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The 1st FAI Pan-American Championships and 2020 Pan-Americans, site of the 2007 World Hang Gliding Championship, the finest cross country hang gliding competition site in the World.

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Flying site

Big Spring, one of the best cross country hang gliding competition flying sites in the world, is located in the Texas panhandle, USA. We usually fly big distances every day at Big Spring so be prepared physically.

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How to get here

Take business highway 20 west from town, turn in on Airport Way and then right. Past the prison and to the airport terminal building.

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Event info

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The 1st FAI Pan-American Championships and 2020 Pan-Americans, site of the 2007 World Hang Gliding Championship, the finest cross country hang gliding competition site in the World. Big Tasks (world records), smooth thermals, unrestricted landing areas, easy retrieval on multiple roads, consistent cumulus development at 1 PM, air conditioned head quarters, hanger for setup, free water and ice cream, welcome dinner, live tracking, many drivers available, strong safety record, highest pilot satisfaction rating.

Also easy airport access to Midland-Odessa airport, inexpensive accommodations, plentiful infrastructure (restaurants), great community support, superb meet director.

Check-in and unofficial practice on Sunday, August 2nd.

Live tracking with Flymaster trackers provided.

The Pan-American Championships are Category 1 sanctioned and the Pan-Americans are Category 2 sanctioned so, of course, USHPA NTSS and CIVL WPRS points will be awarded.

Maximum 125 pilots.

Helpful Instructions: http://ozreport.com/2020PanAmericanhelpful.php

Entry fees (excluding aerotow fees) are $550 per pilot and $300 per team leader. Team leaders who are also pilots in the competition will pay only the pilot entry fee. Aerotow fees are set at $900 per pilot (12 days).

• Daily Prizes
• Color map of task area showing take-off, turnpoints, landing fields and restricted airspace and areas, with clearly visible grid matching the GPS coordinates used for the competition
• Contrasting stickers for the pilot's leading edges.
• ID card and safety/contact information.
• Event Tee-shirt
• Medical Emergency Service
• Food and drink for Competition Opening/Ceremony
• Brunch During Prize-giving Ceremony
• Separate mobile sized web page with organizer contact information
• Weaklinks
• Flymaster Tracker
• Live Tracking
• On-line Turnpoint Coordinates
• On-line airspace file
• On-line task maps
• Free Wi-Fi
• Weather Briefing on Pilots’ Phones
• Task Sent to Pilots’ Phones
• Access to Professional Retrieval Coordinators (Retrieval Goddess’s Retrieval Service)
• Hangar space for setup
• Free ice cream
• Free bottled water
• Use of an air-conditioned terminal/headquarters
• Port-a-potties
• Lunch concession
• Pilot goody bags
• Help with finding accommodations

Flying site

Big Spring, one of the best cross country hang gliding competition flying sites in the world, is located in the Texas panhandle, USA. We usually fly big distances every day at Big Spring so be prepared physically. This is not Europe.

Big Spring, the county seat of Howard County, is at the "crossroads" of Interstate Highway 20, U.S. Highway 87, State Highway 350, Farm Road 700, and the Missouri Pacific line. The City is in a rocky gorge where the northern limit of the Edwards Plateau and the southern most hills of the Caprock converge. It is named for the "big spring" in Sulphur Draw, a historical watering place for coyotes, wolves, and herds of buffalo, antelope, and mustangs.

The McMahon Wrinkle Airport, formerly Webb AFB, has a ten thousand foot main runway and additional taxis ways.

The region consists of 904 square miles with a population density of 37.20 residents per square mile compared to a statewide density of 79.54. Howard County and Big Spring are located in an area where three ecological regions merge. To the north and east are the western Rolling Plains; to the south is the Edwards Plateau; and to the west are the southern High Plains (also known as the Llano Estacado or the Staked Plains).
When we are there in August it is normally dry although there are occasional thunderstorms. The prevailing winds are out of the south, but August winds are normally calmer than other summer months. Cumulus clouds appears almost every day at about noon.

We only fly at Big Spring during the competition in early August. Cloudbase varies from 7,000’ MSL to 12,000’. Elevation at Big Spring is 2,500’. Thermals are normally 300 to 600 fpm (your climb rate), although they can be 900 – 1000 fpm. The prevailing wind is south, but we come for the light winds and hope to do mostly closed tasks.
The inversion breaks around noon and we don’t start launching until we see the cu’s forming. Thermal activity lasts through 7 PM. We’ll normally start the tasks at 2 PM.

The reason why Big Spring is often called the best cross country hang gliding competition flying site in the world is proven by several record made there. For Example:

The longest task ever called and made in a competition was flown there with five pilots making goal – 215 miles (346 km).

The 100 km out and return world record rigid wing: http://www.fai.org/fai-record-file/?recordId=7858
Type of record: Speed over an out-and-return course of 100 km
Performance: 51.42 km/h
Date: 2003-08-02
Course/Location: Big Spring, TX (USA)
Claimant Davis Straub (USA)
Hang glider: AIR Atos C


Take off - 2,573 feet ASL - 32°13'5.93"N, 101°31'32.42"W
Winds: Southerly 5 – 15 mph
It is located on the town airfield.
Take off method: Dragonfly aerotow. 1 pilot at a time.
Precautions: Stay west of the main runway. Don’t fly low over any of the prisons.

Landing - 2,500 feet ASL
There are plenty of places for landing in the area. Cotton fields, peanut fields, open plowed fields, grass and bushes in uncultivated areas. The towns are very spread out.

See flying site videos:
The 2007 Worlds:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9IapewHfEY

Spot Landings:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFyDADuSLeo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUfMbbhYPpk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KITzUrOTi_o

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZX0RYTUybGk

Selection and entry fee

Entry fees (excluding aerotow fees) are $550 per pilot and $300 per team leader, due after allocation in May. Team leaders who are also pilots in the competition will pay only the pilot entry fee.

Aerotow fees are set at $900 per pilot (11 - 12 days). (If paid by PayPal there is an additional fee of $28).

To save time when you check in, you can fill out waivers on your computer after you download them from : http://ozreport.com/waivers.php, print them out and bring them to check-in (not available yet).

Selection is determined by CIVL rules.

Eligibility:

• For the Pan-American Championships and Pan-Americans

USHPA membership required. A 30-day memberships will be available at minimal cost. The equivalent of FAI IPPI 5C (requirements described in Safe Pro Delta Stage 5C). Equivalent of a USHPA hang 3 rating, XC, Turb, sign off's.
Aerotow rating or evidence of extensive aerotowing experience.

Additional eligibility requirements:

• Class 1: As per Section 7A 2.2.

In the 36 months before December 1st, 2019 which is 3 calendar months before the championship starts, a pilot has to have:

Been ranked with at least 20 WPRS points in Hang Gliding Class 1

Participated in one or more FAI sanctioned competitions with at least 30 pilots.

• Class 2:None
• Class 5: None.
• Class Sport: Pilots: None

After you register here on-line please follow your status on the Pilots tab.

“Waiting List:” pilot waiting for organizers to make an initial check

“In Progress:” pilot registered on Airtribune

“Verified:” pilot registered on Airtribune and entry fee paid

"Confirmed:" Pilots flying in the Pan-Americans (not Pan-American Championships) - pilot registered on Airtribune, entry fee paid and pilot accepted by the organizers to fly in the competition.

“Qualified:” pilot registered on Airtribune, pilot meets the requirements for eligibility to compete in the Pan-American Championships, and has been approved by their national sport flying association to compete in the Championships.

"Confirmed:" (for pilots competing in the Pan-American Championships ) - pilot in registered on Airtribune, meets the requirements for eligibility to compete in the Pan-American Championships, has been approved by their national sport flying association to compete in the Championships, and has paid the entry fee.

“Team pilot:” pilot registered on Airtribune, entry fee paid, pilot meets the requirements for eligibility to compete, and has been selected by their NAC to be on the National Team

"Waiting List:" Late in the process if there are not enough slots available and waiting for pilots to drop out.

Prize fund and scoring categories

Medals as per CIVL rules
Daily prizes are given out from the sponsors.

General schedule

All times and dates are US Central Daylight Time. There is no aerotowing or flying before Sunday, the 2nd.

Registration (check-in): 9AM - noon and 1 PM - 4 PM, Sunday, August 2nd, airport terminal.

Unofficial practice day Sunday for pilots who have checked in.

First Team Leader meeting: Sunday, August 2nd, 6 PM, Hotel Head Quarters

Official Training Day: Monday, August 3rd

Official mandatory Safety Briefing: Monday, August 3rd, 9 AM. The mandatory for the organizers briefing will take place prior to the execution of the mandatory training task and provide some orientation to the area. Pilots will have been required to sign-off that they have read the pilot safety briefing book or on-line, upon check-in. Airport Terminal.

This unscored task will be mandatory for the organizers to test and confirm that the organization, logistics, schedule, and personnel are in place. It will also provide pilots and teams that are new to a formal Category 1 event the opportunity to ensure their logistics and personnel are in place. We will do a complete run through of a typical contest flying day with pilot briefing, weather forecast, task assignment, towing, flying a task, tracking and score keeping.

Opening ceremony: 6 PM, Monday, August 3rd, Comanche Trail Park Amphitheater

Welcome Dinner: Saturday, Monday, August 3rd, 7:30 PM. at Dora Roberts Center, Comanche Lake Park

Championship Flying Days: Tuesday, August 4tht through Thursday, August 13th..

Closing Ceremony: 10 AM, Friday, August 14th, Airport terminal

The hours are subject to change. Any changes before the start of the competition will be posted on the website. After the start of the competition, changes will be announced by the Meet Director at the Team Leaders briefing and posted on the official board at headquarters.

Daily schedule

9 AM: Headquarters open
9 AM: Team Leader meeting
10 AM: Task and Safety Committee meetings
11 AM: Pilot briefing /Task briefing
12:30 PM: Take-off window opens:
7 PM: Scoring office opens
10 PM: Provisional results

The daily schedule is subject to change. Any changes to the schedule before the start of the competition will be posted on the website. After the start of the competition, changes will be announced by the Meet Director at the Team Leaders briefing.

Accommodation and Activities

Accommodations: http://ozreport.com/accommodations.php

More here: http://ozreport.com/pub/images/BigSpringHotelInformationTripAdvisorOrder.pdf

How to get here

Big Spring is in central Texas on the south end of the panhandle. The airport is on the west side of town. Go to the airport terminal.

Nearest commercial airport is Odessa-Midland about an hour away from Big Spring.

None
Big Spring, Texas US

Plane

The nearest international airport is in Dallas.

Downloads

Organizers

Davis Straub
Meet Organizer
Belinda Boulter
Meet Director/Meet Organizer
Kate Griffin
Scorekeeper and Tracker Wrangler

Contacts

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