This is something I wish I never needed to pen, and one reason I got out of the quad-racing business so fast. The DLG community has always been about friendship, honesty, and happiness above money. But unfortunately, even minor internet fame can hurt one’s judgement, and while I don’t want drama and did not want to make this public, I have no choice but to respond to false public allegations. This will be my one and only statement on the matter.
First some background.
Like many sports, Sponsorship is a way for us as a vendor to provide assistance to pilots who show enthusiasm, talent, hard work, potential, results, and a strong desire to get to the very top. Flying DLG’s is not inexpensive, and at the very top of any game, money might become a factor in whether the next World Champion can reach the prize or not.
Through our Sponsorship, we invest in providing discounted gear to our pilots even with our limited supplies as it is to make sure their financial burden to reach the top is shared, and that they have access to what they believe is the best models to suit their needs. In return, Sponsored Pilots help provide visibility to our models, and show our presence at events around the world. Team pilots are expected to always maintain professionalism and enthusiasm for the sport.
On a year-to-year basis, we enter into an agreement with details of the Sponsorship, and requirements of the Sponsored Pilot. We maintain a policy where Team Pilots can and may test any model they desire, post about other models, and recommend other models to others if they feel it is better for that person and application. It does not affect their future as a Team ArmSoar pilot. The reason is, I believe there is no one single model that will fit 100% of the conditions for 100% of the pilots, and I strongly believe that truth and credibility come before the sales. That’s why I, as owner of ArmSoar, will even recommend potential customers to get a used model, or a model from another company, if I believe that is something that is more appropriate for them.
If a Team Pilot tests a model during their Sponsorship year that they like more, they are free to use it in competition once the Agreement is over (end of year). This ensures that the promise between ArmSoar and the Team Pilot is kept, that they have the flexibility of choice as yearly agreements are relatively short.
Pierre Meunier & F3K Review
There is no doubt that Pierre is one of the most talented DLG pilots in the world right now, with rocket advancement through the ranks of the F3K elite. It was my pleasure to be able to have him on Team ArmSoar flying the Vibe series. When he started the YouTube channel F3K Review, I believed that it was a perfect way to reach more potential DLG pilots, grow the sport, and educate upcoming pilots. In the early days of F3K Review, I had offered lots of encouragement to grow the channel, insight on how the YouTube/Social Media influencer industry works, encouragement to do unbiased reviews for any model at any price point, and even publicly defended Pierre and the channel against critics online multiple times in forums.
However, starting in September 2017, there has been a series of events that have made it impossible for ArmSoar to continue its relationship with Pierre Meunier and his YouTube channel F3K Review.
September 16-17 following the French Championships, Pierre publicly and unprofessionally ‘quit’ F3K citing unfairness in competition. Following my gathering of as much information as I can from social media and the French forums, as well as interviews with people at the event, it became evident that Pierre had used a model during one round that was not checked and processed before the event. In other words, an ‘illegal’ model, and was awarded a ‘0’ for the round by the Jury causing him to not make the fly-offs. He then publicly ranted that it is unfair, and he should not receive a ‘0’ as he is the top French pilot at the 2017 World Championships. Following his quitting of the Team before Agreement end and unprofessional behaviour, Pierre was removed from the Team.
Several months later, he expressed interest to be back into flying F3K competition and would like to try the newest model from ArmSoar – the BAMF. Hoping that past was behind him, I agreed and sent him a model with no commitments other than explicitly stating and mutually agreeing that the model and servos are free to use and review only so that he may test it, fly it in competition if desired, and have content to continue growing his channel, and that it must be either returned or sold with funds being sent back to ArmSoar if deemed unsuitable to his flying preferences.
Soon after testing the BAMF and reaching satisfaction with the model, we reached an agreement between Pierre, Superfly, and ArmSoar that Pierre will be flying for his new sponsor Superfly, exclusively with BAMF’s in competition provided through ArmSoar via regular Team channels. (Note, Superfly is an ArmSoar distributor, amongst other brands).
While it was true that during this time I had asked Pierre to please promote the BAMF more (Example: more social media posts) as he was promoting other models significantly more than his Sponsors' gear, I also explicitly noted that it’s not a problem to continue reviewing other models and have never asked Pierre or any other Team Pilot to only say good things about our products, speak bad about products from other manufacturers, or in any way falsely advertise. We are confident in our products and believe that customers getting correct and credible information is the only way everyone wins: The Pilots remain credible, the customers get what they want, and ArmSoar either sells a few more models or is informed of a potential area of improvement for the next revision making an even stronger product.
Then several things happened:
- I started receiving allegations from various sources including other manufacturers regarding the unethical practice of how their provided review models are sold, outstanding balances not paid, amongst other issues - I will let their respective parties post their own experiences if they choose to;
- After placing orders for more BAMF models at the Team pricing, Pierre suddenly expressed he would like to leave the team;
- It became apparent that ‘reviews’ on F3K Review have become non-credible and the planes' performances are directly tied with his fluctuating relationships with the models’ respective builders (during courtship, stable relation, and disagreement).
As such, it is not possible to continue a working relationship ArmSoar and Pierre Meunier / F3K Review. While I am extremely disappointed in ending the partnership, ArmSoar must stand behind its core values. I apologise for this long statement, but the false allegations must be addressed.
Owner | ArmSoar Composite Gliders