National Free Flight Society

SEN 2806

  1. 2021
  2. North American Cup 2021
  3. To Fall or Stand
  4. Did you call ? or fall ?
  5. Timing the F1A Rule proposal
  6. Head Banging


This is the first SEN for 2021.  Great and better New Year to all.

North American Cup

Date: Sunday, February 14th 2021
Place:  Bissonette Mirage Field, Lost Hills, CA USA
Events: Individual F1A, F1B, F1C, F1P &  F1Q
Entry Fees:  $30.00 for all events, junior’s $5.00

Co-Organizer: Peter Allnutt: 527 Philippine St, Taft CA USA +1(661) 763-5039
Organizer: Walt Ghio:

February 14th
Round 1 9:00 am – 10:00 am.  Rd 1: 240 sec max F1A/B/C/P/Q
Round 2 10:00 am – 11:00 am. Rd 2: 180 sec max F1A/B/C/P/Q
Round 3 11:00 am – 12:00 pm  Rd 3: 180 sec max F1A/B/C/P/Q
Round 4 12:00 am – 1:00 pm  Rd 4: 180 sec max F1A/B/C/P/Q
Round 5 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm  Rd 5: 180 sec max F1A/B/C/P/Q

F1A/B/C/Q Fly-offs
 start 3:00 pm to 6:00 p.m.

Trophies for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place F1A, F1B, F1C, F1P & F1Q.
Medals for top Junior in each event also.  Final awards ceremony will be after the final flyoffs.  Also, champagne for the competitors and Valentine’s Day roses for the Ladies.

Deviations from the FAI sporting code and special instructions:
Competitors MUST provide their own timekeepers.
Fly-off Max times and start time will be decided by the Jury depending on the weather.
A Starting “area” will be utilized without pole positions.

F1A  Section

To Fall or Stand

From:john carter

To Fall or Stand.

It was inevitable that the proposed rule change to F1a launches would promote a debate.
I make the following comments ;
My experimental observations indicate a 1 to 7 ratio of movement of vertical down movement (arm or body ) ie 1m down 7 m model moves in flight path at launch point . Also the average run up to launch is about 7/10 paces This requires the pilot to have good explosive power.
So as already stated the strong guy can achieve this with out falling down he requires
Body weight and good upper body strength plus speed of ground movement,
It is therefore necessary today for the glider flyer to be an athlete or at least acquire the necessary degree of fitness to obtain maximum height gain on launch also to have
the  ability to tow in all conditions calm to extreme wind .

To do this it is necessary the pilot engages in a programme of off field training to cover all areas of physical fitness, Aerobic, Strength, Endurance, Flexibility and Motor skills.
This of course means gym and weight works. ( My own training includes exercises that develop upper body for high strength and power in down ward movements well developed Lats and Pecks plus all round shoulders.)
Now  I have identified the physical bit. I refer to the reason stated for making falling down on launch a no flight. It is alleged it’s dangerous but as Jamma stated he is still in one piece after yrs of this style of launch .I also compare the launch to Rugby a game in which the intention is to bring a man down when his hands are handling a ball
Much more dangerous than fall on launch . The reason I make this comparison is if you intend to fall or dive u can practice it to be relatively safe.
I feel if it is considered that we need a rule change it should be around adding some possible PPE (ie helmet or body armour!)

I do not think a ban on the falling launch is necessary as the big powerful guys will still do the same launch with body power (something  a well toned pilot can result in a better and higher launch .)
I suspect part of the reason to ban the falling launch is some feel they can’t or don’t want to do the fall and feel disadvantaged ?

A side story is about 20 years ago I was flying a small winter contest . It had been raining overnight and then froze I was towing for the final max on the runway it was tad windy 7/9 m/ps I had located lift and the model was now well up wind of me so I started the circle for launch I in these conditions only pay out 2/3line giving plenty of slack to get model round circle I started a down wind run to get to point to run back up wind when I fell as I strode over the white runway number markings I had not noticed the frozen ice !

The fall resulted in sharp chest pain as I landed full front on my chest ,a natural instinct was to get up and continue the tow and launch, which resulted in a good max and finally a fly off some hrs later.  Yes I had sustained knee ,arm cuts, gravel ease and many bruises and  a broken rib ( the tow for the fly off was very painful as was the 100 mile drive home and the next 3weeks.)
The morale is what we do can be dangerous !
John Carter


Did you call ? or fall ?

From: Chris Edge

Falling in to pits, pah ! A bit of an old idea that by our Canadian friend – why do you think so many British A2 flyers are ex-coal miners ? And the idea of been terrorised by a Hummingbird is taking totally the wrong approach, you need carrot not stick.

My approach, revealed now for the first time since I though of it, is to use encouragement to get the less-than athletic EoB to launch better by simply running considerably faster. I tried this first in controlled conditions on the local airfield with the help of SEE. I released that her seductive charms could be applied to the problem and after many, many (and I mean many) long arduous sessions I found the best approach was for SEE to be stationed 30m up wind, dressed as Wonder Woman (Linda Carter version, obs.) singing ‘Wuthering Heights’ (best not to ask). In this mode I was like a butcher’s dog, no, more like a florist’s ocelot, and could gain an extra 94m as I reached the hem of Wonder Woman’s perfectly-formed skirt. For information, a Liz Hurley look-alike in that safety pin ‘dress’ was a close 2nd but was prone to injury if the timing and positioning wasn’t perfect.

Of course everyone will have their optimal muse and the practicality of them being available at all times AND being prepared to eat at Denny’s is rather unlikely, so I’m currently working with experts in the field of holographic projections to create a similar effect. A paper will be published in due course, likely the start of the 2nd quarter 2021.

Happy New Year to everyone.


Will this do Roger ? Usual fees apply. (Pico Magic-20 in the mail)


Timing the F1A Rule proposal

From: Faust Parker

So everyone is thinking about the flier in this proposal. There is a bigger
elephant in the room – the TIMER. When I am timing, F1A I am watching the
airplane – not the person towing. This is true especially when the
contestant has towed almost out of sight and I am now watching the aircraft
in binoculars. At launch I will never know what  happens to the person
towing. So for World Champs would we have to have two timers for the glider
and a special flop judge, remembering that the “official” timers make the
call on the flight.

Faust Parker

Note if the French Proposal to have a Time keeper watcher at a World Cup event on the flight line, that means 2 extra officials – Timer Watcher and Flop Judge


Head Banging

From: Mike Schwartz

Regarding the F1A Flopping to the ground controversy. The majority of head injuries causes subdural hematoma which is a leak of blood between the brain and the inner skull. This leak comes from a tear in a blood vessel outside the brain and can be a very small leak to a major leak. This blood puts pressure on the brain. A small leak can cause a minor loss of memory, but recovery will be quick. A major leak can lead to death. You do not need to actually hit your head on something to cause the subdural hematoma, just the quick action of your head moving back and forth from the fall can cause it. Older adults and young children are more susceptible to this injury.

The statement that the CIAM is always striving for Technical Excellence. The design of a new airfoil would be considered Technical Excellence and would benefit everyone. Flopping to the ground on a launch is not Technical Excellence, but is simply a smoke and mirror term used by a few that benefit by that fall to the ground to gain a personal advantage. They are not concerned by the majority of fliers for various reasons who choose not to flop. Regarding on how to call a accidental fall or a planned on purpose fall, simply make all falls an attempt. It won’t take long for the on purpose falls to end. If I had a vote, I would vote in the interest of safety and to make launches equal as much as you can to keep your feet on the ground.
Mike Schwartz