SAFA Skysailor Magazine

2 SKY SAILOR July | August 2020 Go fly ‘Now is the winter of our discontent’ – so wrote the bard for Richard III, but it could equally apply to many of our members as they’ve dealt with the impact on our aviation activities of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. However, relief appears to be in sight as we see restrictions relaxing and life increasingly returning to something approaching normality. As has been the case all the way through this crisis, different states are doing different things. Our advice therefore remains to check what can be done in your part of the world in order to get aviating. The new flying season will be with us in a short while, and it would be great to see as many members as possible shaking off the Covid blues and filling the skies around Australia with wings. Online endorsement courses Our operations staff are about to start rolling out some online training courses that should make life much easier for any pilot wanting to add to their qualifications. Two examples of these are the VHF Radio Operators Endorsement and an op- tional endorsement on Human Factors. The latter has been a key focus area for all forms of aviation in recent times. An initial campaign supporting PG4/PG5 as well as Intermediate and Advanced HG pilots will accompany the VHF endorsement campaign and we are hopeful that we will see a significant uptake over the next few months. The Human Factors course, whilst optional, will result in a HF endorsement for pilots who successfully complete the training. Members can expect to see further course development and rollout as we pro- gressively improve our online training capability. Tandem pilots during Covid-19 A set of suggested Tandem Operator Protocols have been developed by our operations staff to support tandem pilots, commercial or recrea- tional. These are being rolled out via an Operations Bulletin. The protocols seek to assist our tandem pilots in meeting the expectations of Covid-19 authorities. They are a guide only and all tandem pilots are strongly advised to ensure compliance with local health regulations. Sites sustainability In recent years, in different parts of Australia, our access to sites has been coming under increasing pressure. There are many reasons for this, some within our control and some because of conflicting interests from outside sources. The outcome, however, leads to the same conclusion. In order to have a sustainable future, we need to keep the sites we have for as long as we can and we need to generate the means to acquire assets that we own, or own access to. At any one time, throughout Australia, our volunteer officials are variously negotiating with landowners, Councils, Parks and Wildlife bodies, residents, and the list keeps growing. On other occasions, the good work of volunteers is sabotaged when non-compliant pilots cause sites to be lost. Recently, we have also seen disappointing exclusions for our members in multiple locations, delivered by our own regulators, most particularly Airservices Australia. All of this only serves to highlight the fact that we cannot achieve sustainability for our sport whilst remaining dependent on the goodwill and support of stakeholders and structures that we have no control over.. Sites are fundamental to a sustainable future for our sport. We will be initiating conversations with State Associations and Clubs around Australia to address this increasingly important issue and evolve our strategy to deal with it. by Paul Green President’s Update Winter flying at Mt Tamborine, QLD Photo: Luke Brooks