Postals Rules

(Effective 1 Jan 2017 - Revised by Jan Sime)
A PDF copy of these rules is available here.

Introduction

The 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.

To further encourage participation, 2016 sees the addition of electrical powered glider models and encouragement for clubs to bring new pilots into the sport with low cost 2M, up to 2,5M RES and Composite models.

Climbing the Postals ladder is part of the fun, sliding down the ladder is a definite indication that you aren't doing enough flying.

Dates
  1. The contest consists of four rounds, flown on any weekend in February, May, August and November, the four scores giving the total for the year. 
  2. Each pilot may make any number of attempts to record a score during each round. These may be on any day of the weekends but, once started (stopwatch running on first flight), the pilot is committed to completing that day’s score for one of the submissions. Note that only one attempt per day is permitted. 
  3. Once the first flight on a subsequent weekend is attempted, that score nullifies the previous attempt. The last score of the 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. 

Flights

  1. 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)
  2. All FIVE (5) flights, count towards the pilot’s round score.
  3. Timing must always be performed by someone other than the pilot. 

Launch

  1. Launching may be by one of the following mechanisms:
    1. electric winch (max available line from turnabout to ’chute 200 m)
    2. bungee (200 m maximum stretched length)
    3. 150 m hand tow, and two towmen
    4. 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 should be used to achieve this). To limit costs, at the discretion of the club chairman/responsible person, foamies and unproven models may be tested with an altitude tracking device to determine motor run. When the model exceeds 200M within 30 seconds the altitude limiting device must be fitted. 

Relaunch

  1. A relaunch may be called for if the line breaks, or the model pops off and “re-launch” is called before the parachute touches the ground . The flyer must then land and relaunch as quickly as possible – if the parachute touches the ground before relaunch is called, then the flight will count.
  2. A relaunch may be called by the pilot if the electric motor malfunctioned during the 30 seconds launch window.
  3. Once relaunch is called by the pilot, the flight is immediately cancelled even if the model continues to be flown. 
  4. If any part comes off a model during launch or in flight , then the pilot may request a relaunch. 

Models

  1. There is no restriction on the number of models an entrant may use in the course of the contest.
  2. The models will be classified into one of the following classes: 
    1. 2M = Model with a projected wingspan not exceeding 2 000 mm and any number of controls 
    2. RES = Model up to 2,5M but controls are limited to Rudder, Elevator and Spoiler 
    3. Open = Any other Model this includes all built-up/composite models, of any age and wingspan. 

Scoring

  1. 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 metre of the spot. 
  2. The flight time is taken from the moment the model leaves the line/ electric motor cuts out, until it comes to rest.
  3. The landing bonus is measured after the model has come to rest and is reduced from 100 by 5 points for each metre beyond the spot (e.g. 95 points if the distance to the spot is from 1 metre to before 2 metres) down to 30 points or within 15 metres.
  4. The maximum score per flight is 460 points and 2300 points per round. 
  5. A single table of results will be produced quarterly and will include details of the model class and pilot class. 
  6. 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

  1. Scores are to be sent to the Postals Representative & must include:
    1. Club
    2. Pilot name
    3. Pilot Class (Senior, Junior, Rooky)
    4. Model Class (2m, RES, Open, Electric)
    5. Round by round times, etc.
    6. Model name, Span, Launch method
    7. Please submit all scores to the Postal Coordinator, Jan Sime — by e- mail to 1jansime@gmail.com 23. These scores should be in the first Wednesday following the end of the designated month, or you will receive a zero score!
    8. 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.
    9. Scores not specifying the model, wingspan & launch method will be deemed to be Open.