TOPIC: ESAP Proposal

ESAP Proposal 4 years 3 weeks ago #474

  • Preston Heller
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LarryJolly wrote: Nice sparring Preston,
I also believe the LSF is on the wrong path at the detriment to itself and the sport..
But once again you dodged the question..
When I asked Ryan what he thought article 6 meant when it said The ONLY way to gain membership, what do you think it was saying..You told me I was wrong in my conclusion so tell me where I am wrong..
It clearly says there is but one way to join the LSF through the SAP...I just can't see how it could mean anything other than what it says...It sure doesn't say until 51% of the membership decides to fly powered models for another SAP they have decided to call the ESAP.. So please don't Dodge tell me where I am wrong and tell me what you think they were trying to say??? LJ


Larry, you are a worthy opponent (since you used the sparring analogy).

I'll tell you what, over the next several days I will work on wording that I feel would allow for what I am talking about. There is no doubt that someone could look at the by-laws and come away with your take. But I also think there is a lot of room for interpretation. There by-laws were not handed down, carved in stone, were they? I would like to think they are a living document, subject to change without damaging the intent of the founders. After you read what I write I would welcome your comments. Until then...

Preston
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 3 weeks ago #475

  • Curtis Suter
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Praise in Public, Admonish in Private
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 3 weeks ago #476

  • Larry Jolly
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Preston,
Thank you very much for the admission...But what you didn't do was bite.....Someone please ask me what the LSF could do to improve numbers... By the way I do not believe increasing membership has been a huge priority for several of the last LSF administrations. I have to pull back and look at the big picture..You guys on the east coast are facing diminishing numbers..There is no question that in several places in the country the demographic has changed and it reflects the aging of America.. I don't see it yet because the areas I have been focusing on are still vibrant. F3J in Desert enrollment opened today at 8:00 am.. Because of field limitations only 60 pilots were admitted..Entires closed in 5 hours and people are lining up hoping that a space will open. So I am not seeing the decline..but I am reading it from other areas..
Lets say the ESAP proposal does pass... Then are really going to presume that those Radian flyers will become gung-ho LSF achievers and are rolls will swell with much needed new blood...Probably not ! That is because it will take much more than this, to get people reengaged and coming to find the LSF.. The LSF has to get more involved at the club level..If there are not strong soaring clubs the LSF will continue to fade because it lacks exposure...Like any company with a product we have to figure out how to connect with the customer and make him a repeat customer... LJ
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 3 weeks ago #477

  • Curtis Suter
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Lets say the ESAP proposal does pass... Then are really going to presume that those Radian flyers will become gung-ho LSF achievers and are rolls will swell with much needed new blood...Probably not !


I guess it's how you define gung-ho. Yes those Radian flyers are becoming fewer after a year or two of flying them they are moving up to more complex airplane types.

That is because it will take much more than this, to get people reengaged and coming to find the LSF.. The LSF has to get more involved at the club level..If there are not strong soaring clubs the LSF will continue to fade because it lacks exposure...Like any company with a product we have to figure out how to connect with the customer and make him a repeat customer... LJ

Absolutely, with guys like me.

Curtis
Montana
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 3 weeks ago #478

  • Wayne Norrie
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LarryJolly wrote: Lets say the ESAP proposal does pass... Then are really going to presume that those Radian flyers will become gung-ho LSF achievers and are rolls will swell with much needed new blood...Probably not ! That is because it will take much more than this, to get people reengaged and coming to find the LSF.. The LSF has to get more involved at the club level..If there are not strong soaring clubs the LSF will continue to fade because it lacks exposure...Like any company with a product we have to figure out how to connect with the customer and make him a repeat customer... LJ


Larry, the problem with your argument is that many, if not a majority, of the new pilots showing up to the soaring fields are coming with e-launch planes and the LSF has nothing for them. Easily 80% of the new soaring pilots coming to my events are walking up with some sort of e-launch plane. I would be a fool to turn them away but that is basically what LSF is doing. I cannot promote LSF at my home field because LSF does not allow electric launch. The LSF cannot get more involved where I live because the pilots in my area have elected to fly e-launch sailplanes and soaring is growing in my little corner of the world.

I would like to tell you a little story... Two years ago, at one of my very first events, I had a new pilot show up to see what soaring was all about. When I asked him what he had brought with him to fly he informed me that he had an electric foamy Super Cub. I thought about it for a minute and told him that he could fly in the event provided that he only used the motor to get to altitude and, once there it was no power until the plane touched the ground. He smiled and thanked me and participated in the entire event. The event was none the worse for it, he placed last but he had a ball. He arrived at my next event with a new Radian eager to do better than he did at the previous event and he has participated in almost every single event since. Now, two years later, he is one of the core members of our group and is getting ready to build, yes build, a Bird of Time. It will probably be e-launch too, but it can easily be a string launch plane should he decide to try that. So what would have happened if I had turned him away that very first day with his Super Cub? It is possible that he may have never come back.

The LSF is basically turning away potential members every day. You say that LSF needs to get more involved at the club level but how can they when they cannot accept a large percentage of pilots right from the start? I find your analogy about LSF as a company with a product ironic because companies provide products consumers want. Is the LSF doing that? Their product has not changed for 40 years. Can you think of any company which has not changed its product line in the past 40 years? Maybe its time for LSF to offer an "additional" product to the market.

Wayne
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 3 weeks ago #479

  • Ryan Woebkenberg
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LarryJolly wrote: Someone please ask me what the LSF could do to improve numbers.


What could the members and leaders of the LSF do to increase the number of people joining the LSF and actively working the SAP?


LarryJolly wrote: Lets say the ESAP proposal does pass... Then are really going to presume that those Radian flyers will become gung-ho LSF achievers and are rolls will swell with much needed new blood...Probably not !


I agree with you that the eSAP proposal if it pases the way it has more or less been written that it won't have a huge impact on the number of new members. I think a lot of existing members would take the eSAP on as a challenge either because they have gravitated towards electric sailplanes anyway or because they have stalled on a level and think it would be fun to go back through the levels they have completed but this time with an e sailplane. I think some folks (like me) would participate in the eSAP as a way to support the community/LSF. I do think that some groups will find it easier to get novice soaring pilots and LSF newcomers into the LSF with electric sailplanes than with string launch planes or hand launch planes. I know that I have been a LSF club coordinator for about 8 years now and I finally helped one person to complete L1 (and partially through L2). An eSAP would have been an easier process for the folks I have been working with. As a side note I have 2 friends that have been so disgusted with this entire process of discussions that they decided to go the SSP route instead. But that said I don't think that the amount of membership growth will be massive. Over the years a lot of folks have said what they don't like about the SAP on these forums. An alternate program like the SSP has been implemented that cured some of the issues folks have had with the LSF and those people didn't do the SSP. There used to be an about the LSF page and it said "We won't find you you will find us". I think about that from time to time and I think that there is just a certain kind of person that finds enjoyment from documenting a process like the SAP. Not everyone is that person.


Ryan
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 2 weeks ago #481

  • Ed Anderson
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LarryJolly wrote: Preston,
Thank you very much for the admission...But what you didn't do was bite.....Someone please ask me what the LSF could do to improve numbers... By the way I do not believe increasing membership has been a huge priority for several of the last LSF administrations. I have to pull back and look at the big picture..You guys on the east coast are facing diminishing numbers..There is no question that in several places in the country the demographic has changed and it reflects the aging of America.. I don't see it yet because the areas I have been focusing on are still vibrant. F3J in Desert enrollment opened today at 8:00 am.. Because of field limitations only 60 pilots were admitted..Entires closed in 5 hours and people are lining up hoping that a space will open. So I am not seeing the decline..but I am reading it from other areas..
LJ


I am very happy to hear that F3J in the Desert did so well. Except for the NATs and a few of the high end pilots in the Eastern Soaring League I never hear much about F3J. Is it growing in the States?

LarryJolly wrote: Lets say the ESAP proposal does pass... Then are really going to presume that those Radian flyers will become gung-ho LSF achievers and are rolls will swell with much needed new blood...Probably not ! That is because it will take much more than this, to get people reengaged and coming to find the LSF.. The LSF has to get more involved at the club level..If there are not strong soaring clubs the LSF will continue to fade because it lacks exposure...Like any company with a product we have to figure out how to connect with the customer and make him a repeat customer... LJ


Larry,

As always your insights are very helpful.

Your comment about clubs caused me to reflect on the structure of clubs and how and why they form. Remember I am only flying 10 years so my personal experience does not go back decades.

It seem to me that soaring clubs probably formed around a few key needs:

1) Large field suitable for a hi-start or a winch
2) Shared ownership of one or more winches, retrievers, batteries, chargers, turn around and the like.

3) Maintenance of said items along with someone to store and be willing to haul this equipment to the field. When they don't fly there is no winch unless someone is willing to go get it. I actually started a newsletter based on informing the club when there would be a winch at the field.

4) Shared expense to mow the grass
5) Common interest in soaring.
6) Tolerance of "keeping the frequency pin" for more than 10 minutes.

Fast forward to 2007 and beyond. Lipos and brushless motors are becoming common. Lighter power systems help e-soaring to become more popular and RTF e-glides are on the rise. 2010 ALES is starting to take-off as a contest format and it doesn't have to be run at a soaring club.

Soaring Clubs in Decline

Based on what I read and my discussions with members of soaring clubs in the Eastern Soaring League, soaring clubs are losing their fields and membership in many is declining. Soaring clubs opened their membership to electric airplanes to attract new membership and the airplanes start to take over the club.

I also observe that, for the most part the operation of a "power club field", even based on electric power, is quite different from the field operation of a pure glider/winch club. They conflict with each other in many ways unless the field is huge and can support operational zones so glider ops and power ops don't interfere with each other. Let's don't even talk about helis.

Fortunately our club found a way to avoid this last trend. The growth of e-gliders has helped us grow our membership without having to turn the club into an airplane club, but it was touch and go for several years. And we have been able to expand the range of flying for many of the e-glider pilots to include pure gliders. I believe hosting the two big ESL unlimited contests also has encouraged some e-glider pilots to expand to pure gliders.


What's your point Ed?

Well, as the soaring community evolves to e-launch:

1) You don't need as large a field as you don't need to string that winch/hi-start.
2) You don't need shared ownership of winches, retrievers, winch batteries, chargers, turn around and the like.

3) No shared maintenance of launch equipment needed. And you don't need someone to store it, haul it, set it up and break it down. And the club is no longer concerned if this person comes to fly and brings the equipment.

4) Grass still needs to be mowed but it is not as important. 100 X100 is fine for e-gliders or you can share a strip with the power planes.

5) Common interest in soaring? Well since 1-4 fade away it is not NECESSARY to have lots of glider pilots in the club so share the burdens as the burdens go away. There is more opportunity for the soaring community to emerge within the power club.

6) With the advent of 2.4 GHz radios the tolerance of "keep the frequency pin" for more than 10 minutes has also gone away too. You can go up and stay up for an hour and no one minds.

You also eliminate a lot of the field operation conflict that you have with winches and hi-starts. An e-glider pilot can walk to a pilot station of a power field, call "on the runway", step out, launch then walk back to the pilot station. Landing can be on the grass next to a hard runway or in a small landing area away from the runway for tape landings for score. And since you have a motor you can "go around" rather than having to demand preferred landing rights.

Now gliders are much more compatible with power fields. And so we keep reading stories of how e-gliders and e-glider guiders are growing in power clubs and power clubs are even hosting ALES contests.

While I love being part of a glider club, the fact is that the need for a dedicated glider club to support soaring as a focused flying style has been greatly diminished with e-soaring.

Larry, you are right, LSF needs to be involved in the clubs. And the number of clubs where LSF can be involved will go up dramatically when the eSAP is passed.


Ed Anderson
LISF, ESL, AMA, LSF
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 2 weeks ago #482

  • Barry Andersen
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LarryJolly wrote: ..
I also believe the LSF is on the wrong path at the detriment to itself and the sport..
But once again you dodged the question..
When I asked Ryan what he thought article 6 meant when it said The ONLY way to gain membership, what do you think it was saying..You told me I was wrong in my conclusion so tell me where I am wrong..
It clearly says there is but one way to join the LSF through the SAP...I just can't see how it could mean anything other than what it says...It sure doesn't say until 51% of the membership decides to fly powered models for another SAP they have decided to call the ESAP.. So please don't Dodge tell me where I am wrong and tell me what you think they were trying to say??? LJ


Larry, I remain puzzled as to how LSF is on the wrong path or how LSF and soaring will be damaged by including electric gliders. I believe that you sell the Aspire that with a simple fuselage change can be a string launched glider or a propeller/ electric motor launched glider. The Supra, Xplorer, Onyx, Pike Perfect, Sharon, all have electric fuselages and all are fine string launched TD models. For all these models, in a matter of seconds an electric winch pulls the model to launch height, or an electric motor and propeller pulls the model to launch height. At the launch end, they are both gliders. We all know that. It seems to me unnecessary to have a completely separate organization to support and champion electric model soaring.

Please succinctly tell me what the damage is? If it is loss of prestige for those that have achieved level V I believe that it has been established that the original SAP will not be altered, and if correctly written by-law changes will protect the original SAP from change.

On the other hand, I think the divisive nature of some of the posts has already caused harm to LSF, hopefully something that will be soon forgotten. It is quite likely that current LSF members who fly both string launch and propeller launch will be so dispirited by a rejection of propeller launched gliders that they will simply abandon LSF. Perhaps that's a goal for some, but LSF may find itself without a number of members who currently contribute to the energy of model soaring.

In regard to article 6, I agree with you. As the by-laws are currently written the only way to gain admission to LSF is through the current SAP. I earlier proposed a by-law change to address that. I've tweaked it a bit, so again:

Article VI-Membership, Section 1, add part d:
LSF members may chose to participate in a soaring accomplishment program (SAP) for gliders launched by string or electric motor with propeller. The electric glider program will be called the e-SAP, the string launched program the SAP. Reference to the SAP in the remainder of the by-laws refers to both programs.
(alternately the remainder of the by-laws could read SAP or eSAP, though this seems unnecessarily complex)

add part e:
LSF members may only vote to change the SAP that they are participating in.
(this should alleviate fears that e-glider members will try to modify the current SAP and diminish the accomplishments of current members)

I think it important to differentiate between the two SAPs if or when shown, so:

add section 7
Members may identify their LSF status by a roman numeral following their LSF number. Members participating in the eSAP will be indicated by an "e" following the roman numeral e.g. LSF 1234 - IIIe.
Members participating in the string launched SAP will be indicated as: LSF 1234 - III. (Perhaps in both cases LSF 1234 - lvl IIIe, …)

Please remember that for most, this is a hobby. The by-laws are to clearly communicate with members how the organization works. LSF does not have share holders, no dividends are awarded, the founders expressly and wisely kept money out of LSF. Talk of lawyers and legal interpretation is very damaging to the moral of many members and the officers. Larry if you have no intention of litigation you should make that clear. Though I wonder who could be sued and for what.

Please understand that I hold the accomplishments of all those that have achieved level V in very high regard. I worked hard to achieve level IV and have not abandoned the program. I hope to get the one remaining win needed at some point. I also am excited about e-gliders, challenged by the new technologies, and amazed at the models we have available.

Winning or losing arguments and word bantering are not the issue. I think it in everyone's best interest to lower the temperature and remember that we all share a love of these models and soaring.

with respect

Barry Andersen LSF 7319 - lvl IV
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 2 weeks ago #483

  • Ryan Woebkenberg
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I would suggest having the new program and the levels of the new program have different names completely. That helps to keep things separate and handles questions like "can an eSAP L2 witness a L5 slope flight" type deal. Maybe the IVe or IIIe take care of that.

Ryan
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ESAP Proposal 4 years 2 weeks ago #484

  • Ed Anderson
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ryanw wrote: I would suggest having the new program and the levels of the new program have different names completely. That helps to keep things separate and handles questions like "can an eSAP L2 witness a L5 slope flight" type deal. Maybe the IVe or IIIe take care of that.

Ryan


Good question. Can a L II of one program witness for an L IV of the other. I would assume that unless it is specifically spelled out the answer would be no as that might be considered a change to the SAP and we don't want to do that.
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