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USHPA RULES        

  • MUST HAVE SPOT OR DELORME GPS TRACKER

 

  • Must be a current USHPA “pilot” or “Rogallo” member with the exception of pilots with a

foreign address. Foreign pilots must purchase a 30 day USHPA membership.

 

  • Must have P3 Rating or higher with turbulence and resricted landing sign offs. Foreign Pilots must hold foreign equivalent.

 

  • Must sign USHPA Competition Waiver as well as any site and individual waivers as required by the Meet Organizer.

 

  • Must follow the Competitors Code of Conduct.

 

  • Must understand that safety is the sole responsibility of the pilot.

 

  • Must fly with appropriate safety equipment that shall include at a minimum helmet and a reserve parachute.

  • Must understand and obey all applicable airspace rules, local, state and federal laws, Landowner and site restrictions.

  • Are expected to attend all meetings, briefings, roll calls, etc. as requested, and are required to stay informed of all schedule changes, course modifications, rule amendments, etc.

  • Must pre-flight all equipment prior to launch and perform a hang-check or harness-check prior to launch in front of qualified launch personnel (i.e., launch director or their designees). However, the pilot is solely responsible for proper set-up and connection to glider, harness and other related equipment

 

  • Must decline launch if they think conditions are unsafe or are too advanced for their skill Level.

  • Must fly within their abilities and in safe mental/physical condition and must terminate their flight if conditions on course become unsafe.

  • Must follow generally accepted right of way and thermal etiquette rules.

 

  • Must notify the Safety Director and/or Meet Director as soon as possible, when an emergency occurs.

  • Must be in contact with meet officials as required in the local rules.

 

  • Competitors wilfully violating any of the above shall be subject to penalty or disqualification.

 

  • Any physical means to produce propulsive energy to increase performance is prohibited

     

  • Any item not specifically prohibited by the rules is permitted. However, the Meet Director or

    Safety Director has, at all times, the right to prohibit the use of any item he feels may

    create a safety hazard

 

  • Ballast

Ballast is any non-functional object attached to the pilot; used for the purpose of

increasing mass and may be disposable or non-disposable

 - The gross weight with disposable and non-disposable ballast may not exceed the glider manufacturer's specified maximum weight limit

- Similarly, the gross weight after releasing disposable ballast must be equal to or greater than the glider manufacturer's specified minimum weight limit

- Disposable ballast must consist of water or dry sand (not both) without stones or rocks, and, when released in flight pose no hazard to persons, animals, or property

- Systems for the retention and disposal of ballast must offer reasonable security against accidental disposal

- The use of either disposable or non-disposable ballast must not interfere with the safe operation of the glider, or present any safety hazard in the event of sudden impact

 

  • 2.4.7 PG Serial Class

A glider that has been tested by the DHV with an LTF of 1, 1-2, 2 or 2-3, or with an EN certification of A, B, C or D.

 

  • 2.4.8 PG Sport Class

A glider that has been tested by the DHV with an LTF class of either 1, 1-2 or 2, or that hasbeen tested by EN with a certification of either A, B or C.

 

  • 2.5 GPS Flight Documentation

The competition organization must announce beforehand what version of GAP scoring software will be used, and what types of GPS instruments that will be accepted for flight verification.

 

  • 2.5.1 Backup GPS

A pilot must submit one GPS’s for verification. If there are issues with that GPS, then one or more backup GPS’s may be submitted. IGC track logs will be accepted electronically.

 

  • 2.5.2 Registering GPS Units

The scorer may, when uploading turn points to the pilot’s GPS(s) upload unique information to the GPS to uniquely identify the pilot. If this has been done, the unit turned in for scoring must match the information used to uniquely identify a pilots GPS (to ensure pilots do not share or swap devices/tracks). Any GPS submitted which does not match the lodged information may be rejected.

 

  • 2.5.3 Track Log

• The GPS used for scoring must contain a time-stamped track (in the case of Garmin and some other units this means the “active” track and not a “saved” track) that contains the following proof:

- The flight was flown on the correct day and at the correct time.

- The flight was continuous (i.e. the pilot did not land and relaunch).

- That any announced altitude restrictions were not violated. This means that track points must be 3D, indicating altitude as well as latitude and longitude.

- That the announced turn points where flown in order, and any turn points that have time restrictions—such as the start cylinder and goal—were achieved within the time parameters set. This means that the track points must contain time-stamps

• For any start, goal or turn point that is claimed for the flight, the track must show a point within the cylinder. ‘Mark Enter’ or manually entered waypoints that are within the cylinder will not be accepted as a substitute for a track log point unless the Meet

Director has specifically announced they will be accepted. The scorer (with agreement from the meet director in the case of a dispute) may at their discretion manually validate a turn point by interpolating between two track points and determining that it would be impossible to have not flown through the cylinder. The two track points must be no more than 10 seconds apart. Manual verification of turn points is at the discretion of the scorer and Meet Director. The interpretation of whether a track shows a point within a cylinder is done within the scoring software, not on the GPS unit itself. Thus, for example, while a pilot’s GPS may show a point that appears to be inside a proximity circle drawn on the GPS’s screen, this is not accepted as proof of achieving a turn point if the scoring software does not recognize the point as being within the cylinder.

• Where the point being claimed is a start point:

For an exit start, there must be at least one track point inside the start cylinder with a timestamp on or earlier than the declared start time.

For an entry start, there must be at least one track point outside the start cylinder with a timestamp on or earlier than the declared start time.

• Any error margin that will be used for determining whether a point is within a cylinder will be disclosed in the meet rules or announced before the start of the competition. The default error margin in competitions where “FS” is used for scoring and no other margin has been announced is 0.5%, which is equivalent to 2 meters for a 400 meter radius turn point.

• Unless specified otherwise at a particular meet, the actual distance that a task is considered to be is calculated (via the scoring software) by determining the shortest distance around the course, not the distance around the course to the center of each turn point. Thus most GPS units will display a distance for the task that is longer than the actual distance that will be used for individual scoring and task validity purposes.

 

  • 2.5.4 Errors in Coordinates

Start point and turn point coordinates may be named in any way the Meet Organizer deems appropriate. If any are named for nearby physical features, the coordinates and NOT the physical feature will define the turn point location. Goals may be based either on the coordinates OR on a physical line but the default for will be coordinates unless specified in the Local Rules. Any exceptions may be announced at the daily briefing. Changes to turn point coordinates may be made or new turn points added at or prior to the task briefing, however in such cases sufficient additional time must be allowed for careful manual entry or downloading of the new data.

 

  • 2.5.5 Claiming Best Distance on Task

A pilot not landing in goal will be scored distance according to their best in-flight track log point or their landing point, whichever gives a better result. In either case, the timestamp of this point must be consistent with the flight being claimed and any “Task End” times that may be in force. By default, the Task End Time will be the Goal Close Time, and in any case the Task End Time will be no later than civil twilight.

 

  • 2.5.6 Rejection of Track Log

The Meet Director has the discretion to reject any track-log, or part thereof, if she/he feels it does not show sufficient evidence that the claimed data is genuine.

 

  • 2.5.7 Stopping the Task

The Meet Director, in consultation with the Safety Director, has the power to stop or cancel a task after some or all of the competitors have launched due to unsatisfactory flying conditions such as deteriorating weather or emergency operations that cannot be avoided by the competitors. If the task is stopped before the First Start Time, the task will not be scored. After the first start time has elapsed, the task will be scored. The decision to cancel or stop the task will be communicated verbally to pilots who have not yet launched. That information will also be broadcast on the Meet Frequency at tenminute intervals (i.e.; 1:40, 1:50, 2:00, 2:10...) for a period up to one hour to pilots in the air.

The Meet Director is the only person authorized to cancel or stop the task. Since radio transmissions are not infallible, no pilot should make any assumptions as to whether a task has been cancelled or stopped unless he/she has received the official announcement from the Meet Officials.

Remember that pilot judgment is critical as to whether to continue the task in a hazardous weather situation. Each individual competitor is the best judge of what constitutes safe conditions for that competitor. Each pilot is completely responsible for his/her own safety at all times.

If a task is stopped, the pilots will be scored up to the point the task was stopped (unless superseded by the Local Rules). For those pilots not in Goal, distance points will be awarded based on the best in-flight track log point or landing point recorded at the time the task was stopped. No other means of flight verification will be accepted if the task is stopped.

 

  • 2.5.8 Time-based Dispute

• If the launch is within the start sector, and a pilot fails to provide proper evidence of their start time, but there is sufficient evidence that a pilot launched during the launch window and did not start prior to the opening of the start window, then the pilot is awarded a start time equal to the start window open time. The pilot’s elapsed flight time is then moved so that it begins at the time of the first start time of the pilots in goal (so that the Departure Points System is not compromised). If the pilot’s new (artificial) goal time is outside of the announced goal closing time, the pilot is awarded goal distance only.

• If a pilot cannot provide evidence that he started during the start time window, either by correctly obtained GPS evidence or by the records of the competition, but there is evidence that the pilot launched during the launch window, then the pilot is awarded minimum distance for the round.

• If a pilot fails to provide evidence of finish time when required, then, the pilot is awarded distance points only. If a “Task End Time” is in effect, any pilots still in the air at that time will be scored distance according to their best in-flight track log point prior to the Task End Time.

 

  • 2.5.9 Authenticity Dispute

If the competition director rejects the track-log, or part thereof, on the grounds that she/he feels it does not show sufficient evidence that the claimed data is genuine. Then, the pilot is awarded zero points for round, unless evidence shows she/he has launched, in which case the pilot will receive minimum distance.

 

  • 2.6 Launch Procedure

Several standard launch processes have been developed. Depending on a number of meet variables, physical condition of the launch site, number of individual launches, number of pilots in the meet, etc., the Meet Organizers must define how launching is to be managed in the Local Rules. If the launch procedure is undefined in the Local Rules, then an Open Launch shall be used. The meet director shall have the option of changing the procedure should safety issues or other unforeseen circumstances dictate.

 

  • 2.6.1 Open Launch

A pilot wishing to launch will move his glider into the takeoff staging area behind all of the other waiting pilots. No pilot's glider may remain in the staging area unless that pilot is in the immediate area with harness on.

As with all launches described here; a pilot in takeoff position must take off, or begin to move to the back of the staging area, within 30 seconds if any pilot in the staging area expresses a serious desire to start. The 30 seconds must be uninterrupted by unacceptable take off conditions, as determined by the launch official. The launch official will tell the pilot when the 30-second period begins and will count down the last 10 seconds before it ends. If the pilot's feet leave the ground after the allotted 30 seconds, a penalty of 5% of that pilot's score for that round will be deducted for each additional 15 seconds or portion thereof until the pilot either takes off or starts moving out of launch position.

If a pilot chooses not to launch, or is deemed by any launch official as not moving expeditiously toward launch, that pilot must immediately leave the staging area or move behind all the other waiting pilots.

 

  • 2.6.2 Ordered Launch

On the first day of the competition pilots will have launch order priority based on their National Ranking. For the remaining competition days the cumulative daily score of the competing pilots will establish launch or staging priority for the Ordered Launch window.

 

  • 2.6.4 Early Launch

In order to reduce congestion at launch it is recommended that foot launch Race To Goal hang gliding and paragliding competitions use an early launch procedure providing a minimum 20 minute early launch period before an Ordered Launch. Duration of the early launch period will be at the meet director’s discretion and is dependent on weather, launch access and task

parameters (note - this early launch period is part of the total launch window). The purpose of the early launch period is to reduce launch congestion and allow pilots with a lower launch priority the opportunity to avoid getting stuck at the end of the launch queue. During the early launch periods pilots shall be allowed to launch based solely on their place in the queue. For launches with limited setup area there may be a sign-up sheet for the early launch so that pilots can be directed where to stage their gliders. The sign up for early launch should occur before pilots begin setting up their gliders. All launch procedures, including launch refusal, are run in the Early Launch as they are during the normal launch window. Pilots refusing launch go to the end of the line in the early window, unless the Early Launch window time has expired, in this case they must go to the END OF THE OVERALL LAUNCH LINE in the regular window.

 

  • 2.6.5 Identification by Launch Official

Each pilot is responsible for seeing that he is correctly identified by the Launch Official as cleared to launch.

 

  • 2.7 Protest Procedure

USHPA defines a complaint as a verbal request by a competitor to the designated official, usually

the Meet Director or Safety Director, to investigate operational matters with which the competitor is  dissatisfied. If the competitor is still dissatisfied they may file a written protest to the competition protest committee. Unless otherwise defined in the Local Rules, a protest committee shall consist of three competitors to be elected by the entrants before the first day of competition. In the event that one of the elected protest committee members is involved in the protest, then an alternate competitor will be chosen by the meet director to serve on the committee. Protests must be made in writing no later than 24 hours after the incident being protested. A fee may be required (not higher than 10% of the entry fee) and may or may not be refunded as defined by the Local Rules. However, if a ruling is made in favor of the protest, the protest fee will be automatically refunded. The protest committee must rule on any protest within 24 hours of its submission. In the event that a competitor is unsatisfied with the ruling of the committee, or feels that the complaint and protest procedures of the meet do not adequately resolve the problem, the pilot may file a written appeal, explaining in detail the nature of the alleged injustice, and providing all available evidence to support his case, to the USHPA Competition Committee c/o USHPA headquarters. Such an appeal is to be filed with USHPA Headquarters not more than 10 days after the end of the meet in question. The Competition Committee will rule on the appeal within 60 days of the receipt of the appeal by the USHPA. They may choose to conduct further research on the matter. Pending Board approval, USHPA may alter the final results of the contest in response to such an appeal in the event they find compelling evidence to support the claims of the appealing pilot.

 

Competition Scoring

  • 3.1 Scoring

GAP scoring is required in USHPA sanctioned Race-to-Goal competitions. There are several versions of GAP, the meet director will select and announce the version along with the required parameters prior to the commencement of the meet. Provisional scores are to be posted as soon as possible after each task. During the provisional score period, scores may be updated for reasons such as to correct scorekeeping errors, review of competitor flight verification (e.g. backup GPS), application of penalties, etc. After an adequate review period and necessary adjustments and corrections have been made (if any), the official

scores are to be posted. Provisional and official scores will be so noted. Meet directors are encouraged to post the daily and final results on the web, in as timely a fashion as possible.

 

  • 3.2 Competition Winners

The winners will be the pilots in each class with the most cumulative points at the end of the last contest day. In the event of a tie, the tying pilot who had the most points before the beginning of the last round will be the winner.

 

  • 3.3 NTSS Pilot Ranking

The USHPA maintains a NTSS (National Team Selection System) pilot ranking for each class of Race-to-Goal competition based on objective measurement of a pilot's proven ability to compete against other pilots of proven competitive ability. The purpose of these NTSS rankings is to.

• Select pilots for U.S. National teams that will fly in international competitions such as the FAI World Championships.

• Determine the validity of the year’s Race-to-Goal competitions (see Participant Validity section).

• Encourage U.S. hang glider and paraglider pilots to participate in competitions and earn points through their participation.