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Who hates flying contests?

Old 01-06-2014, 01:52 PM
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aeajr
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Cool Who hates flying contests?

OK, I talk a lot about flying glider contests, but I know a lot of people don't like contests. So here is your place to tell us why you don't like contests. I find them so much fun that I wonder why other people don't find them fun.

No judgment and no trying to talk anyone into anything. Just interested to hear what people have to say.
Old 01-06-2014, 04:21 PM
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foodstick
 
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Well, I think some of it could be the different type of pressure. I have lots of friends that fly well.. But refuse to fly at organized events. They just don't enjoy structured flying at the field. I have one other friend that has flown at many national and regional events Mostly themed fun flies Warbirds, Jets, Giant Scale .. He doesn't seem to enjoy competition either.

I will say that when I have been to some competition flyins those that are competing sure do appear to be having fun...
Old 01-07-2014, 06:10 AM
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I think one of the reasons on the glider side, and I suppose the same is true for IMAC, is the perception (real or imagined) that the one that spends the most money wins. Competition worthy gliders are EXPENSIVE and some people just don't feel they have the money to be competitive.

I went to my first contest in about 30 years a few months ago, it was an ALES and I was competitive with my Mystique until I did myself in with a bonehead move.

I know events that take the cost factor out, like Radian only, or the old woodie classes seem to be popular because the planes are cheap and pilot skill not wallet depth have more effect on the outcome.
Old 01-07-2014, 07:01 AM
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Thanks for the replies guys. So what I gather so far is:

People feel they need to spend a lot to be competitive and if they aren't going to be competitive (chance to win) they don't want to play.

Some people just don't enjoy structured events.

Some people fell a pressure to win if they are going to compete.

All good points and likely right on the money. Thanks.

Any others?
Old 01-07-2014, 11:57 AM
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I have plenty of stress in my life and fly to relax.
Old 01-07-2014, 01:07 PM
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Art ARRO
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Ed and All,
I truly don't "hate" flying in glider contests but prefer to enjoy the fun and relaxation of soaring flight on a personal level. Note that I fly EDF and turbine jets almost exclusively during the 5-month long flying season here in the northeast US. Most of these events are rally-type with an ocassional RC scale event thown in. In 2012, I flew 11 jet events in 5 US states plus a Canadian province. In the past I've competed in RC glider contests in OH and MI while residing in the midwest and in TX when living in that state. My glider fleet currently exceeds all the other types of RC models combined. Currently I have flyable; a Questor hand launch, several 2M sailplanes ( Gentle Lady, Scooter 2M, Snipe II, Standard class, Cumulus, slope ship , Seyschelle and a Blizzard warm liner. Pending build projects include: an ALES, Wicked Lady, GEM hot liner and a vintage Kurwi 33 RES. Being retired, I enjoy loading up a glider/high start/batteries and traveling about 10 minutes to a local field and soaring with the birds, either alone or with fellow club members (mostly e-power types). For me, glider flying provides a pleasurable balance (ying/yang) to my other facets of RC aeromodeling. Don't know if this answers your question or not.
Rgds,
Art ARRO
Old 01-07-2014, 01:20 PM
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Art, that answer is as good as any.

BTW, I see you reference an ALES contest glider you are building. LISF will be hosting a regional ALES contest on Long Island on May 24 and 25th if you care to stop buy. About a 5 hour trip for you. We do it as two one day contests if you like to stay over.
reg is at www.flyesl.org.


Now, back to our regularly scheduled discussion.

Why people don't like to fly glider contests.
Old 01-07-2014, 03:20 PM
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Art ARRO
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Ed,
Thanks for the offer but that weekend is my anniversary and that date is already locked out.
Rgds,
Art ARRO
Old 01-07-2014, 03:56 PM
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I do not hate competition. I did compete starting 1977 and finished in 1990. All I can say it took a lot of time and effort to stay competitive. I am talking RC and full scale open class gliders. I took first places on Nationals and it was a real joy.
All I can say is competing really takes out a lot of enjoyment of flying. I remember flying open class gliders 9-8 hours daily. We did not fly - we worked. We flew without limits days after days. In 1990 I logged 126 out landings in places I wouldn't ride a bicycle at, two of them on a highways with heavy traffic. Never mind I was towed by our tow planes from there (except one out of 126 out landings). You name it - I probably landed there. Farms, cow fields, high grass, low grass, fields in the middle of the woods, super short fields (under 150ft) etc. Took off going under power lines, landed in the dark.. Never broke a glider.
Was it fun? Hell Yeah!
Do I want to do it Today? - not exactly!
I'd rather fly at my own pace and enjoy every minute I fly RC or a full scale.
I love competition! I love the drive! But I guess there is a time in life for every activity.
This is my five cents.
Cheers,
Mark.
Old 01-12-2014, 03:43 PM
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Hate is a strong word. I don't go to them because I simply like to fly and at competitions typically you wait a long time for your window to fly. I don't necessarily mean this for glider contests just contests in general.
Old 01-13-2014, 08:53 AM
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275 some contests over 45 years including a few AMA and SAM Nats under my belt and I still love it. Free flight contest are my favourite, it's more like a party and you bring an airplane or two for fun. SAM Old TImer contest are laid back too,at least the ones I attend regularly. Friendly competition with nothing to prove. I fly mainly antique ignition in SAM events which has it's own nuances. Sailplane contests are a bit more regimented but still relaxing enough to have fun. I have 6 contests on the calender for this year Lord willing and am looking forward to them all.
Old 01-13-2014, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Soar RC View Post
275 some contests over 45 years including a few AMA and SAM Nats under my belt and I still love it. Free flight contest are my favourite, it's more like a party and you bring an airplane or two for fun. SAM Old TImer contest are laid back too,at least the ones I attend regularly. Friendly competition with nothing to prove. I fly mainly antique ignition in SAM events which has it's own nuances. Sailplane contests are a bit more regimented but still relaxing enough to have fun. I have 6 contests on the calender for this year Lord willing and am looking forward to them all.
Yes, that has been my experience too. I currently have 16 major contests and 10 club contests planned for this year. I went to the NATs 2 years ago and may go this year. That would add another week of contests.

I never win at the major events If I make the top 1/3, I consider that a win. I win club contests from time to time, but it is not the major reason I fly them.


OK, so much for the contest love fest here. Who else hates/dislikes contests?
Old 01-13-2014, 09:38 AM
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The other thing about competition, it brings out the best in some people but unfortunately it brings out the worst in others.
Old 01-13-2014, 05:18 PM
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A hobby is fun, competition is work.....I'm retired and hate work!! But..I must say I like watching the top competitors work at having fun!
Old 01-13-2014, 06:38 PM
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Well said and to an extent I agree with you. But that doesn't take the fun away for me.
Old 01-13-2014, 09:11 PM
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LOL! Thats why I fly little 3-10 pound gliders instead of 60# giant scale stuff anymore. Now I just watch. Competition was fun tho.
Old 01-17-2014, 04:52 PM
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First- you don't do a lot of flying in at contests.
If you can't at least place-why bother. In order to place you have to spend a LOT of time and effort practicing.
I remember years ago when I started pattern, spending untold hours in search of the perfect loop-not fun just a lot of work and effort for little payoff (at least for me).
Most people at contests are there to compete-not to make friends. While some will help, many won't.
Anyway, that's my experience from many years ago-maybe it's different today, don't know but I still have no interest-I just go to fun fly's.
Even at fun fly's there's some "pressure". One club brings a gong to jet fun fly's and "gongs" every bad landing. Jeez, now someone I don't know is judging my landings.
A lot of people complained and now a person can only gong someone they know, at least it's that way at KY jets.
BRG,
Jon
Old 01-18-2014, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by F106A View Post
First- you don't do a lot of flying in at contests.
If you can't at least place-why bother. In order to place you have to spend a LOT of time and effort practicing.
I remember years ago when I started pattern, spending untold hours in search of the perfect loop-not fun just a lot of work and effort for little payoff (at least for me).
Most people at contests are there to compete-not to make friends. While some will help, many won't.
Anyway, that's my experience from many years ago-maybe it's different today, don't know but I still have no interest-I just go to fun fly's.
Even at fun fly's there's some "pressure". One club brings a gong to jet fun fly's and "gongs" every bad landing. Jeez, now someone I don't know is judging my landings.
A lot of people complained and now a person can only gong someone they know, at least it's that way at KY jets.
BRG,
Jon
Sounds like you've been going to different contests than I have.

I first started going for the exact reason mentioned by others: for help. Help comes in many different forms. Observation is probably the best and most mannerful for the contestants you're studying. You can also study the models up close if you show respect to the owners and stay out of their way. Also, pay attention to what they're doing at the time and don't interject when it's not appropriate. Simply showing some understanding gets their attention and they are usually the ones to start talking to you. Pay attention to how your presence is received and move on when appropriate. The majority of them are there to compete after all, and as you noted, it takes some effort.

The effort competing takes usually does separate the more expert from the crowd. They really are the ones most apt to be solving problems and advancing the hobby. They also deserve space and time. When I started going to contests it was clear there were different personalities out there. And the event wasn't put on to provide beginners with lecturers. It's also clear that some events attract very different personalities. Heck, you can see that right here in the forums. Some forums, like jets for example, are quite different than gliders etc.

One of my first contests happened to include US Team Selection for CL Aerobatics back in its heyday. Multi-day contests are really good for finding out stuff. Stand back and watch the first day and you'll have no problem the next day(s) if you showed respect and understanding the first day. Just listening is an excellent way to soak up info. One of the best questions to ask is where is a good place for supper. My first years flying models wound up with my choosing to make all the team qualification events possible. Back then, construction articles in the magazines were extremely good schooling on how and why of model building, and I wound up knowing a bunch of the writers of those articles.

Lew McFarland, Les McDonald and the likes were/are excellent people. Everyone didn't have time or interest in answering questions, but you could learn from them too.

Last edited by da Rock; 01-18-2014 at 06:09 AM.
Old 01-18-2014, 08:34 AM
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What ended whatever interest I had in contests happened many years at a scale meet.
I love WW I models and built a Proctor N 28. The research is at least as enjoyable as building and started my markings/color research.
To make a long story short, I found Alan Tolle who did research on French camouflage paints, and in fact supplied the paint that the Smithsonian Museum used on several of their planes.
He sent me the paint and painted my model in the colors of Lt Waldo Heinrichs of the 95th Aero Squadron (everyone does the 94th). I provided pictures of the actual plane taken in 1918, diary excerpts of cowl colors, etc.
When it was judged it was marked down in color and markings-the area I was most proud of. When I questioned the judge, he said the colors don't match the profile publications on the N28! He said he had the N28 book and knew my colors were wrong.
WHAT! I never presented the profile publication as part of the documentation. This "expert" decided that he knew more about the model than I did and all my research was wrong.
After that I really can't be bothered-I just go to the various fun fly’s and hang out and swap stories .
I agree that the top competitors move the hobby along but I'm not interested, especially at this stage in my life to spend the time and money that's needed to be competitive.
Kudos to those who have the interest and desire.
Jon




Old 01-18-2014, 08:48 AM
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da Rock
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You know, the reason you don't go to contests anymore is sad. The judging really sounds less than correct. It's sadder still that you're put off from ever entering contests again by things like that. It really isn't a perfect world.

Good thing about model flying is that contest flying isn't required. Other good thing about model flying is that contests are still being held for those who enjoy them.
Old 01-18-2014, 03:32 PM
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da Rock
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Just for laughs, here's a picture of one of my early contests

One of the best ways to tell how well you're progressing in your hobby is to measure yourself against the very best. That picture has a bunch of that very type. Their performance is the most consistent day in and day out.

BTW, can anyone count the World Champs in that picture?
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Old 01-22-2014, 01:47 PM
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Great photo from that contest but I bet the glide ratio on those planes was awful!

Are those control line planes?
Old 01-22-2014, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by aeajr View Post
Great photo from that contest but I bet the glide ratio on those planes was awful!

Are those control line planes?
Yeah, they're precision aerobatics planes. And it's one hell of a contest too. I think there are over 10 World Championships represented in that group. Although all had not been won yet. That was a team selection meet.
Old 01-24-2014, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by da Rock View Post
. ...........The judging really sounds less than correct.........
This is why I like soaring based contests be a TD, ALES, Free Flight Gas or Old Timer event. No judging done or points decided by someone who may or may not be in a good mood, have personal problem with a contestant,carries a chip on his/her shoulder in general, etc. You either complete the time and task or you don't. The stop watch is your judge,cut and dried from the get go with no baloney.
Old 01-24-2014, 12:32 PM
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I don't have a lot of interest in contests, but I think I will be entering 1 or 2 this year, I plan to work on LSF challenges. Might even get a chance to say "hi", if I get down to Long Island (I'm in Western Massachusetts).

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