2014 Plenary: What’s up in Paragliding?

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The PG Committee held an Open meeting for a full day. Over 40 people attended.

It was underlined that the meeting could propose amendments to the PG-Committee proposals, but that the PG-C would have final say on its own proposals. If delegates disagreed with the PG-C proposals, they could amend such proposals during the plenary.

Every proposal was discussed at length. A few changes concerning typos and clarifications, and for CCC measurements and acceptance of EN gliders, were agreed on.  Three amendments were asked for:

  • have the same requirements for helmets than HG,
  • have the same penalties for airspace infringement than HG,
  • in the CCC requirements, have the inflight test done with a 3 second pilot reaction time i.s.o. 2 seconds.

The PG Committee rejected these 3 amendments.

A new proposal was added in agreement between the PG-Committee and the Open meeting. It concerned controls of gliders during the 2014 Category 1 championships.

The Plenary meeting agreed with all PG Committee final proposals except the one concerning the CCC in-flight test pilot reaction time: it will be 3 second and not 2. Also concerning CCC, there was re-wording of physical requirements of the flat aspect ratio and modifications on weight range and acceptance of EN gliders.

What’s up then?

Big one: the CCC requirements passed unanimously. The requirements are available here (with a couple of typos that will be fixed asap). It was also voted that "revised definitions of the requirements may be proposed to the 2015 Plenary after the Roldanillo World Championships. At all times, CIVL Bureau has the power to adjust the requirements. The PG-Committee will be consulted before such adjustments are made." This will ensure that any adjustment can be made at any time if needed. This last bit passed unanimously, which shows that both the Bureau and PG Committee have gained the full trust of the Delegates.

Another big one: the joint HG/PG Committee and Software Working Group proposals. Here also decisions on the proposals and new document passed unanimously. There were a couple of amendments:

  • GPS altitude measurements: the Bureau was trusted “on the effect on instruments and make a decision based on this information on which altitude reference is used, and make that decision before May 1st 2014.“
  • Altitude correction with "true altitude". This will not be used to check for airspace infringements.

A sensitive issue, in the wake of the PWCA Super Final confusion: should we control the gliders during the 2014 Continental championships and how? The Plenary decided that “the Local Regulations of the 2014 European and Pan-American championships will state that glider control will be carried out. Guidelines will be published on what to measure, how and with what tolerances. These will be in accordance with CCC measurements and tolerances. CIVL will send someone to do the measurement, on CIVL budget.”

Other decisions:

  • New helmets are allowed. See a previous News here.
  • Continental WPRSs will be implemented.
  • In European championships, the qualification criteria will refer to the top 400 of the European WPRS.
  • Penalties for airspace infringement are newly defined. “Where the pilot's track log is recorded closer than 20m from prohibited airspace, vertically or horizontally, a penalty of 2% of the pilot's task score per meter shall be deducted, resulting in a zero 30m within the restricted zone.”
  • Skills defined in the Pilot Experience Declaration form are updated.
  • Cloud flying: a line will be added in the Pilot Safety Report form. “This line requests the pilot indicates cloud base height that they determined at the start gate and at the end of the task." This will be another way, but not the only one, for the meet director to analyse cloud flying and penalize or not.

Finally, a general declaration concerning safety will be added in Section 7:

"CIVL recognize that some pilots will choose to trade performance, cost, comfort, convenience, etc. over safety in their choice of personal safety equipment. The results of accidents and injuries affect not just the pilots that may injure themselves due to lack of protection, but friends and family of pilots and the sport as a whole. History shows us that injuries could have been prevented with simple means of better personal protection. E.g. crushable foam in helmets.

CIVL also recognize the fact that pilots are personally responsible for their and others safety at all times, both in competition and free flying. No rules or equipment can prevent accidents when human factors are involved in decision making. However certain safety equipment can in some cases prevent severe injuries without incurring major negative factors for pilots. E.g. parachutes.

CIVL will therefore mandate use of some personal safety equipment, and will set minimum standards of that equipment where needed."