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 but has the “F5J type” of option to launch lower for a bonus.

2.  Contest Format:

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

2.2.   The launch altitude will be 100 M maximum for all rounds.

2.2.1.      See section 6 for an option to the 100M launch height with bonus points.

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 for 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 over 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.  (GDSHS will use the 30 second add for 2018 as a test and partial minutes will be rounded up to the next whole minute, if this turns out to be too short of a time, we will go back to the 2017 rule of 1 min add per task)            Exception to 2.4.2: In rounds where multiple launches are permitted within a timed task to achieve a goal, only the task will account for the added 30 seconds, not each launch. (Multiple or unlimited launches to achieve a 10 minute goal within a fixed window of say 11 min)

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 time remaining within a round except task 5.7 “All Up-Last Down”.

2.6.   Recording the timing of tasks will have a maximum time defined by the task and the timer will record only the minutes if the task time has been met, or minutes and seconds up to the designated time. For example if the task time is two (2) minutes and a pilot flies two minutes and twelve seconds, only the two minute time is recorded and the seconds are truncated. Conversely if the pilot flies 1 minute and 15 seconds in that two minute round, both the minutes and seconds are recorded. There is no penalty for exceeding the task time other than the end of a round when the 30 second maximum landing time requirement comes into play (see section 2.12). Also all partial seconds will be truncated (2 minutes and 30.34 seconds will record as 2:30)

2.7.   Landings will not be judged or awarded points other than the penalties described below in Section 3.

2.8.   The AMA shed parts rule applies to in flight only. (There can be no penalty on landings due to landings having no positive value.) Thein-flight shed part rule for TALES will mean zero points for that task within the round.

2.9.   It is not permitted to catch a plane for a landing, all flights must conclude with a ground landing. This includes the landings between tasks as well as 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 and 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 it is recommended that innovation of new tasks be a fun addition to this rules set)

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 an area that he or she can move in but not go out of while the plane is airborne. A 100 point penalty will be assessed for an infraction of this rule. This 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 “Pilot’s Box” can be used that is 10M by 10M 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” Landing outside the boundary or inside any protected area results in a zero score for the task being flown.

3.4.   The CD will announce the direction of launch for each round and all pilots must launch in that direction until the plane is clear of other launching planes. At that time the pilot may deviate from the launch direction with the stipulations 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 direction of the launch on the downwind side of the “Pilot’s Area” within the Field Boundary.

3.6.   Plane retrieval between tasks is a given but if competing pilots are on landing approach, a grounded plane’s retriever must wait until the retrieval lane is clear of incoming aircraft. It is the pilot’s timer’s responsibility to warn any retrieving person of a plane on landing approach. It is also expected that because there are no landing points involved, the pilot can land in an area that is free of other planes or retrievers and with the extra time allotted to retrieve planes between tasks, there should be no reason not to steer away from any person.

3.7.   A pilot hitting himself or their timer will encounter a 100 penalty and if the pilot hits a person other than their self or their timer, the pilot will be awarded a round score of zero.

4.  Aircraft Specifications:

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

4.2.   Any number of control functions is permitted.

4.3.   If available, on board stabilization systems must be set to zero gain.

4.4.   Vario’s are permitted (same as in all TD events in AMA)

4.5.   Aircraft “Vital Safety” data may be downloaded to the transmitter or other device for a pilots warning if a system failure is eminent. (Battery Voltage, Motor current, ESC temp etc.)

5.  Tasks Selection:

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

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

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

5.4.   Last Flight Round

5.4.1.      Three Launches maximum within a 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 four (4) minute flights in a 14 minute window with a maximum of four launches. Partial times count for scoring and the three highest scores will be recorded.

5.6.   Poker

5.6.1.      Four (4) flights to get three target times with a 10 minute maximum accumulated score in a 12 minute window.

5.6.2.      Each competitor has four flights to achieve or exceed up to three target times. Before the first launch of a new target, each competitor announces a target time to the official timekeeper.

5.6.3.      He can then perform only one launch to reach or exceed, this time. If the target is reached or exceeded, then the target time is credited and the competitor can announce the next target time, which may be lower, equal to or higher, before he launches the model sailplane for the next flight.

5.6.4.      If the target time is not reached, the announced target flight time cannot be changed or scored. The competitor may try to reach the announced target flight time until the end of the working time with the remaining of his four launches, if any are available. Towards the end of the working time, and if the previous times have been accomplished and the competitor has flights left, the can call “all in” and the timer will clock the time until the window buzzer goes off.

5.6.5.      The achieved target times are added together to make the round score.

5.7.   All up Last Down with no Round Window

5.7.1.      There will be three separate tasks that must be flow in unison with all competitors meaning all competitors must launch within a 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 launch not the acoustic signal. At the end of the four minute task window 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 Scoring Option:

6.1.              Low Altitude Shut-off Bonus

6.1.1.      There are two different launch altitudes available for each round, one being 100 M and the other being 60M.

6.1.2.      The pilot selects one of the two shut-off altitudes prior to the round start and tells his timer to record the BONUS if he chooses the 60M height. The pilot cannot change the launch selection during the round. It will be assumed the launch height will be 100M unless the pilot declares the BONUS round prior to the first launch of the round.

6.1.3.      The assigned tasks are then flown using the lower or higher launch height.

6.1.4.      The high altitude shut-off score will be scored as normal without additions.

6.1.5.      The low altitude shut-off selection will award 20 additional points per task to the round score. For example if there are three tasks for the round the additional bonus will be 60 points, if there are two tasks the bonus will be 40 points. The pilot does not have to max the round or task to get this bonus. (This function will add strategic value and excitement to the contest and replace the ability to have bonus points for landings like an AMA TD contest.)

7.  Optional Group Selection: Seeded MOM

7.1.   The initial round will have the groups selected using normal distribution methods and scored as detailed in 2.1 or 6.1.

7.2.   The group assignments after the first round will be done based on 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.


8.  Bonus and Penalty Assessments Example:

8.1.   Any penalty points incurred will be subtracted from the pilot’s round score

8.2.   Example:

8.2.1.      Pilot’s flight Score             =530

8.2.2.      Pilots Bonus Points           =040

8.2.3.      Pilots Adjusted Score        =570

8.2.4.      Pilot’s Penalties                 =100

8.2.5.      Pilot’s Final Round Score = 470



9.  Exhibit “A”



10.      Exhibit B

Table of Bonus and Penalty Values


Rules Section

Altitude Launching Option



Launch to 60 Meters

20 points per task


Rules Section




Motor Restarts

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


11.      Appendix: Scoring Program and Rules:

11.1.                    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.

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

11.3.                    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.

11.4.                    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 but it is advised to keep the number of launches to four or less. This is done so that motor batteries do not have to be swapped during a round.

Jack Iafret

Chairman of the AMA Soaring Contest Board, Webmaster



Clarifications and Rules change proposals to discuss and vote on after 01SE18

1.      Add a 100 point penalty for the task if a pilot hits himself or timer at any time and zeros the task if someone else is hit…. (Proposed by Jack Iafret and others)
Discussion: This is required as the AMA rule book has this specified in the landing task section but we do not have a landing task other than the fact that the plane must land between launches so it was left out in error.
Clarification: A rules clarification will be added for 01JA18

2.      Have an out-of-bounds area for landings that would give a penalty or zero the task if you land out… (Proposed by Mike Wiz)
Discussion: Use the AMA rule book 75M field boundary from the center of the pilot’s tape or launching area as it is applicable to all TD contest.
Clarification: A rules clarification will be added for 01JA18

3.      Section 2.4.2
Reduce the added “one minute of time per launch over the first launch” to something smaller (Mike Wiz, Jim Marcicki and others)

Discussion: We tried 30 seconds on the 10SE17 TALES 4 contest and it worked well, in order to not go to 30 second increments on the audio, we rounded any half minute times up to the next whole minute. This could also be changed to a CD discretion item so discussion and voting is needed. GDSHS will use 30 seconds for 2018, but this is something that needs more testing in 2018.

4.      Section 2.4.3
Added as a clarification only.

5.      Section 6…
Eliminate the “Launch Height Bonus” and only have one launch height… (Proposed by Mike Wiz)
Discussion: Should the rules allow the CD to call either 60M or 100M launch height for the whole contest? This would take away the F5J aspect of the event allowing the pilot to gamble on their skills and make it more like the normal F3K contest.

6.      Reduce the “Launch Height” from 100M to something less, maybe 75M… (Proposed by Mike Wiz)…
Discussion: 4 and 5 have the same negative effect for the F5J crowd but make the contest simpler.

7.      Eliminate the 2 Minute tasks with a 100M Launch as it is too easy… (Proposed by Mike Wiz)
Discussion: What would be the minimum task time?

8.      Eliminate the added time per launch on any task with one time limit… Example: The Last Flight with a 10 Min max with three launches would only get a window time of 10 Min rather than the 12 minutes that is there now... (Proposed by Jim Marcicki)
Discussion: The reason for this would be to eliminate other competitors from sandbagging for two minutes to get a “read advantage” by watching others that launched early. The other point of this is that as pilots wise up to the task rule, no one will launch until two minutes have passed making the added time per launch meaningless. Counter to this argument is that the object of the added minute per launch was put in there to allow pilots the time to retrieve a landed plane outside the pilot’s area and get back to the pilot’s area to re-launch. Moving to the 30 sec/launch time add as proposed in No.3 mitigates the situation but does not eliminate it completely. I did change the rules for the GDSHS for 2018 so any other club can try either and we will vote on it 01SE18.

9.      Specify the penalty for landing outside the 30 second landing window… (Proposed by Roger Van)
Discussion: It is in the rules under 2.12 but we may want to change the wording from “round” to “task”. This is kind of task dependent, on the all up last down it would be task for the 2-4-6 it would be the round. We can specify it in each task description if needed.

10.  Add the statement that the round ends at the end of the buzzer… (Proposed by Roger Van)
Clarification: A rules clarification and will be added for 01JA18

11.  Do we want a penalty for launching (other than all up last down) within a 10 sec window? Also the penalty for all up last down 3 second launch window is not specified… (Proposed by Roger Van)
Discussion: On the 10 second window, for the majority of the tasks, the pilot will penalize themselves by not launching “on the buzzer” because they take away from the ability to maximize their points within the window. Some fluff time is there to waste with the one minute per launch add but if this goes to 30 seconds, some of the fluff is gone. Remember, the quick turnaround “grab and launch” required in F3K is eliminated in TALES because of the requirement that the plane land between launches and it takes some seconds to do that eating into the 60 or 30 second added per launch.

Clarification: A rules clarification and will be added for 01JA18 on the penalty for exceeding the 3 second launch window in Task 5.7 “All Up-Last Down”. The penalty will be a zero for the task.

12.  Section 3.2 in Field Layout is not adequate, the Pilot’s Area needs to be defined by a painted circle, not just by the tape radius… (Proposal by Gerry Marcicki)
Discussion: Because there is a penalty for landing in another pilot’s area and the fact that the offending pilot needs to retrieve and relaunch their plane without delay, the timer does not have the time to move the tape around to see if the offending plane is officially in the other pilot’s area. This violates the principle that all rules infractions be defined and measurable. Also there is no statement as to how much of the offending plane is in the other pilot’s area, is it 100% or “any part of”?

Because the paint system will only work on cut grass and not so much on the weeds or tall grass at some field maybe an alternative is possible. Perhaps a square of 10M sides could be used and defined by flags or short poles to be used as siting devises, not as good as paint but would work on fields that are not close cut grass. One other aspect of the square pilot’s area is that safety would be enhanced a little as the area would be larger than the 10M circle specified in the present rules.

Because the penalty is not enforceable as was shown in TALES 4, It has been taken it out of the rules and the only penalty will be if the offending pilot hits someone else on the field that will cause a zero round.

See the re-write of Section 3 for the agreed upon field layout and penalties that are field related. This layout and description was agreed to in a TALES pilot’s meeting on 08OC17 at the field.

13.  Section 2.3
Change the motor run time to 20 sec. max… GDSHS will use 20 seconds for the 2018 contest year
Discussion: In the four contest flown, it has proven that 15 seconds is more than adequate to get to 100M and also range a little while getting there. The extra 10-15 seconds does nothing but allow the pilot of loiter with the motor running to spot lift or take time off the task window. Remember we start the clock on launch so a 2 min task is only 1 minute 40 seconds if the full “power on” of 30 seconds is used. Counter to this argument is that the F5J aspect of the format is that you can look around for a while at low power and if you find lift, power up into the thermal, this maybe more important if the pilot chooses to go for the bonus and launch to 60M.

14.  Section 3.2
Add a 100 penalty for a timer or pilot leaving their pilot’s area during a flight… Clarification: A rules clarification and will be added for 01JA18(Proposed by Jack Iafret)

15.  Section 6.1.5
Add a note that the pilot does not have to max to get the altitude bonus points…(Proposed by Jack Iafret and others).
Clarification: A rules clarification and will be added for 01JA18