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SHORT LINES - LSF Newsletter #6

January 6, 2015

SAP & ESAP:  This year saw the addition of the ESAP in late June. This table shows SAP & ESAP activity for this year:

Achieved LEVEL





43 (25 ESAP only)















31 ESAP only *

·        A significant number of current LSF members also participating in the SAP have enrolled in the ESAP as well.  LSF members wishing to do so need only to request a Level I ESAP voucher from the LSF Secretary.

2014 NATS: Once more, a skilled cadre of volunteers helped make the LSF/AMA NATS a success with their efforts.  Thanks to all who lent  a hand.  Some noteworthy items from this year:

·        2 Meter : This event was very closely contested with lead changes nearly every round and the final outcome decided in the final round.  This event demonstrated competitive soaring at its best and remains a true challenge.

·        RES & NOS:  Thank goodness this is a two day event as Muncie served up a breezy first day followed by a day ideal for this event.  Why not dust off the older wooden sailplane hanging in your shop’s rafters and stuff a 2.4 radio in it for 2015?

·        F3J:  This year, this event was a stop in the newly instituted F3J Tour.  The event demonstrated that even the most serious, dedicated competitors can both compete and have fun doing so.

·        ALES: This event introduced many of its entrants to Site 4 at Muncie.  “It’s like flying in different air!!” was heard.  Attendance was good and, once more, highly competitive.  The event will be back at Site 4 in 2015.

2015 NATS: Here is the schedule for the 2015 NATS:



Sat. July 25 – Sun. July 26

F3K (site 4), 2M

Mon. July 27 – Tues. July 28


Wed. July 29 – Thur. July 30


Fri. July 31 –Sat Aug. 1

F3J, ALES (Site 4)

(Unless otherwise specified, events will be held at Site 5)

Here are some things you need to know about the 2015 NATS:

·         XC: Sorry, but there just isn’t enough participation to justify the expense of this event so it won’t be held in 2015.

·         2015 Open age group Soaring entrants will pay the basic AMA entry fee of $45 plus the event  fees.

·         NOS: Early next year, those wishing to enter NOS will be provided with the capability to communicate early on with the NOS CD about the legality of a sailplane they wish to fly in this event. The CD’s decisions are final.

·         Trolls: In 2015, we will once more use the Muncie Boy scouts as retrieval cart drivers for our winch based events and pay them from a tip jar.  This means we will not use entrants’ children.

·         In 2015, the LSF will once more share the Muncie site with the NFFS (Free Flighters) from July 27th through July 31st.  Please remember that they too are AMA members trying to hold their NATs and extend every courtesy to them and their models.

·         As always, the success of “Glider Camp” depends upon  qualified, willing volunteers.  If you’d like to help in 2015, please contact the LSF President.

Greetings and Happy New Year from your LSF Secretary, now for some news.


·        It’s been a busy year, with a new program, lots of new applicants, members, and vouchers


·        The ESAP is off to a good start. LSF voucher traffic has increased quite a bit since the ESAP inception. It’s nice to see that a fair percentage of ESAP participants are existing LSF members. It’s also great to see many new members joining our ranks. Welcome to you all.


·        We continue to receive applicants and returned vouchers for the SAP at about the same rate as prior to start of the ESAP. Several applicants and existing members are participating in both programs.


·        I am now able to email vouchers to members who would like to receive them in that format. You will need to print the voucher yourself once I’ve sent it to you. It will come to you with your name, LSF and AMA numbers pre-installed. Once you’ve printed it out treat it the same as one that I mailed to you. The vouchers I mail are double sided, and on colored paper. I won’t require that you print on both sides of colored paper. White, single sided is fine, as long as the information is legible and correct. If you’d like one mailed it will cost the traditional $2, or I can email one for free. For now I can’t extend this offer to aspirants, I still need the application with signature for them. Level V vouchers will also still be mailed, you will want the colored card stock mounted on the plaque when you complete it. Bottom line: If you are already an LSF member and need a new voucher drop me an email and I can make the process a bit quicker and cheaper.


·        Several ESAP participants have had their vouchers sent back without approval due to confusion about the contest task. Each contest needs to be a 1 day (minimum) contest. You can’t fly 18 rounds in one day against the same pilots and receive credit for 6 contests on a voucher.


·        If you do fly in multiple separate contests on the same day they can be counted, if they are in fact separate contests. The Nats, where Nostalgia and RES are flown concurrently over a two day period is such an example.


·        I realize that the above does not explicitly appear in the rules on the voucher. However, it has been done this way in the SAP as long as any of the current officers can remember. We have extended this tradition into the ESAP.


·        I’ve received comments and had discussions with several Level V members from across the US and abroad regarding this, as well as my fellow LSF Board Members. There is generally agreement with the current board’s decision, our senior membership who contacted me mostly like the idea of keeping this tradition in place. There are a couple of notable exceptions who think that this should be relaxed, but after listening to various viewpoints and considering their merits the LSF Board has decided to stay the course in this instance.


·        If the weather is nice wherever you are I hope that you can get out and fly. If not, then it’s time to build something.

·        Thermals – Rob Glover, LSF Secretary





A few words about the SAP & ESAP: The LSF Secretary had to reject some recently submitted vouchers as they contained more than one contest occurring on the same date.  About multiple contests on a single day, there are two components to either LSF SAP - rules and spirit.  While one could interpret the rules as allowing multiple contests per day via the "3 rounds make a contest" clause by taking it out of context, doing so would open the door to "cheap" wins which, while perhaps increasing participation, would certainly dilute the accomplishments of those whose wins were accomplished in contests of greater length.  This violates the spirit of the LSF’s SAPs.  Remember, they were established to provide participants with a way to increase their soaring skills not to provide “merit badges” with which to strut and crow about. The founders of the LSF put the 3 round  clause in there to give entrants of weather-affected contests a fair shake.  Charged with keeping the integrity of both LSF SAPs, the current LSF Board therefore agreed with the Secretary’s decision to reject the vouchers. 

A letter was received claiming that the LSF had ruined a soaring club.  The writer felt that overly zealous LSF members pushed participation in the SAP or ESAP so hard that members who showed up at the club field to soar for fun were made to feel guilty or like 2nd class citizens.  Fellow LSF members, it is true that the SAP programs will make participants better pilots – that’s the objective.  But, while achieving that objective, please don’t become become a “Glider Gestapo Agent”.  There is room for all in soaring.

The 800 Pound Gorilla:  There are encouraging signs that forward thinking LSF members are beginning to form ideas on how to deal with R/C soaring’s 800 Pound Gorilla, the increasingly high cost of competitive soaring.  These members are seeking to lower the cost of soaring competition but not the value.  The LSF Board applauds these efforts and offers the LSF Forum on the LSF website as a sounding board to help move these efforts along.  Feel free to share ideas there.

About 2015: 2015 will be the last year that current LSF Board members can serve in their positions.  Later in the year, there will be a call for nominees to fill these positions followed by an election. If you are interested in a position, any LSF Board member will be happy to let you know what committing to that position requires.

About “These Days”  With the advent of so many easy to “buy & fly” devices these days, it’s up to us who are serious about our hobby to stay the course and fly our sailplanes safely.  Please do so and help preserve the future of R/C soaring.