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6 Comments on RCP 2021-004
I'm not convinced that the "unintended consequences" outlined by Don aren't already happening.
There's plenty of evidence from NARAM that models are lost. That's a natural by-product of people maximizing duration without a max involved.
Timer resources follow the rest of the range crew in that at any given time, 25% of the contestants are serving the other 75%. If more timers are needed, shift the percentages, i.e. have 3 range shifts instead of 4.
Finally, I see plenty of people, myself included, waiting around for good air at every NARAM I've attended. I don't see the practice getting any worse with the proposed change.
People who think all models should be returned generally don't understand how thermals work in the real world. Field limitations should not cause someone to walk endlessly in order to find a winning model - the winner should be rewarded for performance, not hunting and tracking skills. It would be more fun to remove the return rule for all - after all, if you want to chase your model over the river and through the woods, you are still free to do so.
This RCP has it backwards. IMHO returns should be required at all meets. I never agreed with the wasteful, throw-away rocket, fire-and-forget NRC format. Model rockets are fundamentally supposed to be reusable and any framework for model rocket competition should reflect that. I don't support this RCP.
Hi Wolf. As for this RCP, I think people need to decide for themselves if they think the current return rule for NARAM is a good, bad, or indifferent thing. As for your premise to require returns at all contests, since rockets are designed to be reusable, I will support an RCP that you write to that purpose. HOWEVER, all sport launches MUST require a return of any and all a flyer's sport and high power flights, or that flyer shall not be allowed to launch again at that launch. That's a fair idea, if it is because 'models should be reusable'. Now if the return rule for like NARAM or whatnot is because that is part of the event challenge, so be it. Again, good discussion, but Ii think people should limit their consideration for Bunny's RCP to what it's purpose. Don't forget, it says 'designed' to be reusable. Estes Mosquito and Comanche-3 ever flown by a kid! LOL
There are other aspects of flying at NARAM that differ from yearly NRC: max time limits, everyone competing from different geographies and different dates. So it appears to be built in to the system that different strategies are required for NARAM than are required for regular NRC. That's probably a good thing. Let's keep what is good about NARAM and head-to-head competition, rather than "dumb it down" because of NRC. Just my two cents.
The no return rule for NRC flying was put in place to minimize the advantage through the year that contestants with access to large fields would have over those who only have access to smaller fields when trying to qualify for the Event Specialist Award (ESA) competition at NARAM. At NARAM, every contestant is faced with the same field conditions and so the no return rule is not needed.
When flying NRC through the year, entries are timed only up to the NRC max time. All out maximum performance in not needed. If approved, this change would require all out maximum performance for all NARAM duration flights. This would require a different strategy than the NRC flying through year. The stated goal of making the flying strategy the same at NARAM as during the practice flying in NRC through the year is not supported by this RCP.
Eliminating the return rule would make flying at NARAM much more convenient. Time not spent on recovery can be used for prepping more flights. Less physical exertion searching for and recovering models from often rougher downwind locations would certainly be nice.
It would however have some (perhaps) unintended consequences.
• With little incentive to recover models many, if not most, duration models will be left to litter the landscape. They become fire and forget launches. This is probably not good for a number of reasons.
• There will be an increased demand on timing team resources with all flights striving for all out maximum performance (currently they tend to have to cover one fly away long duration and one make sure you get it back shorter duration flight per contestant). Good timing resources are already in short supply at NARAMs.
• Wait times to launch may increase dramatically as every flight will need to wait for good air to get the maximum performance (compounded by timers committed to other long duration flights). Currently the get-it-back flights can go at any time.
There are reasons to support this change, but it won't make flying a NARAM the same strategy as flying NRC through the year and it won't come without some impacts to the flying experience at NARAM.