Jul 1995

9th World Rally Flying Championship

Held at Herning, Denmark – 23 July to 30 July 1995

Team Managers Report – Johan Swart

GENERAL

The South African Team left Johannesburg on 16 July 1995 after a cocktail party and Colours Presentation at Jan Smuts Airport. I accompanied the team as International Judge for South Africa as per rule D 5.1.2.

We arrived the next day in Dusseldorf from where we took four trains to the competition destination. We finally arrived that evening of the 17th of July at 23h30 in Herning. South Africa was the third team to arrive – during the morning the team from France arrived followed that afternoon by the Polish Team.

The next day competition management fetched our team at the hotel and took us to Herning Airfield to sort out aircraft hire and registration. I reported to the Championship Director and offered my assistance. Everything was fairly well under control. The rest of the week I assisted Deon van Eeden. team manager, and our team with practice route planning, route instructions and route photographs. No practice routes were available from competition management.

It was also good to meet with old friends and make new ones. Once again it was good to see that quite a number of the competitors were still wearing our T-shirt, golf shirts etc. from the 1991 event in Stellenbosch. Everybody was expressing the hope that we must host an event in South Africa in the near future.

OFFICIALS

Kongelig Dansk Aeroklub
Dansk Motorflyver Union
Herning Motorflyve Klub

  • Competition Director – Vagn Jensen – Denmark
  • Route Planner Director – Olaf Skov – Denmark
  • Local Chief Judge – Carl Mikkelsen – Demnark
  • Technical Manager – Mogens Thaagaard – Denmark
  • International Chief Judge – Ottar Teigland – Norway
  • International Jury
    • Colin Jordaan (President) – South Africa
    • Gerold Detter – Austria
    • Jiri Dodal – Czech Republic
    • Johan Swart (Observer) – South Africa

THE COMPETITION

Before my departure, I was in contact with the Championship Director, Vagn Jensen, to find out if I may attend this event as Jury Observer. He gave me the initial go ahead, but he wanted first to discuss this with the International Jury because they can only except one observer. The Jury discussed my request at their first meeting and I was then approved to attend as Jury Observer.

I was allowed free access to the workings of the Jury and to attend all their meetings, I was also allowed free access to all aspects of the competition management.

Our first task was to cheek the route descriptions of the all the tests and to plot the routes to make sure everything was correct. We basically had to re-write all the route descriptions, because the route planner did not follow the latest rules. Every day’s test was given back to the route planner to correct and then afterwards we had to recheck it again. This was a very time consuming task and we normally finished our tasks very late at night. We, however, did realise that this was of vital importance for the Jury to do their best to make this an exceptable World event and to do everything within their power to avoid another Chile disaster.

One must also realise that checking the route descriptions is only a small part of assuring the success of a competition. During the event the Jury and myself performed checks on all aspects on a rotation basis so that good quality control was maintained throughout the event. This included: Proof flying the routes 45 minutes before the first aircraft takes off to ensure that all Timed Points were correctly set up and manned by international Judges, to make sure all photographs were correct and inside the specified limits, checking on the placement of en-route markers, checking on Yes/No photographs at Checkpoints, as well as on Checkpoint ground markers. Driving by car to a few Timed Points to ensure from the ground that the Judges were performing correctly. Visiting the away landing airfield to see if there were enough manpower for judging, that video recordings were taken of the landings, positioning of the landing markers and the crosswind flag. Also checking on the physical judging of the landings. Checking at the departure airfield the handing out of route instructions, searching for illegal navigational equipment, cell phones, etc., checking if all radios and nav equipment were sealed properly. Sitting in at random at the debriefing of pilots and navigators. Checking on the landings at the finishing airfield and observing if the 5 min period after wheels stop are implemented correctly.

During the official practise test the Jury picked up various mistakes and problems with the running of the event and all these mistakes and problems were listed and handed to the competition management to rectify and also to report back to the Jury. The Jury had to make a final decision to go ahead or either postpone the start of the event with one day. After a meeting with the Chief Judge and Competition Manager where they have assured the Jury that everything was under control, the Jury gave the go-ahead for the start of the event. This have caused a little bit of tension between competition management and the Jury, but proved at the end of the event that the Jury had made the correct decision on behalf of the competitors. The decisions taken by the Jury was to ensure a successful event and also has caused that the minimum amount of protests were received by the Jury.

I was responsible on Test 2 to do the proof flying of the route with the route planner and with Jiri Dodal, Jury Member from Czech Rep. The following were noted and passed on to the Jury for decision.

  • a. The ground maker at a timed point was to far away from the point itself (250 meters). We rectified this over the radio and this was repositioned in the correct spot.
  • b. One photo was further than 300m from track – this was plotted and measured on our return. The Jury agreed with me and the photo was cancelled.
  • c. An en-route ground marker was not where it was supposed to be and I was about to tell the route planner to continue when I picked up a car on the correct road. I then asked the route planner to to make sure if this was the ground crew. It turned on to be the crew and from the air we witnessed the placing of the marker at the correct spot.
  • d. 0ne photo was plotted incorrectly on the master map and I marked the correct spot for remeasuring.
  • e. The photo before the finish point was not where the route planner plotted it on the master map. After an intensive search and also at the point where I wanted to tell the route planner to continue I spotted the photo – approximately 4 nautical miles down track. This was also corrected.

0n. the more lighter side: 0n my return flight to the airfeld there was an urgent call from the Spanish team to talk to their manager, because they are experiencing problems inside the cockpit. A long discussion in Spanish followed, which I1 reported to the Jury. I later found out what was the problem: As explained to me: When this team arrived at a turning point the aircraft refused to follow the pilot’s input on the controls and decided to continue in it’s own direction, which was not the outbound track. The pilot and navigator were very worried. The problem: The pilot switched on the autopilot by accident without knowing it. Something to remember!

Observing at the debriefing I picked up and pointed out various adding mistakes by the debriefing judge. All these mistakes were in favour of the competitors.

The other Jury members also picked up minor mistakes during the course of this event but not to such an extent to classify it as a badly organised event. One complaint from the competitors was that there were not enough ground markers. 0ne is allowed, according to the rules (A.2.4.6), to use up to 8 markers – the max that were used were 3.

IN CONCLUSION

This was a very good experience and I have enjoyed it very much. In general one can say that it was a well run event. South Africa has made many new friends and we are still entrusted with the standard we have set in 1991.

At the closing of this event I have been honoured by an invitation to either act as Chief Judge or member of the Jury for the 1996 European Rally Flying Championships which will be held in the Czech Republic.

In closing – the South African team did not do to badly, we must look at the polishing phase of our competitors for the International market. As ambassadors for our county we have scored many valuable bonus points.

To the South African Power Flying Association – thank you for al1owing me to attend this World event.