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Reducing collision hazard at contests



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 14th 18, 09:08 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Steve Koerner
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Posts: 362
Default Reducing collision hazard at contests

Here's a conceptually simple idea for contest pilots to rattle around... I believe it would be highly effective at reducing dangerous big gaggles that happen during contests. The desirables are that it doesn't damage the sport, it's effective at improving safety, it's easy to understand and it's easy to implement.

The idea is inspired by the blog comments from one of the collision pilots at the recent Hahnweide contest where dense gaggles did lead to a mid-air (fortunately in that incident all 3 pilots successfully parachuted).

Let's require flarm log files from all contestants. Let's designate a 1 point penalty whenever a glider comes within 400 feet horizontal and 150 feet vertical of any other glider. For any pair of gliders that come within penalty range, both are docked 1 point without regard to who approached who. After 5 minutes, the same two gliders will be docked again if they come within penalty range again.

A 400 foot horizontal rule would allow two gliders to safely fly across from one another in a thermal without penalty. Perhaps three gliders could fly together in a thermal if they space out and open the circle. Most likely, though, penalty points would result if more than three gliders attempt to thermal at the same level.

The effect would be to de-motivate gaggle flying. Everyone would want to avoid crowds before the start and on task in order to keep his penalty count low. Pilots would be caused to fly their own machine and think for themselves and that would make for a better test of soaring skill afterall.
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  #2  
Old May 14th 18, 09:53 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Dan Daly[_2_]
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Default Reducing collision hazard at contests

I don't know about changing things to spread people out, but some work has been done on how to penalize pilots whose flying meets criteria that could be defined as risky.

IGC has looked at WGC's with an interesting study based on IGC files from the 31st-34th WGC (includes Uvalde). It appears feasible to automate penalties in scoring software. Look at the thorough study published in 2017 at https://www.fai.org/sites/default/fi...ision_risk.pdf . Figure 28 shows what can be done. Take a look at the stats in Fig 28 - for one day!

They suggest going to 1 sec interval for recorders - that could be done now to help with data gathering.

It is an interesting read (to me anyhow).

  #3  
Old May 14th 18, 10:43 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Andy Blackburn[_3_]
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Default Reducing collision hazard at contests

Interesting.

I've been doing some analysis of glider turning performance at different altitudes, wing loadings and bank angles lately - and looking at a lot of flight logs up close and personal to see how big the circles are. It turns out the typical turning radius of a thermalling glider is 350-500 feet - for a circumference of a bit over 2000' to a bit over 3000'. That's 5-7 gliders around a circle at 400' separation. That seems like too many, but it also seems too restrictive to set a vertical separation limit of 500-700 feet. You'd probably need to set a limit that's different for vertical versus horizontal distance.

I'd want to know more about how this would affect the dynamics of a gaggle. Imagine the cascading effect down a gaggle of one pilot cracking spoilers to create separation from the glider above him. There may be all kinds of other 'interenting' behaviors.

Worth a discussion.

Andy Blackburn
9B


On Monday, May 14, 2018 at 1:08:49 PM UTC-7, Steve Koerner wrote:
Here's a conceptually simple idea for contest pilots to rattle around... I believe it would be highly effective at reducing dangerous big gaggles that happen during contests. The desirables are that it doesn't damage the sport, it's effective at improving safety, it's easy to understand and it's easy to implement.

The idea is inspired by the blog comments from one of the collision pilots at the recent Hahnweide contest where dense gaggles did lead to a mid-air (fortunately in that incident all 3 pilots successfully parachuted).

Let's require flarm log files from all contestants. Let's designate a 1 point penalty whenever a glider comes within 400 feet horizontal and 150 feet vertical of any other glider. For any pair of gliders that come within penalty range, both are docked 1 point without regard to who approached who.. After 5 minutes, the same two gliders will be docked again if they come within penalty range again.

A 400 foot horizontal rule would allow two gliders to safely fly across from one another in a thermal without penalty. Perhaps three gliders could fly together in a thermal if they space out and open the circle. Most likely, though, penalty points would result if more than three gliders attempt to thermal at the same level.

The effect would be to de-motivate gaggle flying. Everyone would want to avoid crowds before the start and on task in order to keep his penalty count low. Pilots would be caused to fly their own machine and think for themselves and that would make for a better test of soaring skill afterall.




  #4  
Old May 14th 18, 11:06 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
john firth
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Default Reducing collision hazard at contests

On Monday, May 14, 2018 at 4:08:49 PM UTC-4, Steve Koerner wrote:
Here's a conceptually simple idea for contest pilots to rattle around... I believe it would be highly effective at reducing dangerous big gaggles that happen during contests. The desirables are that it doesn't damage the sport, it's effective at improving safety, it's easy to understand and it's easy to implement.

The idea is inspired by the blog comments from one of the collision pilots at the recent Hahnweide contest where dense gaggles did lead to a mid-air (fortunately in that incident all 3 pilots successfully parachuted).

Let's require flarm log files from all contestants. Let's designate a 1 point penalty whenever a glider comes within 400 feet horizontal and 150 feet vertical of any other glider. For any pair of gliders that come within penalty range, both are docked 1 point without regard to who approached who.. After 5 minutes, the same two gliders will be docked again if they come within penalty range again.

A 400 foot horizontal rule would allow two gliders to safely fly across from one another in a thermal without penalty. Perhaps three gliders could fly together in a thermal if they space out and open the circle. Most likely, though, penalty points would result if more than three gliders attempt to thermal at the same level.

The effect would be to de-motivate gaggle flying. Everyone would want to avoid crowds before the start and on task in order to keep his penalty count low. Pilots would be caused to fly their own machine and think for themselves and that would make for a better test of soaring skill afterall.


Such a system would certainly combat deliberate intimidation which in
the 70s WGC s was not infrequent. It happened to me several times as one or two
veterans tried to scare me out of "my" thermal.
Anyone else experienced this?

John F
  #5  
Old May 14th 18, 11:22 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Tango Eight
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Posts: 573
Default Reducing collision hazard at contests

On Monday, May 14, 2018 at 4:08:49 PM UTC-4, Steve Koerner wrote:
Here's a conceptually simple idea for contest pilots to rattle around... I believe it would be highly effective at reducing dangerous big gaggles that happen during contests. The desirables are that it doesn't damage the sport, it's effective at improving safety, it's easy to understand and it's easy to implement.

The idea is inspired by the blog comments from one of the collision pilots at the recent Hahnweide contest where dense gaggles did lead to a mid-air (fortunately in that incident all 3 pilots successfully parachuted).

Let's require flarm log files from all contestants. Let's designate a 1 point penalty whenever a glider comes within 400 feet horizontal and 150 feet vertical of any other glider. For any pair of gliders that come within penalty range, both are docked 1 point without regard to who approached who.. After 5 minutes, the same two gliders will be docked again if they come within penalty range again.

A 400 foot horizontal rule would allow two gliders to safely fly across from one another in a thermal without penalty. Perhaps three gliders could fly together in a thermal if they space out and open the circle. Most likely, though, penalty points would result if more than three gliders attempt to thermal at the same level.

The effect would be to de-motivate gaggle flying. Everyone would want to avoid crowds before the start and on task in order to keep his penalty count low. Pilots would be caused to fly their own machine and think for themselves and that would make for a better test of soaring skill afterall.


If we're trying to choose pilots to compete in WGC, perhaps they should get a bonus point per minute for ea glider within 400'.

T8
  #6  
Old May 15th 18, 12:18 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Craig Funston[_3_]
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Posts: 41
Default Reducing collision hazard at contests

On Monday, May 14, 2018 at 1:53:48 PM UTC-7, Dan Daly wrote:
I don't know about changing things to spread people out, but some work has been done on how to penalize pilots whose flying meets criteria that could be defined as risky.

IGC has looked at WGC's with an interesting study based on IGC files from the 31st-34th WGC (includes Uvalde). It appears feasible to automate penalties in scoring software. Look at the thorough study published in 2017 at https://www.fai.org/sites/default/fi...ision_risk.pdf . Figure 28 shows what can be done. Take a look at the stats in Fig 28 - for one day!

They suggest going to 1 sec interval for recorders - that could be done now to help with data gathering.

It is an interesting read (to me anyhow).


Dan, great resource & a very interesting read.

Page 35 of the report has a graph of example penalties by competitor. Cross checking that with the contest results shows that the leaders would have had very few penalties. It also reveals there are several pilots that are best avoided. Even without penalties, showing these statistics at the beginning of each day's pilot's meeting might influence pilot behavior.

https://www.soaringspot.com/en_gb/31...10-07-17/total

Thanks,
Craig
  #7  
Old May 15th 18, 12:32 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Steve Koerner
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Posts: 362
Default Reducing collision hazard at contests

Dan: Thanks for that link. Glad to know IGC is thinking hard about this. The point of that article seems to be that we might fix the problem by identifying particular bad actors and fix their bad behavior with penalties. I'll contend that the problem isn't so much bad actors as it is a bad system of rules that forces or motivates bad action by all players. If we can fix the game, then we don't have to pick on people individually. That's the direction I'm suggesting we take it.

Andy: Look again at my third paragraph. I did suggest that vertical separation would be different from horizontal. Regardless, I'm not right now picking parameters for this. I just threw out some numbers to make the idea understandable.

T8: I agree, WGC is the candidate first and foremost. But if IGC operate on the theory that big changes can't be introduced and that pilots are expendable, then maybe the US needs to lead.
  #8  
Old May 15th 18, 12:58 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Ron Gleason
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Default Reducing collision hazard at contests

On Monday, 14 May 2018 17:32:52 UTC-6, Steve Koerner wrote:
Dan: Thanks for that link. Glad to know IGC is thinking hard about this. The point of that article seems to be that we might fix the problem by identifying particular bad actors and fix their bad behavior with penalties. I'll contend that the problem isn't so much bad actors as it is a bad system of rules that forces or motivates bad action by all players. If we can fix the game, then we don't have to pick on people individually. That's the direction I'm suggesting we take it.

Andy: Look again at my third paragraph. I did suggest that vertical separation would be different from horizontal. Regardless, I'm not right now picking parameters for this. I just threw out some numbers to make the idea understandable.

T8: I agree, WGC is the candidate first and foremost. But if IGC operate on the theory that big changes can't be introduced and that pilots are expendable, then maybe the US needs to lead.


Steve wrote 'I agree, WGC is the candidate first and foremost.' A step that the FAI has taken is allow only one participant per country for the 15M class, the offending class, starting in 2022. THerefore 2018 and 2020 will be the last 15M WGC's with multiple participants form the same country. Also the USA submitted a proposal that was accepted by the FAI to change the scoring that should reduce the incentive to gaggle and not take risks, will take a few years to get implemented.

https://www.fai.org/sites/default/fi...r_1_p rop.pdf

https://www.fai.org/sites/default/fi...1_proposal.pdf
  #9  
Old May 15th 18, 01:03 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Steve Koerner
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Posts: 362
Default Reducing collision hazard at contests

Craig: You can look at a chart like that and think you've found the culprits. Now make a list of contest IDs and put them on a dart board and start throwing darts. I think you'll see bad actors show up about the same way. Yes, there is surely differences in flying behavior for different pilots, but attacking the individual can be statistically fallacious. Moreover, that way of thinking takes the fun out of the sport. Those guys on page 35 are all national champions who each believe that they are safe pilots. It's better to acknowledge that the game itself needs improvement.
  #10  
Old May 15th 18, 02:31 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Jonathan St. Cloud
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Posts: 930
Default Reducing collision hazard at contests

As quoted from report :
"Although task separation, longer distance tasks and use of AAT can all encourage greater sep- aration between gliders, it is well-known that none of these factors are entirely effective at eliminating gaggle behaviour particularly during the pre-start and post-start phase. This may explain why the data shows a few competition days of higher number of close encounters de- spite having a very large average glider separation."

I know Sean is not going to like that. I understand back in the day of four hour Post tasks there were not a lot of gaggles.



On Monday, May 14, 2018 at 1:53:48 PM UTC-7, Dan Daly wrote:
I don't know about changing things to spread people out, but some work has been done on how to penalize pilots whose flying meets criteria that could be defined as risky.

IGC has looked at WGC's with an interesting study based on IGC files from the 31st-34th WGC (includes Uvalde). It appears feasible to automate penalties in scoring software. Look at the thorough study published in 2017 at https://www.fai.org/sites/default/fi...ision_risk.pdf . Figure 28 shows what can be done. Take a look at the stats in Fig 28 - for one day!

They suggest going to 1 sec interval for recorders - that could be done now to help with data gathering.

It is an interesting read (to me anyhow).

 




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