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Old Sep 17, 2009, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Boone
I see three people that need to be aspirants.
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Joe and I are going soaring tomorrow. No bosses and no worries. We will be discussing a bit of SSP business though. The main topic will be to finalize Bronze Level. Then it's on to Silver and Gold levels. Which I've already been working on along with Bronze now that I'm focussed again. Just have to talk to Joe and get some test pilots. Be prepared campers for a couple of twists in the program. Hopefully Joe likes the web stuff I did for him and then he can get it up and running for me. He's going to regret saying "yes" to being VP yet! The changes to Bronze look good so far and they're going to make you work for it. We said we didn't want to be a wimpy watered down program and we weren't kidding. Since we're having to do this with no trial and adjust, we plan to err on the side of too tough as oposed to too easy. Warm up your skills, you're going to need them at their best. MUHAHAHA!!!
Be careful that you don't frustrate the less experienced pilots right at the beginning. After Bronze, you can make it tough. If it's too hard in the first two levels, you will have lots of drop outs. Lots of tasks is okay, but don't make it too tough too early. I know of tons of guys who never made it to LSF level II because of contests. Make level two achievable and it will likely encourage, rather than discourage. Once past that, they will have the skills to do the tougher challenges. As long as your test pilots are fairly novice, you will have an accurate reading of difficulty. Have Cody, JW or DP test it and it might be lopsided.

Something like two in a row TD tasks with no more than 5 min to land and relaunch, rather than just one big one can be just as tough or more so. In the air we had this last weekend two 15 min flights in a row would have been really tough.

Don't make the later tasks ridiculous either. A couple sets of two perfect 10 min with 6" diameter landings will hone skills better than holding your pee for 8 hours. Of course, if you do the "OR" and they can choose to do 8 hours or three in a row perfect times with landings, or something equal to that. Something that shows skill rather than just endurance.

IMHO
Tom
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Old Sep 19, 2009, 05:46 PM
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NEWS: The Bronze Level is finalized. Just in time too, as we have yet another member added to the rolls of the SSP. Welcome tbroeski, member #5. Way to go Tom! We can't wait to see how you like Bronze Level. The finalized Bronze Level is shown on page one of this thread. The requirements sheet is updated to include everything you should need up to this point as well. We are currently working on Silver & Gold Levels. Of course we're trying to finish up the web stuff as well. We have hopes we can get our pages back up soon. Thanks for your patience, we are after all just two guys.
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Old Sep 20, 2009, 06:06 AM
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I've been getting e-mails on this so I'm posting a reply here. Yes, the XC & G&R are a "and" not an "or". We stepped things up a bit. You will be required to do both. The reasoning is the XC is one way in "new" air. The G&R is two way, but in somewhat "known" air. We like things tough. It also marks the end of the "this" or "that" style format. There's going to be way more tasks to do per level. We're also dropping slope as there is a slope program out there and doing more styles of TD tasks. Slope may return in the final level. That's undecided at the current time however.
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Old Sep 20, 2009, 02:35 PM
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I like it(Bronze) Steve. Yup,it sure is ramped up some with a 1 hour TD and the XC and O & R. With this being only the second level,I am almost afraid to think of what the Titanium level is going to hold. 12 hour TD with an altitude gain of 10,000 ft or 100km XC with 50km O & R?

I wonder if the AMA will some time in the future,pick up the SSP as a SIG to coinside with the LSF ?

Ken
ASP #3
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Old Sep 20, 2009, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L-Spatz
I wonder if the AMA will some time in the future,pick up the SSP as a SIG to coinside with the LSF ?

Ken
ASP #3
No, the LSF is the only SIG needed and they have done a fine job IMHO.

Glad you like the Bronze, I don't think Steve and I will get that crazy. We are looking at attainable goals for the sportsman not the "Sail O' holic"

Joe
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Old Sep 20, 2009, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thermaler
No, the LSF is the only SIG needed and they have done a fine job IMHO.

Glad you like the Bronze, I don't think Steve and I will get that crazy. We are looking at attainable goals for the sportsman not the "Sail O' holic"
I couldn't have said it better! Now I know why I shanghaied you into this.
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Old Sep 20, 2009, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Boone
I couldn't have said it better! Now I know why I shanghaied you into this.
I forgot to mention we have enough to do with the SSP and we do not need to have more added to our plate

Joe
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Old Sep 20, 2009, 06:34 PM
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I had an hour spare to fly today and time to digest more of this SSP program. I also had time to show it to other soaring club members. I managed to get another 15 minute Copper TD task completed and witnessed. Upon looking more carefully at the requirements of Copper and the now published Bronze I would offer just one bit of feedback based on my experience. I have been working very hard at the LSF program for 7 months. I have been trying to encourage others to do the LSF program also. We have been having LSF days to get the tasks done and we have had success at getting forms completed. But I have discovered it is not easy to get others to be as enthusiastic about a soaring pilot training program as what I am. Many of those that could do the LSF program, but do not, are of the opinion that the tasks in the latter stages (8 hour slope etc) are meaningless so that makes the whole program not worth doing.
I believe that these programs teache us to be pilots. I see that the SSP program will do that also. Yet the tasks need to be fun, do-able and the lower levels need not to challenge beginners too much - but definitely they need to be less repetitive than currently presented.
I quote the SSP goals "These tasks are designed to be challenging, fun and to give structure to your soaring activities." We need to remember to make it fun enough to keep people in the program and not too daunting to stop them from even starting.
I think you need to be careful you aren't designing a program that becomes a chore rather than a challenge. What I mean is - don't make too many tasks the same over and over.
e.g. I don't really understand the need to do something like an extended TD flight twice unless there is a different purpose to the second flight. Copper requires 2 separate 30 minute duration flights. Why? It also requries the same 30 minute flight a 3rd time with a precision landing. I think it is at least one 30 minute flight too many but I will be happy to do the flights as we have already accepted that.
(I asked a pilot at our field today to witness my form. He asked what it was all about. I explained the SSP but the minute they heard that 3 different 30 minute flights were required to achieve the 1st level they laughed and said their longest flight ever wasn't 30 minutes so they couldn't see themselves doing the SSP.)
Bronze also has a requirement for 2 TD flights of 45 minutes Why 2? - Plus another 45 minute flight with a precision landing. I think many of the prospects you might attract to this program will find this too challenging to even attempt once they see that the second level of the program requires so many repetitive endurance flights of a length they have never achieved even once. Then when they have got those 3 epic flights done they need a 1 hour TD as well.
I think it is just simply too many hours aimlessly stooging around at 2000 feet. We would become better pliots if we were doing the ladder flights or precision landings.
I personally know I can do this program the way it is so far but I feel it is going to be difficult to sell it to others.
Gordon
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Old Sep 20, 2009, 07:27 PM
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Seeing as the task's are a bit on the stiffer side now. I'm thinking I am going to have to upgrade to a much better ship than my WindWard. I am looking at the Marauder(realy like the upper and lower spoiler's) or the Olly III(with spoiler's). Is there any other's that I could short list? I prefer a woody(easyer to repair as needed)and less than $200-$225. Or I may just rebuild the WindWard's wing and stretch it out to 100 inch and add spoiler's.

Ken
ASP #3
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Old Sep 20, 2009, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L-Spatz
Seeing as the task's are a bit on the stiffer side now. I'm thinking I am going to have to upgrade to a much better ship than my WindWard. I am looking at the Marauder(realy like the upper and lower spoiler's) or the Olly III(with spoiler's). Is there any other's that I could short list? I prefer a woody(easyer to repair as needed)and less than $200-$225. Or I may just rebuild the WindWard's wing and stretch it out to 100 inch and add spoiler's.

Ken
ASP #3
I hear you. I am probably going to be the only person to do this program, at least the copper and bronze levels, with a 2M woody beginner plane. I had better retrim the Riser. It is what I have and there is not a bigger plane in my future for a while anyway. But back to your question about planes. Take a good hard look at the Genie. It is a scratch or kit build plane, ranges in size from 120" to 144" depending on the version you build and is a full house contest capable plane. If bagging your own wing is too much for you then there is a built up wing plan available for it. http://www.geniebuild.com/index.html
I believe Vintagesailplaner is selling complete kits for this for $200. His website is http://www.vintagesailplaner.com/SmoothGeniePro.html

Another good source for fine flying wood planes is Ray Hayes. His Big Bird is a fine flying plane but if you are considering an Oly III you probably already know that.

Wayne
ASP #6
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Old Sep 20, 2009, 09:10 PM
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That is Ray Hayes at Skybench Aerotech http://www.skybench.com/ and it is a Big Bird. The Thermal Queen is also a good choice.
If you ask anybody that has been at the top of the pile at contest they will tell you the 90% of it is practice the other 10% is the plane.
Steve and I are doing just fine on our Bronze. It is just like we planned, a lot of flying (practice) to achieve the goals. I missed my hour by 6 minutes Friday, still got one of the 45's from it
I do believe Steve said it was not going to be easy on us......

Joe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windependence

Another good source for fine flying wood planes is Ray Hayes. His Bird of Time is a fine flying plane but if you are considering an Oly III you probably already know that.

Wayne
ASP #6
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Old Sep 20, 2009, 09:15 PM
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Oops, sorry about the misnaming on Ray's plane. I corrected it in my previous post.

Wayne
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Old Sep 20, 2009, 09:29 PM
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Sorry if I missed it, but was there an answer of the question of "catched landings" counting for accuracy tasks?
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Old Sep 20, 2009, 09:35 PM
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Yes there was. Copper will be landings. Slope in Bronze will allow for hand catch as well. TD will never be hand catch. The first page of this thread has a requirements sheet. It changes from time to time to adjust for new rules and such. Everyone should make a habit of reading it every once in a while to see what's new or to see explanations of things like what is (basic) or (A1). At least until the program is fully designed and things settle down.
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I started soaring seriously last season. By that I mean, I had tried it a bit but wasn't getting anywhere. Then I met the Red Hen guys on here and went to visit them. 5 minutes was monumental! It didn't take but about 3 trips out and I did 48 minutes. I've done bunches of 30 minute and quite a few 45 minute flights already. I don't really think 10-15 minutes is much of a challenge any more. Mind you, all my first season was with a Sophisticated Lady, a TH Vista and even a couple of HL gliders as well. Nothing fancy or expensive. Getting a plane up there and keeping it there for a good period of time is tough. The 1 hour still eludes me. Learning the thermal cycles and reading the air well come during extended flights. One of the biggest things I heard in the beginning was that this was going to be a watered down program. Well it's not going to be so. Not on my watch. I don't want a program that can be finished in a season or two by the average flier. The average sport flier should take several seasons, at least, to complete the program. However, when they do they can hold their heads high that they earned it! They also will have learned a lot. The long flights are not the whole of the program though. There's a lot of other things coming up. Add em' up, timed flights and ladders will make you cringe as well. I fought all weekend to get a ladder done and it never happened. I would much rather made a long flight instead. This was never designed to be a beginners program. The first level is easy enough for a beginner to do and still give them a workout. The second one will challenge most for a season, maybe even two. I doubt I'll make Bronze this year as our season is about over. My point is, there are people who want to see how fast they can do a program, and that's cool. Most of us want something to challenge us for several seasons at the least. Silver is going to be a lot more tasks to do. Gold is going to be the most controversial. Platinum will be more than a lot will want to do. Titanium isn't going to be for everyone, but then again, neither is LSF LV. With so many wanting the program finished and final. It doesn't allow the luxury of redesign. We would have lost more that way. I (sorry Joe) WE won't be accused of being light weights when this program is done.
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Old Sep 20, 2009, 09:47 PM
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No worries mate. Thats' why America is so great. We can all have our point of view.
You guys have done a great job.
Just want to see the program succeed for all the effort you guys have put in and the measure of success ultimately means you need lots of participation. If only a handful of fliers actually pursue the levels past copper it will not have achieved its's purpose.
I think the program is looking very scary to anyone except a fanatic.
You've got me. I will work at it regardless because I think I am a fanatic. Make it as hard as you like. Just don't make it boring with the same stuff over and over.
Time will tell
Gordon
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