Thursday, 13 December 2012 21:39
Ron NIckel was one of the pionneers of hang gliding. In 1964, he bought the first hang glider that John Dickenson ever sold. Ron taught himself how to fly and had a proper sail made to replace the banana plastic one. Ron is here with his wife Di and Graeme Henderson, who unearthed his story. The glider Graeme is holding is the original 1964 one. The older "Modern Hang Glider" alive to our knowledge! Thanks Ron for keeping good care of it. And rest in peace.
Wednesday, 28 November 2012 11:10
What’s up? A lot of work during and after our Bureau meeting in very windy Iceland. We published the minutes on our website, so please check them out if you want to know what’s up.
An important decision: making a second reserve mandatory in paragliding XC Category 1 championships. A specific News was published.
The month summerized…
Sunday, 25 November 2012 09:55
During its recent Autumn meeting, CIVL Bureau reviewed reports from accidents, some fatal, in Category 1 and 2 events.
From these reports, a recurrent problem was identified. In degraded conditions (stall, spin…) some pilots were unable to reach and use their reserve parachute and fell to the ground. CIVL Bureau believes that these accidents might have been avoided if these pilots had been equipped with a second reserve deployable with the opposite hand compared to the main reserve or with both hands. This analysis is in line with the analysis of the Paragliding Competition Safety Task Force report (published in December 2011) concerning Piedrahita 2011 World championship accidents.
Therefore, the CIVL Bureau has decided to make a second reserve mandatory for FAI Category 1 paragliding XC events from May 1st, 2014. All pilots should carry the current mandatory reserve parachute plus one more. The latter must be deployable with the opposite hand compared to the main reserve or, even better, with both hand.
The Bureau encourages all pilots not to wait for this deadline to get equipped with a second reserve. Many manufacturers already sell harness that can fit two reserves. Some other manufacturers will be able to supply owners of existing competition harnesses with pods with integrated reserve parachute container. Pilots would not necessarily need to buy a complete new harness.
The Bureau also encourages pilots to check and repack their reserves regularly and to get used to throw them while in flight simulators.
Carrying a mandatory second reserve has the support of the Paraglider Manufacturers Association (PMA). It will also be considered by the PWCA.
This Bureau decision will have to be ratified by the Plenary in February 2013. (item left out by mistake and added on Nov. 29)
Thursday, 22 November 2012 14:32
The CIVL Bureau held its Autumn meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland. The minutes are published here. They include proposals and recommendations from the Bureau, Subcommittees, Working Groups and Officers. These proposals are not formal yet, still they should give all Delegates an idea of the Plenary Agenda. We encourage them to read carefully these minutes before pushing their own proposals for the next Plenary (deadline: December 14, 2012).
Thursday, 08 November 2012 09:00
The CIVL held its traditional Autumn meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland, from November 1st to 4th. Minutes of this meeting will be published soon. Some highlights…
- Subcommittees, working groups, stewards and jury reports were reviewed, with special attention to their recommendations for change.
- Reports on various FAI meetings were made by CIVL President.
- Current CIVL budget was analysed and provisional budget worked on.
- Safety issues in all disciplines were reviewed. Proposals and statements will be made concerning, among others, sprog measurement (HG), additional rescue parachute (PG), qualification criteria and possibilities of mandatory live-tracking devices.
- The future of PG competition gliders was again analysed in the light of the recent PMA letter and proposals to CIVL. PMA proposals were considered in line with what was voted unanimously by delegates at the last Plenary and will now be discussed by the PG Subcommittee. Proposals will be made at the next Plenary.
- The procedure for bids for category 1 championships was reviewed. Proposals will be made so the Bureau and Subcommittees can have a more active role in their selection.
- The FAI anti-doping scheme was discussed. The Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) was again underlined as a document crucial for the competition pilots.
- A reflection on the way CIVL works globally was undertaken and is still ongoing. It should evolve in proposals for new Internal Regulations, including the way the Plenary works, the way the Bureau is elected, its length of term and the jury / stewards scheme.
- Finally, following the resignation for personal reasons of the Chairmen of both the Paragliding Subcommittee and Records & Badges Subcommittee, the Bureau has appointed two Bureau members to hold these offices temporarily until the next Plenary (Stéphane Malbos for PG, Igor Erzen for R&B).
Sunday, 04 November 2012 09:27
Monday, 22 October 2012 18:57
The CIVL Bureau and others Officers are getting ready for the Bureau Autumn meeting in a few days. A look on its agenda shows that it should not be too boring...
Jury and Steward
Review of Jury and Steward reports for 2012 championships
Review of Steward reports for 2012 pre-championships.
Selection of Jury and Stewards for the 2013 championships.
Selection of Stewards for the 2013 pre-championships.
Subcommittees and working groups
Review of reports.
Bids for cat1 competitions
2015 is a FAI World Championships year : HG, PG, PG Accuracy, HG and PG Aerobatic.
Review of Bids’ documents:
Practical guidelines for organisers of competition
PMA, EHPU and the future of PG Competition glider
CIVL Competition Coordinator, Secretary and PR
What is needed?
Section 7, CIVL Internal Regulation, Term of Reference
Other pending matters…
Go through the Bureau To Do list.
Friday, 19 October 2012 12:08
At the 2012 FAI Awards Ceremony held yesterday in Antalya, Turkey, John Dickenson was presented with the FAI Gold Air Medal by FAI President John Grubbström for his great contribution to the development of aeronautics by inventing the modern hang glider.
The FAI Gold Air Medal is the one of the two most prestigious FAI Awards together with the Gold Space Medal. It is reserved for those who have contributed greatly to the development of aeronautics by their activities, work, achievements, initiative or devotion to the cause of Aviation.
Thursday, 27 September 2012 09:41
FAI - CIVL - The Plenary - The Bureau - Communication - FAI and CIVL Sporting Code - FAI Events - Category 1 Events - Category 2 Events - Jury and Steward - Accuracy and Aerobatics Judges - WPRS - World Online XC Contest - Records- Badges - IPPI Card - Awards.
Established in 1975, Commission International de Vol Libre (CIVL – Hang Gliding and Paragliding Commission) is an Air Sport Commission (ASC) of the Fédération Internationale Aéronautique (FAI), founded in 1905 in Paris, France, and today based in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Alongside our disciplines, FAI structures its activities under eleven other ASCs: Aerobatics, Aeromodeling, Amateur Built and Experimental Aircraft, Astronautic Records, Ballooning, General Aviation, Gliding, Microlight and Paramotors, Parachuting, Motorcraft, General Airsport.
FAI and all ASCs, including CIVL, each have their own dedicated FAI websites.
This document is designed to provide an introduction to CIVL, and supplementary to the official reference documents, including FAI and CIVL Statutes, By-Laws, Internal Regulations, Terms of Reference, Sporting Codes, etc.
The nation members of FAI are represented by their National Air Sport Controls (NAC). Members may be Active, Associate, Temporary or International Affiliate. All members are listed here. Only Active members can vote at the annual General Conference.
Air Sport Commissions also have voting power at the General Conference.
FAI is run by an Executive Board that implements the policies and decisions taken by the General Conference. The Board includes a President, six Executive Directors and one Secretary General (non voting).
FAI Vice-Presidents have specific voting powers on some matters. Are FAI Vice President: the Presidents of Air Sport Commissions and representatives of NACs that are FAI Active members.
Technical commissions have been established to cover cross-commission matters: Aviation and Space Education, Airspace and Navigation Systems, Environmental, Medico-Physiological.
FAI Secretariat is responsible for day to day operation of FAI.
Internal Regulations and Terms of References must not be in conflict with FAI Statutes and By-Laws.
The working language of CIVL is English.
Each nation member of FAI may appoint a Delegate and Alternate Delegate to represent its interests within CIVL. All Delegates are listed here. All Delegates can vote at the annual CIVL Plenary.
CIVL is run on a day to day basis by a Bureau elected by the Plenary. Current Bureau members are listed here.
CIVL has set up Committees, Working Groups and Technical Officers. Committees are permanent and Working Groups can be permanent or temporary. Technical Officers and other representatives are designated by the Bureau. Their Terms of Reference are agreed by the Plenary. All CIVL Officers and officials must have the support of their NACs.
Current Committees are: Aerobatics Competition - Hang Gliding Competition - Paragliding Accuracy Competition - Paragliding Competition.
Current Working Group are: Software (permanent).
Current Technical Officers are: Communication - Competition - Environmental Affairs - Jury and Steward - Record and Badges - Safety - Sporting Code.
Other temporary appointments are: Pilot Entry Screening Committees.
CIVL Plenary traditionally meets every year in mid-February, either in Lausanne (FAI headquarters) or in any other country whose invitation to host the Plenary has been accepted by the previous Plenary.
A Bureau meeting is set three days before the Plenary (usually Wednesday). Committees and Working Groups meetings are set two days before the Plenary (usually Thursday and Friday). The Plenary is spread over two days (usually Saturday and Sunday).
Reports and minutes
Subcommittees and Working Groups pre-Plenary meetings are summed-up in reports that are examined and voted on by the Plenary. Plenary minutes and reports (and archives of past Plenaries) are published no later than 45 days after the Plenary.
Every 2 years the Plenary elects a new Bureau. The Bureau includes a President, four Vice Presidents, an Administrative Secretary and a Financial Secretary. It ensures the policies and decisions taken by the Plenary are implemented, and basically runs CIVL on a day to day basis. The Plenary can delegate some responsibilities to the Bureau. The Bureau is empowered to make decisions outside of the Plenary’s delegation, but the next Plenary must ratify these decisions.
The Bureau holds formal physical meetings twice a year. Its first meeting is scheduled in September, October or November. Its second meeting is scheduled just before the Plenary. The date, place and agenda of these meetings are agreed upon between Bureau members. Minutes of Bureau meetings and archives of past Bureau meetings are published here (under “Meetings”).
The Bureau regularly holds informal Skype meeting. The time and agenda of these meetings are agreed upon between Bureau members. The Administrative Secretary reports on these meetings.
Most of the Bureau exchanges and work is done through Basecamp software, a web-based project management and collaboration tool. Besides the functionalities that Basecamp offers, the exchanges and work done can be archived, and therefore used as references for future Bureaux.
FAI / CIVL website is the main method of communicating to the rest of the world. We encourage you to explore its many sections and pages. The current Website Content Officer can be reached here.
Two mailing lists are currently available:
The General Section of FAI Sporting Code deals with matters that are common to all Air Sport Commissions in three major areas:
The General Section chapters:
The General Section is the responsibility of the Air Sport General Commission (CASI).
CIVL, as other Air Sport Commissions is responsible for the specific rules and procedures that applies to its disciplines. These are defined in the different Sections 7 of the FAI Sporting Code:
Our disciplines and competitions are intricate and need precise definitions. Sections 7 try to deal with all subjects and situations. Therefore Sections 7 are sometimes intricate to use: Section 7B for paragliders has more than 1100 sections and sub-sections! To help you work well with it, use the index published in the first pages of the each Section7 (about 270 entries for 7B).
When needed (in fact every year), the CIVL Plenary adjusts its Sections 7 rules. Unless specified otherwise, all new rules are implemented on the 1st of May following the Plenary.
In its General Section, FAI has classified “Events” in 7 groups: National Sporting Events, National Championships, International Sporting Events, Open National Championships, Continental Regional Championships, World Championships and World Air Games.
CIVL deals mainly with Continental and World championships, both classified as Category 1 events, and International sporting events classified as Category 2 events.
World and Continental championships as well as World Air Games are FAI Category 1 events. CIVL Continental and World championships are run in alternate years. Category 1 events are managed according to Sections 7A, B and C, in conjunction with the General Section and Local Regulations.
Organising a Category 1 championships starts with preparing and presenting a bid to CIVL Plenary. The bid must be supported by the bidder’s NAC and by the local authorities. The Orgaizer Agreement must be signed at the time of the presentation of the bid. All bids are examined by the appropriate Committee and then voted by the Plenary. A pre-World or pre-Continental event is organized one year before the World or Continental championship, under rules as close as possible to the championship.
A Guidelines for presentation of bids, a Practical guidelines for organisers of competitions and other documents are available in the Document pages of CIVL website under "Event Organisers". General informations about organising FAI events are also available on CIVL website.
FAI Category 2 Events are… whatever is not Category 1!
CIVL events are managed according to Chapter 4 of Sections 7A, B and C, in conjunction with the General Section. They must follow “as far as appropriate” the rules of Category 1 events and must not conflict with them “in principle”, which leaves enough room to organizers to adjust to their specific needs.
Most documents available to help organizers of Category 1 Events can be used by organizers of Category 2 Events:
The organiser's NAC must approve the event.
Jury and Stewards are the FAI Officials in attendance at Category 1 Events. A CIVL-appointed Steward is present at pre-World or pre-Continental competitions.
The Steward is the neutral and independent element between the organisers and the competitors. The Steward interacts with the meet officials and Jury for the purposes of providing help and guidance, and especially rule interpretations and factors affecting the fairness and safety of the competition. He is a source of technical information concerning the rules and scoring for the meet officials. However, the Steward is not empowered to overrule officials. The Steward reports back after the events to CIVL.
The Jury attends the competition for the sole purpose of observing the conduct of the competition, to ensure the event is run according to the FAI rules. The Jury will rule on protests which may affect the outcome of individual pilot or team scores. This factor will also affect meet officials if re-scoring or rule interpretations are indicated.
Training is provided for Jury and Stewards through seminars organized each year during the CIVL Plenary and by shadowing experienced CIVL Officials at events.
All matters concerning Jury and Stewards are overseen by the Jury & Steward Coordinator, who reports to the CIVL President. The coordinator maintains the database of volunteers and communicates with them about upcombin Category 1 and Test Events. His recommendations are forwarded to the CIVL Bureau for ratification.
Both Paragliding Accuracy and Aerobatic competitions require the presence of judges.
Relevant chapters of Section 7 describe the specific duties and roles of these judging teams. The Paragliding Accuracy and Aerobatic sub-commissions organise training sessions for their judges. Databases of qualified Judges are maintained on the CIVL website.
The World Pilot Ranking System (WPRS) was created in 1998. It aims to rank pilots and nations around the world in a fair manner, so the rankings will show the strength of each, based on the results of Category 1 and 2 competitions in which they have participated. The pilot points are based on the sum of 4 best competitions in the last 3 years with time devaluation.
The original formula for scoring points has evolved throughout the years. Current formulas are shown in the each category page. Former formulas are here.
Today, more than 8 000 pilots from 55 nations are ranked in 8 categories.
Pilots should check that their personal record shows the correct nationality, particularly as there are a few pilots of unknown nationality. Go to the rankings and check that you are there (if you've flown CIVL Category 1 or 2 competitions in the last few years you should be). By going to the Register page (under the Pilots menu) you can update some of your own details. Contact CIVL's Competitions Coordinator, if your nationality is wrong or you can't find yourself (and think you should be there).
The first official World Online XC Contest (WXC) came to a successful close in October 2011 after a two year trial. Some 4663 pilots from 52 nations entered flights via nine separate networked online contests in 12 categories. All winners received FAI Diplomas.
The philosophy of the WXC is to connect current and new online contests into a single network. Pilots use their favourite contest to claim their flights. Without any additional steps, their flights are also claimed in the CIVL WXC contest, along with those from pilots from all over the world.
To attend, pilots need to have a valid FAI/CIVL ID. Pilots who participate in a Category 1 or 2 event since 2001 are automatically in the FAI/CIVL ID base. Other pilots should register through the CIVL website ranking pages. Once identified, each pilot then registers in his home online contest server.
A season runs from October 1st to September 30th. Rules of the WXC evolve based on changes in technology and flying practices. Current rules are published here. All these information, rules, regular news and more are detailed on the WCX website.
FAI is the international authority that oversees and validates all World and Continental record claims. Hang gliding and paragliding have records for the following flights:
Records may be claimed in the following categories:
To be recognised as a new record:
FAI proficiency badges are standards of achievement, which do not require to be renewed. They are intended to provide a graduated scale of difficulty to measure and encourage the development of a pilot's flying skill, particularly in cross-country flying.
The Bronze badge should be achievable by most pilots within the first year of active flying, with the Silver following in the next year or two. The Gold badge should be achievable for most pilots within the first five years of cross country flying. The Diamond badge should be achievable by perhaps half of all pilots within ten years of flying.
Since 2012, Badges for Paragliding Accuracy achievements are also available.
Description, requirements, special conditions and issue of badges are found in chapter 2 of Section 7D.
The IPPI card was introduced in 1992. Since then, national associations and pilots around the world have benefitted from CIVL’s internationally recognised standards: Safe Pro (for hang gliding) and Para Pro (for paragliding). The card provides a standard reference against which all national rating programs may be compared.
CIVL’s pilot rating systems reflect pilot proficiency. For the pilot who flies outside of his known area or travels abroad, it is a simple method of providing proof of flying experience and proficiency. The IPPI card - together with the national rating card - identifies the pilot skills. It gives flying site managers, instructors and others responsible for hang gliding and/or paragliding flight operations a start point towards verifying a pilot’s experience level prior to approval of flight activities.
The IPPI Card is issued by the national hang gliding and paragliding associations. CIVL encourages all pilots to use the IPPI card and all national associations to promote it.
All information concerning the IPPI Card, including samples, application forms, recognition and use are published in the IPPI Card pages of CIVL website.
FAI has established two types of awards:
FAI can also appoint for life Companions of Honour. 33 have been honoured in this way (up to October 2011). Finally, The Prince Alvaro de Orleans Bourbon Grant can be awarded every two years with the goal of supporting research and innovation focused on the advancement of sport aviation and simulated flying.
These awards, Companions and grants are detailed in the Awards pages of FAI website.
CIVL is particularly concerned with two discipline-specific awards:
The Hang Gliding Diploma (24 recipients).
Established by the FAI in 1979, it may be awarded every year to an individual who is considered to have made an outstanding contribution to the development of hang gliding and paragliding by his or her initiative, work or leadership in flight achievement.
The Pepe Lopes Medal (5 recipients).
This Medal was established in 1993 in memory of Pedro Paulo "Pepe" Lopes of Brazil who was the World Hang Gliding Champion in 1981. It may be awarded annually for outstanding contributions to sportsmanship or international understanding in the sport of hang gliding.
Tuesday, 25 September 2012 14:26
CIVL took the opportunity of the FAI European Paragliding Championships in Saint- André-les-Alpes, France, to convene a meeting on September 15th between CIVL, the Paraglider Manufacturers’ Association (PMA) and the European Hang gliding and Paragliding Union (EHPU) representatives. The primary topic on the agenda was to discuss possible solutions to the competition paraglider situation. Unfortunately, PMA was not ready to attend the meeting. CIVL suggested to meet PMA during its General Assembly in Saint-Hilaire-du-Touvet, France, during the Coupe Icare on September 20th. This report concerns both meetings.
In Saint-André, CIVL and EHPU agreed that the introduction of high-level competition paragliders in the EN certification scheme has distorted and devalued the system, which was originally intended to give leisure pilots an indication of the skills required to handle these certified paragliders. It was not intended for competition paragliders. Both parties agreed that solutions to re-introduce a paraglider Competition Class had to be found outside the current EN. However, the parties stated differing views on what these solutions should be.
EHPU attendees to the meeting promised to finalize their position in writing to CIVL as soon as possible. We understood that EHPU would like CIVL to oversee the process of defining Competition Class paragliders, with a set of “technical requirements” that would be added to the current EN-D requirements. Only paragliders meeting both EN and CIVL requirements would be allowed in Category 1 competitions.
CIVL maintained the stance it took during the February 2012 Plenary. Category 1 events should be flown on current EN certified paragliders until a solution is found. A new Competition Class should be created outside current EN, whose technical requirement would be defined by PMA, approved by CIVL and hopefully supported by EHPU. This new Competition Class could possibly be included in a new “light” EN-X (light meaning less manoeuvres, hence cheaper test and faster revisions of EN-X). In parallel, with the help of PMA, the qualifications needed for competition pilots to be flying on the new Competition Class paragliders would be defined and included in a mandatory scheme.
CIVL also stressed that, in the current EN-D testing programme, gliders are flown in configurations that do not relate to competition flying, such as using regular rather than cocoon harnesses; and performing manoeuvres that are seldom encountered, while common real problematic situations are not tested. Hence, the current EN-D certification process does not seem entirely relevant for competition class gliders. CIVL believes that a radical review would be required, if EN-D was to be made mandatory for competition gliders.
In Saint-Hilaire, CIVL explained to PMA its views on paragliding competitions and hoped that PMA would agree to work on requirements for both competition paragliders and pilot qualifications. PMA underlined the difficulties to reach a consensus on these requirements, but in the end, agreed that it was the only sufficiently qualified organisation to come up with an acceptable solution.
CIVL is now waiting for PMA proposals. CIVL is likely to agree to drive the process required to review PMA’s proposals and ultimately, implement an appropriate solution within CIVL rules.