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TOPIC: Review of 2012 NATS

Review of 2012 NATS 5 years 4 months ago #13

  • James Deck
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To help us plan the 2013 NATS, please use this forum to comment on your experiences at this year's NATS, both positive and negative.
To kick things off:

* First, thanks to all who attended and to our volunteers.
* The new XC course was a success and some members used it to complete their LSF SAP distance tasks. XC will definitely be back next year.
* The Hand Launch event was well attended and received by participants. The site and the CD were excellent and many entrants promised to bring friends to next year's event.
* While 3 days of UNL looked good on paper, the pace was a bit slow. Unless there's a strong objection, UNL will go back to the traditional 2 days next year.

Re: Review of 2012 NATS 5 years 4 months ago #14

  • Ryan Woebkenberg
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I thought the XC course was awesome. I also liked being able to just do a day of task attempts on the XC rather than entering the contest if I couldn't make both days. That was a plus.

The F3K field was very cool. I can't comment on that as a competitor but I was there as an observer and thought it was about perfect.

I'm probably in the minority, but personally with my family and work commitments I would prefer 1 day Nats events. Wouldn't just as many rounds of RES and Nostalgia be flown if they were each 1 day events?

Ryan

Re: Review of 2012 NATS 5 years 4 months ago #17

  • Ed Anderson
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Jim Deck wrote: To help us plan the 2013 NATS, please use this forum to comment on your experiences at this year's NATS, both positive and negative.
To kick things off:

* First, thanks to all who attended and to our volunteers.
* The new XC course was a success and some members used it to complete their LSF SAP distance tasks. XC will definitely be back next year.
* The Hand Launch event was well attended and received by participants. The site and the CD were excellent and many entrants promised to bring friends to next year's event.
* While 3 days of UNL looked good on paper, the pace was a bit slow. Unless there's a strong objection, UNL will go back to the traditional 2 days next year.


Jim,

I enjoyed Unlimited as my first NATs experience, but I agree the pace was slow. But rather than shorten it to two days, perhaps an understanding of why the pace was slow would be a better effort. If that is not understood you will just have a slow pace 2 day contest. There is no reason a three day contest should move slower than a 2 day contest.

I was not at the 2011 Nats so I can not comment personally, but people told me that at the 2011 Nats, with over 100 pilots, we flew more rounds per day than the 2012 Nats with 77 pilots. If you can fly 12 to 14 rounds in 2 days you should be able to fly 18 to 21 in three days which I think makes for a better event.

In the Eastern Soaring League we fly 7-8 rounds in a typical day with 35 to 40 pilots with 4 winches and 1 spare. ( The spare is for pop-offs, line breaks or equipment failures) At this year's Nats we had 77 pilots and 12 winches (10 and 2 spares?) and we only flew 5 rounds per day.

Whether you make Unlimited 2 days or 3 days There should be a way to get the pace up to 7 rounds per day rather than the 5 that were flown this year. I don't know what might have slowed things down. I know it wasn't timers as I heard very few calls for timers. And with 77 pilots you should be able to get 2 groups of 9-10 pilots into the air with a third being given a precall for the next group to be on-deck.

If it was a lack of help, I can say that it was not expressed clearly what help would have picked up the pace. As we discussed, I offered to help at the line several times but was not needed. If help in the scoring trailer would have helped it was not stated.

I appreciate all the hard work that was done by the volunteers. If more help would have moved things along perhaps a more specific request would have helped the pace, but that is only speculation on my part.

Whether it is a 2 day contest or a 3 day contest a faster pace is needed.

Ed Anderson
LISF
ESL

Re: Review of 2012 NATS 5 years 4 months ago #18

  • Sheldon Smith
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I would agree that the pace did seem to be quite slow to what I recall from prior years, in all winch events. I also agree that I don't see how going back to a 2 day UNL will make that any different.

I know my Trolls were spending a lot of time waiting for groups to be called up to the line. Timers still seem to be a problem as well. With the possible exception of the volunteers/officials, I don't understand why there should be such an issue with pilots making arrangements for a timer long before their called to the line, instead of at the last moment.

Regardless, another successful NATs is in the books! I had a lot of fun, and it was GREAT to be back and see old friends again!

Sheldon
Head Turnaround Troll

Re: Review of 2012 NATS 5 years 4 months ago #21

  • Jack Iafret
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OK, my 2 cents.

Really liked the RES/NOS two days with rotating events and would like to see that again next year.

Can not comment on the 3 day TD other than I did not attend it because it was 3 days and kind of overkill for an ORF. I do not know why it was slow but I will comment on the E-soaring ALES event which is unlimited with a winch in the nose. We used a recording on a loop that started on day one and ran for two days with one small 5 min delay so the AMA guys could do a tent thing on field. Other than that the cycle was 10 min of flying and 5 min of prep between heats so every heat was 15 min period. One big difference is the launch is a 10 second window, not the couple of minutes it takes winching as we do it now. I really think the 10 second window is workable in winch launch if each timers job was to tap down. If the cycle time is constant from a recording, the guys get into the grove and know its be there or zero. May take a day of experimentation, but I really think it is feasible on the front end of the window. Line return and troll management on the back end would add some time (maybe) but not more than a couple of minutes per heat. It seems that a fixed cycle time makes for a very consistant round time and more rounds per day can be flown. We flew 6 rounds each day and they were short days and could have easily done six or seven but the heat and old men did us in so Bubba took that into account and called each day early.

Would like to see ALES be part of what most call the TD events rather than the E-soaring event. Having flow it now for several years, I see no difference other than the launch method. The E-events can be the old AMA 1/2A, A, and B events if you like but I still do not see more than a few contestants in any of those bacause the format is just really out of date and very few care about them any longer.

Make each day have a max of 75 degrees and 6 MPH winds. Other than that keep up the good work.

Thanks for working so hard for us.

Jack (Papa Smurf) Iafret

Re: Review of 2012 NATS 5 years 4 months ago #23

  • Bernard J (Jack) Strother
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Folks,
Like I said at the meeting, I would like to keep the 3 days of unlimited, but fly more than what we do in the 2-day version.
you might want to consider a throw out or two as well.

There was a reason that the event went slow.

Re: Review of 2012 NATS 5 years 4 months ago #24

  • Bernard J (Jack) Strother
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My additional concern is that of, whaty are the dates for next year, if we got bumped by the helicopter people, "WHY" and make it public,
What is the point of the fall Nats Planning meeting, was this covered then,

Why is is right that we have to take what the "NEW" Ama Power structure determines, without even asking us.

Lets Negositate something more to our liking, or we will continue to be craped on...Trust me, I have seen this before, when Kaliuf was in charge.

I am afraid that in this economy, moving the dates to July will kill the Nats for US as a whole.

Re: Review of 2012 NATS 5 years 4 months ago #27

  • Jack Iafret
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Have the dates for next year been determined yet? If so, what are they?

Jack

Re: Review of 2012 NATS 5 years 4 months ago #28

  • John Winstanley
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Zero Flight Point Penalties

Land outside the area marked by the cones…zero flight points.
During landing cross or touch the safety line…zero flight points.

Notice that both these infractions deal with landing yet the penalty is the removal of all airborne points. Why? Well it’s because that’s all the pilot had left. It’s not like we can inflict physical pain or take more money from them. Anyway it can be said these penalties will prevent anyone from landing outside the coned area. Oh yeah, there were lots of off field landings and crashes. Certainly the zero point thing will keep any plane from touching the safety line. No, there was still contact with the line. I didn’t see anyone purposely flying in an unsafe manner yet there were plenty of zeros going around. What was the penalty going to be for someone who deserved it? Can we take this “Glider Boot Camp” tone down a notch? Don’t worry. The people who are supposed to win will still win.

Re: Review of 2012 NATS 5 years 4 months ago #29

  • Glauco Lago
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I could not attend unlimited contest so can't say anything about the slow pace but as the RES CD I can say two things about the pace.

Maybe because it was the start of the Nats but almost all the time we had to wait for one or two pilots missing during the call time. We could be rigorous and send the flight group without these pilots but we were nice and waited for them.

Also I had to remind about getting new flight groups, it wasn't automatic like in the past when we had an impound and things had a bit more of a sequence.

Not sure exactly how to improve.

As schedule goes, I personally don't like 2 meter class. Will support if scheduled but would love to see it replaced by something like ALES or F5J. If scheduled in the middle of the regular winched Nats, this would be an opportunity for a break for everyone working at the flight line. No field setup change, no trolls, no line breaks, just relax and either fly or watch like everyone else.

Glauco
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