The MGA Postal Thermal Contest
Revised for 2012
IntroductionThe Postals competition is a typical “thermal duration” competition, which includes a restricted launch, defined flight task and scored landing. The Postals competition attempts to place everyone on an equal footing, but permits “home ground” advantage. This competition is considered the ideal development and promotion tool of the Model Gliding Association (MGA) Special Interest Group.
Climbing the Postals ladder is part of the fun, sliding down the ladder is a definite indication that you aren't doing enough flying.
- The contest consists of four rounds, flown any day in February, May, August and November, the four scores giving the total for the year.
- Each pilot may make only two attempts to record a score during each round. These may be on any day of the month but, once started (stopwatch running on first flight), the pilot is committed to completing that day’s score for one of the two submissions. Note that only one attempt per day is permitted.
- The highest score of the two attempts will be entered as the score for that round.
- The club score does not have to be recorded by pilots on the same day but must be scored from the same venue.
- Each entrant is entitled to FIVE (5) flights, which must be flown consecutively (allowing for legitimate reflights, or test flights which have to be nominated before launch)
- All FIVE (5) flights, count towards the pilot’s round score.
- Timing must always be performed by someone other than the pilot.
Launching may be by one of the following mechanisms:
- electric winch (max available line from turnabout to ’chute 200 m)
- bungee (200 m maximum stretched length)
- 200 m hand tow, and two towmen
- electric powered (the motor may only be used once for launching in a window of 30 seconds maximum and limited to a launch height of 200m - an onboard altitude limiting device must be used to achieve this)
- A re-launch may be called for if the line breaks, or the model pop’s off and “re-launch” is called before the parachute touches the ground. The flyer must then land and re-launch as quickly as possible – if the parachute touches the ground before re-launch is called, then the flight will count.
- A re-launch may be called by the pilot if the electric motor malfunctioned during the 30 seconds launch window.
- Once re-launch is called by the pilot, the flight is immediately cancelled even if the model continues to be flown.
- If any part comes off a model during launch or in flight, then the pilot may request a re-launch.
- There is no restriction on the number of models an entrant may use in the course of the contest.
- The models will be classified into one of the following classes:
- 2M = Model with a projected wingspan not exceeding 2000 mm and any number of controls
- RES = Model with any wingspan but controls are limited to Rudder, Elevator and Spoiler
- Open = Any other Model
- Scoring is as for Task A in the (old) F3B rules, i.e. to a precise six minutes and a landing bonus of 100 if the model’s nose is within one meter of the spot
- The flight time is taken from the moment the model leaves the line/electric motor cuts out, until it comes to rest
- The landing bonus is measured after the model has come to rest and is reduced from 100 by 5 points for each meter beyond the spot (e.g. 95 points if the distance to the spot is from 1 meter to before 2 meters) down to 30 points or within 15 meters.
- The maximum score per flight is 460 points and 2300 points per round.
- A single table of results will be produced quarterly and will include details of the model class and pilot class.
- The club score shall consist of the top four individual scores posted for the club per round. Each pilot can only enter one score towards the club total per round.
Submission of Scores
Scores are to be sent to the Postals Coordinator & must include:
- Pilot name
- Pilot Class (Senior, Junior, Rooky)
- Model Class (2m, RES, Open, Electric)
- Total score (only, no round by round times, etc.)
- Launch method
- Please submit only the final scores of each round to the Postal Coordinator, Izak Theron — by e-mail to
- These scores should be in the last day of the designated month, or you will receive a zero score!
- Scores not specifying pilot class will assume “Senior”, and similarly scores not specifying model class will assume “Open” – there will be no retrospective changes permitted
- Scores not specifying the model, wingspan & launch method will be withheld from the table.