Early season as well in Canada!500 km. in Holland!

Alphen aan den Rijn     Wednesday April 4 2012

ritzdeluy@hotmail.com     www.glidinginternational.com     www.soaringcafe.com

April started cold!  Warm pulleys have been taken out of the cupboard again where they were just put in , till the next season. Still no wet snow as predicted, but enough snow again in Scotland, parts of the UK and Scandinavia.
Some pilots are still waiting for their gliders to come back from their overseas destinations. A lot [ from Africa]  are back already , those from far -away Australia and shipped via Grietje and Francesco from Corowa, should be back over Easter. The one from Prievidza was send earlier and should be back by now, as pilots need their gliders for the Nitra Cup. Then for EVERYBODY , the 2012 season can start.

On April 1 it was cold here, but with sunny moments and some nice clouds!Looking on Monday at the OLC , I was very pleased to see  nice just over 500 km. flights from the airfield of Soesterberg, by Mark Leeuwenburg and Alfred Paul Alfers. Starting with 8/8 of cu’s, they still managed to fly a great x-country flight, in the Ventus 2 and LS 8,  first direction S. up to Aachen just over the border and then back up N. With minus 5 and a pretty tough wind, both still enjoyed the trip tremendously. Good practise for Mark, who flies in Uvalde and “joy” for Alfred Paul, who in the past was invited by us to come to Sportavia as winner from the Dutch Junior Comps. With us he flew a competition with Ingo Renner, to even learn more.

As I said already before, I am very pleased the OLC site has latest news nowadays as well. Articles on top of the pilots comments , by Elke and Steffi, do give us more insight news about the great flights made. That’s what we need to promote our sport. Don’t forget to read them. I read them with pleasure.
Some are in English and one about the OLC Plus rules as refresher, refreshed me as well.[ on April 1,…no joke!]

I loved looking back in my photo book from 1991 and found out a lot of things I did not know. Looking at all the pictures from the pilots I noticed Ib Wienberg flying in Uvalde at the 22d WGC. Ib has been a guest for several years in Tocumwal, but I never knew he flew WGC’s. He is and was a great pilot loving record-flying now and he has a lot of Danish records.
Same story for Jari Julin, he was there as well! His JJ is and stays already for years in Tocumwal. Where was my brain???? Must have been TOO busy both in Uvalde and at Sportavia!
Worked together over the last couple of years a lot with Tor Johnnessen and John Roake,[he even is my “boss”now for GI] 
I count both as my friends. Can’t remember I met them in Uvalde, as president of the jury and chief steward!!!! Ouch…..
Just heard on the news that there were warnings for heavy tornado’s in Texas!!! Saw that Dallas was hit. Not good!

On Facebook I saw a great picture belonging to the new Facebook site from the Lithuanian Aeroclub [LAK] and noticed the name from Vitautas Racimavicius with it. I got to know Vitautas  in Finland where he was flying the JWGC and was TC as well. Nice guy!!
Vitautas has his own site and with pleasure I share it with you too.
www.glidingsport.com  and more great pictures at www.glidingphotos.com

The picture is made by his father , Mr. Rasimavicius in Prievidza.[Slovakia] during the Flight Challenge Cup.

Courtesy; www.glidingsport.com

131 Pilots from 20 countries are ready to fly the Nitra Cup  in 4 classes starting on April 7  .And there are as every year a few toppers flying there! Looking forward to it. The training week started yesterday, so I hope it is nice soaring weather over there!
Also the 40thiest Cup of Torino will start this weekend.

A flying car??? James Bond??? No it’s all happening here in Holland where a test flight has been made with the PH PAV, built by a Dutch business. A car on 3 wheels with a speed of 180 km/h. on the road and the same in the air. It looks futuristic, a bit like a gyro-copter  with blades on the roof you can fold in and a prop on the back. Aviation pioneer and founder  from Martin Air , Martin Schröder is a strong believer in this “flying car”. Some critic-asters do not like the fact you have to go from the road to a field to get the car active as plane. They want to avoid traffic jam , by just starting from the highway where they run in the “jam”. But…you can’t have it all!
Suggestions of the investors; Organize 60 runways from 200 m. along the highways , that should give the opportunuty to use it for all Dutch who are interested. 

Sad news  from Australia; One of the worst things happening is loosing a new student [female 21 years old]  and the instructor[51 years old] ; one trying to learn soaring , one trying to teach it.Here is the article in THE  AGE , I received last Sunday. People who saw it happen said the Puchasz spun in off tow on low level. Investigation will tell us what happened so we can learn from it.
In my Tocumwal period we lost our instructor Jeff and his female student Kirsten in a mid-air just N. of the field and when I read this,  it all comes back. Very sad!

Not only here in Europe the season started early but also in Canada, this is the news from Art received on Monday:
“Our soaring season is underway at the Winnipeg Gliding Club. For the first time in over a quater century, we began our season at our home field of Starbuck in the month of March!No snow, no floods-just dry runways. We did 17 flights yesterday and all but one of our club instructors are season-ready and most of out tow pilots have been checked out as well”. 

CU next Sunday for a short update due to my guests. Cheers Ritz


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