Sports Aviation Operations Suspended in the ACT Region

It is with great regret that the ACT Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association announces that flying operations are suspended in the ACT Region from midnight on 30 Mar 2020. There has been debate in our community about the moral and social impacts of flying during the coronavirus crisis and some individuals have chosen not to fly. However that is no longer relevant as we are now of the opinion that flying operations in our region would be unlawful.

On the evening of 29 Mar 2020 the Prime Minister announced measures to protect the community. NSW effected that through a Public Health Order which came into force from midnight on 30 Mar 2020, and the ACT is expected to follow suit with a similar Public Health Directive. The NSW Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020 describes two prohibitions that are inconsistent with our operations.

In particular, the Order directs that a person must not leave their place of residence without a reasonable excuse. We do not believe that flying operations would be viewed as a reasonable excuse. Some have considered that our operations, such as hike and fly, might be considered exercise and therefore be interpreted to mean a reasonable excuse. While hiking might be, flying is not and we urge all pilots to avoid trying to interpret the Order in a way which might suit their desires but is counter to the intent.

Of equal concern is that the Order directs the closure of certain premises. Our flying sites meet the definition of ‘community facilities’. Flying from our sites would constitute operating the premises by land owners, our association (through our agreements with the land owners), and the pilots flying from them. This would expose all of us and as the flying would be unlawful and our insurances would be void, further voiding our agreements with land owners which require that we are insured.

We understand that this suspension will deeply affect those of us who are addicted to flying. Once this virus storm has passed we are all looking forward to resuming operations.

Notes:

  • Flying operations includes paragliding, hang gliding, powered paragliding, and powered hang gliding.

  • The ACT Region means the same thing as described in the SAFA Policy on Region Boundaries. The geographic extent is defined by postcodes and includes all of the ACT and NSW Postcodes in the areas surrounding the ACT (2580-2582, 2618-2621). This includes our sites in NSW such Collector, Lake George, Spring Hill, and Pig Hill. We are of the view that the Lanyon site should be closed as well.

About ACTHPA

The ACT Hang gliding and Paragliding Association (ACTHPA) is the club for all hang gliders, paragliders and their motorised forms in the region. The region is excellent for carbon-free flying and there are some great areas for motorised flight as well. We have many excellent sites, local paragliding instructors and an active pilot community. We maintain a number of launch sites, and wind talkers in the local area to help in deciding when and where to fly.

Flying in Canberra

If it is ‘on’ then you can pretty much guarantee that someone will be out flying. If you are planning to go for a fly at one of our sites, please post a message on our Facebook group so you can meet up with others. The wind talkers provide current wind speed and direction and records this information for the previous 12 hours. The weather resources page links to useful weather information.

If you are a visiting pilot, remember to contact one of the locals prior to flying any site.

Learn to Fly

If you’re interested in learning to fly, take a look at the SAFA Schools page, and you could also join our Facebook group or come along to a club meeting to ask for recommendations.

Club Meetings

Club meetings are held on the first Tuesday of each month (except December and January) at the Canberra Labor Club in Weston Creek starting at 7.30 pm. At the meetings we talk about flying and put members in contact with each other. We have a strong social scene.

Recent Flights Around Canberra

These are just a few of the recent flights by club members in the ACT region.

NameSiteAircraftModelDistanceDate
Ken CroweCanberra, Lake Georg... - AUParagliderSwing Arcus 72.30km2020-03-28
Jonathan BishopCastle HillParagliderOzone Lm 617.78km2020-03-28
Ken CroweLake GeorgeParagliderSwing Arcus 72.66km2020-03-23
Brendan FraserLake GeorgeParagliderOzone Swift 412.40km2020-03-09
Jonathan BishopBoob HillParagliderNova Mentor 410.81km2020-02-28
Jonathan BishopCastle HillParagliderNova Mentor 46.10km2020-02-23
Ken CroweLake GeorgeParagliderSwing Arcus 723.65km2020-02-16
Ken CroweLake GeorgeParagliderSwing Arcus 72.93km2020-02-16
Alex ChapmanCollectorParagliderNova Mentor 4188.18km2020-01-19
Alex BoikoLake GeorgeParagliderAdvance Epsilon 716.37km2019-12-13
Pete CohnLake George Nth Laun... - AUParagliderOzone Swift 41.20km2019-12-08
Jonathan BishopCollectorParagliderOzone Lm 6121.30km2019-12-08
Haydon GrayCollectorParagliderLm626.31km2019-12-08
Trent B?Hang GliderMoyes Litespeed Rx Pro 3.51.59km2019-11-27
Trent B?Hang GliderMoyes Litespeed Rx Pro 3.52.32km2019-11-27
Phillip RobinsonCanberra, Spring Ran... - AUParaglider6.30km2019-11-17
Phillip RobinsonCanberra, Spring Ran... - AUParagliderBgd Bgd Cure8.00km2019-10-30
Matt KinchCollectorParagliderAdvance Iota 26.60km2019-10-28
Alex ChapmanCollectorParagliderNova Mentor 439.90km2019-10-28
Phillip RobinsonCanberra, Spring Ran... - AUParagliderBgd Bgd Cure6.00km2019-10-24

Longest Flights in the Canberra Region

These are some of the longest cross-country flights recorded in the Canberra region. Also see the site records page for records broken down by site and wing category.

NameSiteAircraftModelDistanceDate
Dave MayLake George ...Hang GliderMoyes Rs3.5318.63km2010-02-01
Trent BrownCarolsHang GliderAirborne C4 13.5209.72km2008-01-27
Trent BrownLake George Nth Laun... - AUHang GliderMoyes Litespeed Rs3.5195.40km2011-01-28
Igor LikhosherstovBowningParagliderNiviuk Peak 3188.80km2013-11-30
Alex ChapmanCollectorParagliderNova Mentor 4188.18km2020-01-19
Rafael EsquillaroLake GeorgeParagliderNiviuk Icepeak 7 Pro183.23km2017-01-04
Trent BrownBinalong - AUHang GliderMoyes Litespeed Rs3.5164.70km2009-12-12
Rene SedlmLake George Nth Laun... - AUParagliderAdvance Sigma 10162.00km2018-02-04
Lukas VymetalBowningParagliderAxis Venus 3158.07km2013-11-30
Trent BrownCanberra, Pig Hill... - AUHang GliderMoyes Litespeed Rs3.5153.10km2012-01-28
Trent BrownCanberra, Spring Ran... - AUHang GliderMoyes Litespeed Rx3.5152.80km2012-11-04
Grant EdwardCanberra, Pi...Hang GliderAirborne C4-13.5140.19km2008-12-06
Trent BrownLake George Nth Laun... - AUHang GliderMoyes Litespeed Rs3.5137.30km2011-12-15
Trent BrownLake George Nth Laun... - AUHang GliderMoyes Litespeed Rs3.5135.30km2012-03-18
Igor LikhosherstovBowningParagliderNiviuk Peak 3131.27km2015-03-15
Lukas VymetalBowningParagliderAxis Venus 3127.53km2013-12-01
Dave MayLake George ...Hang GliderMoyes Rs3.5126.44km2010-03-11
Andrew LutonLake George Nth Laun... - AUHang GliderAirborne C4 13.5125.60km2013-11-17
Dave MayCanberra, Lake Georg... - AUHang GliderMoyes Rs4125.60km2010-12-05
Trent BrownCanberra, Pi...Hang GliderAirborne C4 13.5125.11km2009-03-01