“Kupi,kupi “! Pribina Cup ! Great Barrier Reef !Poland !

Alphen aan den Rijn                 Sunday April 11        ritzdeluy@hotmail.com

Kupi,Kupi,Coober Pedy Gliding Club inc.  Ever heard of it???? No….???? Well this must be news for you then !!! AND….it is news!!!! I heard about it for a long time ago. The rumour was that Peter Buttler was going to fulfill his dream to start his own soaring field at Coober Pedy, where most people live under the ground , as it is very hot over there. It looks a bit like a moon landscape with little “towers”, to give air for the under-laying houses, restaurants, swimming pools and hotels!  At-least that is how I saw it on the many pictures I have seen from Coober Pedy. I had many possibilities to go there but,…..there was always something which I thought was more important. Of course the famous opal mines are the most well known reason to visit this town, with colourful people.

The most interesting news about it is, that the field will be “on holy ground”! This means that it is owned by the Aborigines and last week the paperwork between Peter and the Aborigines has been signed and the new club can start soon.
First they are going to level the field, then 2 asphalt runways will be made in a cross, so you can come in,  or go away from all 4 directions. They will have a winch and 2 gliders, a Blanik and a standard jantar and there will be , if necessary more gliders on line.
They also have some accommodation with 4 sleeping rooms built in a hangar!
Further on there will be a shower and toilet, a kitchen , a briefing room and a workshop for repair of gliders. Close by is more accommodation available and town has of course hotels and motels.
Don’t rush to go there now!!! It is all not yet finished but it will be and it could grow into a great new and weather-wise interesting place for soaring. I will keep you updated and when their site is on I will give you the details.
By the way, the name Kupi Kupi means “willi willi”; you know them when you have visited Australia and if you see these fast turning and moving little twisters , the weather is definitely GOOD!

The Pribibina Cup started again in great spirit after one cancelled and one official non flying day.
Open class even got a 500 km task ! Russell is climbing back to the top and Wolfgang just stays there by winning 2 days till now. One with a speed of 132 km/h over 351 km.
Good to see Swaantje flying so well in club class. She lived for a while in Australia. The UK boys continue to go strong, great to see.
In 15 m. Tomasz Rubaj in the Diana is proving he is still a topper and young Vitautas is not yet constant enough , but wait till he has more experience!!!
In 20 m class the 2 German pilots are steady defending their first 2 places in the duo discus!
Yesterday, the last day of the competition,  all classes got an AAT with 2 hours and a minimum task distance of around  100 km. to make it a valid day. The wind was tough , 8 mps at the ground with gusts up to 18 and the party in the evening already early  at 7 with  free goulash and beer, so a good reason to race over the area in 2 hours and NOT more!! First launches were planned at 11.30!But…..after launching 3 classes, they decided to not let the open “boys” go and then the day was cancelled for all. The price- giving moved forward to 5, with after the promised goulash with beer.
So the winners are known and after 5 days of flying we see;
Club class; “G” Dale in ASW 24 from the UK with his mate Ian MacArthur as runner up. Great practise for the WGC !!!
15 m. class; Tomasz Rubaj and Lukasz Wojcik both from Poland. They might not be in the mood for big celebrations.[see further on] UK pilot Jay Rebbeck was a good 3d .
20 m. dual; 2 German pilots , Andre Weidlich @1 ,Michael Sickert @2and  from Belgium Wim Akkermans @ 3d place.
Open class; Austrian airline pilot Wolfgang Janowitsch seems ready for maybe another WGC title! Pavol Cherny [Slovakia] @2 and Werner Amann [Austria] @3d place. Russell climbed back from 11 to 5!
Congratulations to the winners !

So you were a tuggie at Sportavia in Tocumwal and then you are the co-pilot on a flight with the Prime Minister!!!That happened to Diana! Last November I was in Cairns  and I told you how Diana  flies for Search and Rescue in the top-end of Australia. One of her  flights last week, for Marin Environmental Protection  was to Rockhampton to observe a ship which departed from Gladstone and had stranded at the Great Barrier Reef at Douglas Shoal and maybe was going to create a main environmental disaster when it would break.
 Prime Minister Kevin Rudd wanted to see with his own eyes  this Chinese ship , Sheng Neng , with 975 ton oil aboard , so he flew with Diana and the rest of the crew,  in the  plane, same one as  I got the by Diana and her colleagues very interesting guided tour in  , over the ship and he spoke by radio to the observers from Marin Safety Queensland aboard the ship. Luckily not a lot of oil has been spilled, so the great scare for a disaster is a bit over as they are pumping the oil into other ships. After his flight he made a statement to the press , took time to be on a picture [ a very nice one! sorry I still can’t show pictures!] with the flying crew and left again.

With a signature the alliance between British Airways and Iberia [Spain] was a fact last week. In the next future they will be after KLM-Air France and Lufthansa the biggest company, having 400 planes and 200 destinations! Headquarters will be in London and they expect to carry 58 million people.Over 60.000 people will be working in this 3d biggest airliner in Europe.

A disaster yesterday in Russia where the Polish President died  in a crash while landing [ the fourth attempt!] in heavy fog with high guests and his wife with the government -plane  at Smolensk. The Toepolev- 154  crashed while landing about 1.5 km. in front of the runway, with 96 people dead according to the Russian press-bureau Tass, including 88 of the delegation! He and this Polish delegation were on their way to remember the 22.000 Polish prisoners of war , most officers and intellectuals , killed in the 2d World war in 1940 by Stalins secret service. Part of the ” elite “was killed then and now more or less again.Bizarre !
Amongst the high guests ; the president of the Polish Central Bank,  the chief staff of the Polish army, RC  bishops , some people from the Euro Parliament and the top of the armed military forces as generals , an air-force  commandant  and the vice admiral of the Polish Marine.
Now , it is maybe easy to wonder ,why so many high placed people flew in ONE plane, and 26 years old,  with a not too good name and a not too good reputation.  For sure the investigations will show us soon what has happened , as this accident has not only shocked Poland in the heart,  but also Europe and the world . So we better wait,  before taking over the quick conclusion, that  this is maybe a mistake from the pilot, who was advised to not  land there, but at Minsk . It seems the air-traffic controllers were NOT allowed to refuse the landing of a presidential plane, they could only advise. The 2 black boxes have been found, so we surely know quickly what has exactly happened and if it is correct,  that both the president and maybe for that reason , the pilot  definitely only wanted to land there , so that the delegation would be in time.
The story is, according to a Polish aviation expert, that this president in 2008 forced a pilot to land on a place the pilot thought was not safe,  so he refused and as a captain he had/has the right to do so. With that incident the president had to continue by car, no worries ….but what is worse is that the captain  was later reprimanded that he did not obey orders from the president ???!!!??? Was the captain today not a match for the President!?
From this place I would like to send my condolences to all my Polish friends,  if they were “fan”of Lech Kaczynski , or not , is not important now.

The Frenchman who wanted to be the first to cross the North Pole  in a balloon , succeeded in his mission, and arrived back safely yesterday, not  due to snow storms,  in Alaska, but in Siberia. After 121 hours and 30 minutes AND 3631 km. and lots of tests,  he must have been glad to feel some warm temperatures , in a house on earth.

And then this………
—-In Switzerland a small plane has made the first test flight using ONLY sun energy!!! It flew 2 hours at a height of 1000 m. De wings of the “Solar Impulse “are covered with 1.200 sun panels. The goal according to this source is to fly around the world . Wing span is as big as from a passenger plane , but it only weighs as much as a passenger car.
—-Ever heard of a “Space jump”; Steve Truglia from the UK seems to be a well-known stuntman, but is also a “daredevil”.  He wants to jump from the site of the atmosphere,  out of space , back to mother earth! He wants to go up in a helium balloon to 40 000 m. jumps out and “quickly”  [ within 15 seconds] falls through the sound barrier , pulls his parachute at height 3000 m. and is back “home”. He wants to renew the record from Joseph Kittinger, who “jumped down “from 31.300 m. When you have seen the TV program Fith Gear you have seen him doing stunts there as well!
—-Never ever before, so many women were flying around in space. 3 American and 1 Japanese lady made history, by flying together in one of the last Space Shuttle flights.After this flight only Japanese, European and Russian Shuttles will continue!
—-Julio Poch the captain who ended up in a Spanish prison, while flying his last flight before retirement for a Dutch Company will be extradited to Argentina , his home country after living for years in Holland. He is accused of flying Death flights for the Junta long time ago, in which they threw opponents from the regime out of the plane into the sea! Hope he gets a fair trial, as I am not so sure, reading and hearing all the stories,  he did this! At-least the Argentinians promised the Spanish court, that when Julio would have been wrong he will be  NOT put in prison for life!

CU on Wednesday,

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