BMAA Microlight Comps

'to promote participation in the National Championship & other Competitive Flying Events'

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Monday, 18 February 2013 14:11
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Rules & Regulations for the
BMAA Cross-Country Challenge 2013

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For microlights and paramotors

1  Preamble

The BMAA Cross-Country Challenge runs throughout the spring and summer. It’s a cross-country league for out-and-return flights with an overnight stop (each called a task), with a fixed task at the end of the season. There is no limit to the number of tasks that can be flown but final scores will be based on the fixed task plus the three best scores from other tasks.

Its purpose is to encourage the use and development of microlights, to allow entrants to explore parts of the UK and Europe they have not seen previously, and foster self-reliance among entrants. Rules are deliberately kept to a minimum, and entrants will be reliant on their own resources for the majority of the Challenge.

GPS tracks will be used as the main source of validation of an entrant’s claim for any of the trophies. Entrants must provide their own tracks in GPX format.

Prizes will be awarded to entrants of special merit - such as those who complete the greatest distance - but the award of these prizes is at the discretion of the Committee, who will ensure that competitiveness is not allowed to overcome good airmanship and compliance with the law.

2  Definitions

Challenge - The BMAA Cross-Country Challenge as defined in these rules.

BMAA - British Microlight Aircraft Association.

Entry - A combination of pilot and aircraft taking part in the Challenge. A pilot who has paid the registration fee may fly any number of aircraft during the Challenge, but an entry is a particular combination of pilot and aircraft, and each entry will be scored separately. Thus, if a pilot starts the season flying a Quantum and does a couple of tasks in it before upgrading to a QuikR, he may continue to take part in the Challenge without paying an additional registration fee, but he can’t add the scores from his flights in the Quantum to those with the QuikR. He may take anybody (or nobody) in the passenger seat without affecting his entry.

Task - a series of contiguous flights by an entry lasting not more than 30 hours and returning to the point of departure. Discontinuities of less than 1km will not invalidate the scoring of that task, in order to permit walking or taxiing to a safe take-off point.

Task Window - the inclusive period of time during which tasks may be flown.

Organiser - the individual appointed by the Committee to oversee the running of the Challenge in accordance with these rules and the instructions of the Committee.

Challenge Organisation - the Challenge Organiser and other officials appointed to oversee the running of the Challenge. Officials are answerable to the Challenge Organiser.

Administrator - an individual or organisation appointed by the Organiser to handle communications during the Challenge

Footlaunch - Self-Propelled Hang Glider (SPHG) as defined in the Air Navigation Order current at the time of the Challenge.

Sub-115kg Microlight - sub-115kg microlight as defined in the Air Navigation Order current at the time of the Challenge.

3  Rules

3.1  General

The purpose of the Challenge is to foster good airmanship, personal self-reliance and the sharing of experiences. Although prizes are awarded to entries of special merit, the primary purpose of the Challenge is not competitive.

Entries shall comply at all times with Air Law and the requirements of good airmanship, and nothing in these rules shall supersede this requirement.
A committee shall be appointed by the BMAA to oversee the Challenge. The Committee shall consist of at least three members, one of whom will be appointed Chairman. The Committee members may not be considered for any of the Challenge prizes.

The Committee shall appoint such officials as they deem necessary for the proper organisation of the Challenge. This may include a Challenge Organiser, Administrator, scrutineers to verify the eligibility of pilot and aircraft for the Challenge, or marshals for the start and finish, or any others considered necessary.

3.2  Entry

The entry fees are as described in the BMAA shop. This entitles the entrant to participate in the Challenge in an unlimited number of aircraft, with as many different occupants (in a two seat aircraft) and in as many of the classes and competitions as he or she chooses. It also entitles the entrant to attend the prize-giving event. Entry to the prize-giving event for others may be purchased separately.

Applications for entry shall be emailed to the Administrator by filling in the online form here.

Entry fees may be returned if the Committee rejects the application.

Each pilot must have gained at least 30 hours as Pilot in Command on the class of aircraft to be flown.

Each pilot must have valid Third Party Insurance in accordance with CAA requirements for regulated aircraft (currently around £750,000). Footlaunch pilots insured with the BHPA must own a current membership card with a SPHG rating.

All aircraft must at all times during a task conform with either:

  • (for regulated microlights) the definition of a microlight as defined by the CAA in the Air Navigation Order current at the start of the task, and the operating limitations on its Permit to Fly:
  • Or (for deregulated microlights) the definition of a sub 115kg microlight as defined by the CAA in the Air Navigation Order current at the start of the Challenge:
  • Or a Self Propelled Hang Glider (including Paramotors) as defined by the CAA in the Air Navigation Order current at the start of the Challenge.  

All persons participating in, or in any way connected with a BMAA event shall be bound by the rules of the Challenge and accept any consequences arising from participation in it.

3.3 Tasks

3.3.1. Definition
Each task shall meet the definition in paragraph 2 above.

Only tasks started after the applicant has received confirmation of acceptance to the Challenge, and started and completed within the Task Window shall be regarded as valid.

3.3.2. Minimum Age
The minimum age for pilots is 16 years at the start of a task.

3.3.3. Personal Responsibility
EACH PILOT TAKES OFF, FLIES AND LANDS ENTIRELY AT HIS/HER OWN RISK.

Each competitor is obliged to assess the weather conditions with reference to his/her own capacity as a pilot and the performance of his/her equipment before making a decision to fly. 

It is the pilot’s decision as to whether he/she flies or not. If he/she considers that he/she is not fit to fly (through illness, fatigue, etc), then it is his/her responsibility to make the decision not to fly.

3.3.4. Mandatory Equipment
A protective helmet must be worn whenever the pilot of a footlaunched aircraft is strapped into the harness of an aircraft with the intention of flight or running the engine.

The carrying of emergency parachutes is mandatory for paramotors.

3.3.5. Conduct of flight
Before taking off on each flight, entries shall contact their planned destination to confirm that it is safe, check on weather conditions, and receive a briefing on circuit details. If an entry makes a precautionary landing at another location, they shall make all reasonable efforts to contact the landowner before taking off. Except in an emergency, entries may only land once at each location they visit.

Entries may fly as they see fit in accordance with the rules of this Challenge, Air Law and good airmanship, giving consideration for other flyers and the general public. An aircraft joining another aircraft in a thermal shall circle in the same direction as that established by the first, regardless of height separation.

Entries may fly either in company with others or on their own. They must make their own arrangements for fuel and overnight accommodation.
Local flying is not allowed, in order to minimise the disruption to other flyers and noise.

3.3.6. Task logging
Entries are responsible for ensuring that their GPS data logger is switched on and functioning whenever they are flying. In case of doubt about the validity of a claim (such as malfunction of the logger), other corroborating evidence (such as photographs, witness statements, etc.) may be submitted if considered necessary or desirable.

3.3.7. Emergencies
Entries must contact the Challenge organisation immediately if they:

  • are injured, or knows of another entry who is injured.
  • decide to retire from the Challenge.
  • are involved in an Airmiss, Airprox, or any other infringement of air law or good airmanship.
  • wish to report a possible contravention of Challenge rules by another competitor.

3.3.8. Claim Submission
The following information shall be emailed to the Challenge Administrator within 24 hours of completion of the task:

  • Name of entry.
  • Class of entry.
  • Category of task.
  • GPS track.
  • Name(s) of all occupants.
  • Either the registration of the aircraft, or the manufacturer’s name of wing and paramotor in the case of footlaunch entries.

The Challenge Organisation will assess each submission, together with any other relevant information, and, when satisfied with its validity, post it and its score on the Challenge website.

3.4 The Fixed Task

The Fixed Task will generally be held at the close of the season, and scores gained here will be added to the three best scores from the rest of the season. The task will generally be similar to a normal task, but may be modified at the discretion of the Organiser.

In addition to the Rules for tasks in 3.3 above, the following additional rules shall apply:

3.4.1. Registration
At registration each entry shall show to the Challenge organisation:
Everyone:

  • Evidence of valid Third Party Insurance in accordance with CAA requirements for regulated aircraft (currently around £750,000). Pilots insured with the BHPA must show a current membership card with a SPHG rating.
  • Up to date CAA aeronautical chart. You are legally required to carry charts for everywhere you fly, so you are likely to need more than one.
  • Evidence of at least 30 hours as Pilot in Command on the class of footlaunch to be flown.

All except footlaunch microlights:

  • Copy of Certificate of Registration for the entry aircraft.
  • Copy of pilot’s licence (including the Certificate of Experience and medical), valid for the entry aircraft, for the duration of the Challenge.

All accepted entries will receive:

  • A copy of these rules.
  • Guidance notes about participation in the Challenge.
  • 24hr contact details for the Challenge Organisation.
  • Declaration for prizes.

Each aircraft must be made available during the registration period for an acceptance check in the configuration in which they will be flown for compliance with the relevant definition (i.e. regulated, sub-115kg deregulated single-seater or footlaunch). This may include, for example, checking the empty weight or (for sub 115kg) measurement of the wing area.

Aircraft must be in an airworthy condition. The Challenge Organisation may check the condition of any aircraft and ground it if he considers a safety risk exists.

3.4.2 Briefing
All pilots must check in between 14.00 and 21.00 on the day before the published date of the Fixed Task.

A Mandatory initial briefing will take place at 21.00 the evening before the published start of the final task covering:

  • Safety rules.
  • Local area regulations.
  • Airfield circuit patterns.
  • Arrival and departure procedures.
  • Meteorology.
  • 24hr Contact details for the Challenge Organisation.
  • The start window and duration of the Challenge.
  • Any additional information as deemed necessary.

All pilots are expected to pay full attention to the Challenge Organisation and other staff at the briefing. Side conversations may cause the participants to miss important detail and distract other pilots who are trying to listen. Failure to respect this basic requirement may result in a pilot being asked to leave the briefing tent. Any pilot excluded from the initial briefing will not be permitted to participate in the Fixed Task.

All flight requirements given at briefing carry the status of regulations. Regardless of competition requirements, pilots must at all time be aware of and comply with UK Air Law and carry a current, relevant aeronautical chart of their choosing when airborne.

3.4.3. Airfield Discipline
The takeoff window and the Challenge duration will be promulgated at the briefing, but the initial plan is for takeoff to be on the Saturday morning and Challenge duration to be 30 hours. Entries will take off in accordance with Air Law and good airmanship, the directions of ATC and the Challenge marshals. After takeoff, all entries must clear the circuit as promptly as possible in accordance with the directions given at the briefing.

3.4.4. The Finish
As with all other flights, before returning to the start / finish, entries should contact the Challenge Organisation or the airfield to receive an update on weather, wind, circuit and any other instructions.

Entries shall approach and land in accordance with all instructions given. During opening hours, it is a busy airfield, and it is important to keep a particularly good lookout for other entries as well as normal airfield traffic.
Entries must make their approach and landing as expeditiously as possible, and clear the runway / landing deck as soon as possible so that it is clear for the next arrival.

The Challenge organisation reserves the right to examine an aircraft on completion of the Challenge to ensure compliance with air law. They shall inform the entry of their wish to do so within one hour of landing.

3.4.5. Landing Obstructions
In the event of an incident occurring or of an obstruction on the footlaunch landing deck, a marshal may be posted upwind of the obstruction with a red flag.

In such a situation, pilots are to watch for and comply with all directions from marshals, whilst maintaining full awareness of other returning aircraft.

4. Prizes

On receipt of a task submission, the Challenge Organisation will review its validity by all reasonable means, and may contact the pilot if more information is required.

4.1. Scoring

Valid claims are scored in each class as follows:

4.1.1 Maximum point-to-point distance flown
Only tasks meeting the definition in paragraph 2 and the time limits in paragraph 3.3.1 will be eligible for entry. The task must start after you have registered and started and completed within the task window as defined in these rules. The task must consist of one or more contiguous flights with no more than 1km between landing and the subsequent takeoff.

This will be the sum of all legs flown, measured as straight-line distances. Pilots are not required to land to count that location as a turnpoint for a distance prize claim. A claim will consist of a series of turnpoints, with no less than 20 kilometres between successive turnpoints, starting and finishing at the same point, plus leg and total distances. The pilot may choose his declared turnpoints to maximise his claimed distance, but if not the Challenge Administration will try to do so to the best advantage for the pilot.

4.1.2 Maximum distance from the start / finish
Only tasks meeting the definition in paragraph 2 and the time limits in paragraph 3.3.1 will be eligible for entry. The task must start after you have registered and started and completed within the task window as defined in these rules. The task must consist of one or more contiguous flights with no more than 1km between landing and the subsequent takeoff.

A claim for this prize will consist of a single point and the distance of that point from the start point. The complete out and return distance must be completed by air to qualify.

4.1.3 Gaggle-Drag Factor
For claims by groups flying together under 4.1.1 and 4.1.2 above, a ‘gaggle-drag factor’ will be applied to compensate for ‘gaggle-drag’.

In order to qualify, all the members of the group must start the task at the same start / finish point within one hour of each other, land at all the same points (including the finish!), and round all the turnpoints specified in the claim.

Where applicable, scores will be multiplied by the following factors:

  • For a group of two:             1.2
  • For a group of three:           1.3
  • For a group of four:             1.4
  • For a group five:                 1.5
  • For a group of six or more   1.6

4.1.4. Regulated Class Performance Handicap
For claims in the regulated class under 4.1.1 and 4.1.2 above, distances will be divided by their published Vne speed.

4.1.5. Maximum duration of any one flight
Only tasks meeting the definition in paragraph 2 and the time limits in paragraph 3.3.1 will be eligible for entry. The task must start after you have registered and started and completed within the task window as defined in these rules. The task must consist of one or more contiguous flights with mo more than 1km between landing and the subsequent takeoff.

A claim will consist of the date, start time, finish time, and the duration of the longest single flight within the task. Top claims for this prize will be verified using the GPS data.

4.1.6. Best Video
The claimant must have completed at least one task in accordance with the definition in paragraph 2 and the limits in paragraph 3.3.1 in order to qualify for this prize. However, the material used may be taken from the preparation for, and participation in, any number of tasks within the Challenge.

Awarded for the best five-minute video compiled from material shot while participating in the Challenge. Entries must be submitted to the Challenge Administrator within one month of the closure of the task window. Judging will be by a three-person panel selected by the Challenge Organisation.

4.2. Discretion

The award of all prizes is at the discretion of the Committee, who will ensure that competitiveness is not allowed to overcome good airmanship and compliance with the law.

4.3. Disqualification

The purpose of the Challenge is to foster good airmanship, personal self-reliance and the sharing of experiences. Although prizes are awarded to entries of special merit, the primary purpose of the Challenge is not competitive. Accordingly, the Challenge will be primarily self-policed.

Nevertheless, the Committee shall be entitled to disqualify any entry for which there is evidence that:

  • Air Law has been broken.
  • The pilot or aircraft are unsafe.
  • The pilot or aircraft differ from the information submitted with the track.
  • Bringing the contest, its organisers or the BMAA into disrepute. The use of hostile 'tactical protests' falls into this category.
  • Landing after your finish time without good reason.
  • The use of performance enhancing drugs.
  • Flight outside the specified flight envelope of the aircraft or dangerous flying.
  • Non-carrying by paramotor pilots of an emergency parachute.
  • Repeated violation of additional rules.
  • Any flight or other activity deemed by the Challenge Organiser to be unsafe or unsporting.

4.4. Complaints and Protests

The Committee’s decision is final, but where appropriate, pilots may challenge decisions using the correct process as described below.

A complaint or enquiry may be made to the Challenge Organiser to request a correction or query a prize award. It should be made not more than seven days after publication of the provisional results on the Challenge website by completing a Complaint/Enquiry form (available from the Challenge Organisation) and returning to him. Complaints/enquiries will be dealt with expeditiously.

Any appeals by entries shall be heard and decided by the Committee no more than one week after receipt of the complaint form. In the event that a competitor is not satisfied with the Committee's decision he/she may lodge a Protest in writing to a Jury comprised of the Challenge Organiser, the BMAA Competitions representative and one other organisation official accompanied by a £20 protest fee. The protest fee will be refunded if the protest is upheld either during the competition or later at appeal.

 

Contacts:
Web Master - John Waite, Publicity/Press - Dave Broom, BMAA/FAI Representative - Rob Grimwood,
Events Calender - Mary Russell, Colibri Awards - Chris Draper, Rules/Regulations - Richard Rawes,
British Team Leader - Rob Grimwood, Event Organisers - as calender