Barney TOWNSEND (GBR)
08 - REVISED VERSION OF S.10 A8 - MODEL LOCAL REGULATIONS AND TASK CATALOGUE FOR ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIPS
Existing text of Annex 8 to S.10 is as it was originally proposed in 2017 by Estonia.
In 2017 the plenary approved the proposed new annex to S.10 for a local regulations and task catalogue for Endurance Championships to be classified as a Cat1 World Championship status.
Since then, no World Paramotor Endurance Championship has taken place, in part because there are still discrepancies in the wording of the rules, and areas in which the may be possible unfair advantage to competitors which would make it problematic at international Cat1 level.
In the UK, we see great potential in this format for the future, and we have adopted it as the primary format for our British National Paramotor Championships in 2018 and 2019. This has allowed us to refine the format, test the tasks involved, and smooth out any poorly defined aspects in relation to both pilot safety and fairness of the competition.
In essence, our new proposed format is the same as the original in that pilots have many available flying hours during any particular day, a very large area map to fly, and may choose their own route and task between turnpoint hunt or precision navigation routes, according to their judgement of the weather conditions. This still allows for a competition in which there are minimal amounts of briefings and in which pilots may plan a flight and navigation strategy for themselves over a period of days, not just for a particular task on any one day.
To summarise the most essential differences between the 2017 version and my proposed versions:
Use of GPS for Navigation
We propose that at international level, pilots should still be navigating using map only, and that use of GPS for navigation should be banned.
We propose a new maximum limit of 4 hours airtime per pilot per day, to avoid the danger of bad decision making and accidents as a result of fatigue. Pilots may make as many flights as they choose during the much longer available flight window, with rest breaks in between flights
We continue to support the concept of additional points for landing out at other fields, but the available number of these land out points is limited to a few so that all points at which pilots may land can be monitored by marshals for safety.
Balance of navigation to speed
We propose to significantly increase the relative balance of points available for the 'precision' navigation tasks (which do not require a fast wing), relative to those available for the turnpoint hunt aspect of the competition (which does require a fast wing). This reduces the incentive for pilots to choose highly specialised equipment of small wings and big engines.
Balance of navigation to economy
We introduce the option for directors to set a fuel limitation on the turn point hunt aspect of the task on any particular day of the competition so that pilots must fly economically to gain more points, using economical equipment. This also reduces the incentive for pilots to choose highly specialised equipment of small wings and big engines.
Fairness to all competitors
We reorganise organise the competition to ensure that refuelling can only take place in designated and monitored areas, and not just anywhere a pilot lands (as was allowed in the 2017 version of the rules). This makes it much more fair for pilots who do not have large ground support teams that can follow them around the map and provide fuel for them wherever they choose to land. It also improves safety because any outlanding and refuelling only takes place in areas that are monitored by marshals and provided with adequate fire safety protection.