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  1. Sporting code and our volunteer organization
  2. Perris Update
  3. F1C Semi Automatic Timekeeper
  4. Not the last word
  5. DT Fly Offs – A history and thoughts

Sporting code and our volunteer organization

From: Leslie Farkas

Following my last comments I waited for more opinions from other sportsmen regarding the issues our sport is facing. Here below I would like to continue with my thoughts..

Are we really just a volunteer organization and what does it cost? The national modeling federations are paying between $10,000.00 to $25,000.00 yearly for our FAI membership which allows us to participate at World and Continental Championships. In addition we also purchase each year our personal FAI licence for about $50.00 to $100.00. The cost of the models varies between $2000.00 and $5000.00. Multiply this by four. To travel to competitions again varies between $500.00 and $1500.00, plus entry fees, food and hotel. The World Championship in Hungary did cost each Canadians $3500.00 to $4000.00.

I do understand that the fundamental base of a contest are the predetermined specifications of models and the rule of the competition. That includes engine size and run, weight of a rubber, length of a towline, when and where to start the competition, the number of rounds and finally how to and who can win!!! These conditions are clearly stated in the Sporting Code. Now, when and how much we can or should deviate from the sporting code???? Not to have poles positions, two timekeeper for each competitor with binoculars and at least one tripod on each pole position do not make much or any difference for a small contest with fifteen or twenty competitors. These are as Roger was saying “in some countries are considered misdemeanor” violations and necessities to run a competition. With my previous comments, I was not asking for the head of the contest directors or their first born child to be taken away because they deviated from the Sporting Code. However when it comes to a gimmick like flipping a coin, hand launching the models or DT and timing the model to the ground is not included in the Sporting Code. To spend all the money (as indicated above) and not to win a competition because the way a fly-off is being run is a major violation of the Sporting Code, that is not acceptable. This applies to the last World Championship when on the F1B day the competition started despite complaints that the flight line was front of trees which will interfere with timekeeping. After more complaints from competitors the first round was halted and a re-fly was ordered for all competitors. I looked at the Sporting Code and did not find anything supporting the Jury’s decision. As I know, the round can be stopped for re-positioning the starting line and continue after the move. After a competitor have officially flown and the time registered by the timekeeper, he or she cannot fly again in the same round. A number of competitors who maxed in their first flight, they dropped in the re-fly.

One of the problem regarding the fly-offs could be that some of the fields are not suitable to hold a World Cup. The other, that maybe two competition on the same weekend and same location is too much and not manageable if the weather is not cooperating. This is when a good contest director becomes important to make the right decision. I think we can agree that Mongolia’s success hosting the World Championship confirms the validity of my views regarding the importance of an organization and leadership. Yes Roger is right, we could be charged with misdemeanor in North America because we are timing each other for decades without any incident. (that I can remember). One of the biggest competition in the World is the MaxMen. Because the contest directors like George Batiuk and Bill Booth, every contest was a success, even when the weather was not cooperating. This applies to the preceding KIWI Cup with Roger Morrell and the Pan America Cup with Peter Allnutt and Tony Mathews as CD-s. I am saying this to emphasize the importance of contest directors who can make or break a competition.

Chuck Markos also made some very good points. Particularly pointing out the CIAM Plenary decisions. I mentioned many times before that a number of the national representatives who vote for or against changes, they have no knowledge about the subject. We also found out that in a case of massive opposition to a rule change by the international modeling community CIAM has no mechanism to reverse a rule change following a Plenary decision. Clearly our sport have outgrown the system with which we are trying to manage and govern. It takes a year to implement a rule change and two to reverse a proven to be wrong decision which was made at the plenary. I wish to reiterate that Ian does a great job. However our sport requires an overhaul by creating a management team, review and modify our Sporting Code to be manageable and enforceable by all involved. Since the fly-off problem surfaced, more that two months went-by but we still have not heard from CIAM how the violations will be handled and clearly state that the sporting code will be enforced.

Because the lack of foresight, we allowed changes which became detrimental to aeromodelling. With the innovations for the past twenty five years, we have provided an opportunity for the manufacturing segments of our community, but that also resulted in better performance and higher costs of the models which became prohibitive to a large number of competitors. As previously stated, unless we make some serious changes and implement limitations, aeromodelling will become nothing more than an elitist activity. As a sport organization, we also failed to promote modeling for the younger generations.

To solve some of the problems we do have an example in Europe with Ansgar Nuttgens from Germany who six years ago recognized the importance of changes and started the “Free Flight Revival’ with acknowledging and addressing the performance difference between conventional profile and LDA models including the type of equipment being used on the planes. His system was accepted and it is gaining popularity in Europe. Yet (to the best of my knowledge) no consideration was given by the free flight leaders to look and perhaps adapt some part of his program.
I like Walt’s comment about his experience with the DT fly-off and I am not against the idea, but not until it is in the Sporting Code. The fly-off format should remain as is with the DT to be added as an option, based on weather circumstances.

As my final comment, we should not have to have these discussions because it is the job of leaders to lead the sport and organizers of contests to enforce the Sporting Code. We the competitors we should simply enjoy competing. The way I see it anyway.

Leslie Farkas, F1A flyer, Contest Organizer and Canadian Team Manager

Perris Update

For local So Cal flyers the good news is that the farmer has cut the filed between where we fly and San Jancinto Rd. The farmer is putting mulch on that field to the East of where we fly. The good new there is that it is mulch not manure. In spite of the high temperatures recently early flying AM flying conditions have been dead calm until about 10 AM when a slight breeze has come up.

FlC Semi Automatic Timekeeper

This is project from Gil Morris . Because the way it was formatted and the need to include the circuit diagram. The presentation is a little different from what we do normally.

Gil Morris (our “most experienced”?) F1C Flyer

Not the last word.

From: Editor

Gil and Leslie’s articles allude to some key issues and we had some material covering these issues that was not quite ready for publication.. These include:
What is the process for approving electronic “aides” to running contests?
How do we foster innovation to get the best help, electronic or otherwise to promote and foster our events (certainly not with “our” way of doing things)?
We have a de facto local rule of D/T fly off that appears to be accepted and it’s use “permitted” and not challengeable?

DT Fly Offs – A history and thoughts

DT fly offs were first introduced by David Baker for SAM1066 vintage events
at Middle Wallop airfield in the UK in 1999. He cited as reasons the fact
the flyers are “…no longer in the prime of youth…” and that
uncooperative farmers around the field meant that “Crop damage must not
occur….” From the outset several competitors did not approve and refused
to take part. I did not like them but over the next 15 years was involved in
a good number and therefore have experience of them. They are open to
“gamesmanship” (cheating) and there is no way to legislate against this. You
cannot define a tailplane tip up angle; other correspondents have pointed
out that different models need different angles to DT safely, and they are
in no way a measure of a models performance. Most competitors have a “Fly
Off” model; will they now also need a “DT Fly Off” model? DT fly offs were
unsatisfactory even in those vintage competitions and they have no place in
major competitions, especially international events.

If time is limited or there is a downwind obstruction then I feel that the
best solution is to go straight to a long, say 10min, max or even unlimited.
It is then the competitor’s choice of what he does. Either; not enter, or DT
before the obstruction, or try to overfly it. Every modeller should know how
far away the model can be seen and it is not difficult to work out what
flight time that would be given the current wind speed. You set your DT to
that time. With the use of RDT it becomes even easier and with modern
retrieval aids such as trackers and GPS even a model three miles away should
not take too long to find.

If space is limited then I am not sure that a major event should be taking
place on that site but if circumstances change and there is a reason why
models should not venture beyond a certain line then again, an unlimited fly
off is flown but models going beyond that line do not score, or in extreme
circumstances are DQ’d. This introduces another level of skill!

Anything would be better than a DT fly off!!!!!!

Ron Marking

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Roger Morrell