Judging Committee Rule Interpretations

Differences in Judging AMA and FAI Classes

A question has recently come up regarding any differences in our judging rules/responsibilities between AMA classes and FAI classes. I am sure we all remember that we have adopted the FAI rules for judging this year and beyond! That being said, there are just a few differences between judging AMA and FAI that we still have. Below is a list for your review.

  1. Takeoff and landing are scored for the AMA classes (not for FAI). The maneuver descriptions and suggested downgrades are listed in the maneuver description documents for each AMA class.

  2. Required call outs - In FAI there are no required call outs. For the AMA classes, the following call outs by either the pilot or the caller are still required: takeoff, landing and box entry.

Hopefully this clears up the issue of AMA versus FAI judging.

2024 - 2025 - Judging the Comet turnaround maneuver

A question has recently come up about the proper execution of the Comet maneuver. This maneuver is used, with some variations, in the FAI P25, AMA Masters and AMA Advanced classes.

The question is, does the first 45 down straight line segment length need to match the second 45 down straight line segment length. Here is a diagram of the maneuver as flown in Masters and FAI P25 for clarity.

Looking at the current FAI Sporting Code yields this in Section 5B.2

In general, turn-around manoeuvres are positioning manoeuvres. Therefore, entry and exit altitude need not be the same if the pilot wishes to make an altitude adjustment.


Unfortunately, this does not really clear up the question. This maneuver geometrically enters high and exits low so it inherently is an altitude adjusting maneuver. To ensure that we adhere to an international standard, we requested a clarification from Peter Uhlig.

Here is his response (in italics).

“The manoeuver starts and finishes on the same vertical plane. The lines must be 45 degrees and same length.

Adjusting height rule is only for manoeuvers that start and end at similar altitudes top of box, bottom of box, middle of box.

Adjusting height of a manoeuver that starts at top of box and ends at bottom of box. Does not come under that rule.

To in fact to do this, the geometry can be kept intact, and the length of the lines adjusted to come out higher or lower and be the same length and angle.”

So, in conclusion, this maneuver should be judged with the requirement that the two 45 degree line segments must have the same length for no deductions to happen.

Hopefully this clears up the issue of the Comet’s 45 degree line lengths.