Rules of the Northern
Sponsored by the Chicagoland Glider Council Inc.
Updated: April 26, 2017
Northern Illinois Soaring Contest Rule Changes as of April 2017
1. Any day on which three pilots fly a handicapped distance of 40 statute miles will be treated as a contest day. Turnpoints are any public-use airport on the sectional chart in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana or Iowa and those RLAs listed on the Worldwide Soaring Turnpoint Exchange for the contest. The contest data base can be downloaded in a wide range of formats from that source. SSA glider handicaps will be used. The contest will be scored using the SSA’s Winscore program.
A. Assigned tasks with mandatory turn-points and no time limit, although minimum time will be one-hour if no other period is declared;
B. MAT (modified assigned task) tasks consisting of a series of assigned turn-points that must be flown in order, but the series may be cut short by returning to the finish and will be scored as completed tasks; a time minimum task time may be included (also with any declared time or the default 1-hour period); or
C. Turn area tasks with a set time or the default duration of 1hour, and defined turn-points with a defined radius for each as specified in the declaration (turn areas, the and finish must not overlap and must be separated by at least two statute miles).
3. While a scoring formula providing, in effect, a bonus for longer flights makes sense in terms of recognizing the increased difficulty of longer tasks, applying the bonus may be discouraging flights in club gliders that must be shared since pilots may not feel competitive. Therefore, the bonus will be eliminated.
4. Although the default time will be one hour, pilots are encouraged to declare longer time periods if glider availability is not a factor.
5. The start cylinder will be 2 statute miles in radius centered on any of the starting airports (Chicago Glider Club, Hinckley, Dacy or Sky Soaring). The top of the cylinder will be the lower of 4,500’ MSL or 500’ below clouds if clouds are present. The finish cylinder will be 1 mile in radius centered on the same airport from which the flight began. The floor of the finish cylinder will be 1,500’ MSL. The penalty for low finishes as provided in the SSA Regional Sports Class Rules will apply to finishes below that altitude. A pilot can start the task by thermaling through the top of the cylinder.
6. Scores will be computed using the SSA Rules. Scores will be tallied on a monthly basis. There will be a monthly winner each month from April through October. A month will count for purpose of determining a monthly winner as long as at least three pilots each fly at least two contest days in the month.
7. Scores will also be maintained on a cumulative basis for the year and the pilot with the best score for the year will be recognized at the end of the season. The contest will start on April 1 and end on October 31.
8. Pilots must submit the flight log to the scorer in a format that can be read by the SSA Winscore software, with a statement of the turnpoints claimed and the definition of the task, and with a statement as to whether it was declared in advance. Because Winscore requires the total weight of the aircraft, pilot and equipment, pilots must provide that weight with the first flight log submitted and advise the scorer of any revision of more than 10 pounds during the course of the season. Winscore adjusts the standard handicaps based on weight.
9. As in past years, pilots may carry water ballast in NISC contest flights. All pilots who take off with water will be scored as if all the water on board at takeoff was carried throughout the flight. When submitting flight logs for scoring, pilots are required to inform the scorer of the weight of the water on board (both in the wings and in any tail ballast containers) and of the revised weight of the glider at takeoff with water. (Winscore adjust handicaps based on glider weight. The adjustments can be significant. As an example, an ASG-29 with a light pilot and no water will weight about 803 pounds. The same glider with a pilot 60 pounds heavier and carrying 30 gallons of water will weight about 1103 lbs. Winscore calculates -- and we will apply -- a handicap of .8582 for the first pilot and .8075 for the second pilot.) Pilots should familiarize themselves with safety and handling issues for their glider before carrying water. For pilots without extensive experience flying with water in the model of glider used for NISC contest flights, careful review of the applicable provisions of the Pilot's Operating Handbook or other manufacturer information and of all applicable limitations relating to operating with water ballast is recommended – as is a discussion with an instructor experienced in flying with water ballast in similar gliders. As in all aspects of NISC flying, the pilot is solely responsible for the safety of his or her flight and for complying with all regulatory and POH requirements.
10. If not otherwise provided in the NISC rules, the 2017 SSA Regional Sports Class Rules will apply. All pilots will be responsible for their own flight decisions and for compliance with the Federal Aviation Regulations. Any complaints or protests may be sent to the scorer who will resolve them, unless he is involved in the matter, in which case it will be referred to a neutral and experienced contest pilot for decision.
11. By submitting a log for scoring or otherwise participating in the contest, a pilot agrees to be bound by the release of liability set out in full in complete rules.
Basic safety issues:
Don’t count on RLAs to be landable, especially for gliders! RLAs are often narrow. They can be misplaced on the map and databases. Some may have reverted to crops or become housing developments. Others are not often mowed or maintained, and may present a hazard due to high grass or potholes. RLA conditions can change over the course of the season. RLAs are private property. The Northern Illinois database carefully distinguishes between "airport" and "private". "Airports" are public use airports, and their location and landabilty is much more reliable. Fields with the "private" or "landable" attribute (depending on software) are RLAs, and subject to the above unreliability.
This warning includes such fields used as turnpoints.
Chicago airspace is very congested. Power planes are not looking for gliders, especially away from airports, and gliders are very hard to see. We strongly suggest that you purchase and install a transponder and/or a passive traffic avoidance device (zaon mrx) or power flarm. In any case, keep a sharp lookout. It is a good practice to occasionally take some turns on long glides so you can see behind you.
When possible, plan your flights to take you away from common approach routes, class B and C airspace, and the 30 nm Class B veil. Be aware of airways (the blue lines on sectionals) and VORs, and anticipate power traffic on airways and in the vicinity of VORs.
All pilots are required to comply with FARs, including cloud clearance and visibility requirements. You must wear a parachute on NISC flights.
Be careful around parachute operations, especially Skydive Chicago, Rochelle, and Beloit. Monitor their frequency when nearby. Parachute operations communicate with Chicago Center before jumps, so they know you're there but they don't know your intentions. Talking to the parachute operator is a good idea. Note: Skydive Chicago is not a permissible turnpoint. This rule has been adopted to discourage NISC flying in the area of that airport
The most common source of problems in cross country flying is putting off the decision to land in a field until too late, and as a result not doing a proper field inspection and pattern. Commit in advance of every flight that you will not make this mistake. Expect a scolding from the scorer if your trace shows a straight-in landing to a field at low speed, and points penalties for repeated violations.
Unlike SSA contests, there is no contest management to check weather and airspace (NOTAMs, TFRs, etc.). Each pilot must take responsibility to obtain this necessary informaton. Don't assume that because you hear others on the radio that they have done so.
Ask for help. Any of the NISC pilots at your airport will be delighted to guide you through the rules and procedures.
Please read the full rules for more information by clicking on the link below ("pdf").
The complete competition rules can be viewed as a pdf that can be downloaded and printed.
Results for 2018: 2018 Results
Below are the results from previous years (in Excel format).
The Northern Illinois Soaring Championships is a sports class contest. It has been won by pilots flying everything from a 1-26 to a Ventus. The top 8 daily scores (8000 points max) are counted each year. If not enough contestants fly, then some years have a lower possible maximum score (see rules for complete details). The winner is awarded a traveling plaque to hold for 1 year. The top 3 finishers from the previous contest are listed in order along with their aircraft and their point total/maximum possible points. Congratulations to all the previous winners of this contest.
The following list of winners will be brought up to date.
|2012||24||1||Herb Kilian||LS8-15||8000 (11 x 1000-day)|
|2||John Cochrane||ASW-27||8000 (10 x 1000-day)|
|2008||25||1||John Cochrane||ASW-27||8000 (10 x 1000-day)|
|2||Herb Kilian||LS8-15||8000 (8 x 1000-day)|
|3||Bob Macys||Ventus 2B||7965|
|3||Jeff Russell||LS 4||7784|
|3||Bob Macys||Ventus 2B||7526|
|3||Don Kroesch||Genesis 2||7684|
|1999||22||1||John Cochrane||Discus CS||7719|
|1998||20||1||John Cochrane||Discus CS||7795|
|1997||28||1||Neal Ridenour||Mini Nimbus||7791|
|2||Kevin Hobbs||Std Cirrus||7474|
|1995||25||1||Kevin Hobbs||Std Cirrus||8000|
|3||Bob Macys||Mini Nimbus||3792|
|2||Neal Ridenour||Mini Nimbus||7617|
|3||Bob Macys||Mini Nimbus||7579|
|1991||18||1||Bob Quas||SGS1-26 D||8000|
|3||Neal Ridenour||Mini Nimbus||7685|
|2||Bob Macys||Mini Nimbus||3774|
|1989||12||1||Bob Macys||Mini Nimbus||7156|