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Thread: Tiger... just wow

  1. #21
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    Dec 2008
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    Default Re: Tiger... just wow

    I'll preface my remarks by admitting I do not have the same exposure to the event that most everyone else has here. I only make it to the pits after the racing is done, don't deal with Security, Admissions, etc. So, my vantage point is skewed when compared to many others on here. That said, here goes:

    First, the DQ's. Look, rules (FAA rules mind you) are rules. Everybody is fully aware of them, and the consequences of violating them. No surprises and no one is making this stuff up as they go. Tiger was too high around 7 & 8. Period. PM's east showline cut may or may not have been close but video "evidence" is not always reliable. Sort of like eye-witness accounts. Camera angles, parallax, etc. can skew the image. One needs only to look at the finish of the UNL Gold race on Sat as seen from several different photog at, or near, the Start/Finish line. Taken side by side, you could fairly easily make the case that either aircraft crossed the finish-line first. Contest Committee is a professional group. Furthermore, it's most often the case that if there's a doubt about a showline cut, they'll give the benefit to the pilot. From where I sit, I'm confident that PM's cut was serious enough that it had to be called.

    Guess I'm unclear what's being proposed here. Should PM get mulligan because Breitling writes them a check? Should Strega be allowed to violate a clearly understood rule (instituted as a result of 2011) just because it's being flown by a legend? What about the Buick, or Korean War Hero, or...where does that end? Two sets of rules....one for those you have it, and one for the rest?

    Is there some issue with RARA spending this week and/or the next assessing the gate, concessions, etc? Would you rather they wait until say November/December to do so...thus reducing the time they have to plan for 2015 expenses?

    Were they hiccups this year? Sure. Always has been...probably always will be. This is a very complicated, intense, highly-visible undertaking that is still to some degree recovering from a catastrophic event. While it's certainly understandable that we all want to make it better, each in our own way, it's also true that without the support of its volunteers and fans, we may one day be longing for the days when showline cuts and violations were the topic of post-race discussions and blogs....as opposed to bemoaning the fact that the World's Fastest Motrosport's magneto's just went dark.

    Said it before...I'll say it again. I know constructive critique is welcomed, even if no one responds. What have we done to build it up instead of tearing it down? Given the turnover of last year and the many unseen events and circumstances that seem to conspire against them, I, for one, think the BoD at RARA and the entire team should be commended. It wasn't perfect and they'd be the first to admit it. Let's keep in mind what the alternative is and how easily it could all go away.
    Owen Ashurst
    Performer Air Boss - Reno Air Races
    Owner - AIR BOSS ONE
    San Diego CA
    http://airbossone.com

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Reno, Nevada
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    1,949

    Default Re: Tiger... just wow

    Quote Originally Posted by Air Judge View Post
    I'll preface my remarks by admitting I do not have the same exposure to the event that most everyone else has here. I only make it to the pits after the racing is done, don't deal with Security, Admissions, etc. So, my vantage point is skewed when compared to many others on here. That said, here goes:

    First, the DQ's. Look, rules (FAA rules mind you) are rules. Everybody is fully aware of them, and the consequences of violating them. No surprises and no one is making this stuff up as they go. Tiger was too high around 7 & 8. Period. PM's east showline cut may or may not have been close but video "evidence" is not always reliable. Sort of like eye-witness accounts. Camera angles, parallax, etc. can skew the image. One needs only to look at the finish of the UNL Gold race on Sat as seen from several different photog at, or near, the Start/Finish line. Taken side by side, you could fairly easily make the case that either aircraft crossed the finish-line first. Contest Committee is a professional group. Furthermore, it's most often the case that if there's a doubt about a showline cut, they'll give the benefit to the pilot. From where I sit, I'm confident that PM's cut was serious enough that it had to be called.

    Guess I'm unclear what's being proposed here. Should PM get mulligan because Breitling writes them a check? Should Strega be allowed to violate a clearly understood rule (instituted as a result of 2011) just because it's being flown by a legend? What about the Buick, or Korean War Hero, or...where does that end? Two sets of rules....one for those you have it, and one for the rest?

    Is there some issue with RARA spending this week and/or the next assessing the gate, concessions, etc? Would you rather they wait until say November/December to do so...thus reducing the time they have to plan for 2015 expenses?

    Were they hiccups this year? Sure. Always has been...probably always will be. This is a very complicated, intense, highly-visible undertaking that is still to some degree recovering from a catastrophic event. While it's certainly understandable that we all want to make it better, each in our own way, it's also true that without the support of its volunteers and fans, we may one day be longing for the days when showline cuts and violations were the topic of post-race discussions and blogs....as opposed to bemoaning the fact that the World's Fastest Motrosport's magneto's just went dark.

    Said it before...I'll say it again. I know constructive critique is welcomed, even if no one responds. What have we done to build it up instead of tearing it down? Given the turnover of last year and the many unseen events and circumstances that seem to conspire against them, I, for one, think the BoD at RARA and the entire team should be commended. It wasn't perfect and they'd be the first to admit it. Let's keep in mind what the alternative is and how easily it could all go away.
    Very we'll stated and it's nice to have someone from RARA here on our site to enlighten us to "the other side of the story"

    You should become the voice and face of RARA.

    I vote +1 for you.


  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Portland, Or
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    1,200

    Default Re: Tiger... just wow

    The post 2011 rules changes are the problem. They are killing the sport. How would a max altitude rule or moving the show deadline have changed the outcome of that day? Half of the unlimited field has left the event because of them and the way they were determined and put into effect. Hell, the entire class walked out of the event at one point as a result of this.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Tiger... just wow

    Quote Originally Posted by Air Judge View Post
    First, the DQ's. Look, rules (FAA rules mind you) are rules. Everybody is fully aware of them, and the consequences of violating them. No surprises and no one is making this stuff up as they go. Tiger was too high around 7 & 8. Period. PM's east showline cut may or may not have been close but video "evidence" is not always reliable. Sort of like eye-witness accounts. Camera angles, parallax, etc. can skew the image.
    To be very clear: I AGREE. Rules are rules, cameras (and mark 1 mod 0 eyeballs) are subject to parallax error. And its not a simple problem, and solutions cost money. Agreed, agreed, agreed! In fact, it would be just as bad to erroneously FAIL to penalize a violation as it is to erroneously penalize.

    My only concern is that we're still talking about cameras and eyeballs and parallax errors. Yes, there's an expense, but the technology is there so that when there is a violation, its clear to everyone involved. Doesn't have to be totally clear to the fans in the stands, but the affected team should be able to see some irrefutable evidence. If that's already in place and I'm just not aware of it, then great, problem solved and I'm happy.

    And by the way- it probably can be done with cameras in fixed, surveyed positions with known pointing directions, because image processing and multiple viewpoints can back out all the parallax errors mathematically. Its the same as showing the first down marker on the football field, except working the math in reverse- rather than knowing where in 3-D space the down marker line should be and calculating which pixels to turn yellow in the camera's view, you observe which pixels from the cameras have an image of an airplane in them and then mathematically "back out" where in 3-D space the airplane was. My tossing out a RARA-issued nav package for each racer to carry may be a far inferior way to do it than with an array of cameras and a computer processing the recorded images. The palette of technology to apply is very large. There's GOT to be a reasonable way to take judgement out of the picture.

    I'm by no means saying RARA and the FAA in any way did anything other than a great job. Just thinking aloud how it might be better.
    Last edited by 440_Magnum; 09-16-2014 at 03:38 PM.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
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    181

    Default Re: Tiger... just wow

    I can't speak officially for the PM team but I don't think they're asking for special treatment. Not in the least. The problem is that from my understanding the deadline cut DQ was made by one person and is/was not subject to appeal. Why put all of this responsibility on one person when having more people/judges involved and/or using technology could fix the problem?
    Last edited by Ken Adkins; 09-16-2014 at 03:36 PM.

  6. #26

    Default Re: Tiger... just wow

    Quote Originally Posted by Air Judge View Post

    Guess I'm unclear what's being proposed here. Should PM get mulligan because Breitling writes them a check? Should Strega be allowed to violate a clearly understood rule (instituted as a result of 2011) just because it's being flown by a legend? What about the Buick, or Korean War Hero, or...where does that end? Two sets of rules....one for those you have it, and one for the rest?

    .
    I don't think anyone is asking for preferential treatment or a mulligan based on anything. It is well documented that the unlimited group is unhappy about the 'ceiling' that they have on them and throw in the show line restrictions now in place and they have no place to go in many instances. They need to get together with the unlimited class and come up with a solution that makes more sense. The same with the PM decision. Why can't it be reviewed? Because whoever made the decision to DQ Thom doesn't want to eat crow? No body wants two sets of rules, just rules that are realistic. Flame on.
    Last edited by BJH; 09-16-2014 at 03:48 PM. Reason: spelling

  7. #27
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    Jun 2004
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    Beaver State
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    59

    Default Re: Tiger... just wow

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Adkins View Post
    I can't speak officially for the PM team but I don't think they're asking for special treatment. Not in the least. The problem is that from my understanding the deadline cut DQ was made by one person and is/was not subject to appeal. Why put all of this responsibility on one person when having more people/judges involved and/or using technology could fix the problem?
    So, I'm wondering where the new Unlimited Organization headed up by Tiger stands on all this. It seems to me that as a member of the Unlimited Organization I would have voiced my opinion that I'm not agreeable to have one set of eyes that can call a DQ. Any kind of official appeal process? That's only fair in my opinion.

  8. #28
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    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Tiger... just wow

    Quote Originally Posted by Air Judge View Post
    I, for one, think the BoD at RARA and the entire team should be commended. It wasn't perfect and they'd be the first to admit it. Let's keep in mind what the alternative is and how easily it could all go away.
    No *personal* offense intended, but on the business side, I think you're out of your mind, or out of touch with reality at the very least. I work in the professional auto racing business, and the calls we saw last weekend at Reno would never be considered sustainable for a Series in pro auto racing. You want to talk about how easily it could all go away? Continue with a pylon course which has been made practically unflyable for the guys who pay the bills (the Unlimited pilots, as a handy reminder) without altitude or boundary violations, compounded by inflexible rules which cannot be appealed and violations which cannot be verified or confirmed, and see how fast it can all go away. You have not even begun to see how fast it can all be over. Infuriating and offending the competitors & fans who fund the sport is truly the fastest way.

    For RARA to be so inflexible after such a PR disaster shows a true misunderstanding of their own situation as an entity, and a misunderstanding of their own responsibilities.
    _________
    -Matt
    Red Bull has no earthly idea what "air racing" is.

  9. #29
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    Dec 2008
    Location
    San Marcos, CA
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    821

    Default Re: Tiger... just wow

    No personal offense taken, Matt. Not at all. Your $.02 and my $.02 don't have to add up. And like most everyone else on here, I wish there was some wiggle room re: the altitude restrictions and showlines. Despite its continuing efforts to persuade the FAA to loosen up a bit, RARA and the UNL folks have been unable to do so. To blame RARA for the DQ's is a bit like blaming forest for the fires. And the UNL has little leverage other than to boycott. RARA is in a very tough spot in this regard and I hold to my original position. All things considered, they've kept this leaking boat afloat for three years under very difficult seas.

    Look, the fact is the rules regarding pylon cuts and showline cuts have been in place for many years. Every team knows them in detail and the price they pay if they violate them. And simply because it's the decision of one or two committee members doesn't make it unfair. Is it unfair that a single referee in the NFL can totally change the complexion of the game with his, and only his, whistle? Home plate umpire in MLB with perhaps less than an ideal angle on a close play at the plate? I spent over 10 years as a college basketball official and believe me, you do not go into these situations with a jaundice eye. You can't...you wont' survive. You call 'em as you see 'em and let the chips fall where they may.

    How much different would this discussion be the the Buick was involved instead of PM...or CM instead of Strega? Or would we be having this discussion at all? Does the fact that it's a fan favorite or a legend change (or at least bend) the rules? The NBA does that all the time with their stars and at least from my seat it hurts the game. When's the last time you saw Kevin Durrant or LeBron James called for a travel or a charge?

    You can't change the rules at half-time. If the classes and RARA want to get together and modify the rules to some degree, now's the time....not in the heat of battle.

    I share the passion, believe me. I live for this week in September. Let's keep things in perspective, work the issues in a constructive manner, and make it better next year and the years to come. No doubt some discussions will occur during the off-season regarding this an other matters. Having sat through many RARA debriefs I can tell you they are very thorough and feedback is taken seriously.

    BTW, DesertDawg, thanks much for the kind words. Appreciate it. To be clear, while I post on here from time to time, it's as an informed fan with a somewhat unique take on things...not as a member of RARA, per se. I wouldn't want to leave the impression I'm speaking for or on behalf of RARA. But I'm happy to offer up what I can with all that in mind.

    Cheers,
    Owen Ashurst
    Performer Air Boss - Reno Air Races
    Owner - AIR BOSS ONE
    San Diego CA
    http://airbossone.com

  10. #30

    Default Re: Tiger... just wow

    Quote Originally Posted by Air Judge View Post
    . And like most everyone else on here, I wish there was some wiggle room re: the altitude restrictions and showlines. Despite its continuing efforts to persuade the FAA to loosen up a bit, RARA and the UNL folks have been unable to do so. To blame RARA for the DQ's is a bit like blaming forest for the fires. And the UNL has little leverage other than to boycott. RARA is in a very tough spot in this regard and I hold to my original position. All things considered, they've kept this leaking boat afloat for three years under very difficult seas.
    I see it as two separate but related issues. One issue is the tight course, lack of "wiggle room" to make a safe pass if circumstance dictates that its about to happen on a particularly tight part of the course. As a non-pilot, I don't claim any expertise on that, other than realizing that you can't just "slow down" a race plane to delay a pass. That's just engineering- there are no brakes, and sudden power setting changes are a recipe for maydays. But I understand that the FAA may never give an inch on that. So let's assume that's just the deal we have to live with from now on. The boat leaks, and can't be patched.

    The other issue is the one that bothers me and I think COULD be improved. If the FAA won't bend on any of the issues above, then its in everyone's best interest to get human error out of the process, and use a set of sensors to determine violations so that the evidence is unequivocal. Back up the human judges with instrumentation so that its not just a fleeting memory of what each judge saw. Use available technologies so that every call of a violation has a VERY high certainty. NASCAR used to use stopwatches to determine things like pit road speed violations. When they switched to timing loops, all the whining stopped. When a judge has to say "I saw XXX" and there's no backup, there's always going to be room for doubt, especially when the racers themselves are getting better and better instrumented, such as the cameras that Voodoo and PM both carry. Yes, they're not accurate enough to be "admissible evidence," but they raise SO much doubt that the other party loses a lot of credibility when they don't have even better instrumentation to back up the violations. In the leaking boat metaphor, this would equate to having a better bilge pump. :-)

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