US F3B team selections Please READ
Congratulations to the TEAM... Tom, Aaron and Mike.
I would like to thank all the helpers that helped during the US F3B Team Selections.
Joe (a power flier who just happened to wander by Thanks for helping out)
The Loft member with the Mercedes (sorry I didn't get your name).
Any others I might have left off sorry.
These were dedicated people, and without their dedication this event would never have happened.
Thanks Dave for getting the site too.
Next I would like to discuss how few helpers we had. We are trying to send a world class team to the Worlds. We need help.
There was a time on the field that we couldn't run distance... we had only 2 helpers available for base B. So we ran speed. Luck delivered us 2 more people later and we were able to run distance.
While Muncie is a great flying site, it also might be a problem for us as well.
1) It doesn't introduce new people to F3B if we hold it in one place cycle after cycle.
2) We can't rely on the two clubs in the area to provide help cycle after cycle... (LOFT and DARTS). It has to move around to get helpers.
Without helpers a team selection can't be done properly. A minimum of 8 workers aside from the CD are necessary. 4 at base A and 4 at base B.
If your club would like to host an F3B event for the next cycle, now is a good time to start talking to your fellow club members. Moving the event around introduces the sport to other club members. Some might get hooked up, others may just want to see what can be a very cool event. Many think that F3B is a lot of work. Well truth is, it is and it isn't... You don't have to worry about winches. we provide them all.You don't have to worry about batteries.... the team members should provide them all. You may have to tell us where we can purchase legal batteries or rent them; if we have to fly in... we may leave the batteries with you (if purchased) when flying out... so your club can have some batteries for your Ford long shafts... We shag our own chutes. We provide most of the equipment necessary. There are a few things needed from your club... A computer to score.... A battery to run the scoring system, 2 siting devices for base A and B ...( but the AMA might provide that as well) Landing tapes (also might be available from the AMA)... A table to make reading the scoring computer easier... (it can be small) And some other odds and ends...(little flags or cones to mark a safety area)... A few of us have 100 meter tapes for measuring and 2 of us have steel pre-measured cables that can be brought to the event.
A timing system is available from the AMA so that doesn't need to be provided. We only have to make an effort to get it prepared to ship after the preceding NATS (F3B nats on an F3B team Cycle year).
We've had 5 new comers in the last 2cycles. 2 of which were hooked up just by having their club hold the event...
If you are interested in holding an event ping Joe Wurts and start the process now.. Joe can tell you more about it.
Lets face it we need to keep the program going. We need to make sure the next generation of world class fliers exist. If they don't see it they won't fly it.
When the NATS traveled it introduced people to flying in small communities around the states. I think when it stopped traveling we started sped up the attrition process. Don't let this happen to the FAI programs. Help keep America in it.
F3B is a spectator event unlike most soaring events. The distance and speed are on 150 meter closed course and are easy to watch.
We have a very good team this year. We have a great group of F3J juniors who made us proud this year. Please support the programs by hosting an event.
I will have a factual contest report out in a day or so but for the political side, Jeff is correct. If we as a country want to keep a viable USA F3B team, some changes need to be made in contest organization.
I felt badly all weekend that the "collective we sailplane flyers" were not able to support these pilots as they should have been supported. I can not concieve of flying in such a high pressure event with strigent rules and decisions by the second and still have to do button pushing and working out ways to keep the contest going without the help needed to run it. It is a manpower demanding event in distance (speed and duration are not bad to manage).
Hutch and I talked about it at length and offer several items to consider.
1. F3B needs a manager (not necessarily the CD or a flyer) that can start now to keep communications going until the next team select. This persons main function would be to select the site, and start getting funding for the contest. A month is not enough time to do it well. This person possibly could be the team manager of the next team if the members agreed ahead of time.
The other main task would be to get the Jury setup, at least one person from outside and then others could be the workers or pilots from non-affected teams.
This person could also be the 'drum beater' to get more pilots by organizing F3B events around the US, not of TS intensity but more of an intro to F3B. Of course local clubs would have to provide the site and help in these events.
The job would be to communicate and get buyin from the players which I have seen is not a difficult job as they are all were super to work with.
2. Funding is needed especially at Muncie as there is no local club to help out.
The manager supplied funding will have to either cover hotel and lunch bills or you can continue to expect little volunteer support. I could probably have had at least one or more of our club members come if they did not have to take money out of their own pocket to help.
The pleas we made on the internet for help may have seen much more response.
One suggestion, if it is to be at Muncie, is to go to the University and offer $100 a day for help with a committment for the three days with several hours of training on practice day.
Actually the same could be done with anyone coming and if they wanted to camp out for the event the money would still be theirs to do whatever they wanted.
3. The AMA could be more helpful and probably would have been if I had known what was really needed ahead of time. I got all I asked for but could have asked for more help. The manager would also have this covered.
4. Pay to have the field surveyed a day or two ahead if possible as it makes setup so much easier. Sunday was really quick as Bill did the survey work Saturday PM late (big thanks to Bill).
5. Design new primary sighting devices that are as easy to set up as the tripods but not as real estate restrictive. Having four people around a tripod with limited range of height in sighting distance is not conducive to high accuracy.
Enough for now. All said and done, it was great to help out and I feel honored to have done it.
The flyers were great to work with, the field is fantastic and having the AMA equipment and field support team there was just great and they did a great job for us.
OK, off the soapbox. Now I will go write the contest report as soon as Robin sends me the detail scoring.