National Free Flight Society

SEN 3231

  1. About Post Flight AMA Motor Run Verifications
  2. Rant
  3. Non-Rant
  4. Wings FF Blog


About Post Flight AMA Motor Run Verifications

From Roy E. Smith

Hi Roger,
re: Post Flight AMA Motor Run Verifications

I only fly E36 occasionally, preferring the old-fashioned combustion engine form of motive power, and not in the FAI format, so my thoughts on this subject are probably irrelevant.  However, the idea of Post Flight Verification of electric motor run seems rather impractical to me.  Firstly, the flier usually retrieves the model and could very easily reset the timer prior to presenting it to the timekeeper for verification.  That could be overcome by having the timekeeper retrieve the model instead of, or with, the flier – I doubt very much that many would be prepared to do that.  Secondly, if the timekeeper wasn’t present at the moment of retrieval, he would have to be available at some undeterminable time after the flight to verify the motor run, that could also be problematic, both for flier and timekeeper.  A pre-flight verification of motor run is a more practical approach, with the model being observed by the timekeeper for the whole time between verification and launch, but a flier determined to cheat could probably quite easily find a way to do so.  That is one of the disadvantages of electronic technology, wonderful though it is in so many ways – it is a Pandora’s box of ways for those with advanced knowledge of the mysteries inside those black boxes to bamboozle those with less familiarity.  Personally, if I am ever to be “beaten” by someone who gets satisfaction from deliberately cheating, then I hope that I am adult enough to be sorry for them rather than angry with them.  We do have to be wary of, and weed out, the cheats – of course – but perhaps we shouldn’t make it an obsession.  I have been flying model aeroplanes for fun – competitively – but for fun, for 75 years.  When it stops being fun and starts to be a quest for world domination at any cost I will stop.
Roy E. Smith


From: Allard

Hi, Roger. Many thanks for replying to Richard’s ‘rant’ on SEN. I really enjoyed that. I’m currently in Romania at the Salonta World Cups. Unfortunately I broke my leg at my first tow attempt in round 1. The field is hard like concrete, and I was forced to start towing a a rather rough patch with high weeds. So couldn’t see what was below. So many people helped me, it was heartwarming. After a trip to the hospital and some X-rays, they put on a plaster cast (not like this polymer stuff). Now must organise my way back home. Challenge! Best regards


Allard,  all the best for a smooth trip home and speedy recovery.
and good to see that you have an All-Tee upgrade.  progress is always welcome


Non – Rant

From: Mike Pettigrew

Hi Roger,

I read with interest Richard’s observations about the EDIC approved altimeters and also your response.

I think, perhaps you have been a bit harsh in your comments about “our leaders” and in particular those representing Richard’s NAC.

I respond as I am one of them.

Let me elaborate on some of the points raised: Yes, you are correct in saying that Allard has led the charge in attempting to get this sort of apparatus approved and into common use because, as we all know, manual timing is becoming more and more of an issue. Allard has done a great job within the CIAM F1 TSC and applied himself to this issue with sincerity and diligence and he should bear no criticism for his efforts

We need to remember that this matter has been debated over some considerable period of time, which, I understand would pre-date the Mini Neuron and this would, I suggest, account for the current version of the rules not necessarily recognising the detailed workings of the Neuron device.

The point here is; the present rules are a work in progress and I’m certain that the F1TSC will continue to update them as technology continues to advance, but it would be very difficult for the rules review system to keep pace with the speed of these developments, so we must expect a lag between development and rules updates until the whole matter settles down in a number of ways so that the rules no longer need to respond to the technology but instead, the technology responds to the rules which would, over time, be developed into a more universal format and description.

The fundamental flaw in the argument in favour of using electronics to determine flight times still exists of course, and that is the requirement for models to remain in sight. Leaving aside for the moment the many other benefits of using such a device, it seems somewhat illogical therefore, to develop rules to use a timing system that contravenes air navigation regulations.  The work being done in this regard can therefore, be considered to be in hope of a future change to those regulations.  Right now, we can’t use these systems in the way many people would like.

Next: As one of those that elected to not log into the Zoom meeting you referred to, I should point out that the F1TSC votes on all the rules it has been discussing well in advance of the Zoom meetings and it therefore becomes somewhat unnecessary for individual members to log into the Zoom to confirm decisions already made.  Add to that the ungodly hour of those meetings to residents of Australia and I think you will see that perhaps the local CIAM F1TSC members are not as negligent as you suggest. We try at all times to discharge our responsibilities as effectively as possible.

All good things take time however…….

Best wishes,

Mike Pettigrew

Editor’s Comments

At the Champs in France people observed that it was 10 years since the last Champs there and a group of the USA flyers said it was not to soon to start thinking about the next event in the USA. They singled out a likely candidate for the contest director.  Who told them he was up for doing it, BUT only if some form of automated timing was permitted.   I have noticed not a lot people bidding to run champs.  Good news is that last time Mongolia got help with a large number very capable young people and assume the same for ’27.

We noticed in Fab Feb that getting enough capable timers to have 2 on everyone for a Flyoff was extremely difficult.  There were quite a number of junior flyers from both the USA and China.  While a 13 year old probably has much better eye sight than a 73 year old as contest director I felt a little uncomfortable in assigning either to time former World Champ who had travelled all the way to Lost Hills for the event from Australia, Ukraine or Switzerland.  BTW especially when the line of sight is supposed to be unaided , so no binos. Who are we kidding.

I think that  the tech meeting they count votes, I assume from delegates, not necessarily FFTSC members. So being there can be important.


Wings FF Blog

From: Nenad Batocanin

I got the email below back in September of October but don’t remember seeing it or acting on it , so here it is now.

Hello Roger!

We have launched a blog dedicated to Free Flight modeling:

If you have an idea or something interesting to say for other FF modelers, I invite you to write a text about it and send it to my email 🙂

I would like to ask you to post this on the SEN list.

Regards, Nenad Batocanin

ps  Nenad had asked for info on About Time so we sent him so, that will no doubt appear there soon.

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Roger Morrell