Although we have many wonderful sites in Canada, there are equally
great sites throughout the rest of the world. Getting to them means
traveling abroad. It takes some preparation to ensure you have an
enjoyable trip. This page gives you some pointers on what you should
look at during your planning. The bottom line is that you have to
do your homework BEFORE you leave Canada.
Medical Travel Insurance. Do not leave home without it. Hospital
and repatriation fees in foreign counties can easily run into thousands
of dollars. Medical insurance is
required OUT OF PROVINCE as well as out of country. Provincial medical insurance only covers you IN PROVINCE. You will only be re-imbursed for out of
province expenses to the extent they are covered in province. Sometimes there are huge differences in what services cost. Your provincial medical insurance and most company medical
insurance plans will cover only a fraction of the costs you might incur. Get a good
travel medical insurance plan and make sure it covers you if you get
hurt while hang gliding and paragliding as many do not. The CAA and
its equivalent in other provinces sell travel medical insurance that
cover HG and PG. However, do not take our word for it as insurance
plans can change without notice and they may be selling more than
one plan. Be sure to read and reread the policy and ask your broker lots of questions!
FYI: OUT OF PROVINCE (aka BC Medical, ambulance, search and
rescue) fees can be a horrendous shock.
Vaccination. There are a lot of nasty little bugs that can
ruin your holiday. You should get vaccinated against the most common
diseases prevalent in the countries you intent to visit. The Department
of External Affairs keeps a list of the innoculation you should get
for various countries. Your doctor should also know. Some innoculations
must be taken in multiple stages so plan ahead.
First Aid Kit. It is useful to bring your own, well-stocked,
first aid kit with you. Such kits are unheard of in many countries
and medical evacuation, assuming they are available, can be very slow
because of poor medical services or the remoteness of many flying
sites. The medical supplies in your first-aid kit may make the difference
between life and death – literally. The BCHPA sells a good harness first aid kit. Check it out.
Traveling by air. Traveling by air can be a challenge, especially
for hang glider pilots. Some airlines such as Air Transat will carry
sport equipment free of charge and that include your HG or PG. Other
airlines will charge you an arm and a leg so make sure you check and
that you include the cost of your HG or PG when you shop for tickets.
Also be aware that many newer aircraft have smaller baggage compartments
and that a broken-down HG may not fit in those compartments. Make
sure that you check ahead of time so your equipment gets there with
you. A flying holiday without equipment is not much fun.
Luggage insurance. Airline baggage insurance is very limited
and will not come close to pay for the repair or loss of your equipment.
You have the choice of ensuring your equipment for its full value
with the airline. This can be expensive but it may be more expensive
to pay for damage or replacement yourself.
Dress. Make sure you are bringing the appropriate clothes
for the sites you will be visiting. It can be cold in the mountains
of many tropical countries and it is always colder once you are flying.
Third-party liability insurance. The HPAC/ACVL insurance is
good in Canada. It is useful to buy
a national membership in the country you are visiting to get the proper
coverage. Some countries will require that you do. In the US, most
sites will require that you buy USHGA insurance. Check before you go.
Research. There are travel books for most countries in the
world. Most travel books have practical and useful information about
the countries you will be visiting. They include such things as currency,
card or credit card, travel documents, telephone service, Internet
access, crime and protection against crime and many other important
topics. Go to your library or bookstore and get one of those books.
There are usually worth a good look.
The FAI maintains a page which contains some information about
traveling to some countries. It is worth a look: FAQ's
About Flying in Other Countries.
Rating. Make sure you bring your logbook with you. This will provide your host with tangible proof that you have the experience you claim you have. Your HPAC/ACVL card is useful but do not expect that your host will know about our rating system.
The IPPI card ((International Pilot Proficiency Identification) is an
internationally recognised rating system which removes the differences and
need for understanding the very wide variety of national rating systems.
It provides a standard of reference by which all national pilot rating
programmes can be compared. Take a careful look at the International
Pilot Proficiency Information. Download the IPPI Application form. Then contact the HPAC Business Manager for more information about obtaining an IPPI card.
FAI Sporting Licences are required if you are entering an internatonal competition. Download this
FAI Pilots's Annual Sporting Licence Application Form.
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