TOPIC: ESAP Proposal

ESAP Proposal 4 years 1 month ago #281

  • Preston Heller
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dHarban wrote: Here is another modest proposal concerning modernizing Flight Tasks for the new ESAP.

I am proposing that we incorporate some modest modifications to the Flight Tasks described in the current SAP into our new ESAP. These changes would recognize some of the intrinsic differences on our planes. They would slightly increase the content of the tasks required for Levels I thru IV. They would recognize and instruct aspirants that beyond basic thermal flying and landing that are elements of our competitions, that persistence and consistent, repeatable performance are essential. This proposal ONLY addresses changes in the Flight Tasks NOT the Contest Requirements.

The first change that I would propose (and maybe the most important) is that EVERY attempt at a Flight Task be declared prior to the launch for that task. Only one declaration PER TASK PER DAY would be permitted. For the purposes of the declaration a TASK would constitute one discrete flight task unless specifically excepted. i.e. if the Precision Spot Landing task for a particular level called for five landings meeting a certain specification, each landing would count as a discrete task and could be attempted once on any calendar day. An aspirant who had not completed any of these landings could declare each one, up to a total of five, and count the successful ones on that calendar day. If he showed up on another day with, say, two remaining landings, he could make up to two declarations on that day. And so on until the task was accomplished.
The reason for proposing that change is reduce the possibility, especially on some of the higher level Thermal Duration Flights, that the completion of the task would be the result of flying into a thermal. My experience is that, at least up through the 30 minute thermal, that on any given summer day a guy is going to hit it with nothing more than blind luck and patience. Especially onerous in this regard is the 30 minute Level III Thermal Duration Flight. We go out on a lot of summer days here with our Radians and just launch and fly. Other than having to land if a restart is needed, it is a rare day where one of the flights we put up on one or two batteries won’t exceed 30 minutes.

For definitional reasons, the definition of a Thermal Duration Flight needs to be modified to reflect that it has to be flown by an electric powered airplane launched under its own power.

I am not a fan at all of including slope flights in the ESAP, but I have come around to thinking that, at the very least for Level V the slope requirements be retained SO LONG AS THEY ARE FLOWN BY PLANES LAUNCHED UNDER THEIR OWN POWER. As much as anything among the Flight Tasks, the 8 hour slope is THE defining task for LSF achievement. I hate it. And it is highly unlikely that I would ever bother with it – even if I had every other element in the bag. But it is reasonable to retain it out of respect for an important tradition.

I would propose to modify the current definition of a Precision Spot Landing to require a Thermal Duration Flight of a duration defined at each level preceding it instead of requiring a particular launch height. So a Precision Spot Landing for Level I might require landing within 3 meters for a Thermal Duration Flight of 5 minutes. To get the landing, you have to land within 3 meters as a part of a 5 minute Thermal Duration Flight. The reasoning is to provide a little more of the connection between coupling Flights with Landings that exists in our comps.

With these changes in definitions and procedures I would propose the following Flight Tasks for the ESAP:

Level I
1. One 7 minute Thermal Duration Flight (7 minutes instead of the SAP 5 minutes to adjust for the 30 seconds of free motor run time that you get and a little extra because 5 minutes is simply too easy – even for a Radian from 200 meters)
2. One 15 minute Slope Flight or One 7 minute Thermal Duration Flight not flown on the same day as the first Thermal Duration Flight.
3. Five Precision Spot Landings within 3 meters from Thermal Duration Flights of at least 5 minutes.

Level II
1. One 15 minute Thermal Duration Flight
2. One 1 hour Slope Duration Flight or One 15 minute Thermal Duration Flight not flown on the same day as the first Thermal Duration Flight
3. Ten Precision Spot Landings within 1.5 meters from Thermal Duration Flights of at least 10 minutes.

Level III
1. One 30 minute Thermal Duration Flight
2. One 2 hour Slope Duration Flight or one 30 minute Thermal Duration Flight not flown on the same day as the first Thermal Duration Flight.
3. Three CONSECUTIVE Precision Spot Landings within 1.5 meters from Thermal Duration Flights of at least 10 minutes (These three flights count as one task for the purpose of declarations.)
4. One 1 km Goal and Return

Level IV
1. One 60 minute Thermal Duration Flight
2. One 4 hour Slope Duration flight or one 60 minute Thermal Duration Flight not flown on the same day as the first Thermal Duration Flight.
3. Three CONSECUTIVE Precision Spot Landings within 1 meter from Thermal Duration Flights of at least 12 minutes (These three flights count as one task for the purpose of declarations.)
4. One 2 km Goal and Return.

Level V – Same as SAP

These changes are intended to increase the Flight Task content without requiring any additional equipment capabilities over the existing SAP. No changes are proposed for the Competition Requirements.

Happy Landings,

Don


Don, I'm afraid I have to agree with Ed on this one and cannot support the idea that "Only one declaration PER TASK PER DAY would be permitted." I live an hour from my club field, which I now measure in gallons of gas round trip, not miles. I am sure there are many others in a similar situation. If I miss making a task I absolutely want to be able to try again. This distance problem comes up in relation to some of your other suggestions, namely the addition of the multiple flight/precision landing task. More on that in a moment. I will speak to your proposal in a laundry list manner, because it is just easier.

Level 1 - no problem

Level II - #1 and 2 okay, 3 no. I live 1 hour from my club field. Gas is not 25 cents a gallon anymore. 10 minutes is excessive. 5 is fine for this task/plus or minus 15 seconds.

Level III - #1 and 2 are okay. 3 is not okay for reasons similar to those mentioned above, not to mention that it is really not needed at all. But I would be much more likely to go along with it if the time were 3 minutes plus/minus 10 seconds. Allow skegs for this task. You are not taking into account the nature of landing an electric sailplane. It is not the same as a winch launched dorker. #4 is fine.

Level IV - #1 and 2 are okay. At this level pilots have already proved they can fly 60 minutes (maybe twice!). 5 minutes (plus or minus 5 seconds). Allow skegs (behind the wing). Your suggestion regarding this kind of task will encourage dorking. Not good. #4 is fine.

Level V - Same, except - added to the slope requirement "Or a 3 hour thermal duration flight not flown on the same day as the first thermal duration flight.

Preston
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 1 month ago #282

  • Ed Anderson
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A 3 hour thermal flight would be a LOT harder to achieve than an 8 hour slope flight, and not as dull.
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 1 month ago #283

  • Ryan Woebkenberg
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eAnderson wrote: A 3 hour thermal flight would be a LOT harder to achieve than an 8 hour slope flight, and not as dull.


I'm not sure I agree with that. Although that said I haven't ever flown a 3 hour thermal flight (I have done a 1 hour 50 minute).

Ryan
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 1 month ago #284

  • Larry Jolly
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I was just trying to find the official SAP Bylaws and could not find them..
I did read the program details and have come to the conclusion that the program refers directly to the SAP and the method of displaying ones accomplishments in the SAP.
I am thinking it could be argued that the current method of displaying Red Roman numerals then Silver then Gold, could be interpreted as belonging strictly to the SAP.
I am of the opinion that this means We must come up with an alternative method to display accomplishment in an ESAP..
Any Thoughts
LJ
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 1 month ago #285

  • Preston Heller
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ryanw wrote:

eAnderson wrote: A 3 hour thermal flight would be a LOT harder to achieve than an 8 hour slope flight, and not as dull.


I'm not sure I agree with that. Although that said I haven't ever flown a 3 hour thermal flight (I have done a 1 hour 50 minute).

Ryan


I'm fine with 3 or 4, actually, just so long as there is an alternative at level 5.

Preston
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Some observations from the SAP 4 years 1 month ago #286

  • Ed Anderson
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jdadmin wrote: A note here about SAP participants who appear to be stalled. During the eight years I served as LSF Secretary I observed many who "gunned" through the early Levels than "dropped out" only to reappear years later with a note that started "now that I'm retired, I'd like to resume the SAP". I always thought this to be a tribute to the value of the SAP. Another thing I noticed is that participants who have access to a club tend to progress faster than the "lone wolves".

One other side note, in the early days of the LSF, the LSF leadership thought that most members would stop at Level III satisfied with the skills the participation had given them.

IN the early days, winches were a factor in forming a club, could the ESAP potentially perform the same function in a population of today's "lone wolf" electric fliers?


Do I think an eSAP program will help contribute to club formation? Probably not. If anything you have less need for a club field. This has been the trend around all electric flight. But just because you don't fly as part of a formal club doesn't mean you are a lone wolf.

As for having someone pick the program up after ears of absence, well that all depends on what you consider to be the value of the SAP and how you measure success. If it is to gain many only to lose most but get a few back later, I guess that has value, but it is a measure of success. I don't know.

Do people get to level III and feel they are satisfied it their skills. I highly doubt that. I think they looked at the tasks and either did not see a path to accomplish them and put the paper in the back of the underwear drawer or continued to develop but saw no reason to continue to document.

Am I down on the program? Not at all. If those in charge feel that they are getting the participation level they want then all is good.

If an eSAP program is formed I presume a similar level of high rate of entry and low rate of completion will be the same. The program seems designed to that goal.

One thing I will say is I think that having a motor for launch, not needing the space and equipment that a pure glider needs may make it easier for people to make their attempts. I know, for example that not having to use a winch will make it much easier to do my 1K from my field because I can launch from a place where I could never launch with a winch, thus giving me a workable 1K route.
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Some observations from the SAP 4 years 1 month ago #287

  • Preston Heller
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"I simply believed that enriching the flight tasks to better emulate not only the skills, but the feelings associated with competition might make it easier to ultimately draw newcomers into competition "If you can do this, you can succeed at competition."


Don,

I admire and respect the time and thought that has gone into your responses and proposals and I agree with much of them. But you make several assumptions with the additional tasks you have added, one of them being that they will get people to competitions. I agree with you that there is a component of these tasks that does help emulate "contest conditions", but cannot agree that these will, de facto, bring more folks into the competition fold. It is, in fact, perhaps just as likely that they will lead to frustration and discouragement for the newbies -- if the task is not accomplished after numerous tries. "I can't even do this simple stuff, why go to a contest? I'll just get crushed." I'm not saying this will happen, but it certainly could.

This is why I have suggested that the basic program be adopted with a simple way to amend the tasks, after the membership has had a chance to try them out, not because they sound like a good idea. Adopt then modify. As you have often said - there is no need to rush things.

Preston
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 1 month ago #289

  • Barbara L Robinson
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I started out in favor of an ESAP program as long as the accomplishments in this program were recognized as having been completed under the ESAP program and distinctly separate in recognition from the original SAP. I don’t believe color coding the LSF level insignia’s will clarify this. Clearly having a separate parallel program will not be the case as referenced by Jim Deck “If the ESAP is adopted, non-LSF members who complete the ESAP will receive the next available LSF number, current LSF members who choose to participate in the ESAP will retain their number”. This confirms the INTEGRATION aspect of the newly proposed ESAP into the current LSF rankings. And in fact adds another confusion if you are a current LSF SAP level and display that insignia and are working on a lower level in the ESAP how would anyone differentiate between what level you really are in which SAP program? I believe this action dilutes the original concept of the League of Silent Flight (hence silent flight) by adding a motor into the concept. In addition, the threads that are proposing “a majority of the flying between launch and landing be done without any motor power” are in complete contrast to the silent flight concept. With this proposal a pilot going for a 10 minute flight could use a motor for 4 min. and 59 seconds and soar for 5 min. and 1 second and call it a ten minute flight. Absolutely no way should this be allowed! Apparently there is a current electric soaring achievement program so I propose that one be kept and/or amended as needed but leave it out of the current LSF achievement program! For those who are arguing that there is no difference between un-motored gliders and motored-gliders why is there so much discussion, debate and proposals about method of launch, tasks to be completed, motor run time, and all the other issues that have been raised? Clearly this is a difference and I can only hope that my fellow LSF SAP aspirants will see this in the end of all this discussion and vote against “integrating” electric sailplanes into the current LSF SAP program. Leave it as it is and let the electric sailplane enthusiasts create their own program by amending their existing program or starting a new one. I would participate in a separate ESAP program since I am in the process of getting into that method of flying gliders but I will not support or participate in an “integrated” program for electrics into the current LSF program unless the achievement levels are recognized as separate E levels of LSF (i.e. LSF Level IIIE or ELSF Level III).
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 1 month ago #290

  • Ed Anderson
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BarbR wrote: I started out in favor of an ESAP program as long as the accomplishments in this program were recognized as having been completed under the ESAP program and distinctly separate in recognition from the original SAP. I don’t believe color coding the LSF level insignia’s will clarify this. Clearly having a separate parallel program will not be the case as referenced by Jim Deck “If the ESAP is adopted, non-LSF members who complete the ESAP will receive the next available LSF number, current LSF members who choose to participate in the ESAP will retain their number”. This confirms the INTEGRATION aspect of the newly proposed ESAP into the current LSF rankings. And in fact adds another confusion if you are a current LSF SAP level and display that insignia and are working on a lower level in the ESAP how would anyone differentiate between what level you really are in which SAP program? I believe this action dilutes the original concept of the League of Silent Flight (hence silent flight) by adding a motor into the concept. In addition, the threads that are proposing “a majority of the flying between launch and landing be done without any motor power” are in complete contrast to the silent flight concept. ).


I don't understand your concern about your LSF number and what it has to do with which program you are working. Your LSF number is your membership number within LSF. What does that have to do with confusion about what level you are in each program? Are you saying the LSF Secretary will not be able to tell which program I am working when I submit my forms? I presume the forms will say which program they are for.

I also don't think that there is a general intent that the motor should be run during the flight. I think there was a discussion about what MIGHT be done or COULD be done, but I don't think anyone has made a solid proposal, nor is there a proposal under consideration that would have motor runs other than launch.

Perhaps you should go back and re-read the proposal under consideration.

BarbR wrote: With this proposal a pilot going for a 10 minute flight could use a motor for 4 min. and 59 seconds and soar for 5 min. and 1 second and call it a ten minute flight. Absolutely no way should this be allowed! Apparently there is a current electric soaring achievement program so I propose that one be kept and/or amended as needed but leave it out of the current LSF achievement program!


I do not recall seeing any proposal under consideration that would make your statement valid.

As to your other point, are you saying that LSF should ignore the growing numbers of glider pilots who are using electric launched gliders, I would like to bring your attention to the LSF web site and the very first paragraph of the Introduction to LSF.

Introduction to the LSF

The League of Silent Flight was established by a group of RC sailplane modelers in 1969 to provide a collective identification for radio control sailplane enthusiasts. The LSF, as it is now known throughout the world, quickly became very popular and has since grown to a membership of over 7,500 modelers. The non-profit LSF fosters and supports all phases of both sporting and competition activity for model sailplanes and encourages the advancement of model aeronautics and related aspects of RC soaring.



So, if this is truly what the LSF is about, then any suggestion that the electric launched sailplane community should be ignored or treated as a lesser community would be in direct contradiction to the above introduction to LSF.


BarbR wrote: For those who are arguing that there is no difference between un-motored gliders and motored-gliders why is there so much discussion, debate and proposals about method of launch, tasks to be completed, motor run time, and all the other issues that have been raised? Clearly this is a difference and I can only hope that my fellow LSF SAP aspirants will see this in the end of all this discussion and vote against “integrating” electric sailplanes into the current LSF SAP program.


Why is there so much discussion? Because comment and discussion was requested. And, for the most part, people enjoy discussing things. They enjoy throwing out new ideas.

As for integrating electric sailplanes into the current SAP, there are no proposals under consideration that suggest that path. And since there are no such proposals under consideration you can't vote against it. It does not exist.

BarbR wrote: Leave it as it is and let the electric sailplane enthusiasts create their own program by amending their existing program or starting a new one. I would participate in a separate ESAP program since I am in the process of getting into that method of flying gliders but I will not support or participate in an “integrated” program for electrics into the current LSF program unless the achievement levels are recognized as separate E levels of LSF (i.e. LSF Level IIIE or ELSF Level III).


Glad you agree. That is exactly what has been proposed and what is being discussed here. Perhaps you do not realize that what you are suggesting is exactly what has been proposed.

If you have not read the actual proposal, it can be found here:

A proposed Soaring Achievement Program for Electric Powered Sailplanes
www.silentflight.org/index.php/news

It is not about integrating e-gliders into the current program, it is about a separate program for e-gliders. Just as you suggested.
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 1 month ago #291

  • Barbara L Robinson
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Wow! Your comments just reinforce that the real issues being proposed are not being addressed with all this dialogue. I quote from the proposal "The leadership of the League of Silent Flight would like to integrate those pilots who fly electric-powered sailplanes into the League of Silent Flight (LSF) without modifying or disturbing the existing SAP. As the By Laws of the LSF do not allow modifications to the existing LSF Soaring Achievement Program (SAP), we are proposing a parallel SAP for ALES equipped sailplanes." Obviously the current SAP cannot be amended and the so-called parallel program will be integrated into the current LSF without any differentiation between which plane you used to accomplish the levels. My reference to the threads that suggested "a majority of the flying between launch and landing be done without any motor power" is what generated my comments about the unfairness of this comment. I realize this is not in the original proposal but all these threads are being sent to try to convince the board to amend the proposal. Since there is already an existing electric soaring program, I don't see why LSF even needs to consider the "integration" of electric sailplanes into the current LSF. As to why there is so much discussion, it appears to be because some people have too much time on their hands to just address the issue proposed! Clearly you didn't even understand my comment about letting the electric sailplane pilots amend the existing program they currently have (not the current LSF) and you are missing the fact that the proposal will "integrate" the electric sailplanes into the current LSF program without any differentiation between whether you achieve your level in LSF under the original SAP or with an electric sailplane. You are wrong, I don't agree with the current proposal and you need to read it closer to see that it will be "integrated" into the current LSF program.
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