SEN 2052

Table of Contents - 2052

  1. California FAI Tradition
  2. California FAI Flyer
  3. Sierra Cup Flyer
  4. Virtues of Fly Offs in Shifts
  5. Your/Our/My Direction ??

California FAI Tradition

Earlier this year you will have read in SEN  long time SCAT member, Juan Livotto’s announcement that he was retiring from running the California FAI Invitational contest, usually known to all of us as “The Livotto”, after 40 years. This contest had been a fixture on the California free flight calendar and a “must” because of the excellent organization and weather.


As expected there has been much discussion on how to fill this gap in our calendar. Well known California F1A sportsman and this year’s USA Team manager in Mongolia, Brian Van Nest will continuing the California FAI tradition. Brian will run the event on the same weekend as this year’s Sierra Cup giving us 2 stellar FAI events together at Lost Hills on the same Columbus Day weekend. This year only the Sierra Cup will be a World Cup event. Both of course are America’s Cup events.  Brian will be working with another NAC to host one of their World Cup events next year. Full details of both this event and the Sierra Cup will be given in the event flyers. The event has been renamed the California FAI, removing the word Invitational, because some of our international visitors, and locals too,  were confused and thought a special invitation was needed to attend. Not so of course, everyone is very welcome.


For those of you looking to do a West Coast swing in the Fall/Autumn, Bill Booth’s SW FAI Contest on El Dorado Dry Lake at Boulder City, Nevada will be on 24 October, starting one day after the SAM Champs finishes at the same site. Bill’s information will be out shortly.


                           Oct 10th&12th Reserve Oct13th, 2015 at Lost Hills Field, CA

Sponsored by Southern California Aero Team

AMERICAS CUP Contest                  Sanction No.15-xxxxx




Saturday, Oct 10th: F1A, F1B, F1C, F1Q, F1P

Seven d6c621c597e157319d3c79c657739ebf one hour rounds start @ 8:00 AM with extended max times

F1A and P:  210 sec, F1B and Q: 240 sec, F1C: 240 sec

Remaining round maxes are 180 sec. 

Fly off schedule 30 min after end of last round. Event start times will be posted


Monday Oct 12th F1G, F1H,  F1S

Tie Breaker flight to the ground. F1G 7:30- 7:40; F1H 7:45-7:55; F1S 8:00: -8:10

There may be a slight delay if F1A, F1B, F1C require morning fly offs

Standard Four [4) rounds 90 minute long starting @ 9AM, 120 sec maxes,

Fly to the ground to count as round 1 and will be the flyoff tie breaker

90 minute rounds to be shared with Sierra Cup

F1C 1st place in memory of Kenny Happersett


F1S provisional

Tie breaker as above 10 second engine time to the ground

F1S will run in rounds the same as F1H & F1G  ( 10 sec engine 2 minute max)

Entry Fees:

FAI events: FIA, B, C, G, H, J, P, Q; $25 first event, $10 for second


AMA age juniors: $5/event, or All-In Fee of 10


Trophies awarded for 1-2-3 places in F1A, B, C, G, and F1H


Junior Hi-Time Trophy Glider, Rubber


F1Q  & F1P F1S 1st only 


AMA & Lost Hills Field Assn memberships are MANDATORY

FAI events run to the 2015 FAI rules

Processing of models will be done as normal course


Q flyers to measure, calculate, and monitor one another’s motor runs

Flight line will move as needed to avoid retrieval from fields

No Moto-flapping

RDT allowed all events.

Contest Director                                                                    

Brian Van Nest

2346 Cheyenne Dr

Bishop CA 93514

Home 760-873-5073

Cell 760-937-0177                                          

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

39th Annual Sierra Cup
FAI International Free Flight Contest
October 11-13, 2015
A World and America’s Cup Event
Sponsored by:
Southern California Aero Team
Lost Hills, California, USA

Schedule of Events:
Sunday, October 11 F1A, F1B, F1C, F1Q

Seven 1 hour rounds starting at 8AM with extended 1st Round maxes per current rules.
Fly Offs to be posted after Round 7. Sierra Cup field BBQ after conclusion of California
FAI on Saturday evening.

Monday, October 12 Mini Events F1G, F1H, F1P/J, F1S

Shared with The California FAI Mini Events five rounds starting at 9AM (90 minutes to
fly two flights, one for California FAI one for Sierra Cup). Sierra Cup fly off at
conclusion of round five. Note California FAI first round flight to ground will determine
winner and counts as round one. Sierra Cup flies second flight each round.

Tuesday, October 13 Reserve Day

The contest will be run to current 2015 FAI rules and maxes. No moto-flapping.
No timers are provided. FAI Stamp should be shown at registration. F1C fuel not
provided so BYOF for F1C.

Send Entries Fees to and Request Further Information From:
Mike McKeever - CD
4252 Mockingbird St
Fair Oaks, Ca 95628
(916) 967-8475
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Entry Fees:

Any single event (Mini or Maxi) $45
One “Mini” event and one “Maxi” event $60
Entry includes banquet- extra banquet price $20 each
Entries to be received with check payable to SCAT before Wednesday, October 7. If you
request to be on a pole with someone, I would suggest entry by mail before October 7th.
Non-US competitors may advise of entry before October 7 and pay at the field.

Name:____________________________E-Mail____________________ AMA #___________________
Event: Circle Those You Will Fly F1A F1B F1C F1Q F1P/j F1G F1H F1S
Entry Fee and Extra Fund Raiser Tickets Enclosed $____________

Virtues of Flyoffs-in-Shifts

5-round contests were approved by CIAM because Europeans and most other foreign fliers retrieve in foot. In contrast, most contests in the States retrieval is mechanized (motor cycles, golf carts, cars and occasionally mountain bikes). No wonder why we love 7-round contests. In fact the new FAI rules allow this provided the 7 round format is announced in advance.

More rounds tend to reduce the flyoff size. Suppose that on average 10% of the fliers drop each round with a standard max and 15% drop an extended 4 minute max. Then in a standard 7 round 3-minute max contest 47.8% of the fliers would finish clean (0.9^7). In a 5 round contest with two extended maxes 52.7% would reach the flyoffs (0.85^2)*(0.9^3). But the difference is not that dramatic.

Big flyoffs are very expensive in terms of timers (3 per flier in a word championship). The flight line can be very long, varying in height and downwind topography and visibility. But the main problem is having too many model simultaneously in the air, increasing the likelihood of timing errors (loosing models, model switching, timing the wrong model). (During the regular rounds the number of models in the air can’t exceed half when we time each other, a third if a flier has to be timed by two others like in Scandinavia, and a quarter in a pole system with four fliers.)

In practice, most flyoffs in the States are timed by a single timer. CIAM’s alternative to large flyoffs is holding them in two shifts. And once the number of clean fliers becomes manageable, switching back to a single flyoff.

The major argument against flyoffs-in-shifts is that they are unfair. But fairness is an ex-ante concept (before the fact), not an ex-post one (based on the outcome). In an evening flyoff, the temperature in the first shift might be higher with better visibility. But the second shift has better knowledge on the exact weather conditions if flown immediately afterwards.

We, in the States, should mandate that all flyoffs be timed by two timers per flier. For a flyoff-in-shifts the organizers should require that each flier time the alternative shift before chasing their model for their time to become official. The flight lines are shorter and the potential number of models in the air is halved. Personally, I would always prefer two timers in a flyoff-in-shifts, relative to flying together and being timed by a single timer.

Finally, every flier would love to be in the flyoff, even though only half or less manage to qualify. Flyoffs are an integral part of a contest with all eyes watching; a chance to fly with the best. CDs’ goal should not be to reduce the number reaching the flyoffs, but to have flyoffs better timed, including when held in shifts.

Aram Schlosberg

Our/Your/My ? Direction??
From:     John Barker
I am a lifelong modeller who has not flown an International class since they
were 'Wakefield' and 'Nordic'.  I know in the minds of many that takes away
my rights of comment on F1 matters.  However F! gives me a lot of vicarious
pleasure and I hate to see it, despite the recent successful Championships,
in such a muddle about the future.

The attraction of the international classes has been the improvements,
decade by decade, to meet the competition requirements. Unfortunately recent
improvements have been more and more in the hands of a few specialist, and
at a price. In addition the developments have reached a level where there
are few flying sites where good competitions can be held.
It is interesting that the International classes are now most like the
Vintage classes.  The same old models appearing time after time and with
performances so similar that it is the thermal picking that wins the

Here is a subversive thought.  Are the FAI the best body to write rules for
your country?

To suit the creative urge in model flyers I think we need at least one rule
making body that changes the rules, say, every four years.  Perhaps
biplanes, payload, pushers, canards to get the creative juices flowing.  The
FAI had about 60 years changing only a few grams, a few metres and a few
seconds and I don't think it has got to a happy place.  The future is in
your hands not theirs.

Whilst I have the lectern, and not really connected to the above, except as
a part of F1.  Instead of fiddling with Rounds would it be useful to
consider what the rest of the sporting world does when there are a large
number of competitors, that is to run heats.

This reduces the number of timekeepers needed right from the start.  It
gives more fun with several minor competitions building to a great climax.
I have not thought of this in great detail.  I can see that choosing the
competitors for the first  heats would need some thought but perhaps that
would be an interesting choice for the country managers.
John Barker

Roger Morrell