The central area of the Waikato district of the North Island of New Zealand was chosen because of its access to a variety of flat to rolling and hilly contoured land with a selection of farmland and forest.
Hamilton International Airport was likewise a central point from where routes could be flown. Four routes were chosen to cover the North East, North West, South East and South West areas. Each route was structured to give a good variety of terrain.
Other considerations included a large hotel with all facilities reasonably close to the airport; the proximity of the majority of Cessna 150 & 152 aircraft in New Zealand to Hamilton Airport within one hours flight time; access to a large aviation maintenance base, very liberal use of grass areas of the Hamilton Airport and the availability of the Waikato Aero Club buildings.
There was generous sponsorship from all the existing aviation services around the airport, including the Hamilton Airport Authority, Airways Corporation, Civil Aviation Authority and Aeromotive Limited (the aircraft maintenance company).
Perhaps the main consideration was that the Competition Director, Chief Local Judge, Route Planner, the New Zealand Precision and Rally Flying Association secretary and the Competition secretary all live in the district. The large numbers of helpers and assistants needed also lived in the district or within easy travelling distances. The financial controller and the aircraft procurer, although living in other areas, both had no difficulty in doing their jobs through the use of fax, email and computer equipment. As well they each own aircraft and could attend meetings in Hamilton on an as needed basis.
This began five years in advance when we bid for the 1996 12th W.P.F.C. This event finally went to the U.S.A. in Fort Worth, Texas. However this gave the organisers extra time to plan and to survey the event in Texas and also to learn from the World Air Games in Turkey. Deciding on the town and area was finalised at an early stage and planning went ahead in the central Waikato.
A schedule of required tasks was drawn up and completion dates established for the various tasks. As the years then the months went by, the committee made sure that all tasks were done according to this schedule. Meetings became frequent as the workload increased and more people were assigned to specific tasks.
The most important and most demanding task after the initial planning was to prepare job descriptions for all the various facets of the competition and to appoint suitable people to do these jobs. With the limited experience levels of most of the people involved in Precision and Rally Flying, especially at an International level, this meant all our helpers had to be trained. This training was carried out mainly on a personal basis, where time permitted, and included time spent at our regional and national competitions, but a large proportion of the training could not be completed until the two training days at the start of the competitions.
The success of the event has proved that the planning and the organisation were both sound.
How Everything Went
Preliminary Entries were sent out to all countries, six months in advance, and possible entries then accepted. Indications were at this point that the event would be a success if 2/3 of the preliminary entries actually attended the event.
The committee had also managed at this stage to obtain important sponsorship from some of the major sponsors, Mobil Oil New Zealand, The Hillary Commission and Aeromotive Limited. As there was no funding from the National Aero Club and only limited money available from the Precision and Rally Flying Association, this sponsorship was vital for the committee to proceed. The sponsorship enabled the committee to begin to purchase equipment and to commence printing. There was also some money left for advertising.
As the closing date for entries approached and finally passed, some concerns arose due to the low number of entries. Eventually the entries came, albeit slowly, and by the end of December 1998 it was obvious that the event would at least break even. By the end of December more sponsorship had also been obtained.
It should be stressed that countries get their entries in ON TIME! Do not leave it until the last minute as a lot of countries did for this event. The countries do not need to named individually, but they will know who they are. First prize for entries goes to Switzerland for their excellent effort, which was on time and accurate.
By Christmas 1998 all was ready except for a few late entries and finalisation of the four routes due to the late publishing of the maps. (These were donated free of charge from Aviation Publishing Limited).
By February 1999 the late entries turned up, the routes were all arranged and teams started to arrive. Practice courses were available and apart from a few small problems with aircraft and familiarisation with the airfield, everything was running smoothly. Some pilots had to be told to abide by normal circuit rules but after the second practice day they settled down.
The exceptionally dry weather the district had been experiencing cause the landing grids to disintegrate and it was necessary to water them and to shift the grids. This was accomplished without too much trouble.
Air Traffic Control
Airways Corporation handled the traffic well and received considerable favourable comment. Thanks to Graeme Opie and his assistants who were very tolerant and understanding with those pilots who had limited English.
Opening Ceremony - Saturday 20th February 1999 1600 hours
The Opening day programme went ahead on time and was accomplished in 45 minutes. A short flying display was followed with a cocktail function at the airfield.
The opening briefing at 1900 hours proved to be the most important one of the event with a lot of questions answered. Dinner followed and all were then ready for the start on Sunday.
Landing Practice Day - Sunday 21st February 1999
This day got underway only a few minutes late and the system ran so smoothly that there was plenty of time for meal breaks. It only took 35 minutes to alter the grids and get the practice underway again after a change in wind direction. The day finished ahead of schedule with no real problems. Our helpers had learnt a great deal and were even more enthusiastic then at the start of the day.
First Practice Navigation Day - Monday 22nd February 1999
This proved to be a great learning day for both organisers and helpers. The flight planning, escort duty, ground controllers and de-briefers all became familiar with their jobs and resolved that any problems arising the next day would easily be solved. Results were available unofficially 30 minutes after the flying finished but unfortunately there were problems with the computer programme and operators, with too many mistakes and no official results were able to be published.
First Navigation Day - Tuesday 23rd February 1999
This went accurately and to plan early on but then low cloud forced a postponement for 3 hours. Check points were in place so the ground crews had a long day out on the course. Despite the late start all pilots finished the course in daylight.
Computer problems again meant no results could be published that day. Chief Judge, Ottar Tiegland and others, worked long hours to produce the results late that evening. By then it was too late to give them out as most people had gone to bed.
Landing Competition Day - Wednesday 24th February 1999
Once again the organisation ran smoothly with each landing sequence complete in less than 1 1/2 hours. As usually occurs, there were a few complaints and some protests. The Competition Director and the Chief Judge dealt with these complaints, with the jury dealing with the protests later in the week.
Again computer problems caused the results to be late and then protests had to be heard. One pilot had to be disqualified and there were no results again that day.
Second Navigation Day - Thursday 25th February 1999
No problems with weather on this day but again results were slow to come out. All other systems worked well.
Friday 26th - Reserve Day
This proved to be a wet day and the proposed excursions and air show had to be cancelled. This was disappointing for the organisers and visitors alike but could not be helped. With the resignation of the New Zealand Chief Scorer and his assistants early in the morning of this day, all papers and one computer only were shifted to the hotel where the Chief Judge and Competition Director spent all day redoing all the results. These were made available late and then complaints heard.
An excursion to the city of Rotorua had been organised for all visitors and once again the Chief Judge and Competition Director, assisted by the Chief Local Judge spent all day correcting results after the complaints had been heard. The corrected final results were ready at 1500 hours. After checking by Team Managers a few further mistakes were corrected and final results were available at the prize giving dinner that evening. There were no protests for the navigation competitions.
Prize Giving Dinner
This was held at a country vineyard and the prize giving speeches were completed during the meals. All enjoyed a pleasant evening.
Observations and Recommendations
There were 81 pilots competing out of the 163 registrations received from 23 countries.
The organisers had a total of 105 officials and helpers, plus 24 New Zealand Army personnel assisting with communications. Even though all the timing results had been radioed back to the Chief Scorer by the time the pilots had finished their navigation tests, results were not released until after all the ground crews had returned to base and their clock times checked. This caused a lot of frustration because the New Zealand Scoring System did have preliminary, unchecked results ready within less than one hour of the last pilot returning.
Even after the initial checking, mistakes were still found when rechecked later. This proved that our scorers were not practiced enough in operating the system with such large numbers of entries.
It is recommend that a better scoring system be adopted. The Casper programme has proved difficult to use. Other systems are available but need refining to make them more user friendly.
It is the opinion of the Competition Director that the G.A.C. landing scoring system is not working properly. With the German landing system used, the entire landing competition could have been manually scored on the grid and instant provisional results could have been available. Neither the New Zealand Computer or Casper scored correctly and all results had to be done again.
1. Countries must pay their entry fees on time so the organisers can operate their finances efficiently. Late entries cause problems especially for the printing of souvenir programmes.
2. Aircraft, pilots and true airspeeds should be confirmed at least two days or earlier before the competition so the computer operator can have the programme ready in advance. Last minute changes can be coped with as long as there are not too many.
3. All pilot entries should be on site before the competition to get used to local conditions and the local aerodrome controllers.
4. All supporters and officials as well as pilots must register for the competition. Unregistered partners and supporters cause no end of problems for the organisers. The organisers did use some part registrations, which covered hotels, and excursions and they worked well. People staying outside the organised hotels can create huge problems for the organisers when wanting to come to just the prize giving for instance. Negotiating "special rates" for buses, tourist attractions and other venues can only be done with definite numbers, give or take a few only, and needs to be arranged in advance.
5. Flight Planning -
The rules must be made clear on times and equipment -
(a) Three minutes to set up desk and to get ready not to walk around
(b) Leaving flight planning room early. Some pilots are leaving early and finishing their preparation in the aircraft. The problem then arises that escorts are needed for a lot longer than usual. The worst case was for 40 minutes the escort had to wait for the pilot to take off which made it necessary for us to find more escorts at short notice. Organisers must be aware of this unless the rules are changed.
(c) The rules say no electronic aids into the flight planning room and also no extra equipment allowed in the aircraft except an extra map. We had several pilots take cameras into the flight planning room and also into the aircraft. Why do pilots need cameras?
World Championships Trophies
The Saab Scania Trophy has been listed since at least 1990 as for Teams Champion. This is not correct as the Trophy clearly states that is it for the Individual World Champion. All the placards on the trophy say this.
The New Zealand Precision & Rally Flying Association donated a new trophy. It is to be called "The New Zealand Trophy" and is to be presented to the three-member team with the best landing points.
The Competition Director would like it to be recorded that the Chief Judge, Ottar Teigland, worked very long hours to get the results out correctly and the New Zealand Precision & Rally Flying Association are very appreciative of his efforts. Thanks also are due to the Jury for their involvement and special thanks to President Bill Ottley for his unwavering support.
City of Nottingham Trophy & Scania Trophy – World Overall Champion
City of Montreal Trophy – World Landing Champion
Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom Sword – World Navigation Champion
The Ottley Trophy – World Champion Team
Air BP Challenge Cup – Best Low Experience Pilot
Argentina Trophy – Best Woman Pilot
Masonhall Sportsmanship Award – True Sportsmanship.
New Zealand Trophy
was not awarded this time but is to be included in future championships. If it had of been presented then the following would have received the trophy.
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Last modified: Friday, 19 October 2007.