The Paraglider Manufacturers Association issued a statement reiterating their pro-Serial class position for FAI Cat1 events through their CEO Hans Bausenwein. This statement was revised on Fri 29 July and now reads as below.
The letter follows the suspension of Open Class competition paragliders from FAI CAT1 events following two fatalities at the Paragliding World Championships 2011 in Piedrahita, Spain.
An open letter to CIVL from the PMA
CIVL has imposed a suspension of the Competition Class paragliders after the tragic accidents during the Paragliding World Championship in Piedrahita.
The PMA can only confirm their position from the last PMA Annual General Meeting on September 16 2010 which stays the same and is still valid: “The PMA believe that from the material point of view a significant way to improve safety in FAI cat 1 competitions is to restrict them to EN – D gliders. Open class gliders have their place in competitions but FAI Cat 1 is not that place.”
This PMA decision as well as a letter by Ozones managing director Mike Cavanagh (in the annex) has been sent to CIVL as a recommendation to follow before their plenary in February 2011. Unfortunately CIVL decided differently in February but had to come back to the PMA recommendation 5 month later after more accidents did happen in the World Championship in Piedrahita.
Accidents are always the result of several factors.
The only safe alternative to the Competition Class paragliders in FAI Cat. 1 competitions which exists at the moment seem to be gliders which have been certified following the EN standard.
Of course the PMA does support the further development of the EN-standard for paraglider certification to include new technical developments.
As always there cannot be just one opinion within a manufacturers association. The above is the opinion of the PMA board of directors and the majority of members .
CEO Paraglider Manufacturers Association
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