2017 Plenary: What's Up With Paragliding?


There was no written report from this Committee in the Agenda, so read carefully what was discussed !

New SafePro Para

CIVL has permitted APPI to issue IPPI cards in countries where there is no functional NAC. Some concern that APPI is a commercial organization with its own agenda. Some concern that APPI and IPPI levels may not be compatible. Bureau advised that APPI will only be permitted to issue IPPI cards in countries where there is no functional NAC or where APPI is authorized by the NAC,and the situation will be tightly monitored.

Proposal from Bulgaria

Daniel Dimov presented his ’true leading points’ proposal. Remaining issues appear to have been resolved. There was general support for the proposal to be developed to provide working software and to be tested alongside existing software (as proposed) to identify potential advantages and any unexpected issues. Tested proposal to be brought back to the 2018 plenary for possible incorporation into the scoring system.

Bids for World championship

  • Werfenweng, Austria. General questions relating to the double-bid were raised. It was decided to proceed to consider the PG XC and PG accuracy bids independently.
  • Krushevo, FYR Macedonia. Goran presented a brief overview.
  • Piedrahita, Spain. No Spanish delegation Available.

Ballast limits (fairness for lighter pilots)

Goran Dimikowksi explained the current situation in the PWC: all pilots are to be permitted to ballast up to 95kg total take-off weight allowing them to fly the S sized competition gliders. It is argued that:

  • The existing rules are not generally enforced. Smaller pilots regularly fly with >33kg of equipment. We should not have rules that are not enforced.
  • The existing rules are putting small pilots off flying in competition because the XS gliders currently available are not satisfactory from either sporting or safety regards. Ballasting up to fly the S allows pilots to fly more competitive wings that are also safer.
  • Philosophically, it was argued that rules should be in place to encourage fair sporting competition. It was argued that the existing ballast rule does the opposite, and that we should not exclude athletes who are prepared to train to be able to carry large amounts of ballast safely.
  • Philosophically, it was argued that women who are lucky enough to be able to fly larger sizes of glider do not feel sporting satisfaction when they win because they are aware that they have an unfair advantage over the smaller pilots due to the ballast rules. It was decided to watch how this change to the ballast rule works in the PWC during this year with a mind to perhaps introduce it into Section 7 if it is found satisfactory, or alternatively not to adopt it if it turns out that the XS CCC wings expected for the Worlds turn out to resolve the issue by being suitably competitive.

CCC strategy

Progress with CCC wings during the year was reported. EnZo2 was EN D and CCC 2014 certified, Boomerang 10 was CCC 2014 certified, no significant difference in safety was detectable. Boomerang 11 operated in size M at the Superfinal certified under CCC 2016, no incidents were reported, the glider performance was better than CCC 2014 and EN D wings, partly (but not entirely) because there has been a small gain in top speed (perhaps 3-5kmh). PWC now accepts CCC certified gliders in single sizes, and is planning to permit single CCC prototype wings to be flown in PWC competitions by manufacturer test pilots provided the manufacturer is a PWC partner organisation to allow manufacturers to test wings in real racing conditions prior to certification. These wings will require the full CCC documentation and measurements so they can be checked during competitions.

The planned strategy for CCC was discussed. The major issue remains the small number of manufacturers making CCC wings. The cost of certification was discussed. Harry Buntz estimated the cost of certification at 3000Eu (significantly less than the list price of one wing). It is not felt that cost is a limit on production as certification costs need only be paid for one size, with other sizes produced by scaling. The technological advantage of Gin and Ozone is more likely a limiting factor. It is to be hoped that the PWC prototype proposal will resolve this.

The possibility of simplifying the CCC rules by removing the restrictions on wing planform was discussed. The wing planform measures have proven difficult to measure, and repeatability is poor or non-existent (temperature and humidity dependence, 2D measures of a 3D structure etc.). Only line lengths, riser lengths and accelerator travel can be quickly and precisely controlled. It was argued that the primary safety gain recently has been the control of maximum speed. It was argued that there is no evidence that there were any gains made by limiting wing planform, but that the current tight restrictions on wing design have the effect of locking in the technological advantage currently demonstrated by Gin and Ozone.

There was broad support for maintaining the current CCC rules stable until the next plenary, but if we do not see an increase in the number of manufacturers producing CCC wings then there would be a strong argument in favour of a substantial simplification of the CCC rule.

Roll call - Amaral Fernando (POR), Askirk Niels (DEN), Askiru Niels (DEN), Belova Eugeniya (RUS), Brandelhener Thomas (AUT), Buntz Harry (GER), Cowley Andy (GBR), Dimikowski Goran (MKD, Bureau), Dimov Daniel (BUL), Ellefsen Oyvind (NOR), Erzen Igor (SLO, Bureau), Honti Adel (HUN), Jaxi-Rozen Jedrzy (POL), Kolar Andrej (SLO), Kowecny Kamil (CZE), Mai Elsa (TPE), Malbos Stéphane (FRA, Bureau), Masahiro Kitano (JAP), Masteikiene Violeta (LTU), Mathurin Didier (FRA), Nossin Marc (FRA), Oka Yoshiki (JAP), Ovuka Zeljko (SER, Bureau), Shelden Jamie (USA, Bureau, HG Chair), Siess Herbert (AUT), Sonzoeni Barbara (ITA), Thomas Adrian (GBR, Bureau, PG Chair), Valentin Popa (ROM), Vilkuna Riikka (SWE).


Picture: At goal at Krushevo 2016 Euro.