National Free Flight Society

SEN 2647

  1. Thermalling at the Champs and everywhere
  2. Practice but who’s perfect ?
  3. I agree
  4. Magic Timer Repairs
  5. Champs Stats from Ian
  6. Pair Waiting to Fly at a Pole

Thermalling at the Champs and everywhere
From:Michael Achterberg

Hello all.
Tom’s comments are not on point. There are always thermals. Morning, noon and night. When I was a kid, 100 years ago, i did 10 min with a 1/2A night Flying.. That model would barely do 5min without a thermal! Now, there are what we call the Layer and its rising air in the morning when ground heats up. Also happens in late evening. Sometimes its 50m, 100m or whatever that morning creates. We all seen this when you climb and the model glides down to the the Layer and parks in it for minute upon minute. Never drops a foot.. Is this a thermal?? Not really since there is No rotation of air. But it is thermal like! Sometimes its the whole field, and sometimes its only in given areas of the field. Generally, the layer, as we call it, last for 30min to maybe an hour after sunrise. The higher the humidity the previous nite determines the Layer depth and height and is created by morning sun and heat produced.We dont fly indoor, so this always has the possibility to be created. Luck is always a factor. People like the best of the best,  practice and work on their craft more than the rest of us. The better you get the luckier you become…. We have all won and lost contests due to being lucky or unlucky… The fun of freeflight is the flying of your toys and enjoying the people who you interact with. One group with same interest to BS with and compete with. Its a very nice group of people with the same common interest. If you dont like freeflight because of Luck factor it isnt for you! Bottom line in almost every sporting event there is always lucky breaks one way or another. Sh*t happens!!
Ps. Congratulations to all the winners! And Especially to Charlie, Bill, Brian, Roger, Mike and the rest of support group who ran a Great WC. Class act from start to finish.
Awesome job!

Practice but who’s perfect ?
From:Tom Vaccaro

Yes, it’s true, practice makes perfect. I’m pretty sure I know what Arnold palmer practices. Specifically, what do you practice to get better at flying under “spectacular climb and drop” conditions? What do you recommend for others practice?

If I accept your premise, then I should run over to the casino and roll the dice ten thousand times. After all that practice I’m sure I’ll be able to roll a seven any time I want.

I know why CD’s run fly offs under thermal conditions. It’s usually physically impossible to run huge fly offs under neutral air conditions because of timer availability. So the thermal fly offs thin out the herd to a manageable number. I’m not criticizing the CD’s decision to do this, he / she really has no choice. But let’s not attribute the outcome of these fly offs purely to skill or practice. Luck plays a much larger role in the outcome than it should.

I would prefer a sporting outcome that minimizes luck to the greatest degree possible. An early morning Lost Hills 10 minute fly off for example.


I agree
From: Stan B
Roger, I just want to agree with your well thought out position on flying and flyoffs

Editor, there is only one Stan B.

Magic Timer Repairs
We were given a number of timers for repair at the World Champs and a number of people mailed timers to use to be repaired and returned at the World Champs, most of these latter timers did not arrive until after we left for Lost Hills.  We explained to some people that it was not possible to take some equipment used for timer repairs to Lost Hills and we were involved in the running of the event and that took precedence over timer repairs. The timers that included a detailed description of the problem and how it got there will be fixed first.  If you are reading this and did not send an email address you should send, we like to tell you the cost before doing any work. If you want to know the status of anything you can email  Do not send a facebook message, the soldering iron is not on FB.   Like other vendors we did supply people who ordered timers etc in advance and peoplewho only needed a new Timer or part.

Champs Stats from Ian
At the Opening ceremony Ian Kaynes, FAI Rep and head of Jury mentioned this was the largest ever World Champs in the Western Hemisphere, essentially outside of Europe.

For the  closing  ceremony  Ian  had figured that there were about 2000 flights timed, all with at least 2 timekeepers – think of the stop watch button pushes!  Even an extra one or two for each F1C motor run.

Pair Waiting to Fly at a Pole
By Aram Schlosberg 10/21/19

In a contest flown by teams such as a World Championships teams fly from poles manned by two timers.  Each round, netting out the times models are being timed in the air, leaves roughly about 15 minutes for each flyer to make a flight. Typically the team manager assigns each flyer 10 minute to fly and if they don’t, they drop to the end of the queue.

At a pole, a flyer slated to fly identifies themselves to the timers, who familiarize themselves with the model they will time (F1.2.2 in the F1 volume of the sporting code). In B, the flyer winds the motor and launches the model (3.2.3). In C, the timers observe that the tank is washed out and filled with standard formula fuel (3.3.2) and that the flier starts the engine and launches the model.

The universal practice is that only one flyer per pole is processed and then waits to fly officially. But as long as they are waiting to launch or are being timed, the other flyers who have not yet flown are also waiting. Successive blocking might squeeze the last flyer into making a flight under duress.

Suppose that two flyers are be co-processed and wait shoulder to shoulder. In B both would wind up and wait to fly at the pole. The first that says “I’m flying” launches and is officially timed. The second says “uncle” and runs down their motor. The team manager can assure the timers who they are timing.

Similarly in C. After verifications, the two flyers stand at their starters. The first who decides to go is timed. And if they have problems starting their engine and say “uncle”, the second can jump in to catch the promising air.

But in A this strategy does not work because those who fly would trip over many spread out lines and other flyers standing around.
Pair waiting to fly at a pole offers flyers in B+C more waiting time to choose air. However, it might not be suitable for every team and it could be problematic with inexperienced timers. ///

Editor’s comment :  Our World Champs are a little unusual in that there is an individual winner and a team winner – but the cooperation of all  the team members  is very important including those competing against each other for the individual title, as is the role of the Team Manager.  It is the Team Manager who is/should be responsible for time management – not the CIAM specifying it.