2002 story of ET 

Euroglide 2002 story of ET

Euroglide 2002

Dear participants and EUROGLIDE direction, We, that is me, E.T and my homefront family, enjoyed reading the flight-reports, the day by day display on the map (like a monopoly or "mens erger je niet" play) and results. So allthough there's a lot to do, I decided to share my partly simular experiences too with this report in english, so our friends from abroad can follow up.

As a glider is a compromise of all parameters, we believe the DG-800A with its 18 m span and proven engine system, is a good strategic choice, especially allowing me the tactical choice to challence the 2200 km course without a following groundcrew. Over short distances I can groundhandle the craft to a safe tie-down or takeoff area, in the oxigenbottle-holder I can stow my tie-down and service kit, for gas refill or waterballast (W.B.) fill and in the bagage compartment there's just ample room for a jacket and pullover besides an overnight bag with chargers for the separate gps-battery and Aerograf-baro.

Frankly you have to reduce all to the very bare necessaties and I must confess enroute I met myself and my limitations of going alone.
Peter Teunisse presents himself at the briefing

Every day I missed 1 to 4 hours to finish a proper flight preparation and sleep, time slipped by searching for a hotel, cleaning and serving, WBallasting and relax a moment before TakeOff.

Though, the stories of groundcrew driving 3-4000 km in 4 or 5 days, leaving the drivers with tilted eyes blinking like traffic warnlights, shows that the choice for no groundcrew is OK. However going in a team with a touring or motormachine is a possible better solution.
Day1, Monday June, 24
On this wonderful soaringday, starting the launching around 01 PM, was just 3 hours too late. So sorry, as a 1000 km flight would have been a possibility. Well I managed with some help, to be in the line on time, though without WB. After launch, startup for engine registration, all systems checked for GO while spiralling up to depart at once.

The best street was over the belgian D area, we should start on sundays. Beek approach was cooperative and I passed Aachen, though lift here was very local as the Cu's had spread out. Conditions changed quick over the Eifel, after loosing in no time from cloudbase 500m, I had to take some weaker lift, not to fall to circuit height.

While circling, stronger lift formed with cloud streets, which you had to follow directly, as the clouds spreaded out quickly. Over the Ardennes somehow my thermals slowed above 1600 m, so I had no problems with staying under FL 55 and 45 under the airway.
The weather over France was good and I stayed on coarse or a bit to the right on the border of Paris TMA. On my glide in to Montargis the sky died, no more thermals or turbulence and the Cu's disapeared so I landed on Montargis at 08 15 PM, to see some Cu's popp up again after landing.

Well a good rest is worth its gold, and preparation in time for the next day, will be a good job. There were gliders all over the field, however no pilots in sight. I had hardly cleared the strip and the loose ground unabled me to pull ET further to the side. I felt like the only landable field and the previous competitor landed in the middle, walks off for he has to do his telephone first.

Next surprise is the confusion when we'll go to the city for food and my hotel, when we finally phone the only taxi firm; there's nobody to answer. So finally at 10 00 PM I'm on my way by foot to find with a military 10 km march any hotel. It is a lovely eve, though still hot and by 23 30 I can turn the roomkey with only a beer and a dry piece of bread for dinner, so far so good for my physical exercises to stay fit.
Peter Teunisse and ET (Who's who?)

Day 2, Tuesday June 25
With a taxi back on the field at 09 00 AM, in exchange for some fresh croissants, team M1 with Jan Paul Beeke helps me to put ET in a run-up position. The dew helps me clean the wings natures way, quick the maps ready and the gps programmed. However no WB, no water at close hand available and the Cu's allready up, so launch shortly after 11 00. 2,5 m/s and base above 1200 m, we could have started at least one hour earlier.

Over Romorantin several gliders in full activity, must have been a birdsnest around. With the NW wind two routes possible around "La Champagne Humide", first more to the east to the hills west of Dijon and the Plateau de Langre. However the clouds bring me more to the NW away from the blue, with 3-4 m it climbs even above 2000m. The Paris TMA forces me then to a direct course to Troyes, where some parking lots bring reasonnable lift.
Tiptoeing around the lake near Forêt d'Orient with MCC and EH, we enter even weaker lift and to a no thermal area direction Joinville. I tried several small thermals, wind and sun on the hills, something should work, but it did't. We heard some pilots over Nancy above 2000 m, so I made a tactical decission and started the engine to climb the 400 +500 m extra to contact the clouds more to the east on a second competition flight that day. I had to glide till well after Joinville, to contact the lift.

East of Nancy the lift stopped and I started the final glide to Dieuze 300 m above glide path, after a while I dropped 200 m below the glide path, so I landed at a nice airfield, with a (closed) restaurant, Luneville at 19 30 hrs. After parking the glider properly, I walked again and again for a hotel. The french restaurants were allready closed, but the Pizza al giardinero was excellent.
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Day 3, Wednesday, June 26
After a "cat" wash of clothes, a good sleep and a lift with the Rotterdamse Aero Club, I was back at the airfield in time. This time I was able even to fill some WB, even a 40 ltrs makes a difference: the glider flies smoother in the turbulence, circling at 90 km/hr at a better Reynolds number and the penetration is markable better.

A favor of doing the laundry is, that with the final drying on the tailtube and the winglets, when it is dry, it is time for launching. Must have to do with the wetbulp and dewpoint T° getting anough difference to the rising T°.

Some Cu's where now nicely spaced and the TakeOff at 11:30 was right on time with reasonable climbs though far apart. I headed due east, for the northern Vosge mountains, however I had trouble here getting a decent climb to the promising fat Cu's at around 2500 m. When having time over the flat country, no french station took the trouble of replying my R/T. Now, scraping low over the ridges, Phalbourg came in and wanted at once all my details and a transponder change and was unpatient on my request to standby.

To avoid further nerving, I stated that I didn't hear him behind the hills and switched the radio off. Near cloudbase the run into Lachen-Speyerdorf was fast and Strassbourg and Phalsbourg approach now cooperative. Before the dash to the turnpoint, over the last Rhein-Pfalz ridge was a Cu "muy gordo" with 3-4 m/s allmost to 3000m.
For the traverse of the Rhinevalley, I returned to the BIG Cu and started an easy pass to the Black Forest foothills. First with McReady 1 m and soon, with a final glide input to 1300 m, with McReady 1,5 m.

The connection south of Karlsruhe worked good and I stayed over the eastern ridges and high plateau untill Freudenstadt, then crossed to Rotweil/Lemberg for the border (die Kante) of the Schwäbisch Alp. The Cu's were spreaded out, however I could make long glides and found good lift.

I'd been informed by my homefront, that with the northern stowage or barrage of the Alps, there was a lot of rain in South Germany. Near Klippeneck it must have rained untill that morning, for there was no proper lift. Normally this is one of the best of the good soaring over the Schw. Alp, So I flew back to the Lemberg, to gain enough height to proceed over the plateau. This brought me also wel clear of the R 132A area and on a good track to follow the best clouds.

Normally "der Alp" gives 4 m/s and 3000 or more cloudbase, today, with best lift around 2 m/s, was the weakest I know of my backgarden, living in Zürich with the Alps as my front garden. So again no 1000km day.
The multi angle route of the EUROGLIDE 2002 is very well chosen, from Aachen (Eifel), France, South and East Germany untill Öerlinghausen on a good day, with the modern gliders, a flight of over 1000km is most likely over the central european "Mittelgebirge". The only handicap are the restrictions over Belgium, Luxembourg and the big Paris TMA! A turnpoint E of Trier might give better routes?

Near Ulm I was just working a cloudstreet, so I didn't bother the detour to the AKW (atomic electrical plant) however the going near the Nordlinger Ries went slow and I diverted under a big cloud over Donauwörth. The good climb made me belief "gliding starts here at 19 00 in the eve".

The thermal day was now surely ending, so before a final climb, I dropped the WB. With all the bugs and still a westerly wind, I kept sitting now on my span for best L over D, to stretch the final glide as far as possible.

This brought me to Nittenau Bruck at 400m over the small strip in a forest. While circling the area, I didn't get a good feeling, porc feeding lots, in all a shoddy impression. What the heck, I can proceed to Cham. So after a 1000m engine climb, I enjoyed the nice panorama of the Bayerischer Wald and the barock city of Cham.
While taxiing back from the small macadam rwy, I noticed the grass was very wet and soft, had to give quite some power not to get stuck. First happy greeting by glider pilots and a big "Weissbier", that realy did me good. And YA/YES he was here too. Glider parked and tied down and we got a lift to the city, for food and yes, a hotel or B&B.

However all hotels full and lucky I got a nice room in a catholic convention and seminar complex. If the fathers would take me in their prayers, the next day couldn't go wrong, the thermals rising with their prayers to heaven! Remember:-- and god created the seven seas and seven heavens--, it is a pilots and navigators world.

OK , back to YA team for some more Weissbier and a light meal. Bayern is worth a visit for its friendly people, landscapes, cities and food and beverage. Back in the room a quick check of my chargers, a "cat"-wash and a well earned sleep all for only 18 EU.

Still relaxing at the breakfast, I did read in the morningnews, that they had a big fire in Nittenau, not exectly a place for a pilot and his glider to be on the ground, 3 days flown now, with almost 1600km, + 250 free km and 400 km to go. Will the weather stay?
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Day 4, Thursday June 27
Walking to the airstrip in the fresh of the morning dew, the sky is bright and clear. Preflight is done quick with WB, getting to a routine. All the new maps are studied and put at hand, the old ones stowed. Can we make Venlo today?

Trigger points and "pompes de service"/Hausbärte are discussed with the locals, some minor Cu's pop up over the hills, however my catwash stays wet?! We noticed a definite stronger upperwind and around noon YA and ET decide to give it a try. At first we hardly stay above circuitheight, then YA climbs with 2 m/s to cloudbase around 2000m. It takes ET another 30 minutes to climb to cloudbase, was this the wetbulp-valley effect?

Irreggular lift and 40 km/hr and more headwinds, makes the progress slow. At 45 km from Cham, I drop low in a valley full with hightension wires. With the heavy windshears I kept dropping out of the choppy thermals, and with an emergency field beside me (without cables I hoped) I safed myself and my glider with an engine climb.

Were to go now? Back to Cham, no way, I'll have to go through the whole procedures again and maybe again. So while climbing to cloudbase and park under a cloudstreet, I decide to go upwind in the flatter country for a start after displacement.
I head for Schmidgaden a motorplane airfield and get in contact with a motorpilot. The place is deserted like the glidersite more to the south, no good to restart a day. So I head for Weiden in the north, with full facilities. Eager measuring the exact distances Nittenau - Cham -Weiden, 90 km for displacements should do fine.

For the first 3 days I'd used only 5 liter fuel, now I had to economise on fuel too. The air looked better now and I could work more on streets for straight climbs into the wind. Worrying over the rules, I wondered, do I have to land or actually arrive under 600m over Weiden? Some pilots discussed the problem and a startpoint below 600 m should be fine.

After a 140 km more to the north, a big overcast stopped me again near Suhl-Goldlauter, in the Thüringer Wald, with a tricky airstrip. I could land on the 400m strip, however a TO in the confined mountainbowl was doubtful. So I landed at Bischofsberg and tied ET down in a sheltered place.

A fine beer and the confirmation that they had super MOGAS, calmed me down after a hectic 6 hrs flight with only 200 km progress. A relaxing walk down the Berg through gardens brought me to a nice greek restaurant with rooms and beer.
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Day 5, Friday June 28
The Aral gasstation for the twostroke oil was on the otherside of the impressive Bishop-residence, lucky it was a MB garage and I got courtesy service of a limousine, bringing me up to the "Berg". With help from a local, we found a (clean?) can to mix the fuel and refill 12 ltr with a funnel and my special leather to filter water out. Glider serviced and with fair weather prospects I even filled some WB.

When WX, ET and his pilot were ready, I tried to start the engine, just no way. It runned nicely at 3000 rpm, when a sudden power loss dropped the rpm and stopped the engine. I tried again with some more choke or with full throttle, no joy. Jumped out checked the drain, smell and collour for MOGAS ok, checked the can, all MOGAS, just a bit too greasy may be. Was the oil mixing not sufficient?

Waggled the wings and after 15 minutes tried again, this time the engine kept running, with initial a black smoke curtain. Kept for a moment high power, to burn all clean and tried the TO on the long strip. Initially slope up and with WB the bumpy roll was long and the fuel mixed by now for sure. Behind the field were other fields, however the ROC was good in the cooler air.

Lift was still weak, so I climbed 1000m over the field for more options, and I could stay up with half the WB dropped again.
After 75 km contest-flight, just south of Listenau, had to use the engine under a total covered sky, for a second start.

The stronger wind now of ca 60 kmhr drove me towards the Kassel D area, north of Kassel storms were moving in and the turbulence increased even more. Time for a safe haven, the glider strip Der Dingel wasn't suitable, so on engine I proceded to Hölleberg, a nice Motorfield. Under power, I could taxi close to the lee of a hanger and behind a knob. Glider tied down with double anchors and ropes, by now Beaufort 7 was blowing.

Lucky, the clubpresident was working in the hangar and surprized to find the landed glider. We checked the glider well tied and patiently waiting for next days and I was limousined to Bad Karlshafen and introduced to an other pilot, the owner of the Hessisches Hof, I was in good hands.

The dinner was perfect with lots of beer to avoid dehydration, and I was slowly forgetting the hard day's work for only 150 km. A reminder stayed, the importance of studying the fields for facilities, landing and TO possibilities.
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Day 6, Saterday, June 29
The clouds touched the mountains with frequent rain so I didn't even bother to go and see the airfield. As I wasn't sure if yesterdays second part had been a contest flight over 50 km or a displacement of 65 km and proceding for Paderborn for only 25 km?
So I decided, next a regular contest flight is best of over 50 km, with the option of displacing thereafter to Örlinghausen. The restday and the thermal bath ('t bad) did me good, physically and psycho back to normal, tomorrow direct to Venlo?
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Day 7, Sunday, June 30
The strong winds dried the countryside and the sun peeped through. ET preflighted with 30 ltr WB, checked the maps for a slope lift parking position and Paderborn Haxterberg my alternate. Slope down, I pushed ET to a run up position rested a little and when the cloud formation at the horizon looked good, I took off to a 1000m over the field.

The thermals worked, 1 - 2 m/s with only downdrafts behind the hills. East of Paderborn, lift got stronger, so I took a track direct to Öerlinghausen. However over good looking terrain, lift died out and I let ET drift to the ridge, that worked partly and I could take the turnpoint at a medium height.

Further on course some thermals started again and cloudstreets formed, lift increased to locally 3 m/s. After Hamm, I followed a cloudstreet to
Herten, but Düsseldorf Appr. refused a clearence, even with my transponder, so I glided out to Marl, within the last 100 km to Venlo, were I landed after 15:00 hrs.

350 km for the unsteady weather and strong headwinds were not bad. With a lift to EHEH, I picked up my car and trailer for a selfretrief of my glider. A week of hard soaring passed so swift, and two weeks of rain followed, so my dream to soar in Holland to Ameland was "drained" again.

Back in Zürich another two weeks of bad weather, boy had we been lucky, or does the monastry near EHEH have a special line to Saint Peter?
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Some Dutchmen say I'm difficult, well in the caribean, my birthplace, we say -- every big pleasure is a very serious business--. And the EUROGLIDE is like an international championship, a BIG PLEASURE.

I just use to come more prepared to a contest and have no problems with being difficult, I'll be pleasing on the social get togethers. I took the challence to pack my stuff and drive 3000 km to Holland and back, I know theres a lot of effort and time to organise the EUROGLIDE and I sincerely appreciate the work done.

Stating the EUROGLIDE has nothing to do with the F.A.I. is nonsense; the FAI code sportive is the summ of all the soaring experience of many decennia and takes perfectly care for all the bedevilled details. What's more any pilot knows at once the general rules, f-i. penalty points are there to avoid pilots taking advantage of mistakes, obliviations etc., without totally disqualifying and throwing them out of the contest.
Further rules and allows the F.A.I.also different means, like an Aerograf baro, to proof a proper regular flight. GPS LOGGERS are nice to have, though we older pilots have more problems with the new electronics.

Soaring is the good cause, not computing. I got a version V logger with a version III manual, did I know, that after 35 hrs it will throw my first flight out. So sorry, next time I start from Zürich or Canada, all the effort just for pleasure. Gentlemen, you just can't cut the corners, not in life and not with the code Sportive.

Kind regards,

ET and Peter Teunisse

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