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Message from club to ALL pilots

Hello All Pilots

There were concerns expressed at our AGM not so long ago about how the actions of some pilots had threatened site access, and there has been further concern expressed since in light of recent accidents and near misses/close shaves.

Some of our members seem less aware than others that our sites are quite sensitive and require the good will of their respective landowners for our continued usage. It is important that we maintain good relations with landowners and also that we project a good image of our sport to the public in general.

So here are a few points to consider:

1) Accidents – need to be reported (see extract from the OPM below) … but they are better avoided in the first place!
2) Membership – is essential. Anyone free-flying in NZ must be a member of the NZHGPA. Membership cards are required to be carried when flying. CAA spot checks have been happening at some sites. Be aware this may happen here. All PG and HG pilots are required to have current WOF (and sticker on the glider HG & PG). That includes tourists as well as the strange folk that turn-up once a year with dusty 20yr old kit!
3) We share our sites with the public – be aware that your actions/inactions could put our sites in jeopardy.
4) Policing our sites – We have to enforce our own rules in order to maintain the agreements we have for site access. That means sticking your neck out occasionally and having a word to the odd transgressor (and/or backing someone who does!).
5) Spread the love – New pilots need old pilots, if you are fresh out of school your learning has just begun, please make use of the deep knowledge base the club has to offer… ask questions!
6) Site protocol – In no particular order:
a. No smoking on site
b. Respect land owners and general public
c. Fly with a radio!!
d. Hold a current site rating/ or be under the supervision of an instructor
e. Respect all other pilots and members of public while using this site
f. Do not drive vehicles on sites including landing areas.
g. Take all practical steps to stay off private land away from crops and stock
h. If flying private property there may be a site guide or land owner that needs consulting and above all respect their wishes such as closures for lambing or areas not to enter and leave gates as found.
i. Be mindful of rubbish on our sites
j. Spread the love and help new pilots or visiting pilots with any questions they may have.

This is also a reminder to ALL club members of the procedures on the occurrence of an incident/accident. This information and more is available in the NZHGPA Organisation and Procedures Manual (OPM)

I recommend that if you haven’t read the OPM, go and have a read. If you have read them, you may want to consider a refresher. Below are a couple of the pertinent sections.

We are a club, let’s try to be considerate to other free-fliers.

An Incident is the operational occurrence, other than a hang glider or paraglider accident, which:
1. Jeopardises the safety of the hang glider or paraglider, or;
2. Involves a hang glider or paraglider, and causes injury or severe mental strain to any person, or damage to property
3. Involves a breach of airspace regulations.

Accident notification is mandatory under the provision of Civil Aviation Rules Part 12.
Therefore any accident involving a hang glider or paraglider shall be reported where:
1. A person is fatally or seriously injured as a result of being attached to the hang glider or
paraglider or in direct contact with any part of the hang glider or paraglider including any
parts that have become detached from the hang glider or paraglider.
2. The hang glider or paraglider suffers substantial damage, which adversely affects the
structural strength, performance or flight characteristics of the hang glider or paraglider that
would normally require major repairs or replacement of the affected components. This excludes hang glider minor damage to uprights and battens.
3. The hang glider or paraglider is missing or is completely inaccessible.
A serious injury is classified as an injury that is sustained by a person in an accident which:
• Requires hospitalisation for more than 48 hours, commencing from within 7 days from the
date the injury was received; or
• Results in a fracture of a bone (except simple fractures of fingers, toes, nose or ribs); or
• Involves lacerations which cause severe haemorrhage, nerve, muscle, or tendon damage; or
• Involves injury to an internal organ.

A fatal injury is an injury resulting in death with in thirty (30) days of the date of an accident.
An aircraft is considered to be missing when the official search has been terminated without the wreckage being located.

It is the responsibility of the pilot involved in the accident (or if he/she is incapacitated, then by the person accompanying the pilot,) to notify:

1. The 24 Hour CAA Accident Hotline on 0508 ACCIDENT (0508 222 433).
2. The local Police (Immediately) in the case of a fatality.
3. The NZHGPA Operations Manager immediately in the case of a fatality, or an accident which could involve third party insurance claims against an organisation or the Association.
4. The local Club Safety Officer within 24 hours.
And to submit:
5. A completed accident report within 48 hours