Sporting Code (Draft)

NOTE: This Sporting Code is currently a draft version.

Table of contents

1. Objective
2. General
3. Open Events
4. Model Aircraft Specifications
5. Scale Aerobatic Sound Limits
6. Proof of Scale
7. Material and Workmanship
8. Competition Classes
9. Classification, Season and Advancement
10. Official Flights
11. Number of Flights
12. Aerobatic Airspace
13. Time Limits
14. Points System
15. Determining Placement
16. Flight Pattern
17. Four (4) Minute Freestyle Program
18. Regional Points Championships
19. Nationals
20. National Team Selection

1. Objective
Inspired by full-scale aerobatics, Large Scale Aerobatics South Africa (LSA) strives to fly scale or semi-scale aerobatic model aircraft in a competitive and realistic manner that is challenging for the contestants as well as interesting for spectators.

2. General
All SACAA, ICASA and SAMAA regulations covering the RC flier, airplane and equipment, shall be applicable. For the purposes of contest judging the AMA Scale Aerobatics Official Flying and Judging Guide shall be used for IMAC based classes and the FAI F3M F3M Sporting Code for FAI F3M based classes, with the exception of the variations from these rules as specified in this document.
Consideration of safety for spectators, contest personnel, and other contestants is of the utmost importance. Any unsportsmanlike conduct or hazardous flying over a controlled spectator area will be cause for immediate disqualification of that flight. Further infractions will result in the removal of that pilot from the contest.

3. Open Events

3.1 The events accommodate aerobatic monoplanes and biplanes which are replicas of types known to have competed in International Aerobatic Club (IAC) competition, or replicas of types known to be capable of aerobatic competition within the airspace known as the “Box.”

3.2 All classes except Basic require that the pilot must meet the requirements defined in Rule 3.1. The Basic Class is open to all competitors with any model aircraft capable of performing the required maneuvers.

Contest Directors may make an exception for a model of a full scale aircraft that was built for IAC competition, but has not yet competed. Proof of the latter is the responsibility of the contestant.

3.3 Minimum aircraft size requirements for each class:

 Class Min Engine Displacement Min Wing Span Monoplane Min Wing Span Biplane Min Wing Area
Basic No restriction No restriction No restriction No restriction
Sportsman 30cc petrol or equivalent 70” or1800mm 59” or1500mm 960 sq in or62 sqdm
Intermediate and upward 50cc petrol or equivalent 82” or2100mm 70” or1800mm 1200 sqin or 77.5 sqdm

3.4 The known sequences will be developed, annually, by the IMAC Sequence Committee, in accordance with the current FAI “ARESTI Aerobatic Catalogue.” The IMAC Board of Directors must approve all know sequences for use in IMAC competition. F3M schedules are developed bi-annually by the FAI CIAM sub-committee for RC Aerobatics.

3.5 The unknown sequences will be drawn from the catalog of Legal Unknown Figures for each class. The catalog of legal Unknown Figures is located on the ARESTI website.

3.6 Difficulty of “K” factors for known and unknown sequences will be derived from the current FAI “ARESTI Aerobatic Catalogue.”

Model Aircraft Specifications

4.1 Only one (1) propeller per aircraft shall be allowed. Internal combustion reciprocating engines and electric motors shall be allowed. If the aircraft is utilizing an internal combustion engine, only one (1) engine shall be allowed. If the aircraft is utilizing electric motors, more than one (1) electric motor may be used.

4.2 The model shall comply with all SAMAA Safety Codes as specified in SAMAA MOP PR03

4.3 There shall be no airborne devices fitted to the aircraft which place the aircraft under less than total control by the pilot. These devices will include, but are not limited to, gyros, automatic pilots, electronic stabilization, and timing devices.
Non-airborne aids such as transmitter based functions (snap roll button etc) are permissible.
Pilots found to be using prohibited devices will be disqualified from the contest.

Scale Aerobatic Sound Limits
The model shall comply with all SAMAA and SACAA noise limits as specified in SAMAA MOP.

5.1. In-Flight Judging Criteria, Known and Unknown Sequences.
Judges will evaluate each individual sequence flown in its entirety for overall sound presentation. Each judged Known and Unknown sequence, shall have one “figure” added to the end of the score sheet after individually judged maneuvers. This figure shall be known as the Sound Score. The Sound Score will have a K value dependent on the class flown.

Individual class K values are:
Unlimited 15 K
Advanced 12K
Intermediate 9K
Sportsman 6K
Basic 3K

The sound presentation will be scored on a scale of 10 to 0 with 10 denoting “Very Quiet,” and 0 denoting “Very noisy.” Whole points will be used for scoring. This sound score will then be multiplied by the K value for the individual class and included in the total flight score for the sequence.
Note that each judge’s score is independent of the other(s) and no conferencing on the sound score is required.

If a pilot receives a sound score of three (3) or less for the same sequence from two or more judges, the pilot will be notified of the problem and will be requested by the Contest Director to adjust or modify the aircraft in order to reduce the sound level prior to the next round. If that pilot, after notification, again receives a sound score of three (3) or less for the same sequence from two or more judges, that pilot will be disqualified from further competition at that contest.

Proof of Scale

6.1 To prove that the model resembles a particular aircraft some proof of scale is required.

6.2 Proof of scale is the responsibility of the contestant.

6.3 The general outlines of the model shall approximate the full size outlines of the subject aircraft. Exact scale is not required. The model shall be judged for likeness at a distance of approximately 10 feet/3 meters.

6.4 If the contestant presents no proof of scale material with the model, and the CD can determine that the aircraft is a replica of a full-size aircraft, then the contestant will be allowed to have his/her entry considered.

6.5 Scale shall be determined by the wingspan. A change in wingspan will become a change in overall Scale. Fuselage width, height and aircraft planform or any other variations shall not exceed 10% of scale, with the exception of airfoils and size/shape of control surface within the scale outline rule.

6.6 A realistic three-dimensional human pilot and viewable instrument panel shall be appropriately installed in all Scale Aerobatic aircraft. A one [1%] flight score penalty will be assessed for noncompliance.

Material and Workmanship
Workmanship must be of satisfactory standards. The Contest Directors are empowered to refuse permission to fly, or to disqualify any aircraft which, in their opinion, is not up to reasonably safe standards in materials, workmanship, or radio installation.

Competition Classes

8.1 The event shall be divided into five (5) classes, in order of increasing difficulty. The classes are Basic (411), Sportsman (412), Intermediate (415), Advanced (413), and Unlimited (414). An optional F3M class may also be flown. The Basic class will not be flown at national events.

8.2 An Optional Four (4) Minute Freestyle may also be offered. A pilot must compete in one of the above classes to be eligible for the freestyle event.
At national events the freestyle will be compulsory for Unlimited class competitors.

8.3 Contest Directors and/or the sponsors of a sanctioned meet shall determine which of the classes and events will be flown. Such information must accompany all advance notices pertaining to the contest, including any planned deviation from standard rules, at least 14 days prior to the date of the contest.

Classification, Season and Advancement

9.1 A contestant may enter any one competition class at their own option. Once having flown a contest in a class, a contestant may not compete in a lower class without written permission from their regional director.

9.2 In South Africa the National contest season ends with the Nationals event of each year.
The regional contest season will be from January to December. Team selection will be aligned with the National season. On or before January of the a regional season, the new Known sequences for all classes will be approved by the IMAC Board of Directors and made available on the IMAC and LSA websites. The new schedules will be flown from January to December of each year in line with International IMAC standards. F3M schedules will be flown during the effective periods as prescribed by the FAI CIAM F3M subcommittee. Nationals will be flown as a standalone event and competitor points will be counted as an out of region event for the regional series and for team selection as outlines in par 20.

9.3 A contestant in Basic through Advanced classes will be required to move to the next higher class at the beginning of the season if the contestant wins five (5) or more contests in the current Regional Season provided that in each winning contest the contestant flew against at least two (2) other competitors who made official flights. If any of the contestant’s winning contests had fewer than two (2) other competitors that made official flights, that contest will not be counted in the total of winning contests used to force advancement in class. Additional requirements for advancement also exist for Basic Pilots flying in the Regional Points Series, please refer Par. 18.

Official Flights

10.1: Official flight for known program.

10.1.1 An official flight (round) for the known program is defined as two (2) sequences. When time constraints prevent two (2) sequences from being flown, a round may consist of one (1) sequence. Contestants shall have one attempt per sequence to complete the sequence. An attempt begins when the pilot or caller makes a vocal declaration such as “In the box”, “Entering”, or a similar statement indicating when the pilot is starting the sequence. A vocal signal is mandatory to initiate the attempt. If a vocal declaration is not made, the pilot will zero the sequence that is flown for which no vocal signal was made. Once the attempt is made by means of the vocal declaration, judging will begin as soon as the aircraft departs from the wings-level horizontal entry line and enters the first maneuver of the sequence. The horizontal entry line to the first maneuver of a sequence is not judged.

10.1.2 If a Known sequence in progress is determined by the judges to have been interrupted by a circumstance beyond the control of the contestant, the contestant may resume the sequence with the maneuver in progress at the time of the interruption. This maneuver will be scored. Note that a mid-air collision is considered to be “beyond the control of the contestant.” If a mid- air occurs, each pilot, if still flying, must land and pass a safety inspection by the CD before continuing with that aircraft. The pilot also has the option of continuing with a different plane. After the mid-air, each pilot involved will declare his/her intention to complete the round or not. If the contestant chooses to continue, they will be positioned last in the round and be subject to whatever time constraints may be in force at the contest. In this case, no penalty will be imposed for repositioning to the end of the round rotation. When the contestant is again airborne they will resume the round with the figure prior to that in which the interruption occurred. This figure will not be judged. Judging will resume after the completion of said prior figure. If the contestant chooses not to continue the round, they will receive zeros for all maneuvers not yet scored at the time of the mid-air.

10.1.3 If a Known sequence in progress cannot be completed due to mechanical problems with the aircraft (including but not limited to engine failure, radio malfunction, etc…) the contestant will receive zeros for each un-scored maneuver in that sequence. If the second sequence is yet to be flown and the aircraft cannot be made ready to safely fly, the contestant may attempt the second sequence with an alternate IMAC legal airplane (as defined in sections 4, 6, and 7 above). In such cases, the contestant will be positioned last in the round and be subject to whatever time constraints may be in force at the contest. When the contestant is again airborne they will fly the second sequence. In this case, no penalty will be imposed for repositioning to the end of the round rotation.

10.1.4 An official flight (round) is two (2) sequences and the contestant is expected to be able to fly both sequences without refueling between sequences. If the second sequence cannot be completed the contestants will receive zero (0) for each un-scored maneuver in that sequence. The only exception is if Rule 10.1.2 is in effect.

10.2: Official flight for unknown program.

10.2.1 An official flight (round) for the unknown program is defined as one (1) sequence. Contestants shall have one attempt to complete the sequence. An attempt begins when the pilot or caller makes a vocal declaration such as “In the box”, “Entering”, or a similar statement indicating when the pilot is starting the sequence. A vocal signal is mandatory to initiate the attempt. If a vocal declaration is not made the pilot will zero the sequence that is flown for which no vocal signal was made.
Once the attempt is made by means of the vocal declaration, judging will begin as soon as the aircraft departs from the wings- level horizontal entry line and enters the first maneuver of the sequence. The horizontal entry line to the first maneuver of a sequence is not judged.

10.2.2 If an Unknown sequence in progress is determined by the judges to have been interrupted by a circumstance beyond the control of the contestant, the contestant may resume the sequence with the figure prior to the interruption. This figure will not be judged. Judging will resume after completion of said prior figure. Note that a mid- air collision is considered to be “beyond the control of the contestant”. If a mid-air occurs, each pilot, if still flying, must land and pass a safety inspection by the CD before continuing. The pilot has the option of continuing with a different plane.
After the mid-air, each pilot involved will declare his/her intention to complete the round or not. If the contestant chooses to continue, they will be positioned last in the round and be subject to whatever time constraints may be in force at the contest. In this case, no penalty will be imposed for repositioning to the end of the round rotation. When the contestant is again airborne they will resume the round with the figure prior to that in which the interruption occurred. This figure will not be judged. Judging will resume after the completion of said prior figure. If the contestant chooses not to continue the round, they will receive zeros for all maneuvers not yet scored at the time of the mid-air.

10.2.3 If an unknown sequence in progress cannot be completed due to mechanical problems with the aircraft (including but not limited to, engine failure, low fuel, radio malfunctions, etc.), the contestant will receive zeros (0) for each un-scored maneuver in that sequence.

10.3: Pilot control of the aircraft.
Once the pilot announces an attempt until the pilot completes the sequence, (known, unknown, or freestyle) only the pilot may operate the transmitter which is controlling the aircraft. Any assistance of any kind provided by another person to operate the transmitter (e.g., changing switches, programming modes, etc.) will result in the pilot receiving a zero for the sequence or Freestyle in progress when the assistance was provided. This rule applies only from entering the sequence until the sequence is complete. This rule does not apply to takeoff, landing, or flight between sequences.

Number of Flights.
There shall be no limit on the number of flights (other than that imposed by time available).

Aerobatic Airspace.
Refer to the AMA Scale Aerobatics Official Flying and Judging Guide Paragraph 4 or FAI F3M SC as relevant.

Time Limits.

13.1 The contestant has two (2) minutes to start his/her engine and become airborne. If after two (2) minutes the contestant is unable to start the engine, they will move to the end of the round rotation. If the contestant fails to start a second time, they shall receive zero for the round.

13.2 The contestant has one (1) minute from the time the wheels leave the ground during takeoff to enter the aerobatic airspace.

13.3 There shall be no time limit while in the aerobatic airspace.

13.4 The contestant has two (2) minutes between leaving the aerobatic airspace and touchdown for landing, unless required to hold upon command from the appropriate official.

13.5 Prior to entering the aerobatic airspace, between sequences, and prior to landing, pilots shall only be allowed to perform the following trim and positioning maneuvers:

Turns:

Half Cuban with only a single 1⁄2 roll on the 45 down line, and Reverse Half Cuban with only a single 1⁄2 roll on the 45 up line:
The 1⁄2 roll is optional based on aircraft positioning required to enter the aerobatic airspace.

Half loops up or down (Immelmann or Split S) with only one half roll on entry or exit.

Single half roll to inverted immediately prior to entering the aerobatic airspace for the case in which an inverted entry to the first maneuver is required.

Single half roll to upright immediately after exiting the aerobatic airspace for the case in which an inverted exit from the last maneuver is required.

A vertical up or down line with a simple push/pull for entry and exit. A single 1/2 roll is allowed on this vertical line only if required to orient the aircraft properly for entry to the first maneuver.

Exceptions to this limitation may only be directed by the CD or line boss in the normal course of safely managing the airspace. Pilots will follow such directions and no penalty will apply.

Turnaround maneuvers may not be performed at low altitude or directly in front of the judges. No other aerobatic maneuvers are allowed immediately following the airplane breaking ground. An illegal maneuver performed before entering a sequence will result in zeroing the following sequence. An illegal maneuver prior to landing will result in zeroing the preceding sequence, except for the Four Minute Freestyle.

The intent here is to prevent anything that may be viewed as “practice” and hence give one competitor an advantage over another. Therefore, snaps, spins, point rolls, Humpty’s, Tailslides, etc, etc…. may never be executed after breaking ground and before entering the sequence, between sequences or after completing the sequence(s) and prior to landing.

Point System.

14.1 All classes shall have the scheduled maneuvers scored on a scale of 10 to 0. Half (0.5) points may be used in judging. Points are deducted for imperfections as per the AMA Scale Aerobatics Official Flying and Judging Guide or FAI F3M SC as relevant.

14.2 Degree of difficulty factor (K-factor) values shall be assigned to individual maneuvers based upon the current FAI catalog of maneuvers, with modifications as required by the International Miniature Aerobatic Club (IMAC). When calculating contestant scores, each individual maneuver score shall be multiplied by its K-factor. The flight score shall be the result of summing the “K-factored” (maneuver score multiplied by K-factor) scores.

Determining Placement.

15.1: Sequence scoring.

a: Scoring.
The Official IMAC Scale Aerobatics Contest Guide or FAI F3M SC as relevant, shall be used to determine the number of sequences to be scored (drop schedule) and the weight of the unknown(s) based on contest category (2 day, multi-day, regional, etc.). Refer to Appendix A of the Official IMAC Scale Aerobatics Contest Guide for the drop schedule for known and unknown sequence flights.

b: Unknowns.
Each unknown sequence shall be flown once. The Official IMAC Contest Guide or FAI F3M SC as relevant, shall be used to determine how the known scores and unknown scores are combined based on contest category.

c: Combined Scores.
The highest combined scores will determine the winner.

d: Normalization.
All sequences will be normalized to 1,000 as outlined in Rule 15.4.

15.2 In the case of ties, the best non-scored sequence of the contestant shall be used to determine the winner.

15.3 The same set of judges shall judge each round. Judges may be rotated between rounds.

15.4 Each sequence shall be normalized to a standard 1,000 points. The pilot with the highest raw score receives 1,000 points for the sequence. Each pilot thereafter shall have their raw score divided by the high raw score giving a percentage of that high raw score, which is then multiplied by 1,000 to get the normalized score. Scores shall be rounded to two (2) places of decimal accuracy. For example: Contestant A wins the sequence with a raw score of 4,850 points. Contest B is second with 4,766.5 points. Contestant A receives 1,000 points for the sequence. Contestant B’s score is 982.78 points (4,766.5 divided by 4,850 = 0.982783 * 1,000 for 982.783, which rounded to two (2) places of decimal accuracy for a final score of 982.78).

Flight Pattern.

16.1 A contest shall include one (1) or more rounds of Known sequences and may include one (1) or more Unknown sequences. Any given unknown sequence can only be flown once per contest.

16.2 Compulsory Known Maneuver Sequences are defined by the Aresti Catalogue.

16.3 Optional Unknown Maneuver Sequences shall include separate Sportsman, Intermediate, Advanced, and Unlimited sequences, each consisting of up to 15 maneuvers.
Unknowns shall be distributed the day of the contest or the night before to allow pilots to mentally fly and visualize them. If a contestant is found to have practiced the Unknowns with a flying model or on a computerized flight simulator, that contestant will be disqualified from the entire contest.
Flight order for the Unknowns should be established by random drawing.

16.4 The contestant must fly his entire flight according to the established flight schedule for his particular class and in the sequence listed. Maneuvers that are executed out of sequence, or not executed as required by the sequence, will be zeroed. Remaining maneuvers that are flown in their appropriate area and in the appropriate order following the zeroed maneuver will be scored.

16.5 Takeoff and landing are not to be considered judged maneuvers. It is not necessary for the judges to see the aircraft take off or land. The aircraft may be carried to the takeoff point, and carried from the landing area, if so desired.

17. Four (4) Minute Freestyle Program.
The Four (4) Minute Freestyle Program is a “Show Time” separate event. It is an unrestricted, individually created sequence in which “Anything Safe Goes!” To be eligible to participate and compete in this event, the competitor must also compete in one of the five IMAC or F3M categories of precision sequence flying at the same event. It should have separate awards when offered.

The freestyle program will be judges in accordance with the IMAC or FAI F3M freestyle flying and judging guidelines, which set of rules will be used is at the event organiser’s discretion and must be communicated to competitors in advance.

18. Regional Points Championships
Any competitor that wishes to qualify for regional points must be an LSA member in good standing. If a competitor joins LSA mid-season, only contests attended from that point on will qualify for regional points.

Points per contest will be calculated from the contest’s final results. The winner of each class will receive 1000 points. The following competitor’s scores will be a normalized score based on their final score respective to the winner’s. Regional Points are rounded to the nearest whole number.

Example:
First Place: 6875        Points: 1000
Second: 6723               Points: 978
Third: 6145                    Points: 894
Fourth: 5475                  Points: 796

Qualified contests will be those listed in the LSA contest calendar shown on the LSA website under the respective regions. Contests must comply with SAMAA, LSA and IMAC standards and must have their results verified and posted within 14 days to count towards Regional Points.

A “Regional Finals Contest” as denoted by the respective Regional Director will count the same points value towards the region’s points series as regular regional contests.. The Regional Finals Contest will be a normal LSA contest open to all classes.

A competitor may receive points for his/her region, as well as count two contests outside of his or her region. Any competitor is eligible to fly in any region, regardless of residence.

The class point champion of the regional series is calculated by summing the total normalised points of the best three results for each competitor in each class.

In the case of a tie for a class point champion, the pilot who finishes highest in his top 3 LSA Regional Qualified contests, based upon the total number of pilots defeated, would win. If there is still a tie, the pilot who places highest at the Regional Final contest will win the regional title. If the tie still cannot be resolved, the raw scores for the top 3 contests will be used to break the tie.

Example:
In the example below Pilot B would win the regional title. Pilot B earned 3000 points and defeated 22 pilots versus Pilot A’s 3000 points and 14 pilots defeated.

Pilot A Pilot B
Points Pilots Defeated Points Pilots Defeated
1000 3 1000 7
1000 5 992.45 3
1000 4 1000 0
1000 1 1000 12
1000 5 1000 3
1000 2 1000 0
993.7 0
1000 2
Total Tiebreaker Total Tiebreaker
3000 14 3000 22

If a pilot is the only competitor in his class, points will be awarded to that competitor if a complete contest is flown as set forth by the contest standards guide.

A pilot will not be eligible for regional awards in more than one category. If a pilot moves into a higher competition class during the year, the pilot will have to advise his/her Regional Director of the change AND at that time, will also advise in which class he/she would like his/her regional points calculated.

For the purpose of Regional Points, if a Basic-class competitor places first, second or, third in the Regional Points, regardless if competitor has not placed in enough Basic contests to move up, the competitor will have to move to the Sportsman class in the following season. In the event that the competitor doesn’t move up, any points earned in the following season will not count toward the next year’s Regional Points Championship.

Any competitor may petition the appropriate Regional Directors or BOD to change his/her home region. These requests must be made yearly in writing, and are considered on a case by case basis.

19. Nationals
National Competition events will be held as individual events with the exception of the overall LSA Champion’s Cup. National events can also be counted as out of region regional event towards a competitor’s regional point score. The LSA Overall Champion’s Cup result will be calculated from the Regional Points Championships but taking all national competitor’s regional results into account over the current Nationals season period, the Nationals results will count as a single regional result towards the LSA Overall Champion’s Cup.
In the event that more than one national level event is held during a National season, the best single result will be used as their nationals result towards the LSA Overall Champion’s Cup.
The Basic class will not be flown at national events.

20. National Team Selection
National Team selection will be based on competitor’s best three regional results summed plus double their Nationals normalised points score.
In the event that more than one national event is held during a national season a competitors single best national result will be used for team selection.

(R1 + R2 + R3) + (Nx2) = Team Selection points

Tie breaks will be resolved as per the Regional Points Championship, based on total number of competitors beaten and, if required, total raw scores.

Team selection and participation is subject to all relevant SAMAA, RASAA and SASCOC regulations, procedures and ratification.


This draft Sporting Code can be downloaded in PDF format HERE.