An Open Letter

Posts: 48
Joined: February 25th, 2015, 5:36 pm
Division: C
State: FL

An Open Letter

Postby _deltaV » May 21st, 2016, 9:10 pm

I'd like to start this by thanking the organizers for Wright Stuff at Stout for picking an excellent flying venue and doing everything they could to ensure a great flying environment both to test and compete in. That being said, i'd like to raise an issue for future competitors and supervisors in order that this not happen again. Having a check-in area directly below air vents was perhaps the worst decision made in this event. When single digit gram measures are involved and every hundredth of a gram counts, everything comes down to having an accurate and fair scale at competition. The competitors should not be held accountable for a guesstimation of mass when the scale fluctuates plus or minus .12 of a gram. Modifying a plane that has been precisely tuned in order to perform a certain way throws out the adjustments being made before competition. In addition, when massing motors where accuracy is perhaps the most important, fluctuations of plus or minus .05 of a gram are completely unacceptable and again competitors should not be held accountable for the inaccuracies of the scale due to poor location. I personally have the exact same scale the supervisors used and had no fluctuation whatsoever before the competition. In addition, I find it unprofessional to refuse a request to use a different scale, identical to the "official" one next to it, to try to correct the massive fluctuations.

TL:DR Don't put a check in station below air vents then hold competitors accountable for scale fluctuations.
Boca Raton High School
- Helicopters - Microbe Mission
- Chem Lab - Experimental Design

"Remember kids, the only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down." -Adam Savage

Posts: 673
Joined: July 25th, 2012, 5:04 pm
Division: Grad
State: FL

Re: An Open Letter

Postby retired1 » May 22nd, 2016, 1:25 pm

I agree with the ES in not letting you use your balance. That said, it is too bad that they could not have found a large box or an umbrella to shield the balance. That is why analytical balances have glass cases. I suspect that they would have needed to move the balance about 20 feet to get it out of the worst of the air blast.
One time, I took a certified set of weights, just in case of a disagreement. One time I took a certified digital caliper to insure that their device was accurate. Unfortunately, I no longer have access to that good stuff.

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