2012 Plenary: hang gliding sum-up

Delta in line for take off

The hang gliding subcommittee met in Taipei last month under the chairmanship of Dennis Pagen, the US Delegate. Although the subcommittee was somewhat small, we had enthusiastic participation from the Australia, Dutch, Turkish, French, Danish, German, Austrian and Guatemalan delegates, most of whom are deeply involved in the hang gliding competition scene.


The underlying themes of the meeting revolved around doing everything possible to encourage and attract more competition organizers while continuing to promote safety as a key agenda item. The encouragement and support of organizers, particularly those of Category 1 competitions is a big concern: there are fewer and fewer bids for Cat 1 events and the belief is that this due, in part, to increasing burdens and costs places on organizers. To date, there are no bids for either the next World championship or the next European continental championship and this should be alarming to both the committee and the competition pilot community in general.

With this objective in mind, some important decisions were made, most notably with respect to the upcoming Hang Gliding World Championships in Forbes, Australia. The organizers asked that the usual three-member CIVL jury be modified to allow just the Jury President’s presence at the event with the remaining two jurors working remotely from their respective locations. Because protests are not terribly common, it was decided that this cost savings to the organizer was well worth allowing an exception, particularly since the cost savings would be passed directly, dollar-for-dollar, on to the pilots in the form of reduced entry fees.

The committee, as a whole, is hopeful that we can continue this trend of reducing burdens on organizers with the aim of encouraging more events.

On the subject of safety, equipment standards were high on the list as well as pilot education. Although most of the committee members weren’t overly satisfied with the EN966 helmet certification standard, it was decided that at this point, there wasn’t a better standard available, so there was little choice other than to stick with the current standard for the time being.

With respect to wire size, the committee intends to contact the testing bodies to get feedback as to whether additional testing or requirements for sidewires should be considered.

On the issue of sprog testing at Category 1 events, the focus is shifting from mandatory testing of all gliders to a more education-oriented approach. For upcoming Category 1 events, the rules will require that team leaders from each participating nation measure the sprog settings of their pilots and provide that information to the organizers. In addition, the CIVL will then conduct random sprog testing of a small number of gliders at goal and other locations to be sure gliders are within manufacturer specifications. The original idea behind sprog testing was to educate pilots on safe settings. The committee feels that we have come quite far in helping provide pilots with this very important safety information and we now hope that we can continue that trend, but on a less sweeping scale in terms of the time burden on both the organizers and the CIVL.

Finally, the committee believes that more can be done in terms of pilot safety education by creating a series of short films, featuring respected pilots, with brief information on safety related issues such as sprog settings, safest use of VG during flight, general pilot health issues related to preparations for flying (hydration, adequate sleep, etc.) and knowing when it is time to stay on the ground, in terms of after an accident, concussion type injury, etc. These short films can be used by organizers and shown at mandatory safety briefings at the start of a competition. If done properly, the thought is that competitors will tend to pay more attention and take to heart the advice of a top pilot in this sort of short film.

With the goals of increased pilot safety and continued work toward encouraging more Category 1 organizers, the committee hopes to have a productive year. 

FAI 2012 European Paragliding Local Regulation Published

Local regulations 2012 FAI PG Euro

The local regulations for the 12th FAI European Paragliding Championship in Saint-André-les-Alpes (France) have been published at 



What will tomorrow’s CIVL competition scene look like?

Valle de Bravo, Mexico

In the wake of Piedrahita, the Task Force report and a general concern for competition safety, several proposals regarding competition formats and structures were presented to the 2012 Jiao-Xi Plenary. The Paragliding Competition Subcommittee underlined the complexity of the topic. The PG Subcommittee recommended setting up a Competition Structure Working Group (CSWG) in order to analyse the pros and cons of the various proposals that were on the Plenary agenda, and to define a longer term strategy. The aim is to make recommendations for proposals to the 2013 Plenary.


Having in mind that a Category 1 championship must be a “safe, fair and satisfying contest”, the CSWG will explore the following avenues:

  • To split Individual and Nation World paragliding championships with both safety and fairness issues in mind.
  • To establish separate championships for different classes of paragliders (for example, one championship for Serial and one for Competition). Options include events with multiple classes of glider in the same championship, or separate events, both with multiple titles (for example, Serial and Competition), or to keep championships open to any class of glider and award only one title.
  • To establish a separate new World championship (and ranking system) for PG XC Open Distance.
  • To work with PWCA to improve the organization of Category 1 championships.
  • To analyse the impact of the new Cat 1 hang gliding "Sport" class championship initiated by the Plenary as part of hang gliding’s existing multiclass events.
  • To consider the opportunities for CIVL regarding FAI’s emerging Sports Strategy on competition structures.


The CSWG will take into account:

  • The value of a World championship title (symbolic and financial).
  • The benefits and concerns for different parties (FAI, NACs, pilots, organisers, sponsors…).
  • The financial consequences for these parties.
  • The need to find additional competent organisers.
  • How Continental and World championships alternate.
  • How it fits in FAI General Section rules and emerging Sports Strategy.
  • For each of the viable options, the group will define realistic basic rules, cycles and deadlines.
  • In other words, the CSWG has the exciting task to define what will be tomorrow competition philosophy, no less.


The CSWG includes:

  • Stephane Malbos (FRA), Chairman.
  • Thomas Brandlehner, high level competition pilot.
  • Calvo Burns (GBR), championship organiser.
  • Goran Dimiskovski (MKD), PWCA representative.
  • Brian Harris (GBR), CIVL Competition Coordinator.
  • Andy Jaxa-Rozen (POL), XC-Open supporter.
  • Eduardo Sanchez Granel (ARG), “small team” NAC representative.
  • Martin Scheel (SWI), “big team” NAC representative.
  • Jamie Shelden (USA), Hang Gliding Sport Class supporter.

And the Winners are…

Flying in Lohan Hill, Ranau, Sabah, Malaysia.

The 2014 FAI Championships have been awarded by the 2012 CIVL Jiao-Xi Plenary:


  • 13th European Paragliding Championships 2014 to Serbia, in Kopaonik-Raska.
  • 2nd Panamerican Paragliding Championships 2014 to Argentina, in Loma Bola.
  • 4th European PG Accuracy Championships 2014 to Serbia, in Vrsac.
  • 2nd Asian PG Accuracy Championships 2014 to Malaysia, in Lohan Hill, Ranau, Sabah.


Jiao-Xi Minutes Published



We have the pleasure to inform you that the CIVL Minutes (Bureau and Plenary 2012) are published to the FAI Web.

The link is:


(Meetings/2012/Bureau or Plenary)

We added a few pictures.


New faces in CIVL


New-CIVL-Bureau2012The 2012 CIVL Plenary, held in Chinese Taipei, came to a successful close on Sunday afternoon with the election of a new President, Agust Gudmundsson (ISL) and a new Bureau. The elected vice presidents are: Chris (Calvo) Burns (GBR), Goran Dimiskovski (MKE), Igor Erzen (SLO) and Stéphane Malbos (FRA). Joining them are Jamie Sheldon (USA) as secretary and Hamish Barker (AUS) as treasurer.


CIVL supports new competition class paraglider initiative


PG plenary2012

By the close of the first day of the 2012 CIVL Plenary, held in Jiaosi Town, Chinese Taipei, CIVL had unanimously agreed to release a statement confirming its intention to support a new competition class of paraglider for use in FAI Category 1 championships.


CIVL and PWCA cooperation on competition scene

CIVL and the Paragliding World Cup Association (PWCA) have agreed on a continuing programme of cooperation aimed at creating a worldwide synchronised paragliding competition system. Stage one is early publication on the FAI competition calendar of all the planned PWC Cat 2-sanctioned tour events as well as Test Events for FAI Cat 1 competitions, followed by a merging of pilot databases.

Both organisations are keen to work together to ensure that there is a single premier individual event and a single premier team event on the FAI calendar. This may require some restructuring of CIVL’s Cat 1 Championship format to split the FAI World Paragliding Championships into separate individual and team competitions.

pwc logo

logo civl_01_cmyk-pt


Both parties see 2015 as the earliest possible target date as bids for 2015 FAI World Championships will be made in 2013. Further discussions 

will most certainly be taking place at CIVL’s 2012 Plenary in February. The full statement is at Joint CIVL PWCA announcement.

WXC winners of 2010-2011 season

G AmesderWXC open 2011The first official FAI/CIVL World Online XC Contest (WXC) has come to a successful close, the winners are announced and FAI Diplomas are on their way to the top three  pilots in each class.  Some 4663 pilots from 52 nations entered flights in the 2010/2011 WXC via 9 separate networked online contests.

In the PG Open class, the winner is Gerald Ameseder of Austria, flying a UP Edge XR.  With 6 flight distances over 200km, his top flight score of 369.8 points for a 264km triangle, contributed to his 1950 points overall.


Jean-Marc Badan appointed new FAI Secretary General

Jean-Marc_BadanJean-Marc Badan, the previous FAI Sports Director and Deputy to the Secretary General, has been appointed as the new Secretary General of the FAI – the International Air Sports Federation. He will formally take up his appointment in Lausanne, Switzerland, on 1st October 2011.


2012 European Hang Gliding Championships date change

18th FAI European Hang Gliding Championship 2012The 2012 European Hang Gliding (Class 1) Championships, to be held in Kayseri, Turkey, will now be run one week later than originally scheduled, from 26th August to 8th September 2012.

CIVL Bureau agreed to the request from the organisers to change the dates of this event to avoid overlapping with a national holiday. The FAI Calendar has been updated. For further information as it is published, see: http://www.outdoorfestival.org/2012reg.html