From the Executive OFficer all the latest developmenta at the GFA
It seems that Covid is once again severely impacting many of our clubs. We survived 2020 fairly well, and it looked like 2021 would be much better, but that is not to be. Country clubs are able to operate in most states, but given that most members are from the capital cities, many clubs are struggling to operate.
South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia and Northern Territory have experienced little impact and are doing well, but all of the larger states are finding it very difficult. We are hopeful that increased vaccination and improving weather will enable clubs to return to normal operation in October.
Gliding Competitions Struggle with COVID
State Gliding Championships are likely to proceed as they don’t rely on pilots travelling from interstate to attend, so the Queensland (October), NSW (November) and Victoria (December) State Comps look likely to go ahead, as do a number of regional events. Check out the GFA calendar, via the web page at www.glidingaustralia.org and then click on Calendar. This lists the events and provides details from the organisers.
National Championships are more difficult, as the Soaring Development Panel have determined that pilots from all states/territories must be able to attend should they wish to but, given the various lockdowns, this is not always possible. The Multiclass Championships were scheduled for October at Kingaroy in Queensland, however, with border restrictions in force this had to be cancelled. The Championships have now been added to the Club Class Nationals at Benalla in December, and we now wait to see what the situation will be close to the middle of November.
GFA Board Meetings
We have been trying to run a face to face Board meeting to enable valuable discussion on a number of key items, including proposed changes to the organisation structure and voting procedures for the Board and Executive. Unfortunately, this has not been achieved as a result of border closures, so we will have to rely on meetings by Zoom.
We will share proposals with members before seeking your support at meetings some time in 2022.
GFA Annual General Meeting
The 2021 AGM will be held on Friday 24 September via Zoom. The success of last year’s online AGM has encouraged the Board to use the same approach in 2021. Members from all states were able to join the meeting and participate in the decision making, resulting in the best attendance we’ve ever had. This year will be a much simpler event as there are no motions to change the constitution (GFA Articles), so the amount to voting will be significantly reduced. We are encouraging members to register and then login on Friday evening, 24 September.
One of the tasks of the AGM is to approve the appointment of Board members, who are nominated by the Regions, and Executive members, nominated by the various Departments.
All members will be invited to attend the meeting, and also to nominate for the positions of President, Vice President(s) and Treasurer. By 3 September, you will receive a notice giving details on how to participate in the activities.
After many years of running the GFA IT systems, Tim Shirley is stepping down from his various paid roles. A number of people are now taking over some of these tasks.
Sharon Brunton from Qld is now running Go Membership, and Ian Munro from NSW is looking after Salesforce. Various staff members have taken responsibility for handling various other products, such as Google Drive, Stripe payments and so on. If you have questions regarding any of our IT systems you can email
Integrated Training Program
The Operations and the Soaring Development departments have been working for more than 18 months to upgrade the GPC training syllabus and resource material. This is a joint approach due to feedback from members indicating that training should be updated and should aim to ensure that a member with a GPC
• Can fly and soar the glider safely at the required standard
• Is aware of the threats and errors that may arise and has the ability to manage them
• Has the skills to soar the glider and competently and safely fly outside of gliding range of their take-off airfield, navigating to a selected site and complying with all aviation regulations within the limits of their authorisations
• Can fly independently subject to maintaining their competency
As you can see, this is well beyond just going solo, and requires development of some core soaring skills. Final steps are currently in progress, and we expect all the documentation to be available to members shortly. A few clubs have been trialling the resources and the changed approach. The management group will arrange for upskilling of instructors and coaches to assist them with implementing the new approach. They have already started working with Soaring Development Managers, CFIs and RMOs and getting a lot of positive feedback.
We have made a number of improvements to Go Membership in recent weeks, and hopefully you will find these changes make it easier to use.
Go Membership provides details of your membership of GFA and enables you to log a range of achievements and ratings. Your Credential and Qualifications show what you have achieved. I encourage you to login to Go Membership and look through the list of items available. Look for the credentials button to the right of your photo to see the credentials that you currently have.
Some are required so that you can show that you satisfy what is needed to fly a glider – things like your Medical, Flight Review, Radio Operator, C certificate, GPC, etc. You should be aware of the expiry date of these Credentials and ensure that you apply for a new version when you receive the reminder.
We are creating a few videos that will lead you though the process of adding Credentials to your record. The main points are:
• Credentials cannot be updated. You must add a new Credential of the same type. The previous one remains in your history)
• Click on the green ‘add credential’ button and search through the drop down list to find the one that you need.
• Look up the evidence required for the Credential, available via the green Documents tile
With the weather destined to improve shortly, it may be time to look at claiming some badges or records. In Go Membership, under the menu button you will see some new colourful tiles. One of these is ‘Badge claim process’. This takes you to the application form where you will be asked to attach your igc. file for your flight, which comes from your flight recorder.
Ask your Instructor or Coach to explain how to use and download the file. An Official Observer (OO) needs to verify the flight, so ask at your club, or you can look at the green Reports tile under Menu, and click on customer reports to find the list of OOs.
If you have ambition to fly a record, you will need an FAI Sporting Licence. The requirements are that you have a GPC and that you confirm that you have read the Sporting Code. Look for the FAI Sporting Licence Credential and apply.
The GFA awards officer Kerrie Claffey has invited members to nominate people for various national awards and also to apply for some national performance trophies. We have received a number of nominations and the GFA Board will make a final decision in time to announce the results at the AGM. The winners will also be announced via the GFA web page and magazine.