Thank you to those who took the time to answer the survey. We received 131 completed
surveys from pilots outside Quebec. The Quebec member survey is slightly different
than for the rest of Canada and we have not yet received all answers or compiled
the results for it. Thus, this article focuses on the results of the English survey.
Note that not all respondents answered all the questions which means that totals
may not jive everywhere.
59% of respondents are hang glider pilots and 49% are paraglider pilots. Obviously,
some were both. Twenty eight instructors and 21 tandem pilots responded. In both
cases, twice as many paraglider than hang glider instructors responded and that
is representative of the overall instructor distribution within the Association.
Provincially, the members that responded were: BC=56, AB=26, SK=2, MB=14, ON=25,
Atlantic=13, YK=0, Unknown=5.
Goals of the HPAC/ACVL
The ranking for the priorities for the goals of the HPAC/ACVL are as follows based
on the returns:
- Provide a national insurance program;
- Monitor and promote the safety of hang gliding and paragliding in Canada;
- Promote the growth of hang gliding and paragliding in Canada and maintain
a viable population of active pilots;
- Support the preservation and acquisition of flying sites in Canada;
- Represent the interest of hang gliding and paragliding pilots at Transport
- Develop and manage a Canadian pilot rating program to help standardize
pilot skills in Canada;
- Promote a hang gliding and paragliding instructor formation program;
- Manage a national competition program to select a Canadian hang gliding
and Canadian paragliding champion;
- Represent the interest of Canadian hang gliding and paragliding pilots
- Reach a membership of 1,500 by the end of Year 2005;
Overall, there was no big surprise except for a couple of exceptions.
Priority 4 was somewhat of a surprise as I would have though that the preservation
of flying sites would have been either a Provincial or local priority, not a National
one. This requires additional study.
Priority 10 was also a surprise but I am not sure what to make of it. Does it
mean that pilots do not care about growth, which would be inconsistent with Priority
3, or did they just not agree with the 1500 pilot goal? Given its low importance
or lack of clarity, I will suggest that it be removed from the list.
The AIR magazine was strongly supported with 89% of respondents seeing value in
it. 61% of respondents stated that the magazine met their expectation which means
that 39% believe that there should probably be some improvements made to the magazine.
Only 18% would accept the USHGA magazine instead of the AIR magazine and only
37% would support the publication of a bilingual magazine. Given those results,
there is a high level of support for the magazine.
40% of respondents would accept a lower-quality magazine in order to save cost
and 43% of respondents also stated that they be willing to pay more for a higher-quality
magazine. Roughly half the people would accept fewer magazines every year. 58%
would accept a web-only version of the magazine. Those middle-of-the-board results
show that there is quite a bit of flexibility on the future direction the HPAC/ACVL
can take with the magazine.
Interestingly, a whopping 69% will be contributing articles to future magazines.
If that is the case, then Alex should not have to worry about submissions and
we should find fewer US-authored articles in future editions of the magazine.
Members definitively like their membership cards as only 24% would accept a membership
letter as a replacement to their membership cards. On the other hand, 66% would
accept a card that is not laminated. Surprisingly, 72% of members would like the
ability to renew and pay for their memberships over the web but only 64% would
like to renew and pay their memberships with a credit card by mail or fax. It
appears that the Internet age has arrived in Canada and that on-line payment is
not a big issue with our members. Finally, 54% would like to have the ability
to renew their memberships automatically every year so they do not lapse.
Given the above results, membership processing is certainly an area that needs
to be looked closely at.
Members appear to support the current Provincial Associations, HPAC/ACVL structure
that exists today. 63% states that they want pilots to be forced to belong to
both the HPAC and Provincial associations simultaneously i.e. pilots should not
have the option of belonging to only one. Also 75% want the HPAC/ACVL to continue
collecting combined HPAC/Provincial association membership fees.
The BM must be doing something right because 93% of the 43 respondents stated
that I had been responsive to their needs. 78 respondents did not need to contact
me this year.
Interestingly, fully 58% of the respondents believe that the Business Manager
should be a full-time job. However, it should be noted that many respondents included
qualifiers such as “if we can afford it” or “if the workload
There was only one question about insurance and it was asking whether members
would accept an increase in membership fee to increase the policy limit to $5M
vice $3M. 62% of you did agree but many did include some qualifications such as
“if it is really necessary” or “if many sites require it”.
Sixteen respondents were willing to become directors of the associations but that
included the answers of the current directors. Only two respondents were willing
to become either the Treasurer or the Safety Officer and one of the respondents
is already an incumbent. 41 members expressed an interest in becoming a member
of a committee and six expressed an interest in the BM job.
The survey contained some questions limited to instructors or would-be instructors.
28 instructors and 21 would-be instructors replied.
Of the instructor who replied, 35% stated that teaching HG/PG is their primary
occupation while 35% stated that they teach mostly for pleasure in their spare
time. The balance falls in between in that teaching is not their primary occupation
but they treat it as a source of income.
32% of the tandem pilots who responded stated that they are instructors primarily
because they want their tandem endorsement to conduct “introductory tandem
flights” which are assumed to be one-time paid tandem flights.
Finally, 60% of respondents believe that the HPAC/ACVL instructor certification
program needs to be improved. This supports the HPAC/ACVL current initiative to
review that program.
This survey was not exhaustive. The main purpose of the survey was to identify
areas that the Association should focus on. In that, it was successful. As the
HPAC/ACVL focuses on those areas in the future, you can expect more detailed surveys
to better gauge your opinions.
I want to thank all respondents of the survey. As I said many time before,
this is your association and your input is essential for the HPAC/ACVL to meet
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