National Free Flight Society

SEN 2744

  1. COVID and FF
  2. NFFS  on Nats and COVID
  3. What’s Happening now and Suggestions to CDs
  4. Spinning Newton
  5. Partying Newton
  6. Latest on MMM 14-Round Contest in Denver, July 11-12


Here is a comment from  Norm Furutani on FB that is starting point on what we are all trying to figure out.

In flying FF, social distancing, is not difficult to maintain. But when running contests, what precautions are being used/considered to minimize virus transfer in handling score cards, sign up sheets, prizes etc. Within our small community, I realize we have folk that are extremely cautious and those that do not care. We have contests scheduled and it might be good to know before what’s expected of the contestants and plans of the contest directors? Norm F, thinking out loud.



From their point of view the situation varies all over the World and because of this many people will not be able to or want to travel to event, so you can’t have a World Champs or World Cup if the World can’t attend. So No World Cup or Champs in 2020.  People can still hold an open International event provided that have the resources to run it , where attendees will make a personal choice if they will go to the event or not.


USA Nats

Recently the NFFS who runs the Free Flight part of the Nats with the AMA cancelled the Free Flight part of the Nats for 2020.  This got supporting comments in social media plus some critical who clearly did not understand what is involved in running an event of that size.  The NFFS President recently wrote an excellent piece explaining what is involved and how they came to their decision. It is below

NFFS  on Nats and COVID

Statement from NFFS President Dave Lindley:
First off, let me offer a personal apology for the delay in making a direct statement on the cancellation of the 2020 Outdoor FF NATs. Staying silent is neither my natural state, nor my strong suit. However, I have been engaged in negotiations on a daily basis with AMA Executive Council since they announced last week that they were intent on proceeding with the remaining individual NATs components. NFFS making ANY public statement would have put those conversations in further jeopardy so we refrained from doing so until now.

In answer to the biggest question seen floating about online… YES…The NFFS Board has decided to cancel the 2020 Outdoor FF NATs. Per AMA, those who had pre-registered will receive a 100% refund We will shortly begin the process of planning for a bigger and better NATs in 2021 and hope to see you there!

For those of you who are not aware, AMA hasn’t “run” the NATS for over 30 years. While the NATs is AMA’s brand and they host the outdoor portions at their field in Muncie, they have leveraged the SIGs (Special Interest Groups such as NFFS) to actually execute the events. That includes recruiting all the volunteers, managing on-site logistics, scoring, payment of Contest Director and/or judges if necessary, ordering and payment for trophies for non-AMA events, and a hundred other tasks. For those of you who have never run the NATs for NFFS, it’s actually hard to conceive the level of effort and financial commitment that goes on behind the scenes to make sure that the flying experience is “National Championship” caliber.

Now, speaking on behalf of NFFS’ five-member Board (President and four regional VPs), please understand the following: Your Board understood from the outset that not everyone would agree with our NATs decision (whichever way it went). And we can assure you that each of us took the responsibility very seriously. We reviewed pandemic projection model data on a daily basis for the past three months, spoke with state officials and the medical community, negotiated with AMA on options, listening to NFFS members who reached out, and reached out to NFFS members who could help guide us. We have been 100% clear from the outset… this was not a financial decision. We were prepared to take a financial loss IF we believed we could ensure the safety of all our flyers AND volunteers and still provide what we would consider a “National Championship” level experience. When we looked through all of the accommodations, workarounds and can’t-do-thats coupled with a number of our volunteers who are in their 60s 70s and 80s we just couldn’t see our way through the risks without watering down the event so much that it wouldn’t resemble anything like what you think of as a NATs. And again, while you might not agree with the decision to cancel, we feel confident we made the best decision we could given the fact pattern presented to us.

In closing, I want to reiterate: NFFS is YOUR organization. Myself and each VP have been duly elected to run the organization for YOU. That is not to say you will always agree with our decisions or that we will be able to satisfy every one of our members every time, but we are ALWAYS willing to listen and learn from our members. Please call or email anytime, with any concerns or questions.

Dave Lindley
NFFS President


What’s Happening now and Suggestions to CDs

Norm’s piece on FB got comments supporting the suggestion that CD’s should state what they are doing at their event to keep people safe.  There was a contest run by the Skyscrapers at Waywanada a little while back where they made it so you did not have to stay over night and describe the protocols for wearing masks, handling time cards and interacting with other participants and the officials. I see other event notices doing the same.

It is going to be hard to run big event because big events require extra help to run the event and some of those people will ones that do not feel able to travel or take part  at this time. They also imply extra travel for some participants to attend. Some may not want to fly or drive long distances just yet.
Part of Free Flight is like many other pastimes where interaction with other people is very important , this extra tough at this time so me must do that appropriately on the field and make an extra effort off the field to share and keep in touch. What is clear is that many members of our FF community are at risk and may want extra precautions to even attend even local events and may not want to attend at all.   We must take care and respect everyone’s individual concerns, this is not the time to discourage people from taking part  in Free Flight


Spinning Newton

From Gil Morris
I doubt the answer is yes. I say the piston reversal doesn’t
reduce efficiency of the system. Imagine a particle on a flywheel and a
fixed horizontal line through the particle and center of rotation. Now
rotate the flywheel and watch the projection of the particle travel
back and forth on the straight line just like the piston. Except for wind
resistance and friction, nothing is lost. The piston is opposed by the
counterweight pulling or pushing in the opposite direction.    Gil

 Per my son Bill:
I agree with your friend.  It takes energy to decelerate the piston mass
at the end of each stroke, and then it also takes energy to accelerate the
piston mass at the start of each stroke. (PS: I think he is wrong. The
piston deceleration is offset by the counterweight acceleration and visa
versa.  Gil)

Partying Newton

From: Dan Berry

Newton’s Fifth Law. A  body in motion tends to remain in motion. A body at rest tends to be enjoying a tasty beer.
Dan Berry


Latest on MMM 14-Round Contest in Denver, July 11-12

From: Pete McQuade

Fellow FAI,AMA, NFFS, and SAM Fliers:
Just a reminder that the annual MMM 14-Rounder contest is just over 3 weeks away: July 11-12, in Denver, CO.  We’re hoping to see you there!  Although Colorado’s “curve” of COVID cases has been trending quite low, we’re taking all reasonable precautions to ensure this contest is safe for everyone involved, w ile still allowing for a great contest. We’ll send out an update next week outlining our special on-the-field procedures for this contest.  We’re working to make sure they’ll be effective but not overly restrictive.

Also remember: to receive the early-registration discount, your entry must be received by—or postmarked by—June 30. Of course, you can register anytime, including on the field.  For more information or to register, contact:   Or call Pete McQuade at 719-433-5346 (cell)

See you in Denver, July 11-12!

Pete McQuade, John McGrath, and Jace Pivonka