July 1st

The 1st of July is one of the most important on CIVA’s calendar, and this year was no exception. Why is it important? It is the deadline for submission of rules proposals by the Delegates to CIVA.

Rules are the basis of our sport and the principle focus of our organization when its Sub-Committees meet in the summer and we have the full plenary session in November. The FAI Sporting Code, and in particular our own Section 6, has been under development and refinement for decades. To see the various FAI Air Sports Commissions (ASCs) in action is quite a sight, as you see specialists come from all over the world to meet in small groups and then take their final recommendations to their plenary meetings. CIVA, like all of FAI’s Air Sports Commissions, is very lucky to have talented, experienced, and skilled people available on a volunteer basis who spend hundreds of hours each year, contributing to our sport.

This year, we received proposals from ten countries in addition to ideas submitted by contest officials last year which were held over for consideration in 2012. All of these proposals have been assembled in a 99-page document, available for download in PDF on this website.  Go to the Documents page, then Meetings, and finally 2012 to find it. 

The CIVA Rules and Judging Sub-Committees will meet in joint session at the site of the European Aerobatic Championships in Dubnica nad Váhom, Slovakia, on August 30th. Most of the CIVA Sub-Committees are small, with five members plus a chairman, as they are much more efficient this way. They are elected each year at plenary. Most members communicate with each other throughout the year, usually by e-mail, to exchange ideas and views. When they meet, they bring decades of experience to the table, which results in the best possible recommendations to CIVA itself.

The Glider Aerobatics Sub-Committee (GASC) is much larger with twelve members plus chairman. CIVA has agreed to a larger Sub-Committee so the countries who participate in glider aerobatics feel they are being represented. World Glider Aerobatic Championships did not arrive on the competition scene until the early 1980s and though it is now well established, the Sub-Committee operates almost like a “CIVA within CIVA” since many Delegates have no experience in glider aerobatics. The GASCs recommendations are usually agreed by the plenary.

I expect the Sub-Committee reports to be issued by mid-September and they will then be posted on the CIVA website along with other 2012 meeting material. In the end, hundreds of pages of documents will be reviewed by CIVA Delegates and all will have been very busy preparing for the meeting when they arrive in Lausanne in early November.

In the end, many of these proposals are rejected or modified by Sub-Committee and then not always positively acted upon by plenary, so the changes to Sporting Code may not be that extensive. But my twenty-six years as President of CIVA have taught me that in the end, we usually end up with a very good product. Those which do not work out well are quickly excised from the rules in subsequent years. Our rules become a guide for national aerobatic organizations as well, who are usually quick to adopt the changes.

The bottom line – improved competitions.

Speaking of Championships, the 3rd FAI World Yak-52 Aerobatic Championships finished last week. Overall Champion is Vladimir Kotelnikov of Russia. I first met Vladimir a few years ago at a Power Championships where he was serving as a Judge. Since then he has built himself a solid record of excellent judging and this year will serve again as a Judge at the European Aerobatic Championships in Unlimited category. It’s a pleasure to see him in the competition flying arena as well, since the skills learned in both areas, flying and judging, complement each other. My congratulations to Vladimir on his win – and thanks to our friends in Russia for staging a safe and successful competition.

Each year, the creative people in contest organizations put their talents to work in designing beautiful logos for the Championships. Over the past 50 years, they have been things of beauty. I present here this year’s WAAC logo, but we will feature others from time to time. I enjoy seeing these new creations every year as well as the spectacular, photogenic aircraft that populate the airport ramps.  And WAAC is next on the calendar ....

Have a safe and enjoyable competition season!

WAAC 2012 Logo - Revised