Europe is awake!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Wednesday March 28 2012

With 842 flights on the OLC list worldwide, last  Saturday and 796 on Sunday, the soaring season started strong and early this season. Lot’s of flights flown in Europe.
Last year the best day in March world wide was with 589 on March 20.
In 2010 the best day in March ” only”  had 264 flights.
That says something!!!!
Nice flights as well, as the one from Kai Lindenberg in ASW 27; 662 km and from the famous Hahnweide one from Schempp-Hirth’ Bernd Weber in the Ventus 2CT/18m; 765 km.
But also from Blairstown , a ridge soaring paradise,but with also good thermal and wave lift in the USA,  New Jersey, about 65 miles from New York and about 100 from Philadelphia, where a declared 1000 was flown in an LS 4 and 688 in a Schweizer!!!!
Pilot Paul Seifried, who flew the LS 4 commented; “Wild day with too many cracks to the noggin and less good conditions at the southern end of the flight”!But …he made it!
Know the area a bit as I spend some holidays in Delaware in the far past.

Quite a lot of my Dutch friends moved to Vinon and Saint Aubanto enjoy the mountains we do not have here in Holland. Great weather as you can see on the “pinched”   [with permission!] great pictures from Rens, who was one of my JWGC pilots in Husbos in 2005.


Rens on his way to nice lift. What a great/stunning view!

The German Magazine Segelfliegen appears every 2 months and the digital International version in English, 3 times a year in February, June and October.
In the latest Magazine [February 2012] items as, an interview with German TC and trainer Uli Gmelin, the Quintus M and the Antares 23E., the meteo, wave over the Rhein valley, the kitchen for thermals…The Black Forest , oldtimers and much more,  74 pages of reading for you .
You can go to to order the Magazine or to get a subscription.
The latest English issue is available as an eZine.

The Black Forest with the last snow.
Picture courtesy Jelmer Wassenaar, who works for DG and was flying from Bruchsal, where it was 20 dgr.

Last week I mentioned that nice flight from Jim Payne in the DG 1001M  with Dennis Tito as co-pilot.  This glider is owned by Dennis Tito , the 2d one he bought . Dennis was, as I heard the first space -tourist AND…he is sponsor of the Perlan Project [Spoke with you about that too last week]  He owns another DG 1001M, which is stationed in Argentina and used for training for the Perlan team.
A few weeks ago Dennis visited DG in Germany for a motor -course together with Morgan Sandercock from Australia , who found me by reading the blog. Small world is n’t it! 
More news from DG at

Not a long time ago I had a story about one of my mates, a former Aussie National Champion in gliding; Bruce Brockhoff. Long ago I told you about his generous donation to build a hangar at Bacchus March. Here is a list of very vintage and special gliders in that museum/hangar:

Gliders in Brockhoff Storage and Restoration Hangar

 Thanks to the generosity of Bruce the Australian Gliding Museum now have virtually all of the 46 airframes representing 42 types in their collection safely stored ready for restoration.

The glide types are as follows:

Edmund Schneider-Club 2 seater, ES49,Es49b, ES59,ES52 Mark1, ES52 components of other marks and ESka6br.

Proctor ‘Coogee’

Gurr/Adair ‘Altair’

Hearn ‘Hi-Jack’

Lessing glider

Pascoe ‘Spruce Goose’ EP-1

Hutter H-17

Let l-13 ‘Blanik’

Dunstable ‘Kestrel’

Slingsby –T31b, T35, Skylark 4, Gull 4.

Eon Olympia Mark 2

Rhon Ranger

Schneider Grunau Baby 2 and 3A

Vogt LO 150

Schleicher K7

Schemp Hirth Open Cirrus

Bolkow ‘Phoebus’C

Morelli Aer-Pegaso M-100S

Bocian SZD 9

Mucha SZD -12

Silimon IS-28B2

Northrop Primary

Schweizer TG-3A

Backstrom ‘Flying Plank’

Schreder HP-14T

Hall Cherokee 2

Taylor Glider replica

Also in our collection are a ‘Sunbird’ Powered glider, ‘Mosquito’ Ultralight and a Trike Ultralight.

Where possible these are being restored to an airworthy condition and if not, for static display. This work is being done by a small group of volunteers at both Bacchus Marsh and the Ferntree Gully workshops. The Slingsby T-31 is flying and the Eon Olympia when painted will join the flight group.

Also housed inside the Brockhoff hangar is an insulated room containing our archival collection of drawings, magazines, technical reports etc. Along with the gliders is a collection of gliding artifacts such as instruments, winches and the first automobile engine used in a Piper ‘Pawnee’ Towing aircraft.  

An interesting list and some of those gliders come from “our” old WW2 hangar in Tocumwal and were owned by Bill Riley, who is still going, but not as strong anymore as before. Nearly 87 or 88 now [in April]

Last but not least  the story from the pilot who “lost the plot”, tragic for the guy [ AND his family] as I do not see him quickly back in the cockpit and pretty scary for the passengers. Flying as captain [ for JetBlue] from New York to Las Vegas he got psychotic and was overpowered by the crew, who set him out of the cockpit and locked the door. He banged on the door crying out weird words , so that even the passengers saw something was totally wrong. With about 8 passengers helping out they kept him till the in-between -landing in Amarillo [Texas] where a passenger who happened to be a pilot landed the plane safely. What a story! I know from pilots who were drunk and removed from the cockpit /plane , even pilots who got so scared they did not dare to enter the plane anymore but this is new for me. “a medical case”, the company said. True and sad, most for the pilot!

Enjoy the rest of this week. It ‘s getting a bit cooler here [10 dgr.], still very dry , but lovely weather for March . See you on April 1 ….no jokes though.

 Cheers Ritz

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