F5K Postals

A special thanks to the guys from KMAC in Durban for their support in flying F5J postals this time round. Welcome to the gliding family. I hope you all get involved next time as well.

The results of our very small entry were:

1st - Lionel Smith
2nd - Leon Boshoff
3rd - Damien Clark
4th - Bruce Clark

Next round will be in February... I'm sure that there will be changes made to the rules before then, but I will send an update as soon as final decisions have been made.


F3K League

We arrived at the polo field bright and early this morning looking forward to the F3K comp. On getting out of the car we were nearley blown away. Fortunately I was the only one to chicken out of the comp because of the wind, so we were left with 5 pilots for today's comp. Nice to have John Monk join us, even though he had servo problems and was not able to fly, but thank you for you help. Also nice to have Volney join us and we hope to see him for at least a few of the comps next year. Thanks to everyone that jointed us and flew all 6 rounds under less than pleasant conditions. The results are as follows:

1st Alan - 5000 points
2nd Johan - 4858 points
3rd Rudi - 4268 points
4th Volney - 3869 points
5th Reino - 2063 Points

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Round 4

Round 5

Round 6

Total before throw away

Total after throw away
















































2010 National F3J Team - Seniors

Hi everyone,

Following the advised selection process, the National F3J Team has been selected for the World Championships in France, 2010:

Congratulations to Craig, Chris & Paul for this achievement.
The pilots must still select their Team Manager ("coach" as per AeroClub / SASCOC definition).
Fly safely
Hi All

List below shows the 9 pilots that have responded by the cut-off Friday
9th October.
Please can all now confirm so I can do score sheets, field layout, frequencies, etc.



2010 F3J National Team - Jnr team trial results

Congratulations to the 4 junior pilots who flew in challenging conditons this past weekened. The outcome is the selection of the top 3 pilots for the National Jnr F3J team to France in 2010.

Well done to Conrad, Jason & Ryan for qualifying & special congratulations to Tsepho (non travelling reserve).

Fly safely

2009 Bill Vos results

The final round of the BVMT was flown in some really challenging conditions. Every competitor had at least one bad flight. In slot 2 of the final round Andre Leusch took the honours with a time of 2min10seconds and a 4m spot!

Michel Leusch, who was 20 odd points behind Simon and Allan at the end of round 3 produced the best results of the day, closely followed by yours truely with 996. Allan was 3rd and Simon 4th. After a very shaky start young Ryan started to get to grips with the challenging conditions to finish 5th. Don, who was having some serious problems with his planes finished 6th and Andre 7th. Andre finished the day in style by wining slot 2 in the final round.

The Championship: As mentioned above, the scores were very evenly poised at the end of round 3. After his victory today, Michelle leap-frogged Allan and Simon and is the BVMT Champion for 2009. Simon Nelson finished second with Allan and Dennis joint 3rd. Ryan, the only junior in the competition finished a very creditable 5th overall.

I would like to thank all of those that participated in the event and hope that we can have even more pilots participating in 2010. Thanks also to Michel's girlfriend (sorry I have forgotten her name) for her assistance with the scoring. With her assistance the results were available before the planes had been packed away.

Cheers for now. Hope to see you at the field in the near future.

Kind regards,

2009 Nats - F5J Report

If I remember correct the first Nats where I flew an F5J event it was at Groengoud 2006 Nats. At that stage mostly S400 motors were used. The launch times were 60 to 90 seconds if you found lift soon. I think Dion or Mark won with a Graupner Culumlus 1.8m S400 glider same as what I was flying at the time.

The entries have increased steadily the past 4 years for the event. This year we had 13 entries, the second largest number per category following F3J/EW. The models covered the spectrum from the foam ARF models (Wolfie, Zimmy, Craig/Tshepo), Balsa 2m ARF (Lionel), 2m Tsotsi-E (Rudi) , Purpose built balsa/composite 2.5m (Gert), Troodon 3.7m (Simon), Ex-Pro/ shadow with motor pod on wing (Herman, Paul), XPro-E (Johan, Dion used 2 moldies, although I only saw the 20" prop) to a 1.4m E-Hawk (Craig, it always looked high but was only 'cause his model was so small).

All the motors used this year were brushless and in most cases Lipo battery packs were used. The format of the event is similar to F3J where your launch time (motor on) is subtracted from the flying time of 10 minutes. A re- launch is allowed with the penalty of losing the landing points to a max of 30 points. This allows for some strategy to be worked out on each flight depending on the air conditions. The objective would be to reduce launch time and find lift for the rest of the 10 minutes. The choice is yours how high you want to launch and reduce risk of not finding lift.

From the scores I see the motor on times were at best 20 seconds and worst 120+ seconds. The competitive models were averaging 40 seconds and less. My launching time is between 10 seconds and 15 per launch. In order to optimize this, a tradeoff is required between motor /battery size and airframe weight. I would be able to improve my launch times but the lightly constructed airframe would not be able to withstand that. The molded models can withstand higher powered launches, but would need a thick checkbook to afford a power system to do better launch times. As proven with this Nats the launch times is a factor but if you are able to thermal and read air well you will come out tops.

Johan did very well with his eX-Pro. He made his 10 minutes in most flights with only one launch and added the landing bonus. I think Dion missed the podium due to a misunderstanding of the rules on landing points for round 1. I had to use 2 launches most of the flights and lost my landing points, but due to the fact that my motor on times was very short, I gained in score.The moldies with motor pod was most interesting to me. This allows you to convert your standard F3J glider to a motorised electric model with little effort. According to Paul/Herman the pod do not have any significant effect on the model's performance. These accessories can be acquired from SoaringUSA.com at around $400.

Stats of motor setups I could get hold of:Dion: 1. Xperience Pro-E, 4s Flightpower 2150, ESC CC 60A with BEC. Kontronic FUN600 1500 u/V with 2/1 gearbox, Graupner precision spinner, Freudenthaler hand laid carbon 20x16 prop! Problems were experienced due to overheating of the BEC2. Eish 4S Flightpower Green, Hobbywing 65A ESC, Kontronic Fun 480 with 4/1 gearbox, Graupner precision spinner, Graupner CAM prop 13x7.

Johan: Xperience Pro-E, Scorpion motor & ESC, 4S 3300, 12x6 prop.Gert: SP2.5 , E-flight 15, 4 cell 2200, 13x8 prop (details on blog www.rcgroups.com/forums/member.php?u=16783)

Simon: Troodon, 3 cell poly, outrunner, 14 x 10 prop (supposed to be a Kontronic 480-33 but it burnt out in another model)

Lionel: Primera "Flaper", 2.7metre span , Axi 2814/16 motor, Scorpion Commander 35A ESC, on Flightpower EON 250 mAh 3S battery. Prop was a Graupner CAM 11x6.

Herman & Paul: F3J Xperience Pro, pod motor, folding 13x8 props, 3s LiPo

I hope our new F5J Rep Juanita Smith will organise more events for us during the next year.


2010 F3J National Team Trials

Following the 2009 Combined RC Soaring National Championships hosted at Noodsberg during September 2009, the results & invitations for the 2010 F3J National Team Trials are attached. Please notice that some scores WILL have changed since the Nats announcement, as these were for the combined Electric Winch & F3J. The results for the F3J team qualifications have been normalised without the EW winch scores, and this may have caused the ranking to change.

Ranking have also further been split between Snr & Jnr, although we have normalised these together. Scores have been calculated as per the F3J Rules issued by the FAI on 1 January 2009 (20 cm rule).

Qualifier #1 (BERG)

A moderately challenging event hosted in Guateng with moderate wind all day interspersed with strong gusts & a shift by 0ver 90 degrees during the course of the event.

Qualifier #2 (NOODSBERG)

A relatively challenging event, hosted in KZN, with wind swinging by 180 degrees during the days, varying from light to strong conditions.

Team trial invitations

As per the selection process advised previously, and following the 2 qualification rounds, the individual scores are used to rank the pilots & the top 10 are invited to participate in the Senior Team Trials (venue to be announced) during October 2009:

Each senior pilot has until 9 October 2009 to verify with the F3J representative if they will be participating in the team trials or not. In the event that any top 10 placed pilot is unable to attend, then the 11th ranked pilot will move into the tenth place, and so on.

Whilst there are not 10 pilots competing for the Junior team, the fact that 4 pilots are competing for the team eliminates the 80% minimum score rule:

Congratulations to all these pilots!


Please be advised that all competing pilots need to provide their own team, which may include their Caller, a Team Manager and 2 x Towmen. All pilots must also provide an independent time-keeper who does not fulfil one of these roles, and who will be allocated to the other pilots on a rotational basis. The organisers will not accept times from your yourself/Caller/Team Manager/Towman!

Entry fee for the Team Trials is R200, and will include lunch for the team members.

Fly safely

2009 Noodsberg Nats (Gert's Report)

I drove down on the Thursday morning (big mistake) when all the Gauteng long weekend holiday makers were on the N3. The day before the event a few of us enjoyed the beautiful flying weather at the Noodsberg club. I stayed over with Johan, Rudi, Chris, Conrad, Evan, Christo, Tia and Victoria at the Castaway guest farm house. Nice dinner made by the Tia and Vici and long stories around a few cold beers made us ready for the next day.

Friday morning started off with winds gusting up to 30km/h. It got a while to get organized at the field but no one was complaining. Most of the time was used to check out the competition and determine who’s was the largest. (Dion’s 20” prop won this round) The event got off with F5J, RES and 2m rounds with F3K following. By this time we had to change the winch direction already from first setup and clouds moved in followed by mist clouds. A few more slots of F3K was done but F3J launching could not be done safe and flying was cancelled. The AGM was held in good spirit at the country club before we moved off to Wartburg Hoff (What a letdown) for some Eisbein. Zimmy was to happy to have us all there as the place was like a "spookhuis". We were entertained till late by the Italian and had a lot of good laughs.

Saturday morning promised good weather and we had a great day of flying. There was a few spectacular and painful mishaps. Johan lost his Pike in the sun on a launch and it went in full speed. Allen lost his Supra due to a line tangle. Conrad damaged his model when he tried to land on the other side of the sewerage farm. A tree jumped in front of Little Ryan’s model on the way back to the field. I must say the juniors show BIG character flying at this level and performing this well. Lionel tried to destroy his F3K model all weekend but it was repairable every time. All in all the conditions was very challenging and very difficult to read. Most of the day was crosswind launches. We flew the last round of F3K just before sunset. The day was ended by all the tired pilots having a super dinner at the country club.

Sunday morning we were out again early. For the record, myself and Evan was first at the field every morning. Man it is a beautiful venue for gliding. Sunday was probably the best thermal weather of all the days. We had to do cross wind launches but could find lift easily during the morning. The wind picked up later and I think we ended just in time before it became un-flyable again (Evan will disagree).

Lionel. Well maybe I can write a separate chapter about this man. When a model is 5m up in the tree then Lionel will fetch it. When the scores have to be done, then Lionel will calculate. Who is collecting the spots after all has left? Lionel. If there is a major protest, Lionel is in the middle. If you need a 2 man tow, then Lionel will give you that tow all by himself. Who can compete in at least 5 classes (2m, RES, F3J, F5J, F3K and towman) and do a lot of the side organizing and scoring? Lionel! ………………… Gee wiz guys have we become so competitive that we only think of ourselves and can’t help this man.

A note to Wolfie who is organizing 2010: It is not necessary to plan 8 rounds for 2m, RES, F5J, F3K. Only 6 rounds I think is sufficient. Some pressure to start earlier will also help. Best time of year is a gamble but maybe June the risk is lower for rain. The idea of a class per day also surfaced again with a lot of pro’s and cons.

I would like to report on the F5J comp in a separate mail when I have more details as the evolution of this class the past 4 years was amazing.

Now why do we do this every year?

Up to this year I was lucky to be able to take home a memento of the Nats for the past 4 years and it makes it real special. Thanks to everyone who made it possible this year and congrats to all the winners.

PS now I am waiting for your versions!

F5J Extreme Rules

We are in the process of revising the BLOG & content and intend setting up a section which contains the common flying rules & MGA's Sporting Code. Following enquires after the 2009 RC Soaring National Championships, the F5J Extreme Rules applied are below:
  1. Any electric powered RC glider can enter
  2. The objective is to achieve a 10 minute flight time in 12 minutes working time
  3. The flight is scored for each second of flight time, one point deducted for every second
    over the flight time
  4. The motor run time is unlimited but will be subtracted from the flight time at a rate of a point per second depending on the motor handicap
  5. A motor handicap is applied: brushless 95%, brushed Cobalt 75%, Ferrite 45%, and Speed400 30%
  6. The motor run time is multiplied by the handicap factor before deducting these points from the flight time
  7. Should the motor be restarted during flight, then no landing bonus is awarded irrespective of the distance to the landing spot
  8. A landing bonus points of 30pts within 1 metre radius of the landing spot will be awarded
  9. The landing bonus will reduce by 3 points per metre from the landing mark
  10. The landing is measured from the landing spot to any part of the plane closest to the spot
  11. Any type of battery cell is legal

Please be advised that there are different rules for flying competitive electric powered RC gliders: the F5J "Euro" rules that resets the flight time after any motor re-start, but awards a 100 point landing bonus as per F3J, and also a new development which imposes an electronic altimeter within the model which will cut the motor power after 30 seconds or 200 metres altitude. The MGA has not, to the best of my knowledge, experimented with these options yet & cannot comment on them.

Should you have any suggestions or comments regarding F5J, please refer these directly to the F5J representative.

Fly safely

Draft 2009 AGM minutes


1. Welcome
  • The outgoing chairperson welcomed everyone attending the 2009 AGM for the Model Gliding Association
  • The organisers of the 2009 Nationals were thanked for their efforts
  • All officers & portfolio representatives on the MGA were thanked for their contributions during the year

2. Previous minutes

  • It was noted that copies of the 2008 AGM minutes were distributed electronically immediately following the 2008 National Championships.
  • No amendments or corrections were suggested & these were accepted by agreement

3. Feedback on previous actions arising

  • Following discussion in 2008 it was generally agreed that the current & future RC Glider pilots had a need for funding of National competitions. It was noted that the MGA was not geared towards administration of individual memberships & the impact of imposing a membership fee within another SIG was considered catastrophic & contrary to the interests of promoting the sport. As an alternate to the “membership fee” option, it was reported that the MGA has recorded an income of over R4,000 from the HTL events since the previous AGM. This money was used to maintain the MGA competitions box, as well as fund considerably towards the 2009 Nats. It was felt that although minimal, the contributions of pilots competing could successfully be used to their benefit instead of a membership / admin fee. It was proposed that the various regions consider this mechanism in lieu of a membership fee for supporting their Nats efforts.
  • In terms of communications, all electronic files attached to emails within the MGASA forum, were uploaded to the MGASA files or MGA BLOG section.
  • In 2008 it was proposed that a formal RC Gliding National committee be investigated to assist in the hosting & funding of future National Competitions. The MGA has reviewed this & agreed instead to maintain the status quo in that the Nationals are hosted by a specific club. Clubs are requested to submit proposals in advance of the AGM & the winning proposal to be announced at the AGM. If no proposals are received at the time of the AGM, then the MGA will not schedule a Nat’s for the following year.

4. Proposals

  • The MGA were instructed by the attending MGA members not to pursue the matter of memberships fees further in lieu of the alternate “regional competition” funding mechanism discuss previously.
  • Formal guidelines for competitive event organisers were drafted & circulated on the MGA BLOG in Feb 2009. The attending MGA members agreed that these guidelines would apply to all future MGA events.

5. Election of Office Bearers

The MGA Executive:

  • Chairperson Lionel Brink
  • Vice-chair Herman Weber
  • Treasurer Gordon Prahm
  • Secretary Craig Goodrum

The following competitive discipline representatives were elected:

  • F3B Rodney Goodrum
  • F3J Herman Weber
  • F3K Stephane du Ponsel
  • F5J Juanita Smith

In addition, a number of portfolios are managed within the MGA:

  • T&D Simon Tladi
  • Calendar Evan Shaw
  • MGASA Izak Theron
  • Badges Evan Shaw
  • HTL Johan Bruwer
  • BVT Dennis Bird
  • 2M Rudi King
  • Postals John Lightfoot
  • Slope Soaring Izak Theron (Gauteng)
  • Kevin Farr (WP)
  • Russel Conrad (KZN)
  • Cross Country Paul Carnall

6. Next Nationals

  • The MGA received 2 proposals to host the combined 2010 RC Soaring Nationals. Based on the historical coastal/inland hosting schedule, the fact the 2010 Nationals are F3B focussed & the need to trial a number of factors regarding the potential 2012 F3J World Championship, the MGA awarded the 2010 National Championships to the MMS club.

7. Actions arising

  • No actions were requested from the floor, but noted that the requirements for cross-country events would be discussed directly with the CAA in the near future.

8. Next Meeting

  • The next AGM is scheduled for the 2010 National RC Gliding Championships

Fly Safely

National RC Soaring Records

The MGA is pleased to announce the ratification of the following records:

F3B Speed: 14.2 seconds, Michelle Goodrum at the 2009 F3B World Championships, Czech Republic, August 2009

F3B Distance: 34 laps, Craig Goodrum at the 2009 Brno World Cup, Czech Republic, August 2009

Congratulations to these pilots

2010 F3J World Championships - Qualifier #1

The 1st 2010 F3J National Team Qualifier event was hosted succesfully at BERG on 22 August 2009. To allow for poor weather, Sunday 23 August 2009 was also scheduled, but as we were able to fit in 6 full rounds this was deemed unnessessary.

The field was swung around by more than 90 degrees during the day to account for a change in wind direction (which the weather force suggested might be northerly all day - obviously it never was). Click on the results table to expand to full size:

For the record, Chris was flying his Pike Perfect, Craig maidened his Explorer, Michele flew a Pike Perfect SL & Explorer.

Derek Marusich was our fantastic CD for the day, & he most kindly donated the R100 petrol money back to the MGA to support the team. Martie provided catering (did we mention that F3J is rather physical & requires lots of energy?).

The only issue occured when a full size aircraft (a "Jabiru"?) tried to fly amongst the models in the air over the field. He had to take hard evasive action (90 degrees left turn) & the closest model performed a split-S (on landing) to avoid a almost certain crash. It was just as well that thios pilot took action, as I believe he would have smashed into the radio tower if he had contunued along his route. Unbelievably, this all took place at less than 80 metres altitude - a CAA "near miss" incident will be reported.

Fly Safely

2010 F3J World Championships

The official 2010 F3J WC website is up. If all goes well, finances/etc., then SA is intending on fielding two full teams of Seniors & Juniors.

Fly Safely

Notice of MGA AGM

Please be advised that the Annual General Meeting of the MOdel Gliding Association of South Africa, the designated SAMAA SIG for RC Soaring, will be held at the end of the 2009 National Championships.

Any proposals to be adopted by vote must be received by the MGA Secretary in writing, one (1) week in advance of the National Championships.


  1. Welcome
  2. Previous minutes
  3. Matters arising/reports
  4. Proposals
  5. Appointment of Host Club for 2010 National Soaring Championships
  6. Election of Office Bearers
  7. Next meeting


2009 HTL #6 - September at SGC

Challenging & fun!

The conditions were "interesting" , huge lift vs. massive sink would alternatively blanket the entire field for 15 - 20 minutes at a time. During the last round I saw the most amazing thermal ever - probably only about 1 metre wide, but rising at sufficient speed to push a gliders nose up by more than 30 degrees. Of course, the sink around this single column of air was equally nasty & only a few managed more than 5 minutes.

Thanks to everyone & especially the honorable Gordon Brown (our brilliant CD), SGC (field), Johan Bruwer & Jochen Schmidt (field lay-out), Martie (food &drink) & all the competitors & helpers for a wonderful day. The F3J format made for a great change & watching all the models launch simultaneously is awesome.

What made the event particularly special were the Fish Eagle calls! Watching a juvenile Fish Eagle being bombarded by a small Kite was also rather amazing & a instituted somewhat of a struggle to keep my eyes on my model. All up, we counted at least 4 Fish Eagle "spots", and a Black Eagle that also meandered across the air space after we had finished. I believe that Derek & Martie were able to get some shots of this & trust they will allow us to use these photo's for the BLOG?

The results are attached - audited as per scoresheets provided, & scored according to the 20 cm 2009 F3J rule. Congratulations to everyopne who participated, and commiserations to Axel, Trevor & Michelle for the loss of their models.

Final result (click on the table to see a bigger & clearer picture)

The next MGA event is the 2009 RC Soaring Nationals in KZN from 24 September, and the next HTL will be hosted at WHRF on 4 Oct 2009 using a similar F3J format.

Fly safely

Fast track program

Keen pilots: (l-r) Jason, Bhopelo, Simon & Tsepho on a bitterly cold & wet July 2009 day at SGC
As many of you know the SAMAA (& MGA) have actively been involved in a transformation effort for some time. Our efforts have been directed mostly at the youth and I have been lucky to be part of the training of one of our Junior Proteas on the F3J (RC Thermal Gliders launch by hand tow) team, Simon Tladi. Simon actively embraced the spirit of the transformation effort and has been taking part in many of the activities, helping others with a passion for flight to meet up with others having the same or similar interests.

Herman, Tsepho, Michelle & Jason at WHRF during July 2009
2008 was the last year that Simon qualified as a junior and this left us in a sad position were we had no active junior model glider pilot to fill his shoes on the team. Never fear! Johan Coetzer had a plan and he snuck in an agenda item at the last transformation meeting...

"Fast tracking"

Joe's idea is that the transformation program has been running for a while now and a good test of how well we have done in developing our reach into the broader public is to see if we can select and train a development pilot for the 2010 junior F3J team. By strict definition all junior pilots on the next team could easily be seen as development pilots as the definition on a junior level is persons born after 1994. So in reality we need to measure our ability to bring a black pilot into the fold.

Herman, Tsepho, & Michelle at WHRF After outlining the plan and closing the meeting there was a mission. Two pilots were selected who matched the requirements for "fast tracking", Ontiretse Bophelo Phaladi a grade 10 learner at Cornerstone College and Tsepho Molefe a learner at Leeukop. Bophelo is close to solo in the Cornerstone program under the direction of Rob Hurlin and Tsepho was introduced to the BERG club where I fly by Peter Eagle. Both seem to love flying and now the competition is on. For the first time ever there are 4 known (we have not yet had our first qualification competition) junior pilots who will likely be trying out for the 3 available spots on the junior team.

Herman & Tsepho at WHRF
It will obviously not be easy for the newcomers to advance to the standard where they can compete at a high level, and many hours of intensive practice are required which requires dedication and sacrifice from them, but don't worry - our efforts will include an element of keeping it enjoyable, isn't that what it is all about?

With all this in mind please feel free to contact me if you (or someone you know) would be interested in fast tracking for the junior F3J team in future, craig@murdoog.co.za.

Craig Goodrum

2009 National RC Soaring Championships

We are pleased to announce that the MGA have provisionally accepted the KZN offer to host the 2009 National RC Soaring Championships scheduled for 24 - 27 September 2009 at Noordberg . Entry forms & further details will be made available through the SAMAA Newsletter, MGASA & the MGA BLOG site. Should you be aware of anyone who is not "e-connected" & may be interested, please advise the MGA, via this mailing list & we will make every attempt to ensure they receive notices of this competition.

Our sincerest thanks to Simon Nelson & the various RC soaring pilots in KZN for this gracious offer.

Fly safely

Wing bagging & composites information

Some of you may have noticed that the F3X web site with the wing bagging article has been removed. This article and several others can now be found on the following web site - Useful documents relating to the “Model Aircraft Materials & Techniques” Course or go directly to the Web Site http://www.amtcompo sites.co. za/ who have kindly hosted these documents (click on "Training and Seminars" to find the link to these documents).

More documents will be added, so check back once in a while.

F3J National RC Soaring Team qualifications

The following dates have been identified by the MGA for qualification rounds & the team trials for the National F3J team to France in 2010:

  • F3J Qualifier #1: 22 & 23* August 2009 (location ?GGGC?)
  • F3J Qualifier #2: 24 – 27 September 2009 (2009 National Championships te KZN/BERG)
  • F3J Team Trials: 24 & 25* October 2009 (?X-treme?)

The format of both the Qualifications & Team Trials events will be according to the CIAM 2009 F3J rules, accommodating local field conditions for safety reasons where necessary: two-man towed launches, launch lines not to exceed 150 metres at 20N force, working time of 10 minutes. The only deviation from CIAM’s 2009 F3J rules will be to allow up to 4 pilots per team, which permits 2 x towers, a pilot & a caller combination. Please refer to the FAI/CIAM website for the full set of F3J rules, and the MGA BLOG for the National Team Selection process. The second day (*Sunday) for the Q1 & Team Trails are reserve days only if needed. The top ten pilots from the qualifiers will be invited to attend the 2009 F3J Team Trials as per the defined process.

In the event that not more than 3 pilots are available to qualify for a team (Senior & Junior teams), the MGA may still consider approving a pilot who at a National Championship level in the appropriate discipline has achieved a minimum of 80% of the National Championships winner’s score.

All pilots intending to participate in Qualifier #1 are to provide their entries by 31 July 2009. To enter you must provide the following details:

  • Team (single pilots will be advised of “open” teams, but the organisers will not allocate individual pilots to these teams)
  • SAMAA number & date of expiry
  • Primary & Secondary frequency (whilst the organisers will make ever attempt to ensure that pilots remain on the same frequency during the event, for matrixing purposes they cannot guarantee that this will be the nominated primary frequency)
  • Email & telephone contact details

An entry fee of R50 per pilot will be charged for the first qualifier. Costs for the 2009 National Championships & F3J Team Trials will be announced later.

We will confirm catering at the field closer to the time.

Fly safely

2009 National Championships

Hi All

I have been asked to find out about the possible use of the BERG field near Krugersdorp for the NATS that are to be held from the 24th - 27th September. It is still in planning phase and as such I am asking all BERG and MMS members and other interested parties (new additions, beginners flying with a member there or development pilots) if there are any serious objections to closing the club for sport flying so as to facilitate holding the NATS.

Please contact me via MGASA/ Sarfly or pgeagle at mweb dot co dot za


Peter Eagle
Vice chair

2009 HTL #5 - SGC report

Unseasonal rain brought the 5th HTL event of 2009 to a unexpected early finish. However, these challenging weather conditions provided an ideal grounding for the F3J team trials to be held later in 2009.

The majority of top Gauteng RC soaring pilots were in evidence at the 5th Highveld Thermal League competition hosted at Silverton Glider Club, just east of Pretoria, South Africa. Accustomed to dry winters, the competition ended before the 6 rounds scheduled could be completed due to rain & concerns about safety (visibility & electronic equipment were adversely affected ). This was most unusual, as the last 4-5 years of HTL have only been interrupted by inclement weather once before (MMS, 2006 - I think). However, based on the MGA's guidelines regarding scoring of competitions that are not completed, it was still possible to enter the scores of fully completed rounds (more than 67% of flights had been completed).

The pilots briefing started a "little" later than advertised - unforeseen heavy traffic caused a number of late arrivals. However, once it started, our esteemed CD, the honorable Mr Gordon Brown made sure we stuck to the programme like clockwork. Just for the record, our Mr Brown was rather more popular on the field than that other chap from No. 10 Downing Street. He had not flown RC for some time, so to assist, a jury of pilots was nominated & accepted to deal with any protests - the good spirit of HTL (and non-refundable R250 protest fee) eliminated any potentially contentious incidents.

Keeping us fed & watered, & dry, the inimitable Martie's Travelling Diner was a welcome respite from the rigors (?) of RC Soaring. She had breakfast ready before the pilots briefing, lunch was served after round 3, and snacks/drinks were available the entire day. Most welcome was her gazebo during the numerous rain storms - although it was rather standing room only. We were also pleasently surprised by a number of spectators who just "came to see" our RC Soaring competition.

Most exiting is that we had 2 development pilots attending the HTL for the first time. Tsepo, who must still Solo, was keen to get his hands on the sticks & under the exciting tuition of Lightning (Simon) Tladi, they were seen running around & all over the field with a Multiplex EasyGlider almost all day long! Bhopelo, who has solo'd on a power RC aircraft through the Cornerstone College development programme, was able to succesfully fly a Tsotsi (locally designed & built) 2m class glider. During one of the early rounds he hooked a thermal & soon had the glider to absolute speck height. I am sure his caller was as enthuisastic about this sterling performance, but unfortunately the dour weather put paid to any notions of extended exposure (to RC flying that is). It was also challenging for Bophelo, as this was a) the first time he had ever seen an RC glider & b) the first time he had flown Mode 1. Next time around we will try for a mode 2 Tx, with a buddy chord, to give him more freedom as the majority of instructors appear to be mode 1.

A number of Nan Model Explorer's were flying, together with usual Pike Perfect's, Nan X-Pro's & Shadow's, Supra's, & a home built (Stephane's stealth F3B), as well as the National F3B teams Ceres/Ceres Lift models. The good weather at the start of the day made for easy thermalling & landings cleary dominated the earlier scores. However, as the lift reduced & the conditions started to resemble a somewhat soggy diaper, the lighter loaded models were able to hold on for those few crucial seconds more. Big launches became essential & spot landings essential to minimise score damage. We just managed to complete the 3 slot of the 4th round when the marginal lift turned into 100% sink & it started to rain. We waited out almost 30 minutes before it cleared & then snuck in a further 2 slots of round 5. Unfortunately, slot 3 was washed out in the downpoar that started before the end of round 5 slot 2, and as this continued unabated for some time, the assembled pilots decided to call it a day, to prevent water damage to both model & person.

Round by round results are attached below.

Overall results are below - these incredibly close scores do not necessarily reveal just how tough the event was the top half of the field all within 10% of the winning score! Congratulations to "the Crig" for an outstanding result with his F3B Ceres model, pipping Paul (X-Pro/Explorer) , and Alan in 3rd (Supra/Xpro) in the open class. Special notice for Derek flying his Sagitta 600 into 6th place in Open class! Jason Weber was the first junior home.

Results not shown are Derek Marusich first RES100 & first 2M. Juanita Smith & Johan Geldenhuys were 2nd & 3rd respectfully in both these classes.

The HTL circuit will return after the August F3B World Championships & F3J Team Qualifiers.

Images courtesy of Justin Honaker, scoring by F3JScore

Fly Safely.

World Air Games - Alan's report

The proud South African WAG team; (l-r) Alan, Stephane & MarkOur first day of flying was Saturday the 6th of June, which was to be or only practice day before the competition started. We arrived bright and breezy to sort out our accreditation doc’s that would give us the access that we need to get into the various restricted areas. Although when we arrived there was a little confusion as to where we were to set up to fly….
Alan setting up his modelsWe soon had everything put together and were ready for the practice round.
Mark prepping his 'green machine'
After a short but successful practice, we were wipped off to a pilots briefing that was unfortunately put on hold after a few minutes due to a huge hail storm that blew through (with a lot of stressed modelers, as our models were all in open tents). Fortunately for us Richard Swindells skipped the briefing and ran back to the tents to secure all our planes…
The opening ceremony Straight after the briefing, we left to rush to the hotel to prepare for the opening ceremony. We arrived at the center of Turino at about 6pm and the whole ceremony lasted about 3 hours. It was really spectacular, with parachutists landing in the square with very little room to land… the flame lighting and full brass band.
Athletes waiting to for the opening ceremony On Sunday the 7th, the local DLG club had arranged a F3K competition for us. This was run like clock work.

F3K results
It was a beautiful day that was so clear that we were surrounded by the ice capped Alps, and the field that we had the competition in was a square of grass that was cut in the middle of wheat fields. It was a stunning setting to fly.

Flying near the Alps
On Tuesday morning the 8th, we arrived at the airfield to very overcast weather. The breeze was blowing straight onto the no fly area (grandstands and public areas). There was absolutely no way that we could follow the lift as we had been told that if we go anywhere near those areas we would be DQ’d. Unfortunately Mark, Steph and myself all flew without ballast. Everyone else flew very heavy and managed to push forward to the tree line……. And Mark and I got hammered, although Steph did manage to win one round and not do too badly in the second round. We were lucky that these scores were not taken into account at a later stage. These scored were used to put us all into groups for the Semi-finals.

On Wednesday morning the 9th, our slot was a little later in the morning and we were lucky enough to have great weather once again. We knew that this time there was no room for mistakes. We had to fly perfect rounds, as we were expecting most of the competitors to max there flights, in which case, they would have taken the previous rounds scores into account. The top 8 were only separated by 12 points.

Stephane waiting his turn to fly On Friday the 11th, we once again had really great weather. We knew that we had a limited time slot, but that we would have a couple of rounds, before we would be called to stop. With only 8 of us in the final and the weather being as good as it was, we once again thought that this would be a long long final. It turned out that someone came down in every round until it was just Max and myself. Tony from the UK was the first one out, followed by Oleg from the US, then Vitalijus from LTU, Ricardas from LTU and Richard from the UK. There were a number of close calls for a number of us but we were lucky enough to land just a few seconds after the first plane was down. Francesco from Italy landed next and secured himself the bronze medal. Max and I then flew about 4 rounds and maxed all 4 at times we were doing rolls and aerobatics around one another just to keep the round exciting…….. but unfortunately we ran out of time and we were stopped for that time slot.

We were then told to be back by 6pm, and that we would continue with the final. We were finally called at 7:30pm to start, and ooooooops……………… I landed first. To Max’s credit he found 2 or 3 little bubbles and worked them well. (Mike Stern from the UK/ ex-ZIM received credit from Max for half of the gold, as he was launching for Max in the final)

Bob Skinner, president of the Aeromodelling CIAM handing over Alan's medal

On Saturday the 13th, we had the awards ceremony, and this was a very special moment for me. It was a very proud moment for myself and Bob Skinner who was there to award the medals to us.
(l-r) Alan, Max & Mike(?)
All in all it was a great trip and we have learnt a lot. A special thanks to the organizers, although we had small issues, they were always sorted out. Thanks to our team for all the support and help throughout the competitions, as well as Lionel Brink and Bob Skinner for their assistance and help in the qualifying rounds.


2009 RC Soaring Nationals - call for proposals

Although the event has been postponed until the end of the year by the MGA, to date, no clubs have offered to host the 2009 RC Gliding Nationals. The cut-off date for hosting proposals is 30 June 2009, following which the MGA will award the hosting to the most eligible proposal.

These proposals will be evaluated based on the level of organisation & the also perceived ability of the organisers to ensure the safety of competitors, spectators & neighbours. For a full list of the evaluation criteria, please contact your MGA representative or refer to the MGASA forum for more details.

Fly safely

FAI & anti-doping

FAI sporting license holders may be tested at any time during FAI competitions. If you are selected for testing, then as for any other sport, you must comply with the instructions provided to you by the testing agency. A refusal to test is considered to be a failed test. It is unclear at this time if this will be delegated to CIAM's aeromodelling commission, nor is is clear if "helpers" will fall into the same category as competitors.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) publishes the list of prohibited substances on its website http://www.wada-ama.org/. If you have been prescribed a medication by your doctor which is on the prohibited list, you require a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) form to be filled out by your doctor and send this to the FAI at least 21 days prior to the international event.

It should be noted that other prohibited substances are often found in over-the-counter medications that do not require prescription. It is therefore advisable to check the list prior to using these medications. Ultimately the competitor is responsible for what is in their system, with the possible punishment for a positive (or failed) test usually being a 2 year ban from the sport.

Refer to the FAI's anti-doping website as well as WADA for more information regarding this.

Podium finish for SA at inaugral 2009 WAG

The citizens of Turin were treated to the unrivalled spectacle of the FAI's World Air Games during June 2009. Particularly exciting is that Alan Smith of South Africa flew his DLG RC glider into 2nd place overall, following an intensely contested event that culminated in a second fly-off round to decide the positions. He unfortunately landed just 3 seconds earlier than the eventual winner, Massimiliano Sacchi from Italy to clinch his podium position. Mark Stockton and Stephane du Ponsel also represented South Africa proudly, all being invitated by the FAI organisers following almost a year of qualifications in South Africa.

Hand Launch Gliders (HLG), are small radio-controlled model-gliders with a maximum wing-span allowed by the F6D rules of 1.5 metres. Thanks to their relatively small weight and dimensions, these models can be launched by hand. To get a good flight, competitors must throw the glider as high as possible. Some years ago the competitors have thrown their models like a javelin, but today they prefer a discus-like throw (DLS) with which the skilled and trained competitors can reach a starting height above sixty metres.

The aim of the competitor is to keep his glider in the air longer than his competitor using the rising air contained in tshermals. These thermals are in fact bubbles or columns of warm air rising in the surrounding colder air. Finding these bubbles may not be easy, but the skilled pilots can use them to maximise their model's flight time. On sunny days the thermals can be very intense and good pilots are able to fly for several hours in these conditions.

In the F6D competition as hosted at the inaugral World Air Games, the flight time is limited; five minutes at qualification and three minutes at semi-final and final. A series of elimination rounds decide the finalists; in each round the pilot which lands first goes out. Sometimes the thermals are extended and easy to find, then if all competitors are able to stay in the air full three minutes the round must be repeated. At the beginning of the final round, eight pilots start at the same time within a window of three seconds. The pilot who flies for the shortest time is eliminated and the next round is contested by the remaining seven competitors. This knock-out system is repeated until only two are left. The winner of this head-to-head final round is then declared the World Air Games Champion.

Fly safely

2009 HTL #4 - BERG results

The long range weather prediction on Monday, 1 June 2009 suggested that the event would be washed out, if not frozen. Fortunately during the week a high pressure system moved inland & kept the yapping cold fronts at bay long enough for us to enjoy a good day's flying at BERG. A few of cars had already arrived at 08:15, and we soon had our launch line & winches setup.

The pilots briefing (with the emphasis on brief) highlighted only two frequency clashes for the field fo 23 pilots. Prior to the briefing, flying was performed using a peg-on system & the mobile frequency board to avoid incidents. Whilst the day was generally moderate & the breeze was not excessive, sink & changing wind direction (especially on landings) highlighted differences in ability & models.

It was also exciting to see 2 brand new Nan Model Xplorers (Paul & Jason). Both pilots commented favourably (raved!) about how well the models floated in zero lift conditions & how well they penetrated into the breeze. Obviously setups must still be tweaked, but the model seemd to launch very well too - maximising the use of the breeze. Also of interest were the SA F3B team, flying their Ceres models & more often than not achieving top scores against the specialist thermal duration models.

The first slot was simply horrid - some downwind launches & sink as far as the model could fly. Times were very, very short, but Paul managed to clinch this slot with a 7:55 & a spot landing. Slot 2 was a little more of what we are used to on the Highveld, & our champion junior, Jason, just pipped Michelle by 2 seconds to claim the max. Slot 3 was a draw between Craig & Chris who scored identically with stunning flights & landings.

Round 2 saw our wonderful conditions stretch the majority of flight times to the limit, Derek flying his Sagitta 600 being the notable slot 2 winner. Peter had a bit of an argument with a roof, but pilot & model appeared unscathed to fly again.

Round 3 witnessed an emerging pattern of pilots maxing, with some very closely contested results. Landings were the differentiating factor across this round - with everyone trying there best to centre the spot.

Round 4 was very closely contested, the rapidly changing wind direction creating havoc on landings. We broke for lunch during this round too.

Round 5 had large sections of sink interspersed with good lift - scores representing across both sides of the scale. Derrick Fish flying a 2M Fling, was unfortunate to launch into a strong thermal which snapped his model's wings.

Round 6 saw a huge section of sink set across the field & time fell dramatically as a result.

The final results (apologies for the fuzzy/size thing, but until I have figured out how to add tables to the BLOG, that's about as good as it gets - you should click on the table below to get a clear image of the final results). Craig narrowly clinching the title, just 4 points ahead of Chris. Paul was also a close 3rd. First Junior Jason flew very well into 8th position (dad would be pleased with his own 7th place). First 2M was Derrick Marusich in 10th - flying to the Open Class 10 minute task.

Thanks to everyone who attended, assisted, & had fun.

Fly safely

Event Organisation Guideline

To assists clubs to organise a National Gliding Event, the MGA has drawn up a set of guidelines (listed below) to help. This document is intended as a guildeline and was drawn up from report backs from various clubs that have hosted Nats in the past.
Should you need more information on rules and types of events, please contact the MGA directly.

Scoring system
A scoring system must be used that is tested and reliable.
It must be dry run before the event and all problems gone through and understood.

Scoring (Running scores)
An official scorer must be provided and all scores must be returned after each round/slot and the results published (made available) within a reasonable period after the round.

Score queries
To ensure correct scores, any queries regarding the score must be referred back to the respective time keeper before capture. It is the time keepers responsibility to ensure that the scores have been captured.

Scores published
The official scores should be published within 3 working days of the end of the event to the MGA, respective MGA Rep & MGASA forum. Provisional results should be published as soon as possible after the event for review purposes. Score sheets must be kept by the organisers until the final results are published in the event of any disputes.

An official photographer must be appointed and lots of photos taken with details of what is in the photo so captions can be added after the event.

Photo Shoot
Time must be provided for a group photo. Preferably near the beginning of the event so that all models and pilots are fresh.

Photo disc
Photos should be made available to pilots & competitors are at reasonable cost within a reasonable period of the event ending.

Report (Scribe)
Someone must be appointed to write a detailed report. They should take notes all the time. Get details of models and people and record events as they happen.

Report published
The formal report should be published by the time the official results are presented. The report should be sent to the MGA, respective MGA Rep & MGASA.

Catering on the field must be well organised and well presented and not too expensive. (Remember diabetic’s & coffee)

Catering facilities should be within a reasonable distance from the flying field. Reasonable shade and seating should be provided. Bathroom facilities should be provided.

A jury panel (3 or more people) must be appointed and someone must be responsible to record events as they happen. i.e. When a protest is lodged then that person must have the facts available so that a proper decision can be made. The jury must not delay proceedings, unless no alternative is possible. The jury should meet & a decision reached within a reasonable period of the formal complaint being lodged.

Some basic rules must be published in the program for the event. The detailed competition event rules must be available should they be required at the event. Each member of the jury should have a separate copy of the rules.

Public Address system
Someone must man the PA to provide commentary so as to keep the interest up for non-flyers & spectators. Like F3B speed times and how the thermals are developing etc.

Frequency Control
Frequency control must be manned at all times. Strict discipline must be enforced.

Prizes must be sorted out in good time before the prize giving (if prizes are possible). Certificates must be presented.

A banquet can be organised. The woman’s touch is needed. Flowers etc. Self catering is not desirable.

First Aid
Proper first aid facilities and venue. Emergency services should be notified of the event & contact numbers handy should these be required.


A foolproof matrixing system must be designed and tested before the event. As few pilots as possible must fly against each other in different rounds so as to give a proper mix.


Safety/ Crowd control
A clearly marked public area must be provided and someone must be responsible for control at all times. Don’t allow spectators into the flying areas. Provide direction signs.


A clearly marked car park must be provided. No vehicles should be allowed onto the field during flying except for emergencies.


The fire department should be informed of the event and contact numbers at hand should they be needed.


Lots of colourful banners, bunting and flags.


Field Marking
Properly laid out Winch and Turn-around lines, with alternative wind directions.


Start Times
Strict control on start time. Latecomers don’t get to fly in the round if they are late. Emphasize this in pre comp publications.


Someone must be nominated to co-ordinate sponsorship & to formally thank them afterwards. Their names must also be mentioned in the report.


Donation of prizes that can be raffled during the event, and someone to co-ordinate. Make this early in the event so that people still have money. Don’t make the tickets too expensive. Publicize the raffle in the program.


Print just enough programs for the competitors and sponsors.
Include raffles, adds, score-sheets, rules, matrix, etc.


Decide times for events and stick to them. Refer 18 above.


Events - F3B & Open or F3J
Have F3B duration and open together. Schedule some rounds during light lift conditions so pilots are made to work for lift.
Try for 6 or 7 rounds, but a minimum of 5. Over 5 rounds allows for a throwaway.
Pre-mark field for speed sights.


Events – RES & 2 Meter
Must be further encouraged to promote youngsters and to get them involved in competitions.


Events – HLG
Have time for HLG but not during lunch. Have some challenging times scheduled. Early morning and late afternoon when lift is light and the pilots have to work to get lift.


Events – Electric
Make time for electric slots. Have some challenging times scheduled so that pilots need to work to optimise lift.


Pre-Event advertising
Pre-event marketing is essential. Use e-mail and set up web pages. Publish Entry forms in SAMAA & South Easter at least 2 months before (NB SAMAA cut-off dates)


Web Page
A web page should be set up or use the clubs.

Two-way Radio
Provide Two-way radios for officials and base B.

Sound travels far slower than light – the start of working time must be signalled by means of a flag being raised or lowered (noted in pilots briefing) as well as an audible signal.

Have dedicated CD’s for each event or one for all events. Don’t allow their other duties to interfere with being CD. The CD also needs a break so try and have more that one.

Entry Forms
Get it out early. Start at least 2 months before the event.

Try and observe wind direction a year before for the month of the event and get history of weather conditions, so you have some idea of prevailing wind directions. Provide a spare day in case of rain.

Nice and big. Reasonable distance between the field & obstructions.

Field preparation
Cut fields grass at least a month before the event. (6 weeks is better). Mow winch and Turn-around lines 1 week before the event.