Back home !

Alphen aan den Rijn     February 16 2011

   Oldtimer by Johan Ersson.[2006]

Back from 5 days Amsterdam. I always forget what a beautiful town it is. Whenever I have overseas guests  and I do have a lot, they always want to see Amsterdam, never knew why, but I always went with them and got to learn more and more and now  I am pleased to live so close by that I can easily go, whenever I want. It is such a colourful , exciting town with the best architecture and I never heard so many different languages in any big town I have been , as in Amsterdam, so a REAL international town.

When I was away, 2 smaller planes crashed , one in Cork in Ireland a metro liner  ,in fog on the 3d attempt to land,  killing 6 and also 6 survivors and one in Honduras , also in fog, killing  all 14 passengers. I still find it hard to read those messages! 2 Ministers from Honduras were “lucky”, they missed the flight while being late.

Not a lot happening on the OLC.  Best flight over the last couple of days was from Alan Barnes in Australia, on the 12th,  flying a very nice big triangle , certainly for an LS1f from …560 km. Also the ASW 19 flight that day is good; 526 km. Both are flown from Mac Caffrey Field in the East of Australia [Queensland] .It is the field of the Darling Downs soaring club who have  their hangars over there. The field is called after Mr. Dennis  Mac Caffrey, a real nice guy , I really liked him; a ‘”charming” gentleman with a great cheeky smile . He was involved in the formation of this airfield in 1960. His son Shane has, or maybe had  a work shop at the field.Have to find out, I have long not heard from him.  My friends Gerrit and PamKurstjens  fly there as well and Pam is  the president of the club. By the way, the club OWNS the field and they claim the best all year round soaring conditions in Australia!!! It is not far from Kingaroy, Jondaryan and George Lees Airfield!
And …then yesterday there is that great wave  flight over the mountains from Good old Minden in Nevada. What fun we had there in the past. This time the fun was for a pilot in a duo discus. You should read his comment on his 1.251 km flight, with a speed of 141 km. /h. In the back was an  78 year old gentleman sitting there for  over 9 hours in MINUS 30 dgr. Chapeau!!!!! What a way to spend your day at this age!!!!

Head lines in one of the Dutch papers about a crash from a DC 10  from Dutch company Martin Air, in 1992 killing 56 and injuring 106 badly at Faro airport. I heard from insiders that Faro is not the easiest airfield to land on, but now it seems that after new investigations not the wind but failures of the pilots have caused the crash. Will there be a new investigation now? I remember the captain was from Alphen the place where I live now.
Will be continued!

Many times I said how small our world is!!! Yesterday Hisashi “found ” me at Facebook.Of course I wanted to be his friend. This morning I heard he is still very busy working for FED EX in Japan. One of the planes they have is a 757 which was owned by Air Holland in the past. Other planes they work with are Boeing 777- 200 f, MD11 F , A 310-300 f  and a few 757’s-200 f.
Great to read that he and Taka and Kaoru are planning to go back to Tocumwal.This time they each, even want to bring their children.

Corowa has finished their season  with closing the doors of all containers on February 15. With more rain expected  and a wet field, they decided to pack earlier and with the experience all pilots and Grietje and Francesco have, it is an easy job. By the way it is a great job as well ; camaraderie is the word!!!!
Corowa ended up 4th on the list of “best ” airfields, with 59 pilots flying 524 flights and a total of 250.000 km. They still have gliders in the hangar to fly, so it might get a bit higher ,when the weather improves and that is still possible.
Benalla ended on spot 7 but the club of Victoria continues flying over there , so they might add a few more kilometers as well. Of course they organised the club – and sports class Nationals and that added up a few kilometers for them.
Tocumwal, being the smaller one with not a lot of gliders on line still made it up to place 11!!!
Omarama  reached spot 10 and Beverley which had the terrible cyclone passing by over their field had specially before and also after some really great flights with some super weather, ended on spot 9.

Next weekend I publish the interview with word record pilot Bruce Cooper from the UK. It will be also in the Gliding International which should be out by then. Enjoy!! To finish some pictures from Kai, this time pilots in their glider .Enjoy as well. Cheers Ritz


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