More than 100 microlight and paramotor pilots are in England this week, 20-27 August 2016, competing in the FAI World Microlight and Paramotor Championships. Pilots from 21 countries have converged on the local airfield of Popham, an hour southwest of London, to compete for separate World Championship medals and titles across several disciplines, in both paramotoring and microlights.
Microlight pilots, foot-launched paramotor pilots and paramotor trike pilots will all compete and have the chance to take home some silverware.
CIMA president Wolfgang Lintl said it was, “a rare opportunity to have trikes, three-axis and autogyro microlights together with the foot- and wheel-launched powered paramotors at one place, at the same time.”
He added: “I wish all participants good luck.”
Although different in performance, microlights and paramotors can in fact compete well alongside each other. Because while paramotors need light winds to compete, microlights can generally take off and fly in stronger conditions.
The result is paramotoring often takes place in the early morning or evening, when the air is calmer, and microlights fly during the day.
Each class of microlights and paramotors will fly a different series of tasks throughout the week.
Both groups of aircraft fly tasks con
sisting of three main types: Navigation, Precision, and Economy.
Navigation tasks involve long-distance flying, in which pilots typically cross a start gate and then navigate a route through a a series of waypoints over a period of up to 90 minutes (more for microlights), before crossing a finish point and returning to the airfield. Scoring is conducted through GPS-logged tracks.
Precision tasks are either landing based – e.g. spot landings – or for paramotors, also slalom-based. In slalom-based tasks pilots fly timed circuits around a course of inflatable pylons or poles.
Economy tasks consist of taking off with a measured quantity of fuel and using thermals to fly for as long as possible whilst still being able to return to the airfield.
The competition opened on Saturday 20 August 2016 and lasts for one week.
Follow the action on the competition website at www.wmpc2016.com.
Photo Credit: Wolfgang Lintl