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New Club FAI Silver Distance & BGA 100km Diploma tasks


A subtle change in the 2018 FAI rules SC3 has meant that we have had to revisit and change the club Silver Distance task. As before the 50km distance is measured from the point of release but with the new 2018 rule the distance is also measured from the beginning of the take-off roll.

With Lasham approx 48km and Ringmer 41km away from us, at Parham, putting together some new club Silver Distance task has been challenging. I have even had to acquire (with thanks to Tim Newport-Peace) a new BGA waypoint, Horam (HRM), for use with the new club Silver distance Task to the East.

The 2018 FAI SC3 Rules.

2.2.1 Silver Badge The Silver badge is achieved on completing these soaring performances:

a. SILVER DISTANCE A straight distance flight from a start at release to a finish fix located at least 50 km from release and at least 50 km from the fix recorded at the beginning of the take-off roll.

Silver distance and any longer declared task may both be claimed for the same flight, see SC3C-2.3.

The Silver distance should not be flown with guidance from another pilot.

b. SILVER DURATION A duration flight of at least 5 hours.

c. SILVER HEIGHT A gain of height of at least 1000 metres.

Loss of Height Rule (LOH).

Normally the loss of height between crossing a start line and finish line on most XC flights we do is 1000m (3280ft) but this is for distances of 100km or more.

However, for Silver Distance we don't need to cross a start or finish line (see above)  and we are only flying 50km so a 1% rule applies (SC3-2.4.4b). A Silver badge

distance flight that is exactly 50 km from the release can have a LOH of no more than 500m (1640ft).

Note, this applies to Barometric Data which is fine if you are using a igc recorder like the Red box Flarm fitted to the club's Astir. If you are using GPS height data device like the club loggers there is a 100m penalty so now only 400m (1312ft) is allowed. (SC3-2.4.4b)

I know it sounds complicated but in practice it would only apply if you were landing in a field 50km away from your start point (see above). i.e. you released off tow at 2000ft then landed 2000ft lower in your field 50km away this would not count with a barometric igc recorder as it is over 500m (1640ft) LOH.

With the new club Silver Distance task you will be flying to a turn-point first before returning to either Lasham or Ringmer for a landing. So LOH should not be an issue.

By John Trubridge