SEN 1708

SEN 1708 - Table of Contents

  1. Next USA Finals
  2. Improving the Odds in Nevada , where else ?
  3. GB Team
  4. GB Team Trials kerfuffle

The Next USA Finals


Over the years the Team Selection Committee (TSC) has had ongoing discussions with AMA’s FAI Executive Committee regarding how to distribute the Finals location so that it’s as fair as possible to all the flyers.  The conundrum has been whether to pick the best field available or a field that distributes travel expense, time and logistics more evenly.  One opinion is that the best field will produce the best and fairest results.  Another opinion is that for those not living on the west coast, having to travel to California represents a significant disadvantage.  Adding to the issue is that most of the Program participants live on the west coast.  Lost Hills was selected for the 2012 Finals in large part due to the new format.  It was thought that the contest(s) would be challenging enough to manage without adding small-field issues to the mix.  Unforeseen at the time, however, was the new orchards that necessitated using adjoining land and moving the flight line a few times.


AMA would like to see the Finals alternated between east and west, or flown permanently in a central location, or made up of selected contests throughout the country.  Their view is that if F1A, B, C can be flown in Muncie at the Nats, why not the TS Finals?  It comes down to the definition of ‘meeting the Finals site requirements.’  Meanwhile, AMA’s ‘Blue Book’ doesn’t address the location issue, just that the site bid requires FAI Executive Committee approval.  It is not known yet if they will attempt to dictate where the 2014 Finals will be held but we are attempting to obtain a policy clarification.


Chuck Etherington



Improving the Odds in Nevada, RE: El Dorado Dry Lake

I have to agree with the comments re: El Dorado with some reservations.   I first saw it after a rainstorm.  Was calm and a Topo map showed a 2x7 mile area for 20 ft elevation change.  Not only close to a popular destination by air or land, and back then luxury rooms were cheaper than rent (or even utilities) and buffets cheaper than groceries.  Randy Archer said his first experience was fantastic, catching maxes near the launch site.  Second time was so windy he couldn't open the car door.  This led to my article in NFFS Sympo 1998 looking to improve odds of obtaining that perfect weather.  While that was last century and required digging thru some dusty books in obscure libraries, should be much simpler w/internet & a good spreadsheet.

Using several close by weather stations, it would be good to plot hi/lo temp, precipitation & wind data for a full year, marking the lunar phase ( like a hash mark for new moon).  Ideally there would be many years covered, showing effect of the so called 11 year sunspot cycle which is really 22 yr peak to peak.  More data is better.

Would expect to locate best chance for Goldilocks conditions best months and lunar phase to have comfortable temp, no rain and low wind.  Hey, it's Nevada, play the odds, bet with the house... 

 Hermann Andresen

Editor's note - with respect with the weather the locals say you can get a day of wind like we did on the Friday but they are isolated.

GB Team  - part 1

GB Team for France 2013 - subject to ratification.

A: John Cooper, Richard Jack, John Williams
B: Pete Brown, Ivan Taylor, Mike Woolner
C: Alan Jack, Mick Lester,
A weekend of typical British weather; some wind, low temperatures and heavy rain at times.
A contest full of drama to the end. Well done to the top three.

from the Edge of Beyond, which it sounds like where the event was flown

BMFA (GB)  Free Flight Trials 2012  - part 2

So yet another Trials ends in controversy concerning the F1A results.

After a weekend on the wet, lonely, extremely cold and occasionally windy ex USAF Sculthorpe six rounds were managed to be flown in the 2nd Trials under the watchful eye of contest director Paul Flynn, a late volunteer to run the event in the absence of FFTC having anyone to run it.

Personally I thought Paul did an admirable job in difficult circumstances having only received the Cd’s equipment and instructions a couple of minutes before Round 1 was due to commence.

For F1A the controversy occurred in Round 6 being flown to a three minute maximum.
Here one competitor was seen to start towing early, progress some distance downwind (approx 200 metres) and launch. His model then DTed down well short of the three minute maximum.
The competitor returned holding in one hand the fuselage hatch and in the other the model, explaining that the hatch had detached in flight. His timekeeper allowed the competitor to refly assuming the first flight was a non scoring attempt.
No record of the first flight that DTed down was made on the competitor’s scorecard (see rule book C).
The competitor’s second attempt scored a maximum and on his scorecard the round was shown as one flight of 180 seconds (maximum).

This was controversial as the competitor’s timekeeper had not seen the hatch detach during flight, also not recording the first sub-max flight on the competitor’s scorecard.

The competitor involved then sought to justify his actions to some other competitors by reference to the current Free Flight Rule Book.

Relevant Free Flight Rule Book sections are:- – Scoring Attempt – Flight DTed will score actual time recorded. – some part of the model becomes detached – Who decides this? In this case the timekeeper did not see the hatch detach and took the evidence of the flyer that the hatch had detached in flight, and not simply been found alongside the model on the ground. d timekeeper failing to record a flight – though in this case the flight had been timed to the ground. c flight not recorded – however the flight had been timed, plus the second attempt had been timed but only the second attempt had been recorded on the competitor’s scorecard.

Ruling Rule
Following the controversy involving the same competitor in the 2011 Team Selection Trials concerning the use of rcdt there is a new rule in the book:-
3.1.7 e a model equipped for radio transmissions shall score a ZERO (my capitals) if any part of the model becomes detached during flight.
QED the sixth round flight of this competitor, flying a model equipped to receive radio transmissions, should be recorded as a zero under rule 3.1.7 e

I would request that the FFTC arrange that the final results of the Team Selection trials 2012 for the 2013 Team show this competitor’s sixth round flight score as zero.

Thanks you for your attention.

David Brawn

Editorial Comment:  We are not always sure if it is appropriate if SEN is the right vehicle for articles like David's. But we decided to print it,  not necssarily for helping to right something that was maybe not right but more as a lesson learned for the future on the importance of having a way of resolving such sporting incidents . I note that there was a very generous offer from the other side of the pond to help with the USA trials, maybe a reciprocal offer should of been made.  But Sculthorpe in Oct/Nov sounds less inviting than the delights of Lost Hills.

 I have not seen the UK program but it is a credit to those who wrote the US FF program and the AMA "blue" book that it is very clear how to resolve any sporting incident and who has the responsibility to do it.  I have to say from first hand experience at the US event, I was the head jurist, that I most impressed by the diligence and impartiality that all my fellow jurists showed in resolving the small number of sporting incidents.  The jury's decision was always made promptly and the result was clear.

Roger Morrell