We are the Sydney Paragliding & Hang Gliding Club, based on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Australia. We fly and manage flying sites along the Northern Beaches of Sydney. We meet at the Harbord Bowls club on the first Tuesday of each month at 7pm.
Contact the club through the Contact Us page. If you are intending to fly one of our sites for the first time, please contact a safety officer. The club has many safety officers, all most approachable, you will often find one on the hill or in the air.
Do come to one of our meetings to meet other local pilots. Pilots and potential pilots of all experience are welcome.
On the Tuesday afternoon of June 30, 9 pilots from the Sydney Paragliding & Hang Gliding Club met at Long Reef headland to participate in a working bee. All pilots that have flown the Long Reef NE site have seen the serious hazard posed by the areas of wire mesh fencing and star posts on the grassy section at the eastern end of the ridge. While not a designated landing area, this grassy patch is an important landing option particularly when the tide is high and the front beach and the sand spit become inundated. This fencing was part of a native grass regeneration trial, that has long since been abandoned.
Tom Hazell is the bushcare volunteer coordinator for Warringah council, as well as being club pilot Doug's dad. Tom was able to liaise with council about the safety benefits of removing this hazard and gain approval, as well as organizing vehicle access to the site, tools, and disposal of the material at the council depot.
A couple of hours of hard labor was put in by enthusiastic club members to remove approximately 60 meters of mesh and about 50 star posts. One keen volunteer even took advantage of a 2 knot puff of NE wind to fly a quick sleddy into the improved grassy area. This work has substantially improved the safety of this site, and the club would like to acknowledge the help of all involved, particularly Tom Hazell, and Warringah Council's Volunteer Coordinator Michael Kneip who arranged the loan of equipment, disposal of material removed & authorised vehicle access. Following the work some of the regular bushcare volunteers have had a look at the site and are appreciative of the clubs effort not only because it improves site safety for paragliders, but has also improved the aesthetic value of the area.
One of the things that were apparent, during the busy periods, last summer was that not everyone understands or displays regard for launch etiquette. Here are a few pointers to consider when the breeze favours us again;
When you arrive at a site, it’s not good form to spread your gear out on the take-off or landing area and then stand around chatting whilst others attempt to find a space to launch. Set up your equipment away from the main launch area, then bunch up your wing and leave it in the shade until you are ready to fly. When you land, you should clear the zone in the same way.
If you aren't flying, your equipment should be bunched up and out of the way of the launch and landing areas.
Ground handling in the launch/landing areas, when other pilots are flying, should be kept to a minimum and no one should ever be kiting their wing whilst a pilot is landing. Don't sit in front of launch playing around. It makes it hard for others to launch or to set up landing approaches. This is especially true at long Reef.
Don’t be like the French who, as George W. Bush once famously said “don’t have a word for etiquette”
(Actually he said entrepreneur but he clearly wouldn’t have known the difference)
((Apologies to our French pilots. You weren’t meant to be singled out!))
SPHGC saftey officers have been hard at work looking at ways to improve safety at two of our most popular flying sites.
Novice and visiting piolts should ensure they read these guides with all the new addiations highlighed in red. These addiations include important information about sharing airpsace with radio-controlled aircraft and landing in strong winds.