Flight Challenge Series
What is the Flight Challenge Series?
The AHGPC Flight Challenge Series is a set of flying tasks, ranging in difficulty from easy to advanced and including both coastal soaring and XC tasks, that utilise a range of sites within the Auckland region. These tasks are hosted permanently on HighCloud (xc.highcloud.net), so can be completed at any time and with no restriction on the number of attempts.
The Flight Challenge Series is:
Open to both HG & PG pilots (although some sites used for certain tasks may not be suitable as HG launches);
Open to all NZHGPA members, as well as foreign pilots who are flying in NZ under a valid visitor licence.
The Flight Challenge Series is not:
A competition. There are no prizes/awards for the pilot who is the first to complete one or all of the tasks. Instead, the aim is for pilots to progress at their own pace and to only attempt tasks that are appropriate to their current level of flying skill and ability.
A race. No times will be officially recorded for any task. The intention is simply for pilots to achieve a set task, with the time taken to do so being irrelevant. All tasks are achievable on an EN A wing, so there’s no advantage in flying a ‘hotter’ wing solely for this purpose. Likewise, cooperation in completing these tasks is actively encouraged. Flying is more fun when you’re with friends, and working together to fly a task increases the chances of success for everyone.
The purpose of the Flight Challenge Series is to:
Provide a progression pathway for pilots to improve their flying skills at their own pace;
Encourage pilots to have a goal in mind when flying for fun;
Provide an impetus for newer pilots to become familiar with programming their flight instruments/apps in order to fly a specific task. This will be especially useful for those who may wish to progress into competition flying;
Encourage a sense of camaraderie within the Club, where pilots support each other to accomplish their goals and receive recognition for their achievements.
The rules of the Flight Challenge Series have been kept as simple as possible:
Pilots must be current NZHGPA members, or have a valid visiting pilot membership.
Only one task can be claimed per tracklog. During a single flight a pilot may have completed more than one task (e.g. Warkworth Wanderer and Matakana Mission) but only one of these tasks can be claimed using that tracklog.
Flights must adhere to all relevant aviation regulations, particularly with regard to airspace. Tracklogs found to have violated airspace will be invalid for the purpose of claiming a task.
Only flights undertaken after 1 December 2020 will be eligible to claim tasks (no scouring your old tracklogs for those that would qualify for a task!)
Only tracklogs submitted by the pilot who undertook the flight will be eligible to claim tasks.
A total of set tasks have been created, which include both coastal soaring and XC routes. These have been selected to accommodate a variety of pilot skill levels, from easy through to advanced.
The list of tasks is below:
Coastal soaring tasks
All tasks use the Flight Challenge Series waypoint file that can be downloaded below. Note that this waypoint file is not the same as the one used for the Auckland Regional Paragliding Competition, so should only be used for the Flight Challenge Series.
For pilots who don't own a flight instrument there are a number of different smartphone apps that can be used to input a task and record a tracklog as an .igc file. Two of the most popular ones, XCTrack and Flyskyhy, are described below.
This is a very popular app for devices running the Android operating system. Free to download from the Google Play store, it has a wealth of features and allows for plenty of customisation.
Available from the App Store for iOS users, Flyskyhy costs $14.99 to buy. The Waypoints extension, which costs an additional $13.99, will also be required to fly these tasks. The XC-Package and Airspaces extensions, which are $13.99 each, are recommended if using this app to fly the XC tasks.
Claiming a Task
If you have not previously used Highcloud:
Email email@example.com with the subject line 'Highcloud account setup' and the following details in the body of the email:
NZHGPA PIN #
CIVL ID # (only if you have one)
An admin will then create a pilot profile for you, which will allow you to upload tracklogs for any competitions that are hosted on the Highcloud platform.
If you already have a Highcloud profile:
Go to xc.highcloud.net and click the ‘Submit’ button on the top menu bar
Select ‘AHGPC Flight Challenge Series’ from the drop-down list of the various competitions.
Select the task that you wish to claim from the smaller drop-down list that appears
Click the ‘Browse’ button to select the .igc file that contains your tracklog
Enter your NZHGPA PIN number in the ‘HGFA number’ dialog box.
Enter the rest of xc.highcloud.net the required details, including your surname and glider type, before hitting the ‘Send Tracklog’ button at the bottom of the page.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to notify the admin that you have claimed an FCS task.
Please take care to ensure that you select the correct competition (Step 2 above), otherwise you will be unable to reupload your tracklog until an admin is able to log in and manually fix the error.
If you encounter a 'Track upload failed' error message then it's possible that you have not entered the details for a valid Highcloud pilot profile. Check that all details are correct or email the admin at email@example.com if you need a profile created (see above).
The Flight Challenge Series administrator will periodically check all of the tracklogs that have been submitted and will inform you when you have successfully completed a task (or let you know if there are any issues that have made your claim invalid, such as airspace breaches).
All pilots who have successfully claimed a task will have their names added to the Honour Board on the relevant task page.
Photos and video
We'd love to see photos and video of you attempting these tasks, so feel free to send links to firstname.lastname@example.org with a description of the task that you were flying and we'll upload the best examples to provide inspiration for everyone else!
For any issues with submitting tracklogs or downloading waypoints, or for any questions about the Flight Challenge Series, email email@example.com with 'FCS' in the subject line and provide a description of your issue. We'll do our best to respond promptly!