22 Feb 2005

CIVL Plenary, Guatemala Feb 2005

There follows an unoffical summary of the CIVL Plenary Panajachel, Guatemala – February 19th - 20th 2006. The full minutes will be published as soon as they are approved. Twenty delegates representing twenty-seven nations convened in Panajachel, Guatemala, from February 19th to 20th, for the 30th plenary of the CIVL (Commission International de Vol Libre, or International Hang gliding and Paragliding Commission). The Plenary was preceded on February the 17th by a Bureau meeting and on the 18th by the a full day of working by the different working groups - safety, hang gliding and paragliding. The organisation was excellent, thanks to Giovanni Vitola President of the Association National de Vuelo Libre and his very efficient and friendly team. The participants Australia, Austria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic (proxy to Slovak Republic), Denmark, Finland (proxy to Iceland), France, Germany, Guatemala, Iceland, Japan, Korea (proxy to Japan), Latvia (proxy to Lithuania), Lithuania, Netherlands, New Zealand (proxy to Australia), Norway, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden (proxy to Denmark), Switzerland (proxy to France), Turkey, UK, USA. Safety Great emphasis was put throughout the plenary and preparatory meetings on safety. Our record on this have not been very good in recent years, and firm action had to be taken. It was therefore decided to appoint a Safety Director at every Category 1 competition (continental and world championship), and to strongly recommend that one be appointed at every Category 2 meet. The Safety Director’s one and only responsibility will be to monitor all aspects of safety. These include but are not limited to: addressing all pilots at a specific safety briefing; attending the task advisory committee and the safety committee; monitoring the setting of routes and goals; checking the meteorological conditions and especially the windspeed; checking in-air crowding at take-off and presence of dangerous air traffic; preventing pilots launching with unsafe equipment; checking that all pilots have reported back; collecting any accident reports, discussing the accidents with the Steward and presenting the conclusions at the pilot briefing. The Safety Director may stop a task at any point for reasons of safety. Any decision taken by him will be reported to the Jury President. The Safety Director will be nominated by the organisers and accepted by the CIVL Bureau. He will have knowledge and experience of the site being flown and ideally he must have experience in appropriate competitions. Other safety decisions were taken: - Section 7 of our sporting code will declare that the purpose of the championships is to provide not only fair and satisfying contest flying, but also a safe one, - a mandatory safety briefing must be organized for all pilots before the start of the competition, - all pilots must have at least a radio receiver, - all pilots will have the responsibility to monitor the flying conditions and should report to the Competition Director or Steward, directly or through the team leaders, when conditions become unsafe on course. This should be done using the phrases Level 1 (safe), Level 2 (strong), Level 3 (too strong), to avoid confusion. - The Steward and Safety Director should set a maximum windspeed for the competition if it is possible. If it is not possible it is up to the Safety Director to stop the competition if it is deemed too windy. - Towing standards will be collected from various experienced nations and consolidated into a CIVL minimum towing standard. All pilots will be required to show a recognised tow rating or attend a mandatory tow training session prior to a towing competition, - in classes I, II and V, the limit for all equipment (without glider), clothes and ballast is to be set at 25 Kg ; in all cases, pilots must comply with the weight limitations set by the glider manufacturer and the authority who gave a certificate of airworthiness; any pilots' weight can be measured at take-off or landing (lightly clothed and shoeless, then equipped) by the organizers at the request of the stewards or of the organizers; pilots not complying with those rules will be removed from the meet, - Category II competitions – a route to being qualified for a Category I event - will have to have at least fifteen competitors, - exemptions to the qualification rules will be the exception, Bids Bids were presented from Slovakia and USA for the Worlds Championships in 2007: Manilla (Australia) and Greifenburg (Austria) for Paragliding; Big Spring (Texas, USA) and Podbrezova (Slovakia) for Hang gliding; Trakai (Lithuania) for Paragliding Landing Accuracy ; Villeneuve (Switzerland) for the Aerobatic World Championships. The championships were awarded to Manilla, Big Spring, Trakai and Villeneuve. Administration The 2004 Plenary minutes, 2005 Plenary agenda, president and treasurer reports were unanimously accepted. Max Bishop, the FAI Secretary General gave an address stressing the importance of safety in CIVL competitions. He introduced Pierre Portman as the new FAI President, whose first priority was to upgrade FAI’s standing at ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation), and the other new FAI board members. He finally presented the FAI new logo and Centenary celebration events. Modifications were made to the Section 7 of the FAI Sporting Code and adopted. Reviews Reviews were made of the recent Category 1 competitions: World Hang gliding Female and Rigid Championship in Austria; first Continental Asian Championship in Korea; European Hang Gliding in France; European Paragliding in Greece; World Hang Gliding in Australia. Safety issues were underlined. The Representative Jury used in Australia was considered a failure and will not be tried again (all other airpsorts have abandoned it). Subcommittees Subcommittee and Working Groups reports and proposals were examined: Safety and training; Work has been addressed throughout the year, details can be seen at www.ehpu.org but all relevant subcommittees had safety as their main topic. Hang gliding; In Cat 1 meets, the provision of a Safety Director and an outline of his duties; mandatory pilot safety briefing, radio receivers and flight report; limitation of ballast; change to remove the additional weighting for European Championships in the WPRS. Removal of the 30 day deadline when qualifying for Cat 1 events. Paragliding; Requirement for pilots safety briefing and a Safety Director; requirement to set maximum windspeeds at launch, landing and strategic places: mandatory emergency requirements. Aerobatics; A handbook of manoeuvres has been produced. Rules for the forthcoming events were decided. Paragliding Landing Accuracy; Budget to train more judges was granted; Centenary Air Games in Poland discussed. Record, Badges & Flight verification; A complete overhaul of requirements was made to make them more achievable; 3D GPS will be acceptable for records. After different amendments, the reports were approved. Olivier Burghelle presented his environmental report, there is a need for representation from HG or PG. The future of the World Air Games was outlined by Max Bishop. There will be no WAG 2005 but it is hoped to resurrect it in future. Awards The Hang Gliding Diploma was awarded to Mr SONG Jin Seok, from Korea. The Pepe Lopez Medal was awarded to Philippe Broers. Olivier Burghelle was made a Companion of Honour by the FAI. Elections Elected were: President - Flip Koestsier (Netherlands); Vice Presidents; John Aldridge (UK), Agust Gudmundsson (Iceland), Scott Torkelsen (Denmark) and Jim Zeiset (USA), Secretary - Leonard Grigorescu (Romania); Treasurer - Stephane Malbos (France), Olivier Burghelle was warmly elected CIVL president of Honour. The next CIVL Plenary will be in Lausanne, Switzerland, on February 11th and 12th, 2006.