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October 2016

Message from the President
Bruce Busby

Hello members and friends,

As we wind down the Canadian summer flying season, I wanted to say a quick hello and let you know what’s been happening with the HPAC this year.  We started the year off with a sad farewell to our friend and President Dom.  The dedication ceremony was beautiful and moving.

I spent the year traveling from BC, Alberta, and Quebec to enjoy the flying and camaraderie across this great country.  Both our HG and PG nationals were hampered by weather but we made the best of it, as we always do.  The Willi was very well attended with some great flights again this year.  Planning is already underway for next years’ competitions.

Your Board of Directors has been dealing with the normal challenges we face as well as a few new ones this year.  On our radar is our insurance policy.  We’ve been seeking to have the minors exclusion lifted so our younger free-flight enthusiasts can join in our flying activities.  That work continues and it is a top priority for us at the moment.  We’ll also be making a few announcements for new and exciting initiatives.  It’s too soon to announce just yet but we’ll keep you all posted as they mature.

If you’re still having great flying weather, I hope you get out to enjoy it.  If you’re planning a winter getaway, safe travels, great flights.

Bruce Busby
HPAC President
Regional Director for Alberta

2016 Annual General Meeting Online (October 21-October 30, 2016)

Our 2016 Annual General Meeting will be posted on the HPAC Forum at http://www.hpac.ca/forum/  and will be ready for members to vote. The wide green box at the top of the page gives instructions on how to log into the Forum. The primary votes relate to the audited financial statements of fiscal 2015-2016 and the annual budget 2016-2017. This is a hugely important aspect of your membership in the Association and we ask all members to please vote. 

Rick Mercer Goes Paragliding

In late October or early November 2016, an episode of the Rick Mercer show on CBC will feature a major segment shot at Revelstoke Mountain Resort with Rick Mercer and crew flying with HPAC Instructor/Tandem Pilots Brad Murphy of Revelstoke Paragliding and Luke Myers. This is great exposure for our sport. Please check your local listings for airtimes or see it online after it is aired at http://www.cbc.ca/mercerreport

Pilot Endorsements: Catching Up If You Don’t Have Them

A number of pilots, who earned their HG or PG ratings more than 4 years ago, before instructors started recording special skill endorsements, still do not have their special skills recorded (if there are no letters behind the pilot’s rating on their card, then they have not been recorded). Any pilot who wishes to catch that up, please approach an instructor who is familiar with your skills, and ask them to send in a rating form to the Office, indicating the endorsement to be recorded. For a list of endorsements, please go to http://www.hpac.ca/pub/?pid=409. Instructors are asked to please facilitate this catch-up for pilots with whom they are familiar and whose skills they have witnessed. For additional information please contact the Office by e-mail.

HPAC’s Financial Situation and Necessary Remedy

Since 2001 HPAC’s annual membership fees have remained enviably unchanged, due to the careful allocation of pilot resources by successive Boards of Directors. But due to the rapidly changing and ever more complex legal, insurance and public accountability environments under our self-governance status, the Association has repeatedly had to dip into its cash reserves to address issues as they arose. As a result, after 15 years, Association membership fees have to be raised.

Some examples of increased costs:

  • Legal fees: a number of legal actions across the country, two ongoing, have forced HPAC to engage legal counsel and pay fees in several jurisdictions in Canada;
  • Instructional Overhaul: the Council of Senior Instructors was formed to engage in a long overdue overhaul of HPAC’s rating, instructor certification, and tandem endorsement programs; this was necessary to achieve high quality instruction across the country as well as demonstrating to the public and our insurance underwriters that HPAC is committed to the highest safety standards and to the professional management of the risk inherent in our sport. The Council (CSI) meets every three years for an intensive face-to-face work session to upgrade instruction and has met twice to date, with the attendant costs (made up of bare travel and meeting room costs only);
  • Two new websites (hpac.ca and acvl.ca): as a critical part of its communications, HPAC is in the midst of final development on its new websites; this requires the updating, editing and review of all materials on the current sites, development of new material, and effecting a smooth transition of our database; it also requires extensive translation work, as the two sites mirror each other;
  • Production of new publications: for example, a new national Training Logbook for P1/P2 students across Canada (an equivalent Logbook is pending for H1/H2) (an initiative of the Safety Committee and the CSI), shortly to be available to teaching instructors either by download or by order at cost from HPAC.

(It is important to note that HPAC continues to benefit from the hundreds of hours of uncompensated volunteer work from our Board members, CSI members, and Committee members and advisors, without whose work the Association could not function.)

In order to continue to be responsive to our members, as well as to continue to conduct the Association’s business in a professional manner, while also being prudent and efficient with HPAC’s resources, the annual membership fees are being raised. This is being done reluctantly but certainly mirrors what our sister associations in other countries have also been forced to do.

As of early 2017, when the new websites go live, the annual membership fees will rise to $160 for Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Ontario and out-of-Canada residents (there is no provincial fee in these jurisdictions); $175 for the Maritimes, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon (includes $15 provincial fee); $185 for Quebec (includes $25 provincial fee). A notice will be sent out to members just before the new hpac.ca and acvl.ca go live.

Your Board has managed to maintain the current fees over many years, but HPAC’s reserves have taken a sizable hit in recent years and a revenue adjustment is necessary. Thank you for your understanding.

Please contact your regional Board member or the Office by e-mail if you have any additional questions.

Ratings Requirements for Ongoing Membership past the Initial Year

As part of effective risk management for our sport in Canada, HPAC will be requiring all of its members to have attained, or be actively working on, a minimum P2/H2 rating, before they will be able to renew their membership after their initial full year of membership. This will go into effect on January 1, 2017.

All pilots who have a long flying record but no rating, or for whom instruction has not been easily accessible for geographic reasons, or who have been putting off getting a rating, they are asked to please connect with an HPAC-certified instructor to have their skills assessed or documented (where the pilot is known by the instructor) and a minimum rating of H2 or P2 assigned and sent in to the Office by the instructor.

In our efforts to keep our insurance fees reasonable and our safety record high, it is important to be able to demonstrate that all of our pilots are trained pilots, given that we all share the same insurance policy. The intent is to make sure that particularly new pilots, who often purchase gear after just a few lessons, actually complete their training in order to be able to have the documented skills to fly safely.

This is meant to be as painless a catch-up for our long-term unrated and H1/P1 pilots as possible. Thank you for your understanding and please contact the Office by e-mail if you have any questions or special circumstances.

November 2016 Regional Elections

In accordance with HPAC’s SOP regarding Board elections (http://www.hpac.ca/pub/?pid=397), elections for Regional Director will take place in November for BC, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Atlantic Canada. A Call for Nominations will go out in early November to all members in each jurisdiction.

Disciplinary Action

In application of HPAC policy SOP 320-3 (http://www.hpac.ca/pub/?pid=405), two disciplinary actions were taken by the Board of Directors in 2016:

James Breau:
Spring 2016
Expulsion for one year for endangering a flying site and placing the sport into disrepute (2d, 2e, 2h of SOP 320-3)

Serge Lamarche:
Spring 2016
Expulsion for one year for breach of trust and placing the sport, the Association and its members into disrepute (2e of SOP 320-3)

NEWSLETTER CONTRIBUTIONS

Send to Margit Nance, Editor
admin@hpac.ca


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