National Free Flight Society

SEN 2723

  1. SEN Tradition
  2. COVID-19
  3. Jim Parker’s team selection article:
  4. The Dinosaur Speaks
  5. Kansas Contest cancelled

SEN Tradition

We have been publishing SEN for over 20 years.  Contributions come from all of readers over the World.  Some time back we got the first April Fools day piece from the well known F1B sportsman Anselmo Zeri who charmed and amused us with his wit and wisdom.  After his death others have stepped up with contributions, this year we had 2. One from an author so well known that he was referenced in the other’s article.  Because we have readers in just about all time zones we publish it late on the 31 March PST  because in other places it is almost the 2 April.  We have some replies, serious or not. They are after the next article.

One of great unknowns on the COVID-19 pandemic is how long it will last and how to plan for what happens when it is over.  We have seen announcements from various event organizers.  Below is an excerpt from Free Flight News written by Ian Kaynes.  Ian explains some of the thoughts that are coming from the FAI/CIAM. Normally I do not publish articles straight from FFn because if you want that news you should subscribe to it.  From time to time Ian publishes some that is so important that it must be passed on the Free Flight community as fast as possible.  This is one of those times


From: Ian Kaynes

During February the only significant of the virus was from the USA stopping travel from China stopping competitors from China attending Fab Feb events at Lost Hills. Then all the action moved to Europe. The FFTC met at Leicester on March 11 and at that stage there was no formal restrictions which would prevent competitions happening in UK. As usual I travelled to the FFTC meeting by train, but I was concerned about the crowded rush hour underground trains between the London stations, so I walked from Waterloo to St Pancras. That didn’t need much longer than the underground but on the way back in the dark I tripped and hit my face on a kerb so ended up with a black eye.

Travel restrictions isolation requirements were appearing all over Europe with limits on large or organised meetings. Almost immediately after FFTC we had two F1E competitions at Minninglow, entailing two trips north each with 2 nights in hotels. By the time we returned from the second one the UK had followed most other countries of Europe in advising to limit movements, eventually ramping up to rules on isolation, social distancing and against non-essential travel.

BMFA FFTC cancelled BMFA events up to the end of May, including the Free Flight Nationals. At first it was thought that Salisbury Plain would continue to be available but soon there was a blanket ban on use of MOD facilities until July.
CIAM postponed the Plenary meeting scheduled to have been in Switzerland in April, the March Indoor World Championships were postponed by Romania and World Cup events were cancelled by organisers. Then CIAM introduced a ban on competitions, which was optimistically limited to the one month. until April 20. The FAI chose to start looking for a new venue for their October General Conference, which had been to be hosted by a little-known city in China. Since that city was Wuhan it was thought that participants might be a little reluctant to travel there. Wuhan have been given the 2021 conference. Instead.
Sports cancellation came thick and fast, with all activities stopping and football moving their European tournament to next year and likewise the Olympics being pushed back to 2021, met with little with surprise and no complaints. Just before the CIAM meeting on the subject of Championships, the BMFA decided to withdraw all British teams from 202 championships – just 9 days after our work to select an F1E team!

CIAM Bureau

The CIAM Bureau had been discussing the competition situation continually during March, in particular what to do about Championships scheduled for 2020. One camp favoured postponing events for some months and to wait and see how things developed. The other side considered that all Championships should be cancelled for this year because by the time lockdown might have finished in most countries it would leave too little time for practice and travel limitations might still be in force. In the latter case there was a split between

a)     shift all future events back by one year (2020 events flown in 2021, 2021 events flown in 2022. etc. This would  mean  that  all  categories  would  have  their 2 -year cycle between World Championships replaced by one 3-year period.

b) Lose the 2020 events and continue with the planned 2021 events and keep to the existing odd/even years for different classes. The advantage of this was to allow continued planning for the countries selected last year as the hosts for 2021 events. But on the other hand some categories would have no change in their 2-year cycle while the even-year categories would have 4 years between their world Championships. This would be particularly unfair on juniors planning to compete this year, many of whom would be over the qualifying age by 2022.

CIAM Bureau held a Zoom meeting on March 31 to discuss the way ahead on CIAM events.

Category 1 events (Championships)

The views of CIAM delegates and National Aero Clubs had been requested and Narve Jensen summarised these and reported 60% favoured option (b). Bruno Delors had summarised the opinions of Championships organisers and suggested that each could be reviewed two months before it was due to be held, with little support from others. His suggestion to review each individual event was accepted and it was concluded that a combination of cancellation or moving to 2021 or 2022 would be appropriate. The Bureau decided not to run any Championships in 2020. Because of organiser agreements and FAI authority this is currently a recommendation to organisers.

The likely changes in free flight are:

F1D Indoor. The March 2020 World Championships have been postponed to December 2020 but it was noted that Romania is also awarded the European Championships in March 2021. Since two events within three months did not seem ideal it was proposed that the World Championships be held in March 2021 and the European Championships lost. There will then be another World Championships in 2022 to continue on the established sequence of even tears.

F1ABP Junior. The World Championships was scheduled for August this year in Romania. Next year the Junior European Championships was to be held in conjunction with the F1ABC World Championships in France in August 2021. It was agreed that France could upgrade the Junior event from European to World Championships and the European Championships 2021 would be lost. Romania and others could bid for the 2022 Junior World Championships.

F1ABC. The European Championships in North Macedonia in August this year will be lost. The senior F1ABC events would then continue on the normal schedule, France for World Championships in 2021 and 2022 European Championships open for bids.

F1E. The European Championships was to be held in Romania in July 2020. This will now be lost and F1E continue in sequence with the World Championships as awarded to Romania for 2021.

In all the 2021 events involving Juniors it is proposed to increase the age limit by one year in 2021 only so that Juniors preparing for this year’s events will still be eligible next year for their delayed events in 2021.

Category 2 (Open Internationals including World Cup) Events had been cancelled up to April 20. The Bureau agreed to extend this to May 31, with the expectation that further extension may be needed.
It was anticipated that limits on travel or sporting events could continue well after May and a World Cup classification would not be representative of all participation. Thus all World Cups have been suspended for 2020.

The cancellation of events so far and the removal of World Cup status gives organisers two options:

i) They could run their events as Open Internationals possibly on a new date later in the year. It is hoped that a draft calendar will be drawn up et the end of May, but these events can be changed at any time with one month notice and without regard for date clashes.

ii) They can reschedule their event as a World Cup event in 2021, in which case their registration fee paid this year will be transferred to the 2021 event.

Another Bureau Zoom meeting is planned soon, but what to do about the Plenary meeting has not yet been decided.

Jim Parker’s team selection article:
Nice April Fools joke Jim!

From: Dave Edmonson

How about selecting team members by having a Corona beer chugging contest by skype over a 10 minute period with results scientifically analyzed and winners determined by chief judge Aram Schlosberg?

How about using Fab Feb

From: Mike Schwartz

If the corona virus causes the October Team Finals to be cancelled, how about having the Team Finals in February 2021 at Lost Hills? This would give the new team members time to get ready for the WC in France, later in the year.

Mike Schwartz

The Dinosaur Speaks

From: Dino (of course)

Hello to all.
As to Jim’s  comments and suggestions. Perhaps a better question is what do we suggest if the CIAM decide to cancel the Euro Champs or move it back to 2021??   Due to the nature of this beast and what this virus has done and will continue to do in the following months it seems very unlikely to me that this years Euro Champs will be held..  It will hopefully be over by summer, but the complete financial destruction left in its wake will be very hard to recover from in such a short time period. Economies are destroyed and everyone worldwide will hopefully just be going back to work.   And there will be countless logistical problems to deal with that are unimaginable. Personally would be very surprised if it is not canceled. Just my opinion.

The Finals is the least of the problems that we will be facing in the near future.  My hope and wish is that all are well and safe. The Finals, we can worry about another day. My hope is that this pandemic will finally make people from all countries realise that we are one people and one world. An that this virus will pull people together from all cultures across the world to finally say we are One. And together we will look at the world differently from this time forward. Not as singular nations, but as humans who will finally respect each others cultures and religions as it should be. If so, the world will be a better place for all. Take care and be safe and well.

Kansas Contest cancelled

From:Chuck Powell

Contest Cancellation
Our spring contest for may 2-3 at Marion Kansas is cancelled ! Just wanting to get the word out ! Stay safe everyone !! Stay home and build , we can trim later !! ??
Chuck Powell CD