helletp wrote: ...
I think the above proposal is quite good. I have always opted to drop the slope and substitute another TD task. Many of us do not live in a part of the country where we can find suitable slopes for achieving these longer tasks and quite frankly I have always considered the 8 hour task, well, kind of silly. What is learned by doing that for 8 hours? In fact, in all my conversations with other LSF members I have yet to find one who thinks of it as anything other than an endurance task. And with the much higher price of traveling these days (and weaker bladders) it's a road block for many, and I'm okay with that. I would, however, support it's inclusion if you could substitute a 3 hour thermal task, which is no small feat either.
sorry preston, but I strongly disagree with you on the "drop slope" point. Level V was intended to be the "impossible" level. If you have completed level 4 you have proven that you are a very experienced soaring pilot and you already have all the skills needed. level V is the big challenge that requires you to show skills in organizing events and mentoring other pilots (btw, took me a while to figure that out). it is not about you (the pilot) but to motivate and bring other pilots up to at least level 3! of course it is silly to fly for 8h or run down 20k in a pickup truck just to "walk" your plane through the sky, but it is also a very gratifying experience that you can not accomplish just by yourself. it took me 12 years to finish level V but I enjoyed every minute of trying (and failing)!
I would love to do it all over with an electric!
LSF V 7369
ps: fly with a tray, and it's much easier when you have a problem with the bladder, I know what I'm talking about #8-)
I understand what you are saying regarding the intent of the founders regarding Level V, but it does not answer the question of why? What skills are learned? How does it advance you as a pilot. And I said nothing about X-country. I think that is fine. In New England we recently got another Level V, the first one in some 35 years! And there are lots of outstanding pilots in this part of the country. So does that seem reasonable? Or demotivating? We are trying to put together a new ESAP. Why not put in a very difficult task, not one that is virtually impossible. I do not see the slope as a motivating challenge, even if I were to live in Kansas I would just see it as a pain in the butt and for me this hobby is about having fun. However, I do not expect too much support for this idea, I just wanted to put it out there. In fact, I think a 3 or 4 hour thermal task is every bit as hard, if not harder, than an 8 hr. slope. Nothing wrong with giving people a choice. Anyway, it's always good to hear different ideas.
eAnderson wrote: I would not drop the slope either. The slope soaring where I live is somewhat limited but it is a valid soaring task. For some, slope is the primary form of flying with thermal the exception. While I think the 8 hour slope task is excessive it is a valid task so why change it just because the aircraft has a motor? If there is lift you will fly and if the wind dies or changes direction you will not fly. The only impact the motor has is whether your glider will end up in the trees, the ocean or some other bad place, which has nothing to do with the task.
Again, I don't see why ANY of the tasks should be different. None of them measure anything about the launch method so why would any of the soaring tasks change? None of them require dork landings. They measure soaring and landing achievement in relation to other pilots in the same contests under the same rules so that automatically takes into account any variations around launch height, landing tasks, etc. when it comes to contests.
I say keep the tasks the same between the two programs. No changes.
I have no real problem with keeping the tasks exactly the same, and I'd vote for that tomorrow if that were the final proposal. But we are creating a new ESAP and I strongly believe that there is room to tweak a few things and one of those is, IMHO, the 8 hr slope. And that does not necessarily mean taking it out, but by providing the same kind of alternative that the founders saw fit to put in at the other levels, i.e., substitute another (and in this case a much more difficult) soaring task. I do not think that is substantively different from the original intent. Hunting for thermals for 3 or 4 hours is every bit as hard as flying back and forth in 30mph winds for 8 hours and a lot more interesting, and it is something I can do nearby and not have to travel to Kansas to get it done.
Ah, the dreaded 8 hour slope flight. It IS more than a bladder check, it tests the aspirant's abilities to forecast weather conditions, to prepare for an abnormally long flight, to make and keep other aspirants (L2 and above) motivated and available to witness, and, most importantly, the aspirant's DESIRE to reach the highest level of achievement. I know more than a few world-class pilots who refuse to run the LSF SAP simply BECAUSE they don't want to do the 8 hour.
I would not object to adding the 8 hour slope to my eSAP proposal ... the ONLY slope task I did when pursuing the SAP was the 8 hour, for all the other slope tasks, I opted for the second thermal task. I believe (though I have no proof) that the majority of LSF members and aspirants opt for the second thermal task.
I truly see electric-launch as simply another launch method but the founders of the LSF made it almost impossible to change ergo an eSAP is now necessary.
Personally, I see no dilution of the program using an ALES device, certainly no more than people using molded airframes and monofilament lines to make 5 minute thermal tasks and meathook skegs for L-II landings. Discus launch was deemed allowed because "hand throws off the slope were allowed" so why not DLG ... I think that decision should also have run through the supermajority requirements although it did not ... where were the traditionalists then? Perhaps the entire SAP should be required to be accomplished with no more than three channel planes and balsa/ply models?
Sloping: to accomplish an 8-hour slope it's not all about sloping into a wind, perhaps but almost every time I hit the slope you'll have periods where you have to find lift. In the peak of the day the thermals are so strong that the wind will die out on the face of the slope but then if you are a competent soaring pilot you can find the thermal lift and this will get you through the calm condition till the wind picks up again. i.e. when the thermal passes behind you. So it certainly takes more than just flying into a wind skill. I'm sure there are slopes/days when pure sloping is possible, it's just rare for when I choose to fly on the slope.
Having Electric Comps Count Toward Existing SAP -- no matter what the merits, ITS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN -- EVER. It would require a supermajority of LIVING Level IV's and Level V's to APPROVE. Every non-respondent is a NO. No matter what we might wish for, it cannot happen.
Retaining The 8 hour Slope Task -- I don't much care one way or another. There are good arguments for and against. In the context of the existing SAP it is a bit of a non-starter for people like me who are 250 or so miles from the nearest usable slope. We have hills where I live, just not hills which are not wooded on top to the extent that they are pretty well unflyable. On the other hand, with an electric launch, it is more likely that there are places with enough of a clearing near the bottom to launch and land on -- and you can erect a bit of a wind break and fly with the wind to your back:-).
Enhancing The Flight Tasks -- There seems to be a mentality in some of these posts that we are bound to duplicate the tasks in the existing SAP. Some of this seems to me to derive from a desire to "prove the point" that we are "equals" to the traditional flyers. In the infamous words of a previous Secretary of State, "Who Cares?" Some of you are letting these leatherbacks get into your heads with their assertions that eSoaring is not the real deal. The guys who make these assertions and the guys who respond to them need to get a life. I strongly recommend that everyone who "thinks" they know what the LSF is all about read the delightful history that is posted on this web site. When the tasks were originally conceived they were intended to be doable -- but difficult. In 1969, a thermal flight was UNEXPECTED according to none less than Harley Michaelis. Just finding lift was exceptional. That evolved to where "working" the lift that was found was exceptional. And today, the skill that is expected is to "know where the lift is." Times have changed. Planes have changed. And even beginners skills have changed. Whether or not we recognize it, even beginners can get many more attempts during any particular period than the guys did when they had to shag their hi-starts between every flight. Equipment is far, far better (you should look at what was being flown in 1969) and the learning curve is much steeper.
If eSoarers can get away from the self-imposed inferiority complex that drives them to "prove" that they are "real" relative to traditional soarers, they might look at the opportunities that the ESAP offers to be more interesting. I have no quarrel with continuing the Contest Requirements as they stand, but the Flight Tasks at any particular level are not in any way balanced any more with the time and skill required to fulfill the Contest Requirement. At the very best, contest requirements take a minimum of six days (three weekends) to complete. I suspect many of us require double that number or more. And most of us do not have contest opportunities every week. The Flight Tasks through Level IV can easily be fulfilled on two or three flight days. The Flight Tasks for Levels III and IV can be accomplished with as little as three flights. And I think an honest person evaluating the skill to complete the Flight Tasks at any particular level through Level IV would conclude that those skills do not in any way reflect the level of skill required to meet the corresponding contest requirements. At any given level, by the time a person completes the contest requirements, the flight tasks are really trivial.
Modest changes to the existing Flight Tasks might go a long way toward making them more interesting and toward elevating them to the level of skill and effort required to complete the respective Competition Requirements. First, and maybe most useful, would be to require that each Flight Task attempt be declared before launching and that only one attempt be allowed per task per calendar day. This reduces the completion of tasks which merely reflect a random opportunity offered by "running into" a thermal -- and it rewards the necessary contest skill of "knowing" where the thermals will be (a skill that was not imagined in 1969 when the "good guys" flew search patterns).
Since we have the unique ability to limit launch altitude, there would be some value in reducing the launch altitude to make any particular time. Or perhaps increasing the task times or number of required flights. When I fly and practice, I seldom fly more than 10 or 15 minutes for a flight. For hard core practice, I set the switch at 100 meters and work to complete as many CONSECUTIVE 10 minute maxes (with landings in between) as possible. This, for me, is a gut buster. But with the switch set at 200 meters it is both doable and difficult to get three or four in a row. (BTW: I do this whether I am flying the Maxa or the Radian). For someone seeking to meet the Level II Competition Requirements, the more or less equivalent Flight Task might be to complete three consecutive 8 minute flights completed with landings inside a 2 meter radius circle. Level III might have to complete three consecutive 10 minute flights with landings inside a 1.5 meter radius circle. These tasks are definitely doable, they are doable by people who are capable of completing the respective Competition Requirements and they are doable without an expensive plane. Yes, they are more difficult than the current tasks. But they are interesting and entertaining. They would offer participants something interesting and educational to do while they are completing their Competition Requirements.
The Flight Tasks in the current SAP up through Level IV adopted as a new ESAP, with today's planes and skills, are trivial when set beside the Competition Requirements.
Curtis Suter wrote: Sloping: to accomplish an 8-hour slope it's not all about sloping into a wind, perhaps but almost every time I hit the slope you'll have periods where you have to find lift. In the peak of the day the thermals are so strong that the wind will die out on the face of the slope but then if you are a competent soaring pilot you can find the thermal lift and this will get you through the calm condition till the wind picks up again. i.e. when the thermal passes behind you. So it certainly takes more than just flying into a wind skill. I'm sure there are slopes/days when pure sloping is possible, it's just rare for when I choose to fly on the slope.
Curtis, I would not have expected that this would qualify for the 8 hour slope task, but I guess that falls under the interpretation of "primarily attributable" to slope lift. I guess it is a personal call as to what that means.
I just recently resolved my log in issues so I am late to this discussion. I have voiced my opinions on RC Groups so my suggestions are known. I support an ESAP and intend to support the plan if passed.
I am concerned that if there is not more effort to design the ESAP so it is different from the SAP including a separate
ESAP LOGO then your proposal will have a hard time passing by the general membership.
This proposal is far from a forgone conclusion, and I advise all interested parties to proceed in a manner that is non threatening to current LSF line launched supporters.
I hope that the tasks are updated to take advantage of aircraft perfomance improvements. But this might not be possible.
I am not sure I understand this penchant for wanting competition tasks and flight tasks to be equal. Who is to say when that would happen or even what would constitute equality. I do not compare my e-flying to my winch flying. They are the same as far as I am concerned, except it's far easier to get to fly my e-sailplanes. I can see wanting to change some aspects of the flight tasks but not necessarily to make them more difficult, to make them more interesting, yes. And does that mean deleting others and substituting the new ones, or just adding the new ones you suggest. No problem with the declared task idea. I have always done it that way.
I think that part of what I'm saying is the hard core winch launch guys have no problem with the SAP just the way it is (and of course of know there is no way of changing it anyway) and there are new aspirants all the time, so why should an e-pilot be subject to more difficult tasks?
Adopt then modify. For example, I'd love to try the three 10 minute flights and land within a 1.5 meter circle for a while before I decide that would be a good change in the program. But I'd rather start off with something we know works and has worked for a long time. The task portion has gotten a bit easier at the lower levels, not the higher levels, and the competition portion is perhaps the same and maybe even harder at the higher levels. Just make sure there are easier provisions for making changes to this ESAP, so that as time goes by rational changes can be made as conditions and technology might merit.
Nothing we do will be perfect, I think we all know that. And let's not forget that we are trying to motivate newcomers to try the LSF as well as build a new ESAP.
As far as some different ESAP logo goes - no problem. I do not want to denigrate anyone or have them think I'm denigrating them. I fully respect their accomplishments and will expect the same. If having a separate logo is important to the majority, I'm quite fine with it.
tMcCann wrote: Why haven’t these programs been more successful?
SSP could get there. A number of folks are doing it. Possibly as many new people as doing the SAP. I think a big portion of anything being a success is a "name" throwing down the gauntlet and doing the program and talking about it.