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Pre-Race NOTAM

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Posting this for Matt, who is on the road this weekend.Mike MacKuen (for Ian and Reggie as well)-----To the RTWR Community:The Executive Committee has been and remains hard at work preparing the rules for the 2008 race, which, as we have announced, will be starting in just a few weeks. We wanted to take this opportunity to pass along some information about this year's race that we feel will be valuable for you to know now, as it will affect your preparations.The first item I wanted to share is that the Duenna will be the only way to authenticate a flight this year. The Duenna gives the race community greater confidence in the compliance of other racers with the rules, because it makes transparent a number of details about race legs that are not apparent from screenshots of the Flight Analysis window alone. This assurance of legitimacy is an especially important part of therace: we believe that knowing with confidence that everyone is following the rules fully will greatly increase the general enjoyability of the race for all pilots. Last year, most flights were authenticated with the Duenna, so it is our belief that this won't be a large change from the way we've done things before. This being said, we wanted to get the word out so that everyone could begin practicing appropriately. As a reminder, the Duenna may be found by visiting the "Resources" section of the official RTWR website, at www.fsrtwrace.com.Secondly, I would like to briefly discuss some rules changes regarding aircraft. Darwin has smiled on the RTWR as it has grown: a field of aircraft that was once very wide has been narrowed by natural selection to include only the fastest. And this is as it should be: we are, after all, in the business of racing. This having been said, concerns have been raised in the community about the dominance of only a fewairplanes: a wider variety gives individual pilots a greater choice and, in addition, widens the field of pilots who are able to comfortably fly in the race. For the 2008 race, we are going to have three small incentives to make it profitable for teams to fly a wider variety of aircraft. First, aircraft flown for more than 20 legs will need to have "maintenance" performed on them that will delay the transfer of the baton for fifteen minutes on every leg beyond the 20th. This maintenance will necessitate disabling the autopilot on these aircraft for the 21st and subsequent legs. Secondly, we are offering a time bonus of 30 minutes, to a maximum of 5 hours, for each different aircraft in which a team flies 3 or more legs. Finally, a fleet of "Cabin Class" general aviation aircraft will be available with which to fly influential people interested in following the race along race legs. On legs in these aircraft greater than 300nm, a time bonus of 15 minutes will be given. This handicap is available for up to 12 legs. The "Cabin Class" aircraft available are: Aerostar Super 700 (FSD), Beech/Raytheon King Air (Default/Aeroworx, AFG), Cessna 441/421 (Flight1), Pilatus PC-12 (Flight1, AFG), Piper PA-31 Cheyenne (Digital Aviation), Piper Meridian (Flight1), Socata TBM 700 (Michael Migaud and TBM Team), and the Piper Twin Commanche (Eaglesoft). The exact wording of these rules will be made public 24 hours before the race. For now, we simply wanted to provide a heads-up so that teams have an idea of what to expect and can make preparations.Finally, I'd like to note that the "pilot reports" that were experimented with last year are to become a permanent part of the race. These brief summaries of the events of race legs, sometimes accompanied by a screenshot, greatly enhance the enjoyment of spectators to the race. It remains our goal to have at least half of race legs documented with a pilot report.Our hope, as always, is to maximize the enjoyment of the race for all its participants. In instituting these rules (especially the rules concerning aircraft variety) we have tried to be as light-handed as possible. It is our hope that the aircraft variety rules will expand, rather than restrict, the freedom of race pilots - by making a wider variety of aircraft competitive, while still allowing the tested and proved speed demons of past races their place of honor at the head of each team's fleet.As always, you can find this news item and all other race updates and news at the official website of the race, www.fsrtwrace.com.Thanks for your attention and best of luck in your preparations. We look forward to seeing you (virtually) on race day!Warmest Regards,Matt SmithFor the RTWR Executive Committee

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aircraft flown for more than 20 legs will need to have "maintenance" performed on them that will delay the transfer of the baton for fifteen minutes on every leg beyond the 20th. This maintenance will necessitate disabling the autopilot on these aircraft for the 21st and subsequent legs.What was once a race is now just a handicapper's study in futility. Now you must create some method to confirm that the AP is not used on legs 21 and higher, and then you must confirm...Sometimes folks can "rules" themselves right out of business.

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As I understand it; the maintenance/autopilot rule is invoked after a team uses the same aircraft type for 20 successful legs in a race. The rule only applies to that aircraft type, not to any other aircraft type. In 2007 AVSIM posted 25 legs with the p51. Under the proposed rule we would have to fly 5 of those legs under the maintenance rule or substitute a different aircraft type that had been used fewer than 20 times. I believe a new Duenna will detect whether an autopilot is available but teams will need to keep track of how many successful baton legs are flown by an aircraft type.Jeff

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True, but look how many "special required aircraft" legs there were as well. I'm betting if those weren't there, we would have been closer to 35 hops with the 51. Now, we'll take some of those back with the "cabin class" hops. I'm more concerned that this is making race planning an even BIGGER headache than it was before. A lot more bookkeeping needs to take place now...But I have to admit that they've made a good stab at trying to diversify the aircraft mix...I figure even if we just split some of those 51 hops with the 38 and the Avanti more, we'll be fine..

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