Notice of Event: National Postals Q1

Just a reminder that the first quarter Postals starts on 1 February 2008.

Please remember that you are now allowed to compete on any day, but you are only allowed one attempt - which you have to decide whilst the clock is running on during the first flight. Clubs scores will now be calculated using the 4 highest scoring club members during the course of the month, whilst all the other rules (5 consecutive flights,...) remain the same as 2007.

These rules are available for download from

Safe flying

Notice of Event: Sungazer Scale Glider 12/13 April 2008

The Sungazer Scale Glider will be held at Volkrust on the weekend of 12 /13 April 2008.

The event is open to all SAMAA pilots rated (or who have formally requested a GLIDER rating prior to the event) with at least a GLIDER solo. There is no entry fee but only Scale Gliders will be permitted (no zagi's, PSS, F3F, etc) & pre-entry is necessary to Mike May or via the MGASA forum.

Please be advised that strict SAMAA & MGA safety rules will be enforced.

Notice of F3J event - 20 Jan 2008 at BERG

Following closely on the heels of a great HTL #1, Sunday 20 Jan will see the first F3J event for 2008. The event will start 09h00 at BERG with the pilots briefing & the first slot will commence around 09h30. The format will be similar to SOAR-J: 150 metre winch launch, with a 10 minute task/working time window & FAI style measured landing. The 2008 SA F3J teams will also be there - but they will be towing.

So why not come along & watch, or better yet, fly alongside the teams - to see if you can better the top F3J pilots in SA.

Please forward all entries to me before 10h00 on Thursday 17 Jan for matrixing. Entry is free, but if we get sufficient demand Marti may be able provide catering....

Fly safely,
Lionel Brink

Make flying safe...

Over the past few months a number of incidents (I have counted at least 3 to date) have occured where individuals were observered or caught flying RC aircraft within line of sight of club fields or competitive events. Obviously the consequences of a competition F3B/J model going out of control are simply horrendous, but I will leave that up to the more imaginative to narrate further.
It is my observation that we appear to be experiencing this more & more regularly & is not only a end-of-year insanity thing. We cannot blame the hobby shops (or general retailers for that matter) for distributing more & more equipment - because in some of the cases, the transgressors are experienced RC pilots! Nor can we blame the park flyers for wanting to experience the joy of RC flying simply because they are not members, AFAIK it is not a legal requirement in SA to be a member - if anyone can SHOW me which Act this is specified in, I'll gladly retract this previous statement.
The issue is what can we do about it? I do not believe that the current organisational structures have the capacity to deal with this on a voluntary basis. Also, IMHO, this is not a simple "pay someone to make the problem go-away" solution. I have received a number of suggestions or read the following suggestions on the various forums over the last few months, but would sincerely value your inputs:
  • SAMAA to produce a small (A5) sheet providing safety information for the purchase of radio equipment (Tx, Rx, servos, engines/motors, kits & ARF's), which LHS' distribute in all purchases

  • Legislation to be requested that requires certification of RC pilots, licensing of Tx's, and criminalising similar "negligent" flying activities (this begs the questions of the "negligence" & the reasonable person argument, but I am not qualified to comment on law matters...)
  • Individuals all to immediately purchase 2.4Ghz sets that do away with the "fixed" frequency issues

Or perhaps we need to implement a more radical field based frequency control mechanism the ... :-)

I would also like to know what other countries have done or are doing about this problem, as I cannot believe it is unique to SA? Please forward any suggestions via the MGASA forum on Yahoo! Groups.

Safe flying, please

2008 HTL #1 - ETB

I was initially a little concerned that the recent good rains might render the field useless - as most of the veld within the Gauteng region was at least chest high. However, upon arriving early at the field my fears were clearly unfounded as the ETB club, with their usual efficiency, had already mowed the winch & landing areas, and furthermore had already laid out the the lanes & lines markers! The ground was remarkably soft - but that was all due to the rains. In all, the field was well prepared & the lush green surrounds boded well for a excellent day's competitive thermal gliding.
The thermal conditions were somewhat challenging - from early on there was hardly any vertical distinction, but this changed as the temperatures increased into a very hot day with the occasional boomer drifting past. The wind remained N-S'ish for the entire day, with the course flags only changing direction when thermal feeders moved by. Temperatures were in the upper 20's to mid 30's (Celsius) with a very high humidity factor.
The models flown were a rather eclectic mix of commercial Experience Pro's & Pike Perfect's predominantly, with a few a locally produced/built Eish! & Shongololo's. I saw Ian's Supra, Evan's Emoyeni & Gordon's Ava also making good work of the light'ish conditions. I was pleasantly surprised to see Stephen flying what I assumed to be a foam core balsa sheeted glider - to good effect regarding his launches & landings! Towards the end of the day, Herman moved to his Trinity with good results, having experienced considerable problems with his 2.4 Ghz reception in his primary model (XPro).
During the scoring I was surprised to see how close the results were - most competitors' slot scores were all within a 60 second spread, with only the landings differentiating individuals. Even after reviewing the individual scores, I had no idea who was the leader until I printed the total results. Once again we used F3JScore for the matrix & scores with the only issues being the unforgiving score capture interface - hence a lengthy review process. Nevertheless, after 6 full rounds, scores captured & reviewed, prize giving was over by 15h00! It was interesting to see that a large group stayed on until around 18h00 flying & talking - just as well for Paul, who got a little stuck in some mud (Dodge Calibre Recovery Services were rendered with some humour, of course).

Special thanks to our CD for the day (Dave?) - he kept us all on the straight & narrow, with impeccable time keeping & calling. Marti was there again with her traveling diner - that early morning coffee was awesome (thanks), and the cold drinks & burgers were really good throughout the day. ETB were the stars again - I am confident that the 2008 Nats will be well organised too. Finally, a special thanks to all the competitors & spectators - it really was one of the best HTL events in some time, everyone was enjoying themselves, good natured bantering up & down the flight line, & competitors congratulating each other on exceptional performances:

  • Evan's first slot max, out flying everyone with his OD Emoyeni, but flew into himself on landing

  • BJ servo's burnout just prior to the first slot, he repaired these & then lost the stabs of his Shongololo during a deep zoom (fortunately there was virtually no damage to the model due in part to the long grass & very soft ground)

  • Volney catching a massive thermal downwind, then flying back again for no reason other that to just keep the model in sight

  • Chris comfortably sitting under the gazebo, probably munching on a long piece of grass , whilst maxing out his slot

  • The ribbing after Piet "stabbed" into the soft ground for a near perfect spot & the fin a good foot or two off the ground

There was one RES100 model and one 2M model, but the both pilots elected to fly in the Open class as for the rest of the year:

1 Tladi; Simon (Junior) MMS 4894.11288 (100.0 %) R1:1000.00 R2:1000.00 R5:997.24 R6:996.13 R3:900.74 (R4:569.16)
2 Shaw; Evan BER 4870.15484 (99.5 %) R1:1000.00 R3:1000.00 R5:994.65 R6:976.78 R2:898.72 (R4:394.38)
3 Klintworth; Volney SGC 4825.84925 (98.6 %) R5:1000.00 R4:991.81 R3:975.50 R6:962.48 R2:896.06 (R1:530.10)
4 Carnall; Paul ETB 4743.27955 (96.9 %) R6:1000.00 R2:1000.00 R4:997.84 R5:959.94 R1:785.49 (R3:770.61)
5 Lessem; Ian MMS 4731.47251 (96.7 %) R3:1000.00 R5:993.49 R2:978.99 R6:884.50 R1:874.49 (R4:849.40)
6 Klintworth; Conrad (Junior) SGC 4730.32617 (96.6 %) R1:1000.00 R4:1000.00 R5:1000.00 R6:960.44 R3:769.88 (R2:655.85)
7 Bruwer; Johan TRM 4712.89917 (96.3 %) R5:997.09 R6:987.88 R2:941.01 R4:919.42 R1:867.50 (R3:405.04)
8 Liebenberg; Dion ETB 4709.8659 (96.2 %) R6:1000.00 R5:999.43 R3:976.23 R2:969.05 R4:765.15 (R1:613.22)
9 Adrian; Chris SGC 4624.97438 (94.5 %) R2:999.14 R4:998.70 R3:996.96 R5:989.27 R6:640.90 (R1:593.31)
10 Rheeders; Piet BER 4486.38747 (91.7 %) R3:1000.00 R6:1000.00 R4:996.26 R5:869.31 R1:620.81 (R2:401.51)
11 Marusich; Derek (2M) BER 4485.11081 (91.6 %) R2:994.12 R5:969.67 R3:908.12 R6:897.67 R1:715.53 (R4:677.69)
12 King; Rudi SGC 4427.3717 (90.5 %) R4:991.81 R3:976.95 R6:950.27 R2:828.67 R5:679.68 (R1:535.95)
13 Weber; Herman ETB 4310.11183 (88.1 %) R4:998.56 R6:985.43 R5:872.02 R1:730.24 R2:723.87 (R3:275.36)
14 Brink; Lionel MMS 4036.13287 (82.5 %) R2:1000.00 R4:1000.00 R5:803.75 R3:713.69 R1:518.69 (R6:378.27)
15 May; Mike BER 3803.44422 (77.7 %) R4:1000.00 R3:979.66 R5:968.53 R2:495.72 R1:359.53 (R6:306.28)
16 Moore, Peter ETB 3728.06055 (76.2 %) R5:1000.00 R4:852.50 R6:728.11 R1:603.57 R2:543.89 (R3:527.07)
17 Liebenberg; Stephen (Junior) ETB 3157.57468 (64.5 %) R6:971.57 R2:804.32 R3:583.07 R1:426.42 R4:372.19 (R5:317.63)
18 Prahm; Gordon (RES100) BER 2586.85318 (52.9 %) R6:686.87 R5:639.63 R3:537.68 R4:413.22 R2:309.45 (R1:288.07)
19 Davies; Robert MMS 186.09498 (3.8 %) R1:186.09 R2:0.00 R3:0.00 R4:0.00 R5:0.00 (R6:0.00)

The club scores are comprised of the top 3 scoring pilots in Open class:

1 SGC 1,000 (100.0%) Volney, Conrad, Johan
2 BERG 970 (97.0%) Evan, Piet Derek
3 ETB 965 (96.5%) Paul, Dion, Herman
4 MMS 957 (95.7%) Simon, Ian, Lionel

Congratulations to the winners, participants & everyone who made the event so enjoyable.

Fly safely,

We ended 2007 on an amazing high, with one of the most succesful HTL seasons ever. It was an extremely close contest the entire year, but one I am sure everyone enjoyed. This year will see a small change to the overall league structure which was debated during Nov 2007; provisionally 8 regular league contests are scheduled, and the best 5 of these events will count towards the overall league results. Please notice that any cancelled events or non-participation will automatically be counted as a throwaway. Finally, the 2008 league will not include Postals nor the results from the RC Gliding Nationals. I am confident that this will result in an even closer contest - with "down to the wire" finals.

The first 2008 HTL event is scheduled for Sunday 13 January 2008 at ETB. Based on a brief discussion with ETB, this event will allow 3 pilots per team, matrixed & using winches to launch for the three classes (Open, RES100, or 2M). If you wish to enter more than one class - YOU will be responsible for ensuring support from a FULL team for each class entered. A small fee will be levied per class entered - ETB will confirm costs, starting times, lunch, field logistics, etc.

Please send your entries (team, name, club, class, primary & alternate frequency) to me before 10h00 on Thursday, 10 January 2007 - I will not be publishing the entry list prior to this. Please provide the alternate frequency - having only a single frequency makes it pointless to matrix.

Fly safely