This page is dedicated to those LSF Members that have a little trouble interpreting the rules on the Soaring Accomplishments Program Voucher.

Here we have tried to make the proper interpretations of the rules, intent and spirit on which the LSF was founded. If you are having a problem with any of the above , please read on, as the issue has probably been covered.



Alpine Soaring and the Thermal Tasks

As an aspirant in the program, I am specifically wondering how mountain soaring, aka "slermalling" aka "alpine soaring," are considered for the purposes of LSF tasks. For example, earlier today I was flying off a slope overlooking a large canyon where the vast majority, and sometimes only, lift was coming from thermals, though there was some weak slope lift present right at the lip, when a thermal blew through for example. Would it be legitimate for me to complete my thermal duration tasks under such conditions?

I do not ask because I am unethical, or seeking an easy way around the tasks, but mainly because there's literally no organized TD flying in my town and no interest in pursuing it. Everyone here flies slope, and there is some (limited) interest in the type of mountain soaring I'm talking about, though most people seem to prefer not to have to risk their models to the vagaries of mountain thermals and the possiblity of a long and difficult retrieval.

So, my question is: when there is no flat field thermalling available to you, can mountain soaring in thermals count towards your TD tasks for the LSF?

LSF Response

Please note that the Soaring Achievement Program separates slope soaring and thermal soaring both in spirit and intent. Thermal soaring implies flatland soaring as opposed to using the "mechanical" lift found at the slope. Now let's go to the rules ...

The Thermal Duration requirements (Section 7) on the LSF website ( states:

"Section 7- Thermal Duration Flight

A thermal duration flight commences at the time of release from the end of towline or at release of hand launch. The distance from the extreme end of towline, at the winch, hi-start hold-down, towman, vehicle, or towline return device to the attach point at the model shall be no more than 300 meters (984.3 feet). Tow men and vehicles shall be limited to a maximum of sixty (60) seconds from launch to towline release. Towing by means of aircraft or other airborne devices is expressly forbidden.

A flight shall be deemed a thermal duration flight if, in the opinion of the pilot and witnesses, the lift being used to remain aloft is primarily attributable to thermal activity. Termination must be with a landing within 200 meters (656.2 feet) of the launch point, which is the point at which the model first become airborne."

So filtering your question through the above, if the opinion of you and your witnesses is that the primary source of lift is from thermals and not slope lift (2nd paragraph), then alpine thermalling can qualify for your TD tasks (in the letter of the law).

I will say that most people I know in the program achieved their thermal tasks in a flatland venue, not in an alpine environment. That may be due to interpretations of the rules or the lack of alpine sites.

As the tasks get longer, the "primarily attributable to" phrase takes on more meaning ... during an 8 hour slope flight, I'm sure most of the Level V's took some time to thermal, just to give them a break from figure 8's at eye level at the slope.

At the end of the day, the Soaring Achievement Program is one of personal milestones set against a standard that has held up for 35 years. Those participating in and advancing through the program can take away the fact that they are traveling a path shared by many notables in the hobby ... it's all about the journey and the friends you make and maintain along the way.



LSF Opinion On Contests That May Not Meet Recognized Contest Test

Due to some recent questions on the R/C Soaring Exchange (RCSE), an email soaring exchange, about LSF Recognized Contests, the following are the official interpretations of the LSF board:

In order for a contest to be in the Spirit of LSF, it must be open to all flyers, with no exclusions for LSF level, experience or prior contest achievement. It must have sufficient individual "Participants", not entries, to match the criteria for the level you are working on.

Separate airplane classes are considered separate contests. An overall of all classes may be used instead as long as there are a sufficient number of individual flying "Participants" to meet the criteria for the level you are working on. Three or more scored rounds are required.



October 3, 2001

Several weeks ago, there was a discussion on RCSE, from a few fellas on the East coast, about the what the "Minimum of six contests required"; statement on the front of the Soaring Accomplishments Program Voucher really meant.

One fella, was convinced, that you could put only your best 6 out of however many contest you flew, and another group of guys, were convinced that you could list as many as you needed, but a minimum of 6, and a seperate sheet of paper to accumulate the required points for what ever Level you were working on.

I was asked to make an interpretation on the matter, in which I did, which caused even a little more grief for some of those involved.

The Interpretation that I made was: that one had to have a minimum 6 contests on the voucher, but could continue to accumulate points on a seperate sheet of paper attached to the voucher.

This interpretation was incorrect!! I apologize to all parties concerned; After conferring with a number of past presidents, and a number of older LSF Level V Aspirants ( You know the ones, the ones that were flying when main street was dust); after reviewing the bylaws and the reverse side of the Soaring Accomplishments Program Voucher, the following interpretation will now stand as a precedent:

A, "Minimum of six contests required" on the voucher face., and only your six best Contests will be listed for whatever you need to achieve the points required for that Level.

Listed on the back of the voucher under the Events; you will find ..." or the Competition Points System, where a minimum total of competition points from any six (6) contests may be used.""

What does this mean? You can not do the 20 year add em up as was discussed earlier,. You put your 6 best out of however many contests it takes. The intent here is to get you off your duff, and out from the club field to other places, bigger contests, and meet new people.

This ruling is consistent with what was intended by the founders and is the same path that people like Dan Pruss and many others have followed including myself.



July 19, 2001

There apparently is some confusion about what really defines an LSF Contest for the proposes of LSF Points and/or an LSF Contest Win. Evidently, there are those, who are not following the intent, nor the design of the Aspirant Program, as the rest of the United States or the world for that matter. The SOARING ACCOMPLISHMENTS PROGRAM of the LEAGUE OF SILENT FLIGHT, is a personal achievement program, based on a witness and honor system. To read in between the lines of the rules as stated on the back of the voucher, is only self serving, and a disrespect for those who have walked the path before you.

When a voucher is receive by the Secretary, he or she will validate it, by checking signatures, contests scores and alike. With access to the internet, this task becomes easier than ever before.

The LSF Board in not the LSF Police !!; but we do make a reasonable attempt to verify each and every aspirant form, and if we think there is an issue, the form is returned, with the appropriate explanation.

Lately there has been some confusion, about what makes up an LSF Contest, although the rules are clear, in Section 11 on the back of the Aspirant Form, The board will offer the following definitions and discussion to establish what is a recognized contest.

1. Event - The gathering of folks to fly model airplanes, to compete against each other, for fun , " skill improvement", and the meeting of other people. The basic foundation, on which the LSF was formed.

2. Contest - A task or series of tasks, at the Event, "performed by the same participants together", within a given time period, designed to perpetuate a ranking of the participants (Contestants), or the folks that came to the event. A contest within a contest would be, for LSF purposes, a classification ...

3. Classifications - Very similar to a contest, when used in an Event, where participants are segregated into groups of like fliers, or airplane types, "open to all contestants". Those Flying in a particular class for LSF points must meet the requirements of section 11 within each classification.

4. Rounds - The individual tasks flown, that make up the contest. there must be at least 3, within the contest to make a valid LSF contest.

5. Tasks - That work that is performed by all contestants, within a contest, such to perpetuate a ranking of said contestants.

With the above being said, If you have a 2-day Event, and the contests are designated as 2-day , be it (RES, NOS, UNL, 2-M,) or open (with a Master, Sportsman, Novice type), classifications, and the contests are designated as a 2-day contest, you can not count 1 day, or 1/2, of the contest for LSF points and/or a LSF win.

If you have a 2-day Event, and designate single day contests contained within, then you have 2 opportunities to score LSF points and/or an LSF win. Additionally, if there is a Hi-Point Overall Designation, then there is a 3rd opportunity for LSF points and/or win.

End of year or season, Club or Organizational Point Championship Series awards will not be considered for LSF points or wins.

This should clear up any misconceptions of the intent of the rules. This is not open for reinterpretation.



June 27, 2001

I entered the Whiz Bang Contest in Any town, USA . This AMA sanctioned two day contest is sponsored each year by the Hot Air Soaring Society. The contest was held on Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26, 2001. There were 3 classifications - Open, RES and Gray Cup. I entered in gray cup. At the end of scoring on Saturday, I was in first place Gray Cup. Gray cup had 20 entrants, Saturday's contest had 4 rounds (opportunities to score) and was classified as a thermal duration contest. My interpretation of section 11 on the LSF blue sheet indicates that I have met the LSF V criterion of a win - all contestants must compete at the same location on the same date.

This generated a hornets nest of dialog with some LSF'ers saying that I had earned my win, while others said that I hadn't because it was a two day contest. (I came in second in Gray Cup over the two days). Individuals, implied that there has been precedence already set that allows the winner of the first days event to claim a win. Others, like (the CD) say no, because it was a two day event, and I did not win the overall contest.

The Official LSF position on your query.

Your interpretation of section 11 for the contest win is not valid for 2 reasons.

1. This Contest was defined by the event organizers and/or the Contest Director as a 2-Day Contest.

(A). You can not claim a Contest Win with 1/2 the Contest finished.

(B). There is no such precedence on record.

2. The Class you were flying in; "Gray Cup" is a "Restricted Class", restricted to those >60 years of age.

(A). Even though you had the 20 contestants, this win would not be permitted unless everyone in the entire contest was over age 60.

(B). This Precedent was set 2 years ago; when some people tried to run an LSF Level V contest, excluding Level V people from competing thus guaranteeing a contest win.

(C). Open and RES classes are not considered "Restricted Classes".



June 19, 2001

I am doing some research and wondered how F3J contest points would be accumulated for LSF points. Specifically I am interested in the impact (or not) of the fly offs. Do you calculate the points based on the qualifying scores or some other method? Thanks - Jim Monaco

The Official LSF position on your query.

1. An F3J event / contest is comprised of:

(A). Qualifying Contest. "Qualifier"

(B). Final Contest. "Fly-Off"

The final contest is not considered a restricted contest, because, all the contestants from the qualifier had the opportunity to compete in this contest.

2. Referring to Section 11, of the Soaring Accomplishments Program of the League of Silent Flight, Items "A'; "B"; and "C" :

(A). The "Qualifier" will count as a LSF Contest provided it that meets all of the referred to criteria, and / or

(B). The "Fly-Off" will count as an LSF Contest provided that it meets all of the referred to criteria.

The unfortunate part is, typically, most "Fly-offs " are only 2 rounds, however if there are 3 rounds, it may be counted as a separate contest.