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By Ken.de.Russy
#266646
HGXC wrote:Terry Sweeney spent a day kneel tubing me and my manflight hang glider at the clay pits in Dunbarton NH in early 1974. Terry stopped teaching many years ago but still flies sailplanes.

Dennis
Terry did some dune gooning at Kitty Hawk in October. Not sure of any other flying but he was excited about the flying he did there. Terry is a very cool guy. Click on my YouTube link in my signature to hear his two songs that he performed during the Soaring100 "Legends of Hang Gliding" event. They are classic.
User avatar
By waltspoint
#266649
Lee Sterios (sp?) was my go-to guy, mid 70's. Sadly no longer with us. /jd
User avatar
By peanuts
#266655
what year did USHGA start rating system, certified instructors, etc. next when did the previous outfit do these things.
User avatar
By Ken.de.Russy
#266666
peanuts wrote:what year did USHGA start rating system, certified instructors, etc. next when did the previous outfit do these things.
I'm doing this from memory but I will confirm and update if I'm wrong. 1975 was when the first real system, the USHGA Hang Rating System was implemented. Examiners were designated by the Directors based on maturity and responsibility. Observers were selected by their local Examiner who presumably knew the flying skill and responsibility of an Observer designee. In the original formulation the position of Observer was intended only as a temporary measure and also in those areas where an area could not sustain instructors.The Observers could start anyone at any rating they otherwise qualified for during some Grandfather period after which each successive rating required some number of months to pass before the next rating could be issued. Ratings 1 through 4 could be obtained no faster than about 6 or 8 months. The first Instructor Certification Programs ran that year.

In Santa Barbara I had just founded our club near the beginning of 1975 and the first President, John Baird, and I, as newly appointed USHGA Observers, simply looked at each other and, declared the other a Hang 4. Neither of us ever held a lower rating. In theory an Observer must attest to the fact the the applicant has been witnessed performing each required task at some designated time. In reality, then, as today, Observers just declare that the applicant has satisfied all the requirements. It is probably a rare pilot indeed that ever went down the list and demonstrated each task as described in the rating program.

The SCHGA/USHGA did have a system that preceded that one. It was the 3 level Hang Badge System. I never saw a Hang badge and have no idea if any were issued.

A loose group of pilots called the Professional Flyers Association had a system but the group fell apart after a short time and the system of rating pilots didn't develop past a crude outline with a multiple question quiz.

Glider Sports International base in Portland, OR created a member structure with insurance and photo ID cards and they had both a pilot and an instructor rating system. They disbanded by 1977 or so. They seemed to have captured a sizable percentage of pilots in some parts of the US but there was little if any member control. It appeared to me to be an insurance program with a commission as incentive to sell memberships.
User avatar
By liftlover
#266974
I learned in 1972 in Moorpark Ca. I was riding my motorcycle out at the hill we used to climb, this guy pulls up in a van and starts setting up gliders, I had seen my first one fly only weeks before in Yosemite.I told my girlfriend I was going to do that someday. On the inside of the van door was a sign, 3 flights for $ 5.00 !!!!! I spent $ 30.00 that day, I was hooked! the guy turned out to be Jerry Albiston, the owner of Free Flight Systems. In 6 months I was working for him building gliders, within a year I was a team pilot building and testing gliders for a living. It was the most incredible time to be a hang glider pilot, and the people I met there are a who's who of sky gods. d--- and Burt Ruttan, Taris Kesintic, Paul McCreedy, Larry Newman, Bill Bennett, Pete Brock, Bob & Chris Wills, Ken Derussy, Roy Haggard, the list goes on.I did get to fly Yosemite in 1976 and my girlfriend was there to see it. God bless her, we spent the night on top and she drove my friends VW bus down to the valley, having never driven a stick, AND she had been bit by moskitoes, on both eyelids, she could barely see to drive! Thanks Vickie. I'll always treasure my Free Flight days, good times for sure!

:mosh: :mosh: :mosh:
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By kwright
#267001
Ken.de.Russy wrote:
psilyguy wrote:My instructor, Michael Robertson, has been teaching for over 40 yrs. I'm pretty sure he was self taught. He apparently was the inventor of the base bar wheels, and he created the RCR's, which are an amazing learning tool!
He's gotta be one of the first!
I am pretty sure Mike is the longest active hang gliding instructor in the world. He is also the first guy to horse tow a Dickenson wing. The day he stops teaching we have made plans to cryogenically freeze him, texture him with a lifelike exo-skin, ram some animatronic equipment up his butt and put him straight on display at the Hang Gliding Museum. He will be in the foyer greeting visitors.
Wow, just like Walmart!
User avatar
By jjcote
#267004
Ken.de.Russy wrote:
peanuts wrote:what year did USHGA start rating system, certified instructors, etc. next when did the previous outfit do these things.
I'm doing this from memory but I will confirm and update if I'm wrong. 1975 was when the first real system, the USHGA Hang Rating System was implemented.
The earliest rating that the USHPA online "Ratings Issued" page seems to be willing to cough up is October 12, 1974 (H3 for David Hellerstein by L. Levinger). There was one other rating on December 31 of that year, then over 100 in 1974. But as I noted before, these records are spotty. Ken's H4 does not show up (but his H5 does). The first place his name appears is in signing off Kurt Shafer's H3 in November 1975. (I know of other people who flew back in the day who do not appear at all -- part of this may be due to names dropping out of the database if membership is not renewed.)
User avatar
By Fred Wilson
#267020
Randy Rauck in Lumby BC Canada. http://www.ravav.com/
Started circa 1974. Still at it today. http://lumbyairforce.com/ :thumbsup:

His Freedom Flight Park, http://www.facebook.com/FreedomFlightPark?sk=info
campground is getting major major upgrades this year.
Pilot Lounge was built this spring and a massive HG Museum is being built this year.
- the roof is going to be sloped to become a training hill! No she it!

Image
User avatar
By Ken.de.Russy
#267042
"There was one other rating on December 31 of that year, then over 100 in 1974."

Did you mean to say over 100 in 75?

The rating system prior to 75 was not more than the 3 level hang badge system. I didn't think there was ever a listing of those who received those "badges". I think there may be transcription error that explains 1974 ratings. The paper records of the day were routinely lost or misfiled. At most in 1975 there was just Amy and Carol in the office. They did an excellent job with little guidance. Then when the office moved to Pearblossom I think stuff was tossed and then more was lost before we settled in to Colorado HQ.

Save me some struggle and tell me how you access that rating info if you would be so kind please.

Lowell Levinger aka Banana taught with Jeff Mott under the name Hang Gliders West at Dillon Beach California. He was a member of The Youngbloods with Jesse Colin Young.

Kurt Shafer carried his Quicksilver on his then new large Cadillac. It was an impressive sight and a departure from the Hippy Vans of the day.
jjcote wrote:
Ken.de.Russy wrote:
peanuts wrote:what year did USHGA start rating system, certified instructors, etc. next when did the previous outfit do these things.
I'm doing this from memory but I will confirm and update if I'm wrong. 1975 was when the first real system, the USHGA Hang Rating System was implemented.
The earliest rating that the USHPA online "Ratings Issued" page seems to be willing to cough up is October 12, 1974 (H3 for David Hellerstein by L. Levinger). There was one other rating on December 31 of that year, then over 100 in 1974. But as I noted before, these records are spotty. Ken's H4 does not show up (but his H5 does). The first place his name appears is in signing off Kurt Shafer's H3 in November 1975. (I know of other people who flew back in the day who do not appear at all -- part of this may be due to names dropping out of the database if membership is not renewed.)
Last edited by Ken.de.Russy on Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By ksykes
#267044
If I remember correctly, there were two associations providing ratings in the mid 70's. I can't remember the name of the second one, but they had a log book that you got your rating stamped into. I do remember that a 360 was a 3 or 4 level skill.

Sky Trucking in Sugarloaf Maine was my instructor. Can't remember the names of the individuals, but Eric Raymond was my classmate.
User avatar
By jjcote
#267079
Ken.de.Russy wrote:"There was one other rating on December 31 of that year, then over 100 in 1974."
Did you mean to say over 100 in 75
Yes, that was a typo. Just the two in 1974, but the second one was a H4 (Bob Skinner signed off by Spurlock). The only rating issued by Baird is the first one in 1975, H4 for David Saffold. Almost all of the 114 in 1975 were H4 ratings. About 126 (if I counted right) of the 30000+ ratings listed were issued by you, Ken.
Save me some struggle and tell me how you access that rating info if you would be so kind please.
At some point last year I was a little bored and went through this page:
http://www.ushpa.aero/ratings_last3years.asp
month by month, selected all of the names, and dumped them into a spreadsheet (this was to investigate a theory by a friend that pilots in our region often got to H2 and then got no further because there was no support -- my investigations essentially disproved this). So now I update it once a month or so with the latest ratings. Send me a PM with your email address if you'd like me to send you a copy of the spreadsheet.
User avatar
By Ken.de.Russy
#267121
quote="jjcote"]
Ken.de.Russy wrote:"There was one other rating on December 31 of that year, then over 100 in 1974."
Did you mean to say over 100 in 75
Yes, that was a typo. Just the two in 1974, but the second one was a H4 (Bob Skinner signed off by Spurlock). The only rating issued by Baird is the first one in 1975, H4 for David Saffold. Almost all of the 114 in 1975 were H4 ratings. About 126 (if I counted right) of the 30000+ ratings listed were issued by you, Ken.
Save me some struggle and tell me how you access that rating info if you would be so kind please.
At some point last year I was a little bored and went through this page:
http://www.ushpa.aero/ratings_last3years.asp
month by month, selected all of the names, and dumped them into a spreadsheet (this was to investigate a theory by a friend that pilots in our region often got to H2 and then got no further because there was no support -- my investigations essentially disproved this). So now I update it once a month or so with the latest ratings. Send me a PM with your email address if you'd like me to send you a copy of the spreadsheet.[/quote]

I see only Present back to 2009. How do you get previous years?

126 ratings out of something like 5000 lessons is a pretty sad rate. I have a stack of Rating Applications Instructor Copy. I will count them up. A partial count and extrapolation makes me think it is closer to 200 - 250 to 300 in all liklihood -but that is individual ratings. I think your list just shows the highest rating earned by a member. At some point as I recall the form changed so I am unsure if my stack represents all the ratings I issued. Still it is fewer than I might have guessed.

Bob Skinner was one of the instructors who lectured at the first Instructor Certification Clinic, started Flight Realities and Spurlock with Skinner wrote the Guide to Rogallo Flight Basic book. Dave Saffold was my mentor, was on my shop flight team that I entered into the Hang Ten World Open Hang Gliding Championships in which he finished in 2nd place out of 360 pilots and was one of the earliest Santa Barbara fliers. Dave is on the far right in the team photo standing right next to me. Kammy Low is on the left next to Gary Bencar.
John Baird was the first president of the Santa Barbara club I started - Channel Islands Hang Gliding Association. That is John's signature on my Member #001 Club Membership Card.

The Hang Rating System was announced as officially going in to effect in an article by Flight Director John Lake in the March 1975 Ground Skimmer. It had been described in the October 1974 Ground Skimmer. The Board of Directors was being expanded. It could be that earlier ratings were in effect test ratings. The June 1975 magazine was the first announcment of rating officials available to issue a rating. Our association was growing and developing rapidly at that point and in many cases someone would simply decide to do something and if no one objected ........well, on one objected!

I will enjoy seeing your spreadsheet and it will be duly filed into my enormous collection. Be sure to sign, date and add any comments you might imagine someone 50 years from now might find illuminating or amusing!

Mail to Ken de Russy
6812 Carolina Street
Anacortes, WA 98221

or email

weflyuniv@aol.com

Thanks!
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User avatar
By Hangskier
#267379
Ok, who has the lowest current USHPA member number?

Mine is not very low but is: 61061
User avatar
By Fred Wilson
#267394
Since this is a world wide forum... here is the Canada list of HPAC pilots still flying:

Martin Henry #2 (well known as "Comrade" Martin Image on the OzReport)
Mia Schokker #3 - his better half, and I mean better.
Randy Cairns #8
Allan Gagnon #12
Gregg Humphreys #17 - he is our Insurance Officer. World's best in the sport. Period.
Martin Nowoselski #22
Rick Pumple #26
Les Sainsbury #27 - hosts the Salspring Island Fly-In on Vancouver Island BC. Likely the longest running event in the sports history.
Mark Tulloch #31
Fred T. L. Wilson #33 - thassa me :)
Vincene Muller $36 - the heart and soul of our sport in Canada. :thumbsup: Where we would be without the likes of Vincene... well..

Jumping a bit:
Dennis Turner from Blairmore Alberta pops up here from time to time. He's #90

Serge Lamarche #122 has been hosting the Willi Muller Cross Country Classic at Golden BC's Mt 7 every year since 1989. http://www.mt7.ca/seven_wmxcc_past.html
This years event dates are July 27/28 to Sunday August 5 2012. Mt 7 is where the very first 200 mile flights happened, flying south into Trago Montana.

The event was originally called the Golden Classic but was renamed to the Willi after he passed away.
The mountain has been renamed Willi's Peak and there is a large Cairn at launch in memory of him and Chris.

The Willie Muller Memorial Canadian Nationals Champion Trophy, commissioned by Bruce Busby of Alberta.

"It feels good! Go for it."

Image

Chris Muller and Bernard Winkelman hold the Canadian Nationals Champion Lew Neilson Trophy.

The dates and location for the 2012 Canadian Nationals Hang Gliding Championships will be announce one week from now.

The Lew Neilson Award was created by Chris Florkow and commissioned by Fred Wilson in 1988.
The plaque "Cloud Dancers" carries a west coast theme: two Haida Indians in full feather headdress dancing on clouds.
A Gary Oak packing case was commissioned for transportation, display and storage.

Image
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By Ken.de.Russy
#267582
From the May 1972 (Issue #1) of Ground Skimmer, the magazine of the Southern California Hang Glider Association;

1. D ick Eipper (Deceased) Founder of the first US manufacturer Eipper-Formance Inc.

2. Terry Voorhees

3. Doug Kupper

4. Lloyd Licher - Early officer, editor and largely responsible for the creation of the early organization

5. Joe Faust - First Chronicler of our sport; Low & Slow, Hang Glider Weekly, Hang Glider Business Weekly, Hang Glider Magazine. Joe posts daily (or so it seems) here and on the OzReport Forum

6. Richard Burns

7. Frank Colver - inventor of the revolutionary Colver Audio Vario

Lloyd and Joe are both alive and well. Frank will be attending the Antique Fly In and Reunion at Cape Kiwanda, OR May 12, 13 with the plan to fly his old 20' Flexi Floater
Hangskier wrote:Ok, who has the lowest current USHPA member number?

Mine is not very low but is: 61061
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By remmoore
#267585
Ken.de.Russy wrote: Kammy Low is on the left next to Gary Bencar.
No way - that's gotta be Tommy Chong! :lol:

Did Cheech snap the picture? :wink:

RM
User avatar
By liftlover
#267640
Does anyone have a list of 1975-76 ratings issued? I would love to have my old ushga # but I have been told those records were lost.
User avatar
By Ken.de.Russy
#267864
jjcote wrote:
Ken.de.Russy wrote:"There was one other rating on December 31 of that year, then over 100 in 1974."
Did you mean to say over 100 in 75
Yes, that was a typo. Just the two in 1974, but the second one was a H4 (Bob Skinner signed off by Spurlock). The only rating issued by Baird is the first one in 1975, H4 for David Saffold. Almost all of the 114 in 1975 were H4 ratings. About 126 (if I counted right) of the 30000+ ratings listed were issued by you, Ken.

OK. I feel a bit better now. I just counted my copies of ratings issued and count 542 ratings between 1975 and 1995. Missing are ratings for 1996 through 1998 which would add another 60 or so.

Your count must be for individuals who I rated who are still current members in which case that is a surprising rate of retention. That is better news than I might have expected.

Are you able to identify Life Members? Could you list the names?
User avatar
By jjcote
#267873
Ken.de.Russy wrote:Your count must be for individuals who I rated who are still current members in which case that is a surprising rate of retention. That is better news than I might have expected.

Are you able to identify Life Members? Could you list the names?
I suspect that this is what's going on (only current members listed), or at least a big part of it.

The list that I was able to download doesn't have any information about who is a Life Member. There is another way to get information from the web site, the Member Directory, and that does have info about who is a Life Member (expiration date 12/31/2099), so I could download all of those records (one state at a time), and use the membership number to match up with the ratings. I'm not quite motivated enough to do that at the moment, but it would be a manageable task if I had a reason to do it.

Alternatively, this must all come from a database that USHPA has, and maybe it would be possible to get the whole thing from them.
liftlover wrote:Does anyone have a list of 1975-76 ratings issued? I would love to have my old ushga # but I have been told those records were lost.
If you tell me your name, I'll tell you if it's in the list that I have. Did they used to publish ratings in a paper magazine back then?
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