Nice flights in the UK!1000 km.flight from Belgium!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Wednesday April 18 2012

Great to see that nice soaring weather brought some extra but “shivering” happiness to my UK  friends last Sunday. Best flight was from Dunstable in an ASH 25/EB 28 over a big area [719 FAI triangle] , pretty cold as the pilot writes in his comment , minus 9!! and he only just made it! Great effort!
Some of my Lasham/Tocumwal mates had a fun-day as well. Roy [Pentecost] in his ASG 29E/18m. flew 806 km. ,best flight till now from Lasham  and Bruce [Cooper] , this time not from Argentina but from Lasham in the ASW 27,  a nice 412.
Another pilot “loving his long flights from Argentina ” , John Williams had a special flight in his Antares from Kinross flying over  parts of the sea and having a first-rang-view over the sea. Look at his nice 400km FAI triangle-flight on the OLC on 15-04-2012.

On Monday , more happiness now from Belgium; a very special flight from one of my Belgium friends , Tijl Schmelzer. He flew JWGC and WGC already and this time a dream for him became reality. 
A 1000 km. goal-flight from Keiheuvel in Belgium to the Pyrenees!!!!!!
His OLC comment and the story behind it!!!;
What a day. Inspired by the legendary flight of Hans Werner Grosse 40 years ago.
Many thanks to Jos Gielen for the early tow, all ATCs along the way, my brother for HQ in Switzerland, my father for the beautiful glider, and most off all my mother for the assistance and very long retrieve.—
The story;A dream for Tijl was to fly a long distance ,1000 km. from Keiheuvel . On Monday the day was there. Preparations started already on Friday!
At 7 on Monday morning ,the Ventus was filled with antifreeze and water. A tuggie was organized for 8 and mum was ready to drive with the car and trailer behind him, straight after the start. What a mum….I know her pretty well she is just lovely!!!!!!
Dad Bert sr. had to work, but during work he kept an eye on the spot-tracking system, so did mate, Eddie Huybreckx from Balen [ where the airfield Keiheuvel is ] and brother Bert jr from Zürich where he lives and flies. This way , using the mobile, mum Hilde knew what was going on.
Great preparations and teamwork!!!!
He landed at  19.40, so flew in less then 9 hours from Keiheuvel in Belgium to Biaritz [and then back a bit to Mimizan ] in the south of France!! Chapeau!
Mum reached the landing spot, the glider was derigged , one night in a hotel to sleep well and to digest the big event and back home for a pretty long trip of driving, but with a 1000 km. certificate and a new Belgium record in the pocket!
By the way the ” inspirator” , Hans Werner Grosse was on Monday also in the air and flew from Lübeck 644 in the ETA.

Tijl flew in the past with us in Tocumwal, getting “lessons”  in cross country flying from Ingo Renner , during a 10 day competition , the Shootout! Very pleased to see this special goal flight as his first 1000 km. Welldone Tijl!!! Thank you Bert sr. for the info and…they all arrived home safely yesterday night around 11PM.
Comment from brother Bert on FB:” Tijl is going to land after 1000km. plus in Mimizan.Would have loved to be waiting there for him with a bottle of bubbles [or 2!] .”
While waiting on the train to go back from  Amsterdam yesterday, I was freezing and thought how cold Tijl must have been. I hope to have his personnel experience here soon too. I guess he needs a bit of rest first but the adrenaline might be still high.

Tijl and his parents Hilde and Bert sr.

This cold air was good for Holland as well.Flights from 631 in a Discus bT by Jeroen and 581 in ASW 28  by Bas from Terlet and 606 from Hoogeveen up Johan in an 18 m. Ventus is just good! Quite some showers in the air as well, very cold , some used electric socks!!! and some returned home earlier to get warm again. One German friend , Dirk, mentioned, ” it was so cold I could n’t tremble quick enough”.

Jeroen Kole last year in May.

Also an other place with a warm spot in my heart, Rayskala  in Finland enjoyed good circumstances. For them the season only just started in April and 414 in an LS 8 /18m. by Aku Jaakkola, is good then, certainly with the cold still in the air. He flew 3 times from Rayskala and all 3 flights were over 400 km.Good beginning of the season.

Aku during the JWGC in 2010 with his lovely daughter

Last Saturday the best weather was in Germany, that means weather for soaring. Also the top from Holland had flights from over 500 km. One flight was from one of the islands  N. from Holland , Texel !!! Special! Also here parts over the Nordsea.
A total amount of 1011 flights on this Saturday shows the nice weather. Best flight in Germany from Langenselbold [SW from the Wasserkuppe]  and worldwide; 693 [ 673 FAI triangle] in DG 800/18m.

As I told you already in my last blog a big competition , the 2012 Flight Challenge Cup Gliding, has started in Prievidza, in Slovakia,  place from the 2010-WGC, where Sebastian Kawa won the title in standard class in the Discus 2A.
Sebastian [Poland] flies this competition as well in the mixed class in the Diana.
Roman Mracek rushed from Nitra to Prievidza to fly this time the duo discus. Luckily the weather was not too good, pilots had to fly however[2.30 AAT] , but managed only a few kilometers in the mixed class, where he flies.
Also in 15 m. the day was cancelled after the best pilot- of- the- day, managed to fly 50 k.
In club class 5 pilots managed to finish after their 2 hour AAT with 156 km. in an LS1f as best result, for 77 points!!
The very kind and friendly competition director from the Prievidza WGC Josef Snirc, flies this competition as  well in the 18m. Discus 2cT.[mixed class] I met Josef in Rieti where he was steward .
Unfortunately they had to cancel day 2 as well, due to” unpredictable weather”!A pity they do not have that great-cold weather !

BUT…on Tuesday there was a 50% possibility to fly in a small window! They even had a grid order! 2 Hour AAT’s for the 3 classes were handed out. And….they used the window! They also damaged, unfortunately, one of the Dynamics[tug…nose wheel].
Sebastian Kawa showed again his talent winning the day, with 221 km. in 2.08 with Roman Mracek just behind him …..3 points!!!!!
In club class Czech pilot Jan Burovka was the best with 179 km in 1.58 and in
15 m. class Czech pilot Jan Louda won the day with 208 km. in 2.18.

For today club class has a 3.00 AAT , the rest of the tasks will be announced after the briefing but the weather looks fine.

Yesterday more very interesting and great cross country flights. Former hang glider pilot Tomas Suchanek flew in an ASW 22 BLE a 1000k.  in the Czech Rep.
Alexander Müller had a  nice first start of the German season with 908 km [872 km. FAI triangle!!] as well as Alexander Späth who flew in April from Esslingen already 3 good flights [after a lot of good ones during the training from Puimoisson before] ; 815km. 694 km and yesterday 752 km [735 km FAI triangle]
And from Lienz in Austria, 2 pilots flew over 1000 km. as well.
The mountain ranges were good , no perfect,  for both Austrian and Italian glider pilots.Spring is good but cold, but great fresh air makes soaring so fine in spring.

To finish, my congratulations to good old Bill Riley  who turned 88 on Monday. Bill was , as most of you know by now the great entrepreneur , who started after selling his business in TV’s , washing machines and more, to start something totally different; Sportavia , creating good saoring with good gliders and tugs, at the WW2 airfield from Tocumwal. He was the one who made soaring possible for European people on the other site of the world, when their winter started.
Dieter Dundee send me a lovely scan from a picture with Bill and his wife Val from the Australian Gliding Magazine in 1970! And one from Bill and me in 2009, I guess this picture was made by Cheryl Madden. Anyway it was at Sportaviation from her and Eddie.
Cheers Ritz


You are up to date again. Every time I think , today I make the blog shorter so it is more ” inviting” to read , but it never works out well. Sorry, hope you also enjoy the longer blogs!
Cheers Ritz

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