Eamonn Watson

2017 Special Rules Posted

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I have questions.

 

1. I get the impression we should identify our aircraft according to the Whitelist. If that is correct, then those of us posting using the "F7F..." should in fact identify our aircraft as "SOH".  That seems silly.  Have I missed something?

 

2. Limits on usage of Normal aircraft.  Rules 4.i)© & (d) seem to be one rule that says there is a usage limit on normal aircraft capable of greater than 350KTAS.  For my interests, the F7F is NOT limited in usage; I can fly it as many legs as I choose (team tactics withstanding of course).

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1. I get the impression we should identify our aircraft according to the Whitelist. If that is correct, then those of us posting using the "F7F..." should in fact identify our aircraft as "SOH".  That seems silly.  Have I missed something?

The aircraft should be identified with both the modeller and the type, so the F7F should be "SOH F7F". This is since different models of the same aircraft may have different performance, e.g. the Alphasim DH.103 (thoroughbred) compared to the RR-SOH DH.103 (normal aircraft).

 

2. Limits on usage of Normal aircraft.  Rules 4.i)© & (d) seem to be one rule that says there is a usage limit on normal aircraft capable of greater than 350KTAS.  For my interests, the F7F is NOT limited in usage; I can fly it as many legs as I choose (team tactics withstanding of course).

The F7F is limited in usage to only 4 flights, its maximum (cruise) true airspeed is well above 350 knots. The P-38s and P-51s mentioned also have a maximum cruise speed of about 380-385 KTAS, so they are only exempted by rule 4 i ©.

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Hello Dan,

As I haven't had any direct contact with you yet, welcome to the team!

To answer your questions:

1. Identification of your aircraft is best achieved by use of the Whitelist, giving the aircraft type and either the modeler or their abbreviation. As some aircraft types have been modeled in the FS world more than once, it is necessary to specify the FS model as well as the type. So a correct identification of the 2015 F7F-3 would be "Grumman F7F-3 (2015) SOH".

2. For the 2017 race the F7F-3 is subject to the limit of four normal race legs, so I'm afraid it won't be possible to fly it as many legs as you choose. The only aircraft that can be flown without a leg limit are the eligible models of the P-38 (F-J, L) and P-51B/C/D. If you're concerned about running out of eligible aircraft with legs left, I think Jeff has suggested a few good candidates to add to your hangar. In general, aircraft not capable of greater than 350Kts don't figure highly in the race as they are not fast enough.

Hope this helps!

Edit... and DC has just beaten me to it with pretty much identical answers! :Hmmmph::P

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I'm a bit confused by the new crash rules. At least, there are some things I don't fully understand after reading the rules.

When must the selection of the penalty method be done? In the "crash post" or when the team elects to continue? It could take a few minutes to evaluate if a relocation, wingman transfer or false leg is the best option. Since the penalties are waited from the crash post (except wingman transfer) it will make some difference if the crash post can be done immediately or not. I think it would be helpful with more explicit rules on how to post a crash and how to post what action is selected.


In the relocation case the new flight is essentially a new leg, with three exceptions:

  • it must end at the original destination;
  • the same pilot may fly it without the "consecutive pilot" penalty; and
  • the same aircraft may be used again without being counted as two uses of the aircraft.

Is this correct?

Some specific questions regarding the relocation case:

  • If the aircraft is changed, both aircraft are counted against usage limits?
  • Are aircraft and pilot independent of each other? I.e., may another pilot continue in the same aircraft without the additional usage count?
  • May the second leg be used to fulfill the rotorcraft requirement?
  • Must aborting the Duenna be done before FS resets to contain the correct data, or does the pilot just have to make sure that the Duenna is aborted before he closes the application, losing the data?

How do the different options combine with each other and other penalties? Are any additional penalties added to the wait time?

  • If the baton is transferred to the wingman, and then a second crash occurs, may a different option be selected? E.g., if both pilots crash on landing. Will the total penalty will be 5 + 15 minutes from the wingman's crash? Or can the decision be changed to be just 15 minutes from the original crash post?
  • If the elapsed time in the "false leg" case is greater than two hours, the triple time penalty will be assessed as normal? E.g., for a 122 minute elapsed time, the wait time will be extended by an additional 6 minutes?

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DC,

I think that we have answers for these useful questions. But before posting, let me run those answers through the Executive Committee to be sure that we're all on the same page.

Mike

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Hi Klas (DC),

Some quick answers to several very thoughtful and useful questions. I'll give our current understanding and intent…but we may clarify these choices in the final version of the rules. These penalty options are new this year and may need more work as we proceed. As much as possible, we want to have the rules laid out beforehand rather than have to make up solutions after-the-fact. You have thought about the details in a way that is admirable and helpful for getting clarity before the event.

Time for the decision on the "crash" option. The team needs to make a decision before taking the next observable act. That is, once it chooses and executes an option, then that is the final decision. Thus, the team has a few minutes to think.

(To answer your question directly, the baton pilot should post immediately the "Crash" event as this begins the clock ticking. The decision about the crash remedy can wait. The only time pressure would arise if the team were considering the option to re-fly the leg from the beginning in which case any delay would be costly.)

The relocation option. You have the relocation option under control. The slightly difficult part is the restriction on the relocation airport. For understanding, note that the second relocation leg must proceed directly to the previously declared destination airport. Our intent is that the two-leg sequence essentially replicates the initially planned leg. Some details follow.

 

  • If the aircraft is changed in between the initial and the relocation leg, then (yes) both aircraft are counted against usage limits.
  • For the relocation option, the aircraft and pilot are independent in this particular sense. The team may change pilots but if the same aircraft is used in both the initial and relocation leg, then that counts as one usage. (This provision may come into play if the initial baton pilot simultaneously experiences a serious computer/simulator crash and cannot restart in time to continue the relocation option.)
  • The second relocation leg may not be used to fulfill the rotorcraft requirement – unless the initial leg was declared as a rotorcraft leg. (Again, the relocation leg "completes" the previously declared leg.)
  • We do not have full control of how the Duenna closes out. Our knowledge and experiments indicate that the pilot should hit the Duenna "ABORT" button before FS resets to ensure that the Duenna reports out the last known position. Hence, we advise that once the pilot realizes that he or the simulator has crashed, he should immediately hit the ABORT button. In those occasional situations where FS freezes up but might recommence in 4-5 minutes, then the pilot will have to make a choice. He may stick with FS and hope that it continues properly – but then he risks an FS crash without getting the Duenna output. Or he may ABORT immediately and choose the relocation option. We have no certain advice for the latter case.

Combining options and penalties.
 

  • The choices are enacted and penalties accrued in sequence. In your case of a wingman transfer and then subsequent crash by the wingman, you cumulate time and penalties. Start with 5 minutes for the wingman transfer. Then add 15 minutes for the wingman's crash. The initial decision cannot be revisited. (At least in this described situation.) The team needs to think this one through.
  • If the elapsed time in the "false leg" exceeds two hours, the triple time applies to that portion of the time. (Note that the elapsed time is the period between the lead pilot's initial baton claim and the crash declaration.) Your calculation is correct. You can think of several reasons why the rule is thusly written.

--Mike
(for the Executive Committee)

(PS. We'll post this exchange at the official RTWR site for others to see.)

 

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Clear and excellent answers, thank you very much  :smile: 

Having clarity before the event is my intent as well, I wouldn't want to sit there on Saturday night trying to figure this stuff out :P


I have one more concern -- and unfortunately I can't see a way to solve it.

The much smaller penalty for a wingman transfer is much more likely to leave us in a tough situation on occasion. If the wingman has landed and the lead pilot is more than five minutes away from completing the leg, it will be strictly better for our final result to have the baton pilot immediately transfer the baton. A five to ten minute difference in flight times would not be all that unusual (is my feeling, I have not checked if data backs me up on it.)

Of course, this is not the intent of the wingman rule, but I don't think it can be escaped. The rule could require a crash (maybe it already does), but that is easily circumvented by intentionally crashing the aircraft. One could add a rule forbidding intentional crashes, but it would be prohibitively difficult to determine if a crash is intentional or not, if not impossible. I don't think we can use "honor" or "the spirit of the race" as an incentive for such a rule either. If the situation would occur, even with a legitimate crash, it would still raise suspicion from the other teams that it was an intentional crash, which in turn would cause distrust in both directions. I think that would be detrimental to the event as a whole.

So, I would conclude that the case must be explicitly allowed. This will leave the teams with a choice, should the situation occur:

  • have the lead pilot transfer the baton, at a cost of 5 minutes; or
  • have the lead pilot finish his leg, at a cost of 5+X minutes.

Both choices are equally valid, I think. But both choices would also have negative consequences, since we all value different things in the race at different times.

In the first case it could definitely be a bad experience for those who enjoy the "community aspect" more than the "competitive aspect". I know it would certainly suck to ask a fellow pilot to, in essence, give up and invalidate their effort on the leg.

On the other hand, some may prefer the "competitive aspect" more, and put a greater value on "taking one for the team". For them, the second alternative would be a bad experience. For myself, I would without a doubt transfer the baton if only to save the team a single minute.

These are extreme examples, in reality everyone would be somewhere in between depending on the specifics of the situation. But both cases are equally valid, which leaves us with a dilemma... Which to choose?

I don't have a clear answer. I feel like the second option is what the spirit of the race and rules is actually about. If I were to make a decision right now, that would be the "best" choice. But I can't say that my choice would be the same if we're within a few minutes of another team and closing in on the finishing line...

Maybe the committee disagrees with me regarding the necessity of explicitly allowing the transfers, and there is no dilemma (at least not a "race legal" one).

Maybe the only solution is to tweak the penalty time so there is less chance of this happening. But there are valid reasons for having the much smaller penalty as well, so I wouldn't advocate doing that at this time.

Maybe the committee has already thought of all this and looked at the actual data and determined that five minutes is the perfect penalty. Which would mean I've just wasted a bunch of my, and your, time (though I did warn you at the start that this wouldn't lead anywhere.) At least my own thoughts are a bit clearer now  :smile: 

The best thing to do would probably be to just wing it if it occurs.

TL;DR; the small wingman penalty may put a team in the dilemma of actively transferring the baton to gain a few minutes. That probably can't be helped, and may end up being bad no matter how it's dealt with. It's likely best to ignore it until it happens.

 

Edit: that got a lot longer than anticipated, I think I will stop thining about degenerate interpretations of the rules now  :wink:

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Yes, we worried about this as well. Good point. Over the years, the wingman has served as a backup to the lead pilot, not as a competitor to the lead pilot. And this pattern is consistent with the original intent of the rule. Now there is a danger to the race's camaraderie and spirit of teamwork.

First, note that a five minute difference at speed is about 33nm in the air – which is quite a bit of distance between the pilots when they are flying similar aircraft and similar weather. Additionally, the wingman typically declares and departs after the lead pilot – thus providing a bit more of a cushion. Now it is possible that the lead pilot has to restart the flight and then might, if not quickly back into the air, face the dilemma you describe. Of course, we would all expect that the lead pilot will transfer the baton whenever there is any substantial difference in favor of the wingman.

Our intent with the new penalty/crash regime was to allow for serving penalties in real time and to reduce substantially the penalty magnitudes – all in order to prioritize the racing on the circuit. (We initially considered penalties of 30 minute per crash and 10 minutes per transfer. But we were persuaded that it was important to keep the race moving forward.) Minimizing the cost of crashes meant similarly minimizing the cost of transfers. All things considered, we judged it better to go with the five minute wingman transfer. If this produces worrisome tension, we can always reconsider in the future.

BTW. Thinking about degenerate interpretations of the rules have dominated our last month's evenings.

 

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BTW. Thinking about degenerate interpretations of the rules have dominated our last month's evenings.

 

+1 to this, you should see my email :)

 

Good work Klas digging into it, keeps us thinking..

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Good to see we're on the same page.

 

Almost all arrivals that differed more than a couple of minutes last year were caused by early crashes. In these cases it will still be better to restart anyway, and wait until the wingman has safely landed to transfer the baton. Which feels more like gaming the system, but I don't think it can be helped.

 

I think it makes sense to run the race with the short penalty, and then see what feedback is given afterwards.

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NOTICE:
The Executive Committee  would like to advise all Teams that the Final Version of the 2017 Special Rules will be posted:

Friday, Feb. 17 at 1900 UTC (2000h CET, 1400h EST, 1100h PST)

This Final Version will only be changed by addition of the routing instructions and conditions.
It will be posted on the Official Race Site at https://www.fsrtwrace.com/ and then on each Team's forum shortly afterward.

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Hey guys.

 

To be honest, I'll just be glad if I've even got a wingman! If I've got a wingman than can take off behind me, overtake me, and land more than 5 minutes ahead of me, that would be amazing!!  It just won't happen.

 

As suggested, let's give it a try, and see how it goes. Getting excited now...  :smile:

 

Regards, Martin.

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Gentlemen,

 

I have some concerns about the effect of the limitation on using normal aircraft.

 

As I am brand new to this, I have had to learn everything from scratch, and I didn't have the required aircraft installed (except the LDS763 which might be moot).

 

I successfully downloaded, installed, tested, and familiarized myself with the F-80 and the F7F.  I practiced for several hours with each - especially the F7F as I anticipated this would be the main aircraft I would fly.

 

However, with the rule about limiting the usage of normal aircraft, I went seeking more freeware aircraft from the Whitelist.  I have downloaded and installed the Milviz P-38, the F8F Bearcat, and the RR-SOH Sea Hornet NF.21.

 

My tests with these aircraft did not go well.  I will try more this evening (my last chance to practice before the race), however I have to find autopilots for them, install them, and still hope to have time to work out my problems with the handling of these aircraft.  Given more time I could probably do it, but I am not confident about tomorrow under race conditions.

 

I understand I am new, and my opinion counts for little, but I really think this limitation on normal aircraft is unwise.  I cannot see how it adds anything to the race, except a layer of complication merely for the sake of the complication.  Limiting the usage of thoroughbreds, and jet airliners, is quite understandable, though again, I'd question a limit on type within those categories.  Limiting by specific airframe within the "standard" normal category seems pointless.

 

Anyway, I don't expect that to change by my noob request, so I wish to advise, for the sake of tactical planning, that the only aircraft I have in which I am confident in operating reliably, are the F-80, the F7F, and the LDS763.

 

If the "allotment" for F7F gets used up, I'm not certain I could be successful in a leg needing a normal alternative aircraft.

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Dan, I found myself in almost the same position and I decided that I can only do what I can do. I've cobbled together a selection of aircraft, A2A'a P-51H, Epic, Sea Hornet and the F8,no? 6?, 5?F Tigercat. I will do my level best to be on call, do as I'm told, try not to crash and fill out the forms correctly.

Don't stress it, there are others that will do that for you. :BigGrin:

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and the F8F Tigercat

 

I knew what you meant ;-)

If it ain't GRUMMAN I ain't cummin ---- along... 

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Dan, I found myself in almost the same position and I decided that I can only do what I can do. I've cobbled together a selection of aircraft, A2A'a P-51H, Epic, Sea Hornet and the F8,no? 6?, 5?F Tigercat. I will do my level best to be on call, do as I'm told, try not to crash and fill out the forms correctly.

Don't stress it, there are others that will do that for you. :BigGrin:

I hear ya.  I just don't want to embarrass myself crashing on landing, ya know?

 

Well, bedtime.  See you guys in about 8 hours.

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Gentlemen,

 

I have some concerns about the effect of the limitation on using normal aircraft.

 

As I am brand new to this, I have had to learn everything from scratch, and I didn't have the required aircraft installed (except the LDS763 which might be moot).

 

I successfully downloaded, installed, tested, and familiarized myself with the F-80 and the F7F.  I practiced for several hours with each - especially the F7F as I anticipated this would be the main aircraft I would fly.

 

However, with the rule about limiting the usage of normal aircraft, I went seeking more freeware aircraft from the Whitelist.  I have downloaded and installed the Milviz P-38, the F8F Bearcat, and the RR-SOH Sea Hornet NF.21.

 

My tests with these aircraft did not go well.  I will try more this evening (my last chance to practice before the race), however I have to find autopilots for them, install them, and still hope to have time to work out my problems with the handling of these aircraft.  Given more time I could probably do it, but I am not confident about tomorrow under race conditions.

 

I understand I am new, and my opinion counts for little, but I really think this limitation on normal aircraft is unwise.  I cannot see how it adds anything to the race, except a layer of complication merely for the sake of the complication.  Limiting the usage of thoroughbreds, and jet airliners, is quite understandable, though again, I'd question a limit on type within those categories.  Limiting by specific airframe within the "standard" normal category seems pointless.

 

Anyway, I don't expect that to change by my noob request, so I wish to advise, for the sake of tactical planning, that the only aircraft I have in which I am confident in operating reliably, are the F-80, the F7F, and the LDS763.

 

If the "allotment" for F7F gets used up, I'm not certain I could be successful in a leg needing a normal alternative aircraft.

Dan,

 

Good points all, and for me add in that I'm on P3D and there are NO P3D aircraft on the list. I've had to try to cobble together garbage fsx and fs9 aircraft, and try to add engine sounds etc. to try and make these really poor models useful. I can fly and land anything that has wings, but with the current whitelist aircraft, P3D is not a viable option for this venue. If folks are interested in adding P3D to this event, then it's going to be important to get some realistic aircraft options. Generally, every aircraft that I have tested and plan to use incorporate the most rudimentary dynamics and systems functionality and remind me of models available in the 1990's.  But the really funny part...in many cases we're using aircraft that are so very basic, but we can use autopilot and GPS...not very realistic. Going to give it a try this year, but I'm thinking this is something that may not hold my interest beyond.

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Dan, not to worry, and your opinion does matter.

 

This is the 1st year I'm serving on the executive committee for the race however I have helped them for the past couple years, your input is important and we do try to adapt to fit the situation and what people want.  Obviously not everyone has the same opinion so pleasing everyone is not possible but because we use the same world with the same ~24,000ish airports it can be a challenge to change it up each year.  The limits on aircraft are usually to prevent the race becoming a 1 or 2 airplane race.  The idea is to get the teams to use different aircraft to fit the various needs of each leg, obviously not every aircraft is great on every type of leg given weather, distance, time, terrain, airport runway length and so on.  Is it a perfect system, maybe, maybe not, however after the race has concluded we will take as much feedback as possible as many do enjoy this race and would like it to continue each year although the last couple years the race has struggled.

 

Somiller, I saw your post just as I was writing this.  P3D is relatively new and required major changes to allow into the race (Despite it being an offshoot of FSX).  Some of the aircraft that are FSX compatible are P3D compatible, I tested a couple of them a couple years ago on P3D version 2.4 however I do not know about P3D v3.

 

What we need is a list of P3D compatible aircraft that are race competitive.  We try not to make it so that one simulator has an advantage over another as much as is possible.  The whitelist may say FS9 or FSX however we have found that a large majority of the FS9 aircraft work in FSX albeit with some tweaking usually to textures and panels however I do not know about P3D.  What we need is someone to go through the current whitelist and state if they work in P3D or not and then submit suggestions for P3D aircraft and test them to get us a complete list.

 

 

Thanks,

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Eamonn,

 

I want it to be clear that I'm not complaining...the rules are the rules and I believe rules apply to everyone equally - and I don't think the world should change for me. I am new and this all is a bit overwhelming as a first-timer. It's too late now to "certify" aircraft as P3D-whatever version functional/compatible, but I'd be happy to be involved in testing after the race is over, in the interest of future improvement.

 

Thanks,

 

Steven Miller

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I just don't want to embarrass myself crashing on landing, ya know?

 

If you don't, you'll be the only one. Why should you be special? :smile:

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If you don't, you'll be the only one. Why should you be special? :smile:

Sorry to disappoint Ron, I didn't crash.

 

I did however have an awful time with TeamSpeak.  JoinFS got a little funky too.

 

It is a problem with where I live; government censorship sometimes outright blocks VPN usage, and the Internet gets very slow whenever "sensitive" news is going around.  It just makes anything on the Internet really difficult.

 

But thanks for ride, everyone.  I got to fly a few legs, even as baton carrier one time.  I've lost my "Noob" free pass for next year :)

 

Well done Team Avsim; great organizing from the top, great team cooperation.  I enjoyed meeting and flying with you all.

 

See y'all next year!

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