Spring—Only Smiling Faces at the Airfield

It's spring here in Holland. As you know, the meteorological spring started on March 1 and I can tell you ... it REALLY started.

Early spring it is, very early indeed, it even feels and smells like spring! People did not walk in the streets in Amsterdam where I spend a few days,  but they "skipped," they smiled and enjoyed their coffee outside even with a fresh wind blowing around their ears.

I heard that the garden shops sold more pansies in ONE week than in the the whole spring time last year!!

One of the owners of a beach tent in Scheveningen built up his tent in a race against the clock as this weekend will have up to 20°C. He opened even earlier and his year is already good NOW, he said, with 2x 1200 guests—a full restaurant and terrace every minute of the two days. This weekend is even better!

Most other beach tents will open somewhere around the end of April.
The forecast for the weekend is blue, so about flights ... I am not so sure. But we had the warmest day ever on March 8 and today it seems we will have up to 20°C, so another record.

Autumn will arrive in Australia within a pretty short time, bringing much shorter days, but can still yield splendid weather.

Today : 591 km in an ASG 29 with a speed of 146 km/h and 490 in a Standard Cirrus from Gawler in the West of SA;
+ 512 km in an LS 6 from Mount Beauty to the North;
+ 513 km from Tocumwal in an ASW 27;
+ 415 km in a Discus and 535 km in an ASG 29 E /18m.

Last Thursday, Ingo flew his Discus over 519 km from Tocumwal. It's a nice LONG season all over SOARING_ AUSTRALIA.

Yesterday more to the East, Gerrit flew 611 in his Quintus.

With this long season the Gliding Club of Victoria , flying from Benalla, tops at this stage the OLC list of active clubs! Good on them !

Spring started in Minden as well. Jim and Dennis "given that it is two weeks before the Spring Equinox," used another amazing day in the Sierra Nevada flying their Perlan Project DG 1001 M over 2015 km with a speed of 178 km/h!

AND ... in the Nimbus 4DM, young Belgian pilot Daan Spruyt "used" the wave from St Gaudens in France, for an 875 km up-and-down cross-country. Not bad for some "training" in the mountains!

Training as well over the mountains of St. Auban where two German toppers, Reinhard Schramme and Tassilo Bode, flew the ARCUS together.
And our Japanese mates in Japan flew a nice 264 km cross-country from Itakura in the ARCUS T,

The Australian Air Force Cadets ordered a second batch of DG-1001Club .

Z DG ready

Pictures courtesy ;
DG Flugzeugbau GmbH

" The AAFC and DG have successfully finished the contract for a second batch of 2 DG-1001Club gliders. In total the AAFC will get eight DG-1001Club training sailplanes for various air bases all over Australia.

As I told you already in one of my blogs gliders one and two have successfully arrived in Australia and will be handed over to the Air Cadets very soon.

The cadet division of the Royal Australian Air Force also ordered 11 Schleicher ASK21Mi's—all self launchers and all with trailers.
It's a big investment, but for sure worth every "dime."

Do you read the magazine Gliding International?
The last issue has a few very interesting items.

• Ever heard of the 1 million-plus confidential settlement? I had not, but have read it now, as GI published the accident report and the history of the flight as result of a by now published report from the US National Transportation Safety Board!

• The history of Schempp-Hirth with 80 years of outstanding success! Did you know from 55 possible first places in WGCs in Standard, 15 m and Open class, 27 were won by Schemmp-Hirth gliders!!

• Also, the evaluation of the Schleicher ASH 31 Mi, by Aldo Cernezzi and Peter Hartmann.

The Schleicher ASH 32 is the latest glider from this company and will be on display in April at Friedrichshafen. The first flight is expected sometime in the beginning of this year and the first gliders will be flown by their eager new owners in 2015.

John Roake, the editor of G.I., tabulated his annual world gliding statistics. The number of glider pilots worldwide is still trending down, which is not good, but the world fatality report for 2013 indicates that fatal accidents have gone down,numbers are going down.

And much more (71 pages!) ...

Over the last 30 years, I flew more than 25 times from Holland to Australia and back. Several years, I flew with a lot of pleasure with Malaysian Airlines. Their friendly stewardesses in their beautiful colored long dresses were "the calling cards" of the company. Twelve Malaysia Airlines pilots and stewardesses are now missing as the plane, on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, disappeared from the radar somewhere over Vietnam and never arrived in China.
227 People , [ 14 different nationalities, at least 2 people with stolen passports maybe even 4] ] , sitting aboard of the 777-200, with them!!!

It looks there is no hope. VERY sad! TRAGIC!!!

To finish some pictures I recently received from the flight from Ingo and Joergen last week.

DSCN4166  DSCN4169

" Instruments,.mmm.... interesting,.....and ready to go!"

And HOT news from the IGC meeting in Varese in Italy and shared by Terry ;
Votes for future world comps just finished;
Womens 2017 - won by Czech republic, over Italy and Australia
Juniors 2017 won by Lithuania over France

AND Graham mentioned;"Lasham Gliding Society has been awarded the 19th European Gliding Championships in 2017 in the Open, 18m and 15m classes."
More news in my Wednesday blog at www.soaring.eu

CU next Sunday, 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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