Proposed Knowns and Rules for 2012
Hello IAC Members~
Attached are files collectively containing the proposed rule changes and Known sequences, Sportsman and Intermediate only, for 2012.
The Unusual Attitudes Forum will be the ONLY place for members to make official comment on these proposed rules and knowns.
I would suggest picking Sportsman Power Proposal C. The other proposed sequences have either two 45 degree lines on the same line, or have a 45 degree up line on a downwind line. Both of these situations will cause Sportsman pilots to work harder to stay in the box or take an out. The C sequence does not have either of the above flaws, and will allow Sportsman pilots to better concentrate on flying good figures without worrying as much about outs. The 2011 Sportsman Known had a 1/2 cuban 8, followed by a pull humpty, and then a reverse 1/2 Cuban 8. This combination of figures was on the downwind line, which required the pilots to decide if they would take an out or a break. At the Sportsman level, pilots should not have this added burden, which does occur in the other proposed Sportsman sequences.
IAC Safety Chair
As an Intermediate competitor I vote for Intermediate proposal "P" (the last one). The program has the competitor demonstrate an Intermediate level of competency, has some flow, let you see all four corners of the box, and appears to be flyable in the Intermediate benchmark aircraft.
Steve - I agree re advantage of Sportsman not thinking about box break vs out (I've always thought that was probably the reason for equivalent penalties in Sportsman) and that the 2011 known guaranteed an out or a break, the down 45 in sequence C seems likely to cause the Decathlons to have to consider an altitude break. I like proposal A because it will allow Decathlons to get through it without altitude break (more important of a decision for Sportsman to not have to make in my view than the out consideration), and will obviate the need for the 4000 ft box top proposal (good grief, I can barely see the Decathlons as it is!)
as long as I'm commenting - I support the 200meter Advanced floor proposal for the reasons specified (as a biplane pilot I concur with the need for a bit more room for energy). I don't support the loop criteria proposal - though it sounds objective, I don't believe judges can any more accurately determine the radii of quarter loops than judgmentally evaluating the loop shape - most judges have predetermined personal scores they use for various loop shapes that effectively represent the variation in quarter loop radii without adding false appearance of measurement precision.
Feedback: Proposed Rules for 2012
Some feedback for your consideration re, the proposed 2012 rule changes.
- 12-1 (box heights for Advanced): Fine reasoning about aligning with CIVA. Support.
- 12-4 (alternate means of compliance to become a Regional judge): More fine reasoning. Support.
- 12-5 (common re-fly requirements for sequence abort for meteorological and tech issues): This simplification is welcome. Support.
- 12-6 (raise box ceiling for Primary and Sportsman): Judges already strain to assess maneuvers flown at 3,500'; raising the ceiling will make it even harder to accurately grade figures, especially for small aircraft like the S-1. Given that quality grading is what makes a contest relevant I do not support this change. (Also, I've observed no safety issues with today's 3,500' limit.)
- 12-7 (remove direction of start for Known sequences): The proposal makes Known construction more flexible and gives up nothing. Support.
- 12-8 (remove personal chute requirement if aircraft is equipped with BRS): I don't know enough about the safety nuances behind this change, so won't weigh in.
- 12-9 (simplify order of flight selection): The flexibility proposed is desirable. Support with the proviso that the Registrar is directed to randomize the order to the extent possible if he or she manually selects the order of flight.
- 12-10 (allow Advanced competitors to fly the 4-minute Free program if they hold an ICAS 250' waiver): I defer to the more knowledgable among us on this one.
- 12-11 (disqualification based on not achieving 60% score in the Known): Today's disqualification rule (5.2.2) projects the wrong attitude to competitors; this change would make the rule even more harsh. We have safety valves elsewhere (1.5(h), 4.2.3) that require judges to assess a competitor's flying and, if found to be unsafe, disqualify him or her. We do not need to mandate disqualification just because a competitor flies a sloppy (but perfectly safe) sequence. (This happens from time to time with competitors new to the sport or to a category – especially when moving to Advanced or Unlimited. Let's not send them home – or to a lower category, which has every bit as much sting – just because they had a crummy flight.) So, I do not support this change. I do support inclusivity in all aspects of our sport; 5.2.2 – whether as written today or with this change – does not.
- 12-12 (motorglider clarifications): Makes sense. (I originally proposed the concept; Brian is behind the language. This change stems from the recent entry of a motorglider in a power contest.) Support.
- 12-13 (part-loop grading criteria): This specific language oversimplifies the problem, given that judges are still required to attempt to assess radius changes in 1/8 and 1/4 loops. (Not that it's always easy!) Further, many judges also deduct for flat spots – which, admittedly, do produce a radius change – though some of us would prefer to account for them separately. In the end, I'd prefer we stay with today's "develop a system and use it consistently" mantra until we can articulate a more complete set of criteria. So, I do not support this change.
- 12-14 (removes the requirement for a pilot holding a foreign pilot certificate to hold an FAA medical): Excellent. Anything that encourages our Canadian brethren to fly in U.S. contests curries favor in my house. Support.
Thanks to all who contributed these proposals and to Brian Howard and the Rules Committee for putting them together in this excellent, readable form.
I'm happy to discuss any of my positions here on this forum or privately, if you prefer.
Last edited by Jim Ward; 10-13-2011 at 11:11 PM.
Reason: language cleanup
Shouldn't the rule for 12-10 read "hold an ICAS 250' or lower waiver"?
I also vote for Intermediate Proposal "P", which has good variety, challenge, and flow. Proposal "C" has the exact same first two figures as the '08 Known, and folks seemed to complain about going to sleep during the 3/4 loop down that followed (3) negative lines. Regarding Proposal "F", energy flow into and out of the figure 12 Immelman is not good. Proposal "H" energy flow into the figure 5 hammer with 1/4 roll up is not ideal. Second choice would be Proposal "L" due to better energy flow, and a lower-speed roller, but overall it seems less interesting, with less variety than "P".
The only rule changes I take issue with are 12-6 and 12-11. I have not seen a need (either practical or safety related) to raise the box height to 4,000' for Primary and Sportsman (12-6). As mentioned, this presents judging challenges. I strongly disagree with the 60% rule associated with 12-11. Its criteria do not seem clearly defined. Is there a min. number of zeros that will negate the 60% rule? This is obviously proposed for the safety of the competitor. But in my experience, the Chief Judges are experienced enough to call someone down if they see a flagrant inability to fly the sequence safely. I have seen a Chief Judge make this call for good reason. I think this responsibility should remain the Chief Judge's, based solely on his/her judgement and not based on a hard score that may have been flown perfectly safely. We have had unusual aircraft fly Primary or Sportsman just for fun, not caring about scores. They did not always score 60%, but they flew perfectly safely. This keeps things fun at a contest, and I would hate to see this discouraged or prevented.
Last edited by RetroAcro; 10-12-2011 at 03:52 PM.
12-6 (raise box ceiling for Primary and Sportsman) I support.
A judge must adequately see the aircraft. Factors in order of importance – imho.
- Size of aircraft
- Distance from judges (both X and Y axis)
- Paint color of aircraft
- The direction and quality of the light (looking into the sun, sun filtered by clouds, …)
- The background (clear sky, thin bright clouds, dark clouds, …)
- Viewing angle
Aircraft must not have a competitive advantage from altitude is no longer a factor. With the variation of aircraft performance in a category, competitive advantage is no longer a serious consideration. (Selecting a known is a different question). A Stearman in Sportsman may be high but clearly visible. Why call him out high, encourage him start lower, and take more breaks to climb back up? It is up to him to know what altitude is visible to the judges and to accept the positioning grade lower because of being higher.
A competitor should not be encouraged to start lower. It is better to start higher than to end up low. This is true even with an unlimited pilot in an Extra 330 SC. Let the pilot decide what is safe. This may result in a lower positioning score but this is something the competitor can live with.
It is much more accurate for judges to decide low (and unsafe) than to judge out high. Visibility is a bigger factor than altitude in judging out high (imho). If out high is important then we need to present both the low lines and high lines to be fair to all competitors. If we are judging out high based on visibility as well as altitude then we should change the rules.
Optimal visibility is important. This means just the right angle and distance. Some competitors seem to over simplify this to “closer and lower is better”. Over the top of the judges is not better. I think there should be a visibility downgrade on each figure grade. Why give an L shaped loop over the judges (as a judge we must give it a 10) a better grade than the same loop viewed at a 45 degree angle? A four minute free at 328 feet is not better than 500. Half way between the near side of the box and the judges is not better than in the box.
I'll support most of the rule change proposals with exception of:
12-6: Playing the top of the box is fine, but we're already craning our necks juding the lower categories. With exception of conditions such as high Density Altitude, I don't see any major altitude/energy issues with Primary or Sportsman at this time. Having flown both categories in Decathlon, Super-D and Pitts S-1; I don't see any issue with energy management. If you haven't mastered energy management, it's not major penalty at that level to take a break, re-position and resume. That's part of the 'game' of aerobatic, knowing when to interrupt for energy if you can't keep it off the floor. I can think of a handfull of competitors using clipped wing J-3 cubs, Sonex, Cassut Racers, Bulldogs, etc., with some success in these categories.
12-8: Don't have enough data on the reliability or resilliency of those recover chutes. Can they truly save an LSA from any flight attitude? Reliable enough to replace a 'known' recovery system (personal emergency parachute)? Need more expertise to weigh in.
12-11: The scoring judges and chief judge for the category may be giving poor scores but can surely assess the flight as 'safe' or 'unsafe'. Having personally zeroed several figures during a sequence once (wrong direction) and scored low marks on the flight, I'm glad that they didn't disqualify me. I certainly didn't win, but did have quite good scores on the subsequent flights. Just had a bit of confusion on the first sequence. I don't think it would be a fair metric to disqualify a competitor for scoring poorly on the known Compulsory. Now at contests where pilots have exhibited lack of control over their craft or inability to fly 'safely' in the eyes of the judges/chief judge/jury members, a disqualification is warranted.
12-12: I am not qualified nor experienced with those type of aircraft to present any valid assessment.
I'll weigh in on Sequence selections later - wanted to get an opinion posted regarding rules.