Membership with the Hang Gliding Federation of Australia (HGFA)
The insurance requirements to be able to fly hang gliders in Australia involve a policy which specifically names individual land owners and government bodies as being protected under the policy, so even though an insurance policy from an overseas country may be valid world wide, it won't satisfy the naming requirements and therefore won't satisfy the conditions to fly in Australia. The rules state:
"It is illegal to fly a hangglider, paraglider, or weightshift microlight aircraft in Australia without being a member of the HGFA and being issued a HGFA approved certificate". (Refer to federal aviation rules and CAO 95.8 or CAO 95.32, 95.10).
Before you can legally fly in Australia, you will need to become a member of the HGFA. Full year membership is approximatly $245 (depending on the state of residence) or you can obtain a short term pilot membership ($55.00 for 2 months) from the HGFA or via Instructors. This will give you $10 million in liability coverage. M/ships are available in Manilla at Godfrey's school or via the internet on the HGFA web site : www.hgfa.asn.au
Membership with the Manilla Sky Sailors club
Over the last few years major improvement work has been carried out to the launches on Mount Borah and the associated access roads. In order to secure the use of these sites and maintain the roads, launches and landing areas it is now necessary to pay a fee. To keep the landowners liabilty limited to zero the club has decided that all visiting pilots will need to become members and sign a liability waiver in order to legally fly our sites. By paying the fee and becoming a member you are making an important contribution to the long term future of the sport.
Here is an outline of the membership options:
- Annual Associate Club Membership, valid 1st July to 30th June, Cost $30. This is reduced to $20 from 1st March. You can also pay per day at $5. Access to sites as per Club access license's with landowners, but no voting rights on club matters.
- Annual Full Club Membership, valid 1/7 to 30/6, Cost $50. Access to sites as per Club access license's with landowners, voting rights at meetings, sporadic mailouts with club news.
You must be a club member BEFORE YOU LAUNCH !
Once you have paid your membership fee you will be issued with a hemet sticker. You can obtain your sticker at Manilla Paragliding, "The Mountain" at the base of Mount Borah. Please attach the sticker to the helmet, so that club officials can see that you have paid the fee. Local club members have worked very hard to secure these sites and are very enthusiastic about ensuring that you are a member. So save yourself the embarrassment of being hassled on launch or landing by making sure you have your sticker displayed.
Commercial Tour Operators NOTE : The Landowner requires you contact him for permission BEFORE bringing a tour to the site. A Commercial Tour Fee is also be paid - contact Godfrey. (ph +61 2 67856545).
In Australia hang- and paragliders are classed as sailplanes (gliders) and pilots will need to observe the appropriate airspace restrictions and VFR flight restrictions. In the Manilla area airspace restrictions apply in the proximity of Tamworth Airport (16km radius). The CTA extends out to 15km south of Manilla and the ceiling is 3000ft. Elsewhere away from these areas we are in class G airspace (10'000ft) with no restrictions for hundreds of kilometers. There are also 8km radius CTAF's around Gunnedah, Narrabri, Moree and Armidale airports to a height of 3000ft - you can only enter the area with the use of a VHF airband radio and appropriate position calls. Please consult the appropriate airspace map and familiarise yourself with the restrictions if you plan on a cross country flight.
The use of 2 metre radio equipment in Australia is limited to individuals holding an amateur radio operators license. There are two citizens band radio systems in use, a 27Mhz AM system and a 476/477 Mhz UHF FM system. Neither of these two systems require a license in Australia.
If you are planning to use 2 metre radios you need to bring your license and if you are from another country you must get a reciprocal Australian license issued. Only those pilots who hold an amateur radio operators licence issued by the appropriate authority in their own country and which is approved by the authority in Australia ($45 fee payable) are legally entitled to use 2mtr VHF radios. The normal call signs and radio usage protocols of amateur operators are expected to be used on these frequencies. Cheap UHF radios sell for approx A$99 for a basic 1/2 watt unit to $400 for a fully featured 5 watt unit.
The landowners in the XC area predominantly use the UHF system. Sometimes there can be congestion on the channels due to the locals and the pilots trying to use the same frequencys, but in the interests of being able to contact local radio users from ground level, the use of the UHF FM system is recommended. A repeater station on Mount Baldwin near Manilla provides very good coverage for most flying in the area. The repeater channel is 3, and of course you need to switch your UHF radio to duplex to take advantage of this facility. For normal communications around the launches, channel 26 is usually used. Godfrey's Manilla Paragliding also has private licensed UHF channels and a private repeater on Mt Borah - contact him for details. email firstname.lastname@example.org