I hoped and expected Damien Goldenzweig as winner ,and….a VERY good 3d place and his first FAI medal for young Horacio Piombo. Both pilots flew ASW 20 and had 8 days of action!
In open class Egon Rehn from Brasil won in his ASW 22 after 6 days of flying. Rene Vidal from Chile was third!
Argentina is a great country for soaring so I am very pleased we get to know about it more through the story of one of the Argentinian competitors soon.

I told you earlier about the SSA Convention in Little Rock  in Arkansas in the USA this week. Last Friday there was an SSA-OLC lunch with 3 lectures and the most important item was that the OLC , plans a split up for the USA pilots  into 3 regions. There will be like mountains, plains and ridges, so flights can be better compared. For sure we will hear more about it and I LOVE IT!!!! You cannot compare flights over flatland and in the Andes mountains . It is ALL great soaring and part of our sport ,but DIFFERENT. So we can value each flight best!
 I read that the USA counts about 1000 pilots who put their flight on the OLC . In total ,world wide, 13.000 pilots participate.
Yesterday evening during dinner, the SSA-OLC winners got their SSA awards for the 2009 season in OLC Champion Classic, OLC Champion FAI and the League winner.

Italy is ready for the new season!  Specially Rieti has worked hard during the winter-season to improve what they can offer you and they updated their sites where you can read it all. Here is where you can find all THE LATEST !!!;  is the site from the Federazione Italiana Volo a Vela.They , I call them in short the Federation, have something new on and  when you look on the left site of the links you see; Centro Technico Federale. You can click on that and find a link to 
This site is still under construction  and an English version will be available as soon as possible, but is shows already clearly what’s going to happen.
Previously the Federation had no Centro Technico Federale , now they have one and this is what Leonardo Brigliadori writes about it;

However ,the CTF has an ambitious program which is based on these main goals among the others:

          to train all levels of pilots, from the beginning to the stage of National Team.

          to prepare official observers, scoring personnel, operations operators

          to train pilots who can, inside each club, coach for the new licensed and young pilots.

          to organize instructors curses at less expensive conditions than presently

          to organize competitions and a new International one in particular: The Dolomiten Cup.

To accomplish that big job we have considered it was more convenient to organize the activity of the CTF as follows, taking into account that 85% of our glider pilots are situated to the North of Florence:

          two main locations: one in Asiago and one in Pavullo. Both locations are particularly indicated for their meteo conditions and for hospitality infrastructures.

          to have a flexible and movable organization permitting to organize locally at the single clubs specific stages structured on demand.

Of course they still fly from Rieti as well , as in the past and as all of this this is a tremendous effort it might take till 2011 before it will be fully efficient, but they work on it full of enthusiasm and determination.
The contact adresses of the new CTF are in the very capable hands of Giorgio Ballarati and Michela Longini. [secretary] The marketing by Giuliano Golfieri,…. yes one of those genious PostFrontal “boy’s”.  and the English version  represent gliding with Aero Circolo Centrale di Volo a Vela , in short “the Club” with a lot of “brand new ” gliders in the hangars at Rieti. For European pilots, specially the ones, flying competitions in Rieti , it is great to read it in English now. Some documents will be available in  12 different languages  by clicking on the relative flag. This site is still ” under construction” as well , but the most important items are ready for you to read. Also here a lot of enthusiasm and hard work has been done by Daniele to get it ready and I know this, as I have advised as good as I could with my experience as [former] co-owner of a commercial soaring center. Alessandro is still the CFI involved with all flying and Marzio is the man from the logistics [camping, pool etc] while Carla and Cinzia are the secretaries.
They offer an inclement weather insurance  which will refund you 70 % of the earth -bound day , if due to bad weather , NO pilot will fly.This insurance is only , as you of-course understand, available for pilots flying aeccvv gliders.

By the way if you are planning a competition in Rieti; the Coppa Citta di Rieti is from August 1 till 8 2010  and entry forms  and bulletin 1 [at this stage only in Italian, but it will be soon in English as well ] are ready to be downloaded . Still a lot of time before it is August but …as you know time flies!
The CIM will be flown  August 13-22 2010. The aeccvv will organize the competitions at Rieti Airport this year.

Ashock has send me the following link to the Albatross Relief Mission for Haiti.
A group of 12 doctors and nurses from Michigan in the USA were trying to find a way to get into Haiti to help and to bring  several tons of  donated supplies. As the Airport of Porto Prince was to crowded ,they asked and got help from Bill Da Silva , a long time owner and operator of Albatross. He is from Carson City[ not far from Minden in Nevada!]  , where our own Albatross came from as well. As his plane was already in Florida for the winter ,he donated it to help as only this plane , is capable of carrying such a load from Miami to the waters of Haiti and  return without fueling in Haiti. Great gesture!
The Dutch have been very generous in their gifts for Haiti. “We” are over 100 million Euro already , including a donation from the government , who doubled a radio and TV action from 40 to 80 million Euro, with about 17 million people only, while p.e. the USA with 307 million people donnated 17 million dollar. Pretty special, but of course all gifts are welcome big or small !!!!!

After all the excitement of the end ofthe overseas season and the beginning of a new one , I want to share some sad news as well. One of my 6 Australian  dear friends,  Maureen ,has died of cancer on January 29. Maureen has been for a long period the very hard working, efficient and friendly secretary in the Sportavia office in Tocumwal ! As she was a power pilot as well , she could talk and socialize on the same level , also after work, so a lot of pilots got to know her and she got a lot of new friends through gliding/flying! When we took over the business in 1996 she worked for/with us as well for a while, which gave , specially me,  a feeling that everything was under control. A lovely, social, great and strong-minded  lady has left us , after a not-to-win-battle! Very sad! Her funeral will be on Wednesday the 3d , at 1PM for those who only read it now and as she was so much involved in aviation, the Power-flying-school in Tocumwal [ John Williams] , will organize a Fly Past over the cemetery in Tocumwal , with 3 planes!


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