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May 10, 2019, 07:57 PM
ak79's Avatar
Super challenging contest! The wind was pretty fun...I like challenging conditions. The fly offs were intense, I needed 3-4 thermals in each round to make time and my plan was never to ride one so far downwind I was in jeopardy of not being able to make it back. My second or third fly off round I had a 15ft low save that was really intense! Last fly off round I was at very sage altitude with about 3 minutes to go. Or so I thought. 1 minute later I lost 70 percent of my altitude in some insane sink and ended up 60 seconds short. Luckily for me everyone else took a bigger hit.

Thanks to everyone who organized! It was a last minute call for me to go, but I'm really happy I went. This is one of the most rewarding contest wins I have ever had!
May 10, 2019, 11:21 PM
Camber down and screw it up.
gdouglas's Avatar

A few pictures from 2019 LV F5J contest


Whew, was it windy.

A giant circle of lush green, irrigated, damp sod in the middle of light sand-colored desert, with a steady stream of ultra-dry hot air blowing over it creates some tremendously unstable air. If you're brave enough to follow it downwind, you can be rewarded with a specked out airplane. About a mile downwind. With giant holes of mashed potato air to get back to the field.

Didn't stop the top pilots from doing so. 3 seconds after launch, there would be a mass exodus towards Arizona, 180 downwind in 15-20MPH wind.

Here are a few pictures, still working on video of my two midair collisions.

For those who have not experienced flying F5J in the desert 20 mi. SW of Las Vegas in early May - you've GOT to try it.

--
Greg
May 11, 2019, 11:20 AM
Team Hello Kitty
SoaringDude's Avatar
Today is last day for the 15% discount: F5J in Vegas 2019 shirts .
May 12, 2019, 08:01 AM
Service Engine Soon
Brady Baggs's Avatar

Everything's bigger out west


Well it's true. This was my first time flying model gliders out west and there is a difference compared to down east. First no trees around of course and that's a game changer in itself. Here we use the tree line to work the small bubbles that sheer off at the tree line. Our thermals are also usually very small at least down low and maybe on a good day there will be two thermals in reach. All my years of flying on a rare occasion you will see one small Dust Devil. Maybe they are around more often but because they don't pick up dust you just don't see them? So at Sandy Valley the five days I was there. In the afternoon adding up each day. What about a hundred Dust Devils in total that I could see? I didn't count but there where 3 or more per hour and 3 or more at one time. Never have I been in a place that you felt like you had to stake your lunch down to keep it form getting sucked off the ground. I lost my hat several times and now under stand the meaning of hat sucker thermal.

So air reading was a lot different for me. Simpler in a way just go with wind shifts but more complex at times do to several thermals close by. This made it difficult to judge the wind shift and then picking a thermal and not to getting stuck between them. There was a second game, when the wind picked up. I don't like flying up wind it's really just dumb luck to find lift as there is no read just best guess, left, front, right, high. But do think I manage to judge the camping area when the flag was over there and how much wind was in the tent. I think that help, as to judging how far to go up wind or when to come back up wind, sooner vs later during the flight. The lift was big and strong most of the time. In just a couple of minutes climbed high as I could see the plane.

The camping was amazing thanks to best buddy Rick Johnston who had everything there for me. We grilled out ever night and John next door did pork roast for us one night . I met Steve a new best friend camping also. Oleg brought some great salad mix, corn, icecream and whine that I tried and liked.( New to drinking.) There was a drink Johns friend gave to me. Coke and something Rum? It was also good but made me loopy even not as strong as normal. Maybe it was the combo of the two drinks.
It was pleasant at night 40f no humidity wonderful sleeping if my internal time clock worked. I get up here a 3 am so that's 1 am there. The Coyotes would talk just before sun up every morning. There was one to the distance right and one to the left keeping watch as the third made his way closer to the camp ground. He gave himself away when he call out to the others each time a little louder and closer. I don't think he made all the way into camp as there where no tracks and the trash was not disturbed. I only have one complaint, as most I am sure. The Dust. I blew dust out my nose for the next day. Dust in my eyes, ears all my planes and not sure how to clean my TX but glad I kept my backup in the case. I will plan to go again next time. I had a lot of fun and to me it's about that and just giving it my best efforts. Turns out that usually pretty good.
May 12, 2019, 02:56 PM
Camber down and screw it up.
gdouglas's Avatar

Group photo


Does anyone have a copy of the group photo taken pre-contest Sun. morning ? I recall seeing CD Sandy Smith taking a pic. with his phone, but he says he does not have the picture. Surely someone has one ?

--
Greg
May 13, 2019, 06:39 PM
Westranm's Avatar
Nice flying, Ali! Congrats!

-Randy
May 13, 2019, 08:42 PM
ak79's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Westranm
Nice flying, Ali! Congrats!

-Randy
Thanks dude!

I finally managed to upload some of the video I took-

F5J USA Tour contest, Las Vegas Nevada, May 2019 (20 min 30 sec)
May 14, 2019, 01:35 AM
Registered User
nodlehs's Avatar
Sorry guys, absolutely no idea why this is here...(Sigh)

However, I will say that if you missed Vegas, you missed some great flying! Try again at the next one, you won't regret it!
May 14, 2019, 08:17 AM
Registered User
Thread OP
OK folks - I am back and semi rested. Here are my impressions.

I don't fly much 3J anymore, but I really enjoyed it. The best part of 3J is the teams. having fun and socializing with your team mates is really a blast. Setup is gruelling. Thanks to the Florida guys, Gordon, Jody, and Jeff for setting up the field this year! That helped take stuff of John Lovins and my plate and was appreciated. We don't really have the energy for setting up 2 events any more. Sandy Smith was the CD for both events and we appreciated the work he did for the contests.

We did good as a team with everyone in the top 10 and Jon Padilla in the flyoffs. The weather was great - with calm beautiful mornings and challenging wind in the afternoons. I am not really a wind fan, and while it blew a bit there was not a time I said I should not be doing this.... Josh flew great to win the event and he deserved it. When you win in Sandy Valley you earn it - it is not a launch and landing contest, it is a flying contest.

The worst part of F3J is the teams... If you already have guys you fly with 3J works, if you don't, it can be a bit intimidating to to find a team. Coordinating people and equipment such that everyone that registers can fly is a challenge and it it not always possible to make it work - there are combinations where equipment and people just don't line up.

For those interested in F3J, here is my short course on teams.
  • Equipment is usually the constraining factor. If you can bring a winch and battery (any kind of winch) then you have the best chance of forming a team.
  • If you don't have any launch equipment then contact friends and acquaintances to see if they can go or lend you equipment.s
  • Forming your own team is the best as you feel more comfortable coordinating the logistics like equipment and line.
  • If you don't have equipment or a team, all is not lost. Register and be flexible. 90% of the time the organizer (me) can work people on to some team. Note that unless you work on being on a team yourself this does not happen until registration is closed so we know who is coming.
  • If you are joining a team, be sure to be a good team mate and offer to help cover the costs for the line at least.
  • If you have never done F3J, don't be intimidated. The launches are actually easier than normal braided, as the line stretch helps buffer the throw and usually someone else throws your plane, so all you have to do it fly it up the line straight. And as a beginner, you don't need the fastest, most tension launch at the buzzer. Take your time and focus on the flying.

I don't think I have ever heard anyone that tried F3J tell me it sucked and they hated it...

Most of my time has been flying F5J recently, but you could not tell by my results. This was my worst flying performance in a long time. NO , IT WAS NOT THE WIND... Pretty much everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. The good news is I still had a blast. Even better, I learned a lot of what not to do, and what to avoid. While the wind was challenging in the afternoon and required the heavier planes, I never had to put ballast in. There was only one flight I thought might have been better with some ballast. The light planes did the job in the mornings. The wind never approached the FAI limits and was never unflyable. As Brady said, there were a lot of dust devils and some of them were HUGE. We saw 2 giant ones merge just off the field and that was quite a sight. I was flying pretty high when a large devil passed by, and my timers were egging me on to fly over it... I chose NOT to do that.

Now the million dollar question: should we do it again?
Attendance is down considerably from prior years. I'm not completely sure of why - but I am guessing there are 2 main factors:
  1. Wind: lot of people hate the wind.
  2. Location: It's a hard place to get to with hotel accomodations quite a ways away.

Addressing the wind:
We scheduled this event the date we did because we wanted to encourage some internationals to attend from the IHLG, but we really only pulled one (welcome Nick...). Rumor has it that wind dies down later in the season. The balance is to pick a time when it is not too hot. We could consider a few weeks later in May, or maybe September or October.

Accomodations:
Not much to be done here. Camping is great - I stayed on the field with John Lovins this year and I would do that again in a heartbeat. I'd like to hear from folks that stayed off field on whether that is painful enough o keep people away...

Any other thoughts about the event are appreciated...
Thanks - Jim
May 14, 2019, 03:52 PM
Scale Aircraft = Scale Crators
mikejr83's Avatar
Thanks for the flight reports, pictures, and vids everyone! For those of us constrained by jobs or family commitments it allows us to at least dream we had the chance to be there.

Jim, I feel your quandary when it comes to attendance. At the events I've run or helped run attendance has been down than in past years. I've talked it over with my co-CDs and others and we can't exactly put a finger on why. Hopefully it's just a "thing" for this year and things will take an up-tick next year.

Hopefully the million dollar question will be solved and things go on for another year. I'd really like to get out to this event. Hopefully things will fall into place better next year.
Latest blog entry: Finished My Sbach 342!
May 15, 2019, 04:54 PM
Service Engine Soon
Brady Baggs's Avatar

Any other thoughts about the event are appreciated


From my out of town point of view.

The field is fantastic the location is also fine. Flights to Vegas are not expensive in comparison. Wind is a lot better than rain and we get a lot of rain around here. A good pilot is prepared to fly in windy conditions. I liked the laptop set up at the tent, that works great for entering your own scores. Lunch was good and very good idea to cater. Camping is fine also, maybe locals could provide gear for out of town folks. If more want to camp? Motels are cheep worth the extra drive time not a big deal.

I would change to ABC groups not 123 and print out score books or sheet for everyone.
Talk it up more on RCG before the contest don't care what its about just talk it up.
I like both F3J and F5J combo and should be a best overall for bragging rights.
I don't care about trophy's they just go in a box with the rest and like to get something I can use, like a hat, shirt, cup, gift certificate etc.
Give away a hat for low launch with wining round.
Talk it up more on RCG
Get someone to post a few times during the day on RCG with pictures maybe a short video play by play update. In addition to live scores.

So how to bring in more pilots? I believe F5J is the future of our hobby. I believe with a little work this contest will be the biggest and most competitive in the US. You certainty have the room for 100 pilots or more.
You just need a couple more Big Dogs to join in like JW or Perkins.
Also people what to feel good about there visit.
One can be nice and a professional CD at the same time.
Jim I hope you can visit us this Fall in NC for our next F5J contest. Bring your A game if you do.
May 15, 2019, 09:04 PM
Registered User
tewatson's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimsoars
Now the million dollar question: should we do it again?
Attendance is down considerably from prior years. I'm not completely sure of why - but I am guessing there are 2 main factors:
  1. Wind: lot of people hate the wind.
  2. Location: It's a hard place to get to with hotel accomodations quite a ways away.

Accomodations:
I'd like to hear from folks that stayed off field on whether that is painful enough to keep people away...
Jim,
Didn't attend this year primarily because I hate dry camping for multiple days, and lodging is a sucky drive away. If you're flying 3J, hotel also means schlepping multiple batteries a 1/4 mile between the parking lot and the room twice each day. FWIW.

Tom
May 15, 2019, 09:09 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by tewatson
Jim,
Didn't attend this year primarily because I hate dry camping for multiple days, and lodging is a sucky drive away. If you're flying 3J, hotel also means schlepping multiple batteries a 1/4 mile between the parking lot and the room twice each day. FWIW.

Tom
Thanks Tom - I get it - I'm getting old for that too...

I think I can fix the battery problem. I could set up a generator to run all nite (away from the campsites for noise) where you can hook your charger in an leave them at the field. Good comment though...
Jim
May 17, 2019, 12:09 PM
Registered User
Landing Direction

F3J guys are familiar with landing from any direction but they have been doing it for a long time.
In F5J this is a new rule. How did it work? No issues, no interference, no mid airs, nothing. There was plenty of room between landing tapes, and the CD wasn't trying to make a call from the CD tent to the line. This is way safer and fairer to all. Congrats to all who supported this needed change.

Any comments pro or con?


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