Originally Posted by Larry Jolly
Marc and JC,
I really want to see this event grow. I don't think We have do anything controversial or radical to keep ALES evolving. I think that if the CD and contest planners think about bringin changes that keep the contest fair and interesting it could do good things for Soaring. Particularly in the urban envoirments where space is at a premium. The main thing is to offer a program that gives the newbie a chance to perform and grow his skills, and offer the experienced guys a challenge. The landing deal just makes sense as a spot rewards a guy who may take chances with how hard he impacts the ground. A runway offers a safe landing and also a chance to get a point spread on a single point basis. As far as the motor run is concerned get them low enough so some soaring technique is required and rewarded. What about a stud or bolt type arrestor?? I am encouraged by the positive feedback. Thanks Larry
I agree with your suggestion for the runway, more because it provides scoring in one point increments than the dorking problem. I don't think the current 10 meter tape is really going to result in the need for much dorking -- at least for guys with your skills flying Aspires, Tragis and Maxas. The current suggested LZ provides everyone who can end up inside an 80 inch circle with the same reward. And only penalizes guys who end up inside a 13 foot circle by 5 points. At the last Polecat the LZ was reduced by 50 percent and the better pilots were not having difficulties with 45's and 50's with no drama. I am still looking at the results from this year's F5J Intertour and 45's and 50's are pretty common. I think the runway might be a more appropriate challenge -- at least for your open class.
One observation I would make here that pertains to both spot and runway landings is that our current unfamiliarity with power systems in this application is resulting in substantially underestimating their toughness. I would readily acknowledge that I am pretty much of a crap flyer, but I have channelled my interest in altitude limited flying for the last three years to figuring out how some of this stuff works. Among other things, I have intentionally and accidentally tested the sturdiness of the drives we commonly use. I discovered early on the benefit of your reinforcing washer. I have some spinners which have proven very hardy and some which have not. The one kind of failure I have not been able to induce has been a shaft or gearbox failure -- even with a catastrophic nearly straight in under power crash with my Supra from a launch collision. What I am saying is that landings WILL probably evolve as pilots become more familiar with their gear. I AM NOT ADVOCATING HARD LANDINGS -- JUST MAKING AN OBSERVATION.
While we are discussing safety items, I would offer two for consideration. First, that planes be rendered inert except when they are in their respective launch/landing area. In my opinion, the most likely accidents will result from accidentally hitting a transmitter switch or lever away from the launch area. Second, keep a reasonable size fire extinguisher in the competition area. A crash or thrown blade can shake up a power system and short a lipo -- not a good outcome.