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Jasper, Alberta May 4 - May 5, 2017

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  • Bruce Busby, HPAC President and Alberta Director
  • Gilles Normandeau, HPAC Secretary and Manitoba Director Maxine Westhead, Atlantic Canada Director
  • Nick Jones, HPAC Vice-President and Ontario Director Nicole McLearn, BC Director
  • Tim Parker, HPAC Treasurer
  • Tom Sliepen, Saskatchewan Director Stephen Kurth, Yukon Director
  • Eric Olivier, Québec Director
  • Margit Nance, HPAC Executive Director
  • Visitors for Specific Agenda Items:
  • Pam Clark, Amber Stewart (Jasper National Park) Todd Noble (Jasper SkyTram)
  • Tyler Gillies, Suzanne Francoeur (HPAC Safety Co-Chairs) (on speakerphone) Max Fanderl (Senior Instructor) (on speakerphone)


The agenda was approved and new Board member Nicole McLearn from BC was introduced.


The summary was approved by the Board.


Bruce Busby, HPAC President, chaired the meeting, except for some agenda items which were chaired by other Board members as indicated below. His President’s report focused on the new insurance policy that HPAC had been able to acquire, one that now made it possible for minors to be students, tandem students and full-fledged members of HPAC. This new policy had been well received by members. However, coverage for the US was lost.


Nick Jones reported that HPAC’s new Official Facebook page already had 270+ members. He also asked Directors to increase communications from various regions for placement in Newsletters and on Facebook. He also recommended that HPAC Newsletters come out quarterly. He also encouraged Board members to send out periodic HPAC news to their region.


Alberta: Bruce Busby reported on Kevin Thompson’s towing-based school outside of Red Deer and the continuing growth of Claudio Mota’s school in Drayton Valley; the Edmonton club is very active, with lots of towing activity.

Atlantic Canada: Maxine Westhead reported 18 current members in the region and suggested a broadly based call across Canada for an instructor to locate in Atlantic Canada or to offer visiting instruction a couple of times per season to get more students signed off there, who are stuck at a P1.

Québec: Eric Olivier reported that the insurance to cover minors was a big issue in Quebec. He also reported on the upcoming Accuracy World Cup, the first time that the competition was held in Canada (at Mont-St-Pierre). Apparently the provincial Association, AQVL, was struggling with trying to find volunteers to run it (but ultimately it did confirm a full roster of volunteers).

Ontario: Nick Jones reported that Ontario currently had 93 members. A series of seminars would take place throughout the season in order for pilots to work toward higher ratings. He also referred to several HAGAR study sessions that had taken place. A new paragliding school will be starting up in Ontario, initially under the guidance of Eric Brent.

Manitoba: Gilles Normandeau reported that the flying community in Manitoba continues to raise funds through bingo games. He also said that finding new members for the sport in Manitoba continues to be a challenge. He also reported that the provinceʼs single instructor had just recertified.

Saskatchewan: Tom Sliepen reported 11 current members in Saskatchewan. There is a new winch in Saskatoon, which members are still in the process of learning how to use. Due to lack of significant infrastructure and no instructors, people are migrating to other sports. HPAC was asked to hold on to provincial funds collected for now, pending any renewal of the currently non-operational provincial association.

British Columbia: Nicole McLearn reported numerous very active sites in the province, and that the West Coast Soaring Club had been freed from its annual LZ fees to the landowner. She also reported a brand-new site at Mount St. Benedict in the Fraser Valley, which has a new school attached to it, focused primarily on P3 and P4 XC instruction. She cited the growing maturity of sites in the province and additional new sites in Fernie and Hill 60 on Vancouver Island (in development). Grouse Mountain in Vancouver is for sale but it is hoped that paragliding will continue to be a feature of the mountain after new ownership. She previewed the PG Nationals at Pemberton (modeled after the Rat Race in Oregon) and the 2017 Willi in Golden. She also noted the increase in speed flying in BC.

Yukon: Steve Kurth made reference to some political unrest as part of the ongoing growing pains of the flying community in the Yukon. He also reported on recent improvements to the site in Dawson and also at Haeckel Hill.


Margit Nance gave a status report on the HPAC Organizational Renewal, the last piece of which is the completion of the website. She also presented a couple of screenshots of the preliminary wordpress site homepage, at an early stage. Margit has written/edited all new content for the website, with major contributions from Board members, Committee Chairs and others. Given his expertise in the technical aspects of the development, Nick

Jones had volunteered to work with Margit on the completion of the website, in particular on the technical back-end Rails application which is now in progress.

Communications to the Membership coming out of the Office was also discussed. The HPAC Newsletters will continue, with greater frequency on a quarterly basis. Also, the HPAC Safety Advisories will be formalized from the Safety Committee. All formal HPAC Communications is to come out of the HPAC Office to observe consistency of message and style. Board members and Committee Chairs are encouraged to send messages they wish communicated to the membership at large to the Office.

A card is in development regarding what HPAC is and what it does for distribution to all instructors for their new students. The content of this will also be included in an upcoming Newsletter to the members.


The two-year trial period of flying in Jasper was reviewed by Jasper Park, which is in the process of writing a formal review. Amber Stewart presented a PowerPoint overview of the two-year trial.

Some questions were posed by Jasper regarding the low number of flights and clarification on protocols for landing close to a highway, with potential distraction for motorists. Jasper Park would like to have a map available online showing the limits of Jasper Town Site.

Jasper Park confirmed that flying would continue according to the protocols in place while the review is being produced.

There was also discussion on potential approaches to Banff National Park and other mountain parks, but it is not likely they would consider opening up their parks to flight, until such time as the trial-period review for Jasper has been completed by Park officials. This is expected later in 2017, due to the volume of work experienced by Parks related to Canadaʼs 150th birthday.


This agenda item was chaired by Eric Olivier.

There was discussion as to whether use of the P1/P2 Training Logbook was compulsory. It was determined that it is a guide to help instructors cover everything that is required for P1 and P2, but use of the book itself is not compulsory. Eric Olivier recommended the addition of FFL (France) graphics in the next printing (which will require translation).

Re Instructor Recertification of Tandem Pilots: Bruce Busby recommended there be a recreational tandem class, commercial tandem class, and a commercial train-the- trainer class. Eric requested that CSI be mandated to develop a tandem curriculum.

MOTION: To establish a 2017 Tandem Task Force with members Claudio Mota, Scott Watwood, Herminio Cordido, Max Fanderl which would report to the Board of Directors through the Board Liaison Eric Olivier by end of year 2017, for subsequent information to CSI and implementation in 2018 season. Passed unanimously.

Re Instructor Certification and Recertification: Max Fanderlʼs proposal for a new Instructor Certification Program was discussed, featuring a one-time 7-day course presented by HPAC, and involving two Senior Instructors from different schools. The new system would run concurrently with the existing system for a period of three years, so no one is penalized for being part of the current (old) system. There would be new instructor titles developed and a curriculum for the instructor course would be developed.

MOTION: To establish a 2017 Instructor Certification Task Force with members Claudio Mota, Eric Olivier, Max Fanderl, Jacques Blanchet which would report to the Board of Directors through the Board Liaison Eric Olivier by end of year 2017, for subsequent information to CSI and implementation in 2018 season. Passed unanimously.

Re Speed Flying Proposal from Tyler Gillies: Tyler Gillies presented his proposal by speaker phone to incorporate a curriculum for teaching speed flying as one of the courses available through HPAC and also his proposal for getting some initial instructors qualified to teach the course. A detailed curriculum had been provided, as a sample of what it might contain.

Bruce Busby expressed the Boardʼs concern over the additional risk this pilot pool could pose for HPACʼs insurance, given the accident rate for this kind of wing. Tyler spoke for the need and desirability to have good education available for speed fliers to increase their safety. Concern was expressed by the Board as to whether it had enough information and expertise about that sport to be able to make decisions as to how it might impact our sport.

MOTION: To send a letter from the Board offering HPACʼs assistance to the speed flying community to set up their own Association and standards, and then to approach HPAC again in future after they are more established as a sport. One Board member was tasked with drafting the letter. Passed unanimously.

Re Updating Website with latest version of all SOPʼs. Executive Director committed to carrying this out.

Re Request by Max Westhead to set aside funds for bringing instruction to Atlantic Canada during the 2017 season. Discussion centered around whether an instructor should attend a couple of times and that a P2 course should be offered, so that a greater community of fully trained pilots could be in place. While HPAC can subsidize the instructor somewhat, students should also be asked to share in the cost of bringing the instructor. The request by Atlantic Canada was for $3,000 in the 2017-2018 budget.

MOTION: To allocate $3,000 in the 2017-2018 budget for assistance to Atlantic Canada to bring in instructional resources in the 2017 season, with Max Westhead as Agent for the Board on this allocation. Passed unanimously.


This agenda item was chaired by Tom Sliepen.

Suzanne Francoeur presented the report for the Safety Committee by speaker phone. She also presented the Guide de Bonne Pratiques, currently available only in French, as something that should be translated into English and made available on the new website. She also recommended it be printed for distribution to all new students, as a companion piece for the P1/P2 logbook. A limited number would be printed but it would be available online on both sites.

MOTION: To allocate $2,000 for the translation/production/distribution of the Guide de Bonne Pratiques. Passed unanimously.

Safety Advisories to go out to all members will come out 2 or three times a year, with one of those potentially used to report on the yearʼs safety record at the end of the season.

MOTION: To allocate $1500 for the production of HPAC Safety Advisories in 2017-2018 and going forward in subsequent years. Passed unanimously.

Special Safety Clinics: Tom Sliepen proposed that periodic safety clinics could be held throughout the country and that interest in such events could easily be gaged by asking members. This could be part of one of the HPAC Safety Advisories.


This agenda item was chaired by Steve Kurth.

The records and practices of four instructors were discussed as a result of complaints received by HPAC.

Included in the concerns, different for each instructor, were a range of issues, such as: arbitrary activities at, and alteration of, flying sites, without prior consultation with the flying community, thereby placing the site at risk; loaning tandem wings to persons not certified to fly them, endangering their safety and that of the site; inadequate instruction and shortcuts toward the Novice rating and subsequent concern by other pilots and instructors about the newly signed-off pilotʼs skill level and safety; backdating rating forms; signing up pilots for higher-level courses where the skill and rating level is not adequate for the course; trading on HPAC certification that is used to train a person in

PG/HG, but then offering training in powered flight, for which they are not certified under Transport Canada.

MOTION: To request a letter from each of the instructors giving them 30 days within which to state how they will change their practices to be in full compliance with HPACʼs Standard Operating Procedures and the Instructor Code of Conduct. Failure to respond can result in removal of instructor certifications by the Board of Directors. Passed unanimously.

One other pilot had been doing tandems without being certified, resulting in a very serious accident to the pilot and also his tandem passenger.

MOTION: To request a letter of voluntary compliance from the pilot in which he would have to confirm that he will not do tandems while uncertified. Future uncertified tandem flying could result in expulsion from the Association. Passed unanimously.

There was a review of the past disciplinary action (expulsion) related to four pilots: One of them would be readmitted upon application; the other three, who at the date of the ADM had not reapplied, would have to considered by the Board when they reapplied.


This agenda item was chaired by Nicole McLearn.

A request was received by a Senior Instructor that all HPAC-sanctioned competitions should require a minimum P3 or H3 in order to enter a sanctioned competition requiring XC tasks. This rule would be in line with other countries who require a minimum skill level The Board discussed the issues around this with a comp such as the Willi, with Bruce Busby giving an overview of the history of the event as a “do your best” kind of event.

It was suggested that since registration for 2017 events was well under way, that the new rule would apply in 2018. However, the Willi could simply add a P2/H2-friendly task so that pilots with that rating could still attend and enter the Willi, which has become a venerable institution in Canada. But P2ʼs would not be scored for XC, for example.

MOTION: To notify meet organizers of the new rules starting in January 1, 2018. Passed unanimously.

It was proposed that World Team Pilots should get an apparel allowance for attending international meets representing Canada.

MOTION: To allocate $250 to each World Team Pilot for apparel showing their representation of Canada. Passed unanimously.


This agenda item was chaired by Tim Parker.

Treasurer Tim Parker presented the Financial Statements for 2016-2017 and proposed they go again to HPACʼs auditors Jorgensen/Bickerton for review. Tom Sliepen requested that all reference to the Saskatchewan Association in the budget be placed on hold until the status of that organization could be reviewed.

MOTION: To accept the Financial Statement for 2016-2017 and select Jorgensen/Bickerton auditors to do the review. Passed unanimously.

Tim Parker presented the Budget for 2017-2018 and recommended that the Calendar publication be discontinued.

MOTION: To approve the budget for 2017-2018 and to discontinue publication of the calendar. Passed unanimously.

Tim Parker suggested that the 2017 online AGM take place right after Labour Day.


This agenda item was chaired by Max Westhead. HG Master: André Nadeau

PG Master: Will Gadd

Kliff Kakish Award: Suzanne Francoeur, George Martin

Jamie Christensen Award: David FitzPatrick, Andrew Berkley, Peter Spear

Solid Ground Award: Al Thielmann, Rob Samplonius, Bert Duncan (with different wording on the award as he is a previous winner of the award)

Instructor of the Year: Jacques Blanchet

MOTION: To accept all nominations. Passed unanimously.


For President: Bruce Busby For Vice-President: Nick Jones

For reappointment as Treasurer (Director-at-Large): Tim Parker

MOTION: to accept the nominations. Motion passed unanimously.

New Membership Region: The Board reviewed the recent and current member demographics across Canada. It was determined to establish a new Prairie Region, comprising Manitoba and Saskatchewan members under one Director starting January 1, 2018.

When the current Manitoba Directorʼs term is completed on December 31, 2017, the Saskatchewan Director will assume responsibility for both Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Prior to when the current Saskatchewan Directorʼs term is completed on December 31, 2018, the combined Saskatchewan and Manitoba pilot membership will vote for the new Prairie Region Director. That Directorʼs term will begin January 1, 2019.

MOTION: To combine Saskatchewan and Manitoba memberships into a new Prairie Region. Passed unanimously.

NEXT MEETING: To take place in Atlantic Canada.


Aug 25 2017   Top Top