TOPIC: ESAP Proposal

ESAP Proposal 3 years 11 months ago #613

  • Barry Andersen
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"We have met the enemy and he is us"….. What wisdom from Pogo. It seems just silly to me to attempt to divide LSF members into those that favor self launched gliders and those who do not. I suspect that I am not alone in my interest in most areas of soaring from full scale to nostalgia. I spent some of this morning gluing cap strips on my Challenger wing. I will shortly start work on a winch launch fuse for my ALES Xplorer. All of these soaring activities revolve around keeping an airplane in the air with skill and intuition. It's fun and always challenging, that's why as a grown man I continue. I remain puzzled as to why a few members have their knickers in such a tight knot around this issue. Happily, of late the posts have become, for the most part, more courteous.

Having read all the recent comments, I agree with Don Harban that LSF should make every attempt to contact all members. I have not yet seen the number of members that have not provided LSF with an email address. From my perspective the onus lies with members that have registered an email address to keep it updated. Those members who have not registered an email address should be contacted by USPS mail. Given the technical nature of our activity, I suspect that number is relatively low.

There have been offers to volunteer time and funds to enable the effort to contact as many members as possible. I too will volunteer my time and some funds to insure that those without an email address are contacted. If it is a matter of combing the membership list for those without an email address, this seems a task that should not be too daunting. Don Harban has done an excellent job in outlining the downside to not making the effort to contact all members. It seems to me it would be time and effort well spent.

I suggest that both in electronic ballot and the hard copy mailed ballot a synopsis of "pro and con" should be included regarding this issue. Very few people will have the stamina to read through all this. Curiously, I still have not read a concise objection to the proposal despite my, and others, request for one. The only objection that I understand is that the accomplishment of current level V members would be diminished; an objection I respectfully disagree with. In my opinion, and as has been pointed out by others, the variations of difficulty in achieving level V are greater in many factors than the use of self-launched gliders. A 10k cross country in the desert where a shoe box would stay aloft, down a stick straight road is vastly easier than a midwest road lined with corn fields and multiple turns. There was a time when club contests generated 20 participants, now in many areas 20 participant contests are few, or may require travel of hundreds of miles and are much more competitive. It's a safe bet that more than one current or past level V has wins from club contests. One could certainly make the case that the CNC carbon beauties that we now fly are so much more efficient that the tasks are made significantly easier than when the founders put LSF together with Sailaires, Paragons and Challengers. How about that 8 hour slope task, well, if you live near an area where the wind blows regularly up a hillside and there are a number of LSF members so that you can call on members to spend 8 hours of their time as witnesses, no problem, for many others, a daunting task. I don't say this to whine about the current SAP, but to point out that relative to these variables, self-launched gliders are a small thing.

Geez, just changing out a fuse turns a self-launched glider into a winch launched glider. Same wing, about the same wing-loading. Really, after a short motor run, it's a glider again and the task of finding thermals and staying out of sink remain the same. Launch height, pfft, so make the cut-off 150 meters if it's that big a deal. I don't know if there was much fussing about launch height when 12volt batteries on our 6volt long-shaft starter motors and carbon wings increased launch height by a huge factor, but to me that's a bigger deal than having a self-launched glider for the tasks. How about our computer radios that make setup and tuning so much more precise than when LSF started, again, making tasks easier.

I reject the notion that a restart will inhibit learning. I am more likely to try to work a bit of light lift downwind if I know I can rescue a $2K sailplane rather than lose it in a cornfield or worse. Given that a restart makes any LSF task void, this is a non-issue for me. Call me what you will, but I won't risk a $2K sailplane for a task, a win, or a $20 trophy. I can learn and improve just fine with that motor restart.

So, times change, technology advances, it's a hobby that sorely needs more participation. IMHO inclusion of self-launched sailplanes will only help LSF.

Thanks for reading through this long post.

Barry Andersen LSF 7319 level IV
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ESAP Proposal 3 years 11 months ago #614

  • Ed Anderson
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bAndersen wrote: "We have met the enemy and he is us"….. What wisdom from Pogo. It seems just silly to me to attempt to divide LSF members into those that favor self launched gliders and those who do not. I suspect that I am not alone in my interest in most areas of soaring from full scale to nostalgia. I spent some of this morning gluing cap strips on my Challenger wing. I will shortly start work on a winch launch fuse for my ALES Xplorer. All of these soaring activities revolve around keeping an airplane in the air with skill and intuition. It's fun and always challenging, that's why as a grown man I continue. I remain puzzled as to why a few members have their knickers in such a tight knot around this issue. Happily, of late the posts have become, for the most part, more courteous.

Having read all the recent comments, I agree with Don Harban that LSF should make every attempt to contact all members. I have not yet seen the number of members that have not provided LSF with an email address. From my perspective the onus lies with members that have registered an email address to keep it updated. Those members who have not registered an email address should be contacted by USPS mail. Given the technical nature of our activity, I suspect that number is relatively low.

There have been offers to volunteer time and funds to enable the effort to contact as many members as possible. I too will volunteer my time and some funds to insure that those without an email address are contacted. If it is a matter of combing the membership list for those without an email address, this seems a task that should not be too daunting. Don Harban has done an excellent job in outlining the downside to not making the effort to contact all members. It seems to me it would be time and effort well spent.

I suggest that both in electronic ballot and the hard copy mailed ballot a synopsis of "pro and con" should be included regarding this issue. Very few people will have the stamina to read through all this. Curiously, I still have not read a concise objection to the proposal despite my, and others, request for one. The only objection that I understand is that the accomplishment of current level V members would be diminished; an objection I respectfully disagree with. In my opinion, and as has been pointed out by others, the variations of difficulty in achieving level V are greater in many factors than the use of self-launched gliders. A 10k cross country in the desert where a shoe box would stay aloft, down a stick straight road is vastly easier than a midwest road lined with corn fields and multiple turns. There was a time when club contests generated 20 participants, now in many areas 20 participant contests are few, or may require travel of hundreds of miles and are much more competitive. It's a safe bet that more than one current or past level V has wins from club contests. One could certainly make the case that the CNC carbon beauties that we now fly are so much more efficient that the tasks are made significantly easier than when the founders put LSF together with Sailaires, Paragons and Challengers. How about that 8 hour slope task, well, if you live near an area where the wind blows regularly up a hillside and there are a number of LSF members so that you can call on members to spend 8 hours of their time as witnesses, no problem, for many others, a daunting task. I don't say this to whine about the current SAP, but to point out that relative to these variables, self-launched gliders are a small thing.

Geez, just changing out a fuse turns a self-launched glider into a winch launched glider. Same wing, about the same wing-loading. Really, after a short motor run, it's a glider again and the task of finding thermals and staying out of sink remain the same. Launch height, pfft, so make the cut-off 150 meters if it's that big a deal. I don't know if there was much fussing about launch height when 12volt batteries on our 6volt long-shaft starter motors and carbon wings increased launch height by a huge factor, but to me that's a bigger deal than having a self-launched glider for the tasks. How about our computer radios that make setup and tuning so much more precise than when LSF started, again, making tasks easier.

I reject the notion that a restart will inhibit learning. I am more likely to try to work a bit of light lift downwind if I know I can rescue a $2K sailplane rather than lose it in a cornfield or worse. Given that a restart makes any LSF task void, this is a non-issue for me. Call me what you will, but I won't risk a $2K sailplane for a task, a win, or a $20 trophy. I can learn and improve just fine with that motor restart.

So, times change, technology advances, it's a hobby that sorely needs more participation. IMHO inclusion of self-launched sailplanes will only help LSF.

Thanks for reading through this long post.

Barry Andersen LSF 7319 level IV


Barry I find myself in total agreement with you on all points except the likely gap on e-mail.


Contacting the membership

I will note that most of the 8000+ members of LSF joined before there was an internet and before there was e-mail in common use, so I would suspect the majority do not have e-mail address on file.

If you look here you get some idea of the new memberships LSF has been gaining and the rate. www.silentflight.org/images/documents/ls...istory%20-%20pdf.pdf

If we look at new level 1 members starting at 1997, about the point where e-mail started to become common, then we have 782 new level 1s from 1997 to 2011 who might have provided an e-mail address. Add about 100 for 2012 and 2013 and we are at 882. With over 8000 members claimed, that means about 11%. Perhaps some additional e-mails were captured over the years. So let's say it is 1200 e-mail addresses that were registered with LSF. Using 8000 as the membership that would only be 15% of the total membership.

Subtract from that those who change carriers and may not have advised LSF. At best we have about 10% of the membership with an active, current e-mail address on file. I just found out that mine was in error and I have not changed it since I joined LSF.

This is all speculation but I would bet it works out pretty close. So it will take a massive effort to get those other 90% of e-mails captured and updated. Paper mail will likely be cost prohibitive as I doubt LSF has budgeted the thousands such an effort could involve. Just postage and paper could reach $4000.

And since there have been no LSF newsletter mailings that I know of we have no idea of how many snail mail addresses or phone numbers are valid either or how many members may have passed away.

I think it needs to be done and I am offering to help but, in my opinion, it won't be ready for this vote. This is at least a 3-6 month effort. If LSF will truly be the Soaring SIG then it needs to be able to contact the membership.



Restarts

And I too agree that the ability to restart and fail the task, at least through level E3, in no way inhibits learning and would encourage pilots to push themselves to try tasks, work lift and push their skills to levels they might otherwise avoid rather than risk their aircraft.
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ESAP Proposal 3 years 11 months ago #615

  • Don Harban
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"I think it needs to be done and I am offering to help but, in my opinion, it won't be ready for this vote. This is at least a 3-6 month effort. If LSF will truly be the Soaring SIG then it needs to be able to contact the membership."

Sometimes it is more important to do something right than to do it quickly.

The LSF has gone without provisions for electric soaring for over 40 years. Perhaps it can wait a month or two until a REASONABLE effort is undertaken to approach THE BIGGEST CHANGE IN ITS HISTORY in a way that is remotely consistent with its original founding principles. It was not Moses who came down from the mountain with a pronouncement that a vote would take place this January -- it was our elected officials.

There is no reasonable expectation that ALL or maybe even a majority of our members will be contacted with even an intensive effort. But I interpret the silence of our Executive Board concerning questions of HOW MANY members they have on their eMail lists as being NOT VERY MANY. And most of those are probably concentrated among the lower achievement levels. If that is the case it speaks to the need to make a BETTER effort.

It may come as a surprise to my fellow trolls here that that there are actually many individuals who do not slave away in the internet for hours on end in their mothers' basements. I would estimate that less than half of the fliers I know use or are even aware of the RC Forum or RCSE. It IS reasonable to assume that most LSF members who are active are still members of the AMA and yet I have not seen any prominent notice or discussion of this proposal in Model Aviation. Is it too much to expect that some PROMINENT NOTICE might be given in the one publication that most of us likely read and share? Really?

There are clearly some strong feelings on this proposal and it would be useful if THE BIGGEST CHANGE IN LSF HISTORY was carried out in a way which does not set bad precedents which ultimately erode the integrity and credibility of the organization.

I understand the impatience of many of us to see this resolved. Fair enough. But hopefully, most of us are old enough and experienced enough to act like adults and DO THE RIGHT THING.

Happy Landings,

Don
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ESAP Proposal 3 years 11 months ago #616

  • Garry Ogilvie
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Well said Don.

Just what is the rush?
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ESAP Proposal 3 years 11 months ago #617

  • Clarence Ashcraft
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Question I have not looked to find out but in records that the LSF has how many of the LSF members have AMA numbers on there forms. ?

I seem to recall that there is a AMA search engine for AMA numbers that are active and they might be able to get address's and e-mail info of numbers from the AMA records, that would cut the task of finding people down a bit.

Clarence Ashcraft
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ESAP Proposal 3 years 11 months ago #618

  • Gordon Stahl
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Clarence, its been posted on the LSF page, beat to death on RC Groups and mentoned on RCSE. If they ain't read it, they ain't flying no more.

I have asked during this since the start of this topic....'who actually cares?" As in can anyone point to someone interested in doing the ESAP Task program? I mean beside Gordon Buckland who'll likely run though it three times in three years as he has with the current LSF program :-).

Ed will you? How about you Don?...Are any of you who seem to be so interested in an ESAP going to go at it seriously?
Remember it takes a lot of travel and suport and money to run through to ELSF5...not to mention skill for the contest wins.
Ed? Don? Curtis? Preston?

We all know I could do it, so don't include me in your response :-).
Gordy
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ESAP Proposal 3 years 11 months ago #619

  • Preston Heller
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gordysoar wrote: Clarence, its been posted on the LSF page, beat to death on RC Groups and mentoned on RCSE. If they ain't read it, they ain't flying no more.

I have asked during this since the start of this topic....'who actually cares?" As in can anyone point to someone interested in doing the ESAP Task program? I mean beside Gordon Buckland who'll likely run though it three times in three years as he has with the current LSF program :-).

Ed will you? How about you Don?...Are any of you who seem to be so interested in an ESAP going to go at it seriously?
Remember it takes a lot of travel and suport and money to run through to ELSF5...not to mention skill for the contest wins.
Ed? Don? Curtis? Preston?

We all know I could do it, so don't include me in your response :-).
Gordy


This was already answered. Try reading what's already been written.

Preston
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ESAP Proposal 3 years 11 months ago #620

  • Clarence Ashcraft
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Well Preston
I work a 70 hour work week driving truck and will all the dribble that some people post here it is hard to wade through it all with a short amount of time I have, so if it has been brought up then so be it.

Clarence Ashcraft
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ESAP Proposal 3 years 11 months ago #621

  • Clarence Ashcraft
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Gordy

I am sorry that you feel the way you do, so why don't you just grow up instead of showing how arrogant you can be at times.

Clarence Ashcraft
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ESAP Proposal 3 years 11 months ago #622

  • Don Harban
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"Clarence, its been posted on the LSF page, beat to death on RC Groups and mentoned on RCSE. If they ain't read it, they ain't flying no more."

I think what Clarence is suggesting is that it might be possible to match the AMA numbers that the LSF presumably has on file for its members and work with the AMA to obtain current contact information. Not a bad suggestion (if the AMA can or will cooperate in my opinion).

Your suggestion that if someone hasn't read it on the LSF page, RC Groups or RCSE is simply an ignorant, parochial statement. There are many people who fly (especially of the age of many of our older LSF members) who are not attached at the hip to the internet. The entire flying world DOES NOT necessarily gravitate to the places where YOU post. Your comment is condescending and arrogant.

As to whether I am going to go after the ESAP as it is proposed? Probably not. As I have repeatedly stated, the existing SAP and the proposed ESAP are fair to mostly irrelevant when you get away from the soaring centers of the US. Frankly, the programs are uninteresting and irrelevant for soaring where I live. Would I travel to get an award? No -- I actually have a life. I have grandchildren. I have friends I want to see before we die. Once in a while I fit in a mission trip. And there are a hell of a lot of great eateries I have yet to visit. Will I travel to compete and socialize with the people whose company I have come to enjoy? Well, this year I'm on for the SWC, the Polecat, the NATS and if I can fit them in, Curtis's shindig up in Montana the Steve Neu's first t F5J World Cup. Next year I hope to fly with some friends in Slovakia and the UK. But I don't really need a merit badge from you or the LSF to fully enjoy those experiences. When this all started I had hoped for a program that might serve as a bit of a "hook" for guys that are coming into the hobby -- not as something to necessarily meet my particular needs.

It is clearly lost on you that some of us are actually interested in leaving a legacy for the guys who will follow us -- guys who have not yet held a transmitter or fried their noses to a crisp staring into the July sun. Some of us understand that we are not the center of any universe, let alone the soaring universe. Some of us understand that the most important beneficiaries of the LSF -- if there are going to be beneficiaries -- have never flown a glider of any kind yet.

That's what I care about. That's what I'd like to think the LSF cares about.

Happy Landings,

Don
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