SEN 2568 - CIAM Report

SEN 2568 – Table of Contents

CIAM Report

  1. CIAM Report
  2. Automated Timing Observations
  3. Thermiksense 2019


By Ian Kaynes – From Free Flight News*

The CIAM meetings held in Lausanne were Bureau meeting on April 4 followed by the Plenary meeting on April 5 and 6.
The Free Flight Technical Meeting (FFTM) was held on the first morning of the Plenary meeting and the results of that presented to the Plenary meeting on the second day when the national delegates vote on each proposal.

The FFTM was attended by
Jari Valo Finland Delegate
Hugo Desloges Bazice France Observer
Pierre Chaussebourg France SC member
Jean Paul Perret France Alternate delegate
Bernard Schwendemann Germany SC member
Andras Ree Hungary 3rd VP, delegate, SC Ron Masnikov Israel Alternate delegate Cesare Gianni Italy SC member Ioana Dumitru Romania Delegate Mihai Paul Marian Romania Alternate delegate Per Findahl Sweden SC member Christoph Bachmann Switzerland SC member Jakub Drmla Slovakia Delegate Ian Kaynes UK SC Chairman Chuck Etherington USA SC member
I was re-elected as chairman of the FF Subcommittee.
The results of the discussions and conclusions will be described for each topic: Rule changes which were accepted will be effective from January 1 2020. The proposals were described in the January FFn

F1E Working time

The proposed change about queue etiquette was agreed unanimously both at FFTM and at Plenary


The proposed change to allow Radio DT in F1S (E36) was agreed unanimously both at FFTM and at Plenary.
Flyoffs at Open Internationals
The proposal which had been made by a narrow majority of the FFSC was considered to be unpopular for all the usual questions about DT flyoffs – how to try to standardise “normal” DT or whether to allow the option of specialised slow descent DT models by trim or design. The FFTM repeated these concerns and so it was proposed to remove the DT flyoff part but retain the option of measuring altitude after a certain time when approved altimeters are available. This modification was agreed by the FFTM with the flight time changed to be at least 2 minutes (instead of at least 90 seconds in the original proposal). The intention was that this would give a future option for deciding results on those occasions when conditions prevented a regular long flyoff.
Altimeters are already in use in space models and the latest ones weigh about 1 gram and need only a tiny battery and give adequate recording time for free flight use. They normally use a start of flight detection for space models (when altitude has suddenly changed from a steady value) which would need an over-ride for F1A to allow the altimeter to start recording before towing. A specification of altimeters for free flight has been drafted and released (see later in this CIAM report).
The Plenary meeting approved the modified proposal is: F1.1.4 Additional flights in Open Internationals
In the specification of each outdoor free flight class a procedure is defined for additional flights to decide the individual placings when there is a tie. The maximum flight

time is increased for each additional flights subject to conditions. This procedure must be followed at Championships and should be followed at Open Internationals.
At Open Internationals the organisers sometimes have a problem completing this regular procedure. For exceptional reasons of strong winds, poor visibility, inadequate field space, or unavailability of the field for continuation on the following day, Open Internationals may use a non-standard additional flight procedure for all outdoor F1 classes except F1E with the following conditions:
a) A non-standard procedure must be used ONLY for these exceptional reasons of strong winds, poor visibility, inadequate field space, or unavailability of the field for continuation on the following day.
b) An “altitude flyoff” may be specified when F1 altimeters have been approved by CIAM EDIC:
i. The procedures for a regular additional flight for the class are followed
ii. A maximum flight time is defined which should be at least two minutes
iii. The flight is timed up to the maximum time
iv. For all competitors attaining the maximum flight time, the altitude of the model at the maximum flight time is read from the altimeter and for scoring purposes this value is rounded to the nearest metre.
v. The individual placings are determined by the highest altitudes for all flights attaining the maximum, followed by time order.
vi. Equal altitudes are considered to be a tie, which may be resolved by another additional flight.

F1C Motor run timing

The USA had proposed to replace timing of motor runs in flight by demonstration of timer settings on the ground.
Discussion in FFTM centred on how well a timer setting could be demonstrated and reproduced as far as the timekeepers could tell.
This could be either telling the position of a mechanical timer or understanding a setting shown on an electronic timer.
A following proposal was to force electronic timers to be used, which, in any case, is likely to result from the agreed change for 2020 requiring radio DT to include stopping the motor. Some doubts were expressed about prescribing a particular form of timer. The FFTM voted against both changes. One option developed after the FFTM was to change the ground run demonstration to be an option instead of flight timing rather than making it mandatory. However, the president did not accept a change which had not been considered by the FFTM. The original proposal was put to the Plenary vote and it was defeated 5 in favour, 20 against. The proposal for forcing eelectronic timers was then withdrawn.

Women in championship teams

France and Finland had submitted proposals to increase championships teams with the optional addition of a fourth team member so long as there was at least one woman in the team. This had already been done in the drone World Championship held in China at the end of last year, and the change was strongly advocated by the FAI Secretary General Susanne Schodel, who was a glider flyer and quoted the not entirely relevant comparison that gliding had completely separate championships specifically for women.
Many in free flight had expressed the view that selection of a team should not be discriminatory, including some of our lady flyers saying that they would only want to be selected for a team on ability.
The proposal from France was suitable for application to free flight teams which are always 3 people as standard. However, some other categories, which do not have separate junior championships, already have an option fourth member if they are a junior. The proposal from Finland forced this solution by including both an extra person if junior and another if a woman. There would be awards for juniors and for women according to their positions in their subdivision as well as counting in the overall classification. This could lead to having a junior champion from a “senior” championship and next year having another junior champion from the regular junior championship. This confusion of the Finnish proposal came to be significant because France withdrew their well-worded proposal in favour of that from Finland! With a promise that it should include differences for junior championship events, their proposal was passed by 18 votes in favour 12 against.
The Plenary then moved on to the proposals for awards for women. Discussion included asking whether woman was the right term when this carries an implication of maturity but was being also applied for junior events. It was asked if the proposal was appropriate in awarding a gold medal even if there was only one woman competing. Then the question was asked about whether trans-gender should also be added. At this point it was decided to refer the wording and the awards to the Bureau for consideration. It appears that implementation of the basic change of team constitution will be delayed until after the awards have been sorted out.
A proposal from France was to add a subdivision result for women in open international results when at least three women participate in an event. This was passed by the Plenary, and is comparable to the current way in which a junior sub-listing is produced.

Voting on Continental Championships

The UK had proposed that only countries in the same continent should vote when deciding the venue for a continental championships. The FFTM recommended that the general principle of only voting on matters which concerned the country be re-introduced, including not voting on proposals for classes not flown in that country. This was not adopted and the UK proposal was rejected by Plenary vote.

Model Identification

Traditionally models were marked with large letters on the wing showing the 3-letter code identifying the country and their national identification number. The number became Sporting Licence number and then 3 years ago, to accommodate those countries which change Licence number each year, the alternative of the unique FAI identification number was introduced.
The Bureau proposed to this meeting that the alternatives be dropped and the only option for the number would be the FAI Identification number to be effective from 2021.

The FFTM considered that a longer time should be allowed before this became mandatory and the Plenary accepted the proposal with the date amended to 2022.As well as giving more time for marking models, I hope that the “unique” FAI Identification number will have become more unique by then. Every year there has been a number of people allocated a new number when their NAC have entered them as new licences without giving the previously allocated number. I was told that the system is being improved to reduce these problems, but I have seen no evidence of any improvement in the licence renewals during 2019, with a typical proportion of these having been given new numbers.
Always give your FAI ID number to your NAC when renewing your FAI licence and if they renew it with a new number request them to correct it.


The venues of Championships are decided two years in advance, so this Plenary meeting awarded the events for 2021.
There were bids from France, Mongolia and Romania for the 2021 F1ABC World Championships.
The bid from France was unusual in that it was
conditional on also being awarded the Junior European Championships which would be run in conjunction with the senior championship. The intention was to give the juniors exposure to a major competition. There was some doubt about how this combination would work. The proposal put forward was for two extra flying days – one for F1A junior and the other for F1B+F1P Junior – and by cutting down on preparation and reserve days the overall duration was only a little longer than usual. The publicity of this feature of the French bid obviously helped their cause and this was further aided by the presentation by Myriam Morandini. Mongolia’s case was not helped by having nobody to present it in person and was probably weakened by the fact that it would be another event outside of Europe following this year’s event in USA. Romania withdrew their bid and the voting gave 31 to France and 7 to Mongolia, so a very clear win for France. Mongolia have agreed to resubmit their bid for 2023.

There was only one bid for the F1E World Championships and for the F1D European Championships. These were both from Romania and were accepted. Mongolia was awarded the 2020 Asian-Oceanic Championships, as the only bidder for this event, which had not been allocated last year.
The available details of the Championships follow.

2021 F1ABC World Championships and F1ABP Junior Championship

The event will be at Moncontour on the farm fields near St Jean de Sauves, like the 2013 World Championships. Time keeping will be by students of an engineering college, with the promise that they will be trained before the championships.
The preliminary schedule is Sat Aug 14 Arrival, registration opening ceremony Sun Aug 15 Practice and model processing Mon Aug 16 F1A competition Tue Aug 17 F1A Junior competition Wed Aug 18 F1B competition
Thu Aug 19 F1B+ F1P Junior competition Fri Aug 20 F1C competition
Sat Aug 21 reserve day, awards and closing ceremony, banquet
Sub Aug 22 Departure

There may be World Cup events adjacent to the Championships but these are not yet defined.
Entry fees are €300 for senior competitors and team manager,
€260 for junior competitors and team managers of juniors, €50 helpers, €15 supporters.

2021 F1E World Championships

This will be at Turda, Romania, from August 25 to 28.
Entry fees are €300 for seniors, €250 for juniors, and €50 for helpers.

2021 F1D European Championships

These will be in the Slanic salt mine from March 16 to 20.
Entry fees are €350 for seniors, €250 for juniors, and €60 for helpers.
2020 F1ABC Asian-Oceanic Continental Championships
These will be at the usual Mongolian flying site from July 22 to 26.

Provisional Rules

Traditionally rules which were not intended ever to have Championship status have stayed as “provisional rules” and the move to “Official” was only made when it was aimed to be able to have championships in the class. The CIAM President has said that provisional implies temporary and this category will be used only for new rules which are being developed. The existing provisional rules should move to official if they are in use including CIAM competitions and other less used rules be classified as unofficial. The unofficial rules will appear in an Annex of the technical volume of the Sporting Code and would be administered by the Subcommittee without reference to Plenary.
Most of the free flight classes, such as F1G and F1H, will move to official with some lesser used ones such as F1K (CO2) might become unofficial.

Electronic Devices in Competition (EDIC)

The EDIC committee was established by CIAM to define the requirements for electronic devices used in competition. Most applications have been for F5 (Electric model) categories covering various energy and altitude limiting devices. They have also covered altimeters used in space models.
When the rule allowing altimeters to provide evidence of flight time in flyoffs was passed by CIAM the instruction was given to have the devices approved by EDIC. I have worked with the F1SC and with Paul Newell, who was chairman of EDIC until recently, to develop requirements for the altimeters and also expanded to cover F1Q energy limiters and a consideration of future systems for automated timing of flights.
The initial document “EDIC in Free Flight” has been released and is available on the CIAM website. It can be found under Documents at the bottom of the free flight page

It is split into three sections. EF1 covers altimeters, the requirements for which have been expanded to include the accuracy of altitude measurement. This was not needed for the initial application to flyoff timing, but is required for any future use which has altitude as a measure of performance such as the new altitude flyoff.
EF2 covers the energy limiters for F1Q. This has been through various iterations with questions about architecture and the involvement of the timers. The present version reflects the currents rules on architecture. There has been questions about also covering a static energy tester (SET) which is included in the rules for checking energy limiters. Ideally, accuracy of approved energy limiters would remove the need for such testing, but until that is reached a SET can be used as a comparative device and would be the same for each competitor in a competition.
The final section of the document (EF3) is of rather different character. It is a speculative consideration of the issues which will be involved in a flight time recording system, for which a lot of future work will be needed before a definition is reached.

Editor’s Comment

We do not normally publish content directly from FreeFlight News because that is a subscription newsletter that contains many interesting articles, plans and reports. But It is very difficult to get reports on the FAI/CIAM meetings. In theory an independent journalist should attend the meetings and report on them but none do. Being the chairman of the FFTSC Ian attends! and his reports come out much sooner than the official minutes. These minutes are the official record of the decisions. In a world of fake news, alternate facts and people feeling under represented we believe it is very important to get this update out as quickly as possible. Ian’s reports are always very objective and give us an excellent view as to what went on and some key decisions were made.

Automated Timing Observations

There have been a number of mentions recently about automated time keeping
1. In the above report Ian mentions it and refers to a white paper that describes how it might be done.
2. In his China report in a recent SEN Brian van Nest reports on a project in China
3. Recently there was a long and complicated piece on Facebook that talked about F1C timing. It had been machine translated into English and had clearly lost something in the translation. My executive summary was – all other sports where there is critical timing on very short time intervals now have timing done electronically. FAI FF is modern technological sport so w should get with the program and do it too.
4. In a recent discussion with other CDs of World Cup F1C events we agreed that the current rules and behaviour of some F1C sportsmen (those perfect ones who never have an overrun) make it very hard for us to run a fair contest with a good “sporting result”

So read the FAI report. The direct link is



Thermiksense 1/2019

From: Bernhard Schwendemann

Thermiksense 1/2019

The first issue 2019 of the German free flight magazine Thermiksense  is
published now.
For details see:

Best regards