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Old Nov 26, 2009, 07:10 AM
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Aeajr: Stay involved if you want, I don't mind.
************************************************** **********************
I may have lacked tact in what I said. However, What I said had merit and I stand by it. The program is being designed as an advanced program. We discussed having a primer ( I hate to use the term beginner) program way back in the beginning. Actually, I would like to see a "primer" become the program and the advanced be just that. An advanced program for those who want a huge challenge. We also knew that if we designed the primer first (which would have made more sense I agree) the program would have had a greater chance of failure. There was a huge crowd of people saying "sportsman" were just wimps looking for an easy way out of the current program. So we set out to not only have a program as tough as their's but tougher. And yes, it was to be a journey not a quicky program. We're suceeding at that I might add. Slowly, yes, but we planned it that way. The original intent was to do a level evaluate it and move on. That wasn't working too well as we had people interested, still do actually, that don't want to start until they see the whole program. Now we're seeing there is a bunch of people who would prefer a quicker easier program. That's cool. My raving yesterday was on track. Of all the people who have contributed, of all the people who have started the program and thought an easier one would be nice to do first. NOT ONE has sent in a program outline for doing it. The same can almost be said for the advanced program, it recieved one. If just one person would step forward and take tasks from the current program even and just spend some time laying out a shorter easier program for a primer we could have the next faze of the program in place. If this gets more people involved GREAT! I would love to set up a board of directors and get some help as well at some point. In fact it may become necesary as my time has become very limited. Lack of outside involvement may be the death of the program due to my next announcement.
************************************************** ***************************
I have been having a hell of a bad couple of weeks. My wife and I have been hit with some terrible news. She has been diagnosed with leukemia. We're in the process of finding out how bad it is right now. In fact, the first major hurtle was the CT scan yesterday. So yes, that was part of why I was a bit harsh I admit. As things get worse and we know they will. I will be turning things over to Joe. My wife WILL come first as she always has in the 13 short years we've been together. There is no need for responses to this news. I just decided and she agreed it was time to let everyone know what's going on. Then two days a go I found out one of my oldest friends wife has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer which has spead throughout her organs and is not doing well at all. Yes, that's why I've been wound a bit tight lately.
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Old Nov 26, 2009, 07:26 AM
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Hey Steve,
You are both in our prayers.
One of my closest pilot friends in Australia also has leukemia and has lived with this for over 10 years.
Your great positive and upbeat attitude is the most valuable asset you have.
Gordon
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Old Nov 26, 2009, 08:44 AM
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You both are in our prayers. My wife is a 6 year survivor of stage 4 cancer, so there's always hope.


" The program is being designed as an advanced program. .... NOT ONE has sent in a program outline for doing it. "


If it is an advanced program, then it should say Advanced Soaring Program and not Sportsman.

I recommended using the LSF program and adding non-contest contests.
That would simplify things, get a lot of support and at least have some chance of success. I know there's an ego thing and not wanting to be involved with LSF, but from the way things are going, this will be dead in a very short time.

I know what you are going through. I've started several programs at the suggestion of others. For the last one I offered to take care of everything if the guys who's idea it was promoted the program --- you can see how far it got here:
http://www.adesigner.com/brass/icf.htm

You are welcome to use it as a guideline for contest portion.


T
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Old Nov 26, 2009, 08:51 AM
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Steve,

I am so sorry to hear of the blows that life has dealt you, one on top of the other. Clearly this pales by comparison.

I am glad to hear you are having success with people joining the program. That is all you need in order to know that you are on the right track. It seems you have a clear vision and a clear goal and that will be key to achieving success.

Good luck with the program.

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Old Nov 26, 2009, 12:18 PM
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IF anybody is willing to go back to the beginning of this threa you will read that Steve had no intention of making this an easy program and every intention of making soarig pilots out of anybody that care to put in the practice/time to improve their flying skills.
If it takes one person 20 years then so be it, I have been in the LSF for that long and am 3 contest and 300 points short of finishing LIII, I have enjoyed the challenge of the journey that has taught me much.

Joe
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Old Nov 26, 2009, 06:38 PM
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Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Have a game plan set up for tomorrow for Bronze tasks as it is supposed to be really nice. I will be working on landing practice, the 10 minute timed tasks, and one of the longer thermal flights. Will see what I can actually do.

I have an old Synergy (F3B team plane from the late 80s) that I fixed up and need to maiden during this. Interesting to compare this sailplane to my Nyx Furio to see how designs have changed. I can fit standard size servos in the wing of the Synergy. Not even close in the Furio.

Will also be scoping out a path for the 1K cross country flight. I know it works for the Goal and return but not sure for the CC.

Steve, sorry to hear about the medical issues. I speak from experience in that they can suck to deal with but do tend to refocus people on what is important. Don't think you have a problem with that anyway though. Keep up the good work on the program.

Again, happy Thanksgiving!!
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Old Nov 27, 2009, 06:52 AM
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There seems to be an issue of difficulty and of not being able "to see the end". Now if there were two programs one easy and one hard, each three levels would you be happier than having the current program of six levels? The difference being at the end of the first three you could have a sense of fulfillment. Then start an "advanced" program of three levels if you wanted.
OR
Just lighten the bronze and silver levels some more and then let the gold and platinum (possibly titanium) levels be hard. That would give you three relatively easy levels and two (or three) hard levels as the advanced part. It would keep it all under one part of the program instead of making it two parts.
It's really pretty much the same thing just a different way of perceiving it. It just seems that a lot of people are saying it would make them feel a better sense of accomplishment if it were broken up. Is this what I'm hearing or am I wrong here?
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Old Nov 27, 2009, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Boone View Post
[B]There seems to be an issue of difficulty and of not being able "to see the end". Now if there were two programs one easy and one hard, each three levels would you be happier than having the current program of six levels? The difference being at the end of the first three you could have a sense of fulfillment. Then start an "advanced" program of three levels if you wanted.
That would be more along my thinking.

This has everything to do with psychology rather than acheivement.

I have promoted the LSF program in my club. The guys look at Level 5 and walk away because they are not every likely to have the opportunity to even try that, so why even start the program. Over and over I get this and I fully understand. That is how I looked at it the first 10 times someone tried to get me to start the LSF tasks.


To a real newbie, even your bronze level is a big hill. But having to look at silver and up too, those tasks look so challenging that they may just turn away, never even entereing the course.

Without doing any analysis of the tasks, if you took your first two levels and spread them over 3 and called that Sportsman - Basic, two things are provided. You have a basic course that helps the newbie develop skills. You can even provide tips and tricks to help them develop these skills. ( would be glad to help with this) And when they get through that sequence they cross the finish line. They win! Bragging rights!

I would keep the dual path option as part of the basic course. This way slope pilots who have no thermal oppty can do the course. The thermal pilot with no slope option can do the course. I would leave out any kind of goal and return in this program.

In addition, anyone who can complete Sportsman Basic can consider themselves a competent glider pilot. Sort of a minimum standard.

For some that is as far as they will ever go, but at least they started and finished the course, the race, the challenge. You can send them a certificate, via e-mail, that they can display. Or you can have patches made or stickers or a card or whatever. The guy goes to visit another club can say that he has this level of competence.


Now they feel ready to take on the big challenges. Now that next level, your current silver and up don't look so daunting. Heck, let's take on Sportsman 2, or Sportsman Advanced or Super Sportsman.

Again, this has NOTHING to do with difficulty of tasks and everything to do with the willingness of the pilot to give it a try.


Works for the advanced sportsman pilot too!

For those advanced sportsman who are already accomplished, they can skip the introductory program and go right to the advanced. None of this putzing around with the little stuff in order to get to where they already are. Frankly having to do level I and II of the LSF program was just a pain in the butt, slowing down my progress. I would likely be working on Level IV now if I did not have to get through levels 1 and 2 first.


Let the advanced guy hit the hard stuff right away. No requirement to do the basic in order to enter the advanced, taking on 3 tough levels that really challenge their abiliites. And now you require all three, thermal, slope and cross country style tasks. Get that advanced pilot to to show and grow his skills in all areas.


This is market segmentation, seeing the whole population as being made up of groups. There are a lot more Taurus drivers than BMW drivers, so why not make both kids of cars. In the case of glider pilots, beginner and advanced sportsman. You have a product for each group and a path to help the beginner get to advanced.

That, at least is how I would approach it.
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Old Nov 27, 2009, 09:41 AM
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Personally, I feel that the more different programs that you have, the more dilluted things will become therefore lowering the chances that any of this will succeed.

I don't see why you have to have different programs. The sense of accomplishment comes from progressing through the individual levels. I kind of equate it to education. Most people feel a sense of accomplishment when they graduate from high school. It doesn't matter if that's the end of your education or if you're going on to get a PhD eventually. I think we need to look at this with a different attitude. There really is no ultimate goal of "finishing" the program. Your personal goal is to take it as far as you want to.

As a compromise, perhaps you could push some of the harder stuff off to higher levels and then group levels into categories, for example copper and bronze as beginner, silver and gold as advanced, and platinum and titanium as expert. That way pilots can say they've completed the beginner or advanced levels yet still keep one contiguous program.

Randy
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Old Nov 27, 2009, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcbrust View Post
Personally, I feel that the more different programs that you have, the more dilluted things will become therefore lowering the chances that any of this will succeed.

I don't see why you have to have different programs. The sense of accomplishment comes from progressing through the individual levels. I kind of equate it to education. Most people feel a sense of accomplishment when they graduate from high school. It doesn't matter if that's the end of your education or if you're going on to get a PhD eventually. I think we need to look at this with a different attitude. There really is no ultimate goal of "finishing" the program. Your personal goal is to take it as far as you want to.

As a compromise, perhaps you could push some of the harder stuff off to higher levels and then group levels into categories, for example copper and bronze as beginner, silver and gold as advanced, and platinum and titanium as expert. That way pilots can say they've completed the beginner or advanced levels yet still keep one contiguous program.

Randy
So, if a vet of 20 years of flying were to join the program, you feel he will receiver greater fulfillment by starting at the beginner level?
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Old Nov 27, 2009, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aeajr View Post
So, if a vet of 20 years of flying were to join the program, you feel he will receiver greater fulfillment by starting at the beginner level?
I see it as a refresher course on what I should be VERY good at after 25 years. For me it is the landings, I find it very hard to launch and land when my buddies are specing out. Steve making me shoot 30-40 landings to get my last one for Copper showed results in the contest I have been to since, I am getting more than 100 points in 5-6 rounds!!!!!
Thank You Steve!!
The SSP is supposed to be a training program for the Sportsman. The guy that flies any chance he gets. The task in the SSP gives them goals that train them to fly a sailplane.
The only way I know how to do that is practice which is what the SSP does with the task for each metal.
Ask the guys that make it to the FAI comps or are consistently win contest how they got there, I am sure they will tell you they practice a lot.

Joe
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Old Nov 27, 2009, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by aeajr View Post
So, if a vet of 20 years of flying were to join the program, you feel he will receiver greater fulfillment by starting at the beginner level?
Yeah, I think he/she would feel a greater sense of accomplishment working through the whole program. And, the lower levels should be a piece of cake for them.

I may be wrong, but I don't think a 20 year vet can tell the LSF that they're going to jump into the SAP at Level 3, for example.

Randy
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Old Nov 27, 2009, 03:32 PM
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OK, I understand your point of view. I am just expressing my point of view.

Personally, I don't need the SSP so I can practice landings for contests. I practice landings for contests because I am a contest pilot, which is why I am working the LSF contest program.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcbrust View Post
Yeah, I think he/she would feel a greater sense of accomplishment working through the whole program. And, the lower levels should be a piece of cake for them.

I may be wrong, but I don't think a 20 year vet can tell the LSF that they're going to jump into the SAP at Level 3, for example.

Randy

Randy, you are quite right.
It is one of the annoyances I have with the current program. It took me an entire season to get through level 1 and 2. That was not because there was any challenge to 1 and 2 but because of the time delays and waits needed. And the time it took to get through some of the contest requirements. For example, I completed Level II with contest points that would have qualified to complete Level III. Now I have to do them over again for Level III. Nothing new, just more of the same. The 30 minute flights that I did while I was doing level 1 and 2 were not applicable toward Level III because I had to slog through 1 and 2 first.

The program didn't really become interesting till I hit level III. If I could have started the LSF program at Level III, I would have started there. Level 1 and 2 were simply barriers to working the challenges that I saw as real opportunites for personal growth.

So, what does all of this have to do with the SSP?

When I look at the development of a new program I look at my own experiences with LSF's program, plus things that others have told me about their feelings about the current LSF program. Some of those feelings and feedbacks were about why people did not participate in the LSF program.

I take that information and experiences and see what I could suggest to make a new program more attractive to beginner and experienced pilots alike. That was the basis of my suggesting a two part program. Let the newbies work through the basics and let the advanced pilots jump in at a more advanced level.


I am not saying I am right and everyone else is wrong. We all have valid points of view. I express my thoughts, not to show you all how right I am, but to put new ideas on the table. I have no proof that my approach is any better than any other. The organizers can then pick and choose those ideas and elements that map well to the goals of the program as they see it.


As I said earlier, if I were driving this program I would be looking for a high level of participation and a high level of completion. But that is not necessarily the goal of those who are in charge of the program, and that is OK with me. I am just providing my ideas for consideration.
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Old Nov 28, 2009, 06:17 AM
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BTW, I am very glad to see that this is mostly a paperless sysetm. Paper and snail mail bring no value to the program, you just have to file it.

I would elimnate all signatures and scanning of forms. No one is going to audit the signatures or call the witnesses, unless there is a dispute. So a simple text based e-mail that advises you that someone completed a level, the relevent info is all anyone needs. IF you want witnesses, A name and phone number is sufficent. Easy to file electronically and produces tiny files.

Best of luck to the program and many thanks to the organizers for their service to the community and to giving my thoughts consideration.
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Old Nov 28, 2009, 11:12 AM
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I don't see what the issue is with this program. Swimming the English Channel or any of the Great Lake's is a daunting task,so only a few try,same as climbing Mount Everest.

If this program is too difficult or too long for anyone, then my advice is DON'T DO IT. Threre will be many of us that over time will rise up to the challenge.
I have the shortest flying season of anyone so far at 10 -12 week's per year. Every flying day, I know that I have to bring my "A" game,and fly for a purpose and not just "dither around" in the sky.

I like the program just the way it is!!!


Ken
SSP #6
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