I am thinking it would be fun to schedule a multi-player fun fly tomorrow (New Year's Day).
Very generally, here is what I have in mind: First off, fun. Anyone of all levels of ability is welcome to join. However the competition will assume a basic understanding of avaition and a basic ability to operate (start, taxi, take off, fly, land, park) the specified aircraft. All the participants would show up at some particular place with the specified aircraft in order to be allowed to compete. It might be quite easy to cheat on some of the events, so participants would be held to the honor system of no autopilot, no hopped up aircraft config, no time acceleration, no pausing etc. Participants would need to enable "real weather" so that everyone is dealing with the same conditions. The actual competition tasks would not be announced until after all event starts ... this way no one has a chance to practice, and some of the tasks might be designed so that if someone tries to get clever with their aircraft config it might work to their disadvantage. I would be the CD (contest director) and would annouce the next competition task and competition order via the MP chat system. I would also be responsible for scoring and tallying up the points. Each participant will have a turn to do their best to complete the assigned task while the rest of the crowd gets to watch, laugh, and cheer you on. If someone is struggling or taking too long to complete a task, I would have the right to cut them off and let the next person go. This is all for fun, so if someone blows one of the tasks, just reset and get back in line for the next one. Wear a thick skin since your flying performance will be enjoyed by others. :-) I'm hoping to keep the entire competition to under an hour (or less if I'm the only one that shows up.) If too many people show up, I might have to cut if off at the first 6-10 so that we aren't all sitting around for too much of the time. I'm envisioning maybe 3 tasks that we would each take turns doing. An example task might be: within 60 seconds, fly a very abreviated pattern and do a touch and go each time around the pattern. The person with the most times around in 60 seconds doing a successful touch and go each time wins that event.
So with all that in mind, here's specifically what I propose:
I being the contest director (CD) determine all the specifics:
Title: FlightGear First New Year's Day Fun Fly (annual?)
Date: January 1, 2008
Time: 14:00 GMT (10AM US Central time zone)
Place: KHAF (Half Moon Bay) Runway 12. Congregate around the end of runway 12, but leave the runway clear for participants. Participants must remain in the queueing area around rwy 12 when not competing.
Weather: Enable real weather (which is forecasted to be moderate at KHAF tomorrow morning)
Aircraft: stock unmodified dhc2W (the wheel version of the DeHaviland Beaver)
Who: Anyone who can operate the dhc2W through basic aviation tasks. People can also show up as spectators only, this is for fun and we are all trying it for the first time.
Then what: we will determine the participants, the participant order, and assign the "fun fly" tasks at the start of the contest. The point is that we level the playing field by not letting anyone practice specific events in advance ... and that also increases the potental for humor I hope.
Rules: no autopilot assist, no aircraft mods, enable real weather, no time acceleration, no pausing, this is for fun so these things will be enforced with the honor system (and we'll have a couple f16's circling in case we think anyone may be cheating.) :-)
Scoring: each task will be scored somehow depending on the task ... that fastest, or the most, or the most accurate, etc. wins. I reserve the right to award or subtract style points at my discretion. For instance: if there was a spot landing task, and a participant managed to inadvertently invert themselves several times on final approach and still land on the pavement safely, that might be worth extra points. Of if someone nailed a spot landing (as an example event) and then went the length of the runway on one wheel cross controlled into a cross wind just to show off, that might be worth extra points.
Prizes: none are offered, but we'll see how I'm feeling tomorrow. If there are especially note worthy performances, that might need to be honored in some way.
Protests: if someone hops onto the system with the b29, just moments before you enter a critical maneuver and it screws you up ... too bad. If your kid unplugs your computer in mid-flight ... too bad. If you crash, get in the back of the line for the next event. :-) If you take the contest part of the contest more seriously than the fun part, then too bad. :-)
As contest director, I do not plan on competing myself unless we need more participants.
So see you there ... tomorrow (Jan 1, 2008) at 1400 GMT (10am USA Central) To all the New Zealanders out there, happy 2008 already!
Curtis Olson: http://baron.flightgear.org/~curt/
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