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Old Sep 14, 2009, 10:58 AM
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Afton VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thermaler
Steve and I did my 1K G&R which could have easily been a 3K.
I have walked the distance we covered flying my Super Esprit but when Steve said "jump in" I could not resist.
Tried to make it a 45 minute flight but only made it to 28 and change.

Could have made an hour easy with my Aquila XL at 2300' but right after the Pic told me the altitude it also said the battery was at 4.9 volts. Still got 39 for the 30 minute for the LSF.
Joe
4.9 is a very good charge. The pic will give you the lowest voltage under load. Unless it says 4.5 volts, you are probably still just fine. Remember, the battery will stay at it's nominal voltage of 4.8 volts for a long time. Best to take several readings with plane flying level and not under load to get an accurate estimate. I used a 4500 mA battery for my 8 hr and it only took 1800 mA to recharge it. The pic reported varying voltages from 4.6 to 5 volts.

T
T
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Old Sep 14, 2009, 11:15 AM
launch height can't fix stupid
United States, CA, Palmdale
Joined Jun 2005
1,259 Posts
I sure hope catching is allowed for the slope landing precision tasks. Future tasks will require flying a better sailplane and I would definately prefer to catch it. Part of the requirement should be that the sailplane does not cause bodily harm when catching it

Steve, does this mean I have to redo my copper? I was only bluffing man....

Agree with Thermaler's comments on the best are the best regardless what they fly. I have seen Joe Wurts fly a pig in a thermal competition and still kick butt. One thing to note though, more expensive, full house ships are easier for me to land than my rudder elevator DLG. Not that it can't be done, just easier for me to use the technology already available in my quiver of sailplanes.

One of the great equalizers in the program is that everyone has to do a goal and return at the higher levels, regardless of whether you are on the slope or thermal slide. I hope that stays in place while we re-wicker the upper level tasks.
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Old Sep 14, 2009, 06:02 PM
Ricky Windsock
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USA, FL, Sanford
Joined Nov 2008
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I say that there is a very obvious need to very quickly decide on the final version of Bronze. It seems that the copper level is fair and a great starting level as it is. Some have already completed it. Others like myself have already started it. I like the program. I like the way input is being requested and properly considered and for the higher tasks much thought needs to be put in for the final versions.
But if you are to maintain the momentum and interest you already have, please don't mess around for weeks or even days to finalize the levels that interested parties are already working. (Copper and Bronze.)
I have had my Copper form since Thursday last week and I am half way through the tasks already from our contest on Sat and Sun. I have all the landings. All the 5 mnute flights and just need to get the 30 min ones this weekend. It is a great starting level for (TD) just as it is. I agree with Steves proposed changes for the Slope part.
I suggest that you set up a poll re the Copper slope changes on this thread and PM everybody who is already participating to vote. Give it 7 days and set the Copper in Stone.
Do the same to finalize Bronze so you guys can continue to work on it. But please don't bog this whole thing down in "red tape" in the interests of perfection. It won't be perfect for everybody - ever.
My 2 cents worth.
Gordon
LSF4
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Old Sep 15, 2009, 10:50 PM
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Redcliff Alberta
Joined Jul 2008
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Tom,as well as all those in and starting the program. My Humblest Appoligy's.

There was no need for my rant on sunday. Whether a person can complete the progrm in 10 day's or take's 10 year's realy dosn't matter as we are only flying agianst ourself's.

Tho to clarify where I was coming from. I was expecting a Lvl V pilot with a vastly supierior soaring ability,to come accross as a father figure gently giving input to each of the task's. To better the program,and each of us as pilot's within each of the level's. But in my foolishness,I read the post's and only saw conceit and arrogance. For this I am truly sorry.

I have believed in the SSP from the beginning,and I still believe it is exactly what the soaring hobby needs. When it is finalized, it is going to be an incredable program.


Ken
ASP#3
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Old Sep 15, 2009, 11:37 PM
Balsa breaks better
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Buchanan Mi
Joined Apr 2005
2,196 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbroeski
4.9 is a very good charge. The pic will give you the lowest voltage under load. Unless it says 4.5 volts, you are probably still just fine. Remember, the battery will stay at it's nominal voltage of 4.8 volts for a long time. Best to take several readings with plane flying level and not under load to get an accurate estimate. I used a 4500 mA battery for my 8 hr and it only took 1800 mA to recharge it. The pic reported varying voltages from 4.6 to 5 volts.

T
T
Thanks for the info Tom. I was under the impression that the older Airtronics did not stay happy at much less than 4.8. It did take almost a hour to recharge with a Sirios Pro though.
I am using a 2700mA NiHm (?? did I get that right) and since I had several flights already I decided to play chicken and keep the Aquila XL in the same number of pieces it came to the field in.

Joe
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Old Sep 15, 2009, 11:55 PM
AKA - The "Flywheel"
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SOAR Chicago!!!
Joined Jan 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbroeski
That looks good. The landing task on a slope will be tricky for a lot of people. Does catching the plane count? We don't have landing areas on a lot of our slopes. I'm sure we can put a flag on a bush somewhere if need be : )
You will obviously be getting good participation, so waiting and working out the tasks will be a good thing. Just don't loose momentum. If there's anything I can help with, let me know. I do like the way you have the sheet laid out with the "or" in the middle. You do need to have a place for the full name and address of the participant, rather than just the name and #. Keep up the good work.

Tom
I agree with Tom, I'd take another look at the landing requirements. Landing on a slope on a blustery day, is nothing like landing on a nice flat field on a calm day. When I go slope flying, I'm just happy to get my airplane back in one piece!

Of course, I know at this point, I don't have a dog in this fight....

Steve
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Old Sep 16, 2009, 04:54 AM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
LI, New York, USA
Joined Mar 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenatorLTFO
I agree with Tom, I'd take another look at the landing requirements. Landing on a slope on a blustery day, is nothing like landing on a nice flat field on a calm day. When I go slope flying, I'm just happy to get my airplane back in one piece!

Of course, I know at this point, I don't have a dog in this fight....

Steve
I will agree with Steve here. On the slope, any landing where you can walk to the plane and pick it up is a good landing. Between the rotor and rough landing areas, the idea of spot landing on the slope it tough.

However that does not mean it should not be part of a Sportsman program, only that it should be more liberal in comparison to flat field landings. Even the LSF task program has not precision landing tasks for slope flying.
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Old Sep 16, 2009, 07:51 AM
founder of the SSP
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Walkerton, Indiana
Joined Jul 2004
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NEWS: Ok campers. We're not thrilled about this but here's our decision. After enough e-mails to make my head spin and feeling like I dipped my head in a hornets nest. I took a day off. More people were "upset" to say the least that I would even consider changing the Copper level than you could possibly believe. I guess trying to work as a group to make changes after testing them out isn't going to work after all. Most people have no desire to help create a new soaring program, they just "want one". We're not saying that there have not been a lot of good ideas or that there hasn't been help along the way. And we do still want the help and ideas. We're just saying not too many people are interested in trying something out then going "nope too easy" and re-doing it to make it better. Most just want to do it once and call it good enough and see how fast they can do it. Add another feather to their hat kind of thing. And yes, we know, we'll never please everyone but we're trying to please as many as we can. We would have liked to have seen Copper Level made harder. In the best interest of the program's success though we're not getting our way. So here's the executive decision and it's final!
COPPER LEVEL: The sole purpose of Copper Level is to show proficiency in basic flying skills. It meets that requirement and for new people in the soaring hobby it's probably a decent enough challenge and yet not so hard as to scare them away from the program. So it's staying unchanged and it is officially in it's final form.
BRONZE LEVEL: Now as for Bronze Level. Throw any forms you may have printed out! They're worthless The Bronze level is our compensation for giving in on Copper Level. It will be new and improved before it is released. Before you ask, it will be released very soon. I have sent a copy to Joe and since he like me was a bit discouraged about not bumping up Copper Level he suggested we put on our devil's horns and step the program up a bit. In fact, Joe suggested I may have been a bit "nice" about it and bumped it up another notch. Now not to be out done, I'm throwing a bit of gas on the fire. In the midst of this, let's not forget Steve G. and Cory. Like Joe & I, they're already started on the old Bronze. Anything we have done that can be used on the new one they/we get credit for. Anything else is out. It's fair and they have agreed to it to help the program evolve. Anyone doesn't like it, too bad, it’s a fair solution and it’s how it’s going to be. Plain and simple!
SLOPE: Slope was never intended to run throughout the program and will be dropped soon. How soon is yet to be determined. If you want to do slope only for a whole program there's one out there.
OTHER CHANGES: There will not be the standard “this or that” format much longer. It will soon be a “do it all” format. Tasks up for consideration are: ladder work, timed flight, goal & return, flights w/landings, precision landings, cross country, laps on a course, add 'em up. Plus anything else that gets suggested that we can make work. Another thing being considered is plane specific levels (use only a 2M, RES, NOS type plane to complete the level) Personally I like this one. It stops the better plane syndrome. Do we have all of the details worked out? No. I can tell you however that because nobody wants to re-do a level, we're looking for some "test pilots".
TEST PILOTS: These will people willing to work for free to test new tasks simply for the joy of flying and to help out. There will be no guarantee that the task will end up in the program. However, the feedback from the test pilots will help determine whether something is deemed worthy of the program. If the tasks do end up in the program they will be required to re-do the tasks at their apropriate time. NO CREDIT WILL BE GIVEN FOR THE TEST TASKS. We will however list you on our site as a test pilot and give you the recognition you deserve for helping out. All skill levels may take part as a test pilot. In fact it benefits the program to have several skill levels of pilots to work with. So if you would like to be a test pilot drop us an e-mail (NOT PM) at ssp@fourway.net and let us know you would like to help out.
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Old Sep 16, 2009, 08:04 AM
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Ralph Weaver's Avatar
Indianapolis, IN USA
Joined Nov 2000
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Keep on working on it Steve. Design by committee is never a good idea. Review all the ideas and then do what you think is best. I was CD at the NATs and SIG pres for 4 years and I know how it goes. At some point you just have to do what you think is best otherwise nothing will ever get done.

I personally don't like the type of plane specified - I'd have to go out and buy new planes which is probably not going to happen. I don't have a 2M or NOS.
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Old Sep 16, 2009, 08:28 AM
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Afton VA
Joined Sep 2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L-Spatz
Tom,as well as all those in and starting the program. My Humblest Appoligy's.

There was no need for my rant on sunday. Whether a person can complete the progrm in 10 day's or take's 10 year's realy dosn't matter as we are only flying agianst ourself's.

Tho to clarify where I was coming from. I was expecting a Lvl V pilot with a vastly supierior soaring ability,to come accross as a father figure gently giving input to each of the task's. To better the program,and each of us as pilot's within each of the level's. But in my foolishness,I read the post's and only saw conceit and arrogance. For this I am truly sorry.

I have believed in the SSP from the beginning,and I still believe it is exactly what the soaring hobby needs. When it is finalized, it is going to be an incredible program.
Ken
ASP#3

Once you have some experience, you look for additional challenges. Mine is to get it done as quickly as possible.
Once someone has already done the tasks, the challenge becomes how can I do it better. And if not better, than maybe faster. Always looking for additional ways to challenge myself. Will always be glad to offer fatherly advice.

T
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Old Sep 16, 2009, 08:29 AM
founder of the SSP
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Walkerton, Indiana
Joined Jul 2004
1,554 Posts
Nos is probably the hardest to consider. 2M planes however are so common that one could be borrowed or picked up cheaply fairly easily. Heck a TH Vista is only $50. Radians are everywhere I look. Plus, it may actually cause someone to, dare I say it, build a plane. A sophisticated Lady is about a $35 kit last I looked. So once again about a $50 investment. That's like no McDonalds for a month. WIN WIN. You get a new plane and maybe learn some new skills (for those new to building) and do something good for your health at the same time.
I would really like to see Tom as a test pilot. HINT, HINT.
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Old Sep 16, 2009, 10:13 AM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
LI, New York, USA
Joined Mar 2003
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Steve,

Design by public discussion is just too hard. I would suggest you pick a few key people, call them "The Board" and discuss changes and such among those people. If they want to invite debate or other input, that is up to them.

When an agreement is reached, publish it.

Just a suggestion. Remember we live in a representative Democracy, not a pure Democracy. We vote for the people who make the decisions. We don't make the decisions ourselves.

Keep up the good work buddy. You are making a difference in this hobby. A very positive difference. Heck, the LSF has endorsed your program. That was amazing!

Few of us will ever have that kind of impact. Be proud!
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Old Sep 16, 2009, 11:39 AM
Making wood fly since 2007
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USA, MN, Rochester
Joined Mar 2008
2,533 Posts
Hi Steve, I agree with what has already been stated, You just need to consult a few individuals and make your decisions. With that said here is one more opinion. As you advance the program keep in mind that for every LV that will make short work of the copper level there are many more pilots like me that have been working hard to get through it. My longest flight ever is 9 minutes 47 seconds. Just the idea of keeping my little 2M plane in the air for 30 minutes is daunting.

I agree that the upper levels should be challenging but the lower levels need to be obtainable by the newer pilots. I would suggest that the copper level and the bronze level should be doable without needing an all composite uber machine. For that matter if the advanced pilots think the beginning levels are too easy then I would suggest they attempt completing it with a beginner plane, like a 2M Riser or a Gambler DLG.

Here are a few ideas I have that you could incorporate into the upper levels:
  • A TD flight that commences within 2 hrs of sunset
  • A flight that is completed in temperatures below 30 degrees F
  • A non slope flight that is completed is winds greater than 15 mph. You can always increase the wind speed to make it harder.
  • And possibly the greatest challenge would be a long flight using a plane of your own design and construction. I kind of like this one as it would bring forth many unique designs and it would require a great knowledge of our hobby.

Wayne
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Old Sep 16, 2009, 06:21 PM
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Valparaiso, IN
Joined Apr 2005
746 Posts
Upper Level Suggestion

If I may, a good inclusion for one of the upper levels would be to coach an absolute newbie through the Copper level. It's been demonstrated that LSF Level V's make excellent coaches.
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Old Sep 16, 2009, 07:15 PM
Ricky Windsock
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USA, FL, Sanford
Joined Nov 2008
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As a pilot newly returned to the hobby, but as excited as I ever was as a teenager, I have a different perspective than many. I am now racing through the LSF levels because the challenge is not whether I can do it, but rather (like Tom) that I want to see how fast I can do it. (One year is my goal.) The whole point of these programs is to improve flying skills and bring others up the ranks of skill levels. If you attack the current LSF program or this excellent SSP program with the attitude of how fast can I do it, I think any flyer of any skill will quickly complete the Levels as he or she improves their skills.
A case in point. - This is how fast the skills can be learned if you are serious about climbing the ladder.
I took my 25 yo son out to fly his 1st RC plane of any kind in Feb 2009. The plane was a brushed electric 60" span polyhedral trainer called a Flipper. He flew it to death under my watchful eye. Initially with me standing behind him and my arms wrapped around him holding the sticks while he let his thumbs feel what I was doing. After a few minutes he was flying it. After a few flights he was landing it. After a few days he was hooked.
I gave him specific tasks to learn to thermal it. I gave him tasks to learn to land it within a few metres of himself. Within a couple of weeks he was out flying it on his own.
He attended his first contest on March 8th (FSS1) and worked as my caller/timer under the eye of own Gordy Stahl but did not compete himself. He attended another contest (FSS3)and worked as my caller again for two days on April 25th and 26th, 09. He didn't fly that contest either but learned a lot.
This experience watching me fly, watching others fly, watching Gordy call, watching Gordy fly, and then calling the air for me, was all it took to teach him the skills to do it all himself.
On May 3rd Jamie flew in his first contest (a Buzzards RES contest) with a "donated" bird called a Tellipsoar. A 1980's ship with elliptical dihedral approx 100" span. Not the most sophisticated ship but adequate to learn on. His first flight on the ship was 15 minutes before the start of round 1. He did well to land this no spoiler ship twice on that day for landing points. He also did well to get a couple of maxes. (Yes - he found lift and got 8 minutes twice.)
At FSS4 in Ocala FL on May 16th he graduated from the Tellipsoar to an old Icon Beater we bought for $400 and finished midfield.
On May 24th he competed at the Midsouth in Kentucky and began and completed his LSF 1 on the same weekend. He also flew on Sunday in the Midsouth. (He finished his 3rd contest in a creditable 16th overall from 38 starters.) He also completed most of his landing requirements for LSF2 during the weekend.
I hope I haven't bored you with this tale. I have simply told it to illustrate that the ability to complete the tasks hinges on some simple things. Practising the tasks, having a mentor and for speed in learning the skills, contests provide the necessary experience and training ground to rise up the ladder. I understand we can't all go to contests for whatever reason. Instead - find a good mentor - like an LSF 4 or 5 and fly with them and every launch try to complete an SSP or LSF task. The result will be an amazing improvement in skills. Don't just go to the flying field and launch and fly without purpose. Make each launch with a very specific goal in mind (like we do at contests) and the result will be attainment of goals and SSP forms completed quickly.
Once again this is my 2 cents worth but I believe in Soaring, I believe in the LSF and I really believe Steve and Joe are doing a terrific job of getting this SSP program off the ground. They are heroes in our sport because they are doing something very positive for all of us with little if any benefit to themselves. Great job!
I salute you both.
Gordon
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