HPAC 2015 ANNUAL DIRECTORS’ MEETING SUMMARY
Whitehorse, Yukon May 1-May 2, 2015
This document also available as a PDFs file.
- Domagog Juretic, HPAC President and Québec Director Bruce Busby, HPAC Vice President and Alberta Director Gilles Normandeau, HPAC Secretary and Manitoba Director Maxine Westhead, Atlantic Canada Director
- Nick Jones, Ontario Director Scott Watwood, BC Director Tim Parker, HPAC Treasurer
- Tom Sliepen, Saskatchewan Director Stephen Kurth, Yukon Director
- Margit Nance, HPAC Executive Director
- Visitors for Specific Agenda Items:
- Nicole McLearn, Competition Chair (by speakerphone)
- Stewart Midwinter, Alternate Representative to FAI (by speakerphone)
- George Martin, Safety Co-Chair (by speakerphone)
- Suzanne Francoeur, Safety Co-Chair (by speakerphone)
- Gregg Humphreys, Insurance Chair (by speakerphone)
- Mark Kowalsky, HPAC Legal Counsel (by speakerphone)
- Keith McCullough,
- Muller Windsports (by speakerphone)
- Will Gadd, National Parks Initiative (by speakerphone)
- Sean Dillon, Speed Flying Proposal (by speakerphone)
The agenda was approved and new Board members, Scott Watwood from BC and Tom Sliepen from Saskatchewan were introduced.
SUMMARY OF 2014 ANNUAL DIRECTORS MEETING
The summary was approved.
Dom Juretic, President of HPAC in his report expressed concern about the lack of coverage of available instruction in many regions in Canada; he also reported on initiatives and issues during the 2014-2015 year, with a focus on the upcoming Jasper National Park Inaugural Flight and the status of negotiations with Parks Canada; general legal matters and specific issues around a pending legal matter; the status of HPAC’s insurance; instructional issues and his recent attendance at, and presentation to, a large instructor certification and recertification course in Quebec. He also spoke of a need to standardize curriculum for instructor and tandem training. The recently concluded initiative of a Tandem Pre-Flight Safety Protocol was also discussed as a safety and risk management initiative during the last year.
Yukon: Steve Kurth, Yukon Director, reported on two recent serious accidents; site improvements to Haeckel Hill launch are in progress with financial assistance from the Government of Yukon; a by-law is being proposed for the City of Dawson by one councilor which would issue a fine to those flying in Dawson without HPAC.
British Columbia: Scott Watwood, BC Director, expressed concern about experienced pilots having serious accidents; he also reported that the Golden Cycling Club wishes to build a gazebo on Mount 7 and may wish to partner with BCHPA on tenure at the site; a new site is being developed at Sicamous.
Atlantic Canada: Maxine Westhead, Atlantic Director, reported that Pegasus Paragliding, mainstay of instruction in Atlantic Canada, has been closed down by the new owner. No one else has come forward to provide paragliding instruction in Atlantic Canada. She also reported that former HPAC President, Michael Fuller, is stepping down as President of HPAAC, the Atlantic Regional Association.
Alberta: Bruce Busby, Alberta Director, reported the substantial growth of aerotowing in Alberta; as HPAC’s Vice-President and Alberta Director, Bruce is looking for HPAC to get major publicity for the recent successful conclusion to the negotiation with Parks Canada for a two-year pilot project in Jasper National Park; he also reported the large activities of the Muller operation, which also includes aerotowing instruction and kite surfing.
Ontario: Nick Jones, Ontario Director, spoke about serious accidents and their reporting; he also gave an overview of active hang gliding instruction in Ontario and the subsequent growth of that discipline in the region.
Manitoba: Gilles Normandeau, Manitoba Director, reported on HG instruction in Manitoba, as provided through the school run by Barry Morwick and issues faced by the sport in Manitoba, which currently has no paragliding instruction.
Saskatchewan: Tom Sliepen, Saskatchewan Director, reported on the challenges of accessing good flying in a consistent manner in Saskatchewan; at the time of his report there were 7 paraglider pilots and 5 hang glider pilots registered in the province; Saskatchewan is attempting to develop a safe towing system to allow more pilots to get into the air more regularly.
Quebec: Dom Juretic, Quebec Director and HPAC President, reported a good mix of HG and PG in Quebec and that tandem operations were very active at Yamaska; there are some issues around the evolution of the Ottawa flying sites, as landowners become aware of site insurance certificates being available from HPAC and as local pilots are active in developing sites and cultivating good landowner relations; the pilot population is heavily based in Ottawa but the flights themselves take place in Quebec; he also reported that Christian Grenier continues to be President of AQVL and is most enthusiastic about developing and expanding XC in Quebec.
Industry Canada: The formal reporting to Industry Canada has been completed by Treasurer Tim Parker, to put HPAC into compliance with recent changes to the Non- Profit Sector legislation.
PRD’s: PRD’s (Policy Regulatory Directives) are in the process of being changed over to SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures), which encompass policies as well as procedures.
Status of the Treasurer: A MOTION was passed to amend SOP 200 (Composition of the Board of Directors) to allow the Board of Directors to appoint Directors-at-Large, who serve at the pleasure of the Board of Directors, and that the Treasurer’s position should be appointed in this way, given the extensive responsibilities carried by this person. This would need to be ratified by the membership in the 2015 AGM.
A second MOTION was passed to elect Tim Parker as Director-at-Large to serve as Treasurer of the Association.
Terms of Reference: ACTION: a review of the Terms of Reference for all roles within HPAC is to take place (including Board of Directors, Regional Directors, Committee Chairs); Nick Jones and Margit Nance will take the lead on this project.
Definition of Term “self-governing”: ACTION: In order for the public and members to understand the distinction between “unregulated” and “self-regulated”, this distinction will need to be spelled out in the “About” section of the new website.
Compulsory Membership in Provincial Associations: This was of concern to one Director as in his jurisdiction some members did not wish to be members of the provincial association, other regions have no provincial association and in other regions all members are automatically members of the provincial association. There is no consistency across the country. This topic is to be reviewed in 2016.
ACTION: The region’s Director will consult with his provincial association to discuss issue that all members should be members of HPAC if all provincial fees collected by HPAC on behalf of all that regions pilots, go to the regional association.
Proposed 2015-16 Competition budget: The budget allocations for 2015-2016 for competition were discussed and approved, as proposed by Competition Chair, Nicole McLearn. MOTION was passed to accept the competition budget and report.
Prize Money: The issue of prize money being distributed by HPAC and how it might now be in conflict with the new Non-Profit legislation that HPAC must abide by was discussed. ACTION: Nicole will study this issue further and get back to HPAC with an alternate proposal.
Proposal for Multi-discipline Event in Pemberton by Peter Czerznowski: The proposal for a multi-disciplinary event to be held in Pemberton in partnership with other organizations such as cycling was proposed. HPAC’s general support was sought but no clear organizer of the event was identified in the proposal nor was there a specific request as to the kind of support being sought from HPAC. The decision was to propose
that the member making this proposal run a test event in Pemberton this fall on his own and present the results of that to the Board for further consideration next year.
2015 Paragliding National Championships: Nicole McLearn reported that in spite of best efforts by her Committee, no official organizer for this year’s PG Nationals had materialized by the time of the ADM and time was running out for this national competition to be organized for summer of 2015. She indicated there was a proposal being discussed to potentially hold the 2015 PG Nationals in Mexico over the coming winter, perhaps in conjunction with another event, but nothing was yet firm.
Badge Proposal: A proposal for an updated system of Badges was put forward by Mark Dowsett.
MOTION: passed. The procedure is that Mark awards the badges and an online form which Mark has provided allows people to order the badge once Mark has awarded them. A $10 fee will be charged for the badge. They need to be designed.
ACTION: The Office is to set up the process, also on the website, and to have the badges designed. Mark Dowsett to be asked to write a piece about the badges for an upcoming Newsletter. The Badge details are to go on the pilot profile but there is currently no room on the card. The process: person fills out on-line form which goes to Mark and who awards it and notifies HPAC and winner simultaneously and winner can order badge online with payment.
Records Proposal: Mark Dowsett had prepared a new records proposal for the Board. The discussion focused on the issue of pre-declaration (FAI) and the way it used to be done with an observer; and the new Canadian records which would not require pre- declaration but could be claimed as a record if a flight was a record, even if unintended. The old records were very much a result of excellent pre-flight planning, and the flight was declared in advance; this is very different from an accidental record where someone just happens to have an awesome flight. The records proposal was declined by the Board, in deference to the old records already set under very different circumstances.
ACTION: Mark is requested to promote the existing FAI categories and to write a piece for an upcoming Newsletter to promote the many available record categories.
NATIONAL PARKS INITIATIVE
Jasper National Park: Negotiations are continuing to have a formal inaugural flight on May 10, 2015 from the Jasper SkyTram, with Will Gadd making the first flight. Insurance issues were still of concern to the Tram but were being solved. Information about the event will go out on Social Media, as well as to traditional media by press release, in collaboration with Parks Canada in Jasper. Bruce Busby, Vice-President of HPAC, would again be available for most interviews. Alan Polster was identified as the liaison for Jasper National Park and he agreed to develop the “Jasper” page for the website, outlining the rules of flying in Jasper. He had also agreed to have his contact information on the website for visiting pilots, as there is not yet a resident pilot group in Jasper.
INSTRUCTION STATUS AND DISTRIBUTION IN CANADA
Instruction Distribution in Canada: There was discussion about gaps in access to instruction in various regions of Canada, such as Atlantic and Saskatchewan, and major gaps in access to HG instruction in regions such as coastal BC.
A map showing instructional resources across Canada was presented.
Atlantic Proposal: On behalf of Atlantic pilots, Atlantic Director Max Westhead presented a proposal for financial partnership with HPAAC to bring an instructor to Nova Scotia for a period of time to provide instruction to new pilots who had no access to instruction. MOTION: The proposal was approved by the Board.
Instructional Standards Review: Instructor Certification Changes (SOP 420): Filing an Annual Report is mandatory; Names of students need not be included any longer but numbers of students taught should be listed. Also instructors must check a box verifying that they have reported all incidents/accidents in which they were either involved or which they witnessed. Not filing a report automatically takes the name of that instructor off the list of current pilots. MOTION passed.
ACTION: Instructors need to be notified of these changes by the Office.
Tandem Endorsement (PRD430): At the conclusion of a tandem course, Tandem II instructors will give a new tandem pilot a certification form that they have passed the tandem course and are authorized to do tandems with rated pilots. The form includes a log of the flights, including the names of rated pilots who were passengers, a form which must then be presented to the Tandem II for final signoff for the new tandem pilot.
MOTION: passed. ACTION: develop final form and send to all Tandem II pilots and Senior Instructors.
Code of Conduct for Instructors: Being developed by Eric Olivier and Margit and to be then sent to CSI prior to going to Board for adoption motion.
Gold Wing or similar HPAC status for schools: Due to potential liability issues, the Board determined not to develop such a system.
Issue of Fast-Tracking Pilots through ratings and instructor certification and tandem endorsements: The Board discussed their concerns regarding fast-tracking by some instructors and what might be the impact on nation-wide standards and safety. It was acknowledged that some long-time pilots had not gone through the rating system over time and were doing catch-up to get rated, and thus create no concern. But it is the brand new pilots going through rapid ratings and instructor and tandem certifications that are of concern. This item also will be included in the Code of Conduct for Instructors.
Issue of Large Numbers of Unrated pilots: ACTION: All unrated pilots to receive a bulletin that the unrated status is intended to ultimately lead to a P2 before a member is ready for unsupervised free flight and is not intended as a permanent status. A timeframe for updating is to be provided after which online renewals will no longer be possible without contacting the office.
Speed-Riding Proposal to HPAC: The Board discussed a proposal by a member pilot to incorporate the speed riding pilots in Canada, who are not currently HPAC members.
The proposal also suggested that a formal curriculum be developed for teaching speed riding. The Board determined that because of the increased risk, a strong curriculum would have to be developed. Currently HPAC does not have the resources to develop such a curriculum on its own. The Board expressed concern that because the margin of error is so small in that discipline, there is significant risk for HPAC, land owner relations and public image at this point without a serious curriculum. It was decided to discuss this with CSI. There was also discussion on how USHPA is handling this. ACTION: to invite the proposal writer to come back to HPAC with a proposal for what that curriculum might look like for further consideration by HPAC and CSI.
2ND MEETING OF SENIOR INSTRUCTORS NOVEMBER 2015
The President proposed a 2nd meeting of the Senior Instructors of HPAC to develop a National Curriculum for ratings, for instructor certification and for tandem endorsement. MOTION: passed.
ACTION: the Senior Instructors are to be notified regarding the meeting in Vancouver in November 2015.
Endorsements for all Pilots: The new HPAC ratings (2013) include endorsement requirements and options. Pilots having earned ratings prior to the new ratings do not have their special skill endorsements reflected in their records and therefore on their membership cards. This will be caught up by the Office in a systematic way for all pilots across Canada. ACTION: The announcement about the catch-up is to be included in the next Newsletter.
Speedriding Endorsements: The Board decided to place a temporary hold on any further speed riding endorsements due to evolving concerns regarding a lack of a teaching syllabus and resultant liability issues; MOTION: passed.
Potential Cooperation Agreement with UPAC: The Board discussed some kind of partner agreement with UPAC to communicate that paraglider pilots need an ultralight license to operate paramotors; ACTION: Dom to call President of UPAC to discuss some kind of presence in our information to pilots regarding paramotoring. Also, to propose that UPAC cross-reference HPAC so people can learn to fly paragliders before strapping on a motor.
Visiting Instructors: Visiting Instructors need to be approved by CSI or an individual member of CSI to determine that their skills are up to the standards required by HPAC before they can run an SIV in Canada, even if in conjunction with a Canadian instructor.
Instructor Signatures for Students sight-unseen: ACTION: Instructors should be notified that if they give their signatures for applications or other paperwork for students sight-unseen, they are opening themselves to major liability.
Accident/Incident Report 2014: Suzanne Francoeur and George Martin reported on the Incidents/Accidents for 2014. They expressed concern about instructors not reporting and requested that mandatory reporting be included in the Code of Conduct and that instructors have to verify that they reported all incidents and accidents and also the ones they may have witnessed. The Annual Report should include that they have reported all accidents/incidents. MOTION: passed that all instructors must report or disciplinary action could be taken.
Logbook and Progression Log: There will be an integration of the logbook and the Progression log into a new logbook. There will not be safety components added to it until the next CSI meeting has taken place in fall of 2015. Its use is mandatory as the instructor must sign off on the skills having been mastered for each rating. ACTION: All instructors should receive a copy and then can order more. The progression log should form part of the Welcome Package to new pilots going forward so that they can take more responsibility for their own progress. The regular logbooks should also continue to be printed for pilots to use beyond their Novice P2 rating.
Safety Videos from USHPA: The Board reviewed the Safety Videos that USHPA had kindly allowed HPAC to use and to translate into French. The French version was shared with USHPA for their site.
Tandem Pre-Flight Safety Protocol: Concern was expressed about the new Protocol being too general and that it was short on specifics. The Board determined it was intended as an interim document and more work would be done on it in future.
New Pre-Flight Checklist for Tandems: It was determined that HPAC should provide a brief checklist for pre-launch protocol available for its tandem pilots. It can be customized by pilots to fit their own procedures but is a basic one. ACTION: Was developed at Board meeting and needs to go on website as well as tandem pilots’ attention being drawn to it.
Mentor Status: PRD (SOP) 410 removes all reference to mentors.
Availability of External Statistics: These stats report only death or where there was serious permanent or long-term disability; it is intended to be available upon request. The External Version does not reference specifics regarding flight and other conditions that led to the specific accident.
New Safety PRD (SOP): Nick Jones redrafted PRD (SOP) 405 on Safety. ACTION: It is to be placed on the website.
Outstanding Legal Issues: the Board reviewed the status of outstanding legal files.
Minors and Waivers: The Board received advice from legal counsel that the insurer would likely not accept a waiver from a minor, because the waiver might not stand up in court.
ACTION: Instructors and tandem pilots need to be warned that their protection against a lawsuit with respect to minors lies entirely in the quality of their instruction and the care they take; their only protection is their skill and luck. Landowners are also affected by this and instructors should be aware of that.
Electronic Waiver: The Board considered a legal opinion from our external legal counsel.
ACTION: Our in-house legal counsel will work with the Office and any third- party as necessary to develop the electronic waiver.
Refusal to Instruct: One Senior Instructor sought the Board’s advice on the issue of a student that the Instructor did not wish to instruct, due to the student’s unexplained medical issues and incidents on launch. He also was concerned about other instructors, not familiar with this situation, inadvertently taking on that student and increasing their potential liability and the safety of the student by doing so. He was advised by the in- house legal counsel that he should advise other instructors that this person may be seeking out instruction from someone else.
ACTION: Schools should be advised that they might wish to include in their waiver a section that has people checking off or initialing a box that confirms that they have no physical or psychiatric issues that would prevent them from safely participating in this activity.
Prohibition against use of Drugs and Alcohol Pre- and During Flight:
ACTION: Contact Mark Kowalsky as to whether this topic should be raised on the waiver or how it should be handled.
TRANSPORT CANADA REPORT
The issues of Aerodromes and Towing developments over the last year were discussed by the Board. Red flags were raised in particular regarding aerodrome designations that could close down flying sites. This issue will continue to be watched by the Board. The separation of HG’s and PG’s from the “balloon and other tethered objects category” had been effected so that aerotowing is not in danger from new regulations in the other categories.
FAI – IPPI EQUIVALENTS FOR HPAC RATINGS
As per the recommendation from Stewart Midwinter, HPAC’s Representative to FAI with Nicole McLearn, IPPI equivalencies with HPAC ratings need to be updated. ACTION: change has to be made on the website. A Master rating is no longer required for the H5 or P5, but 5 documented XC-flights have to have been achieved for the 5 rating. Pilots will need to refer to XCanada or wherever these XC flights are documented.
School Insurance: Some clarification regarding School Insurance was sought by one Board member with further discussion to take place with the Insurance Chair Gregg Humphreys.
Increase in Deductible: The Board discussed the increase in deductible from $2500 to
$5000. One Board member proposed that HPAC pick up the difference between the
$2500 and $5000, in the case of a claim. Another proposal was to see if the deductible could be brought back down in exchange for a slight premium increase. ACTION: Gregg Humphreys will check with David FitzPatrick, HPAC’s insurance broker, to see if this could be done. ACTION: The full insurance policy will be placed on the website, but be behind a log-in for members only.
Coverage of Minors: ACTION: Gregg will get reconfirmation from David FitzPatrick that the insurance will not be covering minors for instruction or tandems. Also he will get an answer to how landowners are protected in the case of minors suing. ACTION: Information about minors to go out to instructors as soon as possible after Gregg comes back with some answers from his consultation with the broker.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR REPORT
Profile of HPAC membership: Margit Nance provided a profile of the HPAC membership to the Board by means of a number of pie-charts and graphs. It provided stats regarding HG members versus PG members, pilots by province, pilots with and without ratings, and she reported on the fact that growing numbers of pilots never get a rating but stay unrated the bulk of their flying career. With ratings documenting proper instruction and instruction being a major part of risk management, it is recommended that a concerted effort be made to have unrated pilots ramp up to at least a Novice rating. A couple of schools have already done that with local pilots in their area, where the pilot may have a long flying record, but no rating. ACTION: Nonrated pilots are to be contacted by the Office and asked to get themselves rated with a local instructor. They should be given a timeframe within which to do that.
Office Work Flow and Involvement with Board of Directors: The Executive Director reported on the bottle neck that often forms in the Office because of all work being centralized in the Office. She requested that the Board consider a portfolio that each Board member would carry, based on their special skills or interest, in order to provide the Executive Director with a Board member’s advice and expertise, where required.
Currently the Executive Committee handles the bullk of the issues that require the Board’s attention between Directors meetings. The Board identified the following subject assignments, providing the Office with a specific Board member to assist and advise on specific issues:
2015-2016 : Governance : Nick Jones; Safety : Tom Sliepen and Max Westhead; Tandem Issues : Scott Watwood; CSI : President, Vice-President, Steve Kurth, Gilles
Normandeau; Budget : Tim Parker; Legal Issues, Transport Canada, Insurance, FAI, Competition and Safety Chairs will continue to advise as at present.
Executive Director Contract : There is currently no contract in place for the Executive Director nor a job description representative of what the job entails. ACTION : Margit Nance will develop these two documents for the Executive Committee’s consideration.
Willi Muller Award and Lew Neilson Award to be awarded at end of 2015 season
Solid Ground Award : MOTION : passed. To award three Solid Ground Awards : Products Antoine, Bert Duncan, John McIsaac and Cathy-Anne David.
Cliff Kakish Award : MOTION : passed. To award to Nicole McLearn.
Jaime Christensen Award : MOTION : passed. To award to Will Gadd.
Michael Robertson Instructor of the Year Award : MOTION : passed. To award Jacques Blanchet.
Master Rating: Larry Croome was nominated but is not currently eligible, as he does not have an Advanced rating. ACTION: The nominator, Randy Rauck, is to be notified that Larry can be nominated again next year.
All presentations made by Tim Parker, Treasurer of HPAC. Financial Report 2014-2015 MOTION to approve; passed. Choice of Auditors: MOTION to approve; passed.
Membership Fee Changes: MOTION for membership to be consistent at $125 in all regions and to have membership forms reflect that, passed. ACTION: Membership forms to be changed on website.
2015-2016 Budget: MOTION to approve passed.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ELECTIONS and REGIONAL ELECTIONS 2015
MOTION: To reelect current slate of Executive Officers; passed.
MOTION: To have all regional director elections handled consistently through the office, rather than by individual regional or provincial associations to make sure that all members have an opportunity to vote; passed.
Dom will work with the Office to set the agenda and identify motions that need to go to the membership for a July AGM.
2016 ANNUAL DIRECTORS MEETING
The Board discussed holding the next ADM a little later – in June – tentatively in Jasper Park with an invitation to Park Staff to meet with the Board. MOTION: passed.
End of day May 2, 2015