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OLC Regional Winners -- Diplomas OLC Lunch

The OLC regional winners will be recognized at the OLC Lunch at the SSA convention on Friday 1/29/2010. We hope all the winners can attend. Congratulations to the winners listed below:

SSA-OLC Region Winners 2009








Mark Koepper

GBSC Boston



Ron Schwartz

126 Association



Dale Kramer

Harris Hill Soaring Corporation



Peter Pfortner

Blue Ridge Soaring S



Werner Rüegger

Club GTA



Robert Fidler

Ionia Non CLub



Christopher Prince

Red Wing Soaring Assn.



Gary Boggs

Willamette Valley Soaring



James Garner

Albuquerque Soaring



Steve Nichols

Greater Houston Soaring



Ramy Yanetz

Northern California Soaring Ass.



Jim Payne

Tehachapi Soaring











Mark Koepper

GBSC Boston



Michael Higgins

M-ASA Mid-Atlantic Soaring Ass.



Dale Kramer

Harris Hill Soaring Corporation



Peter Pfortner

Blue Ridge Soaring S



Allison Tyler

Carolina Soaring Association



Robert Fidler

Ionia Non Club



Ted Clausing

Wisconsin Soaring Society



Keith Purves

SGC Seattle Glider Council



Randall Acree

Tucson Soaring Club



Ken Sorenson

Soaring Club of Houston



Ramy Yanetz

Northern California Soaring Ass.




Posted: 1/27/2010

OLC Convention 2009

February 21, 2009. The On-Line Contest will be hosting the OLC Convention USA 2009 in San Diego CA. The convention will be located at the Hilton Hotel San Diego Airport/Harbor Island from 2pm-5:30pm.

Reiner Rose and Martin Petz will have discussions on: 2008 season wrap-up, present USA winners, discuss OLC 2009, a 10 year review, different principles of league scoring from different countries, ideas, achievements, perspectives and a review for improvement. Plus a guest speakers sharing their amazing flight.

Complimentary courtesy vans are available from the San Diego airport and a discounted room is available if you mention the online contest when you book your reservation. Please contact Amber Day at Amber.Day@hilton.com or (619) 542-5108 . Further information can be viewed at www.onlinecontest.org.

Posted: 12/9/2008

SSA clubs sweep IGC-OLC World League Round 4

FAI Gliding logo
Soaring Society of America U.S. based clubs swept the top five places in the 2007 IGC-OLC World League Round 4 this past weekend.

Favorable ridge soaring weather put two teams flying out of Pennsylvania on top this week. The Ridge Soaring Irregulars were lead by Karl Striedieck at 147.04 km/h handicapped speed and John Seymour at 139.90 km/h, flying out of Mifflin County Airport, while also competing in the SSA 2007 15 Meter Nationals contest. Robert Harvey, 82, posted a 135.57 km/h score (without using water ballast) flying out of Ridge Soaring Gliderport. That brought the team total score to 422.52 km/h, the highest team score so far this year. This earned them the top spot in the world, worth the maximum of 40 points this round.

The Mid-Atlantic Soaring Association posted two blisterinig speeds this round, flying along the ridges upwind of their home base at Fairfield. Michael Higgins clocked in at 155.82 km/h, and Baudouin Litt was not far behind at 151.22 km/h, to help M-ASA post a 396.40 km/h total, giving them second place and 39 points this round.

Tucson Soaring Club of Arizona, Black Forest Soaring in Colorado and Warner Springs Gliders from California rounded out the top 5 clubs this week. They were followed by SFZ Königsdorf and LSC Schliersee of Germany, and AC Bolzano of Italy. Jerzy Szemplinski posted a 141.84 speed also ridge running in the 15m nationals out of Mifflin County to help put Ontario Canada based SOSA Gliding Club in 9th position.

In the overall scoring, U.S. based clubs hold six of the top ten spots, lead by Warner Springs Gliders with a total of 124 of a possible 160 points. They are followed by Tucson Soaring Club with 120, AC Esslingen of Germany with 118, and Black Forest Soaring with 115, and SFZ Königsdorf with 105 points.

The IGC-OLC World League is an international team gliding competition that runs in conjunction with the Online Contest for 19 weeks during the northern summer season. Individual scoring is based on highest handicapped speed in a 2.5 hour window. Points are assigned to the highest placing teams each round to decide the overall winner at the end of the season.

To follow the results of the competion throughout the season, go to the SSA web site and follow the links to "Sailplane Racing" then "Online Contest 'OLC'" and click on Scoring.

Doug Haluza
SSA-OLC Administrator

Posted: 5/23/2007

SSA-OLC 2.0 New Features!

The OLC Team is continuously making improvements in the new OLC 2.0 platform.  For example, new shortcuts in the right hand pane, are designed to make navigating the site easier.

Once you have logged in, the "My OLC" tab lets you quicly see all your claimed flights. It also lets you see your club's flights as well, so check this often to see what your fellow club members have been up to, both at the home field and while on soaring safari. And post your flights too, so you have a complete record of the club's X/C flying activity.

The "Quick Links" tab lets you jump right to the OLC claim form to claim your flights. The new claim form is much easier to use than last year. The new OLC 2.0 claim engine reads more information from the IGC file, and also knows you from your log-in, so you only need to fill in the missing information on the web form now. If you put all the information in your logger exactly as it appears on the OLC site, your claim will be completely automatic!

There is also a Quick-Link to the "Help/FAQ" page. There's lots of useful information there on problems people have had along with the solutions. Use this resource along with your local club members to make the OLC process smoother for everyone wherever you fly.

One thing you do need for a valid claim is an IGC or OLC approved logger, and logger validation problems are a common help topic. While there are many different tools for downloading your logger, if you have validation trouble, download the file from the logger again, and check the security code, using only the logger manufacturer approved software. This is especially important for Cambridge C302 users. If you can't get a valid log with this process, contact your logger manufacturer for support. If your log file is valid, but will not score, then send the file as an email attachment with an explanation to olc@ssa.org so we can fix it.

Another improvement is separate status indicators for scoring and validation for each flight claim in the "My flight book" button in the MyOLC tab. The flight state shows the progress of the scoring algorithm, which is run in order as each flight is uploaded. The IGC-data state shows the progress of the IGC validation which is also run spearately. During busy claim times, these processes can be backlogged, so please be patient. You will also receive a report via email with the final results now in OLC 2.0.

The new modular OLC 2.0 platform makes these types of incremental improvements possible, because the critical functions are broken down into many small modules. This allows different team members to work on different parts of the program simultaneously. Look for more improvements throughout the year.

The OLC server has also been upgraded and moved to a new hosting site. The new hardware has a dual-quad processor and 4 gigabytes of RAM memory to handle the extra processing demands now that the northern summer season is kicking into high gear. Hopefully these upgrades will mitgate the server probems experenced earlier in the season.

To navigate to the SSA-OLC page, go to "Sailplane Racing" in the menu at the left side of the SSA home page, and click on "Online Contest", or follow this link.

Doug Haluza
SSA-OLC Administrator

Posted: 5/12/2007

IGC-OLC World League starts this weekend!

The IGC-OLC World League starts its second season this weekend!

The Online Contest (OLC) League now covers all countries participating in the OLC for 2007. Last year, SSA-OLC League clubs took the top 5 places in the 2006 IGC-OLC World League competition sanctioned by the FAI (scoring is posted on the FAI web site here). This year, we need to do even better!

The IGC-OLC World League scores the top clubs from each national league in an international competition. The competition rounds run for 19 weekends from April 28 to September 2, 2007.

This decentralised soaring competition is based on the SSA-OLC Classic, but it is a speed, not a distance competition. No additional procedure is necessary to claim flights-all flights entered in the OLC will automatically be scored for the SSA-OLC national league, and the overall IGC-OLC World League.

Any pilot can participate in the SSA-OLC competition--all you need is a glider and a logger. You can register (or re-register) from the OLC home page by clicking on "Competitor" in the tool bar, then selecting Contest Registration (or Contest Registration Update). Then claim your flights each weekend throughout the summer before the Wednesday early morning deadline.

Rule changes for 2007:

  1. Pilots can start anywhere worldwide for their club; the need to start at a home airport has been eliminated.
  2. The best 10 clubs per country qualify for the World League scoring each round (In 2006, only the top 5 clubs were scored).
  3. The winning club will receive 40 points, the lower ranked clubs will receive (40-n) points, to a minimum of 1 point.
  4. The altitude at the end of the 2.5 hour scoring window must be equal or higher, than the start altitude.
  5. The remaining rules remain the same. Complete rules can be found on the OLC web site here.

Posted: 4/26/2007

SSA-OLC 2.0 Update

OLC LogoNow that spring has sprung, and pilots are flying X/C again, many are using the new SSA Online Contest 2.0 web site for the first time. Here are some tips to help the transition.

Flight claims through the web site are much easier than before. Many pilots were challenged by the old claim form, but now the server reads as much information as possible from the *.IGC log file, and only asks for the missing information. In fact, if you enter your name and glider information in your logger exactly as it appears in the OLC database, the claim is now completely automatic!

You can still make claims using 3rd party software like SeeYou and StrePla, but make sure you are using the latest version downloaded from their web site. The vendors release patches to correct problems, and there is no sense having a problem that is already solved. If you do have problems with these claims, contact your software vendor right away, and send them your log file so they can troubleshoot your problem before the claim deadline.

The claim deadline has been moved to midnight local time on Tuesday, instead of midnight GMT. Since there is one deadline for each country, and the U.S. is a big country, we now have an extra 10 hours (until 0959z) to enter claims. The Tuesday deadline applies to flights through Monday, so you have at least a full day to claim, and up to a week, but please claim as soon as possible. We want the SSA-OLC to be a near real-time information system.

When your claim is scored, you will now receive a confirmation email, so be sure your pilot registration has a valid email address. The OLC server scores the flight claims in the order received in a batch process, and it can get backed up during busy times. So there's no need to stay up late sitting by the computer waiting for your score to appear. Just go to bed, and check your email in the morning. The email will have a web link to your flight information page as well.

If your claim does not score properly, you can reply to the email for assistance. Be sure to attach your original *.IGC (or *.CAI) file as well. Then please be patient--the OLC team are all volunteers who provide assistance in their free time. Don't worry about the claim deadline if you have technical problems, it will be waived as long as your claim attempt was made in time.

One common problem is IGC files that are marked invalid. If you get a red-V on your claim after scoring, double-check your *.IGC file using the Vali-XXX.exe program from your logger manufacturer. If it does not pass, try downloading the log file from your logger again, using the manufacturer's DOS software. If you can't get a valid download, contact your logger manufacturer for assistance. Invalid log files cannot be scored.

If your logger file passes validation on your local machine, but not the server, download a copy of your *.IGC file from the web site, and save it in another directory, then run the validation program on that file. If that file fails, there was an error in transmission. Try your claim again, and if that fails, reply to your confirmation email with the valid file attached for assistance.

Sometimes the OLC server is not available, especially in the evening when U.S. pilots like to claim. Unfortunately, this is when the OLC team in Europe is sleeping, so they may not be able to restart the server until they wake up. The OLC is free to participants, so this does not allow for 24/7 paid support staff. The OLC team is notified when the server is down, so please be patient and someone will fix it as soon as possible.

The best way to have a positive experience with the SSA-OLC is to work together with your local club or group. The more experienced members can often encourage and help the others, and this enthusiasm is contagious. Please be an advocate for the SSA-OLC where you fly!

Doug Haluza
SSA-OLC Administrator

Posted: 4/14/2007

SSA-OLC Generation 2.0

Dear OLC participants,

On Monday October 9th, the aerokurier Online Contest 2006 year will end. From Tuesday October 10th, flight claims will be scored in the OLC 2007. The start of the new competition year will also mark the release of OLC generation 2.0!

The complete architecture of the OLC program and the user interface have been changed in OLC generation 2.0. The change-over to a modern system was necessary, because the old program could not keep up with the explosive growth of the OLC. To make OLC generation 2.0 the best it could be, a software engineering firm was brought in to help with their special know-how.

One of the big changes for 2007 is a much simpler flight claim process. This will really help the OLC continue to grow by making flight claims almost effortless. Your takeoff airfield will be automatically selected from the IGC file, and there is no need to enter the region. You won't have to wait for your browser to load and parse the entire drop-down list of 13,000 US airfields; the most likely airfield will be selected, and only a small number of alternates are loaded if needed. Also, start and end times are automatically selected, and the turnpoint optimization is completely automatic as well.

The new OLC generation 2.0 has been completely redesigned to be more user friendly. Hopefully the transition will be smooth, with minimal problems. If you do have difficulties with the new interface, don't worry. The submission deadlines for flight claims with technical difficulties will be waived, as long as the problem is reported by email before the 2400 Tuesday deadline. The submission deadline is now 2400 local time on Tuesday, instead of 2400Z, to give US pilots more time to submit their claims.

Some of the many helpful suggestions received have been implemented in the new OLC generation 2.0. Some more will be implemented later in the year.Please understand that it was not possible to implement them all, but your input is still appreciated, so keep the suggestions coming. Not all functions of the new OLC generation 2.0 will be enabled on the initial roll out, and will instead be phased in over time, so please be patient.

Remember that you will need to update your pilot registration information for 2007, but you can do it after you make your first claim. Please check your registration email address, so we can contact you if you have a problem with a claim. Make sure you chose the correct club affiliation, so you can participate in the IGC-OLC World League 2007. While you are at it, help sign up a friend as well!

If you prefer to use flight analysis software to make automatic claims, note that you will need to install a patch to make claims to the OLC 2007. Check your software vendor's web site for the OLC update. Make sure you also download and use the most up-to-date analysis software version available. You should also check with your logger vendor to make sure you have the latest revision of the internal firmware and download software to avoid unnecessary logger validation problems.

The OLC is still the worlds largest decentralized soaring contest, and continues to grow thanks to your support. Please help up make it even bigger and better in 2007!

Doug Haluza

Posted: 10/8/2006

Falling With Style!

For the OLC year 2007, Warner Springs will be hosting the "Falling With Style" speed trophy contest. This trophy will be awarded based on the "sprint speed" designed for the OLC-League. The flight must take-off from Warner Springs CA, and can be made anytime during the OLC 2007 year. The one fastest handicapped speed posted will determine the winner. The 2006 winner was determined by the fastest handicapped speed during the Region 12 Soaring Contest. Congratulations to the 2006 winner Tom Kelley of Alamogordo NM.

The trophy is an exact replica of a Schempp-Hirth SHK. It is made of lemonwood, aluminum, and over 500hours of building. The model uses aluminum where fiberglass would be used; this is done because of atheistics and it looks incredible. The detail is amazing beneath the wood panels; you can see the outline of stringers and ribs just as you would with a wooden ship. The cockpit is complete with controls, seatbelts, and instruments. You may view the trophy at Sky Sailing, Inc at the Warner Springs Airport between Palm Springs and San Diego California, or take a tow to try and have your name engraved!

Posted: 10/4/2006

SSA-OLC Breaks through 2,000,000 km in total claims!

The SSA-OLC just broke through 2,000,000 km in total claims for this year. This exceeds last year's total of 1,825,076 km. There are 666 pilots currently in the scoring, more than the 520 pilots from last year. So, the popularity of the SSA sanctioned aerokurier Online Contest continues to grow in the US. For more info follow this link: http://www.ssa.org/members/contestreports/OLC.htm

Posted: 9/7/2006

End of Season Sunset Warning for SSA-OLC Participants

As the days get shorter as the end of the soaring season nears, the SSA-OLC Committee has been receiving complaints about flights after sunset without required aircraft lighting. Although the requirements for night flight begin at twilight for pilots in the US, the requirement for aircraft lighting begin at sunset. Gliders without approved lighting must land, and move clear of lighted runways and taxiways before sunset.

IGC flight logs contain a GPS time stamp which is the most exact time standard readily available. So, violations of this requirement are quite plain to see in these logs. The SSA Board was concerned about flight logs with obvious violations damaging the sport if they were posted in the public record of the OLC. So the board adopted a policy disqualifying such flights from the OLC, as well as FAI awards such as badges and records. See:

The SSA OLC Committee prefers that pilots voluntarily remove the flights, rather than having them removed by an admin. We have contacted a number of pilots to request this, and they are currently in various stages of the 5-step grieving process (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance). You can avoid this emotional roller coaster by planning and executing your flights to be complete before sunset, unless you have approved night lighting.

You can't just duct tape a flashlight to the nose for night flight. The requirements for navigation lights are very specific to color, intensity and direction. If your aircraft is equipped with approved night lighting, and it was used for flight after sunset, you must put a note in the comments section of the OLC claim form explaining this.

We also have been advised of flight claims that show altitudes in the log well above the 18,000' MSL limit for Class-A airspace in the US. The IGC logger altitude is subject to a number of errors, which could total to several hundred feet. We are currently reviewing with the pilots a number of flights that appear to exceed even reasonable error budget.

Note that unless your flight reference altimeter has been properly calibrated for IFR flight, and is set to a current ATC altimeter setting, you will need to allow an extra buffer below 18,000' MSL indicated altitude to account for possible errors. If you have an encounter with an IFR aircraft with calibrated altitude references, the calibrated references and ATC logs will be used to determine your actual altitude in any subsequent investigation.

Again, if your flight log shows flight above 18,000 MSL, after correcting for field elevation at takeoff, you will need to provide an explanation in the comments section of the OLC claim form explaining this. The same requirement applies to entering special use airspace. This will immediately answer any questions that may concern other competitors, or anyone else reviewing your flight log in the future.

Finally, if you note a flight that appears to be questionable, do not speculate in public forums (like news://rec.avation.soaring). Contact the pilot privately if you can. If the flight is in the US, contact the SSA-OLC Committee by email at olcssaorg. Or use the complaint tab on the OLC Web header to initiate a partner check.

Doug Haluza

Posted: 9/1/2006