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.
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.
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.
YesterdayFinland 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.
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!!!!
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. SO BE CAREFUL!!!!!
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 firstflights. 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!!! So ALL HAPPY CHAPPIES!!!!!! 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.
On Friday another TOP DAY in Germany with a few  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 .
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!!!
—-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. https://www.canberraairport.com.au/ He also is the owner from a world class equestrian center set on 41ha on the South Coast of NSW. https://willingapark.com.au/ 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.
—-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  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.
—-Yes…. slowly some borders open and,….. some schools,….some shops ……also hair dressers start again…. an enormous job, Denmark had over 4000 who wanted a haircut on the first day they were open.We still wait here …with long hair!!!!Maybe tonight……there will be a meeting from the government and the corona-advisers. KLM started flying, with 15 % of the capacity and in Belgium trains and buses drive again. EVERYBODY however needs a face mask. In Germany as well. Some glider-pilots fly again. Quite a lot of Europeans pilots got messages from their NAC how slowly and carefully to open the flying season. Restrictions will be in place at several countries in different way’s. On the BGA website I found the next news with lo’ts of links; ” The COVID19 pandemic and resulting restrictions have resulted in the cessation of gliding operations with a significant impact on clubs and individuals. In due course, clubs and pilots will need to consider issues relating to restarting gliding, including the validity of licences and certificates. “ You can find the links at https://members.gliding.co.uk/covid19-restrictions-support-exemptions-and-restarting-gliding-information/
In Australia there is good news too. The season just finished there, but also in winter you can fly there at places. A GFA ONLINE SAFETY SEMINAR . “RETURNING TO THE SKIES SAFELY AFTER COVID’ Tuesday evening 12 May, 7 pm to 8:30 pm AEST We propose to schedule a second seminar at a time to better suit our members in Western Australia. One of the speakers is Professor Sydney Dekker. He is an expert/authority on human factors and system safety.. He lives in Brisbane and is a professor at the university there, as well as at the university of Queensland, [ Honorary Professor of Psychology ],but is Dutch. AND,..in the far past a good friend from our Dennis.They both started soaring at the same club. Sydney even visited Dennis grave in Tocumwal not long after Dennis died. The seminar will cover: 0) Sidney Dekker — Introduction 1) Justin Couch — DI safety 2) Chris Thorpe — ground handling incidents and safety 3) Sidney Dekker and Chris Thorpe — currency and flight safety
You must register via your Go Membership account.
—-A lot of good things have happened as well in this corona time. Lots of people helped each other and nurses and doctors worked their way trough day and night to save patients.Applauded in many countries.Many showed their respect in a thousand way’s.
This is a real nice story which brought tears to my eyes. I copied it from Lizzy , as she uses the words I would have said: “Of all the amazing stories that have unfolded during this pandemic, this will certainly be one that stays with me forever ….. A 99 year old army veteran who set out to walk 100 laps of his garden to raise £500 for the NHS before his 100th birthday. Having captured hearts and minds across the UK (and world), he looks set to smash £30m today! Happy Birthday Captain Tom “
” The US Air Force Thunderbirds and US Navy Blue Angels conducted a special joint flyover of New York City, Philadelphia, and nearby communities. The mission, part of Operation America Strong, saw both teams launch from the Blue Angels’ home base at NAS Pensacola, fly up to NYC, then return home again at the end of the day. Along the way, the jets were supported by four KC-10 Extenders from JB McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey, an incredible sight of its own. The tankers were easily tracked as they lead the teams north and then orbited over New York while refueling. “
—–News from Australia; “ Canberra Airport first airport in the country with thermal cameras to help protect against COVID-19 to help us get flying again. PS: please download the COVIDSafe app and let’s get life back to normal. “ Soaring as well, in the heart of the continent as Robert mentioned; ” Great day flying today. Four out of the ten gliders based at Alice Springs were in the air all day! “
——-Great “real” Dutch spring skies , as seen by Robert.
—-Last weekend more pilots took the glider for a ride. On Saturday 143 mostly in the USA and Brasil. None from Holland,..we had nice skies but also lot’s of showers with hail and at some place a thunderstorm. On Sunday 312 flights most in Germany , with an 865 km flight [657 FAI triangle] in a Discus 2M/18m. from Worms. The Kries family [No I do not know them] went out with 2 gliders; Felix in a Discus 2 A with 685 km[565 triangle] and Norbert in a Ventus 3 T, with 721 km [582 triangle]Good day for them. Other good flights from Austria and an interesting one in a NIXUS by Jim Payne from Minden in the USA. A wave flight from 867 km.
On Monday Germany [5 ] , Hungary [9 ] and Denmark [12 flights] had good polar- weather-circumstances with that pretty cold air. I know that visibility on such day’s is “huge”. According to Vladimir Fedorov , there were more great flights from Denmark that day; ” Great 718km together with Tom and Mikkel, in the Arcus, Ole in ASH31 and Stig Øye in Ventus3! From scratching the bellies at 450m to racing at 200km/h at 1700m. Teamwork at the top level to make all come around the islands!Visited Møns Klint (chalk cliffs) for the first time, and crossed the Great Belt yet again “ Nice pictures too.
Yesterday 16 Danish pilots enjoyed great circumstances. Even up to over 800 km in a 16.6 m. Ventus. The Finnish mates had a good spring- day yesterday as well. Rayskala had an 800 km flight in an LS 8. AND YES …you could wait for it a 1000 km……in Germany in an ARCUS M. Only just with 1.0001 . km. [584 FAI triangle] The LS 4 flight in Germany from 851 km.[630 Fai triangle] from Stadtlohn [not too far from the Dutch border,a TP during several of our comps, we had on the OLC ONE flight in a Stemme!!!] is impressive. And 866 k.in an ASW 20 from the same field, as impressive. 87 flights only in Germany, it starts again…..
And to finish this nice heart high up in the air here over The Netherlands.
Stay healthy,..hopefully we can go back soon to the new 1.5 m. normal…..
The year 2020 is a real life changer. We all started it happy. I did in Lake Keepit. Great …., no a fantastic time there, till the moment we heard of the problems with the Aussie team. As you could read in my last blog, the last words have not been said yet. Have n’t heard anything new.
Then we thought that those small problems were big, we were all full of it. NOW we share CORONA!!!!!What a disaster, a real disaster…..That’s a problem. Loosing family and friends, not be able to see the elderly and doctors and nurses who work so hard that they nearly fall over. Lock downs, young people who are restricted to their houses and can’t go to school. People loosing jobs, also friends flying for airlines . Some are at home waiting for better times to come,….they might still hope.
The world will change. I even think the aviation world will be hit worst, still hope not TOO bad, but I do not see me quickly back in Australia, where I lived and worked with so much pleasure for so many years. There will be a new reality and when we stay healthy and safe we should already be happy. So let’s stay optimistic and enjoy what we have and can do.Not a lot of soaring, though the weather here has been great for it.
I still noticed some flights on the OLC world wide, though most clubs here are closed and some countries even closed the airspace for soaring. Best day in April was last Sunday, that is ,..looking at how many flew; 310 world wide. Even 3 over 1000 km. flights in Germany  and Czech Rep. Specially the Swiss pilots have had some great runs.Just over 1000 km. on April 24. Yesterday also a 1000 km-ridge-flight in the USA, set as a 750 FAI triangle ,but the weather did not co-operate as low clouds stopped the pilot to reach the TP, but a nice long flight in a Ventus 3. Speed 143 km./h. Also in the USA…. ,Tony [Condon] flew in his Cirrus nearly 500 km ,after his wife Leah towed him with the CAR , to about 1400 AGL on April 25. He loves the post frontal weather, he mentioned. They are so lucky they can fly. Mind you ,…worldwide, on April 26 in 2015 there were 615 flights and on April 27 last season 505 ,but on Saturday, April 20 1886!!!!! So showing that a lot of pilots are looking at great skies. We had yesterday the first rain in 6 weeks,…yes VERY DRY here.
Here is a mix of some nice pictures to cheer you up too. Don’t know from all who took them, but they are in my file “special pictures”.
CU next week in good health and spirit…Stay safe certainly all friends as old as I am or older….. Cheers Ritz
As I wrote in my last blog the ladies from the Australian team were then planning an appeal, here is a message about their appeal.
A message from the WWGC Australian Team Pilots
The Australian team pilots from the WWGC have not spoken to date about the penalty controversy but are aware that some people want to hear what we have to say. This is a brief statement to explain our position.
One week ago all of the Australian team pilots lodged an appeal via the Air Sports Australian Confederation (ASAC) to the FAI. The appeal documents have been received and we are waiting to learn of the process that the Appeal Panel will follow.
Suffice to say, the International Jury process that took place on the last day of the Competition was non-compliant and failed on the most basic principles of fairness. As a result, the case for the team pilots was not properly examined and the Jury’s decision to impose a points penalty to each pilot was based on factually incorrect information. The team pilots believe that when the full facts are considered that the penalties will be withdrawn and the final results revised accordingly.
The GFA determined not to appeal the penalty, again without all the facts, and advised the Australian and international gliding community of this unilaterally without advising or consulting with the team pilots.
The team Pilots prepared and funded the appeal document themselves and submitted it to FAI with the support of ASAC which is the National Airsport Control (NAC). Further, the GFA Board unanimously agreed less than one month before the closing of the appeal period “to not stand in the way of any separate appeal that the pilots wish to make through the NAC (ASAC)”.
The intention of making this appeal is that the team pilots can access a fair hearing in accordance with due process as stipulated by FAI.
Jenny Thompson (as spokesperson for the Australian team pilots at the WWGC)
16 April 2020
So,…as far as I heard the TC’s have had to react quickly as well, as the deadline was mid April. They did. Here is a statement by the BGA on April 21!!!. The UK’s Royal Aero Club (RAeC), advised by the BGA, and the German Deutscher Aero Club (DAeC), advised by its gliding section, have made a joint appeal to FAI requesting a review of the judgement by the FAI/IGC Jury on a protest submitted by them during the WWGC 2019 at Lake Keepit. The decision to appeal was made to ensure that the FAI tribunal were presented with all the facts related to the use of live tracking during the WWGC.
Following additional rules approved by the FAI/IGC in March and the publication of a report by the Gliding Federation of Australia (GFA), the gliding authorities in the UK and Germany had previously advised that an appeal was not in the best interests of the sport. The subsequent submission of an Australian appeal shortly before the expiration of the appeal deadline despite previously stating they would not appeal has caused this decision to be revisited.
The RAeC and DAeC remain concerned for the integrity of gliding and fair play in competition. Our joint appeal asks the FAI to uphold the international sporting principle that competing sportspeople are held responsible for the actions of their team and impose the correct and appropriate penalty“
Well, I agree that the jury lacked time to do the proper procedures! There should have been more time for “words and re-words” with the team captains, organizers and juror/steward, as written in the annex.
BUT,…..the real point is that ,…when we allow pilots to enter the by a WWGC given compulsory tracker ,…to get rid of the 15 minute delay,….WITHOUT telling the CD,…… so having a huge advantage on all the other pilots, they are cheating. I can’t make it more friendly than this. The other 9 countries had no clue, from what was going on!! That had to be punished and it was a fact admitted by the one who still had the ” key ” from the tracker to open it…still blows me how he dared too….and by the Aussie TC, ….so for sure the penalty points should stay like that, as cheating NEVER can be part of a fair competition. More words or re-words ,..that would not have helped. Then we better stop competition soaring!!!!! My opinion!!! I continue to look into this matter, no worries!!!
One of my friends wrote the next sentence; ” It’s a shame that the Australians did not decide to draw a line and chose to submit a formal protest which prompted an inevitable response. “ I can only agree with this. NOW, ….It might not only be points, they loose but maybe even worse….. Let’s wait for the FAI to decide.
Looking back at the 33d WGC at Leszno where I was for a long weekend to feel the WGC spirit of 2014. [26-7/10-8-2014] A short impression from East European tug’s, a nice International fleet of gliders , good weather and a memory on the lady who ‘s name is on my award!!!!
A few years ago in 2015, the EAC [Eindhovense Aero Club] HAD to leave Eindhoven airport after nearly 100 years. [started Oktober 1932!!!!] Commercial flying was more interesting for the industrial- Eindhoven-area. Nowadays Eindhoven Airport is abase for airlines as Transavia, WizzAir and Ryan Air. Also the Air Force uses the field. In this Corona time not a lot is happening. Venlo, about 70 k south,a very “old” club as well, were I started gliding with the ZES in 1967 [the student aeroclub from Eindhoven was guest at Venlo] was so kind to give their mates-without-a-field , a new home to fly from. The VEZC [Venlo Eindhoven Zweefvlieg Club] was born. https://vezc.aero/ This week they finished the last jobs on the brand new hangar and the special “tarmac” in front of it. email@example.com
Message from Schempp-Hirth; “We could test fly four new gliders. Thank you Markus Voelter for the nice photos. We hope all glider pilots will be allowed to fly again soon! Thank you to all of out team for being engaged, careful and loyal! We could n‘t cope without your continuous support. Another thank our loyal customers who still collect and pay their new toys even though most of them won’t be allowed to use then (yet).”
Enough for now,..will keep you posted. It might take a while before we hear the final outcome by the FAI Though it should not take too much time, as it is all pretty clear.
Not the fittest person in the world but slowly getting there again. Cheers Ritz
—–EASTER, in The Netherlands had 2 “faces”. Easter Sunday was like summer with 25.6 dgr. C , the warmest ever April 12. Easter Monday the temperature dropped to 8 dgr. C with some rain……grrrr…..Just back to fall again….After today it should be better .
—-–About the next WWGC held at Husbos,….. “The Women’s World Gliding Championship 2021 (WWGC21) which was to be held at The Gliding Centre at Husbands Bosworth in August 2021 has been postponed until August 2022. Full details of the WWGC22 will be published in due course.”
——The last one in Lake Keepit is still fresh in many “heads”. NO DOUBT at all, that Lake Keepit put on a GREAT SHOW. Never met so many enthusiastic volunteers and members of the club, who had to work really hard and not from 9 to 5, but still had time for their guests!! Also the organization under the leadership of Mandy stood!!!! EVERY DAY….. That the WWGC finally turned out “difficult” had NOTHING to do with Lake Keepit. Also not with the organizers ,who were shocked as well and had to take unpopular measurements. This last WWGC is still “boiling”. Till mid April an appeal is possible to the FAI, about the final results. As you know they changed after the Australian TC and his helper, admitted in a briefing, they had access to the tracking system without the 15 minutesdelay. For that reason the Aussie girls had an advantage over all other girls. They were “punished” with 25 points per day a total of 225 ,costing Jo Davis her title which went to Elena and Lisa Trotter her 3d place. From the 10 countries flying there, 9 protested against this in their eyes unfair behavior of the Aussie team.NOBODY ELSE HAD THAT INFO!!!! 3 Countries [Germany, the UK and Luxembourg] filed a protest to the IGC which was honored. Just before Easter I heard that the Australian team has filed an appeal against this punishment with the FAI. So the international teams could protest too, by their NAC. Their last possibility to do so!!! Till now there was only that protest to the jury at the end of the WWGC . Will follow it for you. Though I really feel for the Aussie girls, as I like ALL of them, their problem is that they never can prove anymore why they did so well thanks to the involvement of their TC. I like Terry but what he did was wrong,….he knows,..he admitted to what they did,….the girls should blame him for bringing them in this terrible situation!!!! AND,..as far as I read or heard that has not happened,…WHY???? I don’t know, do they still believe in him …. do they know perhaps more than we do, OR…… are they not allowed to talk????
A few memories from not so long ago at Lake Keepit!!!! To never forget the joy there was as well.
—–The gliders from Corowa arrived back in Holland last week. All in top condition,..what do you want more. A season to fly….maybe??????
—–Today the Dutch Government talks about the aviation in Holland. How to continue after corona/great losses. Very interesting and a bit scary, as lot’s of my friends fly KLM and Transavia. I just read that Qantas “culls its flying fleet to 3 aircraft. A drastic downsizing”!!Pfff…….Not to think of all those people who have lost their job’s already!!!!! Bloody virus!!!!! Even worse…..about 125.000 people died world wide and it ain’t not over yet.
Not much to say today. Stay SAFE!!! CU next week again.
Yes,…. 2 times I had the pleasure and honor to share with “my” Dutch team the WGC in Uvalde [Texas].So I grabbed my books again to see how we spend our time over there.
We loved the cartoons from Alf from Sweden.
The young ones had a lot of fun as well and friendships -for- life started, some growing so strong that they still exist.
News from NOW!!!! Not good! But ,…understandable!!! My Friends, I have just received the following notice from the organizers of the WGC in Stendal: Dear Eric,thank you for the swift arrangement with the Hungarian Soaring Association.After receiving your email earlier today, we aligned in the organizing team and made the decision to move the 36th WGC at Stendal from 2020 to 2021. We believe that it is highly unlikely that the Corona Crisis will settle down in a timeframe that allows competitors to make all the necessary arrangements. Delaying the decision to move until May may also cause further financial damage to the teams.In addition to that decision, we propose the following schedule for the 36th WGC 2021 at Stendal:- Beginning of training: July 18th, 2021- Opening ceremony: July 25th- Closing ceremony and prize giving: August 8th. The Hungarian Soaring Association (HSA), the organizers of the 37th FAI World Gliding Championships in Hungary, were incredibly understanding of the world wide COVID-19 situation and its impact on the 2020 competitions. They have swiftly acted and graciously agreed to move their WGC to 2022. On behalf of everyone at IGC, I wish to thank HSA for this decision. I hope you, your family and colleagues are all safe and healthy in these difficult times, Eric Mozer IGC – President
I presume the WGC for the small ships …..36th WGC at Châlons-en-Champagne is not yet postponed …. August is still far away. ..123 day’s!!!!Though this is what I received this morning; Dear Eric, We read carefully your letter received on 30 March 2020 and we thank you for the new opportunities proposed by IGC bureau. Health situation is still degrading in Europe and we don’t know when the epidemic peak will be reached. Meanwhile, we received many informations from pilots and volunteers regarding their lack of availability next summer. So, we are now considering that conditions won’t be gathered to organize a good WGC in 2020. Hence, as proposed in your letter, we actually wish to postpone the WGC in the Club, Standard and 15m classes to the summer of 2021. It will allow us to organize a successful WGC in the french flatland. We wish you, and all the IGC members, a safe and healthy period home. Yours sincerely, Jean-Emile ROUAU
More “bad ,…but also understandable news, now from the FAI SGP. “ Due to the uncertainty of future travel restrictions and national restrictions affecting gliding the following changes are being made to the 2020 SGP events schedule. “ The next one should be in Russia in Usman between August 25 and September 1 2020. That means that several GP’s have been scrubbed. France [Rion-des-Landes] has reacted with a date in 2021; “ The SGP France 2020 is postponed to May 2021 (contest days 1 to 8 May) “ Sweden [Boras] postponed as well; ” The decision has now been made. Due to the spread of the covid-19 virus, we postpone SGP in Borås to 9-15 May 2021.” Italy [ Varese] “Dear pilots. It is with much regret that we inform you that due to the global situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the QGP Italy 2020 is postponed to June 2021 same week (June 19th to June 25th). USA [ BERMUDA HIGH]. The 2020 event is still on schedule with a confirmation decision on the April 10th. If it is not possible to hold the contest in May 2020 there will be a postponement to September 2020.
20th edition of Pribina Cup is postponed to 2021.
A beautiful tulip from my garden for ALL OF YOU, as well. Stay healthy!!! And,…sport-minding people like I am,…I think we best forget the year 2020 and try to stay safe. That might be already difficult enough. Cheers Ritz
APRIL 1 2020….no time for jokes!! Whilst the world still tries to deal and cope with COVID-19, the first signs of a new crises are mentioned already. After we lost too many people worldwide and we are till loosing them mostly in the USA now as far as we know, too many got sick with lung problems, now a lot lost their jobs, hence [temporarily] no money to live or for gliding anymore. SURVIVING is the word!!!! For some “no worries” for others the loss of a way to relax in these difficult times. Clubs are closed at the moment, but try to help where possible by asking no money or postponing the membership with 6 months as there is no soaring now.
In several countries the spring weather however, looks very promising for the summer flying,…indeed when flying is on!!! I showed you earlier some pictures from Holland and Belgium in spring time here is Australia in autumn time, in the “heart of the continent” Alice Springs.
More bad than good news nowadays ,so here is as it seems some REAL good news from OMARAMA; “Update from Glide Omarama
Glide Omarama is now shuttered down and isolated and the unfortunate glitch with CAA is behind us. The plan is that towing and training services at Omarama will reopen in September, subject of course to lockdowns and a degree of economic recovery.
Luckily Glide Om has no debt so the business can survive a long period of inactivity provided we still have some instructors and tow pilots available.
In the meantime, all the best to our friends and gliding community in these difficult times. We hope to see many of you again at Omarama next season! Thank you for your support. Please follow us on Facebook for updates“ Glide Omarama
Related to COVID-19 is the EARLY retirement of the 747 in both The Netherlands and Australia. “ The Qantas Boeing 747 ‘Queen of the Skies’ journey comes to an end today. After 5 decades flying for the ‘Spirit of Australia’, the final flight took place today as VH-OEE landing into Sydney Airport on 28th March 2020. Qantas 747 retirement 747 final flight Qantas Jumbo Jet. “ A few of my Aussie mates flew this type for years!!! In Holland was last Sunday the forced last flight from the 747. After nearly 50 years; 49 to be accurate. Also one year earlier than foreseen. The freight ones continue flying. Several “spotters” came to look and say good bye ,but were send away because of the virus. By the way, KLM replaces them for the more economical , twin engine 777 and the DREAMLINER 787.
—–To show you how bad this virus is for the aviation world , here some pictures shared by Casey. No more words needed!!!!
TOO sad for words…who would have EVER thought this could happen in our modern world????
Some of my friends are hit HARD!!!! I share some of the heart breaking news they shared. “Hard to imagine that only a few weeks ago I thought this was all a storm in a teacup. After 8 years with the same employer, I find myself looking for work at a time where a lot of people are doing the same thing.”
” Last Wednesday the Virgin CEO told us most Virgin pilots would be stood down temporarily but all Tiger pilots would be stood down permanently ie made redundant. He said that all aircraft will remain – no fleet reduction. TigerAir as an airline will fly again and even the TigerAir cabin crew will remain. BUT when flying starts he will use Virgin pilots to fly the aircraft. “
” To those that are in lockdown, be patient. To those that are not, keep your distance. Hopefully we can soar again soon .”
That’s it for now, try to enjoy life …I try too. But above all….stay safe!!!!
With the corona virus now nearly in EVERY part of the world, it feels like there is a stand-still in everything. The Netherlands were organizing the Eurovision Song Festival, the EC soccer AND for the first time in years the F1 circus would be back at Zandvoort….it’s not going to happen!!!! A pity? ….yes , a disaster…. NO.Of course not. If China is the example for all of this, then we know that we are stuck with it for at least 3 months, depending how strong the reactions were from when it started in a country. From no worries, as said by Trump in the USA and Bolsonaro in Brasil , Johnson in the UK an Kim in N Korea , TO ACTIONS AS A TOTAL LOCK-DOWN. Our health is the MOST IMPORTANT, so let’s listen to those who know and advise!!!!!
Soaring day 3; task TAT (Turn Area Task) of 178 miles nominal distance with a minimum time of 2:45. John [Good ], send them all up in the air after a nice St. Patricks day, though the Florida Governor closed the bars at 5 PM. Corona still has a big influence as I read in their daily blog: ” With two days left in the contest, we are still being very careful with social distancing, no pilots meeting, lots of hand washing and dinners being served with volunteers in gloves. It was a little awkward to do away with the pilots meeting but now everyone is getting used to it. Information is delivered electronically but a paper task sheet is available with Rick Sheppe outfitted in blue dish gloves. “ About the weather and the flying; ” Cloud bases were around 4,500ft around the gliderport rising to almost 6,000ft later in the day. Lift averaged 4.5kts on average with some topping out at 8kts. Biggest blast of the flight was a cloud street that went almost 70 miles from Norton to Gore. How you handled this leg was the difference between the leaders and the rest of the field. As you approached the southern section of the task area, the clouds were disappearing in some of the area around Winter Haven. However, there was a small line of clouds you could work towards the lake. “ ” Karl Striedieck and Sarah Arnold took the day running away from the field in an Arcus. Their 216 miles was covered at a blazing 77 miles an hour. Phil Gaisford finished second with a raw speed of 68.32 mph in a Discus 2b with Rich Owen finishing third in a trusty LS-8 at 68.09 mph. The score sheet is really tight right now with the top 10 pilots separated by about 200 points. “ So Karl and Sarah clearly are used to the for them new ARCUS and instruments, winning the day , which is good for Stendal.
Soaring-day 4; task…. 3 hour Turn Area Task . About the weather….. cloud bases starting at 3,000 feet at launch to right at 4,400 feet when the gate opened. Lift varied between 3 knots to right at 6.5 knots in the task area. About the flying…. “Most of the pilots were looking for the nice streets that were around the task area yesterday, but few were found. Rich Owen finished in first place with a 64.19 mph raw speed over a course of 194 miles. Phil Gaisford finished in second by a narrow margin, flying 196 miles at 64.07. Fernando Silva finished in third. “ Scorer is Rick [Sheppe]. Soaring day 5 and the very last one!!!!! Even with further corona -restrictions in the USA, they squeezed a last day out; a 2.45 TAT, won by Phil, …AGAIN, and then it is no secret that he is the overall winner too in his Discus 2b. 4.963 points. Rich in his LS 8/15 m. ,was 3d for the day but runner up overall; 4.849 p. And the ARCUS team, Karl and Sarah, had a bit of an off-day after an early start, being 10th for the day, but still a 3d place overall for them;4.776. This was edition 30 and I read that one pilot attended all 30 senior-comps and even won the first one; Don Wasness, good on him.
And then this awful news for all …. ” On a very sad note: Cathrine Eaglin, in her early 20s, who ran the launch line in a very professional way for a number of years, both here and at numerous contests, was killed in a car accident Thursday night. She will be greatly missed. “ VERY SAD!!!! She was there this last week helping out as well. My sympathy goes to all at the comps and specially her family!!!!! I know their feelings.
With a NE wind, bringing polar air, we had a couple of pretty cold day’s and lot’s of sunshine. We even had -6 , 2 nights ago, the coldest and lowest temperature this entire winter. The season could have started, with cold but great soaring conditions with great clouds,…but no worries next year there will be the next spring and is it all over…I hope!!! The last flights in Holland were on March 14, after ….the clubs have been closed. Only a few flights with this great weather last Saturday; One from Denmark, Switzerland,Germany and Sweden. From Australia still a few flights…” We are still flying… for how long nobody knows. “ From NZ ;” Best way to ‘self isolate’, not many people on the Mt Cook summit! “ In Tocumwal the club from Ingo , the SRGC , has decided to not fly for the next 6 months. It is the beginning of the winter season anyhow, so a good idea. Only 23 OLC flights on Monday. The best was in Poland ;401 km. in a Pegase. 13 Yesterday with one from Europe. Heard that the EUROGLIDE has been cancelled too. Next year then,… Everything …next year!!!!!Olympic Games as well.
Everything is different. And it will change every week. It’s a weird world we live in now. Soaring-news is not very important at the moment. Let’s hope all the rules have worked and we will have less death. Obey,…stay safe and healthy!!!!