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User avatar
By DMarley
#403902
Please keep in mind that HG and PG flying in different parts of the country all have quite different logistics compared to where you may be flying at the moment. In the Midwest and Eastern part of the country, there are very few (I know of only one) sites that are on public lands. There could be more, but most sites are privately held and maintained. As far as I understand, the law does not protect the land owners in these situations. I know of only one club that has purchased land under it's corporate charter.

SO in the area that I fly, most every flying site is owned by a private land owner, or a combination of corporate (land owned by radio stations) and private (pasture / hay crop LZ's). There is just too much time and capital invested in this land for the owners to risk opening themselves to lawsuits from those who don't provide some assurances that they are responsible enough to allow to use the properties.

A few years ago, one of our sites was shut down because of pg pilots leaving trash on launch. The land owner was recently convinced to allow flying once again with the assurances that the hg club would better maintain a respectful atmosphere. That included using only 4x4 vehicles if conditions were not perfectly dry. Mountain accesses become rutted and chewed up, leading to severe erosion problems within a very short period of time (one good weekend!) if users are not respectful. Then the heavy equipment has to come out to fix the accesses, and more stone spread. More money and time.
At another favorite site, the owner very recently spent more money than he collected from the pilots this year merely on gravel so that he could better improve the mountain top access. He maintains the LZ in a golf-park-like fashion, and this access improvement was on top of all the expenditures of time and fuel for maintaining the LZ and launch every week.

There are many, many things that take place behind the scenes merely to allow for you and I to fly when we so choose. Much more than you may fathom. Much more than what you are paying for. Land owners that are kind enough to allow us onto their properties, for us to benefit from their years of hard work and capital outlays, need assurances that they will not be liable for our screw-ups. And if someone does try to sue the pants off of them, they feel comfortable enough that they have protection from a substantial organization that has more than enough wherewithal to do battle with these miscreants within the court system. Otherwise, the current legal system would be too much of a hurdle to allow them to justify our use of their properties for free-flight.








User avatar
By DMarley
#403903
Also keep in mind that I am NOT a fan-boy of the ushpa, nor of the seemingly elitist representation from said organization that many times takes place within this forum.
My point of view is strictly from a relatively large land ownership position. Whether flight park / site owners find their insurance and legal protection from ushpa / rrrg, from a newer, more hg-friendly HG org, or privately, there must be some form of protection against hungry lawyers that gladly bring ridiculous charges against weakly-protected land owners.
And I am NOT a fan-boy of those board members who are willing to make the board a tight-knit, all-in-agreement, lifetime seated, pg monopoly of merely seven seats. That decision will likely be the demise of the u$hpa.
User avatar
By mtpilot
#403904
Because the insurance needs issue is so different in each region it should be minimized on the national level. The dues
should also be corresponding lowered to say 50$. The money is needed locally for road, site maintenance. I completely
reject the idea of site insurance on public land. If a site needs it please keep it to yourselves and a private fund.
User avatar
By mtpilot
#403905
DAVE 858 wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:38 pm
The club otherwise enforces the "members only" requirement
How exactly? What are the club members supposed to do to "enforce" the USHPA agenda? Nobody is legally bound to be USHPA a member, so if by "enforce" I assume you mean coerce or persuade. This is a very bad idea. The last time someone tried to get the land owner to call the sheriff on another pilot it nearly resulted in us losing the LZ.

I don't care which side of this thing any of you are on. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Think twice before trying to involve land owners or law enforcement in hang/para glider drama. This will help nothing.

Mark, I think that you guys need to accept the fact that some pilots are not going to join USHPA & are going to fly wherever they want to and there is nothing you or anyone else can do about it. Involving Landowners law enforcement or government agencies in an attempt to "enforce" USHPA / Club policies is going to do nothing but bring the heat down on everyone.

INSURANCE IS A CHOICE!
Nice summary of the situation. Now get the waste out of USHPA lower the dues to 50$ and I think the problem solved.
User avatar
By LoganR
#403907
Nice summary of the situation. Now get the waste out of USHPA lower the dues to 50$ and I think the problem solved.
Good start... Still doesn't address the fact that most pilots don't feel like dealing with a bunch of self-riteous clowns that think they own a sport and arent accountable to anyone. If an informed landowner wants everyone to be USHPA members, or fly in clown costumes... The landowner gets to make their decision and there is no part of me that wants to infringe on their rights. On public land, absolutely not. I would *like* to see sime cooperation with other clubs, but USHPA insurance doesn't allow that. A huge failing for USHPA in my oppinion.
User avatar
By DMarley
#403908
mtpilot wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:50 am

Nice summary of the situation. Now get the waste out of USHPA lower the dues to 50$ and I think the problem solved.
One of the minor problems for you might be solved, but that would leave untold major problems to wreak havoc with and dissolve non-powered ultra-light flight in every other region of the US.
Nothing is free. If it were free, I would be greatly suspect from whence it came, for then it could be taken away just as quickly.
User avatar
By Underdog
#403911
How is HG/PG going to survive if we don't insure profit making joyrides on public land.

ushga needs to get out of public land alltogether.The above is a huge part of why this bureaucracy exist.

Let us get back to basics ( with a true FREEDOM FLIGHT ORG) and work toward access on public land.

Let the business interest have ushpa,,They own it anyway.
By once&future
#403917
magentabluesky wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:53 pm

Now this is where the story is a little bizarre in this dysfunctional family of personal free flight.
A few weeks earlier, May 27, there was the Otto Lilienthal Meet supervised by Joe Greblo’s Windsports and co-hosted by Frank Colver and the Unmentionable. Frank and the Unmentionable


FWIW I think that Joe retired earlier this year and it's now Andy Beem's Windsports.
User avatar
By mgforbes
#403919
I, too have put time, sweat and money into an event I couldn't participate in. This spring, in fact, and several times in past years as well. In my case it was because our big annual event coincided with a Foundation meeting on the other side of the country. Although I'd have liked to be home, flying with my friends, I had other responsibilities that had to take priority. I helped with prep, contributed money and a weekend day of shoveling and trenching on launch. Lots of people had a great time flying at the coast. I took a red-eye to Boston. But I'm glad I was able to help out, because I'm part of our community of pilots, sharing the work to keep our sport thriving.

Unlike a now-expelled former member, I did not take actions which directly and materially damaged USHPA. He did. And despite appealing to the full BOD, he was unable to garner any sympathy. The board heard his explanations, excuses and condemnations, and decided not to retain him as a member. He took actions which damaged our association and our sport. We are a voluntary membership association, and we don't have to accept members who work to undermine and damage us. He is among the tiny number of people who have been expelled from USHPA, and you have to work pretty hard to achieve that "honor". A simple disagreement on policy isn't nearly enough. Reckless, damaging, ongoing behavior that puts our Association at risk is what's needed. That's what he did. As a consequence he's no longer welcome at sites where the landowner requires membership and coverage by USHPA's insurance policy as a condition of access. That includes training sites where insured schools are operating, such as Dockweiler Beach.

MGF
User avatar
By DAVE 858
#403920
mtpilot wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:50 am
DAVE 858 wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:38 pm
The club otherwise enforces the "members only" requirement
How exactly? What are the club members supposed to do to "enforce" the USHPA agenda? Nobody is legally bound to be USHPA a member, so if by "enforce" I assume you mean coerce or persuade. This is a very bad idea. The last time someone tried to get the land owner to call the sheriff on another pilot it nearly resulted in us losing the LZ.

I don't care which side of this thing any of you are on. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Think twice before trying to involve land owners or law enforcement in hang/para glider drama. This will help nothing.

Mark, I think that you guys need to accept the fact that some pilots are not going to join USHPA & are going to fly wherever they want to and there is nothing you or anyone else can do about it. Involving Landowners law enforcement or government agencies in an attempt to "enforce" USHPA / Club policies is going to do nothing but bring the heat down on everyone.

INSURANCE IS A CHOICE!
Nice summary of the situation. Now get the waste out of USHPA lower the dues to 50$ and I think the problem solved.
It could be solved very easily. If USHPA would separate themselves from insuring the entire tandem business, we would be paying much less for dues. As it stands now U & me & every other non tandem instructor pilot gets to subsidize the mini wing tandem circus joy rides for kids. I can't tell you how f---ing angry this makes me because these f---ing bucket lister goddamned wuffo motherfuckers DO NOT CONTRIBUTE s--- to our sport! Contrary to what people believe, tandems do not increase membership and the vast majority of people who opt for tandem instruction DO NOT go on to become regular pilots.

A regular pilot who gets injured in a bad landing is not going to sue the land owner, but a tandem student who has paid $$$ to absolve themselves of responsibility is going to be looking for someone to blame when they can't walk anymore because the tandem paraglider they were flying in collapsed & spun into the ground.
User avatar
By mgforbes
#403921
Except that you are completely wrong. The claims history does not support your contention.

Dave858 may shout and spout a lot of nonsense, but that doesn't mean his argument has any merit. But you can believe him if that suits you. Since I actually KNOW a bit about this, I think I'm a more credible source. It would be great if I could discuss more details, but I can't. I do have a project in the works to provide more information on the kinds of incidents and potential claims we've seen in the first couple years of RRG operation, but I'm not done with it yet. Maybe if I spent less time responding to uninformed rumor-mongers here, and more time on that, I'd have it done. :?

MGF
#403922
Remember the Berkley Club guy from Israel that flew a 100 hours in a month at Funston? Probably like 10 years ago maybe a bit more..
User avatar
By mtpilot
#403923
Mark, The speculation/accusation will be endless without FACTS and you are the only one in possession of those facts!
I don't hate/ dislike anyone but neither do I owe them anything. Until I actually see the lawsuits/claims/ accident/incidents.

I don't know what the problem is or how to fix it. So you are correct, without disclosure WE are all ignorant! I am sure things
are much simpler here in Montana and I hope to keep it that way. We can't even get accident/incident reports let alone claims/lawsuits/ settlements. I doubt even the BOD knows what is really going on.
User avatar
By DAVE 858
#403928
Neither! I am simply here to b---- moan & complain. There is no further relevance to my existence. Have a nice day!

BTW, does it get gnarly if u fart in that bubble harness? :thumbsup:
User avatar
By magentabluesky
#403931
Mark,

I am sorry you missed the point of my story about finding Win Win Solutions and the Contrasting Story.

When the USHPA (you) takes a position “it is our way or the highway”, sadly there are pilots that are saying ok I’m going down the highway to an alternative organization, alternative insurance, and alternative solutions. That is what this thread is about.

To state the legal question: Can a Federal Agency grant an exclusive franchise (permit) to an organization providing insurance coverage for a particular sporting activity on public lands? Is contracting for insurance a commercial activity? (Simply, paying money for insurance services.) Can the Federal Agency require an exclusive membership in an organization providing insurance as a condition of an exclusive permit? Is there a difference in commercial versus non-commercial sporting activities?
49 U.S. Code § 40103 (e)No Exclusive Rights at Certain Facilities.—A person does not have an exclusive right to use an air navigation facility on which Government money has been expended.
Do you really think USHPA has a legally defensible position on this point?
DAVE 858 wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:38 pm
Involving Landowners law enforcement or government agencies in an attempt to "enforce" USHPA / Club policies is going to do nothing but bring the heat down on everyone.
I agree with Dave. This needs to be worked out within the family of personal free flight.

Practically, it is more than just insurance. While the FAA does not require pilot licensing, a Superintendant of a National Park would be negligent if he/she allowed anyone without experience to show up with two broom sticks and a bed sheet to fly off of Glacier Point. As it stands right now, you need more than a bed sheet.

So sliding down the slippery slope without a mutual resolution on this issue, we could easily see a need for the FAA to issue pilot licensing for Part 103 so the other governmental agencies would have a standard for who is qualified to fly on public lands and who is not.

I am an advocate in not changing Part 103 under any circumstances.

Like I have said, “We” need to look for Win Win Outcomes.

We need to look out for each other.
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