Some footage taken during my participation in the inaugural Forbes Big Spring Floater competition fun by Warren Windsports and Moyes Gliders. The format was relaxed, but competitive, with 42 pilots having a shot at glory. Experience ranged from newly minted aviators to seasoned professional competitors. The only restriction was that the gliders had to be a single surface 'floater' type of glider. I chose the class-leading Moyes Malibu 2. Conditions were fun and families were well catered for. This is a competition that I will definitely attend again
You can shift to HD. Three minutes exactly.
Jamie Shelden <<naughtylawyer>> writes:
Yeah, I'm really happy about this! It was introduced in connection with the new USHPA membership card which is also pretty cool. The credit card like plastic card only gets replaced if the member has a new appointment. It has a QR code on the front so that an instructor/site administrator/competition organizer can scan the code and check the member's ratings, expiration date, etc. If the member is expired, he can renew online on the spot. The mobile app I was telling you about handles this and will have a bunch of other cool features as well.
Jamie Shelden <<naughtylawyer>> writes:
For instructors (and comp organizers too), there is a mobile app that allows students and foreign pilots to sign the 30-day form directly via the app in the field (up on the hill, next to the tug plane, whatever) on a iPad, android tablet, etc. This also means that all of the USHPA waivers will be electronically signable and competition organizers and instructors will be able to upload their own waivers to the USHPA waiver page so that all waivers can be signed electronically.
I don't know exactly when this whole system will be rolling out, but presumably before next year's comp season.
Jamie Shelden <<naughtylawyer>> writes:
Instead of a single US National Championship, the national champion will be chosen based on the best X number of tasks from all of the "national" level competitions. The exact method/number of tasks is yet to be determined. USHPA will pay for and provide the trophies and they would be presented at the final competition of the season (presumably the SCFR).
USHPA will also now be submitting Category 2 applications on behalf of organizers (who will then reimburse USHPA) just to take one extra hassle off the hands of organizers and to make sure all national level competitions have Cat 2 sanctioning.
USHPA will also be organizing a national on-line contest.
Jamie Shelden <<naughtylawyer>> writes:
Flytec Americus Cup - May 18-24, 2014
Big Spring Nationals, August 3rd through 9th, 2nd, Practice day
SCFR - September 14-20, 2014
More links here soon: http://ozreport.com/uscompetitiondates.php
Adam is now sending in the bid for the ECC (see calendar above).
To do this on a PC in SeeYou, load a very recent flight, click Edit, Upload to:
The two pilots subject to the disciplinary meeting have been officially informed of the decisions so public discussion about this issue is now acceptable.
One pilot has been "PERMANENTLY EXPELLED FROM THE USHPA". He will never be allowed to fly any regulated site again. However this individual doesn't believe rules apply to him so it is quite possible there will be further LEO enforcement if he attempts to continue to launch and land at Fort Funston.
Another had their USHPA privileges suspended for one year, followed by a one year probationary period. This individual is being granted an opportunity to return to the USHPA as a member in good standing as long as no further violations occur during the suspension, or probationary, period.
Both threatened legal action over ridiculous issues long before this hearing. Both have publicly threatened others. Both are members of the elders/bush pilots/delusions of grandeur crew at Fort Funston. Both are suspected of flying while intoxicated. At least one is a very dangerous pilot whom puts others at great risk and has seriously injured himself previously with his dangerous flying practices.
A new day is dawning at the Fort.
The Wired article here.
For the first time, motion sensing occurs in a separate processor, which makes constant activity tracking using the gyroscrope and accelerometer sensors more power-efficient without turning on the rest of the A7 chip. This means well start to see more Quantified Self (QS) tracking apps detecting steps and stair-climbing, bringing Fitbit and Jawbone capabilities to our phones. And the M7 does all this without a noticeable drain on the battery.
But thats the sticking point: noticeable. The introduction of the M7 means Apple could collect this activity and movement data in the background without affecting our iPhone experience. Which introduces the distinct possibility that this data is being collected whether or not we are opting to turn on an app that makes that data legible to us.
Now, with the M7, activity tracking comes as an automatic feature on the device that most of us carry with us all day, every day. Its one thing to actively decide to wear a fitness-tracking device. Its another to get one by default as part of the exchange when you buy into the iPhone. It gives Apple the ability to capture that activity data passively, whether we are interested in it or not. (Theyre not the only ones, of course. The M7 is similar to the coprocessors coming out in Google/Motorolas Android-based Moto X as well.)
Thanks to Russ Brown.
In September of 2011, three alpine swifts took to the air in southwest Africa, and stayed there for almost 200 days. They fed on the wing. They slept on the wing. By the time they firmly settled back on solid surfaces, it was April of 2012 and they had travelled across the Sahara to the Mediterranean.
Being airborne is considered to be energetically more costly as compared with being on the ground or in water. Birds migrating or foraging while airborne are thought to spend some time resting on the ground or water to recover from these energetically demanding activities. However, for several decades ornithologists have claimed that some swifts may stay airborne for almost their whole lifetime. Here we present the first unequivocal evidence that an individual bird of the Alpine swift (Tachymarptis melba) can stay airborne for migration, foraging and roosting over a period of more than 6 months.
I just like the picture.
Cross Country <editor> writes:
When flying cross country I like to think that my paraglider has three gears:
First, or crawler gear, is for staying aloft. In this mode I am super tuned in to finding any lift because if I fail to find some quickly I will soon be on the deck. I am not thinking about getting anywhere, just getting up.
Second gear is for travelling. I have some height and there is a good chance that I will find more lift en route. I am still not sitting pretty though and am ready to change back down to first gear and stop travelling if necessary. In this mode I fly conservatively until I am confident of my position.
Third gear. I am in a good position under a good sky. It's time to be decisive and travel fast. I am ignoring the weaker climbs and using plenty of bar to make progress.
It is easy to change up gears but difficult to remember to change down again. I have landed early under many good skies by flying in third gear all the way to the ground. I now consciously ask myself which gear I should be flying in for conditions and my position.
Found on the web here.
Wow, what can I say, but bravo, there has been a real change at the head of the Competition Committee
Bill Hughes, Competition Committee Chairman, <wjhughesjr> writes:
I've gotten some feedback from people on the issues below, and here is a quick summary of the consensus, on the issues where one is forming. Please continue to comment and provide feedback. Many thanks to everyone who already has.
And if it is not clear to everyone, the issues that I have brought up are not "my" issues, they are ones that various pilots, meet directors, and BOD members asked that I bring up for discussion. So in answer to one of bits of helpful feedback I got, no, I did not take this completely thankless job to kill competition in the US, those who have come before me have done a fine job of that already. I'm trying to work with everyone to increase participation in our competitions, while also being responsive to the input and requests of the members. Merely mentioning something in an email and requesting feedback on it is not the same thing as it being a done deal. All constructive ideas on any topic related to improve the scene are welcome.
1) Lifting the restriction on Open Class Paragliders for 2014: no feedback on this or consensus yet.
2) National trophies that rotate or stay at USHPA HQ. There is not enough support for this, so it is dropped.
3) Podium. Several organizers pointed out that USHPA is not even publishing all of the winner's photos that have been taken and sent in in the past, which is an excellent point. So the podium issue is dropped at least until we get consistent publication of winners' photos in the magazine (in whatever form the organizers take them).
4) There actually already is a banner, but it hasn't been consistently sent or used. I suggest that USHPA send this to the organizers at no cost with return postage paid for promotional use as they see fit. Many have said they want to use their own banners, which is fine, but in most cases it seems that both banners could be present and visible. Any issues with that approach? This puts little to no burden on organizers.
5) XContest system. This idea places burden on no one but myself and I received mainly positive or no feedback on it so I plan on taking this forward if the budget is approved. I will work with the comp committee and community on the structure and rules. Dave had a great suggestion that this be broken up by region so that, for example, people flying Chelan are not comparing themselves to people flying somewhere back east. I like this idea.
6) Satellite messengers: The consensus seems to be that the hang gliding pilots see it as an unneeded burden and the paragliding pilots like it, so unless more input comes we will recommend it stay a paragliding comp requirement but not a requirement for hang gliding comps.
7) Centralized system for comp registration. On this suggestion I agree with Davis that we should wait until USHPA has a prototype working that the organizers can evaluate. So unless there are further comments this is tabled until then.
8) Mandatory CAT 2 sanctioning: The hang gliding pilots are uniformly against this, so the matter is dropped for them unless there is further input otherwise. For paragliding comps there are those that support this and those that think that it merely needs to clearly be stated in the advertising and website for a comp whether it will be CAT 2 sanctioned. So this requires further discussion.
9) Bonds for Organizers (new). There is a suggestion that the criteria be clearly stated for what an organizer must do to get the bond back. I agree, and like Mike P's suggestion that the criteria basically be that the organizer adhered to what they stated during the sanctioning process. If someone would like to draft language I will take it to the team for approval, otherwise I'll draft something for review by all.
As for the issue of whether all Organizers or just first time Organizers who have not gone through mentoring should have to pay bonds, there is mixed feedback. Some believe that the bond is there to ensure that organizers do what they say they will do, regardless of experience. Others believe that experienced organizers shouldn't have to put one up. So this requires more discussion and a consensus/ decision.
One clear bit of feedback I got is that we should strive to help organizers and minimize their burden, which I generally agree with. So on any issue where there is lack of consensus, I'm going to recommend the option that favors the organizers.
As I pointed out here: http://ozreport.com/17.200#1, the USHPA Competition Committee much more often than not looks to make demands of meet organizers rather than offer incentives. That does not mean that the USHPA doesn't provide useful services to competition organizers, it just means that on balance there is no balance. Many sticks, few carrots.
I believe that this is not due to any pernicious on the part of the volunteers who work on the BOD, but rather to the structural impediments that make it much more difficult to offer and provide incentives to meet organizers. The BOD should look at these structural issues and decide if they need to restructure the USHPA.
Competition is certainly not a priority at the USHPA, as it involves only a few members. But the USHPA's actions continual damage competition, access to competition, and do little to promote competition. Most of their seemingly positive efforts to help have gone no where, basically because they have no idea what needs to be done.
For years I have asked the USHPA to form a partnership with the meet organizers. Nothing has happened.
One local writes:
The reality at Funston is that a small group of drug addicts that can't fly without being stoned and/or drunk are getting older and they can't keep it together in the air nor on the ground. The younger pilots have noticed this and now there's finally a larger group of pilots that are sick and tired of this almost homeless group of addicts. In order to save the Fort, they will be held to the standards of the FAA, USHPA, GGNRA and humanity. There are about eight or nine of them with a small non flying groupie herd as support. Tires have been flattened, arrest have been made. These are selfish addicts, not pilots
Available sometime in November for $450, the D2 comes with a built-in worldwide aviation database allowing pilots to not only locate landmarks like airports, but also plot courses and fly-over waypoints from their current GPS-determined location. The watch also features a highly accurate altimeter, barometer, and compass, and even features custom alarms to let a pilot know if they've inadvertently descended too low or gone off course.
Garmin site here.
I couldn't fly this until I practiced with the V911.
I still can barely fly it. I can't do a coordinated turn, for example. It is fun and I'm learning every time I give it a try.
RTF = Ready to Fly (includes the controller)
BNF= Bind-N-Fly (connect to your existing controller).