SEN 1473

Table of Contents - SEN 1473

  1. Last Weekend at Tustin
  2. F1B for sale
  3. Ghio and Cowley on the Finals - a proposal
  4. Faust's Comments - Mac the Bigot
  5. Dec 11 and other more important stuff

Last Weekend at Tustin

Brian's pics from last weekend are posted at:

Next session at the hangar will be December 28-30, 2010. Tues - Thurs. This may be the LAST time we can fly in the fabulous Tustin Hangar!!!

Contact Ralph Ray for more info: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

- NormF

F1B For Sale

For sale, brand new AA 152cm model : rev G e-timer with RDT plug, 32mm motor tube, aerodynamic connector, EZ snap fin mount, VP/DPR front end. Wings tips are painted orange top / red bottom with my (vinyl) AMA numbers.
Asking $1700.00 delivered in USA. (Alex's current delivered price for this is $2100.00 with his new timer)
If interested please contact Tom Vaccaro, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

New Finals Proposal

Like a lot of USA FAI flyers, I have been reading the dialog on the SCAT Web site about our team finals. At the Patterson contest several of us talked about the old program and what Mike Achterberg and Roger Simpson had suggested for a new finals format. Alex Andriukov told me what he felt the program should be and I suggested he put the information on the web site, which he did.

I am in favor of the present single site format, but with two changes. This past weekend, I e-mailed Martyn Cowley and asked him if he had submitted his idea that was in SEN 1463 which had a required two round flyoff for all fly-off contestants. He replied back that he had not forwarded the proposal. I told him that I had been thinking of sending in proposal using this format. In 1976 the team finals had a two flight, fly-off after eight rounds using a three-minute max. To this day, I felt it was the most competitive finals that I had flown in. We got on the phone and talked about how to arrange a proposal and then started to exchange draft copies. Below is the proposal that we have come up with and also a Team Selection Process Commentary that consolidates some of the concerns raised by some of the program participants.

The Team Selection Committee meets on December 11th. My suggestion is that if you are a USA team selection participant to get in touch with you District member and make sure he understands what you would like for a program.

Walt Ghio This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

US Team Selection Finals Proposal 

Martyn Cowley / Walt Ghio

This US Team Selection Finals proposal includes two basic changes to the existing Team Selection Program, as follows:

1) The first change to the present program is to allow competitors who have maxed out for one day of the finals to qualify for the fly-offs (but carrying forward their deficit in score) along with those with a perfect score who have maxed out both days.

2) The second change is to add two mandatory fly-offs for those qualified above, whether they have maxed out all 14 rounds or not.

This proposal gives all competitors an equal footing. Each competitor has an assigned timer and an equal 30 minutes per round to fly in, under identical conditions. (See attached Commentary document for more analogies of different Finals formats).

Proposed Finals Schedule:

1. Daytime Rounds: Utilizing the present Finals format: Four day Finals: 14, half hour window rounds, 7 rounds the first day and 7 rounds the second day, with the fourth day reserved for completion of a necessary minimum of 7 rounds in any event and or continuation of the fly-offs.

F1A flies days 1 (early round) and 2 (late round) and times day 3, and has mandatory fly-offs end of day 2 and or day 4.

F1B flies days 1 (late round) and 3 (early round) and times day 2 and has mandatory fly-offs end of day 3 and or day 4.

F1C flies days 2 (early round) and 3 (late round) and times day 1 and has mandatory fly-offs end of day 3 and or day 4.

The standard rounds schedule will be used, i.e. a 30-minute time period for each round and a 10-minute delay between rounds. Each event would use the early or late round period per the above schedule.

The first-round extended max each day shall be as existing Program, or per prevailing FAI Rules in effect:

F1A – 240 seconds

F1B – 270 seconds

F1C – 300 seconds

2. Mandatory Fly-Offs: Two mandatory fly-off rounds, of 5 minute max and 7 minute max, will be flown at the end of the 14 rounds. All competitors who have maxed out for the two days will be advanced to the fly-offs along with any competitor who has maxed out either of the two days. The competitor’s flight times will be carried into the fly-offs and the two round fly-off times will be added to the 14 for a total time. The fly-off round times are 10 minutes.

The CD must schedule and conclude all the rounds, on day 2 and 3 (or 4), in sufficient time to allow for a minimum of 2 mandatory fly-offs (5 minutes and 7 minutes) to be held within the available daylight, i.e. a minimum period of 1 hour and 50 minutes, plus 30 minutes before local sunset. Note, if necessary the CD can conclude the rounds without completing all 14 rounds, providing that a minimum of 7 rounds have been flown over the two days, for any given class, per the existing Finals program guidelines.

On day 3, the two mandatory fly-off events will split the round as follows: first 5-minute fly-off, 10 minute round for event F1C; 20 minute break; second 5-minute fly-off, 10 minute round for event F1B; 30 minute break; first 7-minute fly-off, 10 minute round for event F1C; 20 minute break; second 7-minute fly-off 10 minute round for event F1B. The proposed schedule for the 2 fly-off rounds gives all participants a full hour between their fly-offs for retrieval and preparations.

3. Fly-off Qualification: In the event that fewer than 30% of the total participants who have flown (rounded up to the nearest whole number) have achieved a one-day maximum score (in their event on either day) then the next highest scoring competitors, totaled over both days, will also be advanced to the mandatory fly-off rounds to make up this 30% figure, irrespective of whether they have achieved a full score on either day (example: 5 one-day max-outs, from the 28 entries who flew x 30% = 8.4, rounded to 8 persons who will compete in the two mandatory fly-off rounds. So the next 3 highest competitor’s scores (from both days totals combined) will also qualify for at least 2 more mandatory fly-off rounds, to produce a field of 8 competitors.

4) Deciding Fly-offs: Following the two mandatory fly-off rounds, those competitors who are still maxed out will continue fly-offs as required (i.e. 9 minute and / or early 10 minute flight time morning round on Day 4) until the top three Team Members and one Alternate are selected.

5) Team Selection Criteria: The US Team will be selected on the following criteria: Total accumulated score from: total time over 2 day rounds (whether maxed-out or not); mandatory 2 fly-off rounds for those qualified to fly-off (whether maxed-out or not); any additional deciding fly-offs for those still maxed out or with tied scores

6) Bad Conditions and Reserve Day: Per the existing Program in the case of bad weather, if a total of 7 rounds have not been completed in the first three days of competition then the fourth day will be used to complete a minimum of 7 rounds. Fly-offs will proceed after the seventh round. If for some reason the 7 rounds / fly-offs cannot be completed in the 4 days a future contest will be rescheduled to complete the team selection, as is presently the case.

— Respectfully, Martyn Cowley & Walt Ghio November 30, 2010

Team Selection Process Commentary


The attached Proposal and rationale discussion below, addresses issues raised recently by Team Selection participants and attempts to provides an equitable solution by offering small improvements to the existing Selection process, which otherwise has been generally well proven and accepted over many Selection cycles.


Main concerns of current Program voiced by Team Selection Program participants (not criticisms of past team results, but of motivational aspects going forward).

1) Single failure, mechanical, timekeeping or just plain bad luck is de-motivating to many (eliminates flyer for another 2 years)

2) Lack of any requirement to demonstrate extended fly-off performance (which is an essential capability in order to win at World Champs) i.e. it has been possible to make the USA Team based solely on sub max out round scores.

The proposed two-flight fly-offs format is like the two round mandatory fly-offs that was used in 1976 to select the 1977 team and also suggested by Martyn Cowley on the SCAT web site, i.e. SEN 1463, which gives practical examples of how this fly-off qualification process might have been applied to the 2010 Finals results.

Note: I was part of that 1976 Wakefield fly-off and still to this day, I feel that it was the most intense finals that I have every flown in. First off you needed to be in the top six to make the required two round fly-offs and then you needed to have two excellent flights to make the top three for a 1977 team position. -Walt



The objective of this Proposal is that a USA Team Member must demonstrate:

1) High performance in lift-less conditions, i.e. extended first round early morning max.

2) Consistency in thermal rounds, typically in variable weather throughout the day.

3) High performance in progressive max fly-offs, typically in evening conditions.

But also:

4) Ability to be totally prepared and ready with all model and equipment for a one-time single important deciding event at one location, and use multiple models if necessary.

5) Ability to fly in a short round window, currently 30 minutes (as all 3 Team Members must do so within 1 hour Championship rounds) and later in 10 minute rounds during the fly-off.

6) Ability to handle increasing pressure, under shortened round times and devise winning strategy at culmination of event to ultimately determine top 3 Team Members.


The attached Proposal offers the following additional distinctions from the existing Program (to address valid competitors concerns voiced above):

1) The concept that a single error or minor mistake(s) (on the part of the flyer or the organization, or pure luck) will not automatically eliminate a competitor, and can be offset by other overall aggregate performance over both days and the fly-offs.  However, a competitor must at a minimum demonstrate the ability to max-out on at least one day (and carry forward any deficient score) into the fly-off rounds.


2) The concept that there will be a minimum of two fly-off rounds after the daytime rounds, for the top group of competitors, whether or not they have maxed out all of the preceding 14 rounds, to demonstrate high performance fly-off performance (these mandatory fly-offs will permit selection from a broader group of top qualified competitors still in the running, who are given a second chance to catch up and /or out perform other fly-off participants, hence a minimum of two fly-offs for all qualified)

By comparison, using a 5 or 6 Multi-Contest format to select team members does not give the competitor equal footing. The contest director assigns several flyers per pole, on a fly-one time-one basis and then it is up to the competitor’s to select when they fly. If you happen to fly second or third and then the conditions change for the normal one-hour round it is not equal for all competitor’s competing for a team position.

Pros and Cons:

Fair Play:

Current Program Format:  All competitors have equal opportunity, dedicated timekeeper, identical round time and weather conditions to all other competitors, at the same site.

Multiple Contest Format:  The biggest single deficiency is timekeeping, unless dedicated timers are provided equally to all competitors.  Fly one, time one (as used in all Americas Cup and World Cup events) although sufficient for such types of contests (where the primary objectives are to motivate large numbers of competitors to stay in the sport, and not to pick a Team) has an inherent inequity that a flyer may not have equal round time available to make his flights, and can no longer choose his time to fly if he also has the responsibility to share timekeeping duties with a fellow flyer (i.e. one flyer MUST fly early and another MUST fly late in the round) and therefore each timer/ competitor only has at best half the round or significantly less to fly in, which by definition will likely be under better or worse conditions.  There is also a possibility that his timekeeper will not return in sufficient time to make his flight.  By comparison, any competitor who has his own dedicated helper / timer will have a huge advantage in that they could choose to fly at any time throughout the whole round. FAI events at the NATS have also typically permitted a 1 1/2 hour first round, overlapping with the next round, which further introduces an inequity of the conditions under which different competitors are able to fly.

Comparing results from different sites, and different weather conditions is problematic, as some will be easy contests, some will be very tough and challenging, and who is to say whether a hard fought contest winner with a lower score is more or less deserving than an easy contest winner with a high scores.  A points system does nothing to level the playing field in this regard.

As the Multiple Contest Format contest are completed you will likely see a reduction in Team Selection competitors attending the required contest. They will see that they do not have a chance of making the team and will save money and time by not attending the contest. Hence, there is no guarantee that all the top flyers will attend the Multiple Contests, and so the standard of performance need to win will inevitably vary. This is a fact and is a down side to the Multiple Contest Format.

Other models being flown simultaneously:

Current Program Format:  At a dedicated single site Finals, the CD has authority over the field and can forbid other models from being flown outside of official flights.  Also, all of the competitors on the field are striving for the same goal and all are bona fide Team Selection program participants.

Multiple Contest Format:  Combining FAI events, which are to count towards Team Selection scores, with other events, such as at the NATS or America’s Cup events, opens the field to many classes of model being flown simultaneously, and the possibility of piggy-backing marked air, risking mid-air collisions or timekeeping errors mistaking other models in the air.  An open format also introduces other non Team Selection Program competitors, and even those from overseas, flying on the same line at the same time, which may affect the results to the competitor’s advantage or disadvantage.

— Respectfully, Martyn Cowley & Walt Ghio November 30, 2010

Fausts Comments

To my fellow FAI competitors.

Fausts' comments are a breath of fresh air from all the finals grumblings that have been floating around since the recent team selection competitions. The current team selection is good and is well tested over time. It is relatively simple and it is done with all the competitors flying in the same place with the same weather. Stop all this shucking and jiving nonsense and smell the roses. We have a good program already and we will kill what is left of the limping program if you break it up all over the country. The current proposals to break it up is smart, but not wise!

Mac the Bigot

Dec 11 and other more important stuff

As noted recent the USA TSC meeting is on Dec 11, so by that time we will have aired out all the team Selection thoughts and got back to the serious work of finishing the one America's Cup Contest left for this year and getting ready for next year's World Cup, America's Cup, World Champs, and just flying.

And Mac the Bigot , I did read your submission be publishing it - drat.

The Isaacson Winter Classic team are just finalizing the plans to host the new Dutch World Cup Contest - Anselmo Zeri Memorial at Lost Hills in February. The Event Directors will be the well known Dutch FAI Sportsmen, Pim Ruyter and Allard Van Wallene. Full details - real soon now. This will make it a Fantastic February at Lost Hills with these events plus California Cup F1E World Cup, the Pam American during the week and finishing up with the MaxMen International on Presidents Day weekend the 18 to 21 February. So make your travel plans.

Roger Morrell