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By once&future
#404847
More specifically I'm wondering if periodic recertification should be required to maintain a USHPA rating. Many older pilots have maintained their USHPA membership but are no longer as active (or as proficient) as they were when their most recent ratings were issued. So long as they pay their annual membership fees USHPA is perfectly willing to maintain their highest issued rating. We rely on the pilot to show sufficient judgment to only fly sites and conditions commensurate with their current level of proficiency should that differ from that at which they are rated.

This is all well and good, but if this is the way we operate why are ratings lost if the pilot does not renew their USHPA membership for three years? If we can trust the less active (but still paying) pilot to police themselves why can't we do the same for the less active pilot who hasn't paid their membership fees? Does this inconsistency just describe another way in which USHPA "encourages" us to pay up every year?

Full disclosure: I can be accused of simply griping based on my own situation. I was a Hang 5 and Advanced Instructor for many years, let my USHGA membership lapse in 2008 and got back into flying in 2016. At that point I was issued an H3 based on current proficiency and, as a former instructor, believe that rating to be appropriate - which is why I haven't made any effort to regain my old H5.

But the recent discussion of the involuntarylist rating system made me think about this a bit more deeply. As a former instructor I'm very concerned about any rating system that relies solely on self-evaluation by pilots. I know how tempting it would be to rate yourself to a given level if you could perform the task "most of the time". Lots of my students would try to use this excuse rather than putting in the work - and I wouldn't want to give myself this excuse either. So I'm not convinced involuntarylist is the right way to go.

That said, the fact that I could have a fully valid USHPA H5, and yet still have only my current H3 proficiency, if only I'd coughed up more money makes me wonder what the rating really means. Is it a true proficiency measure or simply a record of historical accomplishments and willingness to continually pay USHPA?
By Seahawk
#404859
"WHAT DO RATINGS REALLY MEAN?"

Ratings based upon bribery rather than competency are meaningless. A ploy designed to keep the U$hPA Ponzi scheme afloat.
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By miraclepieco
#404860
Continuous USHPA membership implies regular flying activities. A lapse implies a lack of same and thus a degradation of skills. A Master rating however is primarily one of experience and judgement; like birthdays, neither can be "undone."

I once left USHPA for six years. I was able to have my Master rating restored by my Regional Director. I assume that procedure is still available to pilots who let their membership lapse, and I'm not sure why you didn't take advantage of it. One reason I was able to have my rating restored is because my Regional Director knew that I'd been flying regularly in the interim. So although I agree that USHPA is a money-driven association, I don't think the maintenance of ratings is strictly monetary in nature.

Now I've left USHPA permanently and am proud to have my Master rating transferred to the involuntarylist, which recognizes the USHPA requirements. And many more local entities as accepting the involuntarylist rating as official documentation of proficiency. But if you're looking for fairness and equity in USHPA, you will find yourself frustrated and disappointed.
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By BubbleBoy
#404863
miraclepieco wrote:
Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:03 am
And many more local entities as accepting the involuntarylist rating as official documentation of proficiency.
So how 'bout you update us on the local entities that have historically required USHPA ratings (or other internationally recognized certifications) that now accept USHGRA ratings in lieu of.

This would be extremely helpful. Thanks

JB
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By mtpilot
#404865
Seahawk wrote:
Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:02 am
"WHAT DO RATINGS REALLY MEAN?"

Ratings based upon bribery rather than competency are meaningless. A ploy designed to keep the U$hPA Ponzi scheme afloat.
I would have to agree. I fly alone these days, don't care to get involved in the pecking order or waste
money on a temporary badge. FAA does not require this. Pilots need to self evaluate especially due to our
advanced age, physical condition. Lack of training hills make it hard to renter this sport after a long abscence.
I think ratings were once a means of recognition but now just harassment.
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By red
#404866
BubbleBoy wrote:
Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:34 am
miraclepieco wrote:
Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:03 am
And many more local entities as accepting the involuntarylist rating as official documentation of proficiency.
So how 'bout you update us on the local entities that have historically required USHPA ratings (or other internationally recognized certifications) that now accept USHGRA ratings in lieu of.
This would be extremely helpful. Thanks
JB
JB,

Helpful to whom, and for what purpose?

If you have any site in mind, go fly there. If challenged (which I would find unlikely), show them the ratings that you hold. Let us know if any particular site needs to be better informed. I believe that local pilots can deal with any problems that may arise, but I would not want anybody creating a problem where none exists.
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By blindrodie
#404867
Many of "us" are lucky to even have a rating system, recognized at the very least by the FAA. In this day and age many need insurance and therefore a need for the USHPA. Then again many of us don't need insurance to fly.

I believe without the USHPA those (important) few that would never join or start a free flight career, do! For many, again that's a good thing. It gives the few that want to go that route a reasonably safe way to do so. It offers them structure and goal setting that so many need to get into and STAY in free flight. I'm OK with that.

Ratings mean that for better or worse there is a system that one can follow and benefit from. When I started I was part of the generation that did not feel the need to be a member of anything other than the local crew, to fly. We took matters into our own hands and that kept us skimming down the hillsides well into sunset.

Then wings started to take us up AND away, so those that were not ready for that stopped flying and those of us that wanted to go up and away, flew even more! Sadly those daze are gone even though one can still get a wing and go fly without any training what-so-ever. That's what has everyone's panties in a bunch. We as pilots still attract a lot of attention on a level that many DO NOT understand and the folks that want us to have structure get spooked!

Ratings only mean what you want them to mean. Thankfully, that is a good thing for all of us at the moment...

8)
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By BubbleBoy
#404869
red wrote:
Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:40 am
Helpful to whom, and for what purpose?
So exactly none in other words.

(You can't be so stupid as to not realize exactly how helpful it is to a pilot to know before they drive out to fly if they will be allowed to fly or not)

JB
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By BubbleBoy
#404870
As to the OP Title?

Ratings are like an issued currency -- their value is supported only by the faith that the purchaser has in the the issuing entity.

An organization with the infrastructure to gain such faith in a nervous landowner is not easy to form, finance and maintain (I know ... I was part of a group that tried and failed). As a long time critic of some of the regular behaviors of the USHG(P)A, I still am able to give credit to the fact that through the hard work of many over the years it got done and has been maintained.

Currently I think of a rating which has no such supporting infrastructure behind it like I think of Bitcoin vs the Dollar -- I'm a fan of Bitcoin and hope it succeeds, but its usefulness is extremely limited as it's not accepted where I regularly shop, transactions are inconvenient and time consuming and it's value swings wildly and regularly.

When Bitcoin reaches a fairly high usefulness threshold, I'll include that option in my wallet. If a 'name your own' rating system were to become useful to me, same result.

JB
Last edited by BubbleBoy on Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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By BubbleBoy
#404871
once&future wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:49 pm
That said, the fact that I could have a fully valid USHPA H5, and yet still have only my current H3 proficiency, if only I'd coughed up more money makes me wonder what the rating really means.
(long time (X) USHG(P)A Advanced Instructor and Tandem Instructor here)

Would you mind clarifying something? Are you actually saying here that you could have regained your H5 merely through an additional fee?

In other words, for a smaller dollar amount you received a rating that reflected your actual current proficiency but for nothing more than a larger dollar amount you could have regained your H5?

JB
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By DMarley
#404873
BubbleBoy wrote:
Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:52 am
...
In other words, for a smaller dollar amount you received a rating that reflected your actual current proficiency but for nothing more than a larger dollar amount you could have regained your H5?

JB
I understood Once&Future's explanation as had he merely paid his dues every year, or possibly every three years, then he would have retained his H5 rating at a higher cost than his reinstated H3 rating.

From the little I know, it's no cakewalk earning a H5 rating. Multiple officials must agree that a pilot is worthy of the master rating. To me, it would be something to be proud of. A real accomplishment. And I can't understand why someone would merely give it up so easily, after all the hours and resources accrued in earning that rating. Merely to save a few dollars a year? Unless a pilot finds himself in a bad financial situation, why not retain that rating even if you're not flying as often as you'd like? There's always tomorrow.

The ushpa allows for a three year absence of payment if a pilot feels he is not getting enough flight time compared to the dues outlay. I'd say that is extremely fare.

Just like all of us have to pay taxes to support the local, state, and national infrastructures because we all live communities, all of us pilots, whether we like it or not, belong to a very small community that many times requires a strong, cohesive voice. Most of the outside world believes we pilots are completely nuts and cerebrally deficient to entrust our fragile lives to the micro-lite contraptions that we fly under.
Acquiring new sites and maintaining existing sites can be a real balancing act that could topple at any moment if it were not for a larger, well-established nation-wide voice to champion our cause, compared to the little-persuasive pleadings of a small group of local pilots. Especially when it comes to convincing private land owners to allow us 'yahoos' to launch from, fly over and land on their properties.
I can't understand the thinking of a pilot to decide not to help ensure continued flight for their flying brethren, even if he decides to hang up flying for a few years. Perhaps it's the wife's nagging about the extra expense when she doesn't see any use in it, whether he's flying or not. (Pilots and future pilots: choose your wife or husband very carefully!)
I suppose it all boils down to a sense (or lack) of responsibility. To our brethren, to the site owners, and ultimately to the protection of our sport.
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By BubbleBoy
#404874
DMarley wrote:
Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:07 am
I understood Once&Future's explanation as had he merely paid his dues every year, or possibly every three years, then he would have retained his H5 rating at a higher cost than his reinstated H3 rating.
Ah yes ... likely exactly what he meant.

JB

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