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Old Jun 23, 2014, 02:18 PM
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John,
Day 4 was the most exciting but also could lead to an unfortunate situation if the conditions are excellent again next time. I know it was my first year at Montague but I would like to offer a suggestion for next year for the last day only..
Keep the short task... Limit the the start Gate entry to 500 meters and 110 kilometers speed. Close the Gate at 12:00 noon..
Remember after 4 days all competitors are tired....And the potential for tragedy rises as we are pushed to exceed the speed limit by larger margins.
Deans event is the pinacle of XC competition in the World today. Philip and I are searching for interested international pilots to make this contest a real World Cup
RC X-Country event. All competitiors must be reminded we are sharing the roads with non competitors, and we must always be vigilante to ensure that everyone comes home safe, and that this event can continue.. There is nothing in RC Soaring as exciting as racing in Monatgue...
Looking forward to racing to Weed..
Larry
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Old Jun 23, 2014, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Jolly View Post
John,
Day 4 was the most exciting but also could lead to an unfortunate situation if the conditions are excellent again next time. I know it was my first year at Montague but I would like to offer a suggestion for next year for the last day only..
Keep the short task... Limit the the start Gate entry to 500 meters and 110 kilometers speed. Close the Gate at 12:00 noon..
Remember after 4 days all competitors are tired....And the potential for tragedy rises as we are pushed to exceed the speed limit by larger margins.
Deans event is the pinacle of XC competition in the World today. Philip and I are searching for interested international pilots to make this contest a real World Cup
RC X-Country event. All competitiors must be reminded we are sharing the roads with non competitors, and we must always be vigilante to ensure that everyone comes home safe, and that this event can continue.. There is nothing in RC Soaring as exciting as racing in Monatgue...
Looking forward to racing to Weed..
Larry
Larry

Thank you for broaching a subject that really does needs some discussion. As far as I know we have been fortunate in that we have had no motor vehicle accidents for as long as I have been XC soaring (15 years), but a single accident or even complaints by other motorist could put a halt to this event.

So, what can we do to make the event even safer than it already is?

Your suggestion to limit start altitude and speed may help, but I think the final glide is where the greatest potential lies to exceed safe speeds. START altitude and speed limits may or may not reduce final glide speeds , but I think these limits may have other benefits. They could help keep the scores closer and puts more emphasis on strategy rather than eyesight, as well as increasing safety. I would not be opposed to having start altitude and speed limits for ALL days, not just the final day.

Because the most likely place for high speeds is the final glide, more consideration should be given to the task and course layout. First off, maybe we should make Turpoint 2 the finish line. This would eliminate the 90 degree turn required right at the end of the final glide. Also, it would help if we tried to arrange the final glide to be an upwind leg.

As you stated in your post, each team must make safety a priority. On our team we make it clear the DRIVER alone is responsible to drive safely, REGARDLESS OF WHAT THE PILOT OR SPOTTER requests. This really needs to be emphasized at all times.

It fantastic you guys are marketing this event over in Europe. Having new teams especially from other parts of the world definitely makes for a more interesting contest and increases the skill level. The winner of Montague can then truly be declared "World Champion"!

John
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Old Jun 23, 2014, 11:59 PM
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Actually John about 10 years or so ago, we did get shut down or at least part of the teams, when one team landed on the road, in front of a car coming the other direction. No accident or damage, but the driver was mad enough to call either the police or sheriff's dept. (don't remember) and they came out and told everyone they saw flying to immediately land.

We were flying distance back then and other teams that were on other parts of the course didn't know anything about it until they got back to the hangers.

As always, Dean with his great re-pore with the local authorities, smoothed things out and we were able to continue the next day.

I believe the rule of not landing on the road came into effect after this.

---

I like the idea of a finish line at TP2, with maybe the course: start-2-5-2/finish. Not sure how long that is. I don't have Winscore up at the moment to check.

Lift,

- Bob -
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Old Jun 24, 2014, 11:16 AM
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Vehicle safety has always been my biggest concern.
As mentioned the driver must be the limiting factor on speed no matter what the pilot is screaming him to do. The top speed on the roads we travel is 55 mph. We cannot ask a team member to break the law.
With the location of our new field to TP 2 making the corner to the finish can get scary. Using TP 2 as the finish as we have done in the past will help. We also had a 25 point bonus for landing in the glider field as an incentive to conserve some altitude at the finish line.
Thanks Larry for bringing this up

Regards Dean
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Old Jun 24, 2014, 01:48 PM
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so. cal.
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The following photos are not exactly cross country flying photos but since this is the Montague 2014 thread it seems appropriate to post them here and say thanks again to Dean Gradwell as well as his sons Paul and Scott, I was lucky enough to accompany Scott on quite a sailplane tour of the Yreka/Montague valley area in Deans Duo-Discus, I also took many photos of the beautiful vintage models built by Fred China that are on display in Deans hangar. What a great place to visit, the Gradwell hangar is truly a bit of sailplane heaven!
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Old Jun 24, 2014, 01:50 PM
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United States, CA, Diamond Springs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DEAN GRADWELL View Post
Vehicle safety has always been my biggest concern.
As mentioned the driver must be the limiting factor on speed no matter what the pilot is screaming him to do. The top speed on the roads we travel is 55 mph. We cannot ask a team member to break the law.
With the location of our new field to TP 2 making the corner to the finish can get scary. Using TP 2 as the finish as we have done in the past will help. We also had a 25 point bonus for landing in the glider field as an incentive to conserve some altitude at the finish line.
Thanks Larry for bringing this up

Regards Dean
I didnt know about the 25 point bonus. Was that covered in the pilots meetings?

I would say XC has been very safe, especially in the old distance task days when the final glide was basically landing out in some field after a long slow glide with no remaining lift to be found . I did read of a guy falling out of a truck and twisting his ankle at a finish line back in the '80s when he got too excited and jumped out before the vehicle stopped. But that was not at any of our Montague, Davis, Cal Valley events which have been completely accident free for over 15 years.

I like the idea of TP2 being the finish and not having to take that 90 degree turn on final glide at high speeds, especially now that the finish at the new field is only 0.8 miles from TP2 which I think has allowed higher speeds thru the 90 at the turnpoint since you know you dont have to go all the way back to the hangars like it used to be. You guys think its bad sitting in a jeep or Mustang, just try it sitting in a bass boat chair in the back of a pickup!

The only drawback is it would eliminate the spectacle of being able to watch and time teams screaming thru the finish right in front of the field.

the 25 point bonus for a starting field finish landing could slow the teams down a little in order to preserve enough altitude to make it the last mile. I like it.

I think the T3000 telemetry system could also allow for better final glide calculations which would maybe enable teams to leave the last thermal earlier and slow down the final glide somewhat by making it more efficient. When you find yourself 1 or 2 miles from the finish and still at 1500ft the urge to not waste all that potential energy is overwhelming.

Steve
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Old Jun 24, 2014, 04:25 PM
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Steve,
Sorry for the confusion. The 25 point bonus was in a previous year when we did have the finish at TP 2. In order to slow things down at the finish I added the on field landing (airport) for an additional 25 points.
In fullsize there can be a cylinder with a minimum altitude for a finish, that may slow things down as well.

Dean
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Old Jun 25, 2014, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DEAN GRADWELL View Post
Steve,
Sorry for the confusion. The 25 point bonus was in a previous year when we did have the finish at TP 2. In order to slow things down at the finish I added the on field landing (airport) for an additional 25 points.
In fullsize there can be a cylinder with a minimum altitude for a finish, that may slow things down as well.

Dean
thanks.

I was thinking about the tasks now all being speed with the inevitable sled run at the end for the finish. Most teams will occassionally miss-calculate the final glide and find themselves with excess altitude to burn in the last mile or two resulting in rather high speeds. The 90 degree turn with the field now so close to TP2 can result in having to brake pretty hard to slow down enough to take the turn safely and then race to try to catch up to the glider which can cut the corner nearly 0.2 miles inside at TP2 (especially if the team is using the T3000 telemetry system)

If the finish was a east-west line at TP2 it would eliminate the 90 degree turn problem. It also might be safer to approach it from the south rather than the north. Coming from TP9 to the finish is usually downwind, plus the road has a slight curve and hill rise then fall resulting in a downwind slight downhill stretch of driving with the TP coming into sight rather quickly. Coming from the south (TP5) teams are slowed down by the town to around 25-30mph and then the treeline on the north edge of town. By then they are nearly halfway to finish at TP2 traveling slightly uphill and usually into a headwind. The road is straight for the next 2.5 miles all the way to TP2 which is clearly visible. Final glide calcs would also be easier with a more or less reliable tankup thermal at the Quarry, the slow glide thru town and the final straight 2.5 miles to the TP. Probably no more than 1000 to 1500 ft would be needed at the north edge of Montague leaving the treeline (depending on headwind). Ideally we could get so good at this that we could learn to leave the Quarry (orTP5) thermal earlier at lower altitude (like Philip's team proved so good at) and then cross the finish at TP2 at around 100-300 ft (with zoom enough to fly the remaining 0.8 miles to the field) and no more than around 50 mph at the finish line. This could be safer than racing downhill with a tailwind from TP9. A short task for Sunday of 1-2-3-4-5-2 would be about the same distance as 1-2-9-2

just my thoughts

Steve
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Old Jun 25, 2014, 04:54 PM
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Steve,
You are correct on all points.
2-3-4-5-2 was the old speed task. I added the 25 point field landing to slow people down and that there are not great places to land at 2.

Dean
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Old Jun 25, 2014, 09:50 PM
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I'm guilty as well of improving our team's score by driving aggressively at the end of a flight. So I'm speaking of containing myself here as well as other teams.

Since no one wants to land short they'll nearly always have extra altitude on the last leg of a speed task or during the last minutes of a flight time window. The competitive spirit will turn that altitude into speed to get the better score.
To stop us all from pushing that too far, that there needs to be a strong deterrent.

First I think the CD needs to get a verbal commitment during the pilot's meeting from all the drivers that no one will be speeding on the course. It's a start and drives the point home that its one of the rules and will be taken seriously.
In addition to that a strong penalty should be imposed such as a zero for the flight, a zero for the day, or a zero for the contest if someone gets a speeding ticket while on course. Considering the consequences of what could happen if there was an incident, the speeding while on course penalty should be severe.

Lets keep everyone safe.

Mike
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