2008 FAI Powered Paragliding Competition Rules
Final rules for the 2008 Qualifier to the 2009 World Air Games
2007-July 12 Here are the WAG rules that are being used. They have been used
already by the Germans and Italians so changes are impossible. One thing
we were unable to get changed was the need to run two tasks
simultaneously. We do, in fact, have to run it that way in order for
this to be a valid qualifier.
Download PDF of rulebook for
paramotors here. Ignore part 2 which does not apply to us.
As before, there are three tasks. Fortunately, one of them is the
cloverleaf which many pilots are already familiar with, at least how its
flown. The dimensions may be different so check out the graphic before
setting up your own course.
You can ship your motor to the following address:
1374 Sky Lane
Greenville, IL 62246
All the tasks are flown against another pilot. Both pilots start on
the launch deck when a flag is thrown and the first to complete gains a
small advantage since his race mate is penalized 5 seconds. What
constitutes the finish of a task varies and is described below.
When asked about what to do if one pilot is left flying solo, the
answer was that another competitor would be chosen (randomly?) to fly
against the odd man out.
Four pylons (sticks normally) are arrayed in the corners of a square
with 70.71 meter sides and a kicking stick in the center. It looks like
the 5 dice. The task rules are the USPPA task that's been flown many
times before. Don't touch the corner poles. You get two tries to kick
the center stick when starting and when finishing the course.
Catching Ribbons: Dragon Tail Chase & Precision Landing
This one is completely different from anything we've done. You take a
15 meter (or 20 or 25) ribbon up to the altitude of your choice, let it
stream behind you then let go of it completely. It starts falling. Fly
around and grab it out of the air as quickly as you can. Choosing to fly
with a longer ribbon improves your odds but gives some penalty.
Scoring is done by timing from ribbon release until the pilot touches it with his
hand or body. The finish point, for dual running purposes, also when
the pilot touches the ribbon, or the ribbon touches the ground. It's a
big penalty if you don't grab the ribbon before it touches down.
After grabbing the ribbon, stow it (or let it go) and climb to 500
feet for a precision landing. Touch the soccer ball first or get as
close as possible. You must climb high enough to fly for at least a
minute, power off.
2008-07-16 I flew the task a number of
times and here are some observations.
The competition organizer will chose the tape and everyone uses the
same stuff. I'm practicing with 3" caution tape of about 20 foot
length—that's way shorter than regulation, but I figured if I could get that,
than the longer one would be easier to use.
The biggest challenge that the tape may bunch up and start descending
faster than you are able. Yes, you could do a spiral, but that eats up
altitude mighty quickly and you're being timed. I suppose it's still
better than missing it and letting the ribbon hit ground.
I'm sure there are other ways to do this but what seemed to work best
was this: after climbing to about 500 feet, throttle back (reduces prop
suck), let the ribbon stream back then power up into a climb while
holding the ribbon. Reduce
power to idle and simultaneously let go of the ribbon. Start a
moderately steep turn almost right away in your favorite direction. If all goes right
you will be just below the ribbon but swinging up to it somewhat. Add
power as necessary to run your body through the ribbon. Grab it with
whatever body part you can muster.
If you miss, the only option is
another steep turn right away so that you're going for the ribbon
before leveling out. Leveling out may cause you to climb above it.
A ribbon that descends slower makes this task easier but you don't
get to choose. If it bunches up and starts dropping quickly, you'll be in for a
challenge. About the only thing to do is fly by it (you'll be above it)
and do a spiral. But by that time you could be too low. Be extremely
aware of altitude and position and obstructions, especially power lines.
2008-07-19 After several more tries at this, my odds have improved.
The key is to
1) You can see what happens when it gets on the
exhaust. The ribbon is thin enough that it doesn't do anything when it
gets whacked by the prop as it did while I tried to wind it in. One time
it wound up in the prop shaft but that didn't have any noticeable
effect. 2) The ribbon usually winds up below you unless a moderately
aggressive turn is employed after releasing it. 3) This is the ideal
position because you can use power to come up to it. Trying to fly this
while taking pictures was a pain in the derriere.
Matt from western New York suggested this valuable
Don't go below the ribbon. If the ribbon catches in your lines and you
can't reach it, there's no second chance.
Basket Ball Slalom
Here's an odd ball.
The course is laid out in a straight line with
1 kicking stick, 2 Pilates exercise balls of 50-60cm, 3 pylons and
finally a 10 foot diameter (3 meter) circle. The pilot launches,
flies to and picks up one of the two balls with his feet then slaloms
the three pylons, dropping the ball in the target. He then flies back
through the course, picks up the next ball, slaloms the course again
dropping the next ball in the target. Lastly, he slaloms through the
course and kicks the kicking stick. Time runs from first ball touch to