Comps and Events, News

CIVL plenary 2012: CIVL supports new competition class paraglider initiative

Friday 24 February, 2012
Delegates at the CIVL plenary meeting in Chinese Taipei, February 2012

Delegates at the CIVL plenary meeting in Chinese Taipei, February 2012

By the close of the first day of the 2012 CIVL Plenary, held in Jiaosi Town, Chinese Taipei, CIVL had unanimously agreed to release a statement confirming its intention to support a new competition class of paraglider for use in FAI Category 1 championships.

The news on the CIVL website reads as follows:

With this statement, CIVL is making it clear to pilots, competition organisers and paraglider manufacturers its intended direction for the next two years. For the present (2012 season), FAI Category 1 competitions will remain restricted to EN-926 certified gliders. This decision is in line with the recommendations made by other major bodies in the sport (PMA, EHPU, PWCA and Test Houses).

In light of the PMA announcement to set up a working group to develop a new competition class, CIVL fully expects that by the next Plenary in 2013, it will be in a position to consider approving the use of this new class in future Category 1 championships, from 2014.

The Paragliding Subcommittee believes that this decision regarding Cat 1 events will ensure a period of stability in the paraglider industry, allowing wing development to revert to a more natural 2 year cycle.

Meanwhile,for Category 2 sanctioned events, CIVL is reminding NACs that it is, and always has been, their decision on which classes of glider they will allow to be flown in competitions held in their territory. A number of NACs, but by no means all, are currently restricting competitions to certified paragliders.

Improving safety in competitions continues to be a major objective within CIVL. The work and recommendations of the CIVL Paragliding Competitions Safety Task Force has dominated the discussions within both the Paragliding and Safety Subcommittees. CIVL is committed to pursuing a number of these recommendations, particularly those related to improving pilot skills and qualifications, task style and task setting and reviewing competition structures.

The statement on the Paraglider manufacturers’ Association website reads as follows::

For legal reasons PMA cannot recommend the lifting of the CIVL ban on Open Class. Instead PMA is recommending the introduction of a new Comp Class for 2013 along with a new comp licence for the pilot. The criteria for this Competition Class have to be established by a working group. Time frame: end of June 2012.

1. PMA agrees unanimously to recommend that a new Competition Class outside the existing EN-D is necessary. Academy, FFVL and SHV agree to that as well. DHV is against it. PMA starts a Competition Class working group under the lead of David Dagault. Time frame: end of June 2012.

2. PMA strongly recommends a mandatory SIV course for comp pilots flying FAI Cat 1 (and also PWC and Acro Comps) on their comp wing with competition harness. From the Europeans in St. André September 2012 on an official stamp in the pilot’s flight book/license should be necessary. A working group under the lead of David Dagault and FFVL + SHV has to define the SIV manoeuvres to be flown by the pilots. Time frame: end of March

3. PMA gives the strong recommendation to CIVL to engage competition organizers to set their tasks with the aim to avoid being too low to throw the reserve by establishing turn points and goals at altitude and/or giving bonus points for altitude at potentially critical turn points.

4. PMA gives CIVL the recommendation to make a second rescue mandatory in competitions (CAT 1 / PWC / Acro Comps).

5. PMA would like to set a speed limit as a quick fix for the actual EN D wings being used in 2012. This may be possible with a reference glider during certification. The reference glider to be used would be the Niviuk Icepeak 6 24 (if Niviuk agrees). Reference glider to be provided to each one of the test centres by the PMA. The PMA are looking to see if this is possible for the 2012 season.

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