Proposed change to 80mph Combat rules defeated

Rules remain same as those in force since 1996

Mark Hansen proposed a change to the Northwest 80mph Combat rules, which would have revised the policy regarding testing of flyaway shutoffs.

This proposal was announced in November. There was a month's comment period, and then voting was opened. Voting deadline was Feb. 1. You can see the discussion in the Northwest Message Boards.

Summary of 80mph combat rules change proposal: It would have added a new statement to the Northwest rules requiring a shutoff. The rule would have been the essentially the same as that in the AMA rulebook, except that it added that responsibility for operation, testing and maintenance of the shutoff is the competitor's. The effect would have been to remove a requirement for a demonstration of the shutoff to contest management. It also specified a penalty of disqualification from the event if the shutoff fails to function, which is stricter than the AMA rule, which calls for forfeiture of the match.

Voting on the proposal was close, 54% no, 46% yes.

The rules that remain in effect for 2009 are below.

For more on the process of promulgating and revising Northwest control-line competition rules, see the Northwest Rules section.

Existing rules


1. PURPOSE: It is the intent that this event will provide a form of combat that is slower, more relaxed, and less destructive to equipment than all-out AMA combat events.

2. All rules for AMA (fast) combat shall apply except as follows:

3. ENGINES: Any engine up to .40 displacement is permitted.

4. SPEED LIMIT: The airspeed limit for all contestants shall be 80 mph, which is defined at 6.43 seconds for a two-lap period at 20-foot height. No devices capable of varying the speed of the airplane in flight, such as throttles or carburetors adjusted by elevator trim, are allowed.

5. MATCH PROCEDURE: Flying of matches shall be exactly the same as in AMA combat except as follows:
Airspeed timing:
The first airplane to launch will be timed for two laps after the first full lap, at a height of approximately 20 feet (brief deviations in height for safety reasons are permitted). If the time for those two laps is greater than 6.43 seconds, the airplane will be judged eligible to compete. Pilots must keep the plane near the 20-foot height; failure to do so will delay timing.
If the second airplane launched appears to the circle marshal to be slower than the first plane, after the first plane has been declared eligible, the circle marshal may waive the timing of the second plane and signal the start of combat. If the second plane appears equal to or faster than the first plane, the circle marshal may time the second plane as well before beginning combat.
In the case of a simultaneous launch, the faster airplane will be timed.
Airplanes will not be timed on successive launches in the same match, unless the circle marshal has reason to believe that a plane has passed the 80mph speed limit. The circle marshal retains the right to stop combat at any point and re-time any airplane that appears to have passed the 80mph speed limit.
Exceeding the speed limit:
If, on the initial launch, a plane is judged to be flying in excess of the 80mph speed limit, that plane's airtime watch will be cleared, and airtime will not be counted until the plane is judged to be consistently flying below the airspeed limit; combat will not be started until both airplanes are within the speed limit. If a plane is judged to exceed the limit at sometime during the match - after the initial timing - the airtime watch will be stopped and not restarted until the plane is judged to be consistently flying below the speed limit; combat will be stopped until both planes are below the speed limit.

6. SCORING: Per AMA Combat.


* ballot

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This page was upated Feb. 2, 2009