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Jul 29, 2017, 04:13 PM
Team Hello Kitty
SoaringDude's Avatar

SVSS F5J in 2017

Welcome to SVSS F5J for 2017 (better late than never!). We would like to encourage club members to be active in this thread since it's the place we will be posting club F5J news and updates. This forum is a great way to share ideas, get questions answered, and share post-contest pictures and pilot comments. Don't be shy, this is an awesome communications tool!

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Jul 30, 2017, 01:07 PM
E sailplane thermal hack
Did my own mini F5J practice this morning. Started at 8AM very very light lift conditions,, always had to work several small weak lift areas to get my times,, launches between 160-195.. most times struggled down low last 3min. Learned ALOT,, think I'm getting it more an more,, very different skill set.
Did 8 rounds,, had 6 10 min rounds within 2-3sec and two at 8 and 8.5min respectively. Lift was very light and sporadic the whole entire time,, no boomers,, nothing lasted more than 1 min either.really learning to stretch the last 2-3min down low,, working the tiniest of lift.

Ps edit :

There's a row of Two story condos next to my local field now. I'm learning to work lift off the roofs down low,, much like some of the guys we're doing at Hollister off the lumbar yard,, very different
Jul 30, 2017, 03:25 PM
Team Hello Kitty
SoaringDude's Avatar
Good work Jerry! Simulating contests is better practice than just flying around. Bill Curry and I flew in Davis on Fri (only a few others there) and we both flew just our electrics. I did 8 flights. The first 2 were to ~100m and I was able to hook good air both times. The rest I flew with a 5min timer and launches to 100-150m. Last 2 were to 68m and 57m and both of those times I found good air. From my experience with my e-Xplorer if I try anything less than ~50m I'm rolling the dice <g>.

The "F5J thermals" at Grasslands have been very good this year. More on this later.

Jul 31, 2017, 11:42 AM
E sailplane thermal hack
Flew in identical conditions this morning,, dead calm very little and light lift. Had to launch to at least 180m to make time. 4 rounds this AM very gentle flat turns got 10min every round. So now got 10 of 12rounds 10min.
Jul 31, 2017, 03:29 PM
Team Hello Kitty
SoaringDude's Avatar
Regarding thermal conditions at Grasslands, after traveling to other fields this season I have to say the thermals at Grasslands, and especially for lower altitude work, is among the best and most consistent I have seen. Once we get more into a rhythm with local F5J contests I think we will see some pretty exciting and fun f5j battles.

It always helps to know where the hot spots are at each field. For me the most consistent area where I can find lower altitude thermals is down the south winch lanes corridor, from just S of the irrigated grass boundary to halfway down the lanes. That general area from the fenceline to the west log line has been a pretty darned consistent low thermal generator.

Tomorrow we're going out for more practice (Tues instead of Wed this wk). Come on out if you have time! (except you Jerry, you already practice too much )
Jul 31, 2017, 04:59 PM
Team Hello Kitty
SoaringDude's Avatar

F5J at SVSS: Events in next 2 weeks

Finally we get to do F5J again at Grasslands! Below is a rundown of upcoming F5J events for SVSS members and guests. Thank you Lou Fox for getting these activities through the board process and on the calendar.

F5J webinar for SVSS, Thursday Aug 3, 6pm

Would you like to hear a good summary of F5J rules before you fly in a contest? Curious about the difference between ALES and F5J strategies? Wondering what kind of planes can be competitive in F5J? Well, we will be putting on a webinar next Thursday at 6pm that will cover those things. Joining a webinar is easy: watch your computer screen via your Internet browser and connect with the audio via a conference call. If you're an "old school" type you can just phone in for the audio.

On Wednesday we will send out an email with a clickable link and a conference phone number. The webinar will take 1/2 hour and will be followed by Q&A. We will keep going until all your questions are answered. Hope to see many of you joining us!


F5J Clinic at Grasslands Park, Saturday Aug 5, 9-noon

We will be at the field Saturday conducting an F5J Clinic for club members and guests. We will be available to:

(1) help you set up your plane's limiter for F5J,
(2) discuss F5J rules, and
(3) help you do some practice flights using a few F5J landing tapes and a battery-powered speaker for F5J timing announcements.

Come on out and get up to speed on F5J! This is a Share the Air day so the field is open to all fun fliers.


Practice F5J at Davis, Sunday Aug 13

Pilot's meeting 9am, first flight 9:30, CD= Jerry Molnar, no contest fee, bring your own lunch, cold water will be provided

Pre-flight Huddles.
This contest will be run a little differently. Before each flight we will all gather together and discuss F5J strategy. In each of these huddles the "Old Hands" at F5J will tell everyone exactly what they will be trying to do when they launch: will they go high or try for a lower launch, where will they search for thermals, and how will their past rounds affect their strategy for this next flight? This will be a great way to see how F5J strategy can be best used to your advantage.

2 classes: "Open class" and "F5J Newbie class." If you have never flown F5J, or even if you just feel like a newbie, then you get to compare your score against other newbies. Note that classes will not be separated when flying in each round: that's the way F5J is.

ALES limiters okay: If you do not have an F5J limiter (e.g. Altis or CAMf5j) then you can use an ALES unit. Set it to any height you want, on a flight-by-flight basis, and record your F5J starting height as your altitude cutoff setting + 8 mtrs.

This is also a Share the Air day so the field is open to fun fliers with the caveat that you will be asked to keep the LZ area clear during contest launch and landing periods.

Hope to see you there!


F5J in Sacramento, 2-day event, Sept 16-17

This is a major 2-day contest that is part of the F5J USA Tour ( Our goal is to get at least 9 SVSS club members to sign up along with another 9 out-of-town pilots: this would give us 18 total which would make for a great F5J pilot list and contest. More details are coming but we urge you to put it on your calendar now.


Any questions please let us know.

The SVSS F5J team: Jerry M., Lou F., Chris B.
Last edited by SoaringDude; Jul 31, 2017 at 06:02 PM.
Aug 01, 2017, 09:44 PM
Team Hello Kitty
SoaringDude's Avatar
More really good thermals at 100mtr or below at the field today with my 65oz heavy e-X. Got hot mid-day but even then the air was very active. In some places it got turbulent. Bruce Barnett flew early and reported an inversion layer at 400' with breezes changing from SW at ground level to NW higher up.
Aug 02, 2017, 02:20 PM
Team Hello Kitty
SoaringDude's Avatar

F5J in Santa Margarita Aug 27-28

Another regional F5J USA Tour contest on the west coast is happening on Aug 27-28 in Santa Margarita (near San Luis Obispo). Details are available on RC Groups HERE. I am the CD of this event with possible help from Sandy Smith (still working out the details on that).

So far it looks like we will be having 4 SVSS members who will attend: Jerry Molnar, Aric Wilmunder, Lou Fox, and me.

If you are interested and have any questions please let me know.
Aug 04, 2017, 09:56 AM
Team Hello Kitty
SoaringDude's Avatar
Thanks to Bob Kuhlman for jumping on the F5J webinar last evening. Looks like we have another F5J customer. Building SVSS F5J interest one pilot at a time!
Aug 05, 2017, 11:52 PM
Team Hello Kitty
SoaringDude's Avatar
F5J Clinic Update: Another beautiful day with lower temps and abundant thermals. Lou Fox and I were there to meet Bob Kuhlman who brought his Radian with a newly-installed CAM. Bob is very new to contesting but very excited to start getting into it. So Lou and I both spent training time with him. He did great with the Radian.

Unfortunately both Lou and I suffered plane issues: Lou with radio problems and me with a burned out ail. servo. So we both went home for repairs after Bob was done. Maybe fly again Sunday...

Next up: Sunday Aug 13 practice contest.
Aug 13, 2017, 08:26 PM
Team Hello Kitty
SoaringDude's Avatar

SVSS practice contest summary

Sun Aug 13, 2017
Who came: Gary Smith, Brian Chan, Bob Kuhlman, Bill Curry, Lou Fox, Jerry Molnar, Chris Bajorek

What a great time at the field today. We started with a 30 minute Q&A on F5J rules and strategy. Many good questions and discussion during which Jerry and Chris shared their F5J contest experiences from the season so far. Then we flew 6 practice rounds. We had reasonably good thermal conditions and light breezes until the last round when the breeze picked up.

We used self-timing so everyone could fly at the same time so we set up the field for 7 lanes. Personalized scorecards were printed out the night before. We used a battery-powered speaker with the same F5J working time count that is used in F5J USA Tour contests with one addition: after the start horn there is a 30 second motor burn countup which takes the place of what your own timer would normally do.

Before each of the earlier rounds we had a "huddle" and discussed what we were each going to do. This seemed to really help understanding of F5J strategy. By the last few rounds everyone had a pretty good idea for what they were going to do.

We all flew 5 rounds before Lou and Bob left. Also FYI Bob had Radian repairs going on during rounds 3 and 4. In F5J you get 1 discard if you fly 5 rounds or more; all of us but Bill were thankful for the merciful throwout though round 5. Everyone but Jerry, Chris, and Lou were technically in the F5J Newbie class although after the flights there was some gentle ribbing directed toward Bill as to whether he deserved to be called a newbie or not . See the attached PDFs for details.

We didn't need to use any club equipment (generator, etc) since it was agreed to delay the actual scoring until I got home. Thanks Jerry for bringing cold drinks and munchies and thanks everyone for coming. See you next time.

Last edited by SoaringDude; Aug 13, 2017 at 09:07 PM.
Aug 13, 2017, 09:07 PM
E sailplane thermal hack
Interesting seeing round by round,, I won TWO rounds and STILL came in next to last. Go figure! But that's what makes F5J interesting right?? ;-)
Aug 13, 2017, 09:17 PM
Team Hello Kitty
SoaringDude's Avatar
I hope I didn't make a mistake entering anything--I did double check everyone's card but ya never know. Let me know if you see anything wonky.
Aug 14, 2017, 01:38 AM
Registered User
That was a lot of fun today as well as good practice.
Thanks to all who came.
Strategy is the name of the game.
At one point I thought it was the difference between checkers and chess.
May be true but have to ad it is like a cross between black jack and Texas holdem.
(Texas hold 'em - Wikipedia ['em)
Aug 14, 2017, 05:59 PM
Electric Airplane Junkie
bhchan's Avatar
Jerry, Chris and Lou,

Thank you for having a F5J practice. I learned a lot and may be ready for the Santa Margarita contest. I got all my landings and only 4 mosquito bites on me!

Brian, an EAJ

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