Rules

The rules for the British Paragliding Cup are laid out below. It is the responsibility of every pilot to read and understand these rules.It is expected that all pilots fly in a manner that maintains their safety and that of their fellow pilots, within the scope of the BHPA flying guidelines. If you have any queries please contact the BPCup organisers.

It is a condition of entry to the BPCup competition for all pilots to accept, without exception, to hold the organisers and British Competition panel blameless and waive all claims to compensation.

The Meet Director and organisers of the BPCup have the right to refuse entry to any pilot.

1. Responsibility.
1.1 A pilot accepts sole responsibility for his or her decision to fly any tasks, if you do not feel comfortable flying a task then do not take off.

1.2 Pilots are deemed responsible for their legal requirements with respect to flying cross country (see 9 below).

2. Pilot Qualification
2.1 Pilots must hold a valid BHPA Pilot qualification (hill launched) or above and must be a current member of the BHPA. Pilots must bring their valid BHPA card which covers the period of the competition to and show it at registration. For any round held in a foreign country you will need proof of insurance covering you for flying in an amateur competition in that country. Any visiting foreign pilot must have a recognised equivalent qualification and provide proof of valid 3rd Party Insurance (£2,000,000 cover).

2.2 Foreign pilots must provide valid IPPI cards, FAI sporting licenses and insurance documents (where applicable) in English that must be shown at registration.

3. Fitness to fly.
3.1 Every pilot must have a sound muscular skeletal system. A pilot will be responsible for producing a doctor's certificate attesting his or her fitness to fly, if in the opinion of the Competition panel there is any reason to query their fitness. The Meet Director has the power to ban a pilot from launching if they consider it unsafe for them to do so.

3.2 It is the responsibility of the pilot to inform the Meet Director before flying if they have any injury or are taking any medication that may have a detrimental outcome on their flying.

3.3 No pilot will fly while under the influence of any illegal drugs or alcohol.

4. Paragliders and Equipment
4.1 Any AFNOR, LTF/DHV, SHV or EN certified paraglider with either a maximum rating LTF 2/3, AFNOR Performance or EN D are allowed to compete in the overall BPCup. Open Class or 'Competition' rated gliders are not permitted.

4.2 Changing glider
Once a pilot scores in any event they must fly the same glider throughout that event. In exceptional circumstances, a glider may be changed at the discretion of the Meet Director for an identical rated wing or one of a lower rating. No pilot may share a glider.

4.3 Dual flying is not permitted and neither are PPGs.

4.4 All gliders must be flown within the limits of their certificate of airworthiness and the manufacturer's published limitations. They must not be changed in any fashion from the certified configuration.

4.5 Glider Checking
A glider can be checked at anytime throughout the competition. It is the pilot's responsibility to ensure that the wing conforms to the certification and that it is being flown within weight range. Any failure to meet certification requirements will result in disqualification.

4.6 Glider damage
Should a pilots glider be damaged in any way during the event, this must be brought to the attention of the Meet Director, who will clear the wing to fly or sanction the repair or replacement of said wing should the damage be substantial.

4.7 All pilots must have with them and fly with at all times during the competition a harness, helmet and reserve parachute. These items must be passed for paragliding and be in a state of good repair.

4.8 All pilots must have a current air map of the area that is being flown.

4.9 GPS
All pilots must carry a GPS capable of recording a 3D tracklog and altitude. Due to the number of GPS units that are available on the market, there is not an exhaustive list of those that are suited. If you are unsure whether your model is acceptable or have a new model that has recently been launched it is your responsibility to check with the organisers to see whether it is suitable for use in the competition. You may carry more than one GPS in the competition but one should be used as the primary unit while additional ones are for backup only, incase of primary GPS failure.

4.10 Radios
Radios must be carried by all pilots. Transmission on amateur radio frequencies from the air is illegal and may be illegal from the ground without a license. Pilots are requested to respect the law. Voice operated microphones are not allowed and must be de-activated, failure to do so will result in a penalty.

5. Sportsmanship and Airmanship
All pilots are expected to conform to the spirit of the competition. Any pilot caught cheating faces expulsion from the BPCup. Any physical or verbal abuse leveled towards organisers, helpers or other participants of the BPCup will be treated in a severe manner. Pilots are expected to show good airmanship and attitude consistent with the FAI Sporting Code. Failure to do so may result in penalties.

6. Briefings

There are two types of briefing:

General briefing

Task briefing

6.1 General briefing
All competitors must be present for the general briefing that will be held at a specified location at the request of the organisers, this is generally the evening before or the morning of the first task. The information supplied at this briefing will cover the general rules and any specific issues regarding to the current leg of the competition.

6.2 Task Briefing
Task briefings are generally held on the hill before the task, it is the responsibility of all pilots to be present. This will give details pertinent to the task in hand, most of these will also be written up on the task board

6.3 Window Open time
Once the initial task briefing has taken place the window can be opened a minimum of 15 minutes later, in the case of subsequent briefings this time can be reduced.

6.4 Responsibility
It is the pilot's responsibility to stay informed by attending the briefing and consulting the task board. If in any doubt ask the Meet Director to clarify any points that you are not clear on.

7. Take Off

7.1 Sign to Fly
All pilots competing in the days task must sign the 'Sign to Fly' sheet that will be pointed out on take off. On completion of their flight and on returning to base they must then sign themselves off the sheet, by personally returning and downloading their GPS at base this supercedes signing off. Failure to do either of these will result in a penalty of no scoring for the task.

7.2 Take Off Boundary
The Take off boundary will be set by the Meet Director at the task briefing

7.3 Window Open/Extension
The window open time will be set at the task briefing and displayed on the task board. Should the window have to be temporarily closed for safety reasons or if conditions deteriorate then the time that pilots were not allowed to take off will be added to the window, generally up to a maximum of 30 minutes but at the discretion of the Meet Director once the window is re-opened.

7.4 Launch Order
Pilots must fly in the correct take off order (if any) to score. They must also comply with site rules and any time limits or take off rules set by the Meet Director, and respect any requests from launch marshals with regards to launch procedures.

7.5 Thermalling direction
Within a set radius of take off the Meet director will set a turn direction, this will be stated at the task briefing and appear on the task board. Any pilot completing a 360 degree turn within this set area must turn in the direction stated. Failure to comply with the turn direction will result in a penalty. When entering a thermal that is outside of the set radius and where a pilot is already established, the pilot joining shall thermal in the same direction as the established pilot, regardless of any height separation.

7.6 Emergency
Once a pilot has launched they may request permission from the Meet Director or marshals to top land if they have a safety related issue. In the case of a more serious issue where they are forced to land immediately after launch a pilot may take off again once permission has been obtained from the Meet Director. In this case any time for the task will be taken from the first time they launched.

8. Flying

8.1 Compliance with air law
Every pilot is expected to comply with and respect the British rules of the air. International collision avoidance regulations and constant, vigilant observations are expected to be kept at all times while flying.

8.2. Airspace
Task setting will avoid flying through restricted areas. Pilots must be fully conversant with air law and must be in possession of up to date 1:500000 aeronautical charts. A suitable altimeter must be carried on all tasks. No fly areas, e.g. sensitive farms, gliding clubs etc, may have one or more GPS cylinders declared. A GPS tracklog that penetrates the cylinder(s) will not score beyond the entry point and may incur additional penalties as specified at the task briefing.

8.3. Ballast
Ballast which is capable of being jettisoned must be of dry loose sand or water. A competitor must avoid dropping ballast at any time likely to affect other competitors. All Competitors must ensure that any ballast is secure at all times. Dry loose sand is defined as having a fine consistency with granules of not greater than 2mm diameter. The total ballast including all flight equipment and the glider, should not exceed 30 kg in addition to the pilots weight. The pilot's weight is defined as body weight when dressed in jeans, shirt and underwear. Any pilot exceeding the 30kg limit will be penalised 500 points per infringement.

8.4 Cloud Flying
Cloud flying is not permitted and may lead to disqualification. Every pilot is expected to take appropriate action to prevent the entering of cloud. If a pilot does enter cloud they may not exit with an advantage, but must be seen to retrace their track to the point they entered before continuing the flight

8.5 Safety on Task
Pilots have a responsibility to their own and others safety. Pilots on a task who consider conditions have become unsafe must advise the Meet Director via the safety channel.

9. Landing

9.1 Goal Closed
The time goal is closed will be announced at the briefing and be displayed on the task board. If a pilot lands at goal or passes into the virtual goal cylinder after this time they will not score any time points.

9.2 Land By time
The land by time will be announced at the briefing and be displayed on the task board. This is the time when it is expected that all pilots will have landed. If you find you are not in a safe place to land at this time it is beholding to you to find a safe place and land as soon as is practical. In either case a pilots scoring position will be taken from the time the goal closes.

9.3 Report in Time
The report in time will be announced at the briefing and be displayed on the task board. This is the time when all pilots must have reported back to base that they have landed safely. The usual method for this is via text message to the numbers that will be provided at the task briefing. It is important that this is completed to avoid any unnecessary search and rescue operations. Any pilot not reporting in will be penalised.

9.4 Check in Close
The check in closed time will be announced at the briefing and be displayed on the task board. This is the that all competitors must have downloaded there GPS.

9.5 Flight Verification
Competitors must verify their flights by means of GPS. This must be an approved GPS capable of record in 3D format (i.e.. include GPS and/or pressure altitude in downloaded tracks), and be clearly marked with the pilot number. The GPS must be cleared of all waypoints and track logs prior to registration for each event. After the first task any track log must not be cleared until next task briefing. Full instructions will be given at each briefing.

9.6 Ground signals
Ground signals may be displayed in the launch or landing areas. They are normally made out of fluorescent orange cloth, but may be white. 
DAYGLO X = Task is canceled or suspended.
DAYGLO T = Pilots in the a are required to land as soon as possible.

9.7 Canopy gathering
A canopy should be gathered together before take off or after landing to avoid the possibility of confusion with the distress signal agreed with the mountain rescue services.

10. Disputes

10.1. Disagreement
Pilots will not approach marshals on duty over a disagreement about scoring. If a pilot disagrees with a score or decision they may state his complaint to the meet director. If the pilot is still unhappy they may lodge a written protest in English within 2 hours of the posting of results (1 hour after the final task of the leg) with a 10 GBP deposit. The organisers will then elect an Appeal Committee of 3 people to take a decision on the issue. The Appeal Committee also decides whether the appeal fee should be refunded and pilots notified of the decision.

10.2. FAl section 7
When the present rules do not cover a particular situation or aspect, section 7 of the FAl Class of "Hang gliders" regulations will be used. Failing this the Meet Director will be the arbiter

11. Penalties

11.1 Penalty details

  • The following percentages will be deducted from the pilots score for the task in question for failure to provide or comply with each of the following :
  • Failure to provide a GPS trace 100% 
  • Landing after 'land by time' 100% 
  • Failure to report in by the 'Report By time' - up to 100% at Meet Director's discretion
  • Failure to hand in GPS at stated time - up to 100 % at Meet Director's discretion 
  • Failure to 'Sign to Fly' 100% 
  • Inappropriate airmanship and attitude - up to 100 % at Meet Director's discretion
  • Scoring System.
  • Penalties are at the discretion of the organisers of the Event.

12. Task Validation
12.1 In the event of the window being closed early, the task will be validated if all pilots have launched or if the window has been open for at least as long as determined by the following formula: 

Number of competitors (who have signed to fly) multiplied by 5 minutes, divided by the number of declared launch positions. 

The Meet Director will determine the number of launch positions on a site/task basis.

12.2. Stopped Task
The Meet Director may cancel a task in the event of hazardous weather or other conditions which, in their view, could endanger the safety of pilots before the landing deadline expires. Cancelation is announced on the safety frequency and by other means stated at the briefing. Pilots on course should acknowledge a canceled task by flying in 'big ears' if safe to do so.
If one or more pilots have flown further than 75% of the nominal distance at the time the task was stopped, the task is scored.

12.3. Closed Take-off Window
The take off window may be closed and all further launches canceled due to conditions on take off. If sufficient "window open" time has elapsed, as set out in 27 above, then those on course will score a distance as recorded by their GPS at the time the window was closed.

13. Incident Reporting
13.1 Pilots involved in any incident that may have put him/herself or any third party in danger must make account to the Meet Director as soon as is practical. Submission of an Incident Form to the BHPA may be required. If the incident occurs in the vicinity of take-off and safe top landing is possible then the pilot should land immediately.

14. Compensation to an Assisting Pilot
14.1 A pilot assisting an injured or downed pilot will be compensated task points by receiving points for the task equal to their average score for all the other tasks in the competition round, subject to there being more than 1 task. If there is only 1 task the meet director may award a bonus.

15. New Rules
15.1 New rules may be brought out prior to the initial briefing. It is the responsibility of pilots to update their copies of the rules.

16.Scoring
16.1 The official posting time of the of the scoring is usually prior to the morning task briefing, however provisional results are normally posted the night before.
Overall results will be determined as follows:

If 10 or more tasks are achieved then the best 8 score.
If 7 to 9 tasks are achieved then the best 6 score.
If 6 or less tasks are achieved they all score.

The GAP Methodology for scoring will be used at all meets, and the scoring system will be the CIVL RACE approved system.