“A nearly PERFECT day! ” by Bert Schmelzer jr.

My highly valued companion at many soaring comps has now definitely crashed. Using a friends laptop now to share my blog without pictures and as ready as it was 2 days ago. When I have a new " companion"  and it will be easy to send the database from my back up,  I will be back on line again. Sorry but keep an eye on it, when you are interested in the blogs.

You know that I love to share with you, as many pictures as possible, from young Belgium glider pilot Bert Schmelzer jr.
First he shared only pictures,  later  picture-stories and this way it was even better to see and follow,  what happened during his mostly very interesting flights. He shared them on FB and via Picasa.
No secret that the next step would be a book WITH pictures AND stories! And that's what's happening now. It will be on the market in December and you can order it from November 17 onwards.  www.bertschmelzer.com

...never stop exploring...

Here is the way to the book and everything about his FAI 1000-km. diploma and 3 European records, described by Bert himself.
Bert is a member from a well known Belgium gliding family. Dad is a good glider pilot and wrote a book about  the history of Soaring in Flanders. Mum flew,  but mainly" flies with" nowadays and has been TC at many WGC's and EGC's . Brother Tijl flies and participated like young Bert in several WGC's , JWGC's and EGC's.
Take a coffee or tea and just enjoy, my free translation of his story!

---"I was highly stimulated to fly long distances after I flew at age 15 with Klaus Ohlmann in the CALIF. First time in the mountains with a GRANDMASTER like Klaus.
Later Klaus allowed me to fly his LS 4 in the neighbourhood of Serres to practise.
Then I flew long distances from Vinon and Rieti.
But,....it all really started,  when I moved from Belgium to Switzerland, 3 years ago.
Working in Zürich, the place -to-be for my flights in the Alps was Hausen am Albis, a mecca for wave flights when the South Föhn is blowing."

"I was extremely lucky that most of the experts in Swiss- wave- flying are members of this club, so there was a huge amount of knowledge there. The great fleet of clubgliders as ARCUS T, DUO DISCUS XL, DISCUS 2 and ASG 29, helped to set long-distance- tasks and even records."

"I prepared myself for this specific flight on May 18 for 3 years! I had to learn to judge the meteo-situations, analysed IGC files for days and nights to get to know for me known , but even more un-known areas to fly over in all kinds of weather, optimise de waypoint and task database and,...I had to fly as much as possible, in all kind of weather situations  ."

"In fall 2012 I flew already a free-distance-1000 km. but I wanted that DIPLOMA, so I had to declare a task. I knew I had to be patient to wait for THE day. I wanted to fly it in the Discus 2 , as I knew that glider through and through and because of the sportive challenge."

"On May 18 THE day FINALLY was there!!! A nearly perfect day! The only problem was the start. The forecasted wind was expected at the departure point from 10 AM onwards, so no start at sunset. Positive however was that great thermal activity was predicted over the East of the Alps even as far as Vienna, so why not try a 1000 km.-out-and-return!?"

"The plan and time-schedule were very easy;
Departure at 10 in the dynamic [wave-] system, then in the neighbourhood of Innsbruck in Austria , I would continue the flight in thermal activities till the end of the Alps [TP Lanzen estimated time 14.30] to turn back to Innsbruck, with hope to enter there the dynamic system again, to pass the finish line at 20.00 high in wave."

That sounds easy....."To keep the story short;  it WAS that easy! The whole day went off smoothly according to plan and weather analyses. On rare days soaring is just so easy."

 "This flight and others are described in my new book, with the best 348 pictures [from the more than 30.000 to choose from ] , with commentaries, stories and information  to combine it all. The book, with 288 pages and  articles from Arndt Hovestadt [ world champion in Club Class in 2010] and Daniel Rossier [ record pilot and Swiss National Champion] both supplied with great pictures AND an interview with Tilo {Holighaus} with " his vision on the future of gliding and the process of building high-tech gliders ."
As Bert said:
"I really enjoyed making "One year of gliding" it was a fascinating experience and, honestly, I am proud of the end result. I hope you like it as well!"



It's great to see young pilots so involved in their sport and the fact that they share their flights in the way they do, only can make soaring more interesting for those who just want to start.

Till next time from a new laptop, start looking for one on Monday . Cheers Ritz

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Since before the word “blog” was created, Ritz wrote about her experiences every day after flying at the Sportavia Soaring Center in Australia, where she helped run a successful business from 1996 to 2005. Her first blogs on soaring.eu date from June 2006, and she has been blogging ever since, joining Soaring Café in January 2011. She says her experience as columnist for Gliding International and blogger for Soaring Café has enriched her world more than she can say and that her soaring friends keep her young and ”going”.

Read Ritz' full bio under the menu item About -> Our Contributors.

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