TOPIC: ESAP Proposal

ESAP Proposal 4 years 1 month ago #322

  • Tim McCann
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eAnderson wrote: Then I looked at the LINKS page and I see a link promoting the Radian, a glider which is not welcome in the LSF SAP.

· Horizon Hobbies (Home of the Radian) ...

Excellent observation Ed, looks like all links to traditional soaring vendors have been scrubbed, cudos to Horizon for getting their link included...?
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 1 month ago #323

  • Larry Jolly
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Ed, and others It has become apparent that getting an SAP for Electric powered gliders will not be an easy situation.
I do believe prople who fly e power sailplanes have a place in the LSF.. That being said they are not anywhere near the majority number in the organization. While many of us have embraced an ESAP I see many issues ahead for its passage.
First we should accept that we are late to the party. If the non powered enthusiasts choose to vote this down, it is done..
WE can do many things to help us keep this a separate program with appeal to traditional LSF members.
Design a program that is totally separate and stresses Soaring Achievement
I think it should have its own achievement decal for recognition.
Since the current method of assigning LSF Number is based on sequential order of those members that have completed Level one of the SAP. I believe a new number sequence for ESAP members should be established. I am proposing the new system starts with LSF E-1.. The reason is obvious jumping in and taking the next LSF number available breaks up the sequence for members that have accomplished Level 1 of the SAP. Those of you who are dual members will still have one vote so you will have to establish which number you choose to use. Using my suggested method will keep the programs separate and could be used as a basis to protect the super majority of Level 4's and 5's needed to make changes to the relevant SAP's.
Starting this procedure for establishing SAP's for new technology is reasonable and future developments could be incorportated in the same manner establishing a new number system for future potential programs.
The Buzz I am getting is that this is nowhere near a done deal for passage. I would like to see it get a reasonable hearing but I am not in favor of dismantling the LSF to get it done.. As far as the lack of new SAP petitioners this should not in any way suggest that TD guys are dying out. The problem weighs directly on the LSF and their outreach to local soaring clubs. There simply has not been enough effort by the LSF at the club level to encourage involvement and participation.
LJ
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 1 month ago #324

  • Rick Stone
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LarryJolly wrote: Ed, and others It has become apparent that getting an SAP for Electric powered gliders will not be an easy situation.
I do believe prople who fly e power sailplanes have a place in the LSF.. That being said they are not anywhere near the majority number in the organization. While many of us have embraced an ESAP I see many issues ahead for its passage.
First we should accept that we are late to the party. If the non powered enthusiasts choose to vote this down, it is done..
WE can do many things to help us keep this a separate program with appeal to traditional LSF members.
Design a program that is totally separate and stresses Soaring Achievement
I think it should have its own achievement decal for recognition.
Since the current method of assigning LSF Number is based on sequential order of those members that have completed Level one of the SAP. I believe a new number sequence for ESAP members should be established. I am proposing the new system starts with LSF E-1.. The reason is obvious jumping in and taking the next LSF number available breaks up the sequence for members that have accomplished Level 1 of the SAP. Those of you who are dual members will still have one vote so you will have to establish which number you choose to use. Using my suggested method will keep the programs separate and could be used as a basis to protect the super majority of Level 4's and 5's needed to make changes to the relevant SAP's.
Starting this procedure for establishing SAP's for new technology is reasonable and future developments could be incorportated in the same manner establishing a new number system for future potential programs.
The Buzz I am getting is that this is nowhere near a done deal for passage. I would like to see it get a reasonable hearing but I am not in favor of dismantling the LSF to get it done.. As far as the lack of new SAP petitioners this should not in any way suggest that TD guys are dying out. The problem weighs directly on the LSF and their outreach to local soaring clubs. There simply has not been enough effort by the LSF at the club level to encourage involvement and participation.
LJ


Whether that's an accurate assessment or not is a topic I'm not adequately knowledgeable about to debate. I feel confident, however, that with an eSAP, involvement and participation would certainly increase..... perhaps rather significantly. It opens up the LSF to far greater exposure. In many traditional model airplane clubs, there are a few glider flyers, but they often don't fly much due to field size, equipment issues, coordinating glider flying with power flying, and so on. I don't mean to suggest that electric sailplane flyers would take over power aircraft activities, but adding this to clubs, with a defined SAP and the backing of LSF, would surely increase interest in soaring, and LSF membership. As the debate goes on, I would remind those who are against the eSAP proposal to consider how increasing participation in our hobby will benefit all of us. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that a fair number of newbies who start with e-sailplanes will eventually get involved with pure sailplanes as well.
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 1 month ago #325

  • Preston Heller
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Whether that's an accurate assessment or not is a topic I'm not adequately knowledgeable about to debate. I feel confident, however, that with an eSAP, involvement and participation would certainly increase..... perhaps rather significantly. It opens up the LSF to far greater exposure. In many traditional model airplane clubs, there are a few glider flyers, but they often don't fly much due to field size, equipment issues, coordinating glider flying with power flying, and so on. I don't mean to suggest that electric sailplane flyers would take over power aircraft activities, but adding this to clubs, with a defined SAP and the backing of LSF, would surely increase interest in soaring, and LSF membership. As the debate goes on, I would remind those who are against the eSAP proposal to consider how increasing participation in our hobby will benefit all of us. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that a fair number of newbies who start with e-sailplanes will eventually get involved with pure sailplanes as well.[/quote]

These are all good points, LV. I'm not sure why some people choose to ring alarm bells and look at the negative side of things. No one is any longer talking about changing the existing SAP or dismantling the LSF (no idea where that came from). We are talking about making the LSF stronger and more inclusive. Every LSF memember (including IVs and Vs) I have spoken to have been in favor of starting a separate eSAP under the auspices of the LSF. And yes, some online, have spoken out against it, but far fewer than for it. And as you have recognized, LV, this IS the LSF reaching out to a different breed of soaring enthusiasts, who may well try "pure" sailplanes, and I strongly support the effort.

Preston
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 1 month ago #326

  • Ed Anderson
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If the current SAP pilots are concerned that their accomplishments will seem diluted because there is now another program, then let's give it a different name.

Instead of the electric soaring accomplishments program call it the - STEG program, Soaring Tasks for Electric Gliders.

If you complete the tasks for the pure glider program your are a SAP level 5

If you complete the tasks for the electric glider program you are a STEG level 5

Use different patches and different level decals - put a lightning bolt through the e-glider patches, numerals, etc.


Make the tasks different so there is no hint of comparison between the two.

Since there is some feeling that things are easier for electric soaring pilots then let's make the whole program easier if you like. Then the SAP program pilots can point out how much harder their program is.


If you read the history of SAP you see that is was designed to be extremely difficult to complete, to create an elite group, the proud few who made it. In 40 years less than 150 have completed the program.


OK, but does the eSAP program have to follow the same elitist approach? Let's make it a program that more people will want to complete that more people will finish. Make the SAP the bigger challenge, the harder hill to climb. That would be fine with me.


As an instructor who teaches primarily with e-gliders, I position pure gliders as the next level of challenge. "When you are ready, when you have your confidence, then you can step up to pure gliders." And many do step up to pure gliders and are not competing.

"Oh, your a STEG 5? Cool. You must be pretty good! But are you good enough to complete SAP 5 ... and do it without a motor?"

There is bragging rights to being an SAP 5. Let's not take that away!


Make the landing task targets wider because you can't dork the nose.

* Make the 8 hour slope flight a 6 hour slope flight

* Make the 4 hour slope flight a 3 hour slope flight

* Make the 2 hour thermal task 100 minutes

* Make it an absolutely different program with different tasks.

* I would say leave the contest requirements the same.

But let's get the e-soaring pilots into LSF.
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 1 month ago #327

  • Preston Heller
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Don't dumb it down.

But I'm not sure about why you would have to make it "more difficult" either, as some have proposed. More interesting might be a better tack. The original SAP has served folks well as a "rite of passage" kind of thing in the soaring journey for forty years. Launch, turn off the motor, then my e-Maxa is the exact same plane as the "pure" Maxa, except for the proverbial fly in the ointment.

The restart issue that is still out there for folks. And I can see their point. There is no doubt that it can provide an extra sense of security. I think many of us get that. So...what to do to help move this process forward?

According to the by-laws an ESAP would have to be a totally separate program within the LSF, with no interaction whatsoever with the original SAP. And that is good, very good, because there should never be any opportunity for confusion about which program you participated in to achieve your levels. And to that end there has been the proposal of different emblems, etc. for the new program, an idea with which I wholeheartedly agree. This would insure that each pilot could proudly display their LSF colors. Preserving a clear distinction among the members but also reinforcing an underlying fundamental unity and love for soaring.

But still, this persistent problem. Restarts, or perhaps more importantly, the potential for them. I have thought about this for quite a while and I'm not sure I see any way around that but to concede to the use of limiters with the ability to prevent restarts. That caveat creates an absolutely level playing field as far as the flight tasks are concerned and I can see no valid or logical reason why their mandatory use for flight tasks would not put this issue to rest. I hope each and every one of you will consider this problem and potential solution as it appears to be one of the most important facing all of us as we move forward. Of course, the specifics of a new program still need plenty of discussion.

There is a way forward and if I have offended any of you along the way, I apologize, and sincerely hope we can work together to make this happen.

Preston
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 1 month ago #328

  • Ed Anderson
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helletp wrote: snip...

But still, this persistent problem. Restarts, or perhaps more importantly, the potential for them. I have thought about this for quite a while and I'm not sure I see any way around that but to concede to the use of limiters with the ability to prevent restarts. That caveat creates an absolutely level playing field as far as the flight tasks are concerned and I can see no valid or logical reason why their mandatory use for flight tasks would not put this issue to rest. I hope each and every one of you will consider this problem and potential solution as it appears to be one of the most important facing all of us as we move forward. Of course, the specifics of a new program still need plenty of discussion.

There is a way forward and if I have offended any of you along the way, I apologize, and sincerely hope we can work together to make this happen.

Preston


Preston,

I really like your thinking in your posts so don't take this as adversarial. Just another view. I am looking to change the goal and the agenda of an eSAP or a STEG, as I named it above.


I don't see a need of any form for a level playing field between the two programs. In fact the more I think of the idea of a progressive set of programs the more I like it.


My idea is not about dumbing anything down. It is about engaging pilots in a new way that encourages progression within each program rather than making the wall so tall that few even make the attempt, which is how they designed the current program.

We have a real opportunity to take LSF from an elitist organization to a growing, thriving path for pilots to follow.

Let's assume we followed some of the tasks I suggested, not that I am insisting on any of them.

The goal is to take the pilot up a progressive series of challenges with the hope that he will need to enhance his skills every step of the way. So what is wrong with more steps?

What is so sacred about 4 and 8 hour slope flights? or 2 hour thermal flights. Take them up the path, in smaller steps.

Let them have their restarts so they can take on those bigger challenges with a safety net. They will fail a the task but they will not wreck their plane. Once you do 3 hours with a safety net, 4 hours without a safety net does not seem so daunting. Once you have chased thermals out deep and low and come back without the need to turn that motor on, the idea of doing it without a motor does not seem so dangerous.

I don't know about you but I have spent too many hours in the woods hunting for pilot's planes who pushed the envelope and ended up crashing "way out there". In light of the current state of technology is seems rather foolish to insist that everyone do it that way because their grandfathers did it that way. If that was the goal then 12V winches and molded aircraft with carbon spars should not be allowed in the current SAP program.

We have a real opportunity here to fulfill the original goal of the SAP, to encourage pilots to grow and expand and to improve and to take on new challenges without the risk to their planes and to the people that surround their flying sites.

Let the SAP stand as written and be the pinnacle of soaring achievement. And let the STEG be the runway that helps you climb to that high point.

It would not surprise me if taking this approach does not eventually put more pilots into the SAP program. From what I have read, new memberships are falling and falling and falling. If that is true, we won't have to worry about equality with SAP as SAP will just fade away on its own.

Am I the only one who sees this as an opportunity for a new approach to serving all the soaring community? Having used this approach in the development of new glider pilots I know it works.
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 1 month ago #329

  • Peter Badra
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As a beginner in LSF and contest flying here’s my perspective on the proposed eSAP…

Flying non-powered sailplanes off a highstart is currently my favorite type of soaring, but at some point I’d like to fly in more contests and make progress in LSF. My local glider club lost its field a couple years ago, then the next closest one lost their field a year later. The only field I know of in the area that’s legal to fly in is too small for a full launch and logistically wouldn’t work well for a winch (if I got ahold of one) since it gets used often as a soccer field. Driving 1hr45 each way to the nearest sailplane club to practice flying off a winch isn’t feasible for me.

So, this summer I realized what I can do, is fly an electric sailplane at my local field, practice for ALES contests, and get to know other people in the area that fly electric sailplanes. The local power plane club I’m considering joining has a number of people that fly aerotow and electric sailplanes. I like balsa and monokote and watching a highstart parachute float down on a sunny day in the middle of 160 acres of sod, but this past August I broke down and bought a foam sailplane with a prop in the nose.

I found I spent more time flying and less time setting up and hauling gear and resetting gear when the wind changed. With the ales circuit I can now practice contest flying on my home field. I got used to the prop. I found I can regularly get close to 2hrs of soaring in on one battery charge (about 900mA), not much bigger than a receiver pack, and that it uses less electricity and is more quiet than launching with a winch. Since the force of launching is lower, the classic (and less expensive) wood planes are viable again. I’m not saying I like electric sailplanes better than non-powered, just that they’re a much more fun option than what I originally thought.

I introduced a friend to soaring with the Radian and trainer system this fall and I’m excited to see the possibility of an eSAP coming together.

I’d like an eSAP that is approximately equal in difficulty to the SAP and that has as similar tasks as possible to the SAP. There’s already a huge amount of variation in difficulty within the SAP depending on what plane, launch method (hand launch, highstart, winch), and support you’re getting. So as long as the eSAP is in the ballpark it seems good.

To me it’s more rewarding to fly with the motor restart off, because of the risk. It also allows a smoother transition between e-soaring and soaring. I would hate to develop the habit of relying on the motor to get out of trouble then get burned when going back to non-powered soaring. On the other hand spending a little bit of time flying with the motor restart on allows us to explore parts of the envelope that we wouldn’t otherwise dare to go, then apply those lessons to flying with restart off and to flying non-powered sailplanes.

Flying without motor restart seems like an essential skill for beginner sailplane pilots to have. When we’re first learning we are especially susceptible to allowing bad habits to become ingrained. Requiring motor restart to be disabled for eSAP tasks could help make it closer to the SAP, in spirit as well as in difficulty and strategy. It could also help ensure beginners learn to fly without restart and prepare them for ALES contests where it’s not allowed.

A couple weeks ago I went through the level one tasks using a Radian set to 200m/30s motor cut off. It’s interesting to compare that experience with the one I had completing level one with a Gentle Lady, and also with flying a Paragon and full house 2m (DJ Aerotech Monarch) off a winch. The Radian might turn out to be one of the more common planes used by beginners to complete level 1, so it could be helpful to gauge level 1 tasks (and maybe level 2 as well) in relation to the performance of this plane.

For spot landing, I’d rate the planes in order of easiest to hardest: full house 2m, GL, Paragon, Radian. I’ve found the stock Radian usually skids 2-8m after first touching down on landing (no spearing with prop/motor; I assume skegs are not allowed). Spot landing with my non-powered Gentle Lady was easier than the Radian because of lighter wing loading/slower flight. Both have RE control only. I’d vote for keeping the eSAP landing tasks the same as in the SAP. It’s a little harder to spot land with a prop/motor in the nose, but for safety’s sake it’s probably important to make sure pilots have good control over landings to prep them for contests.

As far as thermaling out and making time in light wind conditions goes I’d say the GL and Paragon were about the same, followed by the Radian, and then the heavy (9oz/ft^2) 2m. Five min. is relatively close to glide time in neutral air from 200m. In late evening air, glide time with the Radian (200m motor cutoff) was about 5min. For 100m cutoff it was about 3min.

I think it’s important to keep the level 1 tasks achievable for beginner (yet competent) rc pilots. Since ten min. flights with 200m launch is a common competition task for ALES, it seems like a good goal to work towards for a beginner who hopes to enter contests. Requiring more than 10min. for eSAP level one might be too much, considering many contest pilots don’t always make 10min. Five min. with a Radian at 200m launch height is pretty easy, plus, if we’re starting the watch when the plane leaves the hand it’s only 4:40 to 4:30min of soaring. At higher achievement levels the 30sec launch time is a smaller proportion of the total flight time so it’s less of a factor.

It might help avoid confusion to use the phrase “… device set to maximum motor cutoff height” instead of “…device set to maximum launch height” in the eSAP. Are pilots required to use the anti-zoom function in an ales device to keep actual launch heights to <200m, or is over shooting by say 20m acceptable? (My Radian overshoots by 5-17m.)

Are ALES contest motor cutoff heights expected to stay at 200m for the foreseeable future? With coming advancements in ALES specific planes, are contest launches going to get reduced to 150m? If that’s the case then maybe the eSAP should go with 150m. 150m would also make the level one 5min. flight more challenging without increasing time to 10min and deviating from the traditional SAP tasks.

Thank you for your time,
Pete
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 1 month ago #330

  • David Beach
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I’ve been lurking in silence and following the public comments on both RCGroups and the LSF forum with interest for three weeks now trying to determine how I’ll vote.

First, I hope that there is a place for electric sailplane pilots in the LSF. It seems ridiculous to me that the organization running the ALES NATS does not allow membership in the organization to pilots who only fly that event. Really? Does that make sense to anyone?

But the devil is in the details. The LSF bylaws are highly restrictive by design, especially in the protection provided for the Soaring Accomplishments Program. If the LSF founders had included membership requirements in the list of ‘super requirements’, there would be no need for this discussion and the only way to bring electric soaring pilots to the LSF would be through a vote of the living Level IV’s and V’s.

However, given that amending the LSF bylaws membership article is possible by a ‘simple majority vote’, the LSF board has decided to pursue that approach. As outlined by the News tab on the LSF web site it would seem that the establishment of an ESAP, and a minor modification to Article VI – MEMBERSHIP Section 2d to admit new members via attainment of the first level specified in a new ESAP is all that is required.

Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s that simple. The word level appears 16 times in the LSF bylaws, often followed by ‘the LSF Soaring Accomplishments Program’. I don’t believe that the creation of an ESAP with identically designated levels should somehow magically transform bylaw references to ‘the SAP’ into ‘one of the SAPs’. I feel that a change this significant warrants a full revision of the bylaws.

I’d like to see the establishment of an ESAP. It’s fine with me if it has the same general requirements as ‘the SAP’, but I'd prefer that it designate its levels differently such as E1 thru E5, or Wood – Bronze – Silver – Gold – Platinum. It should be fully incorporated into the bylaws not simply hacked on leaving ambiguous references in other bylaw articles.

Will I vote? – YES. How will I vote? Frankly, I’m undecided and it depends on the details of what is actually included on the ballot.

If the LSF board determines that the best approach is to undertake a full revision of the bylaws, I’ll be happy to participate on that committee. It is my hope that a thorough revision of the bylaws that preserves ‘the SAP’ and establishes ‘the ESAP’ is something that would be well received by the current members of the league.

David Beach
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 1 month ago #331

  • Walter Adasczik
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I opinion in the YES category. Its a Test Pilot thing.

Why? [Some small sarcasm applied...you figure out where]

Sarcasm: Lets see...I am a card carrying member of $159 Beer Cooler Redneck Airplane Club [A spinoff of Country Music Craig Morgans Redneck Yacht Club song] My wife likes this mid life crisis because its cheap ( I left the price tag on the box). She says the Supra is ugly, Pike is too yellow, Sprite with wing and stab in save the ta-tas pink was a good start color wise but White Styrofoam with red wingtips are her favorite colors, who knew. I can soar in peace knowing I found something she lets me do now because its pretty.

Sarcasm: I still like TD over electric, period. I like my bungee, I love my friends winch. It is easier to explain to my TD friends why I landed in a tree or are walking through the Muncie corn fields to get my glider when you don't have a propeller. Its a man thing there don't ya know.

No Sarcasm: Shameless plug for the Eastern Soaring League - they made my day job of being a test pilot easier and a tad bit more fun. In some ways, and after logging 16,000 flight hours, my flying keeps getting better...new glasses...new friends...the best pilots...

Big Sarcasm: I have attended the last two Soaring NATS...median pilot age your choice...freeze dried old grape...or curmudgeon. Kids...hmmm...noticeably absent or maybe there was one last year and two the year before. Dirt naps are really close for quite a few folks, myself included. I imagine that the discussion on this topic will last longer than the portable oxygen containers some people are carrying around. If we wait long enough change will happen inevitably and we don't have to spend 5 hours reading about it, getting opinions, or trying to herd the squirrels into making a change. When my wingman took one for the team from a SAM I made a decision to stay with him. It was my decision, quick and decisive. The LSF leadership should be able to make a quick and decisive decision...maybe/is that possible/BTSOM. Lets see, find all the LSF 4s and 5s and get them to vote. Postcards, expensive, computers, nope, and who knows where they are all at. Good news is we live on the third rock from the sun.

No sarcasm here - Hats off to the "founders" of the LSF who did all their tasks with wood and fabric/film and laid the groundwork. It must have been hard 40 years ago. This eSAP is doing that all over again. Only difference to me is we get to mooch all the groundwork they did. I truly appreciate the dedication and hard work it took flying platforms with elegance and grace and L/D of 4:1. Amazing

Sarcasm: I still like the launching aspect of using an electric motor and string versus electric motor and propeller...they are related somehow...I just can't put my finger on it. Maybe the CAM folks will make a version with a manual reset feature that only allows the motor to come on once for 30 seconds or XXX meters of height or have an annoying deedle like my wife snoring that can be played back for the timers to show them my electric motor never came on after it turned itself off at altitude.

So all in all I still vote for an eSAP by mooching the groundwork and tenets of the original organization, thus keeping the new and old SAPs separate. Maybe, just maybe, find some kids in the process. A few hundred freeze dried grapes opinions about an eSAP can't be wrong, but hurry my oxygen bottle will run out and I can't find my Life Alert pendant anywhere.

Wally
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