By Dom Juretic
Hello fellow pilots and friends of free flight,
A lot is going on at HPAC and this is one of the reasons our AGM and this Newsletter are a little off our regular schedule.
Following major changes to the Canada Not-For-Profit Act, HPAC has to apply to Industry Canada for a Certificate of Continuance which has to be presented by your board of directors and authorized by a special resolution which you have approved during our online AGM. This was not an optional procedure which means simply that HPAC had to apply and conform to these new regulations to continue to exist as a Not-For-Profit Association.
Following many changes that have been already adopted to our instructional system, we are now getting to the last items that are targeted by this major overhaul. We have been reviewing our instructor rating requirements and finally our tandem instructor requirements. The review of these requirements was already programmed because this planned overhaul had begun in late 2011 and it was meant to be all inclusive. The review was underway when the tragic death of Lenami Godinez occurred in British Columbia in April of 2012.
HPAC is now involved in litigation in British Columbia surrounding that tragic accident and as such further comment cannot be made while this is before the courts.
Following the accident, we asked Martin Henry, past HPAC president and long-time pilot, to initiate an official investigation for HPAC. The report that followed was also used in the criminal court case which found the tandem instructor guilty of criminal negligence causing death. The report is self- evident and clearly we support its recommendations. Those recommendations are being currently considered by our Council of Senior Instructors (CSI) who will look at the most practical ways to implement them. There will also be consultation with current tandem pilots for their input and oversight by HPAC’s Safety Committee, Suzanne Francoeur and George Martin.
All of this is to encourage you as members to always put safety first.
Sometimes when you do something long enough it gets to be automatic, normal. We pilots feel entitled to this big circling sky above us. Let’s not forget that when we are there, it is because we learned the language of the wind. We nevertheless remain foreigners in that realm, only temporary guests at best. Let’s keep this in mind as we accept anything that might help us enjoy another day doing what we yearn so hard for.
Have a great and safe remainder of this flying season!
Regional Director for Québec