PG school's life in times of Covid-19
I hope everyone is coping o.k. with our new day to day normal of isolation.
Wings & Waves is obviously closed as such: No teaching, no flying or kiting, no shop hours.
Still, we are working from home and are here for you for info and advice, service if you can get it to me, and your huge future orders. We are working on all aspects of admin, website, online theory classes etc.
Support us to do the best job for you!
If there is any equipment you would like now or in the future, please email Eva about it, so we can research and import what you want. We will need all the support you can offer in future. What would you like us to import? What are you looking at buying? What gear do we not offer which you'd like to have?
Right now, we have a substantial value of new equipment stranded in the freight forwarding systems around the world; gear we had ordered and paid and that was shipped, yet never made it to NZ. We are hoping it will pop up one day, of course. Tracking info and scans simply stopped in hubs such as Hong Kong and Singapore; one shipment had a last export scan in Milan, Northern Italy. Well, those guys have bigger issues on their hands; I am sure a box of paragliding equipment gone missing is the last thing on their mind.
Full time NZ schools will have a very hard time to stay afloat during this level 4 time, and to restart operating once we are allowed to. Those with part time schools and other jobs and incomes may be lucky to have a safe income elsewhere. Those may want to consider being kind to their full time colleagues and helping them out, rather than competing with them when we can operate again. Perhaps you can consider the value of the local PG and HG schools' contribution to your sport and support them. We think that without the schools constantly teaching new pilots and the usual drop off rate of pilots discontinuing flying, going overseas etc, you would soon have no (safe) new pilots, a consistently dropping number of NZ pilots, subsequently no or ineffective clubs, consistently reducing income for the NZHGPA. The latter will make it impossible to pay those paid people who keep our relationship with CAA healthy, look after our admin, insurance, airspace and landowners. We have a bunch of paid people in the association now doing those jobs, so all their services will be gone if we can't pay for them anymore due to reducing membership numbers.
I think it is safe to say that instructors do their job out of passion, not with their income as a priority. Frankly, most of us have had jobs in the past where we earned a lot more. While the instructor job looks like fun all the time, our hours in relation to our income are ridiculous. The risk we manage and put ourselves and our income and assets into, fails to relate to our income. But we love it nonetheless and work very hard to do a job far exceeding our pay rate.
Gear sales are an essential part of the full time paragliding school business. Without it, it is financial not workable to run a school which can offer good service, look after their students, after sales service and top level instructions. If sales ran lower due to non-school suppliers offering gear without teaching or people increasingly buying from overseas suppliers, course prices would have to be increased hugely and would will become unaffordable to new students. If that doesn't work, the business of running a school will be so uneconomical that schools would seize to operate. Having no schools would put us into a position where instructors are teaching part time or not at all or with the least possible effort, while working around their 'real' job. For students, that makes it near impossible to learn to fly safely with an acceptable rate of progression, especially since NZ weather doesn't allow enough teachable days to make that work well. Courses drag out for too long, slow progression makes it less safe and people drop off. It would be tempting to sign ratings off at minimum requirements.
Please have a think about it when NZ is open for business again: All NZ businesses will very very much appreciate support from existing or new customers!! Perhaps think twice about ordering from Amazon or any overseas retailer in the near future. Let's keep that money in NZ as much as we can. Think twice before purchasing a little cheaper here and there from those who import on the side of other jobs and businesses without the hard yards of teaching. Hopefully, the NZHGPA will assist the schools so than can continue getting the pilots into the sport, who are the organisation.
Mostly, the Wings & Waves team can't wait until we can get back out there and do what we love, teach you, make you all happy to be flying, do what we are good at and enjoy NZ's wonderful outdoors. Kia Kaha The team at Wings & Waves