16 Aug 2019

Technology at the 16th FAI World Paragliding Championship

In modern paragliding competitions, such as the 16th FAI World Paragliding Championship in Krushevo, North Macedonia, there is a whole heap of technology. Forgetting the technology inside the cutting edge wing designs the pilots are flying, they have a whole host of instrumentation on their laps.

Live trackers ready for the pilots to collect

Pilots have to fly into cylinders around the turnpoints that make up the course. In the old days pilots used film cameras to prove that they had been in the right place. Nowadays pilots carry trackers that store a log of their flights as well as sending the information to the internet. This allows the tasks to be immediately scored and for the action to be followed live online.

Livetracking in action

The system from Flymaster allows viewers to watch their favourite pilot’s progress in 3D. There is of course also the added security of knowing where the pilots are should in incident arise.

The pilots use their flying instruments, which combine various sensors including GPS and pressure to give them all the information they need about their flight, how high they and there exact position.

Mitch Riley from USA sets up his instruments

Before the task the pilots program in the course and then when they are flying the instrument tells them when they have made a turnpoint and head to the next one. These instruments also keep a log of the flight that can be used as a backup if there are problems with their main tracker.

You can follow the pilots as they fly at https://livetrack360.com/livetracking/split/2984

Most pilots carry more than one instrument, in case of a failure

Photo credit: FAI/Marcus King