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Author Topic: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges  (Read 4189 times)

Offline Balsa Butcher

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #50 on: March 01, 2018, 03:02:37 PM »
I think it is a great idea and long overdue... CLP** I would like to see it implemented at the Woodland contests this year.  8)
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Online Ken Culbertson

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #51 on: March 01, 2018, 03:41:09 PM »
Seems to me like having a range of scores for each skill class pretty much "brackets" the scores the judges will be issuing for each maneuver (total score divided by 15...or divide by 16 if you want to include AP's). And we know that's bad. Seems more reasonable to just eliminate the whole score situation, if possible.

I have judged in several disciplines, this being one of them and I can assure you that the "base score" really does come into play even if it is not intentional.  Under the "even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes" theory an intermediate may just fly a perfect set of loops.  Does he get a 30 or a 40? and what about the reverse?  Some Expert does a set that looks like the side view of a stretched spring.  Do they get a 30?  We should do everything we can to give scores that reflect the quality of each maneuver regardless of who is flying it and let the chips fall until the day comes when we can just put a tracking sensor on the plane and let a computer score everything.  That would solve one of my pet gripes - our best fliers end up judging at the smaller contests which just isn't right.  But that is just my opinion and I am probably wrong.
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Online john e. holliday

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #52 on: March 02, 2018, 11:27:55 AM »
A decent judge is nor worried or should not care if the person on the handle is Int, Adv or Exp.  He/she should be judging the maneuvers as seen by the book.   I have judged and seen some great maneuver by flyers that are not expert but the rest of the pattern left some things to be desired.  I have even seen Expert flyers that you wonder if they are having an off day.  It would be great if we could disguise the pilot before his/her flight or like the old days everybody draws for flight order and flies on one circle and one set for judges and not one class at a time.  I know it would be hard with the larger contests. D>K
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Offline phil c

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #53 on: March 25, 2018, 11:33:28 AM »
Brett-
"15.2.1. Beginner—Abbreviated pattern (The following classes are for pilots who can execute the entire CL Precision Aerobatics pattern as described in the Flight Maneuver section of the CL Precision Aerobatics event.)
15.2.2. Intermediate—Average score is 300 to 399
15.2.3. Advanced—Average score is 400 to 499
15.2.4. Expert—Average score is 500 and above"

Steve Helmick-
"Seems to me like having a range of scores for each skill class pretty much "brackets" the scores the judges will be issuing for each maneuver (total score divided by 15...or divide by 16 if you want to include AP's). And we know that's bad. Seems more reasonable to just eliminate the whole score situation, if possible. "

Perhaps a way to emphasize that the score ranges for each class are not fixed in stone is to overlap them.   Intermediate- 300-450   Advanced- 400-550,  and  Expert 500 and up.
That way, a contestant, especially one who travels out of their local area, could reasonably say that a few scores above the next class lower limit in any year aren't grounds for moving up.  Scoring an average above the limit for a class  or getting more than half of the scores over the limit would be reasonable grounds for a CD requiring the flyer move up( or down, if the reverse was true.)

Then Beginner-abbreviated pattern, and declared incomplete AMA patterns could be run on one circle, with separate awards.  I think most judges, with the proper score sheet before them could still do a good job at that.
phil Cartier

Offline Dick Byron

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #54 on: March 26, 2018, 09:01:35 PM »
I will be posting soon. S?P

Online peabody

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #55 on: March 27, 2018, 02:50:37 PM »
Silly
Fix something that is broken

Offline Sean McEntee

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #56 on: April 08, 2018, 06:18:48 PM »
My $0.05 (thanks inflation)


    I don't see a problem with the current system.  The vague and fluid nature of the skill classes account for limitless possibilities.  As soon as you start to standardize something, more "what about this" scenarios become a factor and one starts the endless tail-chasing of trying to account for every situation.

   There were a few things that we (my dad and I...more him than me) looked at once I started winning consistently in each skill class.  First was the scoreboard.  In beginner, once I started scoring in he 260-280 range, that was a good sign to bump to intermediate. The scoring bracket mentioned earlier would make a good rule-of-thumb, but putting it in black-and-white would cause more problems than they would solve.  Also important was the venue.  Certain contests drew more contestants and more talent than others.  The big one in the Midwest in my time was the Sig Contest.  If I was placing well at other contests, that contest was the final test.  Do well there, and it was time to move up.

   Beginner through Advanced is pretty easy to gauge potential for advancement.  Of course, moving to Expert is a big step and a big commitment.  The problem with Expert has already been identified, but to me it comes down to the individual.  In my case again, contests have become more of a social event, and as long as I don't fly embarrassingly bad, I'm satisfied.  I do have that desire to become more competitive but I realize that my current...occupation all but prohibits it.

   Were all adults here (though some still refer to me as "the kid" :D).  If someone is going to contests and, year after year, placing at the tail end of expert--and they don't like it--then that person needs to evaluate their position.  If the person want to improve, then perhaps more practice/coaching is in order.   Yes its a lot of work, but one gets out of anything the amount that they put in.  In my opinion, anything else plays into the "participation trophy" mentality.
   
   The ONLY change that I could see helping to alleviate the issue of having to fly against Nat's level contestants against his/her will is to adding Event 322 and allowing the contestant the pure option of moving up to it, regardless of how many expert wins they have.  Keep the event rules like they are at the Nat's: Mandatory BOM and so on.  For placement, I think that anyone flying Open at the Nat's would definitely belong in that category at the local level.  For everyone else, I would like to see absolutely no pressure to move up from Expert to Open until the contestant feels that they are ready and able to make that commitment.

   Even with this, it wont affect much.  People will still be able to guess with relative accuracy who will place where before fights are flown, and there will still be people that are really good that you cant seem to beat.  Still, I think this would effectively separate the "weekend warriors" from those who practice more religiously.

   I still think that more practice is the answer though...

Online Brett Buck

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #57 on: April 08, 2018, 07:19:56 PM »
    I don't see a problem with the current system.  The vague and fluid nature of the skill classes account for limitless possibilities.  As soon as you start to standardize something, more "what about this" scenarios become a factor and one starts the endless tail-chasing of trying to account for every situation.


     I snipped the rest of the comments because they were a pretty good argument. But I would note that this change would not alter the level of "standardization" at all, in any way. The point ranges have existed right from the start, that has been there since the very start of skill class aerobatics for PAMPA, and back to 1949 or so for the original rules from WAM. The "300-400-500" breakpoints have been there for a very long time, long enough for the 300 point to be based on an event that no longer exists in the relevant form. All I am suggesting is to change the values slightly, mostly to camouflage the fact that we are really permitting people to move backwards.

      The problem I am attempting to address is a serious one - around here. We lose people all the time when they get into the low end of Expert and simply can't see any way to continue to compete with the David Fitzgeralds of the world. Pete Cuhna sees it because he is, in some sense, a victim of the problem.  Maybe with the very low participation in other areas, it is not a big problem. It's not a problem for me, personally, at all.  But there should be some way to separate out the people who have or want to pursue stunt as a way of life from those who are very good but not willing to dedicate a huge fraction of their lives to it.

   Other approaches I considered:

       Get rid of Midwest Beginner pattern - the root cause of the issue is the loss of the full pattern for beginner. As a result, people blow through beginner in a few weekends, and into intermediate, causing a stack-up of people and upward peer pressure for everyone else. I didn't want to do this because of the hysterical squeals from certain quarters that would result, and maybe they are partially legitimate in some low-participation areas. This would require an "amnesty" to allow people to sort themselves out into the new categories and "go backwards".

     Add a new "novice" class for the full pattern between beginner and intermediate - this accomplishes the same thing as above, without actually having to get rid of Midwest Beginner for those who like it. The <300 skill class break point would apply (as it did before). Downside is that it is yet another category, and there are far too many already to get through in a weekend (OTS, Classic, Nostalgia 30, Super 70's, Midwest Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Expert, Profile 40). This would require an "amnesty" as above.

     Add a new "Masters" class on top - before I hear from the antichrist, this is NOT the ridiculous version that Peabody proposed (to solve the same problem) a long time ago. This would be voluntary, not requiring Peabody's "qualification" for which 5-6 people in the entire country were eligible for at any time. For example, neither Billy, Hunt, Ted, me, or Windy (and a host of other "name" fliers") would currently qualify for Peabody's version. Mine would just allow people of the "lifestyle" group to separate themselves. This has the same issue as adding Novice, there are already too many categories. The advantage is that no "amnesty" is required, we basically redefine the classes to restore the original 4 classes with different names and Midwest beginner added on the bottom.

  I can tell that this is not a clear problem in other people's minds, and that it appears that almost no one even noticed the score ranges before. So I probably won't propose it as written. I think I will propose some sort of one-time amnesty for re-sorting people, either entirely voluntarily, or with "guidance" from experienced national competitors. I would not force anyone backwards, but expand the limited opportunity already permitted to everyone, once. We need the national competitors to look out for the 2-3 people in the country who would go backwards for trophy-grabbing purposes. I don't know how to implement the "amnesty" given that it's now a rule-book event. It would have been a simple matter when it was just a PAMPA thing.

  I *am* going to do something, we cannot keep losing people who have shown extensive interest, but just can't see a way forward at some point.

     Brett

Offline Sean McEntee

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #58 on: April 08, 2018, 09:14:24 PM »
       Get rid of Midwest Beginner pattern - the root cause of the issue is the loss of the full pattern for beginner. As a result, people blow through beginner in a few weekends, and into intermediate, causing a stack-up of people and upward peer pressure for everyone else. I didn't want to do this because of the hysterical squeals from certain quarters that would result, and maybe they are partially legitimate in some low-participation areas. This would require an "amnesty" to allow people to sort themselves out into the new categories and "go backwards".

     Add a new "novice" class for the full pattern between beginner and intermediate - this accomplishes the same thing as above, without actually having to get rid of Midwest Beginner for those who like it. The <300 skill class break point would apply (as it did before). Downside is that it is yet another category, and there are far too many already to get through in a weekend (OTS, Classic, Nostalgia 30, Super 70's, Midwest Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Expert, Profile 40). This would require an "amnesty" as above.

     Add a new "Masters" class on top - before I hear from the antichrist, this is NOT the ridiculous version that Peabody proposed (to solve the same problem) a long time ago. This would be voluntary, not requiring Peabody's "qualification" for which 5-6 people in the entire country were eligible for at any time. For example, neither Billy, Hunt, Ted, me, or Windy (and a host of other "name" fliers") would currently qualify for Peabody's version. Mine would just allow people of the "lifestyle" group to separate themselves. This has the same issue as adding Novice, there are already too many categories. The advantage is that no "amnesty" is required, we basically redefine the classes to restore the original 4 classes with different names and Midwest beginner added on the bottom.


     Brett


        Beginner Pattern:  Yes I have seen folks as well blaze through beginner, but I have seen others linger there for quite awhile.  There was a Basic Stunt event in the Midwest, the pattern of which was simpler still, though if I recall it mostly was geared towards kids.  The full pattern is pretty daunting to learn all at once.  IMHO it provides a good entry level event an should stay

       Novice event- As you kind of eluded to, it would be adding another event.  You also mentioned in an earlier post that the participation at contests on the West coast is heavy at the top, with few beginner/intermediate.  In all of my Army-induced travels, I have seen much of the same in other parts of the country, and adding another event, to me, seems redundant until a time comes that those events are better attended.

      Masters Class: Conceptually I think you and I are on the same sheet of music on this one.  I suggested the Open event because it is already in place.  I'm not a CD so I am ignorant of the subtleties involved, but it seems to me that ability to add the Open event to a contest in the 2019 season is available right now, is that not correct?  If not, I imagine the rulebook would take less "tweaking" to make it so, as opposed to adding a new event entirely.  And not that I care too terribly much, but it would probably save the AMA some money.  You wouldn't believe how much money it costs to correct a spelling error in Army field manual!

Online peabody

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #59 on: April 09, 2018, 06:17:22 AM »
I KNEW Brett would come around to agreeing with me!

I believe that Allen Goff's group flies Master Class?

Online Brett Buck

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #60 on: April 09, 2018, 09:12:47 AM »
I KNEW Brett would come around to agreeing with me!

     I thought it was "silly" and "not a problem" 2 weeks ago? Now it is?

      Note also that your idea was and still is ridiculous - given that there are maybe 6 people in the *entire country* that would qualify. I can't quite see the need to provide a "coronation" for the likely one person (or nobody) qualified at each contest. It was a bad idea in 1998 when you first came up with it, and nothing has changed since then. I would provide a quote, but the idea predates SSW, and the RCO forum is no longer accessible.

     Brett

 

Online Mike Haverly

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #61 on: April 09, 2018, 10:46:47 AM »
With all due respect, I don't see a "serious" problem, at least for me and most of the others in my situation; that being at the middle to bottom of "Expert".  I enjoy the completion and strive to improve, trophies be damned.

There is still plenty for me to do, and be competitive in the other events.  Profile, Classic, Old time etc. is still fun and it doesn't bother me at all if some of the Fitzgeralds of the world choose to compete in these as well.  If they want to have a "Midwest Beginner" I really don't see a problem.  Those in that category will still compete the best they can.  Beginner, at least locally, is done by asking the flyer how many of the maneuvers he or she can complete and are judged accordingly.  Yes, the full pattern is pretty daunting unless you're coming from some other discipline like "Combat" where you do all of the maneuvers but in no particular order.  Howard Rush for example started out, I think, in Advance, won, and moved on.

In any case, NATS sorts things out petty well.  Advanced is not easy and many of the flyers there would be, (many are) Expert in their locale. 

Just my  $.02

Mike

Online Dane Martin

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #62 on: April 09, 2018, 11:14:54 AM »
I'm not sure why, but I'm very interested in this topic / post. A few have mentioned Trophy Grabbers. Are there suspected folks that would take a proverbial "knee" and drop down to get a win?  I'd rather come in dead last in expert than first in intermediate. Haha.

Online Brett Buck

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #63 on: April 09, 2018, 01:48:20 PM »
I'm not sure why, but I'm very interested in this topic / post. A few have mentioned Trophy Grabbers. Are there suspected folks that would take a proverbial "knee" and drop down to get a win?  I'd rather come in dead last in expert than first in intermediate. Haha.

   I agree with you and put my money where my mouth was at the 93 NATs, where I entered open instead of "sportsman".

    People worry about trophy-grabbing - that's the reason that you can move up voluntarily, but not down. I would guess there are about 2 people in the country to really care enough to do it (one of the likely candidates is a frequent Stunthangar poster - and it's not Peabody).

     Brett

Online Ken Culbertson

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #64 on: April 09, 2018, 03:04:22 PM »
   
      The problem I am attempting to address is a serious one - around here. We lose people all the time when they get into the low end of Expert and simply can't see any way to continue to compete with the David Fitzgeralds of the world.......

  I *am* going to do something, we cannot keep losing people who have shown extensive interest, but just can't see a way forward at some point.

     Brett

I cut a bit, well most, of your comment to get to the part I am responding to.  I have been following this thread with great interest.  Since getting back into the sport I have been shocked by the gulf separating the average flyer from the elites.  When I was forced to hang up my control handle due to a very demanding career and a very talented daughter competing in ice skating our little group of local fliers in included one world and two national champions and a couple of other top 20 fliers. We all ran the same engines and, with a few exceptions our planes were well crafted but not anything like the museum pieces of today.  The only place you found tuned pipes were the speed circles and the only thing electric was the fan in the officials tent.  We didn't lose any flyers as they moved up because the road to the top only required practice and that was fun.  I had my wake up call when I went to see a local contest early this year when some of the "out of town" Experts decided not to fly in a 14mph wind because they might damage their planes.  At that point I still had dreams of getting back into national level competition.  It wasn't till I started building again and finding out how much the things cost to be competitive in PAMPA Expert that I scrapped the project, bought an ARF to get my "legs" back and am working on a profile, legal classic version of the plane I designed in 1963 and who knows maybe a Ringmaster for the hell of it..why, because I love to fly and build and having a plane that cost so much that I am afraid to fly it in a 14mph wind is not where I want to be and I am not alone. 

You may have hit upon the biggest problem we face as a sport - there is no room at the top now and the next generation is looking at the cost (and I mean both time and $$$) of moving into that elite group and opting out.  Personally I love it when I am flying against the elites in front of the same judges.  To drop down to Advanced to be able just to win is not me but it is different for the new flier moving up and it is not just our sport.  It is every sport when your idol becomes your opponent. 

What is the answer?  I don't know.  I think part of it is the pride you get from building.  Kids don't build anything anymore.  It comes from China ready to fly.  Maybe we need an "Assembler of the ARF" rule instead of the BOM.  What is an ARF to us is a Kit to them anyway.  What I am getting at is that the current system is just fine - we are the problem.  We must remember that it is a sport and there is no wrong way to participate but when we find something that is counter to this we need to address it.  If last year's trials were not a wake up call then maybe we have passed the tipping point. 
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Online Trostle

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #65 on: April 09, 2018, 06:07:07 PM »

(clip)

I had my wake up call when I went to see a local contest early this year when some of the "out of town" Experts decided not to fly in a 14mph wind because they might damage their planes.  At that point I still had dreams of getting back into national level competition.  It wasn't till I started building again and finding out how much the things cost to be competitive in PAMPA Expert that I scrapped the project, bought an ARF to get my "legs" back and am working on a profile, legal classic version of the plane I designed in 1963 and who knows maybe a Ringmaster for the hell of it..why, because I love to fly and build and having a plane that cost so much that I am afraid to fly it in a 14mph wind is not where I want to be and I am not alone. 


Ken,

Since you show you are from Texas, I am assuming you are talking about the Team Trials held in Dallas last October.  I think a further explanation is warranted about the conditions at that event.  I will agree that most, if not all, of those entered were "expert" pilots.  The winds, particularly that last day were at least the 14 mph you stated.  In fact, the finals for the 10 qualifiers on that Sunday, the wind was more like 16 to 18 mph as measured by the ED and a jury member with gusts well in excess of 20 mph.  The fact is that the winds were closer to 20 mph with gusts more than that, but according to the FAI rules,  the sustained wind was not in excess of the FAI limit of about 20 mph to halt the contest for wind.  For any who were there to fly, the conditions were far from ideal.  Now, I am going to make a statement that may offend some.  Of those that entered the Team Trials, as with any Team Trials, there are only a handful (6 or 7) that consistently fly well enough to make the team.  By the end of the first round on the finals day (Sunday), the leaders had already been fairly well established when flying in really windy conditions.  (Yes, some of the 10 finalists chose not to fly in those conditions knowing their scores would not come close to those who did put up credible scores given the conditions.)  When the second round started and the winds were approaching delaying or cancelling the rest of the contest, there were only a few pilots who who chose to fly that second round to garner their place on the team.   When the third round started, the conditions were challenging to say the least.  The team was selected by the best two of the three finals flights.  Credible scores were posted by several fliers in the first two rounds.  There were only two pilots who attempted to fly in that third round.  One had one of the top two flight scores to make the team, but was setting on "the bubble" were the next higher pilot could bump him off the team.  That pilot chose to fly but under the conditions could not possibly improve his score.  The other pilot needed a really good score to get onto the team.  He flew a credible pattern given the conditions but there was no way his score was going to improve enough to make the team.  There was really no choice for those other pilots to fly in those conditions and put their planes at risk when just landing a model in those winds would be a challenge.  Maybe you noticed that as each model completed its flight under those conditions, there were a number of people positioned around the circle to catch the the model after it landed so it would not to get picked up and tossed around by the wind.  Even the first round of that finals day, several pilots started the pattern, but then waved off, if not blown out of a maneuver as there was little chance of getting a good score. 

I do not know what indictment you are placing on those "out of town" Experts and what your reasoning is that what you observed somehow discouraged you from getting back into "national level competition".  You do not need to have super sophisticated/expensive equipment to fly a competitive pattern at the expert level at most contests.  No, you will not win at certain contests when there are several Nats and/or World Champions competing (which happens only in limited parts of the country), but you will be able to determine how you compare to those "elites" or "golden arms" as well as the other expert pilots who are also competing there.

What I am trying to say is that if what you are describing is what you saw at Dallas several months ago, it should not discourage you from getting back into this endeavor of flying models at top levels of competition.

Keith
« Last Edit: April 10, 2018, 10:14:53 AM by Trostle »

Online Brett Buck

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #66 on: April 09, 2018, 09:15:02 PM »
I cut a bit, well most, of your comment to get to the part I am responding to.  I have been following this thread with great interest.  Since getting back into the sport I have been shocked by the gulf separating the average flyer from the elites. 


 and

Quote
  It wasn't till I started building again and finding out how much the things cost to be competitive in PAMPA Expert that I scrapped the project, bought an ARF to get my "legs" back and am working on a profile, legal classic version of the plane I designed in 1963 and who knows maybe a Ringmaster for the hell of it..why, because I love to fly and build and having a plane that cost so much that I am afraid to fly it in a 14mph wind is not where I want to be and I am not alone. 

          I don't see the equipment cost issue. Even in the good old days, you would end up with maybe 4 ST46s, but you were never sure whether they would run or not, and if they did, usually, it wasn't for too long without changing something or working on it at a contest. Now, it is perfectly reasonable to have only one engine/pipe setup, and you can be pretty sure that it's going to work. I am pretty sure I have spent less on equipment over the past 20 years than I did in the previous 20, in constant dollars, and it certainly works better than it did before. The systems are more-or-less standardized and they are all pretty close to the same potential, from a 40 to a 75. The airplanes are more-or-less the same, in terms of cost and construction, as they were before. You don't have to fly 2000 flights a year because everything is so much more predictable and performs much better.

 
Quote
I had my wake up call when I went to see a local contest early this year when some of the "out of town" Experts decided not to fly in a 14mph wind because they might damage their planes.  At that point I still had dreams of getting back into national level competition. 

      I don't know exactly what you are referring to but I don't see a lot of people bailing when the wind is 14 mph, and if you do, you aren't going to win a lot of stunt contests  - because everybody else is going to go ahead. 14 mph and you don't just have to get through a pattern (which was all that used to be required), you need to do a good flight with good sizes and shapes, because everybody can do it now. I am sure is was not because of fear for damaging the airplanes. People tend to skip flights when they realize it's not going to make any difference in the results.

Quote
You may have hit upon the biggest problem we face as a sport - there is no room at the top now and the next generation is looking at the cost (and I mean both time and $$$) of moving into that elite group and opting out.  Personally I love it when I am flying against the elites in front of the same judges.

    The biggest change from a competition standpoint, starting in about 1990, is the fact that *everybody* has acceptable power and repeatability and can fly in just about any weather you can stand up in. Used to be, you had a few guys who were just far ahead of everyone. Now, even making the Top 20 at the NATs is devastatingly difficult with some true masters of the event missing it every year. The quality of the very best flights has gone up, but the average flight is much better than it used to be and more people are competitive than ever before.

    But, at the same time, the required investment in time can be *far* less than it used to be. The winning approach used to be to fly 2000-3000 flights a year. That is just not necessary any more. But, to win at something this competitive, you do have to dedicate a huge amount of effort - just not hundreds of hours of practicing just to learn how to work around your airplane's limitations. I don't see that as a big problem. The standards have gotten much higher and someone is always going to be willing to put forth the effort as long as there is a Walker Trophy on the line.

    Things are definitely *different* than they were 30 years ago or so, but for the most part I think they are better and it's certainly easier to get a competitive system than it was, and the airplanes fly a lot better.

     Brett

Offline Dan Berry

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #67 on: April 10, 2018, 05:52:06 AM »
Expense?
How expensive is a S-1 Ringmaster and a Brodak 25?
When that is all that you need to score 600 points it isn't really germane to bring expense into the equation of why guys don't get better or leave the event.

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #68 on: April 10, 2018, 06:14:07 AM »
I believe the Brett erred....I think his points proposal is silly and unnecessary .... for the reasons that I stated.

The Master Class that I proposed was simple.....a competitor could promote himself/herself, but anyone that placed in the top FIVE at the US Nationals or that made the US Team in the last ten years was automatically placed into Masters class....pretty simple, and not that many guys if you study it.

I have always found fault about the US Nationals' class structure (THREE age classes....two of which see only one or two entries) and one skill class, which allows "local Experts" to beat up on those that are truly Advanced flyers.....


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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #69 on: April 10, 2018, 06:42:47 AM »
A National Champion is the one single unique person who is the best in the nation.

As with the FAI, there is no need for more than one class at a Championship.

A local fun fly is another matter.  The promoter is free to offer a class for every contestant, thus enabling everybody to win.
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Online Ken Culbertson

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #70 on: April 10, 2018, 11:33:44 AM »
Expense?
How expensive is a S-1 Ringmaster and a Brodak 25?
When that is all that you need to score 600 points it isn't really germane to bring expense into the equation of why guys don't get better or leave the event.
If that is all you need then why did he take the Blue Max to the trials and VSC?  You completely ignore a talent that comes around maybe once in a generation.
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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #71 on: April 10, 2018, 11:43:20 AM »
The Master Class that I proposed was simple.....a competitor could promote himself/herself, but anyone that placed in the top FIVE at the US Nationals or that made the US Team in the last ten years was automatically placed into Masters class....pretty simple, and not that many guys if you study it.
 
    That is not what you proposed. What you proposed was that *only* people who made the top 5 or FAI team in the last 10 years were qualified. That meant then and now that only 5-6 people in the entire country were qualified for that. In fact, your argument was that you *wanted* it that way to solve exactly the issue I am trying to resolve. Of course, it didn't really resolve it because the rest of the people who should otherwise fit were still hanging around in expert. 

    Now, in your inimitable style, you are making up stuff to cover for the fact that you were both wrong on the facts and changed your opinion, probably because you forgot what your point was originally, or you want to try to call me stupid and don't care that you are arguing both sides of the same problem now.

    The rest of us are having a useful discussion, and you are posting out of spite, again. You have no connection or interest in the stunt event, you call yourself the antichrist of stunt, so for once, why don't you let the grownups have a conversation. You can send me more poison-pen letters off-line if it is so damn important.

    Brett

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #72 on: April 10, 2018, 12:19:23 PM »
If that is all you need then why did he take the Blue Max to the trials and VSC?  You completely ignore a talent that comes around maybe once in a generation.

      I am still not sure what you are talking about. Whose talent are we ignoring, and how it is somehow unique?  Some of the very early Blue Max versions are maybe qualified for Super 70's at VSC, but they are built conventionally and not any more complex or costly than any other airplane of the era.

     I am not aware of anyone or anything that is unique right now, in any case. The only unusual situation is that several of the FAI team die-hards have decided not to go the last few cycles, partly because of burnout or frustration, and partly because they can't risk their careers due to 3rd-world blood testing regulations just to fly in a toy airplane contest. All that means is that there are plenty of very good pilots who can fill out an FAI team, which I think is a good thing, rather than having a few untouchable idols and a bunch of cheerleaders. It's an offshoot of the other good thing, that the average quality of flight has gone up drastically in the last 30 years (whether or not you think the very best flights have gotten better).

   Otherwise, a few guys go out, a few new guys come in, you start seeing different guys in the high placings, and it more-or-less just keeps going on.

      If I am missing something, please let me know.

    The cost of competition, in constant-value dollars, hasn't seemed to get more expensive, at least not as far as I can tell. The costs have shifted around a bit, that's for sure, but mostly that is because the cost of travel and the equivalent cost of travel (time off cost) has gotten to be a larger fraction, and fuel and time costs of practicing have gone drastically down. I think you may not have realized or have a "golden age" recollection of what *used* to be required, which was different but not less costly or and certainly more difficult and haphazard as to the results.

     You would not be unique if the latter bothers you or doesn't fit your vision. With essentially unlimited power and consistency, as much as you want in any way you want, it has quite definitely changed the skill set required and greatly reduced the random luck factor (i.e. you get a good engine run and you win, otherwise, you lose, and knowing how to get the engine to run this week or how to work around the limitations was the primary skill). Now, since the late 80' on, everybody has a huge amount of dead-nuts reliable power (once you give up on Fox 35/ST46/60 sorts of ancient ideas) that makes the engine nearly a non-factor for the top competitors.

    Brett

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #73 on: April 10, 2018, 12:34:34 PM »

 and

          I don't see the equipment cost issue. Even in the good old days, you would end up with maybe 4 ST46s, but you were never sure whether they would run or not, and if they did, usually, it wasn't for too long without changing something or working on it at a contest......

    Things are definitely *different* than they were 30 years ago or so, but for the most part I think they are better and it's certainly easier to get a competitive system than it was, and the airplanes fly a lot better.

     Brett

You completely missed my point.

Let me give you a task that you will, for good reason, not even try.  Throw away every piece of stunt equipment you own, all of the engines, planes, shop equipment and even the space you use for all of that right down to the extra Exacto blades.  Now build me a front row Walker Cup contender and tell me it is not expensive.   This is what you face when you get back into the sport and to a lesser degree what the new expert flier faces as well.  You can become an expert flying the Nobler ARF you put together on the kitchen table but you can't become a competitive one except maybe locally.

You properly identified the problem in an earlier post,  now you are defending it?  If things are better, where are the Juniors and Seniors?  Why are the hobby shops closing?  Why is PAMPA cutting it's publications?  No, things are better for a select few and I am in no way saying that that is bad but are "things" better - NO!
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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #74 on: April 10, 2018, 01:05:54 PM »
Let me give you a task that you will, for good reason, not even try.  Throw away every piece of stunt equipment you own, all of the engines, planes, shop equipment and even the space you use for all of that right down to the extra Exacto blades.  Now build me a front row Walker Cup contender and tell me it is not expensive.   This is what you face when you get back into the sport and to a lesser degree what the new expert flier faces as well.  You can become an expert flying the Nobler ARF you put together on the kitchen table but you can't become a competitive one except maybe locally.

I'm not competitive, but I compete in stunt now also. I feel that I'm more competitive in combat. So this would be relative to that mind set. But I could start over completely, and build whatever kit, engine pipe combo, buy it all from Randy Smith brand new and it'll last me a few years. That entire cost is nothing compared to being competitive in combat F2D FAI rules for more than one event. I guess the cost is a relative thing. I'm trying to buy a house this year. So I'm only doing two combat contests this year. It's that much of a cost to me. I can hit a stunt contest every weekend with my twister. Still on the same plane, engine, lines, handle, prop.

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #75 on: April 10, 2018, 01:17:18 PM »

      If I am missing something, please let me know.

    Brett

You are and maybe it is my fault.  I am talking the Forrest and you are still talking about the trees.  We have a problem at the lower end of expert with people getting out and were looking for a way to make that stop happening.  At least that is what I thought we were talking about.  Since you have been part of it through the technology boom, you see the "elephant" from the front.  I skipped that part (not because I wanted to) and I see that same elephant from the rear.  Isn't both of our goals to keep it alive?   
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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #76 on: April 10, 2018, 01:44:49 PM »
I'm not competitive, but I compete in stunt now also. I feel that I'm more competitive in combat. So this would be relative to that mind set. But I could start over completely, and build whatever kit, engine pipe combo, buy it all from Randy Smith brand new and it'll last me a few years. That entire cost is nothing compared to being competitive in combat F2D FAI rules for more than one event. I guess the cost is a relative thing. I'm trying to buy a house this year. So I'm only doing two combat contests this year. It's that much of a cost to me. I can hit a stunt contest every weekend with my twister. Still on the same plane, engine, lines, handle, prop.

Amen to that.  I gave up combat for the same reason - way too expensive.  There is a huge difference in what goes into a Twister and what goes into building a Walker Cup contender - mostly time.  It is that cost that is keeping most of us from even trying.  I just love to build and love to fly and don't much give a hoot who gets the trophies but you can't go to a contest if they don't hold it anymore and you can't build if nobody sells supplies.  If the kids (anybody under 40) aren't doing it, the hobby shops don't have it.  I fear we are 2 generations away from becoming extinct.  It may be too late already but we need to follow the lead of the RC folks and allow ARF's to compete separately without the huge point penalty. 
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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #77 on: April 10, 2018, 02:25:20 PM »
You are and maybe it is my fault.  I am talking the Forrest and you are still talking about the trees.  We have a problem at the lower end of expert with people getting out and were looking for a way to make that stop happening.  At least that is what I thought we were talking about.  Since you have been part of it through the technology boom, you see the "elephant" from the front.  I skipped that part (not because I wanted to) and I see that same elephant from the rear.  Isn't both of our goals to keep it alive?

    Don't get me wrong, I am asking because I want to know, not trying to beg an argument. I am also not sure what incident or the specifics of your observation about people bailing out in 14 mph winds because their airplanes were too expensive to risk. That seems very unusual to me, both because 14 mph wind is only moderately challenging with current equipment, and no matter what the airplane cost, it is rare indeed that you are scared of the conditions to the point you withdraw from a big contest *solely* on that basis. So I am asking for clarification so I can understand your point. Experts are at much greater risk in dead air than in 20 mph wind.

    There have always been the sort of distinctions we are discussing, that is not at all a new problem. The gap between the very top fliers and the "really good but not willing to make it the central focus of their lives" group is probably closer than it ever was before, just because the engine/power technology is widely available, relatively inexpensive, and provides so much more performance than necessary that you can fly in almost any conditions. Before when there were relatively few competitive fliers, and we spread them out among 4 classes instead of 3, the issue at hand (people stacking up in expert) wasn't much of a problem, the difference was so dramatic that it was clear who belonged in Expert and who belonged in Advanced. It took an astonishing amount of knowledge and experience to get the airplane to work, and also, an incredible amount of practice to keep it that way, and not many people could or were willing to do it.

Now, you still need to know things, and to practice enough to stay in shape, but you don't worry too much about whether or not your engine is going to run, and the airplanes fly much better and much more consistently that you don't spend dozens of flights trimming them for the conditions or just getting the right pitch/diameter/prop airfoil/compression/venturi/fuel just to make it work well enough to get through. More knowledge/understanding still helps - it's absolutely no accident that Paul, David, Howard, and I are all engineers by either training or vocation - but it's not necessary to get an acceptable engine run.

     So many people are "close" - but then run into situations like Pete Cunha and others noted above, where they are now "experts" but still see David/Brett/Ted/Jim at every local contest, and then add Paul Walker/Howard Rush/Chris Cox/Bruce Perry when the scope is regional. That's most of a NATS Top 10, and at least some of them are there *every single time*. If you want to compete on that level, you really do have to go up against them. But if you are not willing to spend the kind of effort to develop on that last level, you still want to be able to compete with others of the same mindset, and the event shouldn't drive them away or force them into either joining them in their obsession or finishing 20th for the next 40 years. When Advanced was the largest class at local contests, and there were only a few experts who were all of the same mindset and goals, Advanced served that purpose. Now, with the compression of the classes, we have stuffed a bunch of people into Expert.

   I can tell from the other comments that this is not the case nationally, so I probably won't proceed as I suggested. But there has to be an amnesty to sort it out in places like California where it is a big, perhaps the biggest, issue with participation.

    Brett

Offline Dan Berry

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #78 on: April 10, 2018, 03:21:09 PM »
If that is all you need then why did he take the Blue Max to the trials and VSC?  You completely ignore a talent that comes around maybe once in a generation.

Well, a bit of tongue-in-cheek levity there.
Point of order-- he didn't take the Max to the trials.
I don't ignore Joe. I brain-pick him as much as I able.

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #79 on: April 10, 2018, 06:48:46 PM »
    Don't get me wrong, I am asking because I want to know, not trying to beg an argument. I am also not sure what incident or the specifics of your observation about people bailing out in 14 mph winds because their airplanes were too expensive to risk. That seems very unusual to me, both because 14 mph wind is only moderately challenging with current equipment, and no matter what the airplane cost, it is rare indeed that you are scared of the conditions to the point you withdraw from a big contest *solely* on that basis. So I am asking for clarification so I can understand your point. Experts are at much greater risk in dead air than in 20 mph wind.
    Brett

It was a local contest the month before I decided to start back into the sport.  I went to the contest just to see what it was like and who would still be alive out of the group I flew with.  They cancelled the contest because of wind.  I was a bit shocked because I tend to agree with you that wind at that speed is not a problem for the newer equipment.  It wasn't a problem for the older equipment either.  I empathize with your point about the elite vs the very good experts.  I was one of them and probably will be again if I don't fall over doing an overhead 8 and kill myself ( there should be a law against that maneuver if you are over 70) .  The highest I ever placed locally was 3rd but that was against Gieseke, Raby, Ruthefford, Pilgrim , McMillen, Lee and a bunch of others.  I loved every minute of it.  Others gave up trying.

Cheers - Ken



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Online Brett Buck

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #80 on: April 10, 2018, 11:42:41 PM »
It was a local contest the month before I decided to start back into the sport.  I went to the contest just to see what it was like and who would still be alive out of the group I flew with.  They cancelled the contest because of wind.  I was a bit shocked because I tend to agree with you that wind at that speed is not a problem for the newer equipment.  It wasn't a problem for the older equipment either. 

     I wouldn't judge anything by that experience, I have never seen anything like that in about 35 years of competition flying. I have seen *postponements* at much higher wind speeds but never an outright cancellation. If nothing else, that is a rules violation, as the current limit for cancellation is still 40 mph (which IS far beyond the capability of the current airplanes).

 
Quote
I empathize with your point about the elite vs the very good experts.  I was one of them and probably will be again if I don't fall over doing an overhead 8 and kill myself ( there should be a law against that maneuver if you are over 70) .  The highest I ever placed locally was 3rd but that was against Gieseke, Raby, Ruthefford, Pilgrim , McMillen, Lee and a bunch of others.  I loved every minute of it.  Others gave up trying.

     Well, consider the plight of a guy who shows up at one of our local contests, and sees David and I going at it again for the umpteenth time, with maybe Jim Aron and Phil Granderson giving it a go, too. OR Golden State, where the impending World Champion came in 5th and the win/place/show scores were all over 600 points - in a 25 mph wind!  A pretty darn good pilot came in something like 25th in Expert that day - just like the NATs.

      Brett
     

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #81 on: April 11, 2018, 06:46:30 AM »
   A pretty darn good pilot came in something like 25th in Expert that day - just like the NATs.

      Brett
   

It is becoming clear why your perspective is different from mine.  There are not 25 expert fliers within 300 miles of Dallas.

Ken
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Offline Howard Rush

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #82 on: April 12, 2018, 12:44:24 AM »
Howard Rush for example started out, I think, in Advance, won, and moved on.

I started in Expert, flying in the mid-300s as I recall. 
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Offline Howard Rush

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #83 on: April 12, 2018, 12:48:36 AM »
... it's absolutely no accident that Paul, David, Howard, and I are all engineers by either training or vocation - but it's not necessary to get an acceptable engine run.

Nor sufficient
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Offline Howard Rush

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #84 on: April 12, 2018, 12:58:19 AM »
But I could start over completely, and build whatever kit, engine pipe combo, buy it all from Randy Smith brand new and it'll last me a few years. That entire cost is nothing compared to being competitive in combat F2D FAI rules for more than one event.

Amen.  With stunt my biggest costs are transportation and lodging.
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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #85 on: April 12, 2018, 07:52:57 AM »
Same can be said for f2d, easy to spend more on travel than equipment in all of our events.  In f2d, we are limited to a few big contests a year in the US and more than a few of the serious fliers are traveling overseas regularly.

Offline Dave Heinzman

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #86 on: April 12, 2018, 09:08:18 AM »
Yes, I think it's a great idea. Would work out good for me. I'm probably a lifetime advanced flier. Moved myself to expert thinking it would make my try harder and my scores would improve. That didn't happen. If I look at my scores over the past 10 yrs. it would be in the 470 - 505 range. At this point in time advanced would be more appropriate.

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #87 on: April 12, 2018, 10:49:42 AM »
Amen.  With stunt my biggest costs are transportation and lodging.

    Agreed, travel costs are by far the most, one weekend contest costs more for travel and lodging than an engine/pipe/prop that will easily last 10 years with no maintenance (which, for those not up on the "Good Old Days" is about 3600 days more than your typical ST46 from the late 70's/Early 80s.). If I go, it will cost me about $500-600 to go to the Los Angeles contest and that's almost "local". I am not particularly complaining because thats the cost of doing business, but the equipment is in the noise as far as cost goes.

     Brett

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Re: Potential rule change -Skill Class score ranges
« Reply #88 on: April 12, 2018, 10:54:30 AM »
Ken,

Since you show you are from Texas, I am assuming you are talking about the Team Trials held in Dallas last October.

Keith

I really appreciate the narrative but I was not referring to the team trials.  I thoroughly understand that one and the wind was really bad that day, even for Hobby Park.  This was a local contest earlier in the year.

Ken
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