Tuesday, 12 March 2013 15:58
The Local Regulations for the 7th FAI World Paragliding Accuracy Championships Local Regulations in Babin do, Bjelasnica mountain, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, from 17th to 25th August 2013 are now published here.
Tuesday, 12 March 2013 08:17
The Hang Gliding Committee met at the 2013 Plenary in Lausanne last month to review recent Category 1 competitions, sanction upcoming Category 1 events and work through a few issues of interest to hang glider pilots.
The 15th FAI Hang Gliding World Championships in Forbes finished up at the end of January raising a few issues regarding glider certification and sprog measuring. There has been some concern about pilots flying uncertified gliders and/or prototypes in Category 1 events and the fairness issues there given that these gliders are not allowed in Category 1. The Committee spent some time focusing on how to better enforce this rule by gathering general glider measurements from manufacturers so the information can be used by stewards and meet officials to check against gliders where there is a protest or question about whether a glider is actually uncertified or a prototype. The Committee will also work on determining penalties for violation of this rule. Currently, penalties are set in the local regulations but the Committee would like to set standard penalties.
On the sprog measuring front, generally the system as it has evolved is worked nicely – and worked particuarly well in Forbes. The Committee would like to have more Stewards that are capable of measuring and/or someone in the organization that is capable of measuring. The Committee will also be working toward getting manufactures to include sprog measurements in their glider manuals.
In terms of upcoming Category 1 events, there was only a single timely bid for the 2015 Worlds from Mexico (our picture). After review of the bid and discussion of concerns about goal fields and security in general for foreigners traveling in Mexico, the bid was unanimously approved. The 2015 World will be held in Valle de Bravo, Mexico in March 2015.
After a bit of grumbling and difficulty enforcing the EN966 certified helmet rules, many competition pilots remain unsatisfied with the standard for hang gliding helmets. After meeting with a few pilots at Forbes to discuss the standard, the Committee has decided to form a helmet task force made up of competition pilots with technical knowledge who can research whether there is a standard that is more appropriate or at least as appropriate as EN966.
There was much discussion in the combined hang gliding and paragliding Committees meeting about mandatory live tracking for all Category 1 events. Most of the hang gliding Committee members felt strongly that live tracking should not be mandatory for hang gliding events because there is less of a need in hang gliding and because it would make a World or Continental meet impossible for nations where live tracking technology isn’t yet fully developed and usable (e.g. the US and Australia). The decision of the combined Committees was that live tracking would only be mandatory for paragliding Category 1 events.
The upcoming Category 1 World Championship in the Sport Class raised the issue of the current definition of a Sport Class pilot. There was much discussion about whether any pilot flying a kingposted glider should be allowed to participate or if it should be limited to pilots who have never participated in an Open Class Category 1 event. Some feel the Manfred Ruhmors and Jonny Durands of the world should be allowed to participate on Sport Class gliders in order to encourage participation and to spotlight their manufacturers’ Sport Class models. Others feel Sport Class should be limited to pilots that have not or could not participate in the Open Class World events. No final decision was reached, but Committee members will be informally polling potential participants and manufacturers and a ruling will be made prior to the 2014 Sport Class Worlds in Annecy.
Oyvind Ellefsen (Norway) was again elected to chair the hang gliding committee. Appointed members are Dennis Pagen (USA), Lorezo Labrador (UK), Jamie Shelden (USA), Klaus Taenzler (Germany), Flavio Tebaldi (Italy), Gordon Rigg (UK), Koos de Keizer (Netherlands), Niels Joergen Askirk (Denmark), Raymond Caux (France), Scott Barrett (Australia), Thomas Koller (Switzerland).
Saturday, 02 March 2013 09:55
The Paragliding Committee came up at the 2013 Plenary with no less than 28 items on its agenda. 43 delegates, alternate delegates and observers took part in its Open Meeting.
The main subject of discussion was the implementation of a new Competition Class. This has been reported on in a previous News on this website. The minutes and annexes will detail the different steps that led to the Plenary decision.
Associated to this new Class, a new End of Speed Section with altitude bonus was adopted. The original proposal was amended to accommodate special conditions, altitude measurement issues, etc.
Last November, the CIVL Bureau made mandatory the use of a second rescue parachute. The Bureau decision was amended as follows: “As an alternative to two reserve parachutes, a single reserve parachute easily deployable by either hand may be used.” This means: deployable in all conditions, even degraded flying conditions (spin, etc.). The Plenary also allowed a 2,000€ budget for the development of an automatic deployment reserve system.
The Pilot Declaration Form implemented last year, which purpose is to make pilots aware of their skill levels (or lack thereof), was updated. The Paragliding Committee will now work on a new IPPI Competition level or Super Licence or their equivalent, to define skills and procedure that could be made mandatory for pilots to enter Category 1 events from 2015 on. Probably one of the most important issue the new PG Committee will have to work on.
Many proposals, done in conjunction with the Software working group, were studied and not many passed, needing more work on their formula or consequences. Still it was agreed that GAP will become GAP PG 201x or GAP HG 201x and that the parameters that can be modified by the competition organisers will be fewer and clearer. It was also agreed that there should be some formalisation of how new features and software releases are tested prior to voting; they should be scheduled for introduction in a Cat 1 championship the following calendar year and be thoroughly tested in Cat 2 competitions in the interim.
Procedures were revised to allow the Committee to be more proactive in the review of bids for World and Continental Championships.
Live tracking is now mandatory in all PG Cat 1 events.
Joint Asia-Oceania Championships should be allowed soon. The aim is to help the development of these regions. In parallel, the Committee will study how to make the WPRS less Eurocentric.
The 2015 World Championship will take place in Roldanillo, Colombia from 10th to 25th January.
Stéphane Malbos (France) was elected to Chair the PG Committee. Members were appointed later. They are: Luc Armant (France), Hamish Barker (Australia), Raymond Caux (France), Josh Cohn (USA), Goran Dimiskovski (Macedonia), Joerg Ewald (Switzerland), Brett Hazlett (Canada), Didier Mathurin (France), Martin Scheel (Switzerland).
Wednesday, 20 February 2013 09:05
In the “A New Competition Class Is Born” article on CIVL website, it is declared: “CIVL, EHPU, PWCA, test pilots and PMA worked on a compromise that they agreed is the best long-term solution available." In the exhilaration of what we thought was a crucial decision, we got carried away and our statement has to be corrected. Neither EHPU, PWCA, PMA nor a test-pilot organization were formally represented at the Plenary. If some CIVL delegates or observers that took part in the decision process were members of these bodies, they were there in their name, and none of the above bodies have yet taken an official stance on CIVL decision.
Tuesday, 19 February 2013 10:06
The 2013 Plenary amended the November Bureau decision as follow: “From May 1st, 2014, all pilots must carry this reserve parachute plus one more. The latter must be deployable with the opposite hand compared to the main reserve or, even better, with either hand. As an alternative to two reserve parachutes, a single reserve parachute easily deployable by either hand may be used. Pilots are encouraged not to wait for this deadline to get equipped with a second reserve. Pilots should make sure that both reserve parachute, main and second, are within th maximum certified weight. Pilots should check and repack their reserves regularly and get used to throw them while in flight simulators.”
It is understood that – one or two – parachutes must be reachable and deployable in all conditions, even degraded (spin, etc.).
This decision concerns Category 1 events only. NACs, in their own competitions, are free to implement this rule following their own timeline or to not to implement it.
Another recommendation was adopted and a budget of 2,000€ adopted to test the Automatic Rescue and Alert System (ARAS).
(Photo from The Telegraph, UK, found on the www)
Monday, 18 February 2013 17:11
Shaping the direction of the hang gliding and paragliding competition scene, delegates and representatives from 34 FAI member nations, took part in the 2013 CIVL Plenary. Although held in Lausanne, Switzerland, participants came from five continents, and the impact of the decisions made will be felt worldwide.
Sunday, 17 February 2013 20:46
The 2012 CIVL Plenary in JiaoXi, Chinese Taipei, had decided that a new Competition Class should be created, implemented in 2014 and included in a “light” EN certification as soon as possible.
The 2013 CIVL Plenary in Lausanne, Switzerland, discussed at length the Paragliding Subcommittee proposals, amended it, and voted almost unanimously (minus 1 voice) for the implementation of a new CIVL-EN Competition Class (CECC).
For the first time, all parties involved in the decision making process agreed in a long term solution that comes as a conclusion to 14 years of debate about Serial vs. Open in Category 1 competitions (see our historical analysis here).
CIVL, EHPU, PWCA, test pilots and PMA worked on a compromise that they agreed is the best long-term solution available.
The implementation date of the new CECC has been pushed back to 2015 so that:
This new regulation concerns only Category 1 competitions. Regarding category 2 events, NACs are responsible for managing the sport in their own territories and are best placed to make judgements on which rules are appropriate for their events.
Wednesday, 13 February 2013 07:55
For the 2013 CIVL Plenary, the Paraglider Manufacturers Association (PMA), at CIVL’s request, created a proposal for a future paragliding competition class for cross-country competitions. This proposal, as well as the topic of equipment for such competitions in general, has been heavily discussed over the last several months, amongst pilots, officials, country associations and many others. These discussions will continue at the Plenary, and will most likely lead to a vote there.
The views of many players on this complex topic are well known, but to this date, no clear information existed on the point of view of those mainly affected by CIVL’s decisions: The
competition pilots themselves. Following a blog post by André Rainsford, a group from within the PMA approached CIVL and proposed a survey amongst competition paraglider pilots, to learn about their opinion on PMA’s proposal, and on the equipment topic in general.