Questions about the 2016 Special Rules

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Questions about the 2016 Special Rules

Post by Spookster67 » Sun Feb 14, 2016 6:42 pm

Jet flights recording in the forum

Hi Race Committee members, (and fellow pilots),

This is a relatively minor point, but may become important for the avoidance of documentation penalties.

On page 4, in paragraph 4(iii), it says "Teams shall maintain a summary (leg, category and type of aircraft, distance) of Jet legs flown and upon completion of all Category 2 & 3 combined flights shall post these summaries on their respective Race Forum."

Do you actually mean "upon completion of each Category 2 & 3 combined flight" (i.e. after every jet leg, an update is provided on the number of jet legs flown and the total jet distance flown so far), or do you really mean "all", in which case it's just one post once the team has used up either all of its 7 legs or all of its 6200nm total distance.

Thanks and regards, Martin.
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Re: Questions about the 2016 Special Rules

Post by Spookster67 » Sun Feb 14, 2016 7:04 pm

Team flights requirements

In the Special rules, page 5, paragraph 5(2), it says "Team Flights (Optional)".

In Appendix C, Standard Rules Governing the Team Flights, it says in paragraph (b) "The team must complete six such participating pilot legs, of which no more than three can be earned in a single event."

So the question is: If team flights are optional, does the wording in paragraph (b) mean "The team may complete up to six such participating pilot legs, of which no more than three can be earned in a single event."?

Which, if I understand it correctly, leaves me with this understanding:
  • a team can hold as many team flights as it likes
  • in any team flight at most 3 participating pilots will score 5 minutes credit each
  • a maximum of 6 legs scoring 5 minutes each (30 minutes) can be earned by the team in all of its team events (so that could be from 2 events, or up to 6 events)
Thanks again!
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Re: Questions about the 2016 Special Rules

Post by Spookster67 » Mon Feb 15, 2016 9:14 am

Real time flight - time zones

In FSX the local time zones in some parts of the world are not correct (i.e. they are not the correct number of hours ahead or behind UTC).

Is it allowed to install corrections to the time zones (e.g. by using FS Real Time), so that at all times pilots can fly in real time, and the local real time is correct?

(On the one hand this feels like flying with 3rd party weather engines, which correct the FSX "real" weather to something more realistic/correct. On the other hand, since it's now so soon until race start, perhaps it is too late to raise this...)
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Re: Questions about the 2016 Special Rules

Post by Eamonn » Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:02 pm

Hey Martin, I have a question regarding your FSRealTime Question. Are you referring to using the application to keep the real time throughout the race or just you used the application to correct the timezones and you wont be using the application itself during the race?
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Re: Questions about the 2016 Special Rules

Post by Spookster67 » Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:02 pm

Eamonn wrote:Hey Martin, I have a question regarding your FSRealTime Question. Are you referring to using the application to keep the real time throughout the race or just you used the application to correct the timezones and you wont be using the application itself during the race?
I have no problem with keeping real time throughout the race, as I just press Synch on Duenna before I do a Duenna flight. My main concern is with correcting the errors in FSX regarding time zones, since there are some places where it will be dark in FSX at a time when it is light in real life, and vice versa (i.e. the time of dawn and dusk are offset from reality).
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Re: Questions about the 2016 Special Rules

Post by jt_williams » Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:36 am

I understand that FSX/FS9 does not handle time zones correctly, but I think all race participants should face the same conditions with respect to daylight and darkeness. It is possible that two or more teams could be faced with landing at the same difficult airport, without lighting, at the approximately the same time, and the participant with FSRealTime had a daylight landing and the FSX/FS9 participant had to land in darkness.
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Re: Questions about the 2016 Special Rules

Post by Eamonn » Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:56 am

I've used FSRealTime for many years. Now while I do not USE the actual application during the race, there is a bunch of timezone correction BGL files that have been added to the flight simulator scenery. So I have had timezone corrections in each race I've run however I have never come into an airport and it been dark and everyone else been light or vise versa. I supposed if it is deemed not allowed I can disable the scenery which adjusts the TZ's but I personally have never had an issue with it. Up to the exec committee I believe.
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Re: Questions about the 2016 Special Rules

Post by Spookster67 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 6:58 am

Jeff - I agree, to be fair we ideally need all pilots to face the same situations with respect to night time conditions.

Eamonn - there may be relatively few places around the world where it is wrong, and it's just luck that you haven't seen anything different to other pilots based on routes and legs you've flown over the years. But anyway, this year we're starting at a time and location where I think it's wrong. Costa Rica is at UTC-6 as far as I can establish, but when I load up FSX at Liberia, Costa Rica (MRLB) and set UTC to 2400, it tells me it's 1900 local (UTC-5), and quite dark, rather than 1800, and not yet dark. :?
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Re: Questions about the 2016 Special Rules

Post by Eamonn » Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:45 pm

Martin, you are correct, MRLB is one of the places in the world that is corrected by the timezone corrections.

Liberia, Costa Rica is supposed to be UTC -6 with no DST adjustments (not like that matters during the race), however in FSX at least it is UTC -5.

Below I have included two screenshots, the 1st is the default FSX timezones so MRLB is UTC-5, the second is with FSRealTime's timezone corrections so MRLB is UTC-6, as you can see the times ARE different but the ambient light level at the airport is about the same.

The program on the left is an app I wrote to monitor several flightsim variables and such, I use it for development purposes, however it does show the sim's UTC time and local time and what day of year and what year is being shown. As you can see the level of darkness is about the same, I assume that flightsim uses the UTC time to determine the sun's position in the sky and the local time is just used for clocks and the like. If you are using the sync date+time on the duenna, it syncs UTC time to your systems UTC time so it should be 00:00 UTC in your sim when the race starts, so not sure it will make a difference other than someone's duenna output will have a different LOCAL time. :D

I guess it will be up to the exec committee to determine if the timezone corrections should be banned.

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Re: Questions about the 2016 Special Rules

Post by srgalahad » Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:44 pm

Spookster67 wrote: This is a relatively minor point, but may become important for the avoidance of documentation penalties.
It's wonderful to know the Rules are read in detail and we regret that they may induce paranoia, but feel safe - we don't try to create 'gotchas'. Nor would we assess a penalty for a minor misunderstanding - the first time. However, read on...
Spookster67 wrote:On page 4, in paragraph 4(iii), it says "Teams shall maintain a summary (leg, category and type of aircraft, distance) of Jet legs flown and upon completion of all Category 2 & 3 combined flights shall post these summaries on their respective Race Forum."
"teams shall maintain a summary" - no location specified as long as it's there (public or not) in case there is an inquiry regarding the team's position vs an observer's totals. Note that the Race Committee could inquire at any time. Equally, team members need a "lookup" in the absence of the local planners. We left it open so as to NOT REQUIRE teams to worry about missing a documentation requirement except near the end. Of course, a mistake found early is easier to rectify than one found on leg #36.

"upon completion of all Category 2 & 3 combined flights shall post" ... get them all done then make a nice report of what you did and how it was accomplished, for all to see and admire.
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Re: Questions about the 2016 Special Rules

Post by srgalahad » Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:06 pm

Spookster67 wrote:Team flights requirements

In the Special rules, page 5, paragraph 5(2), it says "Team Flights (Optional)".

In Appendix C, Standard Rules Governing the Team Flights, it says in paragraph (b) "The team must complete six such participating pilot legs, of which no more than three can be earned in a single event."

So the question is: If team flights are optional, does the wording in paragraph (b) mean "The team may complete up to six such participating pilot legs, of which no more than three can be earned in a single event."?
Congratulations Martin. You found what may the one word missed in the 2016 edit of Appendix C :D "Must" should read "may" for 2016 (or a more generic "must/may" to allow for future reversals of "required/optional"). Therefore...
Spookster67 wrote:Which, if I understand it correctly, leaves me with this understanding:
  • a team can hold as many team flights as it likes
  • in any team flight at most 3 participating pilots will score 5 minutes credit each
  • a maximum of 6 legs scoring 5 minutes each (30 minutes) can be earned by the team in all of its team events (so that could be from 2 events, or up to 6 events)
Yes, although perhaps more correctly "as many team flights as it needs" rather than "wants". Once the maximum bonus is accrued, there is no provision to fly more. Just as an observation, if a team needs 6 flights to accrue the maximum bonus it would be at a horrible cost of baton/wingman crashes. Oh! the terrible loss of planes and bodies strewn about the world! :o Six Team Flights with only one Participating Pilot each, and with the loss of a (no penalty) wingman on each, would still earn the maximum allowed bonus.

Please be advised that the Committee had hoped to forego publishing an FAQ this year. It is specifically questions such as this that have changed our minds. The FAQ will be up on the site shortly, but will contain nothing that changes any of the General or Special Rules. It will, hopefully, only serve to reduce further typing.
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Re: Questions about the 2016 Special Rules

Post by Spookster67 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:13 pm

Eamonn wrote:Martin, you are correct, MRLB is one of the places in the world that is corrected by the timezone corrections.

Liberia, Costa Rica is supposed to be UTC -6 with no DST adjustments (not like that matters during the race), however in FSX at least it is UTC -5.

Below I have included two screenshots, the 1st is the default FSX timezones so MRLB is UTC-5, the second is with FSRealTime's timezone corrections so MRLB is UTC-6, as you can see the times ARE different but the ambient light level at the airport is about the same.
OK, so maybe FS Realtime is correcting the displayed local time, but not making any change to the light levels which are all determined by some other modelling FSX does of the world, the sun, the time of year, etc. Would make sense. In which case, nobody would be getting any advantage or disadvantage by correcting the local times, and it becomes a "non-issue". :)
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Re: Questions about the 2016 Special Rules

Post by Spookster67 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:16 pm

srgalahad wrote:Please be advised that the Committee had hoped to forego publishing an FAQ this year. It is specifically questions such as this that have changed our minds. The FAQ will be up on the site shortly, but will contain nothing that changes any of the General or Special Rules. It will, hopefully, only serve to reduce further typing.
Sorry if I'm the cause of extra work by the committee. I just thought that clarifying stuff now would avoid it being an issue later!

Thanks Rob, and all the Committee, for all you're doing!
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Re: Questions about the 2016 Special Rules

Post by srgalahad » Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:52 pm

Spookster67 wrote:Real time flight - time zones

In FSX the local time zones in some parts of the world are not correct (i.e. they are not the correct number of hours ahead or behind UTC).

Is it allowed to install corrections to the time zones (e.g. by using FS Real Time), so that at all times pilots can fly in real time, and the local real time is correct?

(On the one hand this feels like flying with 3rd party weather engines, which correct the FSX "real" weather to something more realistic/correct. On the other hand, since it's now so soon until race start, perhaps it is too late to raise this...)
Unfortunately Microsoft created a quagmire. UTC is the sole recognized time used in aviation. MS chose not to require sim pilots to learn something so esoteric and equally wanted them to have provision to "fly with what they saw out their basement window", so they created an internal clock system that tried to use UTC, correct for local time AND make the visual adjustments for ST/DST changes. ARGH!
Realistically, we know that DST is at the whim of the political forces, and in recent years has been overtaken by even more modification and manipulation. I have been told that one can drive across Ohio in the summer and encounter up to five time changes from/to/from/to DST! OK, nice editorial, now to the issue.

From time to time keen individuals have come up with add-on programs like FS Real Time. While all may have merit they are not made with our rules in mind. This program in particular has two components of concern: 1) the 'time zone correction' files which modify the sim, but may be based on data current at the time of writing, and not necessarily updated to match the latest political modifications; and 2) the component which allows 'on the fly' changes to the time environment. As this has only been raised in the week before the race we are endeavouring to find a suitable response. I expect that, at this late date, it will be a simplistic ruling, announced by NOTAM in the next day or so. As pointed out, the primary factor may be "equality".

Just an editorial word here. As I have had 40 years of living with UTC I likely never pay attention to such programs, nor do I look for the 'latest and greatest fix' although I realize that is one of the entertaining aspects of the hobby for some, so it is likely that the Committee may miss such programs on our own. I can't resist pointing out that these discoveries which potentially modify our standard of a 'default installation' could be questioned at any time (when found) during the year when there's time to investigate and test. We do appreciate, however, that racers will bring them forward when a concern is spotted rather that having a query in the midst of the race.
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Re: Questions about the 2016 Special Rules

Post by Rndguy » Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:45 am

Can a Duenna update be provided that it syncs with UTC @ time.gov or worldtimeserver.com?

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Re: Questions about the 2016 Special Rules

Post by Spookster67 » Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:25 am

Types of aircraft - the DH Hornet

I think it is clear in the rules that each "Type" of Thoroughbred aircraft can be used no more than four times, and each "Type" of Regular aircraft can be used no more than four times.

There is nothing about the incidence of a particular type appearing in both lists, which is the case for the DH Hornet.

Is it therefore reasonable to assume that the RR-SOH Hornet can be used four times, and that the Alpha Hornet can be used four times? I think so, because the rules about four uses apply within each Category, not across them.
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Re: Questions about the 2016 Special Rules

Post by Eamonn » Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:52 pm

Rndguy wrote:Can a Duenna update be provided that it syncs with UTC @ time.gov or worldtimeserver.com?
Not sure what this would accomplish. This would only be needed if the user has their computers clock set incorrectly.
Spookster67 wrote:Types of aircraft - the DH Hornet

I think it is clear in the rules that each "Type" of Thoroughbred aircraft can be used no more than four times, and each "Type" of Regular aircraft can be used no more than four times.

There is nothing about the incidence of a particular type appearing in both lists, which is the case for the DH Hornet.

Is it therefore reasonable to assume that the RR-SOH Hornet can be used four times, and that the Alpha Hornet can be used four times? I think so, because the rules about four uses apply within each Category, not across them.
Correct Martin, the RR-SOH hornet 4 times and the alpha hornet 4 times is allowed. :D
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Re: Questions about the 2016 Special Rules

Post by Leonore » Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:42 am

I have no problem with keeping real time throughout the race, as I just press Synch on Duenna before I do a Duenna flight. My main concern is with correcting the errors in FSX regarding time zones, since there are some places where it will be dark in FSX at a time when it is light in real life, and vice versa (i.e. the time of dawn and dusk are offset from reality).
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