Jury Report on Free Flight European Championships 1998 F1A F1B F1C

FAI Jury






FFS/C Chairman





4th to 9th of July


Althorn de Lagoa - BEJA — Portugal


F1A: 75 competitors from 27 teams
F1B: 64 competitors from 24 teams
F1C: 38 competitors from 17 teams
TOTAL: 177 competitors from 29 teams with only 9 full teams


Teams were accommodated in various hotels in BEJA and the surrounding area. Some were camping on the field where there was all facilities including showers, toilets, fresh water, snacks and drinks. Breakfast, lunch and dinners could be taken at the flying field.

A brunch was served at the flying line around 10:00 which gave the possibility to have a non stop contest up to 14:00 and then the lunch after the end of the 7 rounds.

Flying site

The flying site is an open ground next to an Air Force Base, through which we were allowed to access to the site, avoiding several km of dirt tracks.

The terrain is undulated and open to cattle in spring. The surface is covered of dry grass and also marked with numerous pot holes left by cattle foot prints, which made towing and retrieval rather strenuous

Despite these problems, the field is large, the visibility has been excellent and retrieval did not make too many problems, even for some non DT models which could be found at some 20 km from the field.


The weather has been almost the same everyday: warm, sometimes extremely hot and dry, with light breeze in the morning, followed by strong wind in the afternoon, until late in the night.


F1A day started with confusion as a 1st start signal was given at 7.15 when some poles had no timekeepers and no poles had score cards. Everything got ready at about 7.45 and the Jury ordered a new official start.

Flying conditions were not easy in the heat, with strong but short and turbulent thermals which left only 17 flyers with a full score. Thermal activity and retrieval conditions were such that the Fly-Off could not be run in the evening. In the morning, the conditions were good, but it appeared that the winner got the benefit of a slope wave effect in the gentle morning wind.

F1B start was slightly delayed because of F1A fly-off and only 16 competitors came out with a full score. The fly-off was also decided for the following morning at 6.30. While we were preparing to start this fly-off, the slight morning mist became thicker until there was only a few hundred meters visibility. This disappeared with sun which also started thermal activity. It has been decided to postpone the F1B fly-off to the next morning.

F1C could start and left only 4 flyers with a full score at the end of the 7 rounds. The wind was lighter than the previous day and we could start a fly-off for a 5 minutes maximum time at 19.30 that evening. Only one flyer maxed, so no other round was necessary.

The F1B flyoff took place the next morning for a 10 minutes max. We started at 6.40 with a perfect visibility.


It is evident that the Portuguese organisers did their best to prepare this championship and worked very hard to solve all the problems we made to them.

The need for timekeepers was met by bringing in young people from the Scouts: keen, able to speak English, with good eyesight, but without experience of timing flights and sometimes lacking of concentration.

Some teams had entered official timekeepers who were never seen on the line.

Fortunately, many supporters from various countries, volunteered to be timekeepers, and we managed to have at least one experimented timekeeper at each pole, and even two for the fly-off.

Each day, the situation improved, and everything has been perfect for the open World Cup contest which followed the Championship. In such a situation, it should be suggested by the CIAM that the WORLD Cup contest should take place before the Championship.

Considering the enormous problem we already had last year at the WAG, and also this year, it becomes necessary that in the future, each team provide timekeepers. This question should be referred to the Free Flight sub Committee for further studies.

Opening and Closing Ceremony

Opening Ceremony took place in a stadium in BEJA. Unfortunately, this was delayed for more than an hour, because of a strike by BEJA municipality workers.

This was followed by a wonderful buffet with various typical food and free drinks at the town swimming pool.

The Closing Ceremony was held in a pleasant and shaded park in BEJA. The atmosphere was very warm with trophies and medals for winners and winning teams. The FlC FAX trophy was presented to the winner.


The event was pleasantly hosted by the Portuguese but rather hampered by their small numbers of free flighters.

The F1C 5 seconds engine run has kept down the flyoff sizes compared to previous events.

The F1A and F1B flyers seemed satisfied to have only one 10 minutes max morning fly-off.

This 1998 Free Flight Championship was a success and the Federacao Portuguese de Aeromodelismo must be commended for a very good work.