The future of hang gliding with large gliders on Europe’s slopes seems to be sealed. That is, it may be over! Why? During the long hearings of the associations with representatives of EASA and the country-specific aviation authorities, the royal class of RC gliding was not only neglected, but downright ignored. Now the new EU regulation says the following: Models up to 10 kg may fly on slopes, up to the visibility limit and at a maximum altitude of 120 m above the pilot’s position. Models from 10 kg to under 25 kg MAY fly MAXIMUM 120 m (AGL) ABOVE GROUND, i.e. perform contour flight on the slope, which is factually and practically impossible! The hint that large gliders can be brought up to altitude in the flatland by towing – should be satisfied – is a mockery and an impertinence. By the way, the fact that large gliders without electric power at an altitude of 120 m have to start thinking about the landing arrangements has probably been lost in the decision-making process!
Who has thought up this nonsense – and who has agreed to this nonsense?
Imagine that in a popular ski resort all skiers with skis up to 1.0 m in length are allowed to ski down ALL slopes, but those with race carvers have to let off steam on the baby lifts!
And this provision is then sold to us by various association representatives as a success!
Many slope flying regions have recognized the potential of model pilots and are courting them quite actively. Model pilots have become an important economic factor.
Are we now facing a shambles? Moreover, each country seems to be able to interpret and reinterpret the rules as it pleases?
What can we do?
Austria, for example, as the country with the most RC slopes in the Alpine region, should be interested in not sacrificing this to a nonsensical rule. Or in the future no more pilots of large gliders are to be welcomed as guests, because they will then choose Switzerland as the last bastion of slope flying. But it does not only affect Austria. Also in other countries, e.g. Slovenia, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, the voices are increasing that consider these rules absurd.
Germany was and is on the way to negotiate a nationwide “Standardized Rule for Model Aircraft” (StRfF) via the associations. As a result, since 8.1.2021 an agreement with the “DAeC Buko-Modellflug” and the BMVI (Federal Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure) is fixed, which allows us, so to speak, to fly on the green field as well as on the slope with models up to 12 kg! After this has gone through the parliamentary procedures and has been signed, this applies to all model pilots organized in the associations. This is an acceptable compromise for Germany, since there are not too many slope regions where large gliders can be flown.
But it does not solve the problem for the Alpine regions!
One goal would be to form interest groups in the respective countries and approach the aviation authorities directly to make their demands clear.
In this respect, this page should also serve to support these interest groups!
Because together more is possible …
In this sense we should join forces