Take a few minutes to get familiar with the course layout.
Flight Line - The flight line is defined as the front-most edge of the course beyond which no personnel may pass. This is also the location closest to the course that a pilot and their spotter may stand during a flight. Only models are allowed beyond this boundary. All other dimensions defining boundaries that are parallel (y-axis dimensions with the flight line being y = 0) to the course are referenced from the flight line.
Staging Line - The staging line is defined as the the boundary beyond which only pilots and their spotters who are executing a flight may pass. Officials may cross the staging line at their discretion should they need to communicate with the pilot or spotter urgently. The staging line shall be a located at a minus y-axis minimum distance of 20 meters (65.6 feet).
Flight Station Line - The flight station line is the geometric center of the course in the x-direction and is defined as a line that extends from the flight line to the staging line. The pilot and their spotter may stand anywhere on the flight station line starting at one-half the distance between the staging line and the flight line and extending to the flight line and within plus/minus 3 meters (9.8 feet) in the x-direction of this line during their flight. All other dimensions defining boundaries that are perpendicular (x-axis dimensions with the flight station line being x = 0) to the course are referenced from the flight station line.
Pit Line - The pit line is defined as the boundary beyond which only officials and pilots/spotters who are staging for imminent flight may pass. All other pilots, spotters, team members, and spectators shall remain behind the pit line at all times. The pit line shall be located at a minus y-axis minimum distance of 40 meters (131.2 feet).
Course Base - The short course has a base length of 120 meters (393.7 feet) and the long course has a base of 200 meters (656.2 feet) aligned parallel to the flight line. The course base is defined by two sets of pylons (near and far) that outline a rectangle whose left- and right-most extents shall be located at ±x-axis distances of one half of the course length, whose near-side boundary shall be located at a plus y-axis distance of 20 meters (65.6 feet), and whose far-side boundary shall be located at a plus y-axis distance of 40 meters (131.2 feet). Furthermore, where ground level defines z = 0, the course base extends in this third dimension from a plus z-axis distance of 5 meters (16.4 feet) to 35 meters (114.8 feet) commensurate with the limits on flight altitude described above.
Pre-Stage - The pre-stage length shall be one-half of the length of the course to which it is applied, such that the short course shall have a 60-meter (196.9-foot) pre-stage and the long course shall have a 100-meter (328.1-foot) pre-stage. The pre-stage areas are defined by the left- and right-most extents of the course base rectangle as defined above and at least one pylon at their furthest extent that is located at plus/minus x-axis distances of the appropriate pre-stage length plus one-half the course length and at a plus y-axis distance of 30 meters (98.4 feet).
Pylons - Each pylon shall be a minimum of 3 meters (9.8 feet) tall; however, MHSFA recommends using pylons that are 5 meters (16.4 feet) tall as a means to visually indicate the minimum course altitude for the pilots, judges, and spectators.
Pre-Stage Stations - Pre-stage stations shall be located at plus/minus x-axis distances equal to the that of the furthest extent of their related pre-stage areas as defined above and at a minus y-axis distance of 20 meters (65.6 feet).
Gauging of Pre-Stage Altitude - The gauge pylons used at each pre-stage station as a go/no-go gauge of maximum and minimum flight altitude shall be defined as follows:
The plus/minus x-axis locations of the gauge pylons shall be at a same location as the pre-stage stations.
The location of the gauge pylons shall be at a minus y-axis distance of 20 meters (65.6 feet).
The height of the gauge pylons shall be 2 meters (6.6 feet). This represents go/no-go gauge of the maximum altitude when viewed from the perspective of the pre-stage judge.
The gauge pylons shall have a mark at a plus z-axis distance of 1.33 meters (4.4 feet) as go/no-go gauge of minimum altitude when viewed from the perspective of the pre-stage judge.
The pre-stage judge shall sit at a minus y-axis location of 21.1 meters (69.4 feet). This assumes that the average judge’s eye level will be at a plus z-axis distance of 1.25 meters (4.1 feet) when sitting.
Trigger Stations - Trigger stations shall be located at plus/minus x-axis distances equal to the that of the furthest extent of their related course as defined above and at a minus y-axis distance of 50 meters (164.1 feet).
Scoring Station - The scoring station shall be located at the intersection of the flight station line and the staging line. The scoring station is the location at which times are recorded and the “home base” for all course officials.
Pit Station - The pit station shall be located no closer to the flight line than y-axis location of the pit line. This is where pilots who are not staging for imminent flight, their teams, and inspectors may gather to prepare for the event.