The HGFA

The Hang Gliding Federation of Australia Incorporated ("HGFA") is a sporting body that administers Hang Gliding, Paragliding and Weightshift Microlights, under the regulations laid down by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) of Australia. The HGFA is recognised by the Australian Sports Commission and is affiliated with the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) through the Australian Sport Aviation Confederation (ASAC).

The HGFA currently has approximately 2,500 full members drawn across the three disciplines. About 15 to 20% of those members participate in competition with the remainder involved as recreational participants. Australia currently has approximately 8 world record holders. Australian companies are leading manufacturers of hang gliders and microlights, although there is currently no Australian manufacturer of paragliders.


The HGFA is administered by a volunteer Management Committee and staff as listed in the tables below.

Management Committee:

Role Name Email Other Contact Info
President Sun Nickerson  
president@hgfa.asn.au
 
mobile: 0499 984 484
Vice President Greg Lowry  
vicepresident@hgfa.asn.au
 
Secretary Grant Cassar secretary@hgfa.asn.au
Treasurer Rick Williams treasurer@hgfa.asn.au
Board Member Brian Webb brian.webb@hgfa.asn.au
 

mobile: 0417 530 972

Board Member Peter Allen peter.allen@hgfa.asn.au
 
Board Member Alex Jones alex.jones@hgfa.asn.au
Board Member Brett Coupland brett.coupland@hgfa.asn.au

Staff:

Role Name Email Other Contact Info
Operations Manager John Twomey manager.operations@hgfa.asn.au

Hang Gliding Federation of Australia
4c/ 60 Keilor Park Drive, Keilor Park, Vic 3042
phone: 03 9336 7155 mobile: 0417 644 633
Administrative Manager Trene Randles office@hgfa.asn.au
trene.randles@hgfa.asn.au
phone: 03 9336 7155

History:
The sport began in Australia in 1963 with delta wing kites being towed behind speed-boats. Australia was a leader in the development of the sport internationally. In 1970 the first Australian Championships were held for towed delta wing kites and around that time the first foot launched flight occurred in Australia. The Australian Self Soaring Association (TASSA) was formed by foot-launched pilots in 1974. Tow kiting remained a part of the Australia Water Ski Association - Kite Flying Division (AWSA-KFD). The first foot launched Australian Championships were held in 1976 and separate boat-tow launch championships were held until the early 1980s.

The first world championships (foot launched) were held in 1975 and Australia won 1 gold medal and 2 bronze medals.

In 1978, TASSA (which was seen in some States as being a 'New South Wales' organisation), was reorganised to become a proper national body, with its members being the State Associations which in some cases, had been formed prior to TASSA.

Also in 1978, in response to Federal Government insistence on having one body controlling all hang gliding activities, the Hang Gliding Federation of Australia (HGFA) was established, having two members – TASSA and AWSA-KFD. By 1979, the name ‘TASSA’ was changed to The Australian Hang Gliding Association(TAHGA). At this stage, individuals still belonged directly to their State Association.  By about 1980, with boat-towed hang gliding having virtually disappeared, the AWSA relinquished any involvement with hang gliding. Subsequently, TAHGA was wound up and its place taken by HGFA – with State Associations as its members.

In 1991 a new constitution was adopted by which individual pilots joined HGFA directly.

Soaring parachutists began launching from hills in Australia in approximately 1982.  Paragliding with purpose built paragliders became popular in the late 1980s and instruction in paragliding commenced in around 1989. Weightshift Microlights were developed in the late 1970s. Each discipline is now represented by the HGFA.
 

Regulation:
The HGFA is charged with maintaining the regulations of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

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