Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Paragliding World Cup - Portugal - Motalegre - Day 4 @ dawn

The Sun is up on a warm and wind still morning.  It is very peaceful despite the cheerful cacophony of birds singing their morning songs.  The hotel's wind turbine outside my window is without motion for the first time since arriving.  Expect a task that will weave a web over Montalegre today!

Still no results out because of some ' track problems' which I suspect is a result of the height limit imposed @ 2950ASL/GPS. 

There is something about boundary restrictions during big competitions that taint the overall tone and detract from the sporting spirit in my opinion.  I know observing airspace is part of the challenge and anyone who flies from my home site (the Dam) will be well versed in the art of staying within limits... but altitude based limits pose serious issues when invoked because the penalties are severe and the scope for cheating is immense.  What do you do where a track log mysteriously 'stops' near the ceiling?  What do you do about variations in GPS 3D accuracy?  How safe is it to have pilots making rapid descent manoeuvres in the middle of a task? How do you apply the rules AND give pilots the benefit of doubt at the same time?  It is easy to be smug about staying below a hard ceiling, but it is a bit off to see twenty or more pilots in a deep spiral when they left well below the ceiling and got hoovered flying at full speed and had no way of knowing it was going to happen despite their good intentions.

No comments: