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By SlopeSkimmer
#402670
The USHPA and its charter clubs are killing the sport of hang gliding. Their goal is to protect the USHPA and not the pilots.

Last year I found an alternative insurance plan that meets the needs of my local government owned hang gliding site and I am now teaching and giving tandem discovery flights there with out the USHPA and my local clubs permission. Since I did this I have been brought down to a hang 2 rating and my USHPA teaching and tandem ratings have been pulled. It is a good thing that publicly owned parks can not discriminate against one hang glider pilot in preference over an official sounding group like the USHPA. On the other hand, one of the parks in my area sees it a little different. Either the GGNRA employees don't want to have to do their jobs manage more than one group or they are just plain bullies who enjoy stomping on our american freedoms. If I have not bored you yet, please read the following FB discussion between me and a couple of guys this evening. One of them is a club officer from the Fellow Feathers hang gliding club.

After reading, please post your thoughts below.

John Nelson
The whole concept that we are guests on public property is ludicrous. I noticed you didn't respond to how little reason it makes to have a private group control the Hang glider usage at the park. You are welcome to lick all the government boots you want. Just don't be surprised that some people will stand up for their rights and FREEDOMS. YOUR ARGUMENT makes no logical sense whatsoever. Stand up. Fight for what is RIGHT,

John Nelson
NOT for whatever has been done. By your logic we should still be paying a nice tea tax to the British empire.

Rob Racer
Rob Racer ok.. John Nelson. Now you are sounding like a complete Idiot. I will explain it 1 more time just for you. IT IS NOT PUBLIC LAND!!! GET THAT THROUGH YOUR THICK HEAD AND YOU MIGHT HAVE A CLUE....AND YES!! WE/THE CLUB REGULATES HANG GLIDING AT OUR OWN SITE... (NEWS FLASH!!) THATS WHAT CLUBS DO....THATS WHAT THE GGNRA (OUR LANDLORD WANTS US TO DO SO THEY DONT HAVE TO BABYSIT A BUNCH OF DUMBSHITS THAT CANT UNDERSTAND SIMPLE RULES. If this still isn't making sense to you then please seek psychological help.

Mike Jefferson
Mike Jefferson https://www.doi.gov/blog/americas-publi ... -explained
America’s Public Lands Explained

John Nelson
Public land explained! Lol!

Mike Jefferson
Mike Jefferson Rob Racer, I blame this all on Steve Rodrigues and Urs W Kellenberger and the rest of the club leaders. Steve and Urs have mislead the entire club. Steve has done the work of the USHPA instead of standing for the pilots and future pilots. He is making decisions for the organization rather than the members. He has denied the right of all americans who come to SF and want to discover the sport of hang gliding via professional hang gliding tandem lessons. You said, "AND YES!! WE/THE CLUB REGULATES HANG GLIDING AT OUR OWN SITE... (NEWS FLASH!!) THATS WHAT CLUBS DO" Good job, you and your club have regulated the public out of hang gliding at Fort Funston. Maybe you could call down to Torry Pines and tell them they can do the same. You could tell them to cut out all that silly commercial stuff and the pilots could have the park all to themselves. I fight every day to promote the sport of hang gliding. I teach and give tandem discovery flights every dry day for the last 18 years. I have opened our local training site to all those who want to help grow the sport despite the USHPA trying really hard to stop us. I gave you a copy of Steves email, you have access to all the other documents, YOU post them if your not afraid of the truth. I would like to see some facts backing-Rob RacerRup some of your bold statements above...

In summary, my favorite line is, "IT IS NOT PUBLIC LAND!!! GET THAT THROUGH YOUR THICK HEAD AND YOU MIGHT HAVE A CLUE" Rob is so funny!
User avatar
By Wonder Boy
#402673
You post here that you got knocked down to an H2, why? Are you trying to start something?
You dont even know what your current rating is, its easy to look up.
I dont know you or your story, I do know that there are two sides to every story, and perception is reality.
And I dont believe everything I read.
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User avatar
By SlopeSkimmer
#402675
Sorry about that Wonderboy, I did not intend to deceive you. They must have recently given back my H-4.

I purchased a commercial hang gliding insurance policy, (not through RRRG) and a week later they revoked my Tandem Rating, Instructor rating, H-3, H-4, and H-5. You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to see the problem with that.

The USHPA and its charters should be seeking ways to open our sites to all people interested in hang gliding. Not restricting it to only USHPA pilots.

Here is my complete ratings record from the USHPA website, please note the "not active" ratings.

Sport Code Name Date issued Official Expiration Type Status
HG H4 Advanced 11/6/2004 Jim H. Woodward Rating ACTIVE
HG AT Aero Tow Launch 2/1/2007 Dallas D. Willis Skill ACTIVE
HG AWCL Assisted Windy Cliff Launch 5/9/2002 Robert D. Soares Skill ACTIVE
HG CL Cliff Launch 5/9/2002 Robert D. Soares Skill ACTIVE
HG FL Foot Launch 5/6/2001 Jim H. Woodward Skill ACTIVE
HG FSL Flat Slope Launch 5/9/2002 Robert D. Soares Skill ACTIVE
HG PL Platform Launch 10/10/2013 Zac Majors Skill ACTIVE
HG RLF Restricted Landing Field 5/9/2002 Robert D. Soares Skill ACTIVE
HG ST Surface Tow 3/16/2013 Christopher R. Valley Skill ACTIVE
HG TAT Tandem Aero Tow Launch 4/6/2009 Malcolm A. Jones Skill ACTIVE
HG TFL Tandem Foot Launch 2/14/2008 Ray Leonard Skill ACTIVE
HG TPL Tandem Platform Launch 10/10/2013 Zac Majors Skill ACTIVE
HG TUR Turbulence 5/9/2002 Robert D. Soares Skill ACTIVE
HG XC Cross Country 11/6/2004 Jim H. Woodward Skill ACTIVE
PG P1 Beginner 12/17/2013 Jeffrey J. Greenbaum Rating ACTIVE
PG FL Foot Launch 12/17/2013 Jeffrey J. Greenbaum Skill ACTIVE
HG ADV INST Advanced Instructor 4/3/2012 Dave Yount 12/31/2018 Certification NOT ACTIVE
HG BAS INST Basic Instructor 9/22/2011 Dave Yount 12/31/2015 Certification NOT ACTIVE
HG TAND INST Tandem Instructor 3/22/2012 Zac Majors 12/31/2018 Certification NOT ACTIVE
HG H1 Beginner 12/16/2000 Tim Bugge Rating NOT ACTIVE
HG H2 Novice 5/6/2001 Jim H. Woodward Rating NOT ACTIVE
HG H3 Intermediate 5/9/2002 Robert D. Soares Rating NOT ACTIVE
HG H5 Master 4/13/2015 Jon L. James Rating NOT ACTIVE
HG T1 Tandem 1 2/14/2008 Ray Leonard Rating NOT ACTIVE
By Thunderchicken
#402680
I've been interested in hangliding for decades, and recently pursued lessons. But I started hanging around with a few hang glider pilots more than 20 years ago. I've got to say that most of the people still flying outside of major metropolitan areas have an active derision for the USHPA. It certainly influenced my decision NOT to be a part of that group. The other thing that influenced my decision not to become a USHPA member? Reading DOZENS of exchanges between members and non members on different Facebook pages. The rudest, most snide and condescending comments come from those trying to maintain control by the USHPA! There ARE alternatives out there for instruction, insurance, and plenty of places to fly. It's questionable in a constitutional frame whether the forest service or ANY government agency has the right to make you join or pay fees to a private club in order to use public land to launch and public airspace to fly. I intend to challenge and push those rules. Do I believe in rude, dangerous flying? No. But look at some Members videos of places like Fort Funston in California. See club members zoom the beach and clifside, buzz beach goers, all on YouTube. Then watch those same members trash talk "bandits" who want to fly responsibly but not participate in a private, money hungry, control hungry club. I'll ask at the next (20 member) local meeting I go to how many still are active members of the national group. I bet less than five do, and those because they compete or fly at otherwise closed sites.

Andy
User avatar
By ChattaroyMan
#402684
USHPA is what you make it to be. If you’re not in USHPA it’s not very easy to make it better.
I’m not quite agreeable on your description of a ‘closed’ site. I assume you mean a USHPA Insured site. I’ll also make another assumption that a site being insured was done to keep the site ‘open’. The USHPA Insurance only covers the landowners for USHPA member activities. So yes, it would be closed to non-USHPA members to protect the landowners. If pilots choose not to belong to USHPA that’s their choice.
As for public land flying sites requiring insurance .... none do in our area and I’m doing whatever it takes to make sure it stays that way. The only situation I’m aware of personally where we might have to have insurance at a public land site would be for an event (as would any other sport, etc. group that had an event). Since both non-USHPA members and USHPA members can fly at public land sites in our area I’m not at all eager to try and hold an event at a public land site that would exclude non-USHPA members.
I have nothing against non-USHPA members. Personally, I’d like to see them become members so that they can make USHPA both stronger and more diverse + get to fly with them at USHPA Insured private landowner sites. We have only one USHPA Insured site in our area with no goals to establish another (although we keep adding new sites on both private & public lands).
We all love to fly whether or not we belong to USHPA or any other group (or no group). It’d be pretty cool if we could all be working together in one goal/manner for the sake of flying hangs/paras, obtaining more sites, etc. Maybe we live in too polarized of an opinionated world for that?
By Thunderchicken
#402729
Steve, "USHPA is what you make it to be. If you’re not in USHPA it’s not very easy to make it better." I can name three former RD's, with a combined 100 years of experience who got so tired of watching the destruction of the club that they quit. One is still involved with the organization because he has to be to participate in competitions. The other two still contribute to the sport but not the the organization. I read about the decline of membership numbers and roll my eyes at the assumption that these people left the sport. Many just left the organization. How many old guys do you see flying with a 15 year old glider--or older--who haven't payed dues in 20 years? I see them. Talk to them. They are angry that the USHPA is hold public lands hostage. Once the club gets their claws into "managing" a public site, they will do EVERYTHING in their power to keep non dues paying pilots out. Not cool. We don't see that kind of attitude with other sports and public land. Hey. If you see a pilot acting like an idiot and breaking the law, FILM THEM and report them to law enforcement. It doesn't matter if they are in a club. But if a dude wants to fly, and does so safely, let him fly.
User avatar
By ChattaroyMan
#402732
Well, I cannot speak directly on 'closed' sites when it comes to insuring sites other than the lone site our Chapter has USHPA Site Insurance for. It is a private land site where the LZ and launch are owned by two different landowners. Since these landowners have allowed us to use their land, are very positive about our sports and could stand to suffer financial consequences if someone were to file a lawsuit against them for something related to our activity on their land we felt it very prudent to obtain site insurance. From my perspective it is ALL about the landowners - providing them with protection since we are guests on their land - welcomed guests. I have no experience with any insurance being required for general day to day flying on public lands - and I'm hoping that remains the case.

Yes, if someone is not a member of USHPA they cannot fly at our USHPA Insured site (Inkler's Point) and still have the landowners covered for any lawsuit involving a non-USHPA member. That happens to be spelled out in the USHPA Site Insurance. It does not make much sense to have insurance if it does not cover the landowners for the pilots who fly the site. To a degree I understand why a pilot would not want to be a USHPA member - or a member of anything for that matter. However, that is a personal choice made by the pilot to be or not to be a USHPA member. Just because I am a USHPA member (#16529) does not mean I agree with everything USHPA does. I'm a citizen of the USA and I certainly do not agree with everything the USA does. I pay taxes and I vote though ..... What I feel it boils down to is that only USHPA members can improve, enhance, etc. USHPA. Non-members cannot. Only USHPA members can fly at sites that have USHPA Site Insurance (and have the landowners covered by that insurance). By not being a USHPA member a pilot limits the amount of sites that they can fly. What's cool, at least in our area, is that there are still places one can scope out and pioneer - be the first person to fly - some with even fairly good road access (see the pioneering section of my YT channel). Bottom line is that I'm a USHPA member for the rating system, magazine, insurance, national org, etc. as it all helps me open the sites I pioneer for other pilots to fly (gain the proper permissions). All the dotted i's and crossed t's one has to do for our sites as a USHPA Chapter helps keep our sites safer too. It's a lot of work to maintain a USHPA Chapter but it has tangible benefits. The USHPA lends credibility to what we do. That credibility is the sole reason I've been able to help open up particular sites (launches) and obtain a fair amount of LZs for them - with only one of the sites ending up being one that we insure. Even the fact that USHPA offers site insurance has opened up landowners to considering our use of their land even though they have not asked for the insurance - it lends more credibility to our endeavors - helps the landowners grasp the fact that our sports are not really all that risky of an activity to be conducted on their land. That we are a Chapter of USHPA gives us an advantage in land access. So, in all these regards, pretty much most of the pilots in our area are USHPA members. It is beneficial for us to be so. It's also beneficial for those pilots who wish to visit our area as they'll get to fly Inkler's Point and helps us to determine the expertise of visiting pilots. Being a USHPA member is not a requirement for us to be hospitable to visiting pilots though. I'd be more than happy to help any hang/para pilot, USHPA member or not, fly any of our sites (excepting Inkler's Point). Like any visiting pilot unknown to us we'd need to know something about skills, attitude, etc.
End of rant :)
Well, maybe not the end .... being a USHPA member certainly does not limit one's flying possibilities. It's done the opposite for me.
User avatar
By Underdog
#402734
Been flying HG for over 30 years.
I have never taken or given a tandem flight .I don't think they add "new pilots" to the sport.
Remove profit from the sport as a whole (especially tandems,charging for meets and comps )and insurance becomes unnecessary.Stop asking the entire sport to support your risk and liability.
Risk and liability exist because USHPA lost the core mission of being about free-flight.

Relevant to the discussion

viewtopic.php?t=35776&start=40#ixzz53wC4Qrtp

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=35824

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=35775
User avatar
By mtpilot
#402735
I could not have said it better. How about training hills with unlimited access to revive the fun and spirit of hang gliding?
This is a sport too great to be crushed by idiocy!
#402736
ChattaroyMan wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:07 am
I have no experience with any insurance being required for general day to day flying on public lands - and I'm hoping that remains the case.
This really gets down to the nuts and bolts of why I started this thread. We as pilots are also ambassadors to the sport. We should be welcoming all human beings that wish to participate in the sport of hang gliding.

Regarding the statement from Underdog, I have never taken or given a tandem flight .I don't think they add "new pilots" to the sport.

I can give plenty of examples of people who have become pilots after taken tandem flights. As a matter of fact, most of the pilots taught in Florida start out taking tandem flights. I have a list of over 100 USHPA pilots I have personally taught to fly. A few of these pilots are now instructors who have gone on to teach the next generation of new pilots. I have used my tandem glider to supplement my teaching pay and get me through the slow times where not for the tandem flights, I would have to close down my HG school. Tandem flights bring a great awareness of the sport. When the great hang gliding instructor Malcom Jones was on national television with Al Roker, Malcom gave AL a tandem discovery flight.

The selfish pilots at Fort Funston have shut down all commercial tandem flights because, in there own words, they want to control the commercial activities there. San Francisco is one of the largest tourist destinations in the US. " San Francisco welcomed a total of 25.1 million visitors in 2016, an increase of 2.3 percent from 2015. In 2016, the 25.1 million visitors brought $9.69 billion in spending to San Francisco". The GGNRA/Fort Funston official park website tells these visitors they should got to Fort Funston and watch the hang gliders fly. What they don't say is, they allow a small group of selfish pilots to decide who can and cannot fly there and YOU are not welcome.
User avatar
By Underdog
#402737
Buying a H-2 lesson package in Florida(for which they should independently insure or waiver) is something completely different than risking a site like Funston( or ANY site) so some "instructor" can take people for Rides for 200.00 a pop. with member subsidized insurance.
User avatar
By SlopeSkimmer
#402739
Underdog wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:34 pm
Buying a H-2 lesson package in Florida(for which they should independently insure or waiver) is something completely different than risking a site like Funston( or ANY site) so some "instructor" can take people for Rides for 200.00 a pop. with member subsidized insurance.
The oldest trick it the liberal playbook is to scream the sky is falling. Underdog making the statement "risking the site" is only an attempt to scare people into taking his onion and joining his crusade. All the while not supporting his claim with any facts. I am not trying to start a flame war with you but so much of your option is false, I thought you should be told the facts.

1. Tandem flights at Fort Funston risk the site no more than any other glider in the sky. In fact, if you do the research you will find US tandem pilots are better trained and have a lesser percentage of accidents than the average pilot.

2. Your right, all the tandem pilots at Fort Funston besides me are member subsidized. I have my own commercial liability insurance that is not subsidized from your 150 dollar membership dues.

3. Tandem pilots at Fort Funston charge 300 dollars a pop. I lowered my price to 250 because the only place I can now get compensated for my time, investment and training is Ed Levin Park.

Fort Funston has a rule that states commercial hang gliding is not allowed under their permit. Underdog, don't worry about me flying paid tandem flights at your USHPA controlled sites. I am currently working with the GGNRA and other HG sites to get a commercial permit with my own commercial insurance policy not connected to you. I have already been successful at ED Levin Park.

Cross your fingers and wish me luck with the other parks.
User avatar
By Underdog
#402741
Did you read my post above and the associated links?
MJ check yourself your going off the deep end,very lonely out there ,but lots of company. :ahh:

No one should be doing any tandem rides period unless they represent all the liability and risk associated with it on their own. :shock:

Let us get Hanggliding back to it's roots and unshackle it from the greedy ,the idiots, and bureaucrats. :thumbsup:
User avatar
By SlopeSkimmer
#402746
Underdog wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:19 pm
Did you read my post above and the associated links?
MJ check yourself your going off the deep end,very lonely out there ,but lots of company. :ahh:

No one should be doing any tandem rides period unless they represent all the liability and risk associated with it on their own. :shock:

Let us get Hanggliding back to it's roots and unshackle it from the greedy ,the idiots, and bureaucrats. :thumbsup:
You are right. I agree with you 1,000 percent. :thumbsup:

Lets make all those instructors and tandem instructors get their own insurance and their own land owner permits. This way the recreational pilots will not be liable for what they do. :mosh:

How do you suggest we make this happen?
User avatar
By Wonder Boy
#402751
How about we look at the root cause: LAWSUITS
Thats the main issue here.

Reduce the ease at which a person can sue. Make it tough, make it a challenge. Weed out the BS.

Not everyone deserves a trophy, life isn't fair. You fell down, its no ones fault but your own.

But the above isn't the case, it was back in the day . With minimal lawsuits and insurance wasn't required.

Not the case anymore. Let's not blame the tool, rather the person holding it.
User avatar
By ChattaroyMan
#402752
mtpilot wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:26 pm
I could not have said it better. How about training hills with unlimited access to revive the fun and spirit of hang gliding?
This is a sport too great to be crushed by idiocy!
There's such a place on BLM land SW of Spokane. Only bummer for the place is that there's also a nearby shooting area. Some pilots have heard bullets whizzing over their heads! Access for the training hill is by foot only but has been used by both hang and para pilots for quite a few years.
User avatar
By EricH
#402753
SlopeSkimmer wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:01 am
I teach and give tandem discovery flights every dry day for the last 18 years. Rob is so funny!
Everybody funny, you're so funny too, out there teaching every dry day? :roflcat:

And you're another SF area instructor that started teaching and doing tandems as a H0? :crazy:

HG H1 Beginner 12/16/2000 Tim Bugge Rating NOT ACTIVE
HG H2 Novice 5/6/2001 Jim H. Woodward Rating NOT ACTIVE
HG H3 Intermediate 5/9/2002 Robert D. Soares Rating NOT ACTIVE
HG H4 Advanced 11/6/2004 Jim H. Woodward Rating ACTIVE
#402756
SlopeSkimmer wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:15 pm
Regarding the statement from Underdog, I have never taken or given a tandem flight .I don't think they add "new pilots" to the sport.

I can give plenty of examples of people who have become pilots after taken tandem flights.
. . . . When the great hang gliding instructor Malcom Jones was on national television with Al Roker, Malcom gave AL a tandem discovery flight.
And Al Roker's ratings and membership status are?
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