Contest Rules – F5J USA Tour
11-26-2018 – 2019 season changes: Added #1B, #2E.
The F5J USA Tour is allowing certain deviations to the FAI rules. These deviations are designed to enhance safety and remove barriers to participation and will be allowed at all Tour events. Note that the Advisory Group will review the need for deviations every year based on pilot feedback and the effectiveness of the deviations.
1. FAI F5J Rules – The contest rules for each Qualifying Event must follow the latest official FAI F5J rules (posted here) with the following exceptions:
For the 2019 season the following FAI rules deviations are in effect:
1A. Emergency motor restarts – Emergency motor restarts are allowed but will result in a zero flight score i.e. not a penalty (Note 1).
1B. Launches: 3-second delay before turning – Launches must follow the CD-defined launch direction per FAI rules. In addition, pilots may not initiate a turn in any axis (left, right, or up beyond 90 degrees) until 3 seconds after a legal launch has been initiated. CDs will provide an audible signal at the 3-second ok-to-turn mark, assuming the launch was initiated at the start horn. The penalty for violating this rule is 100 points.
Other FAI deviations will only be accepted if they are pre-approved by the advisory group.
2. FAI rules highlights – The following FAI rules for F5J are highlighted here to address common questions:
2A. Fly-offs – Normally, 3 or 4 fly-off rounds are flown after the qualifying rounds. However, as of the 2017 rules, the CD may elect to not have a fly-off if announced before the contest starts.
2B. Discards – If 4 or fewer qualifying rounds are flown there are no discarded rounds (“throw-aways”). If more than 4 are flown then the lowest round score is discarded. Note that all zero flights are “discardable.”
2C. Re-flights – Pilots may request a re-flight if they are involved in a midair collision or “unexpected event.” Please see the “Handling Re-flights” topic in the CD Guidelines.
2D. No skegs – No skegs or other “arresting devices” that cause the plane to slow down during landings are allowed.
2E. Stability systems allowed – The F5J USA Tour Advisory Group has interpreted the current FAI rules as allowing stability systems in F5J (Note 2).
3. Rules deviations in announcements – All FAI contest rules deviations–including those listed above–must be clearly identified in the RC Groups and/or email contest announcements.
4. Safety – For safety reasons all F5J USA Tour contests must follow the FAI’s flying site layout for the Access Corridor (safety lane).
5. Sportsmanship – The F5J USA Tour Advisory Group reserves the right to sanction or ban any pilot who demonstrates poor online or on-field sportsmanship.
Note 1: This deviation is allowed for safety reasons since many USA flying fields have at least some trees and/or power line obstacles to avoid on low altitude returns. Most popular altimeters (e.g. Altis) support this option with a display showing that a restart was triggered.
Note 2: Stability systems, including gyros, provide augmented flight stability via added technology usually in the form of a special receiver or receiver add-on. The FAI rules committee in 2019 is expected to provide additional clarity regarding the use of stability systems in F5J. When they do the Tour will respond appropriately.