Če koga zanima, kaj predlaga PMA glede spremembe pravil na področju tekmovanj... sffa.org
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Spodaj sprememba pravil tekmovanj, kot jih predlaga Nesler.The new competition class
Competition paragliding is currently conducted using half-heartedly tested EN-D class gliders.
From 2014 onwards, the PMA or better, the competition commission of the PMA wants to introduce a new class for competition gliders separate from the EN-D class.Here an excerpt from the last protocol: The PMA is convinced that EN limitation of competition gliders is a dangerous rule for test pilots. Experience has proved it. Test pilots are not less precious than others. Current EN-D competition gliders are restricted to a top speed of 60 km/h. Under the new class regulations 65 km/h is to be allowed, and glider testing will not be performed according to current Norms.
This is a dangerous paradox: on the one hand the PMA recognises that testing current EN-D gliders is too dangerous for professional test pilots, on the other hand the new class should allow gliders to fly even faster and not need to be regularly tested.
Differing commercial interests under the PMA competition commission members can easily be imagined, when trying to explain the absurdity of this recommendation. Who is flying competitions?
The goal of paragliding competitions still is, as it always has been, to promote paragliding as a sport and to make it interesting for the media and active pilots.
Currently, competition paragliding is more dangerous than Formula 1 car racing. Numbers of sponsors and organisers are declining due to negative headlines, and media publicity is only about accidents. Hobby pilots who do not fly constantly and earn their living from flying, are no longer prepared to take the risks necessary in competitions.
Competitions should be for hobby pilots who wish to compare their flying skills with others in their free time, and not for factory pilots who can compensate the risks with their additional experience!
If necessary, an additional class for factory pilots could be introduced to allow paid professionals to compete on experimental prototypes and defend their manufacturers honour! Pilots who should be able to fly competitions
Weekend pilots, often with families, almost always with a full time job and correspondingly limited free time. These are the big majority of pilots and often form the interface to the non-flying public. When they report of their positive experiences and impressions from a race, then the public will become more interested in flying. If they come in on a Monday, and explain how they barely escaped death during a hard-core race, then at best they will be looked on sympathetically as mad idiots. The answer For the big majority of pilots we need:
A glider class where pilot skills are tested, and not who has the best contacts and newest material from a particular manufacturer.
Gliders which can be flown by weekend pilots, and which have been certified.
A fair division in weight classes, so that lightweight and women pilots have a chance of winning.
Gliders which can compete for at least two seasons, so that pilots, particularly in these crisis times, can afford to partake in competitions. How should we define this class?
Ideally, gliders matching these prerequisites should be in the EN-C class. To prevent the EN-C class becoming misused and extended as with the current EN-D class, the following restrictions must be applied:
Aspect ratio max. 6.0
Vmax max. 55 km/h
Wing loading max. 4.0 kg/m²
Minimum profile thickness 17%
Max. cell spacing 60 cm
Load testing according to the EN Norm
No folding lines are to be used for testing
Ideally, several testing centers should certify the gliders (e.g. max. weight DHV, min. weight EAPR etc.)
Benefits Safe gliders for all competition pilots
Fair competition conditions, where pilot skills are measured instead of material differences and risk acceptance
Risks are reduced for organisers, more competitions will follow
Fewer accidents and more fun make competitions more attractive for spectators, media interest increases and sponsoring increases
Two or better three weight classes make for fair competition under lightweight and women pilots
Manufacturers can no longer achieve performance gains by pushing safety limits, only through genuine new developments which will also profit lower class gliders
The better image of paragliding will increase media and public interest in the sport Disadvantages
Manufacturers with successful products currently used in competitions will protest initially, as they loose their material advantage
Some pilots who mainly profit from material and risk acceptance will protest violently against this class
Specific marketing will be necessary to introduce this class as the new Formula 1 paragliding competition and achieve media recognition Further arguments against introduction
The much quoted “way it feels”. Pilots wanting this extra kick can of course fly prototypes outside competitions. Should they crash, then at least the organisers, fellow competitors and competition sport in general will not suffer too much from it.
Research and development will suffer. This is ridiculous, R&D is ultimately for serial production gliders, and this new class is a serial class!
Freedom of choice? Correct, in organised competition we have to protect pilots from themselves and the manufacturers, as is the case in Formula 1, Motorcycling, Gliding and Sailing. Pilots seeking total freedom should do so outside of organised competitions. Marketing
This new competition class must be marketed properly:
Separate internet homepage with all information and news updates
High prize money
Plenty of media presence (specialised media profit from this as well)
Competition training from pilot associations for pilots
Participation at large trade fairs such as the ISPO
We need to make competition flying safer, more interesting and more satisfying for all those involved, instead of following individual interests at cost to pilots and the sport in general.
Translation: Peter Wild