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Old Nov 18, 2008, 03:46 PM
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TheNightowl's Avatar
United States, TX, Austin
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Can a complete newb speak up here and ask something about LSF G&R?
Now, I'm not a member of LSF, and I've yet to air out an RC sailplane (though I have more than one under construction; it's something I've wanted to do for many years and finally getting around to it).
Now, I'd have an advantage over the coast guys, living out here in flyover country with livestock-sucking thermals. And that's not an exaggeration. I've had freeflight planes still head up and OOS AFTER the dethermalizer tripped. I imagine an important part of my training is going to be learning to get DOWN, some days. I need to find somebody who soars close by me so I can visit with them and find out what a plane looks like at 1000 m, because out in the middle of a 2-mile square field, I actually worry that I could find myself flying right on out of range without realizing it. Which brings me to the question about G&R. A few pages back, someone said something about learning to travel to do the 2K G&R. And Im wondering how that works. I thinkg it would be relatively easy for me to find a spot where there is more than a kilometer of clear air to either side of me. (And, yes, living out here, I know that 2K is a mile and a quarter, and while I'm not particularly familiar with marking targets kilometers away, I know by sight what a mile looks like roughly. We have cattle pastures and crop fields that can be more than 1 mile square out here.) I could sit in one spot and watch the plane go 1K in to a goal in one direction, turn and bring it back past me to circle a goal 2K from the first goal but only 1K from my position. I understand (but don't know details) that there would have to be witnesses, etc., so all I am asking about is whether or not that would fulfill the goal of flying around 2 points 2K apart. (I agree one would have to travel to do the 10K, but again, that's not a huge problem in this part of the country on the right day. Pick a north/south road when the wind is out of the south in the summer and thermals are booming and drive 6 miles in a straight line. There are all KINDS of roads around here that travel straight, without so much as a jog around a tree, for more than 6 straight miles. Though the sheriff might frown on my idea of strapping myself into a pickup bed standing up to fly while a buddy drives!)

I read what Jim Thomas said about the LSF program, too, in aeajr's thread,and actually, I was a little encouraged by that. I belong to AMA to support the hobby. I've no real interest in competing with anybody. If I joined LSF, it would be nice to be able to say I'm an LSV Level IV at some point, but I wouldn't be heartbroken if I never make more than II. If I GET to level III, looking at level IV and deciding I want to go for it, I might. (Frankly, the mere idea of an 8-hour slope task kind of makes me think it's not something I'd even want to try for, though.)

Boy, I got windy, didn't I? Sorry, guys. But I am interested in knowing a little more about LSF. And the 2K G&R question.
Thanks.
Nightowl
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Old Nov 18, 2008, 05:03 PM
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Jim Deck's Avatar
Valparaiso, IN
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The 2K Goal & Return

First, Nightowl, thanks for your interest in the LSF. The goal and return task doesn't show up until Level III after you've completed Level II. All of the goal & return tasks work this way. From the launch point, draw a circle with a radius of the required task distance (1, 2, or 10 K). Now, look at the roadways that would get you outside the circle and back - yes it is goal AND return. That will determine the potential routes of your cross country flights. Yes, that means some pilots will have to fly more than the required distance to complete the task. Notice also, that for Levels III & IV, you need 2 witnesses and that should you go for Level V you'll need 2 witnesses who are LSF Level II or higher. I'd encourage you to enroll as soon as you can and get cracking on Levels I & II. If you've any more questions about the LSF program, you can reach me on via the LSF web site.
Jim Deck LSF Secretary
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Old Nov 18, 2008, 05:34 PM
I'm all about that bass
rdwoebke's Avatar
United States, IN, Indianapolis
Joined Feb 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheNightowl
I need to find somebody who soars close by me so I can visit with them and find out what a plane looks like at 1000 m, because out in the middle of a 2-mile square field, I actually worry that I could find myself flying right on out of range without realizing it.
It is unlikely you will fly the plane out of radio range. Radio range is quite far and the plane will become unflyable (due to it being so small) before you run out of radio range.





Quote:
Originally Posted by TheNightowl
Which brings me to the question about G&R. A few pages back, someone said something about learning to travel to do the 2K G&R. And Im wondering how that works. I thinkg it would be relatively easy for me to find a spot where there is more than a kilometer of clear air to either side of me. (And, yes, living out here, I know that 2K is a mile and a quarter, and while I'm not particularly familiar with marking targets kilometers away, I know by sight what a mile looks like roughly. We have cattle pastures and crop fields that can be more than 1 mile square out here.) I could sit in one spot and watch the plane go 1K in to a goal in one direction, turn and bring it back past me to circle a goal 2K from the first goal but only 1K from my position.
The issue is the goal and return is setup so that the task is X kilometers from the launch point. So, if you are working on the 2K, the plane has to launch, fly to a 2K point (as measured/computed by the crow flies) that has been pre-established and then fly back and land within a few hundred feet of the launch point (this is listed in the rules). You don't have to travel with the plane, but 1 a mile and a quarter the plane is very hard to see at that point so most folks would travel in a truck with the plane. You don't have to stand in the truck, it is easy to sit down or to lean over the cab kind of thing. In the country, I find that people don't flinch at seeing folks ride in the back of a truck...

Doing the "yeah, that is 1K out" is not really sufficient. You could have a friend at the pre-determined goal point that would radio or cell phone call you to confirm you are beyond the goal, but doing the "yep, that is a kilometer away" is very misleading. It is impossible to judge that accurately.

Definitely take Jim's suggestion to get started on LSF right away. It is a lot of fun, and you can post your results of your landings and your 5 minute thermal flights here in this thread and we can give you encouragement.

Ryan
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Old Nov 18, 2008, 05:40 PM
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Let me add a little to Jim's answer. While the traditional method to do a goal and return is to launch, go out to the target and return, there is no restriction that says you must do it this way. The "official" part of the flight begins when the sailplane breaks the imaginary plane at the start of the course. The plane then flies to the target and returns to the starting point. This comprises the task. It is not enough to launch, fly in one direction to a point, fly the other direction to the far point, then return to where you launch. This is pretty clear in most interpretations of the task. What is quite legitimate is to launch anywhere you please then fly the course as an out and back. If you elect to be in the middle of the two turnpoints, then your entry on course doesn't begin until you have passed the first of the two points. Then you fly the plane to the other point and back to the first point. Task complete. One other caveat is that you have to land within a proscibed distance of where you launch. This also does not prevent a course such as I described. I hope this is clear.
JT
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Old Nov 18, 2008, 07:35 PM
Torn 'twixt buildin' and flyin
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lol.. Now I've started something, and I don't even belong yet! See, rdwoebke says the point has to be 2K from the launch point, and Jim says The plane has to fly 2K between a task start point and back. The way I was talking about, I understood I would have to fly 6K total air distance. From me to the "task start line," then to the 2K goal, back to the task start line, and then back to myself at the midpoint in order to land in a predetermined target area. (Of course, if I was superhuman, I could establish the landing zone at the task start point area so I'd only have to fly 5K air distance, land and have my witness at that point retrieve the plane for me... lol)

I did understand about witnesses and not just eyeballing it to say "That's far enough." I originally posted this question in aeajr's thread, and someone else had said something about "A kilometer is farther than you think it is." And while that may be true for some people, I actually do, as I say, have a pretty fair perception of what is a mile away. Knowing my personal proclivities toward conservative estimates in order to be safe and the association between "miles" and "kilometers" as measures of distance, without being as practiced at judging a kilometer, I suspect I'd be inclined to actually underestimate the difference (i.e. not think I had reached the 1K point when I had). But, no, I wouldn't do the task without the proper witnesses stationed at the proper points to be able to verify the craft had indeed passed beyond their position before circling back. Questioning specifics about the rules and figuring out ways to use them in a way to take advantages offered by topography and weather in my part of the world is one thing. Bending the rules in regards to witnesses, documentation, etc., is another, and one which I just wouldn't do. Nightowl
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Old Nov 18, 2008, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtlsf5
Let me add a little to Jim's answer. While the traditional method to do a goal and return is to launch, go out to the target and return, there is no restriction that says you must do it this way. The "official" part of the flight begins when the sailplane breaks the imaginary plane at the start of the course. The plane then flies to the target and returns to the starting point. This comprises the task. It is not enough to launch, fly in one direction to a point, fly the other direction to the far point, then return to where you launch. This is pretty clear in most interpretations of the task. What is quite legitimate is to launch anywhere you please then fly the course as an out and back. If you elect to be in the middle of the two turnpoints, then your entry on course doesn't begin until you have passed the first of the two points. Then you fly the plane to the other point and back to the first point. Task complete. One other caveat is that you have to land within a proscibed distance of where you launch. This also does not prevent a course such as I described. I hope this is clear.
JT
Jim,

Thanks for the comments. I did not realize this would be considered OK. It certainly opens new options.

Much appreciated.

Ed
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Old Nov 18, 2008, 08:48 PM
I'm all about that bass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheNightowl
lol.. Now I've started something, and I don't even belong yet!
Not really. We are just discussing different ways to do things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheNightowl
See, rdwoebke says the point has to be 2K from the launch point, and Jim says The plane has to fly 2K between a task start point and back.
The way I suggested it I think is the most easy. What Jim throws out there is OK, but you first have to launch, then fly one direction (possibly up wind) to the start point, then you make a 2K distance flight, then turn back and fly another 2K, this possibly being up wind, and then finaly fly back to the launch point. Depending on the plane you have, that may or may not be easier than just doing the traditional launch, cross the start "gate" that is near the launch point, then fly a 2K course and fly back.

You probably also have to have witnesses at the 2 points, rather than just a witness at a turn point if you do the more traditional launch, cross a local start point, then fly to turn around then fly back kind of thing.

As a point of reference, I made at least 15 attempts over the course of 5 flying seasons to try to finish my 2K G&R. I finally finished it in September '07. But I'm a pretty crummy pilot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheNightowl
(Of course, if I was superhuman, I could establish the landing zone at the task start point area so I'd only have to fly 5K air distance, land and have my witness at that point retrieve the plane for me... lol)
The landing location has to be within a few hundred feet of the launch point. That actually is in the rules. So you still have to fly back from the "start point" to the launch point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aeajr

Thanks for the comments. I did not realize this would be considered OK. It certainly opens new options.

I thought about suggesting this kind of scenerio to you when you were trying to plot out Long Island 2K courses, but since I think it is probably more difficult and maybe involves having spotters/witnesses/callers/what have you at two different places that it could be logistically more difficult than it is worth. Or, you might find that it works really well for you.

Ryan
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Old Nov 18, 2008, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwoebke
Not really. We are just discussing different ways to do things.



The way I suggested it I think is the most easy. What Jim throws out there is OK, but you first have to launch, then fly one direction (possibly up wind) to the start point, then you make a 2K distance flight, then turn back and fly another 2K, this possibly being up wind, and then finaly fly back to the launch point. Depending on the plane you have, that may or may not be easier than just doing the traditional launch, cross the start "gate" that is near the launch point, then fly a 2K course and fly back.

You probably also have to have witnesses at the 2 points, rather than just a witness at a turn point if you do the more traditional launch, cross a local start point, then fly to turn around then fly back kind of thing.

As a point of reference, I made at least 15 attempts over the course of 5 flying seasons to try to finish my 2K G&R. I finally finished it in September '07. But I'm a pretty crummy pilot.



The landing location has to be within a few hundred feet of the launch point. That actually is in the rules. So you still have to fly back from the "start point" to the launch point.




I thought about suggesting this kind of scenerio to you when you were trying to plot out Long Island 2K courses, but since I think it is probably more difficult and maybe involves having spotters/witnesses/callers/what have you at two different places that it could be logistically more difficult than it is worth. Or, you might find that it works really well for you.

Ryan
I don't know if I would do want to do it this way. It would certainly be harder than going out and back. But if it was the only way to get in that 2K, it is great to know it is an option.
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Old Nov 22, 2008, 08:41 AM
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Afton VA
Joined Sep 2002
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8 Hour finished

After 5 years for going to Cumberland Soar For Fun, I finally got my Canadian Diamond 4 hour and (with some convincing from Doug Barry, Russ Bennett and others) I stuck it out for an additional 4 hours to finish my LSF 8 hour. Total time of 8 hours 7 min (could have done more with such great conditions, but the daylight is short this time of year)

Tom Broeski
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Old Nov 22, 2008, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwoebke
Not really. We are just discussing different ways to do things.

The way I suggested it I think is the most easy. What Jim throws out there is OK, but you first have to launch, then fly one direction (possibly up wind) to the start point, then you make a 2K distance flight, then turn back and fly another 2K, this possibly being up wind, and then finaly fly back to the launch point. snip
Ryan,
You are correct, out and back makes the most sense. I don't personally think flying the G&R (1K or 2K) is best done by standing at the midpoint and flying to the start, etc. This method requires more spotters and is not the best training for more serious XC work (10 K and beyond). Its just a test of the pilots eyesight, luck to find a good day without too much wind, and the ability to place 2 spotters at each turnpoint to verify. Not a good use of people in my book.

I tossed this out to demonstrate that there is more than one way to fly the task and stay within the intent of the rules. For the LSF G&R the task is about the plane, not the person flying it.

The same kind of difference is found in various XC events. In the past, XC events tended to be pilot focused. By this I mean a course was laid out and the pilot/vehicle had to drive the course. The plane could be anywhere, over the road, outbound, inbound, where ever the pilot cared to fly. The clearest demonstration of this is to imagine a 90 degree turn in the course. The strategy in the older events was to veer the plane's course about 45 degrees toward the next leg when the vehicle was still 1/4 to 1/3 mile from the turn, then speed along with the car to catch up to the plane as it headed further up course. The plane was not required to round the turnpoint.

Current XC events on the west coast have moved to plane focused. This came about primarily due to Dean Gradwell, who started the Montague event and pushed the resurgence of regular XC contests. Dean is a full scale pilot and modeled the event after full scale. This means both plane and pilot have to round each turnpoint, with the pilot and his crew at the turnpoint to verify that the plane rounded it. All of the XC events in the last 10 years that I have participated in California have followed this technique.

JT
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Old Nov 22, 2008, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtlsf5
The same kind of difference is found in various XC events. In the past, XC events tended to be pilot focused. By this I mean a course was laid out and the pilot/vehicle had to drive the course. The plane could be anywhere, over the road, outbound, inbound, where ever the pilot cared to fly. The clearest demonstration of this is to imagine a 90 degree turn in the course. The strategy in the older events was to veer the plane's course about 45 degrees toward the next leg when the vehicle was still 1/4 to 1/3 mile from the turn, then speed along with the car to catch up to the plane as it headed further up course. The plane was not required to round the turnpoint.

Current XC events on the west coast have moved to plane focused. This came about primarily due to Dean Gradwell, who started the Montague event and pushed the resurgence of regular XC contests. Dean is a full scale pilot and modeled the event after full scale. This means both plane and pilot have to round each turnpoint, with the pilot and his crew at the turnpoint to verify that the plane rounded it. All of the XC events in the last 10 years that I have participated in California have followed this technique.

JT
I am always interested in how things evolved, for fun flying, for sport and for the LSF task ladder. I am just glad that we do not have the same requirement for the LSF tasks that Dean instituted for his events.

It may be the truest to the full scale approach, but I am not flying full scale sailplanes. Since I am flying remotely controlled sailplanes I am very pleased that we are not tied to full scale rules to complete the LSF tasks.

Full scale pilots do not have to cope with speed limits, traffic jams, tunnels and all the other challenges that the RC pilot has to face.
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Old Nov 22, 2008, 03:03 PM
I'm all about that bass
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A big congrats to Tom!

Wow Tom, that is great. Congrats big time on your 8 hour flight. Some day, I hope to make an 8 hour flight myself.

Ryan
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Old Nov 22, 2008, 04:58 PM
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The following is from the LSF web site:
Quote:
After towline release, the sailplane must be flown over the launch point and then to a pre-designated goal a minimum straight line distance away,
If this is correct, looks to me like you can't go to a remote course unless some point on it is further away than the requirement.

One caveat is that it doesn't say if this is a straight quote from the "Soaring Accomplishments Program", and that program isn't shown on the site. But I recall the language on the voucher is about the same.

On a good day, using a 3M RES glider that's not horribly slow, 2k goal and return is pretty easy. I think with an Ava or something you could probably WALK the 2k and back and still stay up. That way, it should take less than an hour. In a vehicle, it's only a few minutes. If you can get to 1500 feet and do, say, 10 or 12 to one L/D, and the wind is weak, you could probably do it with one thermal, although I think I needed another one or two. Must have got some sink.
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Old Nov 22, 2008, 05:00 PM
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Oops, forgot. Congrats to Tom. Must feel good.

You can use LED's when you go for your 16 hour level 6. ;-p
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Old Nov 22, 2008, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lincoln
The following is from the LSF web site:

If this is correct, looks to me like you can't go to a remote course unless some point on it is further away than the requirement.

One caveat is that it doesn't say if this is a straight quote from the "Soaring Accomplishments Program", and that program isn't shown on the site. But I recall the language on the voucher is about the same.

On a good day, using a 3M RES glider that's not horribly slow, 2k goal and return is pretty easy. I think with an Ava or something you could probably WALK the 2k and back and still stay up. That way, it should take less than an hour. In a vehicle, it's only a few minutes. If you can get to 1500 feet and do, say, 10 or 12 to one L/D, and the wind is weak, you could probably do it with one thermal, although I think I needed another one or two. Must have got some sink.

This has been interpreted to mean the sailplane has to fly from point A to a distant point B. The remote reference is to prevent closed course distance (such as laps on a slope) from satisfying the requirement. The quote you pulled supports the contention that the pilot can be anywhere he wants, as long as the plane enters the course, flies to target, then returns to entry point.

JT
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