A club meeting was held at 7:30pm on 5 November 2019 at the Canberra Labor Club, Weston.


Wes Kilham, Rene Sedlmaier, Alex Chapman, Phil Robinson, Graham Rose, Mats Henrileson, Sharon Dowling, Alistair Dickie, Peter Kupsovsky, Peter Lamont, Andrew Luton, Mark Wallace, Matthew Cooper, Kevin Beavan, Alex Boiko, Phil Dieckmann, Nick Lemon, Ash Gosili, Ken Crowe

Apologies: Peter Ellis, Allister Higgins, Phil Lyng, Doug Mathie, Sarah Van Dyk

Welcome to new members Matthew Cooper (PG) and Mats Henrikson (HG).

Site Updates

Much work has been completed at Spring Hill. SW launch area graded and rocks removed. Good for most launch directions, particularly SW and S. There are now three main launch sites, a low launch on the northern end, the regular site and the new SW site. More wind socks required.

Phil Robinson asked that pilots wanting to access the launch areas by vehicle use only four wheel drives, not all wheel drives with limited ground clearance.

He would also welcome a working party to assist with further work on the launch area and with weed spraying.

Forms have been completed regarding an environmental impact report on a weather station at Lanyon. Hopefully there may be a temporary station approved and installed in the near future.


Eagle Award

Two main contenders – Graham Rose and Alex Chapman. Graham launched at Bright and managed to top land on Mount Feathertop. He bivvied there overnight and walked out next day as conditions were not suitable for re-launching .

Alex Chapman competed in the Canungra Cup and had a very creditable result executing five tasks of 65 to 75 kms and two goals. A third goal would have been achieved had he not mistaken the actual zone when spiraling down from great height. Alex also flew from Collector to Tarago on the Monday after Canungra.

Awarded to Graham by a narrow margin.

No Novice award.

FARK Award

Matt Cooper broke his leg at Spring Hill. He explained that he rushed his set up, being in a hurry to fly. Then he tried to stay up in light conditions and flew too close to the hill. Rescue was coordinated by Phil Robinson and well managed with little fuss. Lesson: Take your time after arriving at launch to assess conditions. Always maintain adequate separation from terrain, especially when conditions are thermic.

Ken Crowe reported a sketchy launch at Collector and a difficult landing when the wing went “quiet” and the wind shifted abruptly from head wind to tail wind. Ken hit the ground hard and was dragged, but escaped uninjured.

Lesson: Consider whether or not conditions are out of your comfort zone before launching, in this case turbulent and thermic. It seems likely Ken encountered a thermal as he came in to land. Nevertheless it seems clear that he made good decisions and avoided injury.

SAFA Update

Al Dickie reported that he will continue as the ACT area representative on the SAFA Board, there being fewer nominations than positions vacant.

Al mentioned an unofficial SAFA forum on Facebook. He said that SAFA cannot respond to the comments for legal reasons.

SAFA had 2226 members as at 23 October, about 70 % of whom are paraglider pilots. At that time there were 900 members who had not renewed, but this figure usually reduces to 400 or 500. There are 90 current members in the ACT and 30 who have not renewed.

Peter Lamont expressed the view that the SAFA fees were unreasonably high for younger pilots.

The SAFA AGM will be held in two weeks.

There was a discussion regarding difficulties surrounding training and instruction for newer pilots and the role of Senior Safety Officers.

Christmas Party

Will be held on the first Tuesday in December, replacing the usual meeting. Look for details on FB.

Other Matters

VHF endorsement. The syllabus is on the SAFA website. Watch FB for details re training. Andrew Luton mentioned the desirability of having a duty pilot on the ground when flying near airports, able to monitor and transmit.

Radios: Rene Sedlmaier recommended HGFA Open as the channel of choice. HG pilots use their own dedicated frequency.

Tumut (Honeysuckle) weekend:

Plan is to replace timber planks on the HG launch. Cost about $900.

Graham Rose suggested the group might explore better options for a PG launch.

Six camp sites booked at Tumut with a dinner at the brewery.

Rene also mentioned future plans including more club trips away, SIV, an XC clinic, site development, coastal trips, overseas flying trips, a top landing clinic, repack nights and the conclusion of the installation of a weather station at Lanyon.