Andy Phillips - GBR
Annex 3: 3.1.4
THE LANDING DECK
- A landing deck is a clearly marked area defined at the briefing. A minimum of 100m x 100m is required.
- There will be one landing deck provided for every 30 competitors.
- A landing deck will have a windsock within 100m of its boundary.
- There will be no significant obstacles within 200m of the boundary of a landing deck.
- Unless otherwise briefed, penalties will be awarded to Pilots or any part of their aircraft touching the ground anywhere outside the landing deck during a task.
100m by 100m decks are a legacy from microlight competitions in which you only have one aircraft launching at a time. Paramotor decks should be as large as possible for safety reasons, either in the case of a change in wind conditions to allow for a safe launch in the face of potential obstacles, or because it reduces the need for pilots to run in-between other pilots who have laid their wings out but are not yet ready to launch.
A free (un-ordered) take off has been tested in UK competitions for several years and greatly speeds up launch times. Marshalling is made considerably easier, freeing up resources to focus on marshalling the task itself. This also allows for pilots to fix last minute problems on the deck (which are no reflection of pilot skill – for example, the last minute discovery of a frayed line) and still compete in the task. It may be appropriate to use an ordered launch in precision tasks towards the end of the competition in order to keep the top pilots flying in similar weather conditions.