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ESTC meeting 2008 minutes (english)

EUROPEAN HANG GLIDING AND PARAGLIDING UNION
European Safety and Training Committee
Minutes of the meeting held 5th/ 6th July 2008 at Chamonix

 

Members present: Representing
Andreas Pfister ÖAEC Austria
Karel Vanderheyden FBVL Belgium
Miroslav Fejt LAA CR Czech Republic
Petr Brinkman LAA CR Czech Republic
Nick Godfrey DHPU Denmark
Marion Varner FFVL France
Karl Slezak DHV Germany
Rodolfo Saccani FIVL Italy
Joakim Ringvide SSFF Sweden
Martin Kinzl SHV Switzerland
Marius Furrer SHV Switzerland
Dave Thompson BHPA United Kingdom
John Lovell, Chairman ESTC, BHPA United Kingdom

Visitor
Scott Torkelsen DHPU CIVL

Apologies:
Arne Hillestad HPNLF Norway
Dara Hogan IHPA Ireland

 

EUROPEAN ACCIDENT DATABASE

The chairman welcomed both Austria and Denmark who were represented at the meeting
for the first time. He also welcomed Scott Torkelsen who was attending representing CIVL.

Dave Thompson explained how the harmonised database system works,
in that there is no centralised database, each Nation maintaining their own, but utilising
a common template, with the facility to import and export the information in a standard format.
Dave will send the template to Karel.

A discussion regarding accidents occurring in Competitions followed, and Scott said that he
will make recommendations at CIVL to ensure these accidents are documented and reported
in a formalised manner.

Italy raised the request to make 4 changes to the database template, as follows:

a) Add to DescriptionFlightPhase 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/AbNormalFlightCondition to report on
twisted risers.

Dave said he will contact the UK Database man, and then liaise with Rodolfo Saccani.

A discussion followed regarding follow-up information where injuries lead to complications
later, such as permanent disability. This information is difficult to obtain, and some felt that
it could lead to insurance problems.

 

PILOT SURVEY

The following information is reported:

United Kingdom 6,627 pilots 190,000 hours
Italy 10000 pilots 350,000 hours
Germany 25,000 pilots 250,000 hours
Switzerland 14000 pilots Between 250,000 and 350,000 hours
France 20,000 pilots 500,000 hours
Czech Republic 2800 pilots 170,000 hours
Sweden 1700 pilots
Belgium 1150 pilots
Denmark 500 pilots

 

EQUIPMENT

Issues relating to known problems with some Gin gliders, namely Boomerang and Yeti models.
The Liros DC lines used in the upper cascades are prone to considerable shrinkage.
Gin are offering to replace these linesets free of charge.

Joakim reported that they have had problems with Supair Altix reserve parachutes in that the container has failed to open. This is due to the line between handle and pin being constrained by
The large Velcro flap closure, preventing the pin from moving.

Rodolfo Saccani reported that there were some old Comet wings in circulation with fake DHV Certification panels attached, although these wings were never certificated.
One had even been involved in a recent fatality in Italy.
Rodolfo Saccani said that it is very important to make porosity checks on a regular basis.

Dave reported that in the UK there was a lot of old and very dangerous equipment appearing on the market in newspaper advertisements and on Ebay.

Karl described some work they are doing regarding harness protection, investigating the
practical use of side protection, as well as looking into the design of airbags, some of which
could be the cause of injury rather than protecting from it.

 

FLYING PRACTISES

Karl raised the question of rules regarding circling in thermals. It would appear that there are
several different practises in operation throughout Europe.

FRANCE: You must enter from the opposite side and circle in the same direction.
Thermalling pilot has the right of way. Marion reported that in competition the
Meet Director determines the direction for circling in thermals.

GERMANY: They do not have any “right of way” rules regarding thermalling.
Karl suggested using the “right hand rule” when meeting someone circling
In a thermal, but it was pointed out that the situation changes every half circle
thus making a rule such as this unsafe and therefore unworkable.

CZECH REPUBLIC: A pilot flying straight must give way to another pilot circling in thermal.
Dave pointed out that this would not work in the UK as a lot of flying is done
flying straight along a ridge

UK. Pilots joining another already circling must circle in the same direction.
However Dave pointed out that in the UK the primary rule is that:
IT IS THE DUTY OF EVERY PILOT TO AVOID A COLLISION.

ITALY: The pilot behind has the right of way.
(This conflicts with the rules of just about every other Nation.)

SWITZERLAND In thermal flights pilots joining another already circling must circle in the same
direction. Aircraft turning in thermals have to be overtaken on the right hand side.

CONCLUSION Pilots must be able to ascertain the “Rules of the air” of any Country he
intends to visit, therefore:
Every participating Country MUST ensure that their National Organisation
Website offers not only a link to their Flying and Safety Rules page,
(sometimes called Visiting Pilots Page), but also displays links to
every other Country’s Website Flying and Safety Rules page.

 

SPIRAL DIVE RECOVERY TECHNIQUES.

Dave reported that in the UK we had not prepared for the close link between 360 degree turns, which we teach to students, and the possible rapid onset of a spiral dive if the turn is tightened too much.
UK has recently issued a Safety Notice regarding the dangers of inadvertently entering a spiral dive.
Karl reported that the Gin Zulu is most aggressive in spin.
A lengthy discussion took place regarding this issue.
Manufacturers and Test Houses should clarify the correct way to exit a locked-in spiral on
each canopy. We do not want our members to become test pilots.
The technique of releasing the into-spin control needs to be carefully addressed, as this can cause the canopy to speed up causing even more problems.
Work is needed to determine what is a safe angle of bank, or rate of turn, to ensure a spin is not entered inadvertently. We must protect our students.

 

ACRO. (AEROBATICS)

The following recommendations were made at Grindelwald in 2006:

All Federations should remind their members that if they undertake Acro flying then they are flying a glider that has not been certified for this activity.

In Acro competition, each safety boat should have a trained medic on board, skilled in resuscitation.

There should be only one pilot in the “box” at a time if there is only one safety boat.

If formation flying is taking place, there should be one safety boat for each pilot.

A fully equipped ambulance should be present manned by qualified personnel.

Due to neck injuries sustained when entering the water at speed, it is recommended that helmets should have short chin guards, and no rear extensions, in order to prevent twisting forces being applied to the helmet and hence the neck.

Scott Torkelsen stated that he had not been made aware of these recommendations
by the previous CIVL Safety Committee Chairman.
Hopefully some consideration will be now be given to these now 2 year old issues.

 

TRAINING

Para Pro Stage 3

Scott said he will be working on our proposals in the near future, but stated that both ParaPro
and SafePro may be altered by any individual Country for their own use, depending on the
topography. For example, flying is quite different in Belgium compared with Switzerland.

 

SPEEDGLIDING

AUSTRIA It is not legal here.

GERMANY It is not considered flying as it is limited to 30 metres agl.
It is regulated by a separate body :- The German Speed Gliding
Federation.
CZECH REPUBLIC It is not an activity here

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

SWITZERLAND From 1st Jan 2008 a special licence is required. There are
currently 340 licensed fliers and 42 licensed instructors who are
tested every year. They are required to have avalanche knowledge.
It is done mostly on skis, and for foreign visitors a Swiss speed-flying
Instructor must be present. The SHV have no information regarding
accidents.

ITALY It is recognised as paragliding. However it is still under consideration.

SWEDEN They consider it speed skiing only.

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

FRANCE It is accepted by the FFVL, but it has to be carried out in conjunction
with a local ski school. They have set up a course for instructors,
and CEN are establishing load and shock tests for wings.

UK A development team has been established to see if and how this
activity can be incorporated into the BHPA.

 

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Marius reported an HG accident where the pilot had altered the sprog settings on his glider, resulting in a tumble. Pilot Error. All gliders should have their sprog settings measured.

Nick reported that prone harnesses can cause problems when risers get twisted. Twists
Seem to be occurring more frequently.

Karel reported that one school in Belgium which had not had their licence renewed by FBVL are
carrying on outside the control of FBVL with separate insurance.
Dave said that this had happened on several occasions in the UK.

The meeting adjourned for members to participate in trials of a practical paragliding flight simulator, demonstrated by Ulrich Ruegger, a German engineer.
The concensus of opinion that it could become a useful tool but still required considerable
further development.

 

DATE AND VENUE OF NEXT MEETING

A vote of thanks was expressed to the Management and Staff at ENSA in Chamonix for the welcome and hospitality shown on the occasion of this meeting.
Again, thanks to Marion Varner and FFVL for establishing this arrangement.

The date for 2009 was fixed as the weekend 25th/26th July,to be held in Cerny Dul, in
The Czech Republic.

John Lovell, BHPA
Chairman
European Safety and Training Committee.

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