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Date of Issue: 26 may 2015

Purpose of this operating procedure (OP)

  1. The purpose of this operating procedure is to define and describe the process to grant the Cliff Kakish Award.


  1. The Cliff Kakish Award is awarded on an annual basis to an outstanding volunteer who has contributed to the sports of hang gliding and paragliding during that year. The award is one of the premier mechanisms HPAC has for recognizing volunteer contributions to our sports.


  1. All volunteers are eligible for the award. A volunteer need not be a pilot or a member of the HPAC/ACVL to be considered and can have made their contribution at the national, regional or local levels.
  2. The Cliff Kakish award can be awarded to the same individual more than once.


  1. Any member of the HPAC/ACVL may nominate an individual for the award. Nominations must be forwarded to the Executive Director.
  2. The winner shall be selected from the nominated individuals by a vote of the Directors at the annual meeting of the BoD.

About Cliff Kakish

The Cliff Kakish award was created in 1988 in the memory of Cliff Kakish, a Canadian hang gliding pioneer. Born in Foam Lake, Saskatchewan, Cliff began flying hang gliders as a university student in the 70's. His first glider was made of plastic.

Cliff was involved in the Alberta Hang Gliding Association (AHGA) and was involved with the formation of the HGAC, the precursor association to the HPAC/ACVL. Over the years, he served as President of both the AHGA and the HGAC. More specifically, Cliff served the HGAC in the following capacities:
1977: Vice President;
1979 - 81: President;
1978 - 81: Insurance committee;
1980: Instructor standards committee;
1981 - 85: FAI/Record committee; and
1977 - 1987: Legal adviser to the HGAC.

Cliff also worked with Transport Canada on the original ultralight/hang glider regulations.

Cliff was a devoted and active competition pilot and he represented Canada at the World Championship in 1981. He founded the Cochrane Cup, a XC competition to promote XC flying which was the impetus for multiple 100-miles flights in Alberta. He was the first Canadian to file for an official world record.

Cliff became involved in the Olympic Movement for Calgary '88 on the bobsleigh committee. He, along with Willi Muller, started the Skeleton movement in Calgary.

Cliff was the 6th recipient of the HPAC Master Rating. He also received the Paul Tissandier Diploma, awarded by the FAI to those who have served the cause of Aviation in general and sporting aviation in particular, by their work, initiative and devotion.

Cliff died following a seven-month coma after a hang gliding accident at Cochrane in 1987. He was seen slowly spiralling down and made no attempt to recover before hitting the ground. Since Cliff was a very experienced hang glider pilot, and given that he made no attempt to recover, it is speculated that he was medically incapacitated before losing control of his glider. He was 38.

    Revision history:
  • 2002-02-24: created
  • 2015-12-14 SL: new version conform to canadian regulations
Dec 16 2015   Top Top