MHGC Presidents Annual Report

MHGC Presidents Report 2009 / 2010

Gabriel Toniolo

Well it has been an exciting year for the Melbourne Hang Gliding Club.

We continued developing our relationship with the land owner of our premier local site “Three Sisters” at Flowerdale. Replacement of fencing work continued with help from Malcolm Lightbody and several days put in by Scott Rawlings and me.

Club Awards were handed to the winners; Peter Holloway received the Club “Peter Bachelor” Award for the second time in a row. Scott Rawlings won the Encouragement Award. Both recipients well deserved recipients.

The twice postponed 2009 Queens Birthday Towing / tow endorsement weekend was held on July 25th and 26th. This was originally planned for the Queens Birthday weekend in June and then again on the 4th and 5th of July, but both were cancelled due to the state of the intended paddocks in Boort.

We made the major step of changing the venue for our monthly meeting from Station 59 hotel in Richmond to our current venue The Tower Hotel in East Hawthorn. This venue has provided us with modern facilities; “Club” priced meals as well as an expanded menu for pre meeting meals. The venue has obtained unanimous approval from regular meeting attendees. And our heartfelt thanks go to Trevor Gerbes for finding, doing the initial leg work and then nominating the venue.

This year for the first time, we were able to provide every member with the option of obtaining, or renewing, a Senior Level First Aid (Level 2) certificate and training run by St. John’s ambulance. Previously, we held a ‘Club Only’ Basic First Aid (Level 1) which was run by Vanessa Sparke as a member of our Club and qualified to provide that level of training. We were able to secure with St. Johns a special deal where members could attend any public course of their choosing and location for a highly discounted cost. This was the first time any VHPA registered club achieved this and has now set a precedent for other clubs. The cost of the course was fully funded by the VHPA.

This year after having an extended period last year without an effective Website, we progressed through two new websites. Firstly, with the help of Glenn Bachelor (committee member) and Jan Bennewitz (VHPA webmaster) we redirected our old website onto a revised and temporary website which was hosted through the VHPA website. This allowed us to have our basic information up so that members and would be members could obtain basic information on the club, such as contact details, membership forms, etc. Recently, we moved to hosting our own ‘new’ and ‘improved’ website at ( This is a great new website already and we have the ability to develop it further (plans to have our event Calender and detailed site info pages will be added). We are also planning to renew our previous MHGC brochure and having this available in a colour PDF so that visitors to our site can access the brochure easily. The website is a major move forward and would not have been possible without the enormous effort and contribution (he did it all) from Will Faulkner. Will has also co-ordinated most of the sms messages during the latter part of this financial year. Our heart felt thanks go to Will for all his efforts.

In September this year Peter Holloway again organised a parachute repack event. This time however, the services of Darren Morgan was paid for by the Club. That is, anyone who had the chutes repacked at the venue on the night did not incur a charge from the rigger.

Following on from the re-fencing work at “Three Sisters” we were asked to co-ordinate a tree planting day bringing in the forces from both the hang and paragliding communities. This was held on September 19th with a great turnout (with big numbers from the paragliders). With so many hands to help (100 plus) the work was easy and completed within a few hours. The Hubbards (landowners) put on a feast for all who helped. The day was a great day from a social point of view and we planted over 1200 tree seedlings. A bonus for us is that the event attracted a large article being written in the Yea Chronicle (September 23rd) with the Headline “Hang Gliders and off roaders gather to replant at Flowerdale”. This has helped raise awareness of our willingness to put back, not just to the landowner at Three Sisters, but has raised our image to all landowners in the area. This will hold us in good stead as we pursue new site options at “Junction Hill” (near Flowerdale) and Marysville (Cathedral Ranges).

Melbourne Cup weekend saw Will Faulkner run a “Ride the Spiral” event from Mt. Beauty in the North East region. This event was supported by the MHGC with senior members assisting with the organisation, safety operations and being available at more suitable sites when novice pilots were unable to launch from the designated comp launch for the day. The Event was widely attended and a huge success for Will Faulkner (, the Club and hang gliding.

In addition to the major event during the Melbourne Cup weekend, we held a working bee at the newly designated MHGC site at Gundowring called “Savhill”. With all the RTS comp and other hang glider pilots in the area, and, with gaining assistance of the NEVHGC and paragliding community we were able to achieve a quick outcome on the day. In addition, we were able to put up all the site signage at the site. Kevin Grosser arranged for all the signs to be produced and he, Andrew Medew and I put them in their current designated positions. Thanks must go to Kevin for being proactive in getting the signage organised and erected for this site.

In December I put forward a motion to the VHPA for further funding to be provided for the Savhill site which would be used to reshape the launch and make it more suitable for Novice (Restricted rated) Hang Gliding pilots. This was accepted to a value of up to $10,000. More recently in June, this works proceeded under the stewardship of Kevin Grosser (assisted by Andrew Medew) with the launch totally improved and the road up the face improved. This was a major commitment from Kevin as he was taken away from his business to be on site whilst the works took place, again a big thank you to Kevin.

On November 11th the Club ran a “Glider Maintenance” night run by our Senior Safety Officer Peter Holloway. This was the first time the MHGC has run this critical component of every pilot’s maintenance schedule and the event was well attended and will become an annual event for the Club. The event was held in Abbotsford at the warehouse of Tim Bishop’s “Man with a Van” business. The Club thanks Tim for making the venue available and being such a gracious host on the night. And of course, a huge thank you to our tireless SSO Peter Holloway for giving up more of his time, training and experience.

During the year we held our monthly club meetings and a few “special” club meetings where we had guest speakers present to us. These nights were well attended and we plan to run as many of these as possible as they have proven to be informative and entertaining. The Club would like to extend our thanks again to Rohan Holtkamp of Dynamic Flight hang gliding school ( who provided us with further education including how to maximise your chances of hooking lift once off the tow line, David Nayagam who provided an excellent talk on his experience and efforts in his quest to enter the European Astronaut program and Ian Dayable for his presentation and “show and tell” on parachuting and use of the “Flying Suit” (winged ski diving suit). Thanks again to our guest speakers. We will aim to have more in the future and Brian Webb has agreed to talk to us in a future meeting. Brian was a founding owner of Alpine Paragliding located in Bright, he has started a new business offering tandem paragliding flights and cross country tours in the NE Victoria region, He is a CFI and a guru on weather with a wealth of experience and his own dedicated page on his website for weather in that region.

Our year has not been without incident. We have had members have the standard minor mishaps, but on two occasions we have had members require hospitalisation, one was severe with a considerable time in hospital and rehab. The Club has tried to support these pilots with offers of help and as appropriate I have visited the pilot in hospital for a show of support.

We have conducted various other flying and non flying events during the year. This years Christmas BBQ at Wattle Park was an unusual one as we were not able to use the BBQ’s due to fire bans on the day. The Club then supplied roast chickens in lieu of the meat that people had brought for themselves.

The Corryong Cup was held again in January 2010, with many MHGC members participating. This comp is a “friendly” comp and suitable for most levels of pilots. It is particularly useful for pilots who want a taste of what it may be like in competitive events with many experienced pilots available for imparting knowledge and coaching. This competition is similar to the Birchip Easter Comp with the major difference being hill launch rather than tow launch.

During the Australia Day weekend we had a well attended fly-in at Bright. This was hosted by Scott Rawlings who did a great job of organising, not only the event, but we held a Club BBQ at the Outdoor in which was held for members and friends which was a great success both socially and for our tummies. Well done Scott.

During Easter 2010 we had our usual split of pilots who attended the Birchip Easter Competition (towing event) and Alpine free flying group based at Bright. Both were well attended by MHGC pilots and, by all accounts, were productive for the club in that members gained good airtime and experience without major incident. Reports also indicate the events were great from a social/bonding viewpoint for our members.

On Queens Birthday weekend 2010 we again held our annual fly-in at Boort hosted by Peter Holloway and Peter Davies. Peter Holloway (SSO) again acted as MHGC Tow Instructor assisting pilots to gain their ground tow endorsements and helping others refresh their ground towing skills. This weekend was also the weekend that Peter Holloway had his public unveiling of his new “Scooter Tow System” and the Wills Wing “Condor”. This system is used by the Wills Wing team in the USA for pilot’s first steps into flight. Peter has been working on and building the scooter tow for over a year, and with some help from Peter Lissenburg, was finished and tested for the first time by them (and me as guinea pig) on June 5th. This is an incredible teaching and practice tool and has come to fruition from enormous effort and personal expense/investment of Peter Holloway. Seventeen pilots attended the fly-in and some pilots had partners attend with them. The Club again supplied food for the BBQ which was held around a bonfire at the property owned by our hosts of the night the Eichers.

The year has been an eventful one in terms of pilot development and safety. Peter Holloway has prepared a separate “Senior Safety Officers Annual Report” so I will not report specifically on that area in this report. Please refer to Peter’s report as safety of pilots has been a focus for Peter and your committee during the past year. Unlike in previous years, the committee and Peter, as SSO, have focused on practical issues in the area of safety, such as launch and landing clinics and practice, parachute repack and glider maintenance nights, individual counselling and coaching, etc. In previous years more of the focus was on extensive analysis of incidents by the safety officers/committee. This year we decided to “do” rather than “talk about” safety. If you have been attending our recent meetings, you will also know that we have identified the need to have a “Hill Launch” clinic and members have been actively seeking an appropriate training hill with multiple launch directions and within close proximity to the Melbourne. A few paddocks have been identified, and whilst we have not yet found a site that exactly meets our needs (keep looking) we have adequate locations to run the clinic in early spring 2010.

The Club continued to pursue support from the VHPA for financial assistance in support of the “Tandem Proposal” put forward by the club. In brief, we were seeking funds of approx. $13,800 to train 4 (appropriately selected) pilots to have them endorsed ($6000) and the balance for a Tandem setup with 3 wheels and tandem chute etc. Many members of the VHPA were supportive of the concept but wanted KPI targets to be set to demonstrate the numbers of new pilots that would enter the sport due to the proposed plan operating.  Unfortunately, despite the club committee voting in favour of the proposal (twice) and the club members voting in favour of the proposal at a monthly meeting, the proposal was not supported at the VHPA meetings by those present to the point that the proposal was rejected without being put up for a vote. The formal response and my reply to the VHPA are provided in the attached VHPA minutes for November and December 2009.

However, all is not lost with the Tandem proposal. Firstly, let me state that the most appropriate way to provide a tandem flight is through an instructor. The next best thing would be to provide these from a towing strip by Peter Holloway (SSO) who has the equipment and facilities to provide this from tow strips as close as 1.5 hours from Melbourne. Secondly, a major hurdle for the previous proposal was the restrictions within the operations manual in order to be able to charge a fee for these tandems. Since the departure of Chris Fogg, and from knowledge gained from other “Flight Experience Instructor” rated pilots, we have learned that the changes to the Ops manual made by Chris were incorrect. So we may now put a new proposal to the VHPA where we may be able to consider the financial assistance as a loan that would be repaid over time by fees obtained from passengers. Stay tuned.

Peter Davies was once again a major contributor for the club, he managed to get six (6) packed newsletters out during the year. The Newsletter can only be successful with contribution of articles coming from the members. Contributors included, Peter Cass, Colin Jackson, Nick Abicare, Piotr Cywinski and the club member that provided the most articles was Paul Tanner. Great job to you all and a special thanks to Paul Tanner – keep up the good work.

Peter Davies also attended all the committee meetings, co hosted multiple tow weekends and this was above his performance in the role of Secretary for the club. He has assisted many pilots as a senior pilot and active Safety Officer even though he has chosen to step back from flying himself for a year. Join me in thanking Peter for his contributions during the year.

Our Club relies to a large extent on the goodwill of landowners to make our flying sites available. This includes either the T/O or bomb out LZ of each of the sites we sponsor. In December, we provided thanks to some of our landowners with Christmas gifts a Certificates of appreciation. Our site contact for Donna Buang provided the owners of the LZ (Mr. & Mrs. Gary Lay) with a certificate from the club and appropriate gifts. I also provided Terry and Janet Hubbard with similar certificates and gifts for providing the T/O and LZ’s at 3 Sisters to the club.

Greg Stroot has been an active member of the MHGC Committee and has served as Treasurer now for 5 consecutive years. He has been a major contributor to our club as an active pilot, written numerous (and very entertaining) articles and has been an active committee member at events. He has done a great job in developing club database systems and worked tirelessly as our Treasurer. This year Greg moved his family to Western Australia due to his employment. If any of you have made a major move like that you will appreciate even more the dedication to the club that Greg has shown by continuing to run the treasurers role and participated in decision making within the committee by phone and email since his move. Our unequivocal thanks go to Greg for all his effort throughout the year. Let’s all hope he comes back to Melbourne soon.

Glenn Bachelor has again put in a big year as an active committee member. As mentioned previously he has assisted in getting up the interim MHGC Website and has remained a moderator of the MHGC yahoo group. Glenn has also acted as sms co-ordinator during the year. Glenn has been an active committee member for the MHGC for many years now and has always been there for us when we have asked him to help. Our sincere thanks to Glenn.

Trevor Gerbes has been our VHPA rep this past year and has attended almost all the meetings of both the VHPA and our monthly meetings. Trevor is a “restricted pilot” that put his hand up for the role where there were no other volunteers. Trevor has done a great job and has fitted into the routine and team within the VHPA group. As a new pilot, this was a significant undertaking by Trevor and has performed extremely well in the role. On top of this Trevor was instrumental in the selection of our current monthly meeting venue. Our thanks go out to Trevor for all his help and support.

And once again we must give thanks to Geoff Tozer, our long term serving Public Officer. Most new pilots would be unaware, but Geoff has been a past President and SSO for our club, and, whilst he is having a break from active flying, continues serving the MHGC. Again, many would be unaware that as our club is an incorporated club, we must prepare and lodge annual returns to the department of fair trading by our Public Officer. The role of Public Officer has been diligently performed by Geoff Tozer for many years, so please extend thanks to Geoff.

Over the past year, your Committee (including your SSO, Peter Holloway) have worked together as a unified team. This has been an important ingredient in being able to deliver on the promise of appropriate stewardship of the Club. In our first newsletter after the last AGM I wrote: “Your committee will aim to deliver the structure for pilots of all ratings to develop and continue flying safely and within a Fun, Club and “mate ship” environment. We all want to keep flying, have fun with good friends that share this passion of ours whilst avoiding any serious incidents. We hope to facilitate that happening more this year. We aim to have more events, more guest speakers, provide for pilot development and promote our Club and the sport of Hang Gliding.” I hope you believe we have achieved that over the year.

What now for the future of the Club, well that may well depend in large part with the efforts of the committee after the AGM. However, what this current committee has/had planned is worthwhile mentioning.

  1. Safety of pilots in their flying activities comes best from hands-on coaching and experience rather than safety officer meetings and discussion. The current committee remains focussed on a practical approach to safety.
    1. Through more flying events to assist currency of skills
    2. Through practice (training hill launch clinics, towing launch and landing clinics, etc)
    3. Parachute repack nights.
    4. Glider maintenance nights
    5. Water landing nights.
    6. Hands on coaching by qualified SSO.
  2. Club meetings are a great social experience where new pilots can begin to gain a sense of mateship and ease with other experienced pilot members. We will continue to aim to keep an appropriate balance for our meetings of being social and informative without unnecessary formality.

However, the monthly meeting is also an excellent opportunity to provide the membership with expert coaching from guest speakers such as instructors. We have now achieved gaining support for this from Rohan Holtkamp for the past two consecutive years and hope this will continue. We have secured Steve Ruffles as a guest speaker for the August 2010 meeting (Steve is an ex HG instructor now teaching weight shift microlights and is still an HGFA recognised CFI).

Other guest speakers in the past have proven to draw more participation from members and the selection of guest speakers has proved valuable. We will attempt to have a greater number of these nights in the year ahead.

  1. We all enjoy our sport through the availability of flying sites. This year, we have sponsored the site at Gundowring, cemented our goodwill with the landowners of 3 Sisters. Peter Holloway has purchased a “Dragonfly” (aero-tug) to assist members with aero-towing out of Locksley (1.5 hours from Melbourne CBD). Peter has also sourced ground towing paddocks in the vicinity of that airfield. I have actively been dealing with economic development groups within the Murrundindi Shire to find new sites (post fires) in that area which includes the Cathedral Ranges. I am also chasing up the possibility of a NE site near 3 Sisters at Junction Hill (this lead has come from Steve Donahue).
  2. More Club events which include a social component. So flying weekends will include club BBQ’s and we wish to encourage ex members back at least as social attendees. Many of these would be more than willing to assist current pilots and be involved from a social perspective.
  3. Last year the club supported Peter Holloway in obtaining endorsement from the HGFA to be able to be insured whilst he instructed members in obtaining their ground tow endorsements. We are actively supporting Peter Holloway as our SSO to gain instructor status so that he may instruct non pilots in obtaining their “Restricted Pilot” rating. In addition to this we will seek to support Peter in providing instruction in aero-towing and tandem endorsements. This will be a major step forward by any club for many years. However, we have had good support thus far from the HGFA through my discussions with Craig Worth. We were able to get the ground towing approved, through great efforts of Peter Holloway and the “MHGC Ground Towing  Operations Manual” which was put together by Peter. As we ‘broke the ice’ with that application, we are confident in getting consent with the additional efforts to get Peter endorsed as an instructor.
Committee Meeting Minutes

November 2009

VHPA Committee Meeting Minutes – 17 November 2009 7:00pm to 9:30pm
ATTENDEES Martin Halford President / Minute Recorder
Steve Poole Secretary Absent with apology
Robert Parker Treasurer
Hamish Barker Safety Officer Absent with apology
Mark Pike Site Development Officer Absent with apology
Jan Bennewitz General Committee Absent with apology
Glenn Bachelor General Committee Absent with apology
Julie Sheard General Committee
Steve Leak General Committee
Rob van der Klooster Dynasoarers
Joe Rainczuk NEVHGC
Trevor Gerbes MHGC
Lawrence Pazzoni Skyhigh Absent with apology
Anthony Meechan WVHGC
TBA Pico Club Absent with apology
TBA Southern Microlight Absent with apology
Kevin Grosser Observer
Andrew Medew Observer
Minutes of Previous Meeting The minutes of the previous committee meeting were read through and agreed as being true and accurate.
President’s Report
  1. 1. Investigations continuing for Mt. Dandenong as a possible PG friendly launch.
  2. 2. Submitted CASA Exemption to HGFA Board for their consideration. Awaiting response.
  3. 3. Submitted Mystic Flight Park Proposal to HGFA Board for their consideration.
  4. 4. Savhill working bee was a great success.  Over 40+ PG and HG pilots attended. Old matting from Mystic now in place.
Treasurer’s Report Latest accounts tabled.
Safety Officer’s Report
  1. 1. On Wed 21-Oct, a male HG pilot had lucky escape when he launched with his wing untensioned.
  2. 2. On Sun 15-Nov a male HG pilot suffered a possible broken nose and breathing difficulties after a hard landing at Landscape.
  3. 3. On unspecified date, a female HG pilot had bad landing at Ben Nevis as a result of rotor from trees and suffered a broken humerus.

  1. 1. Winkipop Launch Site
    Works about to commence on Winkipop as per the agreement passed in the previous VHPA Committee Meeting to spend $460 on site improvements.
  2. Spion Launch Site
    Dynasoarers finalizing proposal for Spion improvements.  Considering keeping the existing astro turf to try and save approximately $2000 by reducing the area required for new Astroturf and applying tan bark to a large part of the launch.  Dynasoarers will submit diagrams along with their submission.  [Note: The submission will need to consider all requirements outlined in VHPA Expenditure Guidelines.]

  1. 1. AGM held on 31-Oct. Had some difficulty filling committee positions but new NEVHGC committee now elected and Site Officers appointed for each of the sites.
  2. 2. Karl Texler continuing to progress land swap arrangement between NEVHGC, Hancocks and Alpine Shire Council.

  1. 1. 1. Rohan Holtkamp is guest speaker at next MHGC meeting on Wed 18-Nov.  A maintenance night is planned to provide pilots, particularly Novice pilots, advice on how to maintain their wings.

  1. 1. The annual NTVO was held over the Melbourne Cup weekend from 31-Oct to 3-Nov.  Very successful with flying all days except for Tuesday.  The NTVO moved to SavHill, Gundowring on Sunday 01-Nov to help out with the working bee.  Not much flying took place but pilots are now familiar with this site.

  1. 1. The “Friends of Mt. Cole and Pirinese Society” want 4WD drive access removed from that range.  They are submitting a proposal to DSE.  Phil Campbell has joined this group as an individual and WVHGC has joined this group as an association.  Nothing to report at this stage – only that this group exists and WVHGC is involved with them.
  2. 2. WVHGC are conducting repair works on the launch at Ben More.


  1. 1. The Savhill working bee was a great success.  Over 40+ PG and HG pilots attended. Old matting from Mystic now in place.
  2. 2. Steve Leak volunteered to investigate purchase of native grass seed for SavHill launch.  Estimated cost is approximately $200 per kilogram.

  1. 1. Received email from Warren Appleby on 12-Nov indicating that Fisher’s Track (the main tracked used to drive up to launch) is overgrown with grass, is a fire hazard and the land-owner will not be allowing pilots to access the track through his property unless the grass is slashed. Warren has found a local farmer who has agreed to slash the grass for a fee of $80.

MOTION: That the VHPA pay $80 for the grass to be slashed on Fishers Track behind Mt. Elliot.


  1. 1. Feedback from a section of the pilot community indicates that UHF access to weather stations is important.  Continuing to investigate options.
  2. 2. Skyhigh PGC (Phil Lyng) requested 2 x $150 = $300 to purchase replacement anemometers to repair two existing weather stations.

MOTION: That the VHPA pay $300 to allow purchase of 2 x replacement anemometers.


  1. 1. The Committee discussed the proposal for the VHPA to purchase tandem hang-gliders in order to provide free tandem flights and encourage membership into the sport.  The committee decided that, in its current form, the proposal did not offer a high enough return on investment (that is, the Committee didn’t believe that the number of pilots entering the sport as a result of this initiative) was high enough to justify the expense.  The Committee also had concerns regarding how the equipment would be maintained and who would be responsible for ensuring it remained airworthy.  The Committee also had concerns regarding the logistics of having an adequate number of HG pilots tandem endorsed who would be available to take tandem passengers for free when the flights were requested.  The Committee also recognized there had been some concern expressed to the previous HGFA Board by commercial tandem operators about how this initiative would affect their commercial operations. The VHPA Committee agrees with the intent of the proposal, which is to encourage members of the public to take up HG.  This is clearly needed in order to ensure the survival of the sport.  The VHPA Committee would welcome considering the proposal in a modified form that took into account the above concerns.

Action On: Description Date Raised ETA
MH Chase engineers for ramp inspections Apr-2009 ASAP
SL Investigate costs and sources for native grass seed for SavHill launch. Oct-2009 Oct-2009
Meeting Minutes

December 2009

VHPA Committee Meeting Minutes – 15 Dec 09, 19:10 to 20:30
ATTENDEES Martin Halford President Absent with apology
Steve Poole Secretary / Minute Recorder Absent with apology
Robert Parker Treasurer
Hamish Barker Safety Officer Absent with apology
Mark Pike Site Development Officer
Jan Bennewitz General Committee
Glenn Bachelor General Committee Absent
Julie Sheard General Committee
Steve Leake General Committee
Rob van der Klooster Dynasoarers
Joe Rainczuk NEVHGC
Trevor Gerbes MHGC
Lawrence Pazzoni Skyhigh Absent
Anthony Meecham WVHGC
TBA Pico Club Absent
Kel Glare Southern Microlight
Gabriel Toniolo Observer
Bob Savhill

Andrew Medew

Gary Wheeler

Kevin Grosser





Minutes of Previous Meeting The minutes of the previous committee meeting were read through and the following was noted.

Item entitled “MHGC Tandem Proposal”, GT had some comments and provided a written response. This response is as follows:


It was disappointing to have read in the minutes of the previous VHPA meeting the discussion and outcome from the VHPA committee.

  1. in its current form”, “The VHPA Committee would welcome considering the proposal in a modified form that took into account the above concerns”. These comments leave the door open for an adjustment to the proposal that would then see the proposal achieve approval. Yet the committee offers no suggestion for amendment that would change the outcome. In the absence of suggested amendments, it is taken that the words are false and political rather than honest comment from the VHPA.
  2. the number of pilots entering the sport” This comment from the VHPA misses the main points of the proposal as discussed at prior meetings where KPI’s were raised. The benefits of the proposal were not just to achieve extra pilots. The proposal also achieves:
    1. Development of selected pilots (in line with State funding)
    2. Promotion of the sport (similar to the Avalon Airshow, etc)
  3. how the equipment would be maintained” Disappointingly, this was also addressed in a previous meeting. The MHGC would be responsible for this. The dealer of the glider selected (Peter Holloway) is the clubs SSO. Any costs would be borne by the club or pilot of the day, as appropriate.
  4. “concern expressed to the previous HGFA Board by commercial tandem operators” The facts are that where tandem operations have been operating (the Bright area) additional tandem operators have entered the area in opposition, each school has added additional tandem pilots, at the same time multiple microlight schools have begun or continued in the area and a Helicopter joy ride provider has entered the area. Through all of this, all of these operators have flourished. Thios proposal was to assist in growing the pie, not competing with the little pie available.

December meet chairmans note; It was suggested this item be put to vote regarding continuance or otherwise. This did not occur.

President’s Report
  1. Still researching options for weather stations.  Phil still working on repairing existing stations.  Will present detailed findings in New Year regarding costs and options for various configurations of weather station.  All options are being researched.  Regarding the Gundowring weather stations, the suggestions is still to place one the older weather stations at Gundowring.
  2. Mt. Dandenong – planning one last trip up to Mt. Dandenong in New Year to meet with landowners and obtain agreement/clarification from them that pilots can land in their properties.  Also plan to take another look at hill to determine if any chance of a PG friendly launch.
  3. Have sent chaser emails to HGFA regarding the CASA exemption and Mystic Flight Park proposal.  As yet, no indication regarding when these will be considered.  Suspect that, with new HGFA GM coming on board then these will hopefully be looked at in New Year.

Treasurer’s Report Summary:

Site Acquisition fund – $84,151.74

General funds – $65,554.39

Cash reserves = $149,706.13

NEVHGC are overdue on their loan repayment.

Safety Officer’s Report Not available

The SMC constitution has been amended to allow for any pilot of any affiliation (ie RAA) to be eligible members. Kel advised SMC intend to make a funding request potentially for development of a club base.


Spion site is progressing, the subcontracted works are scheduled for April. Weekend of 19 December, a temporary fence is to be installed.

The bill for the Hazard signs(slippery when wet) has not yet been paid to RVDK.


Working bee to clear Mystic for the Mystic cup.

A visiting Dutch pilot crashed top landing at Mystic. The pilot had no HGFA or NEVHGC membership. The club is intending to increase its regulatory efforts at Mystic.


A glider maintenance night was held, approx 20 persons attended. Practical sessions were held, disassembling a Lightspeed and Fun. Overseen by the club Senior Safety Officer,  Peter Holloway.

Also the club invited guest speakers Rohan Holtkamp who discussed leaving and maximizing departure from the paddock, and David Nagyam(?) who discussed his experiences during his application to join the European Space Agency program.


Their novice rep has resigned. Phil L is chasing weather station details for 3 sisters, Mt Emu and the Pines. Terry and Janet (3 sisters landowners) are to be given gift.


The club is monitoring the activities/intentions of “The friends of Mt Cole”. Apparently the group is trying to push prohibition of 4WD from the park.

The Mt Cole Challenge is again being run. Refer to WVHGC website for details.

SITES No report
GENERAL BUSINESS GT Two accidents were noted;

Thistle hill, the pilot was advised by the SSO not to fly, the pilot crashed on takeoff and was airlifted to hospital.

A PG/HG midair at flinders on the 14th. The PG landed safely, the HG pilot was taken to hospital.

The club SSO is chasing accident reports.

GT suggested that testing of new technology WX stns is conducted at Mystic to enable easy evaluations and monitoring of the technology.

KG reported that Garrys private strip (S of 3 sis, NW of pub) is close to Flowerdale – all pilots are advised of the high microlight activity.

GT is investigating grading of Savhill to increase launch options for HG and PG.

Motion: That a formal proposal, with costings, to be submitted for the grading, seeding and installation of toilet, of Savhill launch be submitted. This motion, subject to approved proposal, in principle reserves funds up to $10,000.

Motion carried, one against.


Action: Clubs to promulgate search amongst their membership for a person willing to examine and certify ramps at Mt Dandenong, Donna Buang and Buffalo.


Concern expressed by GT that the activity to contact landowners for PG landings may undo relations initiated between MHGC and landowners. The chairman recommended the Skyhigh Club rep contact the MHGC site rep.


There was discussions regarding the suitability of email votes for certain subjects. It was decided guidelines were needed.

Guidelines to be considered prior to requesting email vote;

  1. 1. Is it necessary, can it wait?
  2. 2. All committee members need to respond with either; For, against, abstain or veto.

A veto is an automatic deferral of the vote until the next committee meeting.

Action On: Description Date Raised ETA
MH Chase engineers for ramp inspections Apr 2009 ASAP
SL Investigate costs and sources for native grass seed for Savhill launch. Oct 2009 Oct 2009
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