A pitch black weekend !

Courtesy Arne Marin Guettler from Norway. It represents my feelings from last weekend.
Thanks Arne Martin.

This is a pretty personal blog , mostly written in the weekend , so may be at times too emotional,…but I decided to leave it as it is after reading it again this morning.

The DUTCH SOARING FRATERNITY is in mourning, in deep mourning!!!!
Last weekend we lost 3 soaring mates, starting their happy Saturday or Sunday, with hope for a great daily flight, as the weather looked very hopeful for the whole weekend.
Sjors [25] and Lars [29] …… 2 young pilots and former Dutch Junior Squad members , went last Saturday ,each, for a nice cross country flight on a pretty good looking day.
Lars a member of the Aeroclub Salland, and Sjors member from the Amsterdam Soaring Club choose as TP ,Borkenberge, a by the Dutch pilots much used TP 50 km. over the border from Winterswijk. [Holland]
One of the flights from Holland to this place; A frequently used 300 km. out and return….Veendam..Borkenberge…Veendam.
Under investigation by the German authorities is WHY they crashed over Dulmen after a midair. People on the ground heard the collision .

UNBELIEVABLE,…..They have flown in thermals at comps with sometimes too many gliders,….but here ALL space was for them.
Both very experienced!!!! Both young and good looking, very talented and passionate for the sport …nearly born and “living” at the glider field…and popular at the several fields/comps they visited!!!!
A tremendous loss.
Sjors was a competitor in the Pocuinai [Lithuania] JWGC in 2017, where he was on spot number 9 from 32 in standard class!!!!That year they celebrated the JWGC standard title from their team mate Sjoerd van Empelen, so great fun!!!
He also flew the junior world championship in Szeged in Hungary.
He now was already a member of the Dutch senior squad.
In 2018 he flew in Ostrow in Poland his first WGC in standard class; he was 35th from 47 and again in that year they celebrated a Dutch world champion; Sjaak Selen.
Lars flew Dutch Nationals, as well as international [Bailleau] comps.
The German authorities are busy with the investigation, so we wait for what they will find.
I know already more, but wait till that news is a fact.
Speculations are not appropriate certainly not at this moment.
Will inform you after the investigations.

As shared by many mates!!!

I had a bad night. So the next day I went for a long walk and had a cuppa in a nice restaurant in the forest. I looked at the skies ….fabulous… but I knew a lot of pilots , certainly from both clubs, would not fly this Sunday.
Normally great looking skies give me lot’s of pleasure ..they did not now.
Before leaving I checked my mobile for news.
NO !!!!!!……another fatal soaring accident now at the Military Airbase Gilze. Sunday at noon… ????!!!!!!
This year they celebrate 75 years of soaring at Gilze. Nothing ever happened…..How is this possible??!!! What’s going on???
This is unheard of…. 3 fatal crashes in 1 weekend,don’t remember that this has ever happened before .
A very experienced 37 year old female pilot flying an LS 8,was this time the one who “lost” her life during soaring!!! Straight after the start ,…which was on a winch….something went terribly wrong!!!
Members of the club followed her with their eyes, when she went up and saw it all happen.
Can’t believe it!!!!! She is a mum of 2!!!!!!A highly valued club member and her family accompanied her often to the soaring field.
All very much engaged!!!
A very popular teacher in the Dutch language at a high school in Tilburg as well.
Dutch authorities both civil and military are involved in this investigation .

As shared by the Royal Dutch Gliding Association KNVvL.

R.I.P. dear soaring mates!!!
From experience I know how the parents from the 2 boy’s feel…I wish them a lot of strength. Of course all family and friends as well and for sure the girlfriend from Lars, Marleen and from Sjors , Lizzy , who is a member of the junior squad now.
And what about the feelings of a husband and kids ,….as a granny I do not even want to think about it.
Also the members from the 3 club’s..it’s tough on them as well. Very tough……for sure for those who saw it happen.
We all grieve in our own way……
So did the Dutch junior manager Lex Venema…he flew their last task on Monday to honor his best friends.
To see what you saw, to feel what you felt , to be where you are, to be able to hopefully enjoy the sport you both lived for in the future again,…in tears the TP rounded where you did….this one is for you
“. with his permission.

The soaring fraternity is in cases as this a warm blanket…they ALL are there for you as ONE BIG FAMILY.
That got me through bad times as well; I am sure it will help the families and friends too. But the pain for the loved ones now is HUGE .
The boy’s enjoyed cloud street racing,as it was such a day. For what it is worth,..they had till THE moment a GOOD/HAPPY day.

Sunday’s weather at the airfield.No flying….
Courtesy Alexander.

On top of all that sadness, our 27 year old world champion on the 500 m. short track died last Friday.
She was with the Dutch short-track- team [speed skating] in France for training on height. She did not feel well …. was brought to a doctor… then hospital… intensive care…coma….and died on an auto-immune reaction, within 2 weeks. Such a strong healthy and sportive girl. Very down to earth and social. Too sad for words ……


Back to the regular blog, which partly was written before the accidents, so the tone is “lighter” and more enthousiastic:

Beautiful new signs when you drive in to Tocumwal coming from the Murray Valley Highway which brings you all the way to Brisbane in Queensland.
Courtesy Swiss Chris.

I had some problems with my blog last week but now I have a bit more space again I can show you the pictures I could not show last week about the closure of the border in Tocumwal between NSW and Victoria.

courtesy Swiss Chris.

Last Wednesday I also had to delete a lot of nice pictures from the Italian comps, as my word-press gave up on me. Too many pictures, too many words,no room anymore on the server…. I gave it out of hands and Bill is having a look.
I quickly could write down 25 x a 1000 in Germany. That’s pretty normal for Namibia, sometimes in Australia , -we had it on a couple of day’s -, but not so much ,as far as I know here in Europe.
Though Fuente sometimes has a lot as well. Mostly in August when their season is full on. I noticed by the way their very first 1000k last week , so early in their season, in a Stemme S 12, flown by a very happy pilot, Gil Souviron from France;
” My first 1000km with the S12. What a glider!”
Even Schempp-Hirth was pleased with all results on that remarkable Tuesday, especially with the best flight for the day on the OLC by young Matthias in the Discus 2b.
On Thursday July 9 Schempp-Hirth wrote;
“What a day yesterday in our area! Many 1000k and very likely a new German record for the Arcus-M “20” with Mario and Tilo!
But congratulations especially to Mr Matthias Arnold, from the Weinheim gliding club, who performed 1163,6km in a Discus-2b, winner of OLC day ! Impressive distance!”
Tilo from Schempp-Hirth, flew himself that day with Mario, it turned out a great flight but unfortunately not  a new record.
 I counted all over 1000 km. flights again, as sometimes they add a day or 2 later; 25 !!!!
Michael Sommer flew 1.263 km in the “mighty” EB 29R, on a “mighty” good day. He was one of the 6 who flew the 1000-triangle.[1.195 km]
Stefan Langer flew that too in his ASG 29/18m., 1.132 km with a speed of 110 km./h.[1.031 km. triangle!!]
Great results also for Uwe Wahlig in the LS 3 with 992 km. [770 FAI triangle] , Eric Schneider in an LS 8 neo with 998 km[746 triangle] and Henrik Theiss with 1.058 km [766 triangle] in a Discus 2 CT/18m.

The black Saturday showed 4 fast long flights in the USA from Moriarty between 1.172 [ JS 3 /18m] and 1.250 km. [Ventus 2CM/18m] with speed of 153 km./h.
Also Europe had great weather 1000 km-flights from Germany, France and Belgium.
Our black Sunday
turned out to be a top day, specially in Germany. As I told you we had stunning conditions too, but most of our pilots needed to be together and reflex on what had happened.
Members of other clubs flew 102 in total and pilot Thies Bruins flew in a DG 400/17 m. a distance of 914 km. from de Voorst and Steven and Alfred Paul flew a 1000 from Terlet. Steven just missed out on the declared 1000 .
More than 3000 flights were added to the OLC.
Have a look at the OLC it was indeed a HAMMER-day. Over 70 1000km.-flights in Germany only. Several were triangles as well.
Alexander Mueller flew in his EB 29 a distance of 1.319 km. [1000 triangle] and mentioned it could have been much bigger when the Oberpfaltz , later in the day, would have co-operated.
Bert Schmelzer jr.declared from Hausen an Albis a 1000 FAI triangle and flew it in his ASG 29/18m.
Monday still was good in Germany with over 20x a 1000km. flight. Have a look!

This weekend , really had an impact on me. When I read in the paper how people passing by heard the “big bang” of the collision, I could not do anything else than think of the accident we had in Tocumwal , when we just started as owners,when a glider pilot happily came back from a flight …pulled up….and just flew under in the fuselage of the Blanik who just had started with our co owner Jeff and the 25 year old Kirsten.
Never forget the bang….. Never ever……
All 3 were dead on one beautiful sunny and hot afternoon in January about 15 years ago.
On a Sunday…..
And our Dennis and Kees …..both within one week,[ Sunday December 27 1987 and Sunday January 3 in 1988] an impact most glider pilots from that time still feel and NEVER forget either.
This weekend will have the same impact…Lars, Sjors and Marlinde will never be forgotten….
R.I.P .

Cheers Ritz ……. Next week I will be more gay again.

This is how soaring should be AND normally is,…happy and exciting faces.

Guy Westgate and son flying a K21 fitted with a clear cockpit barrier and bluetooth headsets – at Southdown gliding club.
British Gliding Association

Comps in Italy and Slovenia continued and finished!

Ferrara in Italy
Standard class nationals and Ferrara Cup 2020.
26 June 2020 – 5 July 2020

They continued after 4 cancelled day’s on July 3 with a 1.30 AAT for the 23 Cup-“fighters”.
After 3 days of soaring, 4 non-flying days and 3 day’s to go ,….the overall scores looked like this with 5 pilots between 1.849 and 1.934 points.
Riccardo [Brigliadori] in the JS 1 had 1.934 p.
Peter [Hartmann] in the Antares 23 E had 1.873 p.
Giancarlo Grinza in the 18m. Ventus 3 had 1.863 p.
Davide [Schiavotto] in the 18m. JS 3 had 1.856 p.
Giorgio [Galetto] in the Ventus 3 had 1.849 p.

Task 4 for the CUP-FIGHTERS, was a prey for Riccardo/Ricky who flew 164 km. in time 1.32. Only 417 points for the winner, but those are POINTS….so good for his top position.
Task 5…. 276 km.;won by,…yes Ricky…he is doing WELL!!!! Speed 111 km./h quite a bit faster than Giancarlo who flew around with 103 km./h. About the same as Peter.
Only 1 out. No secret that with 1 day to go Ricky leads with about 250 points!!!!
Task 6….268 km; so a nice one to finish this CUP. A blue day with 32 dgr.C. so blue thermals.
With 119 km./h Peter won the day just ahead of Ricardo.
Great 3d place for young Davide.
Maybe not that young anymore as in Husbos he must have been under 25 and now we are 15 years further…time flies!!!
I even heard he has a family as well.As said…time flies.

The final results for Coppa Citta di Ferrarre.
1. Ricardo Brigliadori in Js 1 /21 m with 3.832 points after 6 tasks.
2. Peter Hartmann in Antares 23E 3.590 p.
3. Davide Schiavotto in JS 3/18 m. with 3.510 p.

A REAL happy Ricky . As shared by him.

The Standard class pilots had the same “pattern” in day’s and started on July 3 again as well .
Also a 1.30 AAT for the 11 pilots.
Task 4; both Fergnani’s did well. Brother Nicola won for 107 points and younger sister Michele was 3d with 102 p.
Sister and WWGC CHAMPION Elena was not flying.
Guido Dalla Rosa ,who is at 1 overall, just made it back for 87 p. He flies a 15m LS 8.
Task 5…242 km. Luca [ Urbani] showed his experience over many years and won the day with a speed of 100 km./h ….the only one over 100 km. h.
Luca [Monti] was runner up with 95 km./h.
Task 6….227 km; Guido Dalla Rosa won the day. He won 3 day’s in total but on task 5, when he was still leading overall, he was the only one “out”. Dropping from 1 to 5…..That hurts!!!!
So the final results for the standard class are:
1. Luca Urbani in Discus 2 with 3.075 points and Italian Standard class CHAMPION.
2. Lorenzo Monti AND Luca Monti equal on 2!!!!with 3.008 points.

With Luca Urbani in the middle and the “Monti’s on either side of him.


CELJE in Slovenia.
27 June 2020 – 4 July 2020

Tuggies in action by Luka Luka

The Slovenian gliding nationals and open gliding championship at Celje airfield had less “off-day’s” ……. only 1 with no task.
Club class;
On July 1 they even had a 3 hour AAT , task 5, won by Andrej [Kolar] in the DG 300;255 km. in time 2.59.
The next day was for Ales Fink also in DG 300. He flew during an 1.30 AAT, 142 km. in time 1.30 at the dot!!!
Only 10 finished.

Andrej in his DG 300 as seen by Luka Luka

Open class;15 pilots and 7 HC pilots.[Ukrain, Belgium, Austria x2, Australia, Germany and Italy]
Local pilot Bostjan Pristavec in LS 8/18m. was the winner of the 3 hour AAT; 313 km in time 3.17.[982 p.]
Pierre [de Broqueville] in the EB 29 flew 340 km. in the same time for 955 points.
The 1.30 AAT the next day, was won by Pierre with 190 km. in time 1.30 at the dot.
Matthew [Scutter] in Diana 2 and Katrin [Senne] in JS 3 followed….all 3 fly HC.

On July 3 the message from SkySight was …..
Slovenia Soaring Forecast 03.07.20: 100% chance of being able to kayak to your tent. “
And,…indeed that happened. A kayak “peddles” through the camping and kids “splash” in the water.
That meant THE END of the CELJE CUP 2020 as they could not fly anymore.

as shared by Luza.

Winners in Club class;
1. Jože Verdev in DG 303 with 3.156 points and National Champion.
2. Andrej Kolar in DG 300 with 3.099 p….from NAVITER….Good on him.
3. Boris Žorž in St. Cirrus with 3.074.GOOD!!!
They were the only 3 pilots with points over 3000 during 5 day’ s of flying.

The standard class winners!! Aeroklub Celje

Winners in Open Gliding Championship;
HC 1. Gintas Zube in ASG 29/18m. with 3.863 points.
HC 2. Pierre de Broqueville in EB 29 with 3.757 p.
1. Sebastian Ramšak in Ventus /17.6 m. with 3.711 points.
2. Boštjan Pristavec in LS 8/18 m. 3.661 p.
3. Uroš Krašovic in Ventus 3 with 2.930 p.


Other news;
When will Namibia open again?
In Europe we generally survived the corona wave. Germany is loosening up and travel within Europe is allowed again. But many ask can we fly to Africa again in winter? In any case it does not look bad for Namibia. Namibia is also loosening up. With the exception of the hot spot Walvis Bay travel is free again within the country. And on September 18 they want to open the borders again
Preparations for the coming season at the Bitterwasser gliding center are ongoing. The planning is currently going through everything that could be possible with regard to conditions and how they can be implemented in the lodge. Director Rainer Hog: “We are doing everything we can to fly in Bitterwasser again in November.”
In any case there should be no savings for young pilots. Wilfried
Großkinsky sees his 1000 k training camp as set for the young pilots he has invited. And the young glider pilots, who are now fighting for the invitation of Bitterwasser AG for a week of long-distance gliding in Namibia in the Europe-wide Bitterwasser Cup will not make any efforts in vain.
The Namibian tourism initiative will prepare a basis for how and under what conditions holiday traffic in Namibia can start again this summer: In mid-July, Namibia will launch the “tourism revival initiative” for an overseeable number of tourists. This first tentative opening will show how holiday traffic, this important source of income for the country, can be revived.

Ely Arpt, was the place to be for 1000 plus flights. I counted 6 in 2 day’s. You think that pilots are over the moon , certainly for the first one, happy with the so maniest , so looking at the comment from Keith Essex I was a bit confused…you fly for fun…or…
His comment over his 1.202 km flight [912 FAI triangle] made me think;
” Uwe, it was awful. 19k cloud bases made me want to give up and go back to the airport. I had a scary 15 knot thermal that made me want to go home too. I wish I would have been driving instead. “
By the way his 12th 1000 plus since Mai 24 2020. The longest was a yo-yo on June 28 when he flew 1.618 km. from Minden in a 15m. JS 3 with a speed of 217,59 km./h.!!!!!!!.

For my Aussie mates;
On behalf of NSW Gliding, Lake Keepit Soaring Club is pleased to host the 2020 NSW State Championships. A great place to go to!!!!!
It’s been a tumultuous year, what better way to shake the shackles of 2020 with a week of fast & fair competitive gliding at
your favourite social club with a gliding problem, LKSC
. “
Registration: https://keepitsoaring.com/comp…/2020-nsw-gliding-state-comp/

Talking about Australia,…today they closed the borders between 2 states. Victoria and NSW. Melbourne has a lot of new corona patients so for every bodies safety they closed the borders.
As you know I lived for several years in Tocumwal and the Murray River is the border between NSW and Victoria.We lived in NSW but often shopped just over the border in Victoria.
Very tough on my mates but for their own good… I then hope .

As promised…..Tijl’s blog about the in’s and out’s on his 1.250 flight very interesting to read….lot’s of great preparation.:

6 x a 1000 in France from several fields, last Monday!!! 3 in open class gliders and 3 in 18m.Ventus 2CM….18 m.,ASG 29E….ASH 26E!!!!
25 x a 1000 in Germany yesterday ….6 of them FAI triangles!!! Have a look at the OLC. Whilst we are sitting in the rain at least till next Monday.

The by now monthly Gliding International “arrived” digital on my laptop. With news about
….the Schleicher AS 34.
…after 3 moths Sebastian Kawa is recovered from his up hill landing after an electric failure.
…More problems with engines of ALL kind, are a “sorrow” !!! OSTIV looks into it too.
….PERLAN pilot Jim Payne about the record flight in the Brazilian made and designed [ by Brazilian born professor/aerospace engineer Paulo Iscold] NIXUS
…Hydrogen fuel’s future..
…the worlds biggest wind tunnel company
…international aviation news for glider pilots

Enough to read so CU next week
Cheers Ritz

Tijl .. 1.250 diploma!National comps in Ferrara and Celje !

July 1 2020;Holland opens more facilities in this COVID-19 period. Europe opens borders from and to safe countries and in Holland the donor law starts today…automatically you donate your organs to somebody else IF you have not reacted on the government mail.

As promised,…..Yes…. indeed we had a heat wave last week!!!! Not in the whole country but in a few states and “my” state was one of them.
Friday we had 33 dgr. C and the change arrived in the evening and what change!!!
Never ever in my life I have seen such heavy weather.
Hail, rain, thunderstorms and storm,…we had it all and for at least an hour.
That caused a lot of disaster in my town. The street in front of my house was a wild river.
Car’s tried to go through the high water, but got stuck. Luckily somebody organised the traffic, which was really good as when a bus passed by earlier, the water went to the front of my door.
The damage is huge..I was lucky…only 5 cm. of water in my shed,.so Saturday was cleaning and mopping day.

no street to be seen…Water just did not reach my front door. Water was about 30 cm high in the street.

A sport hall and ware house lost part of their roofs, many cellars were under water so the firebrigade was busy all night and Saturday to get rid of the water.

I remember one such day when the roof of the sun-room at the SSC in Tocumwal just collapsed after a down burst.
What we had now was a huge super-cell, not happening a lot in Holland.


Ferrara in Italy…Standard class Nationals.
June 26-July 5 ..2020

Competition soaring has started again.
Norway was one of the first as I could see, with their nationals and they flew 5 days.
To be read in the new Nordic Gliding & aviation magazine by Executive editor Jens Trabolt.


Italy has the standard class Nationals in Ferrara. They started on June 26 with a 179 km. task for the 11 pilots.
Among them 2 from the Luca family, 2 from the Fergnani family and “good old” Luca Urbani.
Last Sunday ‘s news [June 28] ;
There is a not a great sky today, gliding conditions will be weaker than yesterday but there will still be enough thermal activity to complete the tasks of 205 km for the Standard Class and 236 km for the Ferrara City Cup


At the same time the Coppa Citta di Ferrara is flown by 23 pilots among them toppers as Giorgio Galetto, Ricardo Brigliadori and Peter Hartmann.
Day 1 with 228 km. was won by Davide [Schiavotto] in a JS 3 /18 m.who I met for the first time in Husbos at the JWGC. Leonardo was his TC then.
4 Pilots were “out”.
Day 2 with 262 km. was for Peter [Antares 23E] with a speed of 121 km./h. Ricardo was runner up Js 1/21 m.They started with 1 minute difference and finished together, so a difference of 3 points for the day.
All finished!
Day 3 with 240 km. was for Ricardo and Peter was runner up.
Day 4 showed NO FLYING.
Day 5 today has been cancelled. The great weather is “off” in Europe hopefully not for too long.RAIN!!!!!



June 27-July 4.

Aeroclub Celje organises international competition Celje Cup 2020, as part of XXIX. Slovenian national gliding championships in club, 15m mixed and open class.
Competition is organised in association with Aeronautical Association of Slovenia
. “
They fly in club [ 22 pilots and 3 are flying HC] and open class with 22 pilots, among them Katrin Senne , Pierre de Broqueville and Gintas Zube all as HC pilots.
They started with 2 x a 3 hour AAT in open. Gintas won both day’s in his ASG 29E/18m. He also won day with a 1.30 AAT with 162 km in time 1.29.
Pierre flew 169 km in his EB 29 in time 1.40.
No flying yesterday and no task yet for today,..but if it rains there as it does here,..I do understand!!!


Some pilots REALLY love their long distance flying. One of them Tijl Schmelzer!! AND,…for what ever he does or flies he is the best prepared pilot I know!!!
Tijl;”After many years of planning and waiting for the right weather constellation, the stars and cloudstreets aligned.
If the paperwork works out, this will be 1250km Diploma nr. 32, and the 7th flown in Europe.

Here is part of his OLC comment and you can see the track there as well;
After a takeoff and tow under 8 octas altocu, I made it narrowly to the first cumulus clouds, which gave a choppy 0.5m/s. After the connection to the cu was made, things quickly improved. The altocu field transformed into wide cloudstreets. From Le Mans towards the South East of Paris, everything went on rails with XC-speeds of above 150km/h. The Champagne area, the Ardennes, and the Eiffel were all equally brilliant with few difficulties. The Sauerland, as usual with this type of weather, was not as good, but cloudbase was luckily 2000m. The turnpoint was reached with an average speed of 128km/h, in the middle of the 123 km/h (thermal) and 137 km/h (rolls) forecast. I then had to choose to either go for 1250km diploma, or use the altitude to just glide 35km towards the north east for the Belgian free straight distance record. I decided to take a risk and try for the diploma. After taking the turnpoint, I carefully maneuvered to the slopes. Unfortunately, the wind forecast turned out to be quite correct, and against the headwind still with the heavy glider, it was hardly possible to retain altitude ridge running. So it was necessary to continue using thermals on this leg. This took a large amount of time. A bit South-East of Porta was the last thermal, and ahead were only dark grey skies. I could just reach the last turnpoint, and immediately opened the water valves. Then the empty Ventus 3 showed his efficiency and excellent feel for the airmass. The vario didn’t move above 0.5m/s on the slopes, but the tailwind pushed in direction of the goal. Only at Bisperode, where the wind fully hit the slope, climb rates were a bit better and I could make some altitude. From the last good slope near Ithwiesen, a glide ratio of 75 was needed to reach the goal. On the last stretch, the rarely used low and shallow slopes towards Northeim and the airfield Sultmer Berg made it possible to complete the task with a small but sufficient margin. What a fantastic experience! “
The full story with pictures will follow in a few days in his blog aboutgliding.com

Look what the French wrote about it last Monday!
“Monday 29.06.2020 : an amazing day ! On Sunday, we received a message from Tijl Schmelzer “Can I fly from Saint-Sulpice tomorrow with a very early launch?”. Positive answer, of course. Tijl started his long drive from Belgium to Brittany.
Monday @ 7:15, we met Tijl and his parents at the airfield. His beautiful Ventus3T “2X” was already rigged and full of water.
Unfortunately the sky was disappointing 8/8 of grey, but thermal activity started at 9h45 east of the airfield Tijl had very well prepared his challenge. He quickly and cleverly adapted his task and changed his start point. I towed him at 9:56 to La Gacilly where Tijl took his start. He landed 12 hours later in Germany near Hannover after a 1254km distance.
Since the flight of the Herbaud brothers (Vinon-Fes) it is the longest straight flight ever made from France and the very first one enabling a 1250km FAI diploma. And that’s from Brittany 
Congratulations Tijl ! What a blast “! shared by Philippe de Péchy

Father Philippe and son Clement de Pechy and Tijl.
As shared by Philippe de Péchy

So a goal flight from 1.264,29 km. in the Ventus 3T. Congratulations to Tijl for his flight and the family to bring him back home from close to Hanover, after the flight .As you know they are a REAL gliding family!!!!
Here is in short their story...they heard Saturday evening from Tijl’s plans.
Straight away they drove that evening to Keiheuvel to pick up the glider and bring it to Antwerp.
Next day they drove the 750 km to Rennes put their tent at the field for a short sleep , rigged and put water in the Ventus 3 and waited till Tijl was airborne after a change of plan.
the early morning satellite pictures showed a high moisture plate coming in from the ocean, which wasn’t forecasted by any of the weather models. This meant a 45 minute delay, and moving the start point 55km to the east. So sadly, no startpoint over the Atlantic Ocean. This required a quick change of plans and stretching the turnpoints to the limits of the weather and airspace window (and it turned out to be very tight). “
Keeping an eye on the OGN, they left at 11 AM and drove with the empty trailer over 1.400 km. via Parijs, Vallenciennes, Liège, Aken, Keulen, Dortmund, Porta-Westfalica !!! Mum 2 hours , dad 2 hours and so on!
At 23.30 they caught up, …glider in the trailer and back home another 420 km. to arrive there at 5.30 AM , to open their practice at 9!!!!
Tired but happy and satisfied!!!!
When you do not love soaring,…..you can’t do this, this is pure dedication to soaring and to their son’s, as Bert has done in before too.
Bert jr. has the 28th 1.250-diploma. Tijl now the 32d world wide.
CHAPEAU for the family.

Picture from last year with Tijl, Bert jr. and his wife Barbara, Hilde and Bert sr.
Courtesy the Schmelzer family

From Holland the 700 km flight in his LS 4 from Robin [Smit] last Sunday is worthwhile mentioning too.His goal was an out and return to “douce” France, but there was a lot of wind….45 km/h.!!!So he changed his plans .
It took him a while to fly 215 km out, but the way back with the strong wind “blowing” him back was fast and within 1.5 h. he was back at Gilze were he was launched by winch,…he put the winch AND the cables out before his flight.
So as he said 800 km would have been in it as well.

as shared by Robin.

Also ..last Sunday. ..an epic day for the pilots in the Nixus.
Jim [Payne] flew the glider over 2.270 km. from Minden!!!!Even with a “crash” of the flight recorder!
” I declared a 767 km out & return which we completed at 215.9 kph (134.1 mph), beating a 72 mph record that my brother, Tom, and I set 16 years ago from Ely. “
It turned out a much longer zig-zag flight, as you can read in his OLC comment.
That day Keith [Essex] ..who else…flew 1.618 km. in his 15 m. JS 3. Also a zig -zag-flight in mostly high wave!


To finish a picture from all kind of activities in a hangar/workshop in Japan as shared by Takeshi Saito

Takeshi Saito

CU next week, oh and about the WWGC,…..the tribunal for the appeals exists out of 3 persons one from Sweden, one from France and one from Greece.
It will take I guess a few months before we know the final results.
I’ll keep you updated.
Cheers Ritz

What a splendid weekend!!!

Last weekend was “special”.
First of all of course summer started in this part of the world and winter for my mates down under.
WE had the longest day…so on our way to winter again…and THEY the shortest with in a few months…. longer days and summer again.
Our Scandinavian mates celebrated MIDSUMMER NIGHT.
Do I remember such a night??
YES I do…it’s some kind of magic evening around the fire and as it nearly stays light all night you feel some kind of “lost”.
I spend a few of those nights in either Sweden or Finland and always something special happened. Great memories!!!!
Also very special, at the beginning of this summer 2020 …a solar eclipse was to be seen,…unfortunately not here… .

The weather last Saturday as seen at Terlet by Marloes.

Our summer started really well with …if we still have the fore-casted 31 dgr. C next Sunday …a HEATWAVE!!!
Last Saturday was nice warm but they need 1 week here for a heat wave with temperatures above 25 dgr. C and from them 3 should be over 30. That started yesterday with great clouds over my garden and 28 dgr.C.. So we are in the middle of a heatwave now,…. over 30 here today,… if it is local or for the whole country I tell you next week.
The weather is definitely changing, we have many more sunny day’s than 10 years ago and drought??? We did not even know about it here.
Now they have vineyards in Norway!!!!!

Back to Saturday Tim Kuijpers flew NEARLY a declared 1000 km from Holland in his ASW 20; 999.98 km!!!Mind you over flat-land.
Another young pilot Robin Smit flew 915 km in his LS 4!!
Both flew JWGC’s. Tim was JWGC CHAMPION in 2011 [Musbach] and Robin vice- JWGC champion in 2015.[Narromine]
My Belgian mates flew from Keiheuvel 721 km in LS 8 [Jeroen] and 840km. in Ventus 3E [Tijl].They both flew JWGC’s as well.

Picture courtesy Jeroen Jennen, who flew together with Keiheuvel mate Pieter over Belgium, Germany and Holland. Long live the open borders again.

Sunday was another great day with 5 x a 1000 and
MONDAY was very special, at least for ASH31/21m pilot Hermann Eingang from Austria who manged to fly 1.408 km. from Noetsch.
1.251 km. was flown as well in a DG 600M/18m. !!!!
And 1.099 in an LS 7 WL!!!
Just over the border in Slovenia a few 1000’s as well…. one in a St. Cirrus and 2 in a DG 300!!!!! Well done!!!!
Worldwide 12 new 1000 km. flights .
Skysight shared the picture from the Slovenian situation.

as shared by SkySight

AND YES,…Holland had another 1000 as well now by Alfred Paul from Terlet in his ASG 29 E/18m.
My grandchildren had Sunday a great time at Terlet as well, with nice young mates and instructors at the Gelderse and 3 starts each!!!
A total of around 40 pilots added their flight from Terlet on the OLC.
Dutch weather impression by Frank

Weather on June 20 as seen and shared by Frank Hiemstra.


Fresh news from Matthew Scutter. ” Please welcome the newest member of the #skysight family. “
Congratulations,…..talking about former JWGC pilots ,Matthew is another one ,..he even was world champion at the Narromine JWGC.

Date of birth: 23.6.2020
Name: LL
Width: 15m
Weight: 269.2kg
Type: SZD-56-3 Diana 2-NG FES
Shared by Matthew Scutter’s Gliding


Some different skies in the UK yesterday. VERY interesting and huge lenti !!!

This pic was taken by Stuart Woolger who shared it on an Exmouth Facebook group
as shared by British Gliding Association

That’s it for now. The world slowly opens up more here on this side of the world. Let’s hope no new cases are going to ruin a bit more freedom.
Stay safe
Cheers Ritz

Hot!!!!Looking back at Minden.

Last weekend was HOT, HUMID and WET.
On Sunday, code yellow was in place, but more to the NE of Holland. They had 87 mm. of rain, twice as much as normally in the WHOLE month of June.
The station counted 2500 lightning strikes.
We had this spectacle on Saturday evening.
Germany had it as well and their NW was even hit harder than our NE.

Minden-Tahoe had a few very good flights last week, even with pilots saying “finally a good day”!
Jim [Payne] in the NIXUS flew 1.108 km. with a speed of 144 km./h
Bested two records that my brother, Tom, and I set 24 years and 2 days ago: US two-place open class distance around a triangle and speed around a 1,000 km triangle plus a record that did not exist then: free distance around a triangle. “
Some places had TOP- soaring weather
Friday; Rainer Cronjaeger in his ASH 31/21 m. flew 1.343 km , from Hausen am Albis in Switzerland. TOP!!!!
Saturday; it was Keith Essex again with an awesome flight from Moriarty; 1.228 km. in the JS 3/18 m. It was not good everywhere, due to thunderstorms, but some places were ”  were ripping good, ” as he called it.
His 5th 1000 km. flight from there in June only. The 11th for this season.
Number 12 was flown yesterday.
In Finland Antti flew his 4th 1000 k. for the season from Rayskala.

When I see Minden I think of our stay there, when the pre- worlds were flown in 1990.

Minden Town/Gardnerville were we drove trough to go to the airport.

I told the story before, but it is such a nice story that I am sure you don’t mind I tell it again in this COVID-19 period.
I was TC of 5 Dutch pilots who trained in Minden as preparation of the next WGC over there.
In the end we finished a year later in Uvalde, [ due to the flying-fire -brigade in Minden , which HAD to be able to fly out at ALL times] my first visit to that airfield in hot Texas,with far more good memories as the 2d visit in 2012.

Ready for the day with Mary,Daan, Rob George and in the golf car Rolf who as far as I remember worked there that year.
Bernald “Bernie” Smith and Hannes Linke were in the organisation . Mary and I walk behind them.

Of course we had social events and on a BBQ evening, we met Joe Lodato. He liked my friend, the blond Janet [Hider Smith R.I.P.] from Australia and after a few drinks he invited her and a few of her mates for a flight in his Albatross. We had to be there at 6 in the morning the next day, with food for a pick nick at the wing in the middle of the Lake Tahoe.
Haha we thought,….nice joke!!!
BUT,….we decided with a few to wake up early and to go to the Carson City airport to see what would/could happen,….luckily we did,……yes he was there!!! Joe and his huge amphibian plane.
George turned 41 that day and he was as present [and as airline pilot], allowed to fly as co with Joe behind the “wheel”.

Joe and George.

After a short but very exciting flight we landed at the beautiful lake and were surrounded in a very short time by jet skiers and speed boats who wanted to see what this “weird” bird did at the lake.
We had our pick nick AT the wing at LAKE TAHOE. Never thought of such a thing!!!!

With Daan.?? George and Bruce Brockhoff, me [sitting and holding on as it was a wobbly] and Janet, Joe and Janet’s crew who I met last year again in Lake Keepit.

Flying gliders there was according to my pilots [ Daan, Rob, Sikko, Gerrit and George ] TOP. Why not,…with such a view!

Rob, Daan and Sikko flying together over the Lake. When I remember well Sikko made this great picture.

A few weeks after we had left Minden, Joe called us. His Albatross was for sale, if George maybe was interested?? Unfortunately he was, ,,,pffff…. that beautiful- nail-on-your-death-coffin….it’s just a TOO EXPENSIVE toy.
So it was flown from Carson City [USA] to Tocumwal [Australia} ,has been there for a while and I believe it is still in Tocumwal.
After a flight it arrived back and one of the engines got fire and damaged the plane. They then found some corrosion in one wing too, so it’s in the hangar with one wing off.

The Albatross in Tocumwal. Several, also young pilots ,learned how to fly it. Our tuggie Bones was one of them and he later was chief pilot at Paspaley Pearls flying another flying boat the Mallard.

The lesson of this story,…..be careful at either competition you attend, you might not know with what you arrive home. HAHA……
Won’t talk about some pilots taking home a new lady friend,……
By the way, “we” bought Joe’s CONTINENTAL, with suicide doors as well, that arrived later in Holland…….

The green one is the CONTINENTAL. We took it for a day out to explore the area we went to Truckee as well


That’s it for now.
Soccer has started in some countries,not in Holland, we don’t finish the competition,…. but Italy, Spain, Germany and the UK do.

To finish this picture of the 2 Dutch Junior Gliders the AU and AG. From Cirrus now to LS 4 and LS 4 WL. First time they flew together with in AG Noud Kaay and in AU Simon van den Eijkel. Good luck guy’s.

Finally for the first time flying together, at the airfield of Terlet, but for sure not the last time.

Dutch Junior Gliding Team

Cheers Ritz

Rain feels good too!!!!

After all those hot day’s , a bit of rain felt good too. A whole weekend, …maybe is a bit much , but…..still not enough to get out of the drought-impasse.
My garden certainly looked greener straight away , though I was pretty busy every day to water the plants.
My grand children could not fly last Sunday due to final exams [Dexter] and not the best weather. Though as you can see the Gelderse flies whenever possible.

Courtesy Arjan Vrieze who was instructor for the day.
Same day, same photographer,…other skies, but impressive!!

Look what looks greener too;

YES,….LAKE KEEPIT,….good to see.
Picture shared by an Aussie mate.

Wednesday ,when I published my post , the weather here in this part of Europe was still good.
Antti in Finland flew his 3d 1000 .The fastest of the 3, with 119.5 km./h!! All flown from good old Rayskala.
I felt sorry for another Finish pilot, flying an 18 m. from Hyvinkaa, DG 600; 999.36 km.!!!!!
A total of 16 pilots enjoying flights from this great field surrounded by lakes and trees.
Mathias Schunk flew in his Quintus M from Koenigsberg his 2d 1000 km. A flight he mentioned with all facet’s belonging to soaring.
The USA had some happy 1000 km-pilots as well, with Keith in his JS 3 and Jim Payne in the NIXUS. He mentioned :
Another amazing Minden day…if the 2020 Open & 15 Meter Nationals were in session there would be a lot of happy campers tonight.
Best early escape from Minden (in thermals) that I remember!
Forecast said the last leg might be less than desired but the first two legs were so good we had to go for it…there were a few ragged cu but a thick band of cirrus got us. Was one good climb short of making it home.

Then the rain arrived and the booming weather came to a stand still for a few day’s.
Not in the USA as Keith flew from Moriarty his 8th 1000 for this year. The best one definitely on April 30; 1.314,80 km. Speed….a fabulous 183,63 km../h. This time ;1.145 km. with a speed of 136 km./h.
In fact he flew 3 in a row!!!!!On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. So June 3-4 and 5.

Whilst we were sitting in the rain last Friday some French and UK pilots had pretty good weather. From St Martin, good “old” Gerard Lherm flew 707 km in a Ventus 1 and from Lasham Andy Aveling 737 km. in the ARCUS T. A flight as he called it to bond with this new glider.

Air-cadets awaiting wave flights.
Courtesy Eric Napoléon 

Talking about France,…the Air France Cadets did some wave training with Eric Napoleon flying and great lenties showed up to give them the right feeling.

Wave training..Nice to see they get training in ALL aspects of soaring. Eric Napoléon 


A nice memory-story from Finland by Riku Rissanen
Today 6.6.2020 exactly 45 years from Hans-Werner Grosse´s first 1000km triangle flight in the world. Glider was ASW 17. He took off from Nummela. In the same day, Mikko Asikainen flew worlds first 750km triangle with standard class glider (ASW 15B) from Räyskälä.
They did not have GPS and weather forecasts weren´t like today

Photo from AS webpage

No clue how long we have to wait for the first competitions again, but safety for all.
By the way the Scandinavian countries still have 700/800 km. weather.So do France and Germany.
Yesterday…..804 km. in Sweden in Discus and 832 km. in France in LS 1c.

Today the well known restaurant and bar TAVERNE DE KEI opens it’s doors again.For me just over the border in Belgium, at the airfield of the KEIHEUVEL.
Great place!!!All will be corona proof. More rules,..BUT.. same hospitality.

Normally there are many more chairs and tables but in corona time this looks safe and inviting.
Pictures shared by Brigitte.

Some more news,….bit sad,… though dying at 98 is not too bad….a real female icon;

We are sad to report that Ginny Schweizer died on June 4, 2020, just shy of her 98th birthday. Ginny was a well-known soaring champion in the 40s and wife of Paul A. Schweizer. In recognition of her many accomplishments, she was inducted into the United States Soaring Hall of Fame in 1971.

So…not too long blogs nowadays,…. still no news on the “Aussie girls” so enjoy your week and CU next week.
Cheers Ritz

Still awesome spring weather !

1000 km. flights “fly around your ears” …so many and it is only end of spring. Here in Holland the driest and sunniest ever. A drought… and water restrictions …who would have ever thought that about “wet” Holland.
Germany has the same top weather at least for soaring,..clearly not for farmers and gardens…and last Wednesday Alexander Mueller managed to fly 1.227 km [1.068 km FAI triangle] in his EB 29..top job!!!!
He flew from Bayreuth his home home field , a former WGC venue.
Also a former WGC venue,…Wiener Neustadt where Wolfgang flew a 1000 in his Ventus 3 T.
1.130 from Austria in a JS 3 /18 m.as well….great!!!!!
Jonker Sailplanes mentioned;
Our JS3 customer Martin Stressl flew 1130 km – 12 hours (27.05.2020) from Weiz (Austria) over Lienz to Chur/Arosa in Switzerland and back over Meran/Cortina d’Ampezo (Italy). Well done dear Martin. I hope you enjoyed your first 1000km flight!
His comment:
“My first 1000km flight. Thank you Uys and the whole JS Team for this fantastic toy.

Flugplatz Weiz-Unterfladnitz. in Austria where Martin started.
courtesy Jonker Sailplanes

A 500 FAI triangle in a KA 6 says enough about the weather that day,..the pilot and this good old glider. Flown from Cham Janahof [Germany] ,..to be honest never heard about that field, so Gerhard put in on the map for me/us.
A total of 13 x a 1000 km. among them 2 from the USA where Keith Essex flew from Moriarty, 1.210 km. [ Wave was up to 5,197 MSL /3.136 MSL. ] in a JS 3/18 m. James Lee flew it from Minden in JS 1 /21 m..

Thursday showed a 1000 from Rayskala in Finland by Antti in his Ventus-2cxa 18m FES .It felt like flying in Namibia he mentioned.
James Lee had another top day in his JS 1/21 m. from Minden ,1.175 km.[800 FAI triangle] and mentioned :
Cloudbase was over 21,000 at the end of the day. That’s how good it was. Blue to start, then clouds from Boundary Peak south, east, north, everywhere. Never got low, easy flight, especially going home at the end of the day .”
World wide many happy pilots again.

Friday was good too .
So good that glider pilots can go out again to “play” with the weather elements.
Another 10 x a 1000 km. from Germany, Switzerland and Luxembourg .So a huge area of Europe is pretty good,…… ‘understatement’.

Belgium unexpected opened the borders to Holland again on Saturday and pilots were allowed to fly again, not yet over all borders but still in fabulous weather.
Same, same in Holland where 128 pilots “played” with the clouds. A flight in an LS6/18m resulted in 746 km!!!! Best flight for the day 913 [744 triangle] in an ASW22 BLE,…no doubt a fabulous glider!!!
Some even called it the best day in Holland they could ever remember.

Back at the Keiheuvel[Belgium] again, after what Jeroen called an awesome day certainly in the Ardennes.
Courtesy Jeroen Jennen.

On June 1 the meteorological summer started and summer it is!!!Pfff…it feels like Australia here with 30 dgr.C. yesterday… BUT as you know,…I love it!!!

The Pentecost weekend was great for everything,sunbathing , walking, surfing ,biking, soaring and so many more out-door-sports.
The OLC showed a total of 5.118 flights over 3 day’s worldwide !!!!
On Saturday another 3 x 1000 km. flights from Holland, it’s unreal!!?? Alfred Paul and Mark ,who mostly fly long distances together in each their ASG 29 E, tried “other tasks” for a change.
Mark declared an 715 FAI triangle and flew it with 123 km./h. and added a few extra to make the 1000.
Alfred Paul tried the Eiffel and Sauerland direction Trier;.1005 km.
Dirk Nieuwenhout and Ronald Termaat flew together in the EB 28 from Dirk. They set an 800 km as the weather was good but the expectation was not that good. They even broke off their task, flew 750 k. and as the weather was unreal at the time they were back at Terlet, they “just” added another 250 k to make it a nice 1.012 km.
Robin Smit , back from N.Z. again, flew in his new glider the LS 4 843 km.
I am going a bit on and on, but this weather is so special for Holland and also for Germany. Most Dutch pilots flew far into Germany.

Yesterday was TOP again;no 1000 k in Holland…it’s not every day party time,…but still great flights…and a normal working-day. Tim Kuijpers ,who just won the CONDOR-virtual-E-nationals, flew 600 km in his ASW 20 from his home field Malden and stayed ALL over Holland!!!
Germany showed 2 x a 1000. Austria 1 x.


News from Jonker Sailplanes;
JS2 SL Manufacturing Started on 30.5.2020.
What an exciting day! The long wait is over! The Prototyping team has commenced with the manufacturing of the first JS2 Self Launcher Prototype. The first skin layup has been completed! More to come

as shared by Jonker Sailplanes


The Dutch organized, because the NATIONALS were not allowed to be flown due to CID-19, an E -championship soaring ,which finished on Sunday Mai 31. Top Meteo was involved for the weather and every time there were different tasks for the 2 classes.[ club,standard and 20 m AND 15m,18m.,and open] The best results of the 7 flying days, the worst 2 day’s have been skipped, were used to crown the champion.
In the flapped class Reinier van Rijnberk won with 6896 points, before Erwin de Bruin with 6809 points….51 flew in this class.
2 Belgian pilots [Jeroen Jennen 6898 points and Quinten Hermans 6805 p.] were up in the top, in the non-flapped class, but can’t be Dutch champion.
So Tim Kuijpers won with 6777 points just ahead of Frank Hiemstra with 6668 points……..68 pilots in this class.
Congratulations to all Dutch and Belgian E-pilots!!!
Great show!!!They even “think” about an E-WGC. Why not….

a picture from CONDOR live on youtube.
As shared by https://blog.topmeteo.eu/en/the-dutch-make-a-show-of-their-online-competition


a dedicated, purpose built facility to showcase Tocumwal’s unique and significant military and civilian aviation heritage.
courtesy Tocumwal Aviation Museum

I am very pleased with the picture holding the message that the Aviation Museum will open in 2021.
For several years we had the unique collection of lot’s and lot’s of WW2 heritage in our WW2 hangar. Buses came from Melbourne with people to play in the casino, but a lot also came for a visit to see the unique heritage and to listen to our friend Bob Brown who had the best voice to tell the stories full of passion about the hangar , the people and planes at the airfield.
All who visited us still remember,I am sure!!!
Bob and Gina are the “engines” behind the museum and maybe I travel up to be there for their great moment [Bob is in his 90thies] if this corona world is normal again.

Talking about Tocumwal , it was Ingo’s 80-tiest birthday!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY INGO!!!! Can’t believe he is already 80!!!All the best Ingo. I remember many opportunities we celebrated together, even his wedding.He ALWAYS is a GENTLEMAN and SUCH A GREAT pilot!!!!

Ingo, here together with another old friend Tony Tabart [TT]

Very pleased to hear that my grand children enjoyed their time soaring , last weekend at Terlet. Even with the strong thermals, creating high turbulence.
As said it was the first experience in Holland for Dexter. Indya got solo last season.
After grandma and granddad, mum and dad,… it’s the new generation now flying around. Proud grandma!!!
Tomorrow my granddaughter gets her diploma after finishing 6 years of study at the Sygnus gymnasium. She is “only” 16 years old!!!!!

One of my Aussie mates shared this picture/cartoon from Michael Leunig Appreciation Page

no words needed….I could laugh about it….

Cheers Ritz

Hottest spring ever in Holland!

Such a pity that the “new normal’ is not the “old normal” ,but what can you do.
At least rules are less strict now, but it shows as well more infected people.

Ken” incognito” in our new normal, with a compulsory mask.
As he said, “it’s either this or not flying” Easy choice.
As shared by Ken.

Last Wednesday when I published my blog ,the Swedes had sensational weather; 3 x a 1000 and all 3 flown from Dala Jarna , which is NW from Borlange, where the WGC was in the past.
Looking at the tracks they flew together in a Nimbus 3/25.5 m., in a Ventus 17.6 m and an LS 6. Some kind of yo-yo ,….must have been good over a big area. Most probably they declared the flights as well.
The 838 km. flight from Per Carlin in an LS 1f, from Arboga was TOP too.
Also Noetsch had a 1000 k. in in a DG 600m/18 m.

SKYSIGHT published this picture about the great weather in Sweden with text:
” Outstanding flights in Sweden today, looks like a declared 1200km flight in a Nimbus 3. “
It was a declared 1000 plus 200 km. so a total of 1.226.8 km.!!!!!!!!

Last Thursday ..Ascension-day….was a “day-off” in parts of Europe. Normally we have a million German guests at our Nord sea beaches and a lot from Belgium as well. BUT,…covid-19 keeps many borders closed.
With the great weather it could have been even more as most have, or take the Friday off as well.
You could see on the OLC that lots of pilots were happy with the weather and the fact that they could “play outside-again”.
2101 Flights on this Thursday including 5 x a 1000. One by Tomas Suchanek from CZ. in his Ventus C 17.6 m.
3 From Germany ….one special in a Nimbus 4 T ; a 1000 Triangle….and Wolfgang flew one from Austria in his Ventus 3.
Worth mentioning as well the 885 km[ 750 triangle] from Bamberg in an LS 4 WL.

Saturday was another awesome soaring- day in Holland.Mark [Leeuwenburgh] even topped the world wide OLC list that day, with 909 km [403 km triangle]
Also junior Maurits had a great day with 811 km in the Discus 2T/18m.
They partly flew together from Hilversum as their club , the Amsterdamse, at Soesterberg, has temporarily no soaring- action due to the breeding from some protected birds.
309 pilot’s added their flight to the OLC list.

Yesterday Finland enjoyed cold clear again, with superb conditions.
I still remember the first day from the Europeans in Rayskala with a 1000 as task , flown by nearly all pilots in open class.
In the evening I saw 3 x a 1000 from Finland. Twice from Rayskala with Antii in Ventus-2cxa 18m FES and Sami [EB 28] and 1 by Sorin from Jamijarvi in an ASH 31 /21 m.
987 km. in an LS 8 T by Kristian Roine was good!!!!! As well as the 750 FAI triangle from Antti[Koskiniemi] in the DISCUS 2!!!!
He tried a national speed record….112.74 km./h.
48 Flights from Finland and I saw flights from a lot of my mates.

The Pentecost weekend looks pretty good so my grand children hope to fly then too.

It is nice to see that my friend Teresa who lives in Sweden flew in Ekeby yesterday, whilst her son visited in his “chopper”.
In this COVID 19 period the helicopters are used as well to transport patients between hospitals, I heard. GOOD ON YOU MIKAEL.
Such a proud moment for a mum.
I remember when my son passed by in his plane over Keiheuvel, when he was still in training to be an airline pilot. Felt very proud then too.

As shared by Teresa.

And to finish this spectacular picture shared by many, but taken by Jan Erik Arud.
The video from this ASK 21 in landing in Norway is on you tube.There you can see lightning and hear THUNDER!!!!

ASK 21 in landing. Courtesy Jan Erik Arud.

And to remind you again that things can go terribly wrong as well, this picture, shared by the Italians, from the glider flown by a 29 year old/young lady.

Last Sunday this DG 200 was badly hurt. The female pilot survived this crash and had only minor injuries. How lucky she was!!!!

CU next week
Cheers Ritz

News from G.I. as promised and great SPRING soaring conditions.

Starting today with the GLIDING INTERNATIONAL, as I found a lot of the reading very interesting!!!
Specially of course the letter from Terry TC from team Australia at the WWGC.
Here are some items which are in more detail in the virtual or paper magazine.
—The SEVENTY 2 ONE adventure. The ETA 72;1 …ultimate soaring in a glider with this huge gliding angle. A co -operation between pilot Uli Schwenk [European Champion in 1998 and 3x vice world champion in NZ in open class and twice in 13.5 m] and Keith Gately, owner of the ETA. I know both pilots pretty well and met them again at the final party from the WWGC in Lake Keepit in the beginning of this year, where we had a long talk!!!
Great business for when you are interested.
By the way, I read that the wingspan equals the span of an Airbus 320.
7 Pages with pictures as well.
—-The Will’s family…John the editor of G.I. found in his “huge” archive a real interesting letter from Dick Georgeson , the first as he calls it, REAL AUTHORITY on wave soaring in the fifties and sixties.Of course at Omarama….so then the Wills family is in too.
—-IGC meeting 2020…about OGN…with of course the tragic circumstances at the WWGC and all new dates for the next comps and much more.
I wrote about it too in the past.
—-The “right of reply”…This is about Terry , the TC from Australia. I can’ t copy the text for you, but it was appalling to read how he “wildly” accuses EVERYBODY [jurors, steward and CD even all 9 TC’s who were really angry when they found out what had happened ,he calls them “emotional”] except himself and Matt, who found out / knew, as he worked on the development of the tracker years earlier, how to use the compulsory tracker, without delay.
And,…to confuse everybody he goes on and on over the OGN,….which had NOTHING to do with it. What can I say more??!!!
He keeps going on with “we did nothing wrong, it was all legal”, as well.
I heard that during one of the first TC meetings the question was put, if the competition tracking system could be made available without the 15 min delay. It was explicitly stated by the CD that the rules required the 15 min. delay and the raw data could not be provided to anyone without that delay.
Maybe he “forgot” the 15 minutes compulsory rule?!
—-The LS 8.…neo, AND the introduction of the FES for this glider.
—-Bureaucracy at it’s very worst…. NO DOUBT ,…it’s about OMARAMA.
—-the 2020 Helli Lasch… from how it started till now. Good to see that not only the South African top pilots but also their juniors had an invitation as well.Must have been great to compete and listen to world champions.
—-Magazine frequency…..from July 2020 the G.I. will be published monthly!!!!10 issues per annum monthly with the exception of December and January. There will be 2 versions printed/posted and digital.
And much more news, as always 62 pages of reading pleasure.


All over Europe ,after the lock downs , glider pilots are lyric about their first flights. They had to look for weeks at great skies but could not “do” something,BUT,… NOW at a lot of places they can and they do/did !!!!
“Just” on a Thursday 415 flights on the OLC and some VERY GOOD ones!!!!
Looking at our skies in Holland I was hoping for some long ones, as there were great clouds and a bit of wind and still cold, some ingredients for nice soaring.
It was !!!!
Holland had 42 flights that day and 5x a 1000 plus!!!! That does n’t happen every spring.
Steven Raimond had a flight of 1.048 km. [622 triangle] from Terlet in his ASG 29 E/18m.
He flew up N into Friesland and continued over the N of Germany. He declared a 750, but was so fast at the first TP that he stayed on for another 250 k.,though the way back, the last 484 km, was at places a bit difficult, he mentioned.
AND,…3 more over 1000 k. flights from Terlet. Thanks to the daily-Gelderse-crew at Terlet ,who made it possible to start with a few at 10 AM.
Alfred Paul Alfers flew 1.119 km. from Teuge in the same glider.
WHAT A DAY was his comment.
He declared a 1.025 km out and return ,
Also a great flight from Hilversum …840 [679 triangle] in an LS 4 by Maurits Hebels in the new LS 4 AU from the Dutch juniors!!
Top glider Top day was his comment!!!
Dutch pilot Paul Wijsman shared this picture below.

Also last Thursday, Germany had 305 pilots flying and 14x a 1000 km, so more happy pilots!!!
A 600 declared FAI triangle from Stade in a mosquito is worth mentioning too.
One of the German top pilots Tassilo Bode flew 929 km [461 triangle] from Wilsche in the Ventus 3 M WITHOUT water!!!
He shared this picture.

courtesy Tassilo Bode

On Friday another TOP DAY in Germany with a few [4] more 1000 k. flights.
A great start of the new season weather-wise. Without corona the world would have looked so different.419 flights in total on the OLC.
That day it was less good here here in Holland, but still a 600 km. FAI triangle for Steven.
On Saturday; In total 1309 flights worldwide,WOW, that IS SOARING again !!!!
4x a 1000 k , we are getting used to it this spring,and one very good 975 km [750 FAI triangle] in an LS 8 by the junior world champion from 2019 Simon Schroeder.

On Sunday ,1628 flights , and a few over or just under 700 km from Hilversum in Holland by Sikko and Mark. Skies looked great and you could “feel ” the thermals here more in the SE of Holland as well.
2 Flights just over 1000 k;what about 1.000.63 km!? by Alexander Mueller in the EB 29 from Bayreuth.
Bernd Goretzki flew 1.008,12 km from Locktow in Ventus 3M .

Sikko in the air last Sunday , as seen and shared by Mark.

On Monday it was Norway with great conditions. We saw already that Sweden and Denmark, as well as Finland enjoyed the cold clear air before.
The only 1000 km. flight on the OLC , that day, was in a Nimbus 4 DM from Elverum Starmoen by Erlend Sorbye.
708 k. from Austria in an 18 m. LS 8 is worth mentioning too.

Yesterday 5 over 800 km. flights from places in Germany!!!


As most comps have been cancelled due to CORONA, also the Dutch Nationals which were supposed to start last Monday -Mai 18, some Dutch had the great idea to set up an E NK; a competition on line on the CONDOR SOARING simulator.
There are 110 Dutch entries and 18 from Belgium.
You can follow the pilots on a live stream https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZ5ABkyfIuy7fti1oMXIeVQ
Time schedule; Monday [Mai 18] till Sunday.[Mai 31]
Races at 8 PM European time.
There are 9 competition day’s 6 from the National Gliding Center in Holland, 3 from Le Versoud [Ardennen] ,7 races and 2 AAT’s.
Planning, kind of gliders and participants on www.nkzweefvliegen.nl


What a great soaring spring week here in parts of Europe. AWESOME.
“Playing” outside, if you are sticking to the rules,…. it’s all possible again,
Stay safe!!!

cheers Ritz

Thumbs up!!!!

—-During the AERO 2019, the General Aviation Safety AWARD was launched by EASA [ European Union Aviation Safety Agency ]
The GA Safety Award recognizes the most safety-beneficial smartphone/tablet application for use by GA pilots. Its aim is to promote development of reliable tools to improve safety, encourage investment in this area, support and enhance visibility of valuable products and further enhance the GA community’s engagement to safety.  “
Last week the 3 winners were announced;
1. 1st Prize – 8,000 €:  Awarded to Sebastian Chaumontet for the Open Glider Network (OGN).  OGN provides a unified tracking platform for gliders, GA aircraft, paragliders, drones and other small airborne objects.  The OGN platform helps to reduce mid-air collision risks by connecting information from a range of iconspicuity devices. It also enables easier provision of weather information directly into the cockpit to help pilots to cope with changing conditions.

2nd Prize – 5,000 €:   Awarded to the PocketFMS Foundation for EasyVFR 4 which provides a complete solution for flight preparation, route planning, and flight navigation.  EasyVFR 4 helps pilots to manage the flight and reduce the risk of mid-air collisions through the provision of planning tools that also enable the identification of different types of airspace and links to relevant NOTAMs.  It also helps pilots to cope with weather by providing weather graphics on the display in the cockpit.  

3rd Prize – 2,000 €:  Awarded to Flytool and their solution that provides both flight management and safety reporting.  Flytool offers a Safety Management solution for the GA Community that supports the management of the flight and also helps to reduce general risks across all accident categories.  It does this by providing a simple and easy occurrence reporting function that allows club managers to review occurrences and share lessons learned with the pilot community.  It also provides other functions such as an electronic logbook and licensing reminders.  

Congratulations to all. Thumps up!!!!!

—–Australia , Tocumwal ;in the early nineties, we had for several years a big family flying with us; the SNOW FAMILY. All of them lovely people.
Flying for them was fun, but later it turned out that this flying, had a great effect on them.
Terry Snow , head of the family, became the big “engine” behind Canberra Airport. Most what you see on the next link is built under supervision of the family.
He also is the owner from a world class equestrian center set on 41ha on the South Coast of NSW.
Now the SNOW FOUNDATION donates 5.5 million dollar to Covid-19 research.
The Canberra Airport owner’s Snow Medical Research Foundation will fund $5.5 million worth of projects to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on the community.
The funding will be carried out to four projects, which include more accurate tracking of the spread of coronavirus, a national bio-bank of samples from symptomatic and asymptomatic cases and research into genetic markers of the virus.
The projects will be a collaboration of two infectious disease research institutes: the Centre of Research Excellence in Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Australian Partnership for Preparedness Research on Infectious Diseases Emergencies
.” source; Canberra Times.
Thumbs up!!!!

—-The weather in the Scandinavian countries is still very good and they have started their flying again.
On Mai 7 already 7 flights from beautiful Rayskala and a total of 39 that day all over Finland. Even up to 670 km. in a DG 800B /18m.from Joensuu.
Sweden had 5 up to 428 km in a Ventus 2CT/18m.

Courtesy; Rayskala News letter 6 2020

—-Soaring in the USA:
One of those more interesting flights is always a goal flight.
Barry Yeager and Dick Andrews launched from Fairbault MN this morning at 10 AM (!)[Mai 8] on a downwind dash. Word is they are aiming for National Multiplace Distance to a Goal record.  “
They flew 1.034 km.
IF,…. Barry & Dick declared a Multiplace Distance to a Goal we may have a new U.S. National Distance Record in the making! “
Dick and I had an amazing flight after a long time of preparation and waiting for the right weather. “
Big job for the 2 girls who picked them up and had to drive all those kilometres!! TOP JOB!!!!

They had great soaring conditions in the Minden area with 2 over 1000 km. wave- flights by Keith Essex in the JS 3 [speed 150 km./h.] and Jim Payne in the Nixus.
Whilst New Castle [USA] had a great “low” flight,…ridge-soaring…;1.059 km. in an LS 6 with a nice speed of 134 km./h.
Yesterday , Daniel Sazhin, I guess still a junior, but of course he soes n’t always stay a junior ,flew 794 km. from Blairstown in an LS 4 ;a 750 FAI triangle .
He called it an excellent soaring day, really really cool!!!
I call it COOL too!!!!

In Holland soaring started last weekend too and quite a lot went for a flight, as we could see on the OGN.
Saturday had nice conditions with 27 dgr. C. here and you could feel the thermals.BUT only 2 added their flight to the OLC.
In Amsterdam Alfred Paul [ASG 29] started with 80 km. blue air, but then he had a nice run in to Germany and came back with 658 km. in the pocket.
A total of 573 pilots worldwide flew that day so soaring is “on” again.
In Switzerland Bert Schmelzer jr. [ASG 29] flew 700 km.
Before on April 25 he flew already 819 km.Quite unexpected as he mentioned in his comment, but those flights always feel good, no better or maybe even the best.
Slightly unexpected: a great day between La Chaux-de-Fonds and Säntis.
Strong climbs, rain showers and overcast, beautiful convergence lines everywhere and 2800m (!) cloudbase in the Swiss Mittelland
. “
Germany had flights from over 800 km. as well.
Last Sunday the weather was much cooler here …a drop of 10 dgr. The change brought some wild weather at places.
Germany even had snow and gusty winds destroying trees and roofs.

Last Monday the cold polar air made several pilots very happy again.
Hans Christian Christensen flew in Denmark from Arnborg, his LS 1-c over 900 km.!!!!He nearly covered the island from N to S.
Many great flights [27] from Denmark.
Germany had last Monday a 1000 k in an ARCUS M [Munster Osnabruck] and Austria as well this time in ASG 32MI from St Johann in Tirol.

Yesterday the weather was even better at some places and more 1000- early- spring- flights were flown.All just over 1000 and all in “fancy” gliders as ARCUS M, [Tobias Welsch] EB 29 [ Alexander Mueller] EB 29 R [Enrique Levin]and Nimbus 4M. [Wilfried Grosskinsky]
11 OVER 900 km. flights as well on a total of 373 flights [at this stage] for the day.
A nice cold and sunny day “,was what Czech pilot Ivan Harasta had to say after his 696 triangle in an ASW 15!!!!
AND, a flight in an LS 4 WL from Nastaetten[Germany] is worthwhile mentioning too.

The new Gliding International is “out” the May June issue. I had some problems reading the digital version, so it has to wait till next week.
Terry Cubley the Aussie TC from the 2020 WGC was allowed to say what he had to say as he thinks he was not heard enough.
BUT,…what is there to be heard ,…when you use a compulsory- competition-tracker without the 15 minute delay …breaking this way a local rule!!!
You can be angry on the IGC as the new rules for OGN are not yet in the annex, you can blame the jurors as they might have not let you say 2 or 3 times what you had to say but only once in face of all TC’ s world wide, BUT…..abusing the system is JUST SO WRONG!!!!! And that happened!!!!! SORRY!!!!!
I am going to investigate the story as I think it’s not totally correct, maybe even totally incorrect.

And to finish a few words about a disaster in Holland yesterday. Lot’s of glider pilots like surfing as well. Yesterday 5 surfers died in the Nord Sea. 2 students from the Delft university and 3 very experienced life guards from the beach in Scheveningen.
Just an evening in the sea ,,body surfing,..with the team before the season starts. TRAGIC!!!!
The official message from the surf association;
Last night May 11, 2020 a drama took place at the Northern Havenhead of Scheveningen. It concerns a group of very experienced watermen (surfers / swimmers), all great lovers of water sports and the sea. They were robbed due to the exceptional circumstances and fate has struck: 5 of them tragically died. We express our sympathy to the relatives and everyone involved. In the surf community in Scheveningen and far beyond there is great defeat, we are in deep mourning for this loss. We would like to express our big thanks to the rescue workers (KNRM, fire brigade, police) who have done everything they can and have constantly searched with man and power. We understand there are many questions. We will let the experts do research in peace in the coming time. Finally, we hope that the privacy of the relatives and involved will be respected and they will be awarded the peace they deserve. “
Message: https://www.hsa.nl/holland-surfing-association-12-mei-2020/4340/

Take care, the virus seems less, but it knows it’s way now and we remain “just” people, when the sun shines we all run out side.
I think we might be stuck with it for a long ,long time.

cheers Ritz.