Announcing The New Journal of R.C. Glider Gumph

The very first issue of the MGA magazine is available for download. Issue 0 is a 5.3MB PDF file. A very limited number of printed copies will be available at the HTL on Sunday.


Notice of Highveld Thermal League competition - 2 Sep 2007 at SGC

The next Highveld Thermal League event is scheduled for 2 September at Silverton Gliding Club, East of Pretoria. The league is certainly being hotly contested this year, and the monthly events have placed an emphasis on consistent competitive form. SGC’s event will be based on a winch launched format flown to F3J rules - 10 min working time (inclusive) and spot landings. Two more classes – RES100 & 2M will also be competing side by side with the sleek Open ships, but there tasks are reduced to 8 min & 6 min tasks to account for the limitations of these models. 3 person teams & with matrixed (man-on-man) type racing always promises to be exciting – the 80% separation for all pilots at the recent ETB F3J event attests to just how close the standard of flying is at this time.

Very generous LHS’s are sponsoring the event Open (sponsored by Frasers), RES100 (Jix sponsored), 2m and juniors (Formula 1 sponsored). On behalf of the HTL pilots & MGA, I’d like to thank our sponsors for showing their support of the hobby.

Those flying open and weary about everyone launching and landing the same time are able to wait a few seconds before launching and land a little earlier. This is a small penalty if it is an issue and the F3J types are able to get in quality practice.

Pilots briefing 09:00 for a start at 09:30. If all goes well we will have completed 6 x 3 slot rounds by 14:00 when we will have lunch whilst the scores are finalised. Hopefully everyone away by 15:00.

Costs are R50 including a beef burger or chicken burger and cooldrink (entries to specify).

F3J - ETB provisional feedback

The Eastern Thermal Busters (ETB) glider club hosted a very successful F3J event on 19 August 2007, at their “north” field just outside of Benoni, South Africa. The event was flown with a mix of towed & also winch launched (150m turnaround) to otherwise F3J rules. The time keeping was managed electronically by means of a digitally recorded “preparation” & “working” times played over a field PA system. This worked extremely well, and was easily interrupted for lunch & a sudden mass of line breaks. The F3J score program was used again, producing the original flight matrix & also the provisional scores. Of course, we had to have a re-flight, but Mark was able to figure out the reverse polish notation employed by the program for this matter & we had the provisional results very soon after the final round was flown. Once audited, the final scores will be published on the F3J Blog.

The conditions started off as wonderful soaring on the post winter (very) dry & dusty field – with huge thermals encamped over the field, but after the glorious first round, the wind sprang up & the thermals became slightly more elusive. Catching a sniff upwind & chasing this downwind to spec distance was the order of the day for most. The provisional ranking attests to these challenging conditions with even some of the top flyers battling to achieve their usual form. The 2008 F3J senior team qualifiers are starting to look as if they are going to be a real humdinger, with probably the most competitive field in many years all with relatively similar opportunities for team positions. Also important was that Ryan Nelson managed to achieve 89% of the top score, which permits him to qualify for the reserve position of the 2008 F3J Junior team – but this is pending the outcome of any other juniors participating in the remaining scheduled F3J events as per the extended dealing published recently. Simon Nelson (Ryan’s dad) commented that they had probably learnt more in one day than in a lifetime of flying – many thanks to Craig Goodrum & Ian Lessem for assisting. Well flown to all!

Catering was most welcome from Martie & her travelling diner – cold drinks were cold, hot beverages hot, and the food was great! Paul “spoons” Carnall did well – with the most gentlemanly call I have ever heard from a CD during a competition just after round 3; “would it be possible to break for lunch, everyone?”.

Finally, what would F3J be without the towmen? It was simply amazing to watch towmen (some of whom were only flying from winches) running across the field to assist other the teams this strenuous activity. Well done for this amazing sense of team spirit & camaraderie.

F3J event: ETB North field, 19 August 2007

The first Q3 F3J event will be held on Sunday, 19 August 2007, at ETB's "North" Field - just north of Boksburg. The entry includes 20 pilots from the Highveld & KZN areas, as well as the current F3J National champion & most of the qualifying pilots for the 2008 F3J World Championship. This is an ideal field for RC thermal soaring - it is large & generally flat as far as the eye can see. Any obstructions are a safe distance from the field. The field was recently used to host the F3B clinics.

This event will permit winch launches, but those wishing to qualify for the junior team Reserve position & also those wishing to practice for the upcoming senior team trials must/will be opting for fast & powerful towed launches. The competition will be scored using the international F3J Score programme, which has been used very successfuly for similar events in the past. Time keeping will likely be automated too, as the pre-matrixed event allows for very tight control to be maintained.

Safety is always a paramount concern during these events & all visitors are requested to stay within the marked flight line & landing corridor. All vehicles are to be parked alongside the field. So far the weather predictions (SAW!) are very promising, warm with clear skies for the weekend - all indicate ideal soaring conditions. Safe flying!

F3J Junior Team reserve - selection period extended

The 2008 F3J Junior Team selection process was approved & published at the start of 2007. In July 2007, 3 junior RC glider pilots (Conrad Klintworth, Simon Tladi, & Kurt Stockton) achieved the qualifying criteria and were selected to represent SA at the 2008 F3J World Championship in Turkey. At this time no other juniors achieved the necessary qualification level, and the position of reserve pilot is still available.

Since F3J as a team event, it is important that a reserve be available for the F3J team should one of the selected members not be able to fulfil their team obligations. The MGA have extended the F3J Junior Team selection period and will consider the results of any junior RC glider pilot that competes in the remaining 2007 F3J events sanctioned on the 2007 MGA calendar for the position of (non-travelling) reserve. The selection will be announced in January 2008 by the MGA.

To ensure consistency with the existing selection process, the following criteria are applicable:

  • The 2008 F3J Junior Team qualification criteria must be fulfilled (including: the Junior RC Glider Pilot must comply with the FAI F3J rules, a minimum of 80% of the winning score of the event must be achieved, the pilot must be a SAMAA member in good standing, and the pilot may not be older than 18 years on 1 January 2008)
  • The single best score achieved across the events will determine the selection of the Junior Team Reserve
  • The positions of the selected F3J junior team pilots as published in the minutes of the 2007 MGA AGM are not affected by this process, and these pilots are permitted to participate in any of the remaining F3J events in 2007
  • National colours can only be requested for those individuals who represent SA during the respective World Championship

Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact the MGA regarding this matter.


The MGA BLOG is intended to provide the MGA with a mechanism for communicating with anyone interested in RC Gliding (Soaring) in South Africa. As the designated Special Interest Group (SIG) representing gliding in SA, the MGA is responsible for:
  • representing the interests of all RC glider pilots within SAMAA (the SA RC governing body)
  • providing a structure in which SA RC glider pilots can compete (locally & internationally)
  • generating interest in RC gliding in South Africa (including thermal, slope & electric assisted)
We intend to expand the MGA BLOG to provide a reference site & document archive. The MGA BLOG will be used to host opinion polls for matters concerning the national group of RC glider pilots. We start the BLOG with the question about F3J being a team sport & recognising each team members contribution. Our next poll will be addressed at revising the National Postals approach - we endeavour to ensure that sufficient time is allowed for discussion & decion making.

We would like to thank you for taking the time to look at our BLOG & welcome suggestions for improvement.