Plenary 2014: What's up in Hang Gliding?


The Hang Gliding Committee held its Open meeting for half a day. Over 20 people attended.

No bids were received for the 2016 Continental championships. It was suggested that a European be organized in 2015, but there was some opposition as a World championship was also run the same year.

Forbes 2014 World was discussed in the light of the FAI Tribunal report. It was underlined that the “Risk assessment" proposal addresses some of the issues pointed out.

Sprogs measuring instruments have been issued to all team leaders. Pilot education is working and manufacturers have learned to set up sprogs to a safe and repeatable level. Spot checks should be done in events, with no need to pre-checks of all gliders.

The Sport Class was discussed extensively but no decision was taken, as everyone is observing what will happen in the 1st Category 1 event ever organised, this summer in Annecy, France.

How to control gliders and make sure they are not prototypes? Again an extensive discussion with no real outcome. The Committee will keep working on it.

Also discussed:

  • Ballast in Class 1.
  • Measuring twist in Class 5.
  • Single radio frequency in case of bad weather.
  • Include Class 5 in Class 1 championships.
  • Include men and women in the same Class 1 championships.
  • … and the proposals to be voted by the Plenary.


So the Plenary agreed on the following proposals:

Scoring: the joint HG/PG Committee and Software Working Group proposals are 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.

Scoring a stopped task: Pilots will get additional distance to the GPS position of five times their altitude above goal height at stop time.

Penalties for airspace infringement are newly defined. “The penalty for violation of published airspace restrictions shall be a warning for the first infringement of less than 100m by a pilot. For infringements greater than this or for subsequent infringements the pilot shall score zero for the day.”

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.

New helmets are allowed. See a previous News here.

A general declaration concerning safety is 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."

Risk assessment workflow and reporting, repeated for every task:

The proposed system will be tested at the pre-Worlds in Mexico and in USA competitions before becoming effective from January 1st, 2015.

Safety committee and safety director get the planned task for the day, along with official forecast and current weather data.

The weather data is plotted into the risk assessment form, along with the safety committee and safety director's view of the task risk factors in the form.

In case of disagreement the majority vote wins, all committee members have one vote each, safety director has one vote.

If the results are level 3 on one or more of the first 5 weather conditions, safety committee should ask for postponement of the task/new task, or cancellation if no improvement is expected.

If the results are level 3 on one or more of the task conditions, safety committee should ask the task committee to remake the task so that risks can be reduced.

In case of any level 2 risks, the number of level 2 risk factors should never be higher than 3, and whenever possible the task must be changed to reduce the active level 2 risks down to level 1.

The completed task risk assessment from the safety committee MUST be posted on the task board every day, and be part of the task briefing every day, where any level 2 risks are described in detail.

Pilots MUST give feedback each day with the track log, this feedback is to be collected by scorer, anonymized, and summarized to be posted along with the scores and pre-task risk assessment each day.

Next day the safety committee and safety director evaluate the results and feedback from pilots to see if they missed something, or something can be improved.

The risk assessment results and feedback are also to be reported back to CIVL along with the steward report.