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Old Apr 04, 2009, 08:12 AM
founder of the SSP
Steve Boone's Avatar
Walkerton, Indiana
Joined Jul 2004
1,554 Posts
Cool
The Sportsman's Soaring Program

Welcome to the Sportsman's Soaring Program (SSP) thread. Everyone is welcome to try it, everyone involved in it has a say in it's development. If it succeeds or fails it will be by it's own merits not by someone who has never tried it's opinion. Feel free to voice your opinions. Keep it civil and be polite to others. I also ask that you try to leave discussion of the LSF out of this thread. This thread is to be for the discussion and development of the SSP. We would appreciate any input positive or negative as long as it's on topic. If you want to give it a try let us know how you're doing and what you think of it. If you think it sucks and quit, tell us why. You have the ability to cause change within the program, except for one detail. This is a non-competition, task oriented program and will stay that way. Anything else is open for discussion and change.

FOR MORE DETAILS AND HOW TO JOIN GO TO:


www.sportsmanssoaringprogram.com
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Old Apr 04, 2009, 09:38 AM
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John Walter's Avatar
USA, IL, Naperville
Joined Feb 2003
857 Posts
Steve:

This looks like an interesting program. I applaude your work.

May I suggest reconsidering the witness age requirements?

I am a big proponent of encouraging new pilots, especially young pilots. I worry that the age restriction would diminish the involvement of younger fliers, especially fathers flying with their sons (yes, women can fly too, but not many choose to do so.) In my experience, one must capture kids' passion for flying before they can drive cars or discover girls, so 16 seems too old for the minimum age for a witness. I have seen a 10 year old kid time at major contest, so its not a matter of capability. If it is a question of credibility, who has one cheated other than ones' self?

Also, why 2 witnesses for flight tasks?

I had a quick look at the specifics of the tasks and I may weigh in on those later in more detail. Perhaps precision timed landings? Perhaps L1 should be a little easier to get people started down the path of the program?
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Old Apr 04, 2009, 10:02 AM
launch height can't fix stupid
United States, CA, Palmdale
Joined Jun 2005
1,249 Posts
Agree with jawalter's comments on the age requirement for witnesses and the number for flights, at least for the lower levels. Would be really good to get people interested as early as possible. My two oldest kids (9 and 6) are just getting interested in flying.

Clarification question for LI through LV tasks. Do you have to complete only the tasks for TD or for slope? Can you combine from each. Think it would be good to label the tasks as categories such that you must complete something from each category. For example a cat1 task for LI would be 3 5min TD tasks or 3 15 min slope tasks. That would give people options to mix and match.

I am currently working on the levels in that other not-to-be-named program but would gladly do these as well. And the kids could give it a try as well. Would you allow tasks performed in the other program to also count towards the sportsman program and vice versa? Or must the tasks be explicitly performed for the sportsman program?

Looks pretty good and would love to see some genuine interest in this.
Cory
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Old Apr 04, 2009, 10:18 AM
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ecormier's Avatar
Moncton, NB
Joined Aug 2005
155 Posts
Some of the duration tasks should instead be precision flights and spot landing tasks. Not enough variety for me. But I applaud your effort in getting something started.
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Old Apr 04, 2009, 10:49 AM
founder of the SSP
Steve Boone's Avatar
Walkerton, Indiana
Joined Jul 2004
1,554 Posts
When I first drew this up I kind of set some of the stuff up to help with making it an acceptable program for where it was being suggested. Now that it's a stand alone program we can do anything we want to try to make it work. I think we should at least have 1 witness. I see younger and younger kids getting involved in r/c and I think it's a great thing. The younger the better. I think there should be an age limit for witnesses because without it we may not find credability with the mainstream and it could be our undoing. Two 8-10yr olds witnessing for each other I fear will not be accepted. That's only my opinion and in no way means that these same kids aren't honest or that it couldn't work. The reason for having TD or slope was to allow for people (like me) who don't have one or the other available to them to participate. Mix and match is fine. Re-wording it so that it's a little clearer that you may substitute TD for slope or vise versa is needed I agree. However, how can we do it so that you can't simply do all of the lesser tasks and then call it completed? This is a good example on why a points based system would be nice. "X" amount of points for a task, "X" amount of points accumulation to complete a level. I would also like to see some of the task done with a precision landing. Let's hear some specific ideas. Keep the landing and add the precision landing to part of the flight tasks? Oh, I almost forgot, you may use any task for this program and any other at the same time. A 10 minute flight is a 10 minute flight no matter how many papers you sign. Keep the suggestions coming guys and good luck! Now if we could just get a weather guy that can get the weather right......
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Old Apr 04, 2009, 11:24 AM
Unrepentant Paragon addict
LVsoaring's Avatar
United States, OK, Moore
Joined Jan 2006
2,640 Posts
Regarding the TD flights, would the requirement be that ALL of them are accomplished? In other words, if there was a boomer thermal day going on, and a pilot was to handily get all 3 15 minute flights in, would the 3 lesser 5 minute flights be included in that and count also? Sort of like getting a two-fer. Or would the requirement be to do all 6 flights? And so on for all the higher level tasks, whether they be slope or TD?
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Old Apr 04, 2009, 12:17 PM
founder of the SSP
Steve Boone's Avatar
Walkerton, Indiana
Joined Jul 2004
1,554 Posts
No each flight must be done. The times are a minumum. However, flying for 45 min then landing is not 3 15 minute flights & a 45 minute flight. You only made one flight. If you want to use it for a 15 minute, 30 minute or a 45 minute is up to you. A (1) flight is from the time you leave the tow hook or hand launch to the time you touch the ground. The "no shedding of parts" rule applies as well. Crashes are not landings. If you want to land and launch again and get another flight, go ahead. This sounds too easy to some because of the multiple short flights in a day. However, after L1 it would be tougher to do due to the amount of actual flight time. EXAMPLE: L1 TD flights = 120 minutes total, do-able on a good day. L2 TD flights = 345 minutes total, that's 5 3/4 hrs of flight time plust time for landings launches. It would be progressivly harder. By the time you get to L3 TD flights = 6 hrs time but since they require you to fly longer periods of time per flight it gets tougher.
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Old Apr 04, 2009, 12:41 PM
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United States, FL, Sun City Center
Joined Oct 2005
359 Posts
This is starting out very well. These constructive comments are great!

Please excuse my ignorance, but what is a precision flight with spot landing? I suspect it has to do with time, right?

Thom
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Old Apr 04, 2009, 01:16 PM
founder of the SSP
Steve Boone's Avatar
Walkerton, Indiana
Joined Jul 2004
1,554 Posts
Ask and you shall receive. I added a precision landing task and an easier way to know where the substitutions are allowed for TD or slope. At least I think it does. So for level 1 you have 7 phases to complete. 1 landing phase and six flight phases. Each flight phase is boxed with the alternative flight box connected to it. We also are only using a single witness for each task. The age thing for witnesses is still open for debate, please chime in. -Steve-
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Old Apr 04, 2009, 01:51 PM
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ACooper's Avatar
USA, NJ, Wantage
Joined Jul 2008
285 Posts
I like it Steve...I like it alot. Good work.
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Old Apr 04, 2009, 02:44 PM
LSF V 79
Joined Jul 2002
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Old Apr 04, 2009, 02:54 PM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
dharban's Avatar
Tulsa, OK
Joined May 2004
2,645 Posts
Good proposal.

With regard to the mandatory Slope Requirement for Level VI, I would make the following observation.

1. By the time someone gets to Level VI, slope flights of any particular duration do not demonstrate much in the way of flying skills. Everyone who gets to that level knows how to fly a sailplane back and forth in the wind. They are mostly tests of devotion, endurance and logistics.

2. Some aspirants live far away from slopes of any kind suitable for these kinds of tasks. The nearest slope to where I live is over 200 miles away.

3. The Level VI slope task would require (assuming that you complete a 3 hour and a 4 hour task on the same day where possible) 9 trips -- (for me 3600 miles of driving), which would occupy anywhere from 27 man-days of effort and expense (including witnesses) on up. Considering the driving time eaten up, it is likely that none (assuming 9 flying days) would be accomplished without setting aside a travel day (54 man-days).

4. Bladder busting tasks may be signs of devotion, endurance and logistical expertise, but they are not quite as much fun as getting root canals, especially when the skill involved mostly requires being able to get three people together and get lucky with a weather forecast. The tasks for this program should be difficult and even frustrating, but they should also be fun. (maximize stick time and minimize windshield time -- flying = fun, driving = not fun)

5. Including a single mandatory 8 hour slope flight out of respect for the traditional bladder buster which is in the existing LSF program is probably OK -- especially if witnesses are not required to be program members (for people who live in places where there are relatively few glider guiders, requiring witnesses to be program members would likely exponentially complicate the logistics).

6. If there isn't enough "meat" left in the Level IV requirement as a result of paring down the Slope Requirements, consider adding a 100km one way Cross Country task.

With regard to Duration and Goal and Return requirements for all the levels, require that landings occur within some modest (3 meters or less) distance of a predetermined spot. Pick a number.

With regard to Duration flights consider either adding or replacing some existing tasks with Consecutive Duration flight tasks, i.e. 3 consecutive 20 minute flights in one day or something like that.

Consider adding a Precision Duration Test requirement. At each applicable level require aspirants to successfully complete six Precision Duration Tests. A Precision Duration Test would consist of three consecutive flights completed in one day with the aspirant declaring the beginning of the Test prior to the first applicable launch on the day of the test. Only one such declaration could be made on any day. The flight task for each flight would consist of achieving some prescribed target time within a prescribed tolerance for time and landing within a prescribed distance of a predetermined landing point. The target time, time tolerance and landing tolerance would become increasingly difficult with each Program Level. Each Precision Duration Test is pass fail, that is all three flights must complete the required target time within the time tolerance and prescribed landing distance to pass the test. Failure to make any time or any time tolerance or any landing is an unsuccessful attempt.

Finally, especially for Level VI (but perhaps for other levels) consider the possibility of including service and/or recruitment tasks. The CSS Badge Program has an element like this. These might require the aspirant to account for some modest number of new aspirants to enroll in this or the traditional LSF program and/or require fulfilling some service requirement such as serving as a club officer or assisting in some other kind of RC soaring activity. It doesn't have to be much to ensure that the "sportsman" is supporting others as well as himself.

Happy Landings,

Don
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Old Apr 04, 2009, 03:11 PM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
dharban's Avatar
Tulsa, OK
Joined May 2004
2,645 Posts
Oh, and if you aren't already sick of me, something else to throw at the wall to see if it sticks:

A thermal aerobatic task. This task would require the completion of prescribed aerobatic tasks within a prescribed time window from hook release. It could certainly vary from level to level, but might require something like a pattern that starts with 3 consecutive loops followed by 30 seconds of inverted flight followed by a full roll and ending with a precision landing.

While a task like this is, on the surface sort of Mickey Mouse, the careful selection of the pattern would challenge thermalling skills (to get needed altitude before and during the pattern, and energy management skills to get it done within the prescribed time. The trick is to get the flight time and aerobatic task requirements balanced right.

Happy Landings,

Don
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Old Apr 04, 2009, 04:26 PM
Glider guider
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United States, FL, Sun City Center
Joined Oct 2005
359 Posts
I have similar (though not quite so extreme) issues with the 8 hr slope flight. Some interesting alternatives might be interesting.

I like Don's ideas. Especially the cross country task.

Thom
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Old Apr 04, 2009, 04:34 PM
Modelrater Deluxe
1-26 Flyer's Avatar
Western Colorado
Joined Dec 2004
1,048 Posts
the thermal stuff looks pretty good but the slope stuff with all those long flights? I'm a hardcore slope pilot and once a pilot came can fly straight and turn left and right they can keep a plane up on the slope as long as the wind cooperates. I think that there could be some other tasks that would demonstrate a pilots skill a lot better than duration. Such as distance tasks set up a couple pylons and do a certain number of laps in a pre-determined time. Also like the sugestion made earlier about the thermal areobatics why not do that on the slope? Now the spot landing tasks on the slope that will be a challenge. How about give the option to subsitute a duration task for a DS speed task? Say instead of a 3 hour slope flight why not say you have to DS to 150 mph? or do a certain number of DS laps without crashing.
Also to those that say they don't have a slope nearby I bet they do and don't even know it. A slope hill doesn't need to be all that big to work. 30ft. high will work great for a lot planes as long as there is not a lot of obstructions upwind so that the wind is smooth. Dams make good slope sites and I have heard of people using landfills and other man made hills.
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