New for 2012

Expedition Flights

A request was received for a facility that would allow flights made away from a pilot's home club to be filtered out of various ladders. This would give a clearer indication of what has been achieved at the pilot's club, as opposed to what has been acheived by club pilots across the country.??

Claims may be now be marked as 'Expedition' flights, meaning that they were conducted away from the pilot's home club. The indicator works in much the same way as the Competition indicator, but only appear on the Ladder pages when a filter is applied to select a club.

The Expedition indicator may be during flight claim submission time, or retrospectively at any time by editing flight details from the My Flights page.?

Google Earth Flight Summary

A new function allows all flights made by a pilot during a season to be combined and displayed as a single Google Earth file. Visit your My Flights page for more.???

Previous Updates

07/08/2011: Waypoints Update

Five new waypoints have been created in the former Lyneham zone.

With the activation of Bedford Aerodrome as a licensed airfield, waypoint BGC has been withdrawn from the Ladder list.?

BGA Waypoints

Be aware that a few waypoints have been deleted from the latest BGA list, and some others have been moved to slightly different locations. The Ladder waypoints list was adjusted on 22-MAR-2011 to follow suit, in order to avoid confusion. Full details are available on the cross-country section of the BGA website.??

University Ladder

This ladder ranks university clubs by the best six cross-country scores contributed to by one or more of each university's pilots. Pilots may link their flights to the University Ladder by visiting their 'My Flights' page.?

There is a BGA Trophy in waiting for the winning university.

Ladder Waypoints

This is a summary of the three classes of waypoints that may be used in the Ladder:

  • BGA Waypoints use regular 3-character trigraphs.
  • Non-BGA Waypoints use regular 3-character trigraphs prefixed by '#'
  • User Waypoints use 1-3 character trigraphs prefixed by '*'.?

Non-BGA Waypoints (3)

The BGA have now clarified their position regarding use of non-BGA waypoints.?

Publicly accessible non-BGA waypoints are once again permitted on the ladder, provided that the user is made aware of extra conditions associated with their use.?

Please direct any requests for non-BGA waypoints to the National Ladder Steward.??

Non-BGA Waypoints (2)

Following the recent, disappointing news regarding the loss of non-BGA waypoints, I am pleased to announce a new replacement facility.

Pilots now have the option of creating their own personal library of User Waypoints which may be used for future flight claims. Please visit your "My Flights" page to access this new feature.?

Click here for more details.?

Non-BGA Waypoints (1)

Up until season 2010 it has been possible to request the National Ladder Steward to create extra waypoints in order to accommodate particularly interesting flights or tasks.?

This facility will no longer be available from 2010: in future, all such? requests should be directed to Tim Newport-Peace at the BGA.?

New Server

The ladder site was successfully transferred to a new server on March 27 2010. Many thanks to Richard Baker for his assistance.?

GPS Landouts/Abandoned Tasks

An anomaly was highlighted where GPS Landout and Abandoned flight claims without logger files were excluded from the ladders, while other flights without logger files do appear, albeit with reduced scores. With the introduction of reduced scoring for claims without logger files, there is now no reason not to extend this to include GPS Landout and Abandoned flight claims so their scores will now be included on all cross-country ladders.??

Local Ladders

Club-specific Local Ladders may now be configured by club Ladder stewards to use National Ladder cross country or height gain scoring rules. Scores from linked local ladders will appear automatically in the ladder tables.

Local ladders that are not linked to National ladder scoring rules will still need to be processed separately by the club Ladder steward, as in previous seasons.????

Missing Logger Files

Cross-country scores for Ladder claims for which logger files have not been uploaded will be calculated using distance points only.

As soon as a logger file is uploaded for a previously submitted claim, its score will revert immediately to full points.???

Default Club Tasks

Club Ladder Stewards may now create up to six club tasks which may be flown in either direction and which will always be scored as declared. They may be used in addition to, or instead of, any other pre-declared task that may have been specified, without requiring a land-back and re-declaration.

Further information for pilots is available by clicking the information icon on the My Flights page. The Stewards' Guide accessible from the Stewards' Logon page has also been updated.????????

Motor/Turbo Filtering?

A tick box has been included on the Flight Claim page which the pilot may use to indicate whether his/her glider was equipped with an enabled motor or turbo. Any existing claim may be adjusted after submission by clicking the edit link alongside the relevant flight on the My Flights page.?

A corresponding tick box has been placed on the Ladder pages to allow motor- and turbo-equipped gliders to be filtered out of the scores. This is for informational purposes only and does not affect the status of the flight in the ladders.?The turbo filter is not available for ladder seasons before 2010. ? ??

In-Flight Declarations?

Rule 7 permitting in-flight, pre-start declarations has been revoked. For season 2010 onwards, all declarations must be made before take-off.

Further Rule changes will be announced when they become available...??

Minor/Cosmetic Amendments

  • Flight Summary page may now be sorted on all columns.?
  • Calculator Page: Turnpoint names appear as soon as trigraph is entered.
  • Flight Details popup: All flight comments are displayed by default.?

Google Earth Converter?

An new function has been developed that allows any IGC logger file to be converted into Google Earth KML format, without requiring an associated Ladder Flight claim to be submitted.?

For now, the link to? has been placed on the Ladder Links page.

Turnpoint Filtering?

An extra drop-down box has been placed in the Daily Scores page to allows flight to be filtered by a given turnpoint. All flights where any turnpoint matches the selected turnpoint will be selected.??

Abandoned Legs?

A new function has been implemented on the ladder to allow fairer scoring for declared tasks in which it has not been possible to reach one of the turnpoints. Please read the help information available for further details and, in particular, be aware of the distinction between an abandoned leg (soaring flight continues) and a terminated task (soaring flight ceases).

Claims for declared and completed tasks are unaffected and continue to be processed in the normal way.?

Ladder Pages?

The main Cross Country Ladders are now displayed in two formats:?

  • The default includes only flights for which logger files have been uploaded or which have been otherwise validated by club ladder stewards.?
  • Clicking the 'All Flights' radio button will display all flights, whether or not their logger files have been uploaded.?

The intention is to encourage claimants to post logger files wherever possible, rather than apply penalty points to those who do not.

Add Comments?

The Flight Details popup now allows other pilots to add their own comments to the pilot's original notes. Pilots must be logged on in order to use this facility. Comments may be deleted only by the original claimant or by the person who posted the comment.???

Database Failure?

Due to a system failure on 21-NOV-2008 it was necessary to rebuild the website. This was completed during the following morning. Pilots should note that the most recent data backup was as at 1:00am on 17-NOV-2008; therefore any claims that were made subsequently will have to be re-entered.

No Scores Option?

It is reported that many flights are not submitted to the ladder because some pilots are reluctant to take part in what is seen as a competition (!). A new option has therefore been introduced to allow flights to be submitted to the site without any scoring being applied. Such flights will appear only on the Daily Scores page for informational purposes only; they will not appear in any of the ladders.?

The option is available as a tick-box near the bottom of the Submit Claim page. If no significant use is made of this feature by the end of the season, it will be withdrawn.

Hacker Attack?
(Update 01-JUN-2008)

I am happy to report that there have been no further attacks on the site following its restoration last month and consequently the 14-day last submission penalty period has been re-instated.?

Hacker Attack?
(Update 13-MAY-2008)

The Ladder site was temporarily disabled following an attack on the server on May 6th 2008. After applying significant changes to the software, the site was partially restored to its state as on May 3rd 2008.?

The most important programs were released first, with remaining programs expected to be released on an opportunity basis. While I am unable to rule out further attacks of a different nature, I am fairly confident that the steps that have been taken this week will be effective in preventing this particular type of attack. Time will prove me right or wrong.

Pilots who find that their flight details are missing are invited to re-submit their claims. The 14-day grace period for submitting claims has been extended to 30 days.

Also, many thanks to Richard Baker who provided invaluable assistance during the site recovery process.

System Upgrade?

The growing popularity of the BGA Ladder has led to concerns that the supporting database may no longer be able to cope with the increased usage. To forestall potential problems, the supporting database has been upgraded to SQL Server. This is a more robust medium not prone to the issues that affect the old database.?

The new database will also allow greater flexibility in data reporting (for example, ladder tables will be able to incorporate a wider range of filtering criteria than was practicable under the old system). These functions will be added to the website as time permits.????

It is hoped that site visitors will see no difference between the old and new sites!?

Multi-club Pilots?

A small number of ladder pilots have expressed a wish to choose for which club (as an alternative to their home club) their flights will count. The system continues to score submitted flights for a pilot's home club, but the pilot may subsequently edit the club by visiting the My Flights page, clicking the Edit icon and selecting an alternative club as required.

Note that this update only affects that flight -? details of other flights remain unchanged. On clicking Update, all of the ladders are adjusted accordingly.?????

Google Earth?

The BGA Ladder now produces KML files that are viewable using Google Earth. These are created only from uploaded IGC files and are available on the Flight Details pop-up for a selected flight. Click the KML file to download it to your hard drive and then open it from there to fire up Google Earth.

The Google Earth representation contains the logger trace, a 'curtain-drop' to the ground, task track and turnpoint information. Any of these layers may be switched on and off as required, and it is also possible to replay your flight using Google Earth (for a smoother playback experience, try the Fly Me layer). Enjoy!

Scoring Formula - Timetable

The notes below describe some minor changes that will be made to the scoring system for 2007. These will become active on January 15th 2007 to allow final scores to be entered for last season.

You may continue to enter scores for 2007 at any time, but note that the old scoring system will be used up until January 14th, after which the new system will be used.?

If you want to post any early-season scores under the old scoring system, you may continue to do so. If you want to use the new scoring system, you will need to wait until January 15th to enter your scores.?

NB: late-submission penalties will be suspended throughout January, to allow early scores to be entered under the new rules.???

Task Shape Factors

These have been revised primarily in order to give a 'normal basis' flight a factor of 1.0, with the other shape factors adjusted in approximately the same proportion (there is a slight closing of the gap between the lowest and highest shape factors).?

This has the effect of emphasising the increased difficulty of FAI 28% and 25/45 triangles. The new shape factors may be found in the latest rules.?

Height Loss Penalty

This has been introduced mainly to give ladder stewards an easier time at the end of the season. It will be the pilot's responsibility to check his/her logger file carefully and indicate on the calculator page whether the flight complies with the 1000m height loss rule. If not, the actual height loss must be entered; a distance penalty will be imposed of 1km per 10m above 1000m (see Rule 11.2). Scoring will be based on the new distance after the penalty has been applied.

Note that the pilot is now free to choose the most advantageous start/finish times/heights; provided, of course, that starts are made before the start line and finishes after the finish line!?

This rule also applies to uncompleted flights; in this case, the pilot may choose at what point the flight was terminated.?

Racing Ladders

Two new ladders this year: these are scored on handicapped speed only around 100km, 200km and 300km tasks. The FAI Racing Ladder task is for FAI 28% triangles and the Open Racing Ladder for any task shape. See the Racing Ladder Rules for full details.?

Multiple Postings

In order to comply with the spirit of Rule 4, a check will be made on submitting a claim to establish whether or not the task has already been posted onto the site. If it has, the submitter will be asked to confirm whether or not the claim is part of a multiple-lap task. If it is, then the claim may proceed; if not, it will be rejected.???

Flight Timings

Due to the high speeds that you guys manage to achieve, task times may now be specified to the second.

Flight Validation

Stewards may now mark individual flights as having complied with current rules and free of unapproved airspace penetration. This is only required for pilots who may be in trophy winning positions at the end of the season. Read the notes on the Pilot's Scores page after Steward logon.

Pilots who are in a BGA Trophy-winning position at the end of the season must ensure that each of their qualifying flights has been validated by their club ladder steward. Failure to do so will mean that they will not be eligible for an award.