Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

RFields5421

Fair Disclosure

Recommended Posts

This was part of a private question and my response - since it touches on race policy rather than exclusively team information - my response is posted for everyone to see.-----------------------------------------------------

I seem to recall last year around this time the RTW Executive Committee released some early information on the Special Rules for the 2008 Race. That information included the Maintenance Penalties and the Cabin Class rules.......In my "Perfect World" I'd already have the perfect route planned out for us. But it's impossible to do when you don't know the required airports, the corridors, or even where the race is supposed to start and finish!
The unknown start point, unknown corridors, unknown bonuses, unknown requirements are a key element vital since the first race to make it interesting and a challenge. I think everyone agrees that running the same route year after year would be the death of the race.Mike, Matt, Ian and I work very hard and very long hours - some of us about 150-200+ hours each - to ensure there is not ONE fastest route around the world. Last year we had four near identical routes.And yet after running an average of 80-100 routing options each year, the three teams always surprise us with their picks. Sometimes they find a route which is slightly shorter/ faster than we have found, sometimes they ignore the shortest route combinations.We realize the planning burden and try to have the final announcement at least 24 hours before the start.The first race I followed had the start point - no corridors - released two hours before the start. I did not fly in 2004, but followed the race closely. My first race in 2005, the introduction of corridors, bonus airports and jump jets, we had about 4 hours notice of the start and requirements.There may or may not be an advance NOTAM this year. Those are usually reserved for when we add something unique and new to the race.Variations in corridor, leg length, required airports, wild card leg distance, etc - are not new or unique in our opinion. Frankly having to deal with the planning issues is a big part of what makes the race fun. Teams which can deal with uncertainty well always do a good job on the race. We make variations in the standard elements just to keep people on their toes. But we are very aware of the physical limits of the world and how those dictate some routing choices.We hear and try to adhere to the requests for simplicity - but we are also very aware of how much people enjoy most of the unique challenges.Last year's rule related to crashes while carrying the baton is an example. We had heard for years from many people that there should be a penalty if a pilot with the baton crashes which keep him from flying the aircraft for the rest of the race. We tried the simpliest implementation we could come up with, but not making the rule an exclusion for the entire race. As you are well aware, that rule did not work. It will not be back, in any form.As always, teams need to focus on flying fast and landing their primary race aircraft in any conditions. There will always be places where a piston 4 engine propliner is advantageous, or a long range 2 engine turboprop. There may or may not be jets and 3-4 engine turboprops allowed.Helicopters and classic aircraft are very popular with race participants - we've also heard nothing but good thinks about team flights.Focus on the basics, focus on being fast, and focus on making those landings perfect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

My personal opinion on this is if all the information regarding the unique rules, challenges, starting point, corridors, etc were given too early then it would take away from the excitement of the race. The teams could spend weeks and such planning the perfect route around the world where as even with 24 hours notice we can have a route plotted but sometimes we need to make adjustments on the fly to take into account bonus airports, various aircraft requests and so on.Like you said, release a NOTAM early for any major rules or any major changes that are being done this year, but leave everything that would directly affect routing till shortly before the race. I think 24 - 48 hours is good. I don't remember how we did it last year.Lets keep the race fun and exciting...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is the unknown requirements and having to come up with a plan on short notice that makes this event a fun challenge. Definitely enjoy the team the team flights and the classic aircraft requirements. Not knowing if there are Jet Corridors or a jet continent like last year, also add to the challenge. A good reason to be proficient in various aircraft.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It is the unknown requirements and having to come up with a plan on short notice that makes this event a fun challenge. Definitely enjoy the team the team flights and the classic aircraft requirements. Not knowing if there are Jet Corridors or a jet continent like last year, also add to the challenge. A good reason to be proficient in various aircraft.
Surely part of the race is the Planning. Forcing the planning to be highly RUSHED, by only releasing the data at a late date, results in incomplete planning, and the resulting result of the race, then tends to be a function of LUCK, ( and who does not have a life outside of Flightsim) , rather than Skill. Entertaining to some maybe, but not realistic.BY forcing the rushed planning, you are reducing the race to LUCK, and it is would become like those rediculous REALITY TV shows, where teams are given ridiculously inadequate time to plan and implent a rask. Maybe it is amusing and entertaining to othjers to see there teams under such inrealsitc stress, but it makes the results a crap shoot. May as well just spin a dice to decide the winner.On a more personal and professional note, I have a significant problem with encouraging or forcing pilots to fly without adequate planning. BAD habits to get into !!!Geoff( Real World Pilot )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As everyone else has already said, part of the FUN is plotting our route with a tight deadline before the start of the race. Given such little time, that route WILL NOT be ideal, and WILL NEED adjustments throughout the race, which is also part of the fun. Not knowing what kinds of aircraft we would need in our hangars until it's almost too late to be purchasing and/or downloading and test for proficiency means we need to try and fly our race with the aircraft we have available, even if the aircraft we have available is not ideal for the leg in question, which is also part of the fun.If we had a long time to make our plans, then everybody would probably find the "perfect" route, everyone would make a list of the ideal aircraft to fly on each leg for the entire race ahead of time, everybody would have plenty of time to purchase/download/install/flight-test as many of these aircraft as possible, and the race would just turn into one big game of "follow the leader", even more so than has been done in the past.I'm not necessarily suggesting it for RTWR2009, but here's a thought... What if all information, other than the details of the opening team event, were to ONLY be released AT THE START OF THE RACE and no earlier.... Meaning that all 3 teams would be using official race time to plan routes, etc. This would open up a bunch of new strategies... Do we plan our route as fast as we possibly can and take the first version of it so we can try and be the first to launch our flights? Do we take our time and attempt to plot a better route, even if it means being the last to launch? Do we just choose a direction and have one set of pilots launch a flight immediately and plan as we go based on this first flight? Will the team be able to work together as a team to plot this route, with the pressure of the ticking race clock in our ears with each passing second? Just a few of the things each team would need to decide on how to proceed...As a footnote: "start of the race" could be defined as the start of the opening team event, or the designated finish time of the opening team event (depends on if you want to define the opening team event as officially part of the "race" or just an "opening act" to the race.). Information regarding the opening team event ONLY would be released an hour or two before the start of this event. (Which would still be PLENTY of time to figure out a plan of attack for the opening event..)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stone has clearly earned an "evil genius" badge. It would be interesting to see how each team managed its time with respect to "planning v. getting under way." (In the first RTWR, before the team got organized, the first pilot took off going East-to-West! Gosh, the older veterans will remember that we had quite a handicap to overcome that year.) :(Geoff, you are right that there is a bit of luck involved in getting the planning right. To be sure, each individual leg gets planned in advance. That is, as the team moves the baton along, the central planners map out a suggested route along with likely airports. (The emphasis is typically on large, well lighted, airports in order to reduce the chances of incidents.) The pilot who is likely to fly a future leg will be expected to plan his route, familiarizing himself with the weather, landscape, and destination airport. He will also plan alternatives to handle unexpected emergencies. Those look-ahead plans typically run six to eight hours ahead of the current flight. Sometimes, of course, they have to be changed on-the-fly as contingencies arise.It is the overall routing plan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am rather curious what are we using to plan these routes with. I use FSNAV in fs2004 and also use route planner. I have also used Google Earth to help me make some of my flight plans. The last time I flew around the world I went by way of Alaska. I used a lot of single engine and twin engine propeller driven aircraft and kept my legs short then switched to the jets when I had to make the jump across the POND as it it sometimes referred to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Simmers !I think that posting practice legs here are great; legs that have been done in all the previous RTW races; they give us great practice and also they more than likely will be very similar to the folowing year's race.It doesnt mean that the practice legs here will be the same legs used in the next race, but frm last year's experience, we were very close to winning, and probly didnt win due to technical and aircraft problems, not weather or routing.I expect the rules for every race to be 'similar'. I have FSNAV3 and FS9; I can plan and look at weather as well, but we all get together and usually agree with the planners' ideas in the last moments before the race. I try to come up with a flight plan too just to compare, and IMO last years race was very close.I think this year will be the same, maybe even better; the flight planning doesnt just fall on one person's hands; this is a team effort, and we need to agree to disagree too !BG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Surely part of the race is the Planning.
It is... but my (first) experience with the team last year... the veterans deftly handled this aspect. I considered asking to participate in planning routes, but their adroit skills left me too shy to ask. :(This was one great example of teamwork. The Legs are posted, you show up and then volunteer for one you would like. There really isn't much to do in terms of pre-planning for the piloting of a single leg. In FSX, it's just a matter of entering DEP & ARR points (and a waypoint or two if one wants to add their own arrival procedure) getting a quick look at the WX, airport layouts at each end, routing & terrain, and if you want... print the NavLog. All can be done in a matter of minutes. Personally, I never felt "encouraged or forced" into flying a leg I wasn't prepared for.This is nowhere near as complicated as having to comply with 91.103 (not that a .103 preflight is difficult, just more to do)... if one is an active pilot, why not practice that if you have the time and it adds to your experience. However let me add, how one practices their flying in a Flight Simulator (such as FSX) is irrelevant to me when it comes to a 61.56 endorsement (BFR).(FAA Certificated CFI/CFII/MEII)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last year I think we were stung more with crash issues than planning issues. Sim-Outhouse flew really well. I tend to leave the overall planning to the Elders with the tools to do so so far. When I volunteer for a leg and get to take one, I usually know in advance and I set about looking at the Departure and Destination in google earth using Smithplanet tools. Then I will go to that airport and fly around the area a bit.If I am flying a leg at night, I will raise the sun in the simulator and fly around the airfield in daylight and practice some approaches and make notes of any terrain issues. This came in handy the last 2 years. Last year I flew into Tegucigalpa Toncontin INTL at night and turnign the lights on and scouting out the area really paid off by increasing my awareness of the terrain. Then I set the Sim time to night and flew the NDB approach as best I could so that I was ready for this challenge. 2 years ago I had a similar challenge flying into a high unlit airfield at night in Chile (thanks Runway Lights Crew!.) Scouting and knowing the destination helps tremendously, day or night. Scouting is also a great way for team mates that are not flying baton or wing to contribute. It is always helpful to have someone up ahead with the same weather to give you some reports (just don't interfere when the baton is making the approach) and having people on the ground to give you weather on the ground. In the past, I know I have flown ILS approaches to check the weather as the baton is in route so the baton holder knows what to expect. Is it time to race yet?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now that is a great idea StoneCold. No preplanning information. The race starts, then the teams get the rules and start planning. The idea that one of the teams has software to plan their route is disconcerting. What seems to have been a great idea to hold a yearly for-fun event for anyone who wants to fly is sliding down the slope to a dog-eat-dog 'we have to win at any cost' type of event. I guess the question is is it better to have a race similar to the one in the film "The Great Race", or one similar to the Indy 500, with hired experts and all chance of error removed. I think the organising committee should not let it devolve into the latter. For now though looking forward to it! We still have to fly it and anything can happen. Stetson (one of the other teams)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Last year I think we were stung more with crash issues than planning issues. Sim-Outhouse flew really well.
The race has always been decided by crashes in my opinion.Fly fast, fly safely and make the landing !!! Make the landing, Make the landing !!! In my opinion, too often pilots try to force a landing when they come in too fast rather than go around and try again. Me included. A crash is never faster for the team than a go around.As far as planning, SOH did come up with something we did not anticipate in the race which included the corridor from Bermuda to Flores - but crashes cost them a race they should have won.While Mike, Matt, Ian and I work very hard to ensure there are options for routing - teams always find / choose something at least a little different.Additional questions - Feb 10
1. Do the "have baton"/"baton free" posts to the forum have to follow exactly the template provided by the rules, or is a more liberal formulation acceptable?
The following things are critical in the post - (1) who has the baton and when, (2) who is the wingman and when. The "I have the baton" post must follow a "Baton is Free" post on the forum, they cannot be reversed. Both the Baton is Free post and the "I have the baton" post must include the same airport ICAO. In the case of airports which change designator between FS versions - please put in both ICAO codes/ FS identifier codes.Though it is not required, the Baton pilot should start his Duenna - either manually or by achieving 45+ kts takeoff speed while on the ground - before the wingman starts his Duenna. If the Wingman starts Duenna first the automated tracking will be reversed and lead to confusion. (Note - for Helicopter flights, the Vickers Vimy and the Curtiss Jenny, and probably the Piper Cub and Aircreations Trike - start Duenna manually - you could be in the air when your ground speed reaches 45+ kts and Duenna will not start automatically)The "I have the baton" post must include the destination airport (including any allowed wildcard flights) and the aircraft being used clearly identified. If the aircraft is not one commonly used in the race, some level of detail is necessary. Slang terms such as "in the Jug" are not acceptable. The Executive Committee must be able to identify the aircraft type, FS modeler, source of the model and verify the aircraft flight dynamics if there are questions - which happen every year.The "Baton is free" post and the Wingman safely down post need to have the verification Duenna data attached, or clearly linked. Verify that both the JPG and the text file can be easily read. FS Pilots should NEVER erase/ remove Duenna files from their computer for flights with the baton or wingman position or for any group events during the race.Now this may seem to be obtrusive. Well, gents, you are not flying for fun, you are flying for your team in a race where verification is essential for everyone to be assured of fairness.It is also one tremendous pain in the rear for the Executive Committee - because we have to track and verifiy every single leg for four different teams. We need to do it every few hours.But just as important - your teammates need to be able to read the forum and see clearly where the baton is located and what is happening before they join Teamspeak and interrupt a pilot on short final for a tough landing in the dark asking for an update. The forums are also how members of your FS community, friends and even family in some cases try to keep track of the race progress.
2. How exact do the system/FS clocks have to be set? And what time difference between "FS UTC" and real UTC (or local FS time and real local time) is acceptable?
There are two different issues here.First, most of us will scout airports in daylight before attempting the flight. We need to make sure your FS UTC is correctly set to real UTC as closely as possible. For people not flying in FSX Multi-player, the Duenna sync time button does that very well. FSX Multi-player takes time only from the server. It is expected there will be some drift in time. That is simply how FS works.Secondly, local time is a bigger issue. There is a set of updated time zone files by Dennis Thompson available for FS2004, and they work very well in FSX. I link both scenery.cfg files to the same scenery folder on my computers. However, you need to run the DSTorSTD.exe program right before the race. You should also resave your default flight right before the race. Because local offsets will change with timezones based on DST or Standard Time around the world. Also the date of your saved default flight can also create an incorrect offset, especially if your default flight was saved in DST and you are now in Standard Time or the reverse. If you cannot find Dennis Thompson's files, download and install FSRealTime - it includes Dennis' files and sets up the FS2004 Scenery.cfg correctly.However, DO NOT USE FSRealTime in the RTW. It is a great program but it resets the time frequently - which Duenna will correctly see as an error.But it is also completely acceptable to only use the FS2002, FS2004 or FSX default time zones/ data. What will occur is that local time will be off an hour in many places, two hours in a few, a half-hour in Newfoundland and India and many other local variations around the world. Dawn and dusk may be off by those amounts. That is not a problem because we recognize the variations with FS.We need you to fly in the correct UTC time and deal with the light/ dark issues as you see them.
3. Consider the following scenario: I have claimed the baton, posted the "have baton" post to the forum, started Duenna ect, but then crash on take off (why does this sound familiar to me ? ) I decide to make another attempt. Do I have to post to the forum that I have crashed and make a new attempt, wait until it is confirmed on the forum, and then only start Duenna anew? Or do I just start Duenna and take off after the crash without posting to the forum?
If you have a problem, always make a post about the problem and that you are restarting your flight. That is very explicit in the rules. Other teams may be watching your takeoff and subsequent crash as recorded by the flight tracking server, or by the FSHost status. Remember your two hour and three hour clocks start from the first "I have the baton" post, not any subsequent takeoff. The wingman does not have to restart his flight if the baton pilot crashes and restarts.
Say you are close to your destination having flown 690nm, and you have to find an alternate to land at for any reason. The closest alternate is 50nm away, but on a lateral or negative distance from your original destination. Flying to the alternate would put you over the 700nm limit but you would not have advanced the baton any farther, and possibly have flown backwards some distance. On the Duenna will it show total distance flown, including diversions? Or just distance from departure to landing. And is the rule only concerned with the Duenna number or actual distance flown?
Duenna records the distance from airport to airport. How far you fly with twists, turns and such is no concern to the race rules. The take-off and landing airports must be no more than 700 nm apart. If there are questions about the distance, the official method of measuring distance is from airport reference point to airport reference point in the version of FS used by the pilot.This will be measured with the default FS flight planner and the two airports being measured will be mid-route airports so that only the airport reference point will be used. Flight plans which have the two airports as origin or landing are not used because the aircraft start location and the runway start point for the default landing runway are used in those cases.The excuse that FSNav, GreatCircleMapper, Google Earth, FSCommander or SuperFlightPlanner shows the route as less than 700.1 nm will not be acceptable. FS easily and clearly shows the distance and that will be official. If FS says 700.1nm or more - the leg will not be allowed. If anyone has questions or wants a demonstration of how to measure distances - send me an e-mail and I'll be happy to meet you on Teamspeak.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites