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October 2014
"Anticipation in Southern Ontario" Mark Dowsett coming around the glider. Photo by Nick Jones.

Message from the President 

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!

Domagoj Juretic
HPAC President
Regional Director for Québec

Parks Canada Update

Jasper Park Superintendent Greg Fenton has recently committed to finalizing the guidelines for hang gliding and paragliding in Jasper National Park on a one-year trial project beginning in late spring 2015.

Flying in National Parks is still off limits until HPAC gets the go ahead and publicizes the guidelines in a few months time, but we are closer.

As a recap of where we have been on this issue: Beginning in 2007, the BCHPA and HPAC initiated a formal request to Parks Canada for their consideration of removing the prohibition against non-motorized hang gliders and paragliders in National Parks. A National Assessment convened by Parks Canada was held in 2008 in Vancouver and by early 2012, the federal legislation was changed to remove the prohibition, a huge achievement for our sport.

However, a Local Assessment would need to be done by each individual park to determine that the sport would be allowed in that park, at the discretion of the local Park Superintendent.

A small committee of HPAC has been working with Banff, Jasper and the Mountain National Parks continuously for the last three years to complete a Local Assessment. Since early in 2013, with the finalization of the user guidelines having been approved by the Parks, it was imminent that we would be allowed to start flying in Jasper Park in the 2013 season, with some conditions and as a one-year pilot project. However, more consultation was conducted with other park stakeholders and the delay caused the 2013 season to be lost. Our full expectation was for early 2014 but that also again was delayed, due to other priorities by Park Administration.

Considering HPAC's complete and repeated submission of any and all documents required, and a very productive relationship with Staff in the various Mountain parks, it was with some frustration that your committee approached the Superintendent of Jasper Park, Mr. Greg Fenton, to obtain a commitment as to when the trial project could begin so that we could inform out members. We now have a commitment that the guidelines for flying in Jasper Park would be formally approved this winter by the Park and that we can expect to be able to advise members as to these guidelines by no later than spring 2015.

It has been a long haul with this project, but your committee is confident that Jasper Park will be available to our beautiful sport in early 2015. Conditions will be publicized well in advance, as this is a trial. And this will serve as a precedent for several other National Parks in Canada that have been identified as ideal for our sport.

And until then, thank you for observing the no-fly rules in National Parks.

Will Gadd
Bruce Busby
Alan Polster
Margit Nance

New Tandem Pre-Flight Protocols for HPAC

As part of the Organizational Renewal of our Association, the Council for Senior Instructors (CSI) has been reviewing the current Requirements for Instructor Certifications and Tandem Endorsements and is expected to make a recommendation to the Board later in 2014 for the changes to the current requirements to be formalized. The objective is to ensure that HPAC’s standards are the highest they can be, with a focus on safety.

Recommendations for Tandem Pre-Flight Safety Protocols have been made by Martin Henry, former President of HPAC and long-time hang glider pilot. These will now be circulated by the Safety Committee (Suzanne Francoeur and George Martin) to all current tandem pilots in Canada for feedback and then will go to CSI (Council of Senior Instructors) for feedback and recommendation to the Board of Directors. These protocols will then become a formal Standard Operating Procedure for HPAC.

Different but Good: HPAC Membership Cards

The HPAC Office is no longer sending out the old laminated cards that came with every membership renewal. This decision had to be made due to the following: in 2013 the HPAC Office produced over 4,000 cards (each new membership or renewal, or new rating, or renewed First Aid or new HAGAR, etc. triggered a new membership card); the manual labour to produce the cards is excessive, supplies and postage are hugely expensive. It is not a good use of HPAC resources to continue with this process.

In addition, members had requested that their cards be available to them electronically so that all additional ratings or membership renewals would be available to them right away on line.

HPAC now has an all-electronic system: After you renew yourself on the HPAC website, you will automatically be sent your new membership card, showing your new expiry date. You can save that e-mail on your smartphone, if you wish, or print it out and make as many copies as you like. (If you should not receive that automatic e-mail, please contact the HPAC Office.)

As well, you can at any time go to and log in, and right on the homepage, under the Join/Renew Quick Link, you will see “My Membership Card”. Click there and your card pops right up.

HPAC will be producing a permanent card this fall, that shows your lifetime membership number but still will require login to the site to get your current membership and ratings status.

Please call me if you need any additional information.

Margit Nance
Executive Director, HPAC

Women in Aviation

March 3-9th, 2014 marked the 4th annual Women of Aviation Worldwide Week.  This event celebrates the anniversary of the first woman pilot license being issued, with the purpose of introducing more women to flight and aviation-related careers.

As a female running my own paragliding business I wanted to participate, so last year I held a draw for a free instructional tandem flight to introduce a woman to paragliding. It was a big success, so this year I wanted to do even more!  In addition to the draw I contacted “Girls Fly 2-The Sky’s No Limit” who were organizing an event at the Langley Airport over the weekend of March 8 & 9.

From information on joining the Coast Guard and SAR to interactive displays from UFV that allowed girls to “build” airplane parts, the event had more to offer than just the free flights. Yes, that’s right…the event offered free flights to women and girls who had never been in a small plane or helicopter before! The smiles that weekend were huge with lots of girls begging to go for another flight. The organizers had provided a space for me so I could show another form of aviation – paragliding!

I brought an old kiting wing & had it bunched up so the participants could check out a paraglider first hand, although the fixed wing pilots shuddered at the “tiny strings” that hold us up in the air! Surprisingly the biggest hit was the harness I had brought along. Everyone wanted to try it on and run around, with lots of kids asking their parents to take a picture of them “paragliding”. It was a super fun weekend, and a great opportunity to talk about our sport as well as book tandem flights and lessons for the Moms & Dads. Thanks to events like this we can provide more positive exposure to our favourite sports…I’m already brainstorming new ideas for the event in 2015!

Martina Lang
Owner and HPAC Instructor

HPAC 2014 Awards

Randy Parkin: Cliff Kakish Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service to the Sports of Hang Gliding and Paragliding in Canada
Michael Fuller: Jamie Christensen Memorial Award in Recognition of Long-Term Achievement
Doug T. Nitchie: The Solid Ground Award for Excellence and Creativity in the Development and Protection of Flying Sites
Eric Olivier: The Michael Robertson Instructor of the Year Award
Other awards for 2014 will be announced in the next Newsletter.

Regional Elections in 2014

In 2014 the following regions will be electing, or renewing, the Board members representing that region: Saskatchewan, Ontario, Atlantic Canada, BC. The process is underway to determine whether incumbents are intending to let their names stand again and for elections to be held.

Please contact the Office if you have any questions regarding this process (

Memories of Yamaska 2014

Now that our season is slowly drawing to a close in parts of Canada, here is a great memory of Yamaska, which is where the 2014 PG Nationals were held, as recorded by a visiting pilot from the USA, Davidson Da Silva and friends from Boston. We are always happy to welcome our visitors to our beautiful flying sites in Canada.

Cool fact

HPAC’s membership now stands at 1085!

Disciplinary Action

In application of HPAC’s PRD’s, a disciplinary action was taken by the Board of Directors in 2014.

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Newsletter Contributions

Send to Margit Nance, Editor,

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