1.  Objective:

To fly an event that involves accomplishing a maximum combined score while flying multiple “F3K type” tasks in a single round using electric powered sailplanes limited to an “ALES type” of maximum launch altitude.

2.  Contest Format:

2.1.   The contest will be run in a MOM (Man-on-Man) format where each competitor in a group will be scored against only the pilots within his group.  Scores will be normalized to 1000 within each group and the normalized score for each round will be added to get the final flight score.

2.1.1.           One point will be awarded for each second flown up to the target time, then one point will be subtracted for each second past the target time.

2.1.2.           Landing points and penalties will be added or subtracted after normalization of the flight score.

2.2.   The launch altitude for the day will be either 60/80/100 Meters for all rounds of the contest at the CD’s discretion.  Once the launch height is announced it cannot change for the day.  Multi-day contests can have a different specific launch height each day.

2.3.   Maximum motor run time will be 20 sec

2.4.   Each round will be timed within a “round window”;  the “round window” will be determined by the number of tasks for that round and calculated thusly:

2.4.1.      The base or initial time for the window will be the sum of the required times for each task of that round (Ex. A round with 6, 4, and 2 minutes tasks will have a base time of 12 minutes)

2.4.2.      Added to that will be 30 secondsfor each task after the first task. For example, as in the case above, two 30 second intervals will be added for a total round window of thirteen (13) minutes. In cases where there the calculation requires an odd 30 second add, it will be rounded up to 1 minute (Ex. 12:30 would round to 13:00 Min)      Exception to 2.4.2: In rounds where multiple launches are permitted within a timed task to achieve a single goal, only the task itself will account for the added 30 seconds, not each launch. (Ex. Multiple launches to achieve a 10 minute goal within a fixed window of 11min)

2.4.3.      The “Task Window” will end at the “End of the Audio Signal”

2.5.   All pilots will launch at their own discretion based upon their assessment of round strategy and the time remaining within a round, except for task 5.7 “All Up-Last Down” which forces a group launch.

2.6.   The timer recording the timing of tasks will record minutes and seconds using the truncated rules for seconds.  For example if the task time is two (2) minutes and a pilot flies 1:12.8, the recorded time will be 1:12.  A point a second will be deducted for going over or under the target time.

2.6.1.      Exceptions to this rule are in tasks such as “Poker” where the target time must be met before you can advance.  In such cases only time over the target time is subtracted.

2.7.   Landings will not be judged for precision distance, only for precision time; but 5 points will be awarded for landing within the “Pilots Area” or “Box”.  At least some portion of the plane must be inside the “Box” to earn the 5 point bonus.  (Reference Section 3.2 for safety.)

2.8.   The AMA shed parts rule applies.  Shed parts will result in loss of the 5 landing point bonus for that task even if the pilot lands within their “Pilots Area” or “Box”.  The CD will approve any subsequent launch after the repair of a shed part.

2.9.   It is not permitted to catch a plane for a landing.  All flights must conclude with a ground landing.  This rule applies to landings between tasks as well as to the final round landing.

2.10.     Motor restarts within a flight after the initial climb are prohibited.  A restart will result in a zero for the task within a given round.

2.11.     A ready time of ‘X’ minutes will be used between each group of flyers as well as between rounds.  This ready time is at the CD’s discretion but should not be less than 3 minutes.

2.12.     There will be a 30 second count down window after the completion of the final task of a round.  If a contestant has not landed within the 30 second window he will receive a zero for the round.  For task 5.7 the zero will be for the task, not the round.

2.13.     Three completed rounds are the minimum required to make a contest. Tasks may be selected from those in Section 5 of this rules set. (For club contests innovation in the form of new, experimental tasks is encouraged.)

3.  Field Layout and Safety Measures:

3.1.   All AMA safety rules shown in the Soaring and General section of the AMA rule book are in effect for this contest.  It is the pilot’s responsibility to know and follow these rules and guidelines.

3.2.   Each pilot-timer team will have a “Pilots Area” that he or she can move around in, but not go out of, while the plane is airborne.  If either person needs to move out of the way of landing or flying aircraft then no penalty will be assessed.  A 100 point penalty will be assessed for an infraction of this rule.  The area is defined using a 5M tape, pinned at the center, making a 10M diameter circle that is the individual “Pilot’s Area”.  An alternative 10M by 10M “Pilot’s Box” can be used as a substitute for the 10M circle.  The “Pilot’s Box” will be defined by flags, cones, or other easily recognizable markers at the corners. (See the Exhibit A for field layout/boundary information).

3.3.   At the end of each task the plane must land within the field boundary detailed in “Exhibit A”. The field boundary is a 75M radius circle centered at the center of the “Pilots Area”.  Landing outside the boundary or inside any protected area will result in a zero score for the task being flown.  Any part of the plane inside a protected area is considered “inside”.

3.4.   The CD will announce the direction of launch for each round and all pilots must launch in that direction until their plane is clear of other launching planes.  At that time, the pilot may deviate from the launch direction with the stipulations as explained in 3.4.1.

3.4.1.      A collision or other significant disturbance to another launching plane due to a pilot re-directing his flight path will result in zero points for the offending pilot for that round.

3.5.   Landings must be in the same direction as launch from the downwind side of the “Pilot’s Area”.

3.6.   Plane retrieval between tasks is allowed if within the field boundary and outside the “Pilots Area”.  If a competing pilot(s) is on a landing approach, the retriever of a grounded plane must wait until the retrieval lane is clear of the incoming aircraft.  It is the pilot’s timer’s responsibility to warn any retrieving person of a plane on landing approach.

3.7.   A pilot hitting himself or his timer will incur a 100 point penalty.  If the pilot hits a person other than himself or his timer the pilot will receive a score of zero for that round.

4.  Aircraft Specifications:

4.1.   Sailplanes with a maximum wingspan of 80 inches are permitted.

4.2.   Any number of control functions are permitted.

4.3.   Any telemetry data from the plane to the pilot is permitted.

4.4.   Any stabilization systems on the plane are permitted.

5.  Tasks Selection:

5.1.   2, 4, and 6 minute maximum flights, in any order, with three (3) launches, within a 13 minute window.  Partial times count for scoring.

5.2.   Two 6 minute maximum flights, with two (2) launches, within a 13 minute window.  Partial times count for scoring.

5.3.   2, 4, and 6 minute maximum flights, in order, with three (3) launches, within a 13 minute window. Partial times count for scoring.

5.4.   Last Flight Round

5.4.1.      Three (3) Launches maximum within an 11 minute window

5.4.2.      Last flight counts

5.4.3.      Max flight is limited to 10 minutes.

5.4.4.      It is not necessary for the pilot to announce the target time prior to launch.

5.5.   Three (3) four (4) minute flights, in a 13 minute window, with a maximum of three (3) launches. Partial times count for scoring and the three (3) highest scores will be recorded.

5.6.   Poker

5.6.1.      Three (3) flights, to achieve two (2) target times, with a 10 minute maximum accumulated score, in an 11 minute window.

5.6.2.      Each competitor has three (3) flights to achieve or exceed up to two (2) target times.  Before the first launch, each competitor must announce the initial chosen target time to their timekeeper.

5.6.3.      The competitor then performs one initial launch to reach or exceed his announced target time.  If the target is reached or exceeded, the target time is credited and the competitor can then announce a subsequent target time.  The subsequent target time may be lower, equal to, or higher than, the first target time.  The competitor must announce their subsequent target time before launching the sailplane for the next flight.

5.6.4.      If the initial target time was not reached, the announced target flight time cannot be scored. The competitor must continue to try to reach his initial target flight time with his remaining launch/launches before the end of the flight window.

5.6.5.      If a previous target time has been reached and if the competitor has remaining launch/launches, the competitor can call “ALL IN” and the timer will clock the time until the round window buzzer goes off.  In this case, the competitor must fly to the buzzer or get zero for the flight.

5.6.6.      The achieved target times are added together to make the round score up to 10 minutes.

5.7.   All up Last Down: Three four minute tasks (no Round Window).

5.7.1.        There will be three (3) separate four (4) minute tasks which are to be flown in unison by all competitors.  This means that all competitors must launch within a three (3) second window of the organizer’s acoustic signal. After each task is complete the pilot will have 30 seconds to land or receive a zero for that task.  Launching after the 3 second window will also zero that task.

5.7.2.        The time for each task will be four (4) minutes.

5.7.3.        The timer starts the watch at sailplane launch, not at the acoustic signal.  At the end of the four (4) minute task, if the pilot is still in the air the timer must stop the clock at the acoustic signal

5.7.4.      The prep time for the next task, after the 30 second ‘landing window’, is 60 seconds.

5.7.5.     The score is the accumulation of the score for each of the three tasks minus penalties plus bonus points.

6.  Optional Group Selection: Seeded MOM

6.1.   The initial round will have the groups selected using normal distribution methods and scored as detailed section 2.

6.2.   The group assignments after the first round will be based upon the accumulated score of the previous round(s) and not by random distribution. The highest scoring groups will be flown last and the lowest scoring groups will be flown first.

7.  Bonus and Penalty Assessments Example:

7.1.   Any bonus or penalty points incurred will be added or subtracted from the pilot’s round score

7.2.   Example:

7.2.1.      Pilot’s normalized round flight score                                                      =530

7.2.2.      Pilot’s landing bonus score  (2 landings in the “Pilots Area” )                 = 10

7.2.3.      Pilot’s Penalties (hit his timer on landing)                                               = (100)

7.2.4.      Pilot’s Final Round Score                                                                      = 440

8.  Exhibit “A”


9.  Exhibit B

Table of Penalty Values



Rules Section




Motor Restarts or Overrun the 20 sec motor run limit

Zero’s the task


Over run of 30 Sec End of Task

Zero’s the task


Stepping out of Pilot’s Area

100 points per infraction


Landing Out of Bounds

Zero’s the task


Launch into another’s launch path

Zero’s the round


Hitting Yourself or Your timer

100 points per infraction per round


Hitting Someone Else

Zero’s the round


10.      Appendix: Scoring Program and Rules:

10.1.        Note: A scoring program for this event is available on by Curtis Suter and it has been tested in several contests and performs very well. The program does not support Seeded MOM so you will have to roll your own if you choose to score this way.

10.2.        The rules for this event will be housed on under the “Contest Information” section in the navigation bar.

10.3.        It is my plan to be the “Keeper of the TALES Rules” and as I did when I authored the Nostalgia rules will, after a time of trial in the field by as many clubs as possible, initiate a voting process that will take place to either accept the rules as is or modify them to satisfy the competitors. The initial trial should last a contest season so clubs can schedule events, competitors can build or buy planes to compete in several of these club contests so legitimate contest information can be formulated and tested. As soon as possible after the trial period an AMA Rules Change Proposal will be made to include this event into the AMA Rule Book.

10.4.        It is not the intent to limit the tasks shown above in Section 5 for the contest so the Contest Director can invent other tasks if so desired. It is possible to enter new tasks into the scoring program in the Tasks sheet.


Jack Iafret

Chairman of the AMA Soaring Contest Board, Webmaster



Results of voting for rules changes after the 2018 Contest Season… (My Interpretation is reflected in the rules)



Total "Y"

Total "N"


TALES should be a club (GDSHS & others) only event (no plan to put it into the AMA rule book)




The landing area should revert back to the original (2016-17) 5M rad circle for each pilot and eliminate the 2018 landing zone layout




If 2 above passes, then landings in the pilots 5M radius area should receive a 5 point bonus per task




If 2 above passes, then landing in another pilots area will receive a "100"  point penality (original 2016 rule)




If 2 above passes, then "Precision Landing Time" (not precision distance) in the 5M radius pilots area  should be adopted




If 2 above fails then "Precision Landing Time" in the 2018 Landing Area (not precision distance) should be adopted




Maximum Launch Height will be limited to 80M




The "launch to 60M bonus" will be eliminated if the launch height is 80M




The CD will pick the launch height for the day from the following: 60/80/100 Meters (no launch bonus or penalty)




The CD will pick the launch height for the round from the following: 60/80/100 Meters (no launch height bonus or penalty)




All rounds will be limited to three launches to maintain consistent battery requirements




Window times can vary from existing formula for some tasks (like poker) .





Possible New Tasks for Trial in 2019

1.      Six minute flight in a seven minute window (Not a multi-task round but maybe nice even though it does not fit the event format).

2.      Slow Ladder: