Please also check a nice guide on lowcrop.aero usage by Ailsa McMillan.
- What is lowcrop.aero? lowcrop.aero is an online Outlanding Office for glider competitions. It allows you to run the Office without waste of paper and with easier communication between all concerned.
- How to install it? It is a server-side web application which stores all data in server database. So there's no need to install anything. You only need a computer with Internet access and web browser installed. If you're reading this FAQ it means this computer is ready right now. lowcrop.aero works also on smartphones, tablets etc.
- Can it be used outside of competitions? If it suits you, you can use lowcrop.aero for managing club outlandings too, just register a "year long" competition. Nevertheless lowcrop.aero targets in competitions so we will not introduce any special functions for out-of-competition purposes. For example, there will be no possibility to report an outlanding for pilot who has not been defined earlier.
- Does lowcrop.aero eliminate need for Outlanding Office? Not at all. Outlanding Office is still a focal point for managing outlandings. lowcrop.aero is designed to assist the Office, not replace it.
- How much does it cost? lowcrop.aero is free to use.
- What does it offer? For competition organisers it offers organised way of maintaining outlanding reports. It allows direct reports from pilots so people at Outlanding Office get fewer phones and make less mistakes when copying data. For pilots, it allows to make fast outlanding reports without waiting for phone line to be available. It also links directly to GPS navigational guidance services (like Google Maps) to assist retrieval crews.
- Why is it not available in my language? Because you have not translated it! We're looking for volunteers to help us translate lowcrop.aero to other languages. You help is appreciated, please contact us if you're interested.
- I want to test lowcrop.aero functionality. Do you have demo accounts? Yes we do! Live demo competition is available at this link. It is pre-filled with example competition data, however you can modify it as you wish. Test and experiment freely.
- How lowcrop.aero interacts with other competition websites? In general, it does not. lowcrop.aero is completely independent from other websites, official pages, scoring portals, competition blogs, etc. It means that there may be differences of data (like names of pilots) between lowcrop.aero and other websites.
- What support is provided? This is free service, so user support is limited by our time and availability, but we try to be helpful!
- I want to use lowcrop.aero for my competition. What do I do? On the main page of lowcrop.aero enter your e-mail and desired competition short tag (example tags: wgc2000, westcup etc). A competition-specific page will be created with initial administrative account. Details will be sent to provided e-mail.
- I haven't received the registration e-mail. Please allow several minutes and try again. The e-mail might be also categorized as spam by your e-mail operator so check for it in the "spambox" as well. If you have not received e-mail for more than an hour, try password recovery.
- What's next? After logging in, first thing to do is to set up basic competition data: full name, dates, place etc. Having that, start entering pilots data.
- I have dozens of pilots, do I have to enter all of them manually? Usually not. lowcrop.aero is capable to import pilot data from a Soaring Spot and StrePla scoring websites. So if your scorer has already entered and uploaded all pilots there, you can avoid typing them again for lowcrop.aero. After the import, manual updates to pilot list are still possible.
- Competition is registered, pilots entered, anything else? No, it's all you need to use lowcrop.aero as a basic electronic Outlanding Office. But if you want pilots or Team Captains to report outlandings directly to lowcrop.aero (yes, you want it!), please read the "Access for pilots and teams" section.
- How to report outlanding? It's as easy as filling out a simple online form. The only mandatory field is outlanding time, however competition procedures may require you to provide more information.
- Why do I have to report task distance made? First of all, you probably don't. Unless your competition rules say otherwise, reporting task performance is completely optional. Nevertheless it's very helpful to have your estimated result along with the outlanding report. It allows better preliminary scores and raises awareness for spectators and other pilots.
- How do I enter coordinates? System will accept coordinates in many formats and automatically recognise most of them. Please use comma and stop marks (, and .) only for decimal points (like in DD.ddddd and DD:MM.mmm formats). Other characters, including spaces, may be used to separate degrees, minutes and seconds.
- I've made an error in the report! No worries. Each report may be reviewed and updated. It may even be cancelled, however this operation is available only to admins. If you need to cancel the report, contact Outlanding Office.
- Can I get confirmation of the report? After submitting the online form, the report will be presented on the screen. This confirms that it has been properly stored in the database.
- What if I need immediate help? If you're injured or need other immediate help after outlanding, the very first step is to make a phone call to emergency services, competition director or another suitable person. Problem reported only via lowcrop.aero may not be noticed in time. You may use our system later, especially to provide your coordinates. This is secondary thing however - lowcrop.aero is not designed as an emergency system.
- Who can report outlanding? There are three categories of users. The first one is admins, which are competition staff. They may enter an outlanding report for any pilot and browse through all reports. This is the traditional way, when Outlanding Office deals with all reports by itself.
- How do I know if pilot has reported outlanding? Firstly, you'll see it instantly on the outlanding list on your screen. If you however do not want or can't sit next to your computer, you can set up an e-mail notification for new reports or their updates.
- How to login as a pilot? Enter your Competition ID (usually the numbers/letters at your glider tail) as the login. Password will be provided by competition staff. You can change it after logging in.
- How to login as a team? Use word "team" followed (without space) by your team name. For example: teamABC. Password will be provided by competition staff. You can change it after logging in.
- Can I create two accounts for one pilot? You can't. And it's not required. If more than one person is to have same access (for example: pilot and his crewmember) they should share one user account. Same goes for teams.
- I have two gliders with same Contest ID. Would it work? It is not recommended, but it will work as long as both pilots have different passwords. The better solution is to assign pilots a unique CIDs just for lowcrop.aero purposes. It's usually done by adding some extra character like dot or dash to pilot's original CID. Brief the pilot and Office on this to avoid misunderstandings.
- How to assign a pilot to particular team? Just make sure that "team" in pilot's setting is same as name of the team. Usually this will be some abbreviation of country or club name. Checking is done case-insensitive.
- Where to get passwords for pilots and teams? When adding pilots and teams random password are generated for all of them. After logging in you may change the password to one of your choice. Master-level admins are allowed to view and change any password. There is a feature to generate printable PDF file which is handy when distributing initial passwords.
- What is it? It's a small application for smartphones which allows outlanded pilots to report their status in just a few touches of the screen. The application is available for Android and iPhone devices.
- How to set it up? First you need to install the application, which is available on our website. Launch it and enter settings: competiton tag, glider ID (login) and your password. Ask for this data at the competition office. Application is now ready.
- How to use it? After outlanding launch the application and provide basic data: time of landing, status of glider. Your GPS coordinates will be aquired automatically. When done, use big "Send" at the bottom of the screen to upload your report. That's all.
- What can admin do? All admins are assigned an access level. Highest of them, called "master" gives access to everything: system configuration, pilots and teams, other admins and all outlandings, including ones from previous days. Second level, called "office" is designed for person running the Outlanding Office. It allows to enter, edit review and cancel all outlandings on a given day. The lowest level is "view" and as it suggests it allows a read-only access to all outlandings of the day. There's also "scoring" level, which is similar to "view", but presents data optimised for scorers.
- I forgot my password! Ask any of "master" admins to check or change it for you. If you're the only master admin, click here to recover your password.
- What in case of system failure? lowcrop.aero server is hosted by a professional hosting company, so the chances of unexpected system downtime are minimal. More likely problem is an Internet connection failure at the competition site. As lowcrop.aero is a web application, it cannot work in offline mode. To deal with such downtime all you can do is to revert to traditional paper reports. A template of a generic outlanding report is available as PDF in lowcrop.aero. You may want to print it before the competition and keep as a master for photocopying in case of Internet failure.
- How long outlanding data is kept? Users can only see outlanding information for current day plus extra 7 hours. Technically speaking, lowcrop.aero changes the date at 7 AM local time, so outlanding information does not disappear suddenly at midnight.
Using special links available to master admin, it is possible to export data from lowcrop.aero to be used by other pages. For example, list of outlandings may be displayed automatically on official competition website.
If you encounter problems, first please re-read this FAQ for an answer. If this does not help, please contact us. We also welcome messages regarding any bugs found or features you'd like to see.
Setting up a competition
After sending the report it will be shown for review. Coordinates will be presented in three different formats. Take a look at them to make sure your input has been recognised correctly.
Access for pilots and teams
Second category is pilots. Having his own password pilot can report own outlanding. This can be the pilot himself, using mobile internet access at outlanding spot or his helper who stays on the airfield. In any case, the report is made without any action from Outlanding Office. Of course admins will see the report on the global list.
Third category is teams. You can create a special "team account" which will be able to report and view outlandings for all team members. This is especially useful for Team Captains.
Long story short: pilot and team accounts are created for roles, not persons.
More information on lowcrop.aero mobile is available on a separate page.
There is always one admin of "master" level. This is the account which is created once the competition is registered on lowcrop.aero. It cannot be changed.
Data older than that is available to "master" admin only. All competition data is permanently removed 2 months after last competition day.