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Electric-Assisted Flying at Whitesheet

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Steve J

I sent the BMFA an email a couple of weeks ago pointing out the changes to the NT website and asking them if the national agreement with the NT was still in place. No reply so far...

Steve

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Soaringjim1951

Hi

Just to let you know that the MVSA met with the National Trust at Harting Down this summer. We agreed the same dispensation for electric assist gliders. They asked for a definition and we based it around the folding propeller, but emphasised that the motor was strictly to keep us out of trouble. This is a very public site, with the South Downs Way running between our flying position and the landing area. We said that electric assist would enable us to abort a landing if a walker or horse rider suddenly appeared at the wrong moment, enhancing safety. They were very happy with this approach.

Another point for White Sheet. You host many scale gliders. It took me 6 months to build my Minimoa from sheet balsa (no kits here!) and I have 2 noses, one with a motor. On marginal days I am not heaving it off without a safety net. However, it thermals beautifully, so I wouldn't want just to slope soar.

Horses for courses I suppose.

Looking forward to hosting F3F at Butser this winter if called upon.

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isoaritfirst

Alternatively throw off an easy glider first. If that flies then there is no need for the mini- mower. 

😉

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satinet
2 hours ago, Soaringjim1951 said:

Hi

Just to let you know that the MVSA met with the National Trust at Harting Down this summer. We agreed the same dispensation for electric assist gliders. They asked for a definition and we based it around the folding propeller, but emphasised that the motor was strictly to keep us out of trouble. This is a very public site, with the South Downs Way running between our flying position and the landing area. We said that electric assist would enable us to abort a landing if a walker or horse rider suddenly appeared at the wrong moment, enhancing safety. They were very happy with this approach.

Another point for White Sheet. You host many scale gliders. It took me 6 months to build my Minimoa from sheet balsa (no kits here!) and I have 2 noses, one with a motor. On marginal days I am not heaving it off without a safety net. However, it thermals beautifully, so I wouldn't want just to slope soar.

Horses for courses I suppose.

Looking forward to hosting F3F at Butser this winter if called upon.

And soon everyone will HAVE to fly electric. Electric is for making slope flying easier  - like it's not already the easiest form of glider flying -  It's about not crashing models at the bottom of the hill - safety is a red herring.  If people keep selling electric as a safety feature you are making the inference that none electric flying is unsafe. Eventually someone will think why haven't they all got an electric motor for "safety". 

 

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drewetm

I never voted at the AGM so I really am not in a position to criticise the new rules, however for me it will be interesting to see how the new rules are policed and who will take the responsibility of enforcing these rules

I was at white sheet last Sunday. Flying alongside me at times although at the other end of the slope was an electric zaggi. There was stacks of lift so I had loaded up with a kilo. There was also an abundance of whining as the motor zipped the zaggi around the sky 

I would also suggest that if you are in a position on a gentle day of having a glider flying below your feet, then given the gentile nature of all the white sheet slopes it is probably possible to plonk it on the side. I know Tony Livingstone spends most of the summer months doing this.

 

Martin

 

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pete beadle

Hi Tom and all

Sorry, electric is NOT for making slope flying easier - it's for making flying anywhere easier

The market leading Chinese/Vietnamese toy and model manufacturers biggest sellers are electric power assisted flying toys that are sold by the million on price and being by offered as shiny, easy to fly by, models that complete amateurs can fly anywhere they want - and certainly NOT directed at slope flyers

I'm sorry but safety is nowhere on the list of selling points claimed by Chinese manufacturers of these electric flying toys

Regards

Pete

BARCS1702 

 

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Andy_B
22 minutes ago, drewetm said:

I never voted at the AGM so I really am not in a position to criticise the new rules, however for me it will be interesting to see how the new rules are policed and who will take the responsibility of enforcing these rules

I was at white sheet last Sunday. Flying alongside me at times although at the other end of the slope was an electric zaggi. There was stacks of lift so I had loaded up with a kilo. There was also an abundance of whining as the motor zipped the zaggi around the sky 

I would also suggest that if you are in a position on a gentle day of having a glider flying below your feet, then given the gentile nature of all the white sheet slopes it is probably possible to plonk it on the side. I know Tony Livingstone spends most of the summer months doing this.

 

Martin

 

and that ladies and gentlemen sums it up .......

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Andy_B

maybe its time to move back into sailing ...Bala was great ..no motors ......

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satinet
8 minutes ago, pete beadle said:

Hi Tom and all

Sorry, electric is NOT for making slope flying easier - it's for making flying anywhere easier

The market leading Chinese/Vietnamese toy and model manufacturers biggest sellers are electric power assisted flying toys that are sold by the million on price and being by offered as shiny, easy to fly by, models that complete amateurs can fly anywhere they want - and certainly NOT directed at slope flyers

I'm sorry but safety is nowhere on the list of selling points claimed by Chinese manufacturers of these electric flying toys

Regards

Pete

BARCS1702 

 

I'm not sure what that has got to do with the people getting the national trust to allow electric for the explicitly stated reason of "safety". 

It doesn't have anything to do with UK f5j fliers needed a separate set of rules to allow motor restarts. Like I say if it's not safe to fly f5j without a motor restart, how come it's safe to fly f3/f3k/f3b/f3f/etc without an electric motor at all?  It's about saving models, and that's fine! But people shouldn't make out that it's because of safety. because if you do you are saying non electric isn't safe.

To my mind electric soaring on NT sites is just poking a tiger that doesn't need to be poked.  Glider flying is on the wane and it won't be stopped by electrification.

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Jef Ott
3 hours ago, Steve J said:

I sent the BMFA an email a couple of weeks ago pointing out the changes to the NT website and asking them if the national agreement with the NT was still in place. No reply so far...

Steve

Well done for sending the BMFA this email. However, their email administration leaves a lot to be desired.

I sent them an email in July, explaining that my father, a member for a few decades, had died. No acknowledgement nor reply of any kind. 

Perhaps another form of communication would be more successful if you have something as important as the NT agreement to discuss.

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satinet
4 minutes ago, Andy_B said:

and that ladies and gentlemen sums it up .......

yep unenforceable rules and electric zagis. That's what it will end up as.

 

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oipigface

Did no one point out to the Zagi flyer that he or she was violating wthe rules?

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drewetm
34 minutes ago, oipigface said:

Did no one point out to the Zagi flyer that he or she was violating wthe rules?

I think thats the point John.  Who has taken on the responsibility to police the new rule? I am assuming it is the people that have voted to accept "electric assist"

Its certainly not my intention to put myself into a potentially confrontational situation . I just want to turn up, fly gliders ( without motors) and have an enjoyable relaxing time.

 

Martin

 

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satinet
1 hour ago, drewetm said:

I think thats the point John.  Who has taken on the responsibility to police the new rule? I am assuming it is the people that have voted to accept "electric assist"

Its certainly not my intention to put myself into a potentially confrontational situation . I just want to turn up, fly gliders ( without motors) and have an enjoyable relaxing time.

 

Martin

 

You make a good point Martin. If I wanted stress and aggro I would be at work not out glider flying.

Maybe the electric fliers need some sort of special identification so everyone knows who's who...... Just a thought.

 

lplate.jpg

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pete beadle

Hi Martin and all

What you say sums it up for me also - I just want to turn up, fly gliders and have an enjoyable relaxing time too - trouble is, I also want to be able to use my electric motor, in an emergency, which for me would be if I was trapped in sink and unable to get back to the ridge, and presented with the choice of landing out on the slope face, or at the bottom, leaving me in a position of not being able to collect my model, and having to ask someone else to help me - if I'm flying alone I won't even have that choice.......

The thing is, I AM prepared to confront people who are breaking the rules - I used to do it when I was an ISA  committee member and am still prepared to ask flyers who are breaking the rules, WHY they are breaking the rules

As I have also said many times previously, on the day we are banned from flying our "drones" as they are now classified, God willing, I will be flying in defiance of the ban, at Ivinghoe, and trying to establish WHO believes they have the right to stop me.....

It's the difference of doing the right thing, for me personally, as an individual exercising his rights, or not, as the case may be.......

Regards

Pete

BARCS1702

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isoaritfirst

As the Chairman of the LMSA I often get asked to try to change our rules to allow electric models.

Simplistically, where is the harm,- Recover a model that is going down, - improved conditions for disabled fliers, -reduced risk of damage. -Safer ??

It all sounds so reasonable.

Unfortunately I know people - yes even fliers, aren't all reasonable people.

Over the years I have witnessed, very very high powered models flying around the car parks (some distance from the slopes). I have seen large scale ships being dragged around the sky with at great speed whilst others are trying to work weak pockets of lift and are stuck with a flight pattern that is hard to hold when you are being intimidated.

When I first started flying and was enjoying flying a Sonata on a very weak day I had the pleasure of watching a couple of guys beating up the sky with 3mtr hot ships. They were impressive, and in my naivety I thought that looks like great fun - where can I get one --

Now quite a few years later and in my position of Chair I have had time to consider the argument for many years. My conclusion is that our rule (a local bye law) that NO powered flying is allowed on the hill works very well for our sport.

I and my committee enforce the rule where ever we can. I insist that propellers are removed, even from easy gliders. If someone turns up wishing to fly. I won't accept - "well its not plugged in."

My reasoning is that seeing a propeller on a model - whether it is used or not opens a discussion/argument, or allows others on future days to say well I saw "xx" flying electric last week etc  so I thought it was ok.

The next step from seeing a propeller on a slope is seeing a bigger propeller on the slope. 

How do you police that. Lets assume that somehow you find a way of regulating a rate of climb (best possible way) even then, there will be those that set up to climb within the speed limits but have the ability to climb slowly with 10kg of ballast on board and climb to a  few thousand feet. 

So now we have a ballistic missile coming through the slope during a day when everyone else is stooging around in weak thermals and have no ability to move quickly if someone is approaching their model with great speed and momentum.

Is that safer??

 

Flying alone - is that safe? I do that occasionally but its not actually a very sensible thing to do. A model landing down a slope and needing retrieval can lead to a twisted ankle or worse, a model crashing into the pilot - well we recently witnessed just how devastating even a foamie can be.

So should an able bodied pilot fly alone?

Should a disabled pilot fly alone.

Should we make it easier to fly alone?

Safegaurding the model.

Landing out is a skill that can be learn't. 

There are many safe ways to learn about the lower reaches of your hill, launching and flying from a lower stand point is a good way to start. Flying lightly weighted models that land gently is another.

Most modelers have several models to choose from and choosing the right one for the day is the way to have a good day. 

A better solution that strapping a motor on the front.

 

Then there is policing,

I know that very few pilots are prepared to confront others- as Martin said he is out for a nice day and doesn't want the stress. 

I do confront pilots that are not adhering to our rules. I have a responsibility to do that. I may have to stand up in court and defend my or their actions one day.

But I often get emails from others who have given up and gone home when the slope is being used in ways that impact on their enjoyment of their day.

They are not prepared to confront. 

So policing falls mainly to me. and I am there less and less often these days. Pilots currently gather on the windward slope making the job easier, but how could I police the whole of the hill if electric was allowed.

 

Whitesheets decision is theirs, but please lets not make electric the norm - they should stay the exception.  There are plenty of field where electric can be flown. Hills are in short supply.

  

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Phil.Taylor

Well said Mike

Phil.

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pete beadle

Hi Mike

All good points but, as you say, there ARE plenty of fields where electrics can be flown

Trouble is, that Chinese manufacturers are the market leaders BY MILES and it's their products, especially their small electric powered gliders and camera-carrying drones drones that seem to be the ones that are causing most of the problem

They are the manufacturers that target beginners, don't require proof of flying skill from the people they are selling to, don't require proof of insurance, don't ask what the model/toy is to be used for......and so on and so on

It's not the tiny number of flyers who are actually using our slopes these days that are a problem, it's the thousands who are buying their flying machines to fly in parks, near airports, over school playgrounds, over motorways and other major roads, over woodland, in built up areas and all the other places the public visit that are going to be the death of our hobby - and I for one don't EVER want to have cause to say - I told you so

Regards

Pete

BARCS1702 

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Dave Elam

We've often had this discussion in our club.

My argument is that it is very difficult to obtain a slope suitable to fly on. However it is very easy to lose it if there are objections to electric models being flown on it. Of course the slope flyers have then nowhere to fly while the electric flyers just need to find a flat field to fly on.

Lots of flat fields on an Ordnance Survey map but very few usable slopes.

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Phil.Taylor

and while we discuss the semantics of "electric assist" and "self launching" - Joe Public just sees & hears a powered plane being flown

Phil.

 

 

 

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