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May 2017

Canadian PG Record Smashed May 20 in Alberta

From Stewart Midwinter, HPAC/ACVL Records Chair
I have received a claim for a new open distance record in paragliding, 334 km by Alex Raymont. 
From a surface tow just after 11 am near the town of Camrose, southeast of Edmonton Alberta, Alex flew 8 hours almost straight south towards the US border, landing after 7 PM in the evening.  His flight of 334.5 kilometres smashes the old record of 227 km by more than 100 km!  (That record was also set by Alex two years ago during the same record encampment week). 
The tracklog can be found at: or

Female Canadian record-holder Nicole McLearn was towing for the group at the time, with plans to go after her own record in the remaining days. For more details of Alex’ flight go to:

Peter Spear got away an hour later around noon, but also had a very good day, making a 7 hour, 307 km dogleg flight and landing not far from Alex. Tracklog:

A group of paraglider and hang glider pilots are all gathered together in Alberta this week for the "Miles in May" record encampment, taking advantage of the yearly dry weather window between the end of winter and the beginning of the rainy month of June.  As we draw near the summer solstice, pilots on the northern prairies can take advantage of nearly 16 hours of daylight, as the sun does not set until 9:30 PM.
The picture above is a view of the sky south of Calgary (about 100 km west of the flight line), taken by pilot Glenn White around noon on the same day. Landing fields everywhere, and retrieve roads spaced every 1 mile apart as far as the eye can see.  

The PG record is now a mere 60 k short of the Canadian HG record of 395 k held by Ross Hunter.

Ratings Extravaganza

Pilots across the country, who are unrated or student (Beginner) rated, are now upgrading their ratings to a minimum P2 or H2 rating in large numbers. In 2016, fully 15% of our pilot members were unrated. A number of those were on track to complete their ratings in 2017. Others were experienced pilots who have been flying since before there were ratings and others had started their training but never completed it. The new requirements recommended by the Council of Senior Instructors and endorsed by the Board of Directors in 2016 are now in effect with unrated and Beginner pilots being required to get an instructor’s signature on their application in order to be able to renew their membership and to make a plan to upgrade. 

Similar to other branches of aviation, the objective is to be able to demonstrate that HG and PG pilots in Canada are trained pilots. This is important risk management for the landowners of our sites and for our insurer as well as a signal to Transport Canada and the general public about the serious and professional conduct and self-governance of our sport. Thank you to pilots and instructors for their cooperation in the collective upgrading of our membership to rated status.

New Tandem Task Force Named 

In response to repeated concerns by tandem pilots that the current one-size-fits-all approach to tandem instructor certification and recertification does not properly serve the diverse tandem pilot community in Canada, a Task Force was named by the Board to develop new levels/types of tandem endorsement, after the initial instructor certification, and appropriate recertification, as well as a curriculum for each level.
Members of the Tandem Task Force are Claudio Mota, Max Fanderl, Eric Olivier (who is also the liaison with the Board), Scott Watwood and Herminio Cordido. The Task Force will submit its recommendations to the Council of Senior Instructors by year-end for review and comment, before they are submitted to the Board for decision early in 2018.

New Instructor Certification and Recertification Program in Development

The Board reviewed the wide variations in quality of instructor certification across the country. A proposal came forward from a Senior Instructor for raising the base-line quality of instructor certification in Canada and it was approved in principle by the Board of Directors. Some components of the new program will include the creation of new instructor categories, an expanded and more intensive initial instructor certification course, formal sanctioning by HPAC/ACVL of instructor courses. A draft of the new program will be ready by end 2017, will be developed in consultation with CSI, and will then go to the Board of Directors for implementation in the 2018 season.

The initial development team includes Jacques Blanchet, Eric Olivier (who is also the liaison with the Board), Claudio Mota and Max Fanderl.

Knowledge about Effects of Wind Turbines near Flying Sites?? AYPH needs your help

From Russell Bamford, President of the Association of Yukon Hang Gliders and Paragliders
This is a call for input from any and all HPAC members: The Association of Yukon Hang gliders and Paragliders is faced with a government proposal to establish a wind farm on Haeckel Hill near Whitehorse. This is one of only two road-accessible flying sites in Yukon and is used year round by all levels of pilot. If any members have any direct knowledge of the effects of 75meter blade wind turbines, or know what effect they may have, I would be very keen to hear. The proposal is to erect 2x 75m turbines less than 100 meters behind the west launch and a third approximately 100m behind the main launch. How noisy are they and will pilots be intimidated? Your help would be much appreciated.

Please reply to Margit @ or myself at

Jasper Park 2-year Trial a Success

The Board of Directors at its 2017 Annual Meeting met with senior officials of Jasper National Park to review the 2015-2017 trial period of our sport in Jasper National Park, the first National Park in Canada to allow it. Jasper Park Visitor Experience personnel Pam Clark and Amber Stewart, as well as Todd Noble, General Manager of Jasper SkyTram, attended. While Jasper Park is producing a formal assessment of the trial period, flying can continue as per the published guidelines ( Pilots are asked to strictly adhere to the guidelines and post all flights on Leonardo, so that Jasper can be a strong argument for gaining access to other National Parks in the system.

Discussions in Jasper centered around the ongoing need for recording of flights on Leonardo and landing proximities to roads, regarding concern for driver distraction, and other issues. The Board of Directors identified immediate priority parks located in Atlantic Canada and Quebec, as well as the remaining Mountain Parks of Banff, Yoho and Kootenay.

Competitions, XC and Minimum Ratings

Currently there does not exist a minimum rating requirement for participating in any HPAC/ACVL sanctioned competitions that are by definition cross-country task events nor to claim Canadian Records through the XContest.

At its annual meeting, the Board of Directors considered a proposal from a Senior Instructor that the requirements for flying XC in HPAC/ACVL sanctioned competitions or to claim records in the XContest, be brought in line with the minimum P3 and H3 rating requirements for flying XC in SOP 410-6 (

The Board approved the proposal, which will not kick in until the 2018 competition season, to allow pilots planning on participating in 2018 sanctioned competitions to upgrade to a minimum P3 or H3.

Timely Ratings Submissions

Request to Instructors and pilots: Once ratings have been earned by pilots, they should be submitted and recorded within one month of completion by the pilot. Instructors, please submit your students’ ratings promptly, and pilots, if you do not see your ratings credited to your file on the HPAC/ACVL website, please contact your instructor to ask that they be submitted.

New Board Member for BC: Nicole McLearn

The Board of Directors welcomed the new Director for BC to the table. Nicole McLearn is a pilot well known as a frequent member on Canada’s Team to international competitions, past chair of the Competition Committee, and a long history of service to the West Coast Soaring Club and the Grouse Mountain Flying Team, to name just two. The Board thanked outgoing BC Director Scott Watwood for his service.

Board Membership 2017-2018

Bruce Busby, Alberta Director (re-elected as President)
Nick Jones, Ontario Director (re-elected as Vice-President)
Tim Parker, Treasurer (re-appointed as Director-at-Large)
Tom Sliepen, Saskatchewan Director
Stephen Kurth, Yukon Director
Gilles Normandeau, Manitoba Director
Maxine Westhead, Atlantic Canada Director
Eric Olivier, Quebec Director
Nicole McLearn, BC Director

Newsletter Contributions 

Send to Margit Nance, Editor

May 29 2017   Top Top