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ESTC meeeting 2011 minutes (english)

EUROPEAN HANG GLIDING AND PARAGLIDING UNION
European Safety and Training Committee
Minutes of the meeting held 5th / 6th November 2011 in Budapest.,

 

Members present: Representing

Miroslav Fejt LAA CR Czech Republic
Nick Godfrey DHPU Denmark
Marion Varner FFVL France
Karl Slezak DHV Germany
Laszlo Szollosi HFFA Hungary
Attilla Hollo HFFA Hungary
Rodolfo Saccani FIVL Italy
Chris Borra KNVVL Netherlands
Arne Hillestadt HP/NFL Norway
Martin Kinzl SHV Switzerland
Beni Stocker SHV Switzerland
Dave Thompson BHPA United Kingdom
John Lovell, BHPA. Chairman ESTC United Kingdom

Apologies Representing

Karel Vanderheyden FBVL Belgium
Jurij Franko SFFA Slovenia
Hanspeter Fallesen SSFF Sweden

Visitors
Stefan Klett EADS Eurocopter Germany
Martin Wiedenthaler EADS Eurocopter Germany

 

SAFETY

1. EUROPEAN ACCIDENT DATABASE.

Dave Thompson reported that people were slow in sending him their data. He reminded everyone
there is a template available for this purpose which had been circulated to all parties.
We should all be contributing by sending him the required data.
Can we all please do this by April 1st. each year.

 

2. PILOT SURVEY

The following information is reported:
Belgium 1150 pilots (no change reported)
Czech Republic 3900 pilots 170,000 hours
Denmark 700 pilots (200 increase)
France 23,770 pilots ( 22230 Paragliding, 1000 Delta, 540 Speed flying.)
Germany 34,500 pilots 250,000 hours ( 80% Pg and 20% Hg.)
Hungary 1,000 pilots 50,000 hours NOTE: Registered pilots.
1,000 pilots NOT registered
Italy 10,000 pilots 350,000 hours
Netherlands 2150 pilots (1500 Pg, 650 Hg.)
Norway 1,750 pilots (50 increase) 25,000 hours
Switzerland 14,318 pilots Between 250,000 and 350,000 hours
Sweden 1,700 pilots (no change reported)
United Kingdom 6,500 pilots 190,000 hours

 

3. EQUIPMENT

BACK PROTECTORS

Karl said that DHV had sent out a questionnaire to all pilots who had suffered back injuries to try
to ascertain the effectiveness of current harness back protection.
45% said that current protection was good, but 55% reported that the impact they had experienced
required a different form of protection, i.e. under the seat and knees or protection from lateral impacts.
Frequently in a lateral impact the airbag type slipped sideways and became ineffective.
A suggestion was made for manufacturers to introduce a “Protection Grade” system, but it was soon
realised that this would not be feasible across the various manufacturers.
Karl said that the new norm will be coming up for revision next year, and that in the meantime he
will discuss this with Rodolfo Saccani, Chris and Nick.

 

4 ARAS PRESENTATION

Stefan Klett and Martin Wiedenthaler from EADS Eurocopter in Germany gave a presentation of
their work relating to an automatic system of reserve deployment. They believe such a system
could become an accepted way of overcoming the situation where, for whatever reason, the pilot
fails to deploy his reserve parachute.
The system is called Automatic Rescue and Alert System,...ARAS.
In simple terms it utilises height above the ground data coupled with vertical descent speed, to fire
a Cypres system similar to that widely used by parachutists.
The presentation of the system described was received with considerable interest, in that it may
well prove to be a practical method of reserve parachute deployment in the event of the pilot failing
to do so himself. Such a system, if fully developed and available, could certainly have saved lives in
the past. We look forward to being kept up-to-date with its development.

 

SIV TRAINING

EUROPEAN ACCIDENT DATABASE

Dave Thompson will continue to liaise with Rodolfo Saccani Saccani regarding the following issues:

a) Add to Description Flight Phase a specific manoeuvre code for unusual manoeuvres,
i.e (collapses and other manoeuvres induced by the pilot for simulation or other purposes).
Currently there is no distinction between these manoeuvres and aerobatics.

b) Add two new Yes/No fields (one for pilot and one for passenger) to record permanent
disabilities caused by accident injuries

c) Add new code and field to Description/Initial/Abnormal Flight Condition to report on
twisted risers.

Hungary will also liaise with Dave regarding the input of their data.

 

PILOT SURVEY

The following information is reported:

Belgium 1150 pilots
Czech Republic 2800 pilots 170,000 hours
Denmark 500 pilots
France 21,500 pilots 770,190 hours
Germany 25,000 pilots 250,000 hours
Hungary 1700 pilots 50,500 hours
Italy 10000 pilots 350,000 hours
Switzerland 14000 pilots Between 250,000 and 350,000 hours
Sweden 1700 pilots
United Kingdom 6,627 pilots 190,000 hours

 

5. FLYING PRACTISES

a) OVERTAKING
The subject of overtaking when flying along a ridge was discussed and it appears that no standard rule can be applied throughout Europe.
However it was stressed that member nations should prominently publish their specific rules, or any local overtaking conventions, on their Federation's website for visiting Pilots.

b) THE USE OF 2 RESERVES.
The practise of using 2 reserves was raised by Rodolfo Saccani. It seems that most Acro pilots now
carry 2 reserves. This is because due to their style of flying they sometimes find it not possible
to deploy the first reserve and so need a second one.
Rodolfo Saccani asked what would be the situation if a pilot finds himself under 2 reserves.
Dave said that the British parachute manufacturers have test results available for this situation.
However Nick pointed out that pilots were usually late in throwing one, giving little time to throw a second.
Karl stressed that the principle of throwing your reserve in the direction of your legs was advisable.
Rodolfo Saccani also added the recommendation to throw in the direction of any rotation.
Discussion took place regarding the possibility of having a deployment handle on both sides to cover
the situation when a pilot was denied the use of one hand. Karl reported that the manufacturers say
that such a system would be too complicated.

6. SEARCH AND RESCUE

The availability of emergency services such as helicopter rescue varies across Europe, and the following information has been ascertained.:

Austria Health Insurance pays only a portion of the costs. It is VERY expensive.
Czech Republic Free for pilots with insurance.
Denmark Free
Italy Free in general but not everywhere.
France Free in general but not everywhere. (Free in Annecy)
Germany Not free but pilots own insurance pays for it.
Hungary Free, but before flight you must inform Centre, and report on safe return.
Norway Free.
Slovenia Free.
Spain Free.
Sweden Free.
Switzerland Free if you are a patron. Current annual cost is 30 SwFr.
UK Free

7. SPEED FLYING.

AUSTRIA It is not legal but they have had 3 recent fatalities.

BELGIUM It is acceptable to their insurance provider, but wings must be
15 sq.metres or more.

CZECH REPUBLIC It is not an authorised activity here.

GERMANY It is forbidden because it is seen as too dangerous. It is run by the
German Speed Gliding Federation.

ITALY After many accidents most people have given up speed flying.

NORWAY There are 94 pilots involved and have had no accidents.

SWITZERLAND They have had 2 fatalities this year. The insurers class it as a high risk
sport so will not pay for lost wages in the event of an insurance claim.

SWEDEN They consider it speed skiing only.

DENMARK There is no speed flying as they do not have any mountains.

FRANCE It is controlled by FFVL instructors. There have been 26 accidents
2 of which were fatal.

UK This activity is being incorporated into the BHPA and a training programme
will be in place next year.

 

8. COMPETITION FLYING

It was noted that at the moment CIVL are addressing the issue of safety in competitions, and
their Paragliding Competition Safety Task Force has now issued its first Interim Report.
It may be viewed on the FAI Website.
It is anticipated that this subject will be discussed in depth at the forthcoming EHPU General Conference with a view to reaching formal agreement with CIVL.

 

TRAINING

1. E LEARNING

Karl reported that he was having considerable success in Germany following the introduction
of the pilot training programme being presented and monitored electronically.
A novel feature is that it provides links which student’s can follow to find answers and the reason
behind those answers, .i.e. a complete learning package. We await an update with interest.

2. EUROPEAN QUALIFICATION FRAMEWORK

Chris Borra gave a presentation where he described the European Qualification Framework so
that we could consider the possibility of using it as a way of structuring our training systems.
Dave Thompson said that we had tried to incorporate a similar system, the National Vocational Qualification, in the BHPA some time ago but the idea was dropped due to lack of funds.
The general feeling was that to introduce the system across EHPU nations was impracticable.

 

DATE AND VENUE OF THE NEXT MEETING.

The Chairman thanked Laszlo and the HFFA for their kind hospitality in hosting the meeting.

Next year’s meeting will be held in Salzburg, Austria, on 9th/10th. June.

John Lovell BHPA
Chairman
European Safety and Training Committee.

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