Heroes or ” madmen” ?? Wishing you a HAPPY, HEALTHY and above all SAFE 2015.

Just finished my blog at soaring.eu and thought that,.. maybe one item in it, might be good for more friends to read. So I add it for my soaringcafe readers as well.It’s about safety on too many successive long distance flights.
And,….as I wish you a SAFE 2015 , there is some concern as well. I share that with you.

I love the kilometer eaters, pilots who have the stamina to fly long, long  distances of more than 10 hours on a day. They are mostly very well prepared  and know what they are doing. All of them have a lot of experience.But what about 150 hours in a month????Is that still fun?
Here is part of my last blog of 2014 on www.soaring.eu 

—–To finish this year, also a bit of a concern for flying long distances during your holiday. Is it great fun or when you fly for weeks/months total stupidity and waiting for an accident to happen. I leave the choice to you!!!!

The OLC has created a great platform to see where everybody flies and what results they book.When you have a 1 or 2 week holiday in Namibia you can fly nearly each day as the weather is excellent.No worries!
BUT,…how smart is it to fly 150 hours in a month? About 10 hours a day or more , with HOT conditions at the ground and sometimes tough conditions in the air [avoiding thunderstorms]?
An airline pilot has his restrictions of under 100 hours and he/she  is a professional. Why should a glider pilot in his holidays fly 150 hours?????
Could this create a danger for these pilots? Is the eagerness to fly more km.’s than the other on the OLC list  a potential danger???
As said, I leave it up to you, but to be honest I am concerned.
Of course it is their own responsibility and I count on the fact that they know what they are doing, but still it is a lot of time in the air .

One of my close friends made some comments lately of what he calls “the OLC Madness” .
Here is what he said:
 “OLC was a great thing to give the soaring pilots of the world the possibility to compare their performances and see what the day could have brought had you done everything right.
Someone else did….. as you can now see on the OLC.
Unfortunately over the years the “game” of lodging OLC flights online has become a “war” where people seem to be quite happy to fly themselves into oblivion, only to get some more points, and maybe become the “OLC CHAMPION”.
The signs are there….. look at the hours they fly in their manic pursuit of more OLC points!
I just picked a few from the last month or so: Pilot 1 – 164 flying hours in 29 days, Pilot 2 – 109 hrs in 20 days, Pilot 3 – 143 hrs in 20 days and then Pilot 4 – 152 hrs in 20 days.

Now the EU thinks that it is unsafe to fly more than 100 in any period of 28 days.
That is the absolute maximum airline pilots are allowed to fly during that period, and they have air-conditioned cabins, autopilots and regular 
supply of served food and drinks.
These OLC maniacs do 50 – 100% more than is considered safe by the EU, and they are hand flying the plane themselves all the time, have no air conditioning and must feed themselves with snacks and power drinks out of a tube usually attached to the boom mike.
Heroes or supermen obviously, or maybe not.
Given the harsh conditions under which they operate surely the 100 hours would be a wise guideline to keep in sight!
However nice persons these so called kilometer eaters may be, clearly some of them are insane….. Unfortunately it may lead to accidents if some cooler thinking does not come in soon.” 

Pretty hard / harsh words and I would love to hear from others what their opinion is on fatigue management by limiting the maximum flying hours one can do. Or maybe there is a task here for the OLC management to handicap the scores of the kilometer eaters if their flying hours exceed certain values.

A bit to think about after your ” bubbles to enter 2015″ .

Happy new year! We meet again in 2015.I finish with a nice picture from and shared by the Rencontre ASK 13 in St. Crepin in France in  2014. A year in which we , sadly enough, lost quite some soaring-mates again, but they are not forgotten. R.I.P.


Cheers Ritz

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