Monday, 11 June 2012 17:13
To the members of the European Hang gliding and Paragliding Union (EHPU) and Paraglider Manufacturers Association (PMA).
Safety in general and particularly in competition has always been and still is at the heart of CIVL work.
In the name of safety, as far as year 1999, proposals were made to CIVL Plenaries to run Category 1 championship with certified ‘Serial’ gliders only. The proposal were always rejected. Open class supporters argued that there were no statistics to prove that Open class gliders were any less safe than Serial class; that without an Open class, manufacturers will push Serial class design to the limits; that paraglider design and development would be restricted.
In recent years, paraglider design has been evolving radically and rapidly at the high performance end of the market.
In 2010, CIVL set up an Open Class Technical Working Group (OCTWG) to establish homologation criteria for Competition class paragliders. The first interim stage, required manufacturers to meet certain construction limitations and minimum test requirements for these gliders. Eventually, a new EN standard and certification system was to be developed.
Many discussions and some considerable work in conjunction with the PMA resulted in the definition and adoption in 2011 of CIVL’s ‘Competition class’ paragliders.
In 2011, following the double fatality on Task 2 of the World championship at Piedrahita, compounded by the high number of additional incidents, the CIVL Bureau made its decision to stop the competition by temporarily suspending the certification of Competition class gliders in FAI Category 1 events.
Most federations and private organisms like the Paragliding World Cup Association (PWCA) decided then that their competitions would be restricted to certified gliders.
In the wake of Piedrahita, CIVL set up a Paragliding Competition Safety Task Force.
As the Task Force was working, manufacturers started to design their competition gliders so they would fit in the EN-D certification class. Testing was extremely difficult and many thought that these new gliders were not to be considered as appropriate for pilots who normally fly serial class gliders in the EN-D class.
Thus, the fear, first voiced 13 years previously, that serial class glider design would be pushed to the limit, had been realised.
This seemed to have made all parties realise that some sort of new ‘competition’ class paraglider was necessary to avoid EN-D becoming the ‘competition’ class.
Last February, both PMA and EHPU wrote to CIVL just before it held its 2012 Plenary.
- PMA recommended the introduction of a new ‘Competition class’ outside the existing EN-D (time frame for the definition of this new class characteristics: end of June 2012).
- PMA also recommended mandatory specific SIV course for competition pilots flying in FAI Category 1 championship and PWC (time frame to define the manoeuvres: end of March 2012).
- EHPU stated that no satisfactory solution has been found after the 2011 suspension of Competition class paragliders. EHPU and the national bodies it represents decided that they would allow in their competitions only EN certified gliders “until a satisfactory solution can be found”.
CIVL Plenary worked extensively on what could be a satisfactory solution for all and agreed unanimously on these points:
- FAI Category 1 Competitions will be flown by certified gliders only in 2012 and 2013.
- CIVL is waiting for PMA proposals for the new Competition class paragliders characteristics. CIVL Competition paragliding sub-committee will study the proposals, will work in conjunction with PMA if needed, and will hopefully give its green light for use of these new Competition class gliders from 2014 on.
- CIVL would like the new Competition class gliders to fit in a new EN certification as soon as possible. This new certification should have to be simplified (less manoeuvres) so it can be easier and faster to be reviewed (hence cheaper). This would allow the implementation of safe limits as well as the evolution of paragliders design.
- CIVL is waiting for PMA proposals concerning the needed qualifications for pilots flying in Category 1 and PWCA competitions. CIVL is ready to include in its training program such qualifications in a form to be decided by its Competition paragliding and Safety sub-committees.
- Finally, CIVL has set up a Competition Structure Working Group to study the possibilities of alternate form of competition: Serial class championships, separate Team and Individual championships, Open distance championships.
CIVL hope that everyone will be convinced that these proposals are in fact a “satisfactory solution” that would allow the new Competition class paragliders to be flown in all competitions from 2014 on.
CIVL encourages PMA to work on this project as fast and as well as possible. A lot depends on PMA’s work.
CIVL is ready to make available its human and financial means so this global project can go forward, as long as all parties concerned – EHPU, PMA, ESTC – agree that this is the road that the paragliding industry and competition scene should take to come out of its current difficulties.
Saturday, 09 June 2012 10:26
Registration is now open for the Paragliding Accuracy Test Event of the World Games! Dates are 7th to 11th August, and the venue is Cali, Colombia. There are 36 places open to paragliding accuracy pilots, and interested competitors are requested to register as soon as possible.
Thursday, 31 May 2012 10:46
Some ninety-three Jury and Steward reports of competitions (from 1995 till today) have been collected, scanned and filed. They are available to delegates only, who can get any of them through Bureau members.
Dates and venue of the next Plenary are set. The Sub-Commissions and Working Groups will convene at FAI office and the Plenary itself at the Mövenpick Hotel on February 14th to 17th in Lausanne, Switzerland.
We’ve had problem with change of organizers for events like the 2014 Asia Paragliding accuracy, the 2013 Asian Paragliding Accuracy, the 2012 Paragliding pre-World. Problems have solutions and CIVL has been working on them.
The 2012 Category 1 competition season is on! It has started with the Asian Paragliding XC and will follow with the Asian Paragliding accuracy in June. Reports and pictures are published on our website in the Event / News of Events pages.
Thursday, 31 May 2012 10:22
FAI, an international federation, endorsed the World Anti-Doping Code in 2003. CIVL reminds pilots competing in FAI Category 1 and 2 events that they must comply to the said Code. You will find more details on the code and procedures on FAI website.
Friday, 25 May 2012 17:21
The 3rd FAI Asia Paragliding Championship has started in Linzhou, People's Republic of China. We publish at News of Events pages regular updates on this competition. The competition started May the 24th and will end on June the 2nd. About 70 pilots are attending the competition. Most pilots are Asian and a few come from other continents. Pilots are seen here lining up for registration.
Thursday, 03 May 2012 10:34
The ‘serial vs open class’ debate has been raging for well over a decade within the paragliding world. While the full impact of the change may not be discernible for some time yet, it is useful to review the history of the debate.
Tuesday, 01 May 2012 15:27
The CIVL 2013 Plenary will take part in Lausanne, Switzerland, from February the 14th to 17th, according to this schedule:
Tuesday, 01 May 2012 11:20
Friday, 27 April 2012 11:36
Entry registration for the following two FAI Category 1 Championships is now open. Please make sure that your national selectors/teamleaders are aware of the registration procedures, and go to the organiser websites and register their intention to compete in these events. They are:
- 18th FAI European Hang Gliding Class 1 Championship.
The registration website is here.
- 19th FAI World Hang Gliding Class 1 Championship.
The registration website is here.
Sunday, 22 April 2012 13:51
As you know, Jiao-Xi February Plenary elected a Bureau with a few newcomers.
Getting organized was our first job, while Louise Joselyn, our former Secretary, was putting a final touch on the Bureau and Plenary Minutes (thanks Louise!).
Getting organized meant spreading responsibilities around, so all matters are covered by at least one Bureau member, from competition to safety, through communication, etc.
It also meant getting used to Basecamp. Basecamp is a software used by FAI, a web-based project management and collaboration tool. We decided that most of the Bureau exchanges and work would be done through it. Besides the functionalities that Basecamp offers, the exchanges and work done can be archived, and therefore used as references for future Bureaux.
This year projects are ambitious and we started working on them.
You know the difficulties the paragliding competition scene went through last year. The Plenary had to deal with a few contradictory proposals and decided to let the Paragliding Subcommittee and specific Competition Structure Working Group deal with them (check former News on this website). Discussions have started. We will let you know later what’s up on these matters. No consensus expected yet: we are just too early in the process.
Other subcommissions have, of course, also started their own work.
We want to update all documents, including our Guidelines For Organisers Handbook and Long Term Plan.
We will create new ones, like a CIVL Handbook, to help anyone find his way in the FAI – CIVL maze of documents, rules, ways of working…, and a Bureau Handbook to structure the way we work.
We will work on how to make more efficient our Plenary and Bureau meetings.
Of course the day to day job of running CIVL and dealing with problems as they come never stops. Local regulations were finalized and published, worries about such or such championship discussed, coming deadlines met…
All that induced in my personal CIVL mailbox some 500+ messages since the Plenary. So, yes, the people you elected are at work. They are all volunteers. They are thinking about getting professional help (communication and secretarial work) but are not quite ready for it yet. This would be the cherry on the cake, but we have to cook the cake first, i.e. have CIVL run smoothly with motivated and hard working people.
Stef Malbos, Website Content Coordinator