TOPIC: ESAP Proposal

ESAP Proposal 4 years 1 month ago #342

  • Ryan Woebkenberg
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Curtis Suter wrote: If anyone thinks e-soaring isn't growing rapidly they aren't paying attention to model sales, new pilots and new contest locations popping up all over the nation.


I'm not sure there is any question that e soaring is popular and continuing to grow.

The questions to decide are if e soaring should be a part of the LSF (some folks say no and that is a valid opinion, there are other areas of soaring that are not included in the LSF nor is there support to add it) and if so how should that work.


Ryan
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 1 month ago #343

  • Clarence Ashcraft
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I am with LJ on keeping the program separate because I am still actively trying to complete My level V and what I do on the electric program needs to stand on it's own merits.

Clarence Ashcraft
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 1 month ago #344

  • Preston Heller
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Clarence Ashcraft wrote: I am with LJ on keeping the program separate because I am still actively trying to complete My level V and what I do on the electric program needs to stand on it's own merits.

Clarence Ashcraft


Exactly, Clarence. No need to "transfer" over or muddy the waters. Keep it as a separate program. You want to become an E-SAP level V -- do the program. Keep it as simple as we can.

Preston
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 1 month ago #345

  • Red Scholefield
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Curtis Suter wrote: I do not think it is changeable via the bylaws set forth. In other words the SAP is written on stone tablets.

I will vote for what follows the bylaws and will have to deeply think over each word as is provided on the ballot. I hope it is something I can approve. If anyone thinks e-soaring isn't growing rapidly they aren't paying attention to model sales, new pilots and new contest locations popping up all over the nation.

Curtis


"In other words the SAP is written on stone tablets. " Which could well become tombstones if e-soaring is ignored.

Red S.
LSF 412
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 1 month ago #346

  • Barry Andersen
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Barry Andersen here LSF 7319 level IV. I'm late to this discussion, but have read every post; yep I did. By way of introduction and calibration to my background in soaring, I have been a CD at multiple contests, and been the NATS registrar. I have two level V wins in contests with two recent level V recipients. On both days they were better pilots, I just scored more points with good luck, and good timers/callers.

I have been away from competition soaring for about 5 years, having recently retired I am again engaging in this sport/hobby that has been very valuable to me. A new Xplorer 3.8 II E sits on my work bench nearing completion. I can fly it at a site about 10 minutes away. I've been an officer and president of Cincinnati Soaring Society that has morphed into Cincinnati Soaring and Electric in order to keep a flying site that we hang onto by a thin thread. Most of the members are electric fliers. Electric powered soaring may entice some of them into an interest in soaring. I will soon rejoin a local power club that's closer than the CSE field. I can fly an electric glider there as well, and again hopefully generate interest in soaring.

I have enjoyed the company and mentoring by very talented and generous people. LSF and competitions have helped me learn a great deal about soaring and myself. I very much appreciate the time and energy many on this list have given this topic and hope that reasonable minds can find a way to incorporate ALES soaring into LSF with all enjoying a level of comfort in the end.

Having read all the posts over the last few days, it seems to me there is some confusion about what is being decided. I'll break down my observations and position on issues in separate posts for clarity.
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 1 month ago #347

  • Barry Andersen
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It seems to me that the primary issue for discussion is whether electric launched sailplanes should have a place in LSF. If so, what would the SAP for soaring be. How would members that fly e-gliders fit into the existing by-laws of LSF. We are not discussing changing the AMA ALES rules.

I spent my professional life in academia, rest assured many of you would be right at home in a sub-committee debating change to a policy. It seems that here, as in academic life, " the fights are so vicious because the stakes are so low". We all have full bellies and warm safe places to sleep; on more than one occasion a deep breath is in order. Having said that, thorough discussion can head off "unintended consequences".

After reading and considering all the arguments, I strongly support integrating e-gliders into LSF. At the present time, LSF is the SIG for the NATS and are running an ALES event; a strong argument for inclusion. The number of participants in the NATS ALES event suggest significant and rising interest. LSF numbers and people generally participating in RC soaring is on a steady decline. A quick look at "LSF SAP-a concise history" on the home page will confirm this. Including e-gliders has a strong chance of reversing that trend. Some areas of the country still enjoy strong participation in RC soaring; I'm happy to know that. In my area, greater Cincinnati, CSE/CSS has gone from a large club that held two major contests a year to barely hanging on to a few soaring members and no contests. I do not think this decline has anything to do with LSF's or CSE's outreach, but rather a morphing of the hobby to ARF's, most of which are electric powered. Look around at the local hobby shop. People are not building Gentle Lady's or Paragon's now. The breathtaking increase in costs of competitive soaring has had a negative effect as well.

My take on reading the posts is that there is considerable support for inclusion. How this inclusion would take place has generated significant careful thought and noise. Those opposed seem to express concern about altering the current SAP and diminishing the accomplishments of those few that have obtained level V standing. I salute and respect those that have achieved this high goal. I believe that the LSF by-laws can be modified to insure that the current SAP will not be modified and that an e-SAP will have a similar path whose end point is difficult and demonstrates skill and tenacity.

A possible solution to the by-laws:

Article VI-Membership, Section 1, add part d:
LSF members may chose to participate in a soaring accomplishment program (SAP) for gliders launched by a self-contained motor (e-gliders) or in an SAP for gliders launched by winch, human tow, or high-start. The e-glider program will be called the e-SAP, the non motor program SAP. Reference to the SAP in the remainder of the by-laws refers to both programs.

add part e:
LSF members may only vote to change the SAP that they are participating in.

Article XII, add section 4:
The e-SAP is provisional and may be modified by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Executive Board and subsequent concurrence of a simple majority of the votes cast by active members.

I think it would be premature to lock in an e-SAP at this point in time. In two years it may be appropriate to cement an e-SAP in the manner the current SAP is preserved.

I believe that this language preserves and protects the current SAP and hopefully will alleviate the concerns expressed about diminishing the current accomplishments. Fears of a Machiavellian takeover of LSF are not warranted. I may be missing something, and the language may need some tweaking. I support a separate display of LSF achievement status. The current SAP achievement status could be as it is now, or given a different color if desired. The e-SAP status would be displayed as LSF -eIII, or something similar as earlier discussed. I don't recall seeing very many displays of LSF numbers with level included. I have my LSF number on my competition TD planes, but don't show the level.

New members should be given the next membership number in sequence. I see no reason to differentiate the e-soaring members. Many LSF members will participate in both SAPs and competitions.
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 1 month ago #348

  • Barry Andersen
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I think the starting e-SAP should be carefully thought out. I do not support current LSF members moving their achievement level over to the new e-SAP. As a current level IV, good for me, but it would deprive me of the fun of working up the achievement ladder and indicate a level of competence with e-gliders that I have not demonstrated. A big no to that.

I also do not support the limit of one attempt a day on tasks. As has been pointed out, drive time, free time, and expense make this unnecessarily difficult.

The motor restart question should be moot, and not part of the considerations at hand. It is a part of the current AMA/ALES rules. As an aside, I strongly support the opportunity to restart, given that it results in a zero for the round. The idea of potentially sacrificing a $2K glider to preserve some sort of soaring integrity strikes me as unnecessarily macho. But again, it should not be a part of voting on amendments to include e-soaring in LSF. It falls in the same category as skegs that are currently not allowed. Although off topic, I think that skegs behind the cg are a good idea to protect errant flap lift damage and make slippery grass slides a non-issue.

Good points have been made about the differences between winch launch and e-launch as it pertains to the SAP. I'm surprised that TK's well thought out set of tasks did not receive more traction. I think the reduction in launch height as the levels progress is a good idea and support it. Easy to do with the current CAM in primary use.

I think that a slope requirement should not be included in the e-SAP program as in TK's proposal. A lack of accessible slopes in some areas, and the necessity of a purpose built e-glider unnecessarily complicate advancement. If the TD alternative is left in place as in the current SAP, I have no objection. An 8 hour slope task requires a purpose built plane and marshaling some friends to potentially travel some distance for a task that is weather dependent. I'd be happy to see it eliminated from the e-SAP requirement for level V.

Don Harbon, Ed Anderson, Preston and others have brought good suggestions to the group about the tasks. I don't support making the landing tasks more difficult than the current SAP for an event that currently de-emphasizes landing in an effort to not damage motors and airframes.

All things considered, I support TK's suggested -eSap. It mirrors the current SAP that has proven over many years to serve LSF well. I do have the following caveat. I have great concern over the requirements in level IV and V for the number of participants. I am absolutely committed to competition requirements and keeping those achievements difficult but the level V contest requirements of 3 wins in contests with 20 participants is problematic. This requirement has become a very difficult achievement in the current SAP, beyond what I believe was intended by the originators of the SAP. In my region the number of participants and the number of contests has diminished over the last ten years. In 1998 Marc Gellart wisely put together the OVSS (Ohio Vally Soaring Series) to insure that there would be several contests each year with 20+ participants. In 2004 there were 8 contests, all 8 had 20+ participants, in 2008, there were 8 contests, 6 with 20+ participants, in 2013 there were 6 contests, only two had 20+ participants, one of those was the NATS. Moreover, not a lot of new names on the contest lists. See: www.mvsaclub.com/ovss/OVSS.html . Bear in mind that participating in all the OVSS events involves 4-5 hour drives and overnight stays. I'm not suggesting eliminating travel to contests.

I do understand and support that level V should be difficult, but it should not so difficult as to all but stop accomplishment. I'll not be so naive to suggest that the current SAP be modified. Others have noted the expense and geographical difficulties in attending competitions with 20+ participants. If I stumble into another level V win, I'll work on the remaining requirements, until then, they are on hold. In 2000 when I was level II, I have what would have been a level V win in an RES contest Cincinnati Soaring held with over 20 competitors that included a number of beginners. That type of contest with a fair number of beginners doesn't happen much, if at all, now. I'm suggesting an alternate to both the number of participants needed and the number of wins. I'd like to hear suggestions on that part. Keep it very difficult but not one that requires unreasonable travel and expense.

More than my .02. Thanks for the consideration.
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 1 month ago #349

  • Ryan Woebkenberg
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bAndersen wrote: I'm suggesting an alternate to both the number of participants needed and the number of wins. I'd like to hear suggestions on that part. Keep it very difficult but not one that requires unreasonable travel and expense.


Barry,

Wow, blast from the past. Welcome back man.

For the purpose of the eSAP I also entertain the idea of offering an alternate for the contest requirements, XC requirements, and slope requirements. My suggestions are:

Slope - offer an alternate of the 8 hour slope as a 4 hour thermal.
XC - offer on field electronic measured XC alternatives. Maybe some kind of GPS triangle or optically measured distance task

Contest - offer an alternate of some sort to this. The idea I came up with was to allow an alternate of using contest series for contest requirements. I sort of looked at some contest series (club, regional like OVSS/ESL, etc) and came up with this:

* Contest series would be of a minimum of 4 events with a minimum 3 counting
* Contests in the series would be required to occur on different days or at different locations
* Series must be pre announced (aka no taking 4 random contests that have already occured and roping together a series to try to make points for yourself)
* Minimum number of pilots competing in the series is 5+ minimum requirement for level. AKA 3rd level would require at least 15 pilots competing in the series, 4rth level would require 20 pilots competing in the series, etc.
* Individual contests have the same general requirements as regular contests (aka at least 3 chances to score, etc.)
* I'm thinking minimum of 5 pilots at any contest in the series

I think if we offer alternatives instead of changing the program that makes the program more inclusive and at the same time allows traditionalists to do the eSAP like the SAP if they so chose.

Ryan
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 1 month ago #350

  • Preston Heller
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bAndersen wrote: I think the starting e-SAP should be carefully thought out. I do not support current LSF members moving their achievement level over to the new e-SAP. As a current level IV, good for me, but it would deprive me of the fun of working up the achievement ladder and indicate a level of competence with e-gliders that I have not demonstrated. A big no to that.

I also do not support the limit of one attempt a day on tasks. As has been pointed out, drive time, free time, and expense make this unnecessarily difficult.

The motor restart question should be moot, and not part of the considerations at hand. It is a part of the current AMA/ALES rules. As an aside, I strongly support the opportunity to restart, given that it results in a zero for the round. The idea of potentially sacrificing a $2K glider to preserve some sort of soaring integrity strikes me as unnecessarily macho. But again, it should not be a part of voting on amendments to include e-soaring in LSF. It falls in the same category as skegs that are currently not allowed. Although off topic, I think that skegs behind the cg are a good idea to protect errant flap lift damage and make slippery grass slides a non-issue.

Good points have been made about the differences between winch launch and e-launch as it pertains to the SAP. I'm surprised that TK's well thought out set of tasks did not receive more traction. I think the reduction in launch height as the levels progress is a good idea and support it. Easy to do with the current CAM in primary use.

I think that a slope requirement should not be included in the e-SAP program as in TK's proposal. A lack of accessible slopes in some areas, and the necessity of a purpose built e-glider unnecessarily complicate advancement. If the TD alternative is left in place as in the current SAP, I have no objection. An 8 hour slope task requires a purpose built plane and marshaling some friends to potentially travel some distance for a task that is weather dependent. I'd be happy to see it eliminated from the e-SAP requirement for level V.

Don Harbon, Ed Anderson, Preston and others have brought good suggestions to the group about the tasks. I don't support making the landing tasks more difficult than the current SAP for an event that currently de-emphasizes landing in an effort to not damage motors and airframes.

All things considered, I support TK's suggested -eSap. It mirrors the current SAP that has proven over many years to serve LSF well. I do have the following caveat. I have great concern over the requirements in level IV and V for the number of participants. I am absolutely committed to competition requirements and keeping those achievements difficult but the level V contest requirements of 3 wins in contests with 20 participants is problematic. This requirement has become a very difficult achievement in the current SAP, beyond what I believe was intended by the originators of the SAP. In my region the number of participants and the number of contests has diminished over the last ten years. In 1998 Marc Gellart wisely put together the OVSS (Ohio Vally Soaring Series) to insure that there would be several contests each year with 20+ participants. In 2004 there were 8 contests, all 8 had 20+ participants, in 2008, there were 8 contests, 6 with 20+ participants, in 2013 there were 6 contests, only two had 20+ participants, one of those was the NATS. Moreover, not a lot of new names on the contest lists. See: www.mvsaclub.com/ovss/OVSS.html . Bear in mind that participating in all the OVSS events involves 4-5 hour drives and overnight stays. I'm not suggesting eliminating travel to contests.

I do understand and support that level V should be difficult, but it should not so difficult as to all but stop accomplishment. I'll not be so naive to suggest that the current SAP be modified. Others have noted the expense and geographical difficulties in attending competitions with 20+ participants. If I stumble into another level V win, I'll work on the remaining requirements, until then, they are on hold. In 2000 when I was level II, I have what would have been a level V win in an RES contest Cincinnati Soaring held with over 20 competitors that included a number of beginners. That type of contest with a fair number of beginners doesn't happen much, if at all, now. I'm suggesting an alternate to both the number of participants needed and the number of wins. I'd like to hear suggestions on that part. Keep it very difficult but not one that requires unreasonable travel and expense.

More than my .02. Thanks for the consideration.


Barry,

Thank you for your thoughtful and in depth comments. I will take a day or two to digest them.

On another point, I am a bit disappointed that the LSF board (except for Jim, I believe) has not weighed in with comments as this thread has developed.

Preston
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 1 month ago #351

  • Ryan Woebkenberg
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helletp wrote: On another point, I am a bit disappointed that the LSF board (except for Jim, I believe) has not weighed in with comments as this thread has developed.


Gil has also posted in this thread and on rcgroups on the eSAP thread.

Ryan
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