Discipline “Air Race – Formula 1

 The following abbreviations and terms are used in these Rules:

Term Meaning
Av Average score for passing an air gate
CHZ Confirmed Air Gateway Score “Hard Zero”
HZ Score for passing air gate “hard zero”
PZ Score for passing the air gate “zero on perception”
Airway Part airspace above the surface of the earth or water in the form of a corridor within the frames of the aircraft flight
Air gate Paired dynamic or static 3D figures based on inflatable structures
Race A high-speed competition between aircraft held over an airway with certain number of laps
Distance The distance that competing aircraft are to fly over the airway in one race
Circle A part of the circular distance in the sports discipline “Air race – Formula 1”, passed along a closed air route beginning at the moment of crossing the first air gate and ending at the moment of crossing the finish air gate
Aerobatic square A piloting area, which is an area of the surface of the earth or water, in the square-shaped, traditionally with sides 1000m long.
Extremely low altitude Minimum safe altitude for piloting and passing through air gates, determined by the size and relief of the aerobatic square, the type of aircraft used for racing and the skill level of the participants
Extremely dangerous piloting Violation of flight rules, which can lead to an emergency situation or to a flight accident, including violation of aircraft flight restrictions, loss of spatial orientation, launching the aircraft into stall modes, and so on
Stage Flights conducted in a race form
PSVP Aerobatics on a piston aircraft
Arrow A static 3D or plane shape indicating the centerline of the air gate

General Aviation Race Rules – Formula 1

1.1 Nature of the competition

1.1.1. Competitions are held in an individual championship, in which personal results and places of the participants are determined.

1.2. Conditions of admission to the competition

1.2.1. The Formula I Aviation Race programe is available for athletes who have undergone training in the sports discipline  “Air Race-Formula I”.

1.2.2. Additional conditions for admission to specific competitions are determined by the Competition Regulations.

1.3. Organization of competitions

1.3.1. General rules: The subject of the sporting competition consists in high-speed piloting of an aircraft along a specially established air route in terms of correct passage of the air gate for the shortest possible time at an extremely low altitude. Participants complete the assigned flight program one at a time, maneuvering and passing through a specially designed air gate. In each stage of the competition, a participant is entitled to one attempt to pass the route, the order of passing the air gates can be changed at each stage of the competition. All participants take turns passing the track, the order is determined by drawing lots. For mistakes made during piloting, competitors are fined in the form of extra seconds. The winner of the race is the participant who completed the track for less time and made fewer mistakes. The competition consists of three stages:

a) training;

b) qualifications;

c) race.

1.3.2. Venue for the competition: All competitions are held at airfields, sites and water areas suitable for safe flights according to the competition program. Competitions are held on a track of 3-6 km long, which is a closed loop with at least two air gates. The route scheme is developed and approved by the panel of judges before the start of the competition. Air gates are paired dynamic or static 3D figures based on inflatable structures. The distance between the figures forming the air gate is two wingspan of the type of competition aircraft. There is a line in the middle of the air gate. The line may not be marked at the discretion of the judge. The height of the pylons of the air gate structure must be at least 25 meters. The location and number of air gates on the track, as well as the start and finish gates, are determined by the organizers of the competition based on the size of the competition venue, the relief and terrain planning, natural and artificial obstacles, the location of spectators and other factors. The approved route scheme is published by the organizers on the day of the competition not later than 2 hours before the start of the training flights.

1.4. Competition stages

1.4.1. Training flights: Each participant can make no more than two training flights before qualifying flights, during which he studies the route. In each training flight, the participant has two attempts to complete the route. Training flights are allowed for the participants according to the results of the credentials committee and the performance of crediting (if necessary) flights. The deputy chief referee for safety supervises the participant performing a training flight, who is ready to immediately give the command to the participant by radio communication, including to terminate the flight task.

1.4.2. Qualifying flights: All participants who did not make gross mistakes in training flights are allowed to perform qualifying flights. Gross errors are understood as:

a) extremely dangerous piloting;

b) passing more than half of the gate with errors in accordance with paragraph 1.6.2. The decision to remove a participant from qualifying flights is made by the jury. Each participant has two attempts to pass the route (according to the scheme and order of passing air gates). An even number of participants is determined in accordance with the results of qualifying flights. In case of an odd number of participants, the pilot who took the last place according to the results of the qualification is not allowed to compete flights and takes the last place according to the results of the competition. The participant performs both qualifying and competitive flights on the same aircraft on which he performed the training (valid) flight, except in cases of aircraft failures. If the pilot is forced to change the plane for technical reasons, he is allowed to perform one training flight and additionally no more than 3 complex or aerobatics (at the participant’s choice flights). This rule is not applied when aircrafts are not assigned to competitors during the competition, but are used on a rotational basis.

1.4.3. Competitive flights: Competitive flights provide for a system of up to five rounds: round of 1/16 finals, round of 1/8 finals, round of 1/4 finals, semi-finals, and finals. If the number of participants in the competition is less than 16, the round of the 1/16 finals will not be played. If the number of participants in the competition is less than 8, rounds of 1/16 and 1/8 finals are not played. Competitive flights of the first round are performed in pairs, into which the participants, selected according to the qualification results, are divided. Competitive flights of the next rounds are also performed in pairs and the results of the selection of the previous round The winners of each pair in the round are the participants who showed the minimum time to complete the route in their pairs. Winners in pairs of each previous round are allowed to participate in the next round. If the number of pairs in a round is odd, a participant who showed the minimum time to complete the route among all pairs of this round, but did not win in his pair, is also allowed to participate in the next round. Each participant has one attempt to pass the route (according to the scheme and order of passing the air gate). The order of departure for the competition flights of each round of the race is determined by a draw.

1.5. Route rules

1.5.1. The rules for passing the route are obligatory for all participants.

1.5.2. The beginning of the route is the first air gate. The time is recorded by the flight of the first gate. Time is stopped when the finish gate is passed.

1.5.3. The exit to the first air gate is carried out from the height of at least 200 m from the waiting area, in which the participant is supposed to stay before the command of the deputy chief referee for safety. The altitude in the waiting area is not less than 200 m, the performance of complex and aerobatics in the waiting area is prohibited.

1.5.4. The passage of air gates on the track is carried out sequentially, in compliance with the established sequence and direction.

1.5.5. If the participant missed the next gate, he is not supposed to have finished (DNF).

1.5.6. All air gates are passed in a horizontal flight, with a pitch angle of no more than ± 5 °, and a roll of no more than 5 °.

1.5.7. The height of the air gate passage is determined by a special designation applied to the air gate pylons, in the form of a safe passage zone.

1.5.8. After passing the air gates, the participant can perform a climb maneuver, including elements of complex and aerobatics. The method of performing the maneuver to enter the next gate is not regulated by these Rules.

1.5.9. If the participant’s not plane after passing the first air gate is absent on the track for more than 20 seconds, then it is considered to have finished (DNF).

1.5.10. After the participant’s plane passes through the finish gate, the time is cut off, so this is the time of the route.

1.5.11. During the flight, the participant of the competition can check the route diagram. The route map is issued to the participants at least 24 hours before the start of the training flights.

1.6. Evaluation of performances

1.6.1. Judging rules: The judges evaluate the quality of the gate individually. The judges’ score for the quality of the participant’s course is equal to the course time, “technical” time and penalty time. The “technical” time is determined for each type of aircraft that participates in the competition. “0” seconds is assigned to the aircraft type with the highest “empty aircraft mass” according to the Airplane Flight Manual. For other types with a lower mass, the “technical” time is assigned at the rate of 3 seconds for every full 80 kg. Penalty time is assigned in case of passing each air gate with errors. The marks given by the majority of the judges are transferred to the penalty time according to table 1. If the judge on the track assesses the passage of a specific air gate as “correct”, then he puts  mark “1” in the corresponding column, and his mark remains valid for determining the results. If the judge on the track considers that the passage of the air gate does not correspond to the specified parameters, which cannot be confirmed as a fact, the passage of the air gate is assessed as “zero by perception” (PZ). The course judge must indicate the reason for giving this mark. If the judge gives a hard zero for passing the air gate (HZ), then:

a) he is obliged to note in the judge’s note the reason for which the score was given;

b) if the fact is confirmed by the chief judge (with viewing the video recording if necessary), all other marks given by the judges on the track for passing these air gates are corrected to 0 (СHZ);

c) in case of not confirming the fact, the score 0 (HZ) given by the judge on the track incorrectly is corrected to the score given by the majority of the judges Video control is used only to determine “hard” zeros in the following cases:

a) determination of the exit of aircraft structural elements beyond the boundary of the air gate;

b) passing air gates below the minimum safe height, regulated by the Competition Regulations;

c) missing the air gate. If the judge on the track for some reason did not see or cannot evaluate the passage of the next air gate, he gives the mark “Av” and this mark is corrected for the mark given by the majority of the judges. Violation of the lower height limit, regulated by the Competition Regulations, is fixed by the decision of the majority. The decision to temporarily disqualify a participant is made by the jury.

1.6.2. Estimates for passing the gate and the time to complete the entire route: When assessing the quality of the participants’ passage through the air gates, the judges on the track should be guided by the following criteria:

a) the passage of the air gate in height;

b) the accuracy of the pitch and roll alignment of the air gate;

c) the aircraft passing the air gate in a given direction;

d) knocked down pylons. The quality of the passage of each air gate is determined by the evaluation criteria indicated in Table 1.

Table 1

Criterion Number of points Penalty time (seconds)
Passing the air gate in height:
Along their upper border
Above their upper bound
Below the minimum safe height
Passing the air gate in a given direction:
In the direction according to the route scheme
In the opposite direction
Broken pylons (pylons are hit by any part of the aircraft)
One pylon
Two pylons
Three pylons or more
Score “zero” for passing the air gate:
Perception “Zero”
“Hard” zero
Accuracy of the aircraft passing the air gate along the pitch:
Within 5
More than 5
Accuracy of the aircraft passing the air gate along the roll:
Within 5
More than 5
5 The time for passing the route is recorded when passing the first air gate, the finish time is recorded when passing the finishing air gate. Timing is carried out by three judges, the arithmetic mean of the readings of three chronometers is taken during the program.

1.6.3. Gross violations committed during the competition: An athlete will be disqualified during the competition (DQ) if he:

a) performedextremely dangerous piloting;

b) performed difficult or aerobatics in the waiting area. An athlete supposed not to have finished (DNF) if he:

a) didn’t follow the order declared by the route diagram while passing the air gate;

b) after the start of the flight, the participant’s plane is absent on the route for more than 30 seconds.

1.7. Winning principles

1.7.1. Competitions are considered played out if at least 6 athletes took part in them and at least three rounds were held, including the final.

1.7.2. The winner and prize-winners of the competition are determined by the results of the 1/2 final and final rounds.

1.7.3. Competitions for men and women can be held both separately and without separation by gender, which is determined by the regulation on the competition. If the regulation of the competition does not specify this, the decision on the separate or joint holding of the competition among men, women is established by the chief judge.