Safety information

Safety Bulletin October 2013


With the new flying season upon us, it is timely to take take a look at some current and past issues to help ensure an incident free flying site.


The HGFA requires that all pilots meet a minimum number of flight/hours over a certain period of time to remain current. These minimums are outlined in the Operations Manual in Section 7, Pilot Certificates and Endorsements.

As a number of pilots will be getting their wings out for the first time in many months they may require a check flight by a CFI or SSO.If you have any doubts about your currency, please contact the club SSO, Mark Mitsos, to discuss it with him.


There have been at least 2 water landings over the past 6 to 12 months which have thankfully ended with no worse than hurt pride and minor wing damage.

We all know that conditions at Stanwell can change dramatically with little prior warning and so it is imperative that our situational awareness is at its highest at all times. Glide slope, fluctuations in wind speed and direction, signs of change on water and traffic volumes are all things we should be monitoring at all times.

A tree landing is far preferable to one in water.


During the recent bushfire emergencies, a bushfire started at Otford near the Pie Shop.

An unknown pilot flew to the site of the fire and caused a water bombing helicopter to abort its run at the fire. This gross act of stupidity caused the Police to attend and officially close the site for the remainder of the day. Had the club been able to identify the pilot, he/she would have fronted the safety committee to show cause why his/her flying priviliges should not have been suspended.

The only upside to this incident was that the site closure procedures were carried out quickly and efficiently whilst the Police were in attendance and they made good comment on the way in which it was done.

The site closure procedure is

  1. All markers and signs are to be removed

  2. The white cross is laid out on launch

  3. 3 blasts are given on the airhorn to alert pilots to the closure

  4. The Duty Pilot/SSO, in consultation with CFI’s, will have final determination when it is safe to reopen the site.

  5. The white cross, airhorn and first aid kit are kept in the security bin.


Paraglider pilots using the high wind launch are reminded that they require a spotter to be positioned on top prior to launching.


Safety Bulletin 2




The club has had a long and well established record of working with emergency services but following a recent incident involving a club pilot, Helensburgh Police lodged a complaint with the NSWHPA for what they perceived to be a lack of co operation from club members in assisting them. It appears that, in this instance, their first contact was with a relatively new or inexperienced pilot.

Whilst we have been able to assure them that this was a one off occurrence, as evidenced by our previous association with them, it is timely to re iterate our position as a club.

Emergency personnel attending the site are there for one express purpose and that is to locate and assist a pilot reported to be in distress.

We must give them our full co operation in any way we can.

If you cannot assist directly then put them in contact with the duty pilot. If he/she cannot be located, a safety officer, CFI or a senior club pilot should be seconded to assist.

In cases where the initial report is from a member of the public, we may not be aware that an incident has occurred and again the DP, SO, CFI or senior pilot must be made aware of the situation.

Helensburgh Police now have phone numbers for the club president and SSO to be their first point of contact.

Remember they are there to help a fellow pilot, a friend or even maybe yourself.




There has been an improvement in placing out of markers/signs before flying but there are still some occasions when it has not happening. It is the most basic rule for flying at Stanwell Park and must be adhered to.

Just as important is ensuring that at the end of the day the markers and signs are returned to the

security box on the east launch or to the storage area near the beach.

The club has an arrangement with a local family to put out and retrieve markers on the beach area on most flyable days, it cannot be left to them or the CFI's on the hill to assume full responsibility for putting them away. Solo pilots must also play their part in protecting club assets.

After a big days flying you are no doubt hanging for a nice cold beer but it will only take you half a middie to do the right thing.

If you are the last one to fly, please make arrangements and time to put the equipment away.




Unfortunately it is again necessary to remind paraglider pilots using the high wind launch area of the mandatory use of a spotter when launching. A near miss or mid air collision should not be the required motivation for adhering to this rule. SAFETY FIRST


The contents of this and future safety bulletins will form the basis of the Stanwell Park HangGliding

and Paragliding Clubs Standard Operating Procedures.


Dear member,

With the onset of warmer weather & increased opportunities for flying now upon us, the SPHG&PG committee thought it timely to remind members of the HGFA preferred method of incident & accident reporting.

IRIS (Integrated Risk Information System) is the new HGFA online incident reporting system. Supported by CASA, IRIS is a key component in the ongoing development of the HGFA new safety management systems. IRIS allows simplified online access for HGFA members to lodge incident reports that can then be centrally collated and disseminated back to State Associations and Clubs for safety awareness.

The IRIS Occurrence Reporting System is based on best practice reporting and aims to facilitate an open reporting culture within the HGFA & other self –administered sporting aviation bodies. Experience has shown that the provision of online reporting systems, that allow the confidential handling of information, encourages members to report safety occurrences. It is through the reporting of such occurrences, whether they are a near miss or serious incident or accident, that our organisation and its members can then be made aware of the safety risks within our sport and take the necessary steps to mitigate or eliminate those risks.

With this in mind the committee recommends members take the time to familiarise themselves with this simple new reporting system via the HGFA web site or by following the link provided.

Happy flying & best regards, the SPHGPC committee.


More Articles ...

  1. Safety Bulletin 1