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By ChattaroyMan
#402759
On Tandem flights ..... every person that knows more about our sports (hang or para or both) is better for the sports. PR, at least good PR, always reaps benefits (from immediate to years down the road). In gaining new sites my #1 workload involves educating the people I deal with about our sports. The more tandem flights that are done the better IMHO.
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By Underdog
#402760
The problem with running tandem flights as a business or any flying related activity that charges money is the inherent risk and liability for individuals and the flying sites themselves.You do not need insurance if you don't profit.crafting a simple liability waiver is all that is needed.

I am showing you how to ride a bicycle for free , can you sue me if you fall and scrape your knee?is the place we are participating in this activity at risk?do I need to ask for permission to do this on public property?
If I have a waiver from you for your own risk and liability it is ironclad.

I am teaching you to ride a bicycle for a fee,money,cashola. Can you sue if you are hurt? is the place we are doing this culpable? Are the administrators of this location at risk ?Do I need to ask permission for my profit making scheme?

We as Ushpa have built or own cage that limits the sport and forces us to ask for permission and carry insurance.

let the profit making businesses find there own sites and cover there own liability.....Many have.

FREE UP FREE-FLIGHT !!!! :thumbsup:
User avatar
By magentabluesky
#402762
ChattaroyMan wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:47 pm
On Tandem flights ..... The more tandem flights that are done the better IMHO.
I completely disagree with your humble opinion.

The heart and core of Part 103 flying is a single occupant pilot who assumes the risk and accepts the responsibility. This is defined by the FAA.

Based on the simple premise of Part 103 the benefits are very few regulations, no pilot licensing, no aerial vehicle certification or mandatory inspections, etc, etc. The pilot is responsible for his/her own safety.

Operating under those simple terms, liability risk is very low.

Under tandem operations and instruction, you start involving relationships where one person is deferring responsibility and risk to the more experienced. Additionally where money (compensation) is exchanged for aeronautical expertise there is an expectation of standard s to be maintained. Liability is increased exponentially.

Further, tandem flying is by exemption to the regulations (Part 103). Under the USHPA tandem exemption there is absolutely no legal language providing an exemption for compensation or fore hire operations, even for instruction. The FAA’s AC107 clearly states that if there is compensation for flying, it is not legal under Part 103. Advertising for flying services is also illegal, period.

The benefits the tandem proponents are going to bestow on the hang gliding community is more regulation by the FAA. We already see this in stricter regulations in towing, both in pilot licensing and aircraft certification and inspections. Why? Because the FAA understands there is a shared risk and responsibility in towing operations and also allows for compensation.
FAA wrote:Because pilot qualifications are not controlled or monitored, the single-occupant requirement is a necessary component in the continuation of the policies which allow the operation of ultralight vehicles free from many of the restrictions imposed on aircraft. Persons wishing to operate two place vehicles have the availability of existing provisions of the FAR's for conducting such operations. Preamble to Part 103
The net result will be further regulation by the FAA. You only have to look at the Ultralight Power community to see the action by the FAA. The FAA does not issue tandem exemptions to powered ultralights any longer. Tandem powered ultralights operate under Sport Pilot rules. Do you want Sport Pilot rules for Hang Gliders? Like a maximum ceiling of 10,000 feet. Great!

Wake . . . . . . . . up!

You are putting Part 103 at risk.
User avatar
By ChattaroyMan
#402763
When I mention tandem flying I'm considering that it is done for purposes of instruction - legally. The more people who avail themselves of legal instructional flights the better.
User avatar
By magentabluesky
#402764
ChattaroyMan,
ChattaroyMan wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:38 pm
. . . for purposes of instruction - legally.

Tandem Instruction


Are you going to define that, because under Part 103 licenses and instruction are not required.

To fly tandem requires an exemption to Part 103 for instruction, sport, or recreation. To fly under the rules of Part 103, the flight cannot accomplish some task, cannot be equipped with attachments or modifications for the accomplishment of some task, the pilot cannot receive any form of compensation for services to perform any task, and cannot advertise for services using an ultralight. Unless, of course, you have an exemption.

I have yet to see any document or interpretation from the FAA that allows compensation for flying under Part 103 including being compensated for giving instruction under Part 103 (including an exemption). If you believe the FAA allows compensation for flight instruction show me the document or legal basis. All the documents from the FAA I have read say no compensation.

So are we to conclude, you do not advertise and you do not receive any compensation for these tandem flights or do you have an exemption of authorization from the FAA?

What is the true value of Tandem Instruction?

Let me start with the positive: Tandem Instruction is beneficial in demonstrating stalls, turns, approach patterns and landing points, position relative to the tug in aerotowing, teaching tandem pilots how to fly tandem, and that is about it.

The negative Tandem training is the big one: Foot launched takeoff and landings.

First, the Tandem Hang Glider control bar is so gigantic to accommodate two people the pilot needs an arm span of a NBA basketball player to have any flare authority on landing and to hold the down tubes on takeoff. Next, trying to land or takeoff with another person next to you (or behind you) is so different from solo flight, the poor student has to dump all the muscle memory of the tandem training to solo. This is negative training.

So to solve these issues most tandem training is done with a glider with landing gear. Great for teaching beginning students to land on gear, and then the rest of their flying experience they cannot figure out why they cannot land on their own two feet. Great Training!

That’s ok if all your flying is going to be done at a sea level Florida Flight Park under aerowtowing, launching off a cart and landing on your wheels, or your goal is to be a tandem pilot. Sounds a lot like sailplane operations. Sailplane operations are a whole lot safer with a rudder on tow. So do you teach lockouts with your tandem flights?

So you get your H4 at the Florida Flight Park, sign up for the Dinosaur U.S. Nationals and your feelings get crushed when you cannot stick your landings in the high density altitude. Oh God, the ground is moving so fast underneath me. What is going on? Where are my wheels? Where is my instructor?

If you what namby-pamby tied to your mother’s apron strings pilots, Tandem is for you.
User avatar
By SlopeSkimmer
#402767
DAVE 858 wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:50 pm
The bucket listers & those trying to make a living off of them should be sent to fend for themselves. Why do I have to support that risk with my dues?
Dave gets it!

My commercial liability insurance policy is actually cheaper than that of the USHPA/RRRG. Big Air Hang Gliding also has it's own tandem exemption. This makes our school totally independent of the USHPA. I am here to help if anyone wants to get their own FAA exemption and liability insurance.
User avatar
By TjW
#402775
SlopeSkimmer wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:28 pm
DAVE 858 wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:50 pm
The bucket listers & those trying to make a living off of them should be sent to fend for themselves. Why do I have to support that risk with my dues?
Dave gets it!

My commercial liability insurance policy is actually cheaper than that of the USHPA/RRRG. Big Air Hang Gliding also has it's own tandem exemption. This makes our school totally independent of the USHPA. I am here to help if anyone wants to get their own FAA exemption and liability insurance.
So once your students stop giving money to your completely-independent-of-the-USHPA school, what do they have?
When one of your former students shows up at a site wanting to fly, what do the people running the site have?
I lived through 1974 once. There were spots I enjoyed, but I suspect that had to do with being 17.
I'm not directly involved with paragliders, but I have not been impressed with the process output of the Torrey completely-independent-of-the-USHPA-training that show up at Crestline.

That's not you, of course. But it gets back to the same problem we had in 1974, which was random people showing up with equipment to fly, and the desire to fly, and the locals preferring that these guys not fly rather than get killed and screw things up for everybody else. Eventually, someone did die stupidly, as I'm sure you'll agree was their legal right, and San Bernardino City passed an ordinance making hang gliding unlawful in the City of San Bernardino. A few years later, Kenny Westfall was forced down by the police helicopter even though he hadn't launched in the City of San Bernardino, and fined, I suppose, just to make the point.

Philosophically, I'll agree everyone should be free to go to hell in their own way. Legally you don't need any paper at all to fly under Part 103. Elsinore works that way. There's a fence around the latest traditional LZ right now, but SFAIK, they're not arresting people for landing there, it's mostly to prevent homeless encampments. So getting over the fence and parking is a little more hassle, but it's still free. And there are other LZs available. For now. You can drive out to Garlock, or Ave S in Palmdale, and fly. Or tow off any of multiple dry lakes.

Mostly, I fly Crestline. I read a lot of crap about how "Oh, that's PUBLIC LAND, so I should be able to do whatever the f--- I want there." I disagree. The access we have to that property is the result of work a lot of people (most of whom weren't me) did. Some of that was physical work, some of that was political work. USHPA -- just by existing -- helped with the political side. I don't necessarily agree with the current policies, but I'm not conceited enough to go around saying "they're useless."
People think of Marshall as an "unimproved" site, which is bullshit. Until the CSS, working with the Forest Service, put in the railroad tie fence on 2N40, Marshall was closed during fire season. Now it's not. All the days where it's down at Crestline, but up at Marshall? Good days, with high ceilings? Didn't fly then, because it was usually fire season. I call that an improvement.

The club gets along fine with the Forest Service. I don't think we're in any danger of losing the site. But the club does its best to discourage low time pilots from launching/landing when it's nuking. Philosophically, that's interfering with their God-given right to be idiots. Practically, I think it's good policy. Personally, I do what I can to get low-time pilots to the top of Marshall or Crestline when it's suitable conditions, so they won't be low-time so long.
User avatar
By magentabluesky
#402776
Looking at the bigger picture and the future of Part 103, the FAA has in the past stated they were pleased with the USHGA (now USHPA) and their training and rating programs. That is what likely saved Hang Gliding from being included in the Sport Pilot Rules. As USHPA position weakens in training and issuing ratings it is more likely the FAA will step in with new rules.

The FAA wrote:The NPRM did not address, nor does the final rule address, the use of hangliders, paragliders and powered paragliders in tandem operations and training. There is a need to address these issues, but the FAA did not examine questions in this area for this rule. Rather than delay this rule to include these issues, the FAA intends to initiate a separate rulemaking action. Until that can be completed, the FAA intends to maintain the status quo for these operations by continuing or reissuing training exemptions as necessary. Sport Pilot NPRM July 27, 2004

The FAA’s stated position is that exemptions are temporary measures and should be addressed in the long term with regulation changes. It is the rare exception that the Tandem Exemptions have been renewed for as long as they have. With more and more independents applying and receiving Tandem Exemptions there will be more motivation for the FAA to require Pilot Licensing for Tandem and Towing operations which will likely come under Sport Pilot Rules. Have you looked at the Sport Pilot Rules?

All I can say is: leave Part 103 alone for those of us who operate to the letter of Part 103.

Save Part 103 . . . The Real Crusade to Save Free Flight.

Michael Grisham
By Thunderchicken
#402778
Underdog, "let the profit making businesses find there own sites and cover there own liability.....Many have."
How about this....instead of the USHPA hogging the sites and driving out the MOST visible ambassadors of the sport, the tandem pilots, why don't you let them self incorporate, self insure and work WITH them? I get not wanting the legal liability of tandem instruction. But I don't get saying "All Mine!" The newspapers and tourist guides, television shows, etc. cover tandem flights, not the free flight forever guys. Ushpa is saying on one hand, "we're the only valid training and rating system in the US" and on the other that "we don't have your back to make a living in this sport." Why aren't you guys working WITH tandem pilots to open sites? USHPA is committing suicide over the petty squabbling. How many of the guys you spent 55 hours on this month alone were suspended for violating "rules" and not actually endangering the flying and non flying public. The reason so many pilots who still fly quit paying dues is the sheer bureaucracy of the club!

And one more thing. Look at the Club Facebook posts of MANY USHPA club officers--the vitriol and near lunacy is palpable. I see them calling non members idiots, flat out lying to the public about whether or not membership IS required to fly at certain sites. And when they get called out on it, they explode. Face it--many USHPA chapters are HORRIBLE ambasadors for the sport. Self entitled asses who think because THEY did all that work 10-15-20-30 years ago, they get to call all the shots. Well....how's that working out? I'll tell you. Lowest membership levels since the 90's. Remember 30 years ago when everyone was WELCOMED at the LZ and then brought into the club by camadery? Everybody drove a beat up Toyota pickup and nobody cared how much you made or spent? Now so many are focused on themselves.

I mean no disrespect. I'm serious about that. But I can't seeing fixing this by doing the same thing clubs have done for the past 20 years. My Model clubs are facing the same crisis. Kid shows up at the field, with shiney eyes. "Hey mister, how much for that airplane?" He gets a gruff "3000 dollars" as a reply. And the time crunched pilot turns to get his very precious hour of flight in. And the kid walks away. When I was 12, I walked into a hobby shop and asked the same question. And I got the high dollar answer. But I also got "Hey though, what are you doing Saturday? We've got a club meet. I'll bring my trainer and let you fly. If you like it you can build one for $150. And I did. The guy who invited ME into hang gliding didn't do it for profit. He gave me his time freely. How many of YOU guys are gonna take the time to train a new pilot--not just mentor, but TRAIN? Wanna grow your club? Buy a condor or alpha and offer free training to boys and girls clubs, scout groups. How about going to the military recruiter in your area and offer training to their DEP (delayed entry program, often used to keep at risk kids off the streets till they can join)?

Or....toss the PG in the back of the Beamer and walk right past those kids with the gee whiz look. UnStrap the latest whiz wing from the top of the Escalade and walk right by those tourists at the beach, because you only have an hour to fly. And scratch your head about declining membership.

Note. This missive is NOT a personal attack. The "You's" I'm using aren't aimed at underdog. I think he's genuinely trying to fix the issues. The you's are aimed at the sanctimonious who can't wrap their heads around that doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results....
User avatar
By ChattaroyMan
#402784
Thunderchicken wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:55 pm
......And one more thing. Look at the Club Facebook posts of MANY USHPA club officers--the vitriol and near lunacy is palpable. I see them calling non members idiots, flat out lying to the public about whether or not membership IS required to fly at certain sites. And when they get called out on it, they explode. Face it--many USHPA chapters are HORRIBLE ambasadors for the sport. Self entitled asses who think because THEY did all that work 10-15-20-30 years ago, they get to call all the shots. Well....how's that working out? I'll tell you. Lowest membership levels since the 90's. Remember 30 years ago when everyone was WELCOMED at the LZ and then brought into the club by camadery? Everybody drove a beat up Toyota pickup and nobody cared how much you made or spent? Now so many are focused on themselves.

I mean no disrespect. I'm serious about that. ......
You use interesting language when you mean no disrespect. You make some good points but it is hard to listen to you.
By Thunderchicken
#402789
ChattaroyMan,
Yep, I meant no disrespect. I didn't call out a single member by name. I wanted to hold a spotlight for some and a mirror for others--maybe even myself. I want EVERYBODY to look at that and see if they see themselves or club members acting that way, then call them out on it. I build and fly airplanes, both models and full scale. In the early days, some of the forums and Facebook groups were marked by the kind of stuff you see in HG circles. But every single one that survived evolved into polite discourse, or they faded away. USHPA is fading--that is true and unfortunate. They do some GOOD THINGS.

So what can we do? The first posters topic subject here is valid. The sport is strangling itself from within. It's going to take some cooperation, politeness and compromises to get anywhere. Constructive criticism is appreciated, and I note the irony of the juxtaposition of what I said and what is did. I had hoped that the discussion of who the "You's" were at the bottom of my post would soften the impact.

Here to more civil discourse! And thanks for the reply.
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By ChattaroyMan
#402790
Yes, civil discourse is key. As for the decline of hang gliding I feel more can be done to reverse that trend locally as opposed to nationally. We formed a USHPA Chapter in Spokane to best promote free flight - both hangs & paras. A Chapter does not have to consist of only USHPA members. We encourage USHPA membership but certainly do not brow beat anyone to join. Our distinct first priority is to get out and fly. I get out and fly with para pals as much as I do hang pals. I’m learning to fly paras now too and at least one of or para pilots is learning to fly hangs this year. There are 5-6 of us that fly both. Our 2nd priority is to keep sites open - to all pilots, USHPA or not. When we insured Inkler’s it was done to help make sure the site stayed open (help protect landowners). Joining USHPA to fly it, IMHO, yields more benefits to the pilot overall as there are other USHPA insured sites in Washington (our sites are in E WA & N ID). I frankly see no downside in being a USHPA member - only benefits. $150 isn’t cheap but it’s less than our Canadian pals to the N pay.
Over time USHPA has changed and will change more going forward. I hope any and all future changes atttact more free flight pilots to join. A stronger and more fitting USHPA is beneficial to all*.
*All - I don’t know what to say to pilots who just plain don’t want any part of USHPA. Some of them could, constructively and in a civil manner, help make USHPA better from within.
User avatar
By DMarley
#402792
Some have questioned the validity of tandem HG flights as a means of introduction and instruction. Also, encouraging experienced pilots to help and shape newbie pilots.

Thank God I had/have a bunch of good mentors and flying friends that have taken plenty of time from their schedules to ensure that I was good to go.

One such mentor (Tommy Thompson) spent a day and a half with me, twice traveling more than an hour and back to help cut down briars and trim up an old, long un-used training hill, then observing my flight from the 100' hill to ensure I was good for his (our) club's mountain site. Many other pilots have and continue to freely provide excellent advice on and off launch, just before launching, and after landing.

All this after getting good instruction, including four tandem aerotows at LMFP.

But to cap all this off, what got me into this sport of HG?!?? Two tandem aerotows in Lenoir, NC four years ago. Of course, plenty of youtube viewing before hand, but Craig Pearson of Thermal Valley gave me my first real exposure to free-flight. Those two, back-to-back flights ignited the smoldering kindling into an unstoppable fire. Please don't tell us that tandem flights don't seal the deal. They do. Don't tell us that tandem flights have no real instructional purpose. My strong opinion as an H2, those four tandem aerotow flights at LMFP accelerated my flying skills substantially so, so that my first solo mountain cliff launch, flight, boxing, DBF, and landing at LMFP were all near perfect, especially final and landing. The prior tandem flight experience gave me the confidence to know that I could complete the solo flight safely. The training hills were obviously of great help as well, but having an instructor guiding a new pilot while flying together is absolutely priceless.

Is tandem flying absolutely essential for an H1? Perhaps not, but in my opinion it can help prevent a lot of anxiety and provide instantaneous feedback and positive learning for new pilots.

TT is also threatening me that he is going to take me on a few thermal hunting flights before we go XC, showing me the ropes in the air, following one another. I can't wait!

Another new, experienced pilot friend spent a good two hours with me, helping with good launch, and waiting around for my landing after a good soaring flight at a new-to-me site recently, even though he was planning on driving some distance to see his girlfriend that evening.

There ARE plenty of excellent, dedicated pilots eager to help fledglings out there. At least here in NC and VA. All the student needs to do is to show dedication to studying and a yearning for learning.

-doug
By Toesstub43
#402794
Tandem flights are awesome for training. I got a H2 through a combination of training hill flights and 3 tandem flights. One thing that tandem does is teach approach patterns. I was taught DBF approaches starting on my first flight. On my subsequent first high solos, I already had the visual angles in my memory and had perfect approach patterns, even though wind directions were different. I've always thought that safe approaches are a critical part of training, but maybe the most difficult to teach.
By Lazypilot
#402796
I did instructing before tandem became a viable teaching aid, pioneered at least in part by Rob McKenzie. I was on of his victims when he needed a practice passenger. In those days a pilot's first high flight was a solo flight, albeit with radio. You just had to hope and pray that they had learned well enough on the training hill to execute a safe approach from up high, where the seemingly slow pace would sometimes have the student pulling way in. It was important to really hammer in the whole groundspeed versus airspeed thing. People just can't help relating to groundspeed on those low training hill flights.

I well remember how anxiety stricken I would be at a student's first high flight. Logistics usually required the student graduate from a two or three hundred foot hill all the way up to a thirty-five hundred foot mountain. It seemed that you could never tell for sure how the student would do, even with a redundant radio system. Sometimes the surprize would be a half-assed student pulling off a perfect approach, or the star pupil blowing it so bad you just wanted to cry.

Tandem changed all that. Oh sure there's an occasional blunder but for the greater part the safety of instruction was advanced light-years by tandem instructing.

I personally don't like tandem flying, but I volunteer to help my friends get their rating by riding along. It's a lot of fun trying to think up new ways to trip them up, you know, take a step and a half then just lie down on launch, make 'em understand just what the heck they're getting into. And while behind the pilot on final decide that it's time to flare. That gets 'em every time. :ahh:
User avatar
By DMarley
#402802
Lazypilot wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:17 pm
It's a lot of fun trying to think up new ways to trip them up, you know, take a step and a half then just lie down on launch, make 'em understand just what the heck they're getting into. And while behind the pilot on final decide that it's time to flare. That gets 'em every time. :ahh:
LOL. I'm sure you're joking. You are joking. Right?! lol.
User avatar
By AlaskanNewb
#402804
FAR 103 is amazing. The privileges we get in the USA operating under part 103 are astounding.
I think we all need to tread lightly here, losing part 103 would be awful.

Also an unrelated FYI,
If you want to fly tandems for free just to fly a wife or something then just register your glider as an Experimental LSA and be done with it. Operate under Sport or Private Pilot.

Something I think is interesting...my PPL requires a check ride every other year but never expires.
If I stop paying org and I am dropped from h4 to h0 seems kinda greasy. I fly a whole lot, coming up on my 2000th landing soon in HG's but if i dont pay that bill...all skills lost.
By Thunderchicken
#402805
AlaskanNewb, the FAA is actually increasing the number of tandem exemption in several FSDOs. I can understand why they cut out two seater training exemption for ultralights--"fat ultralights" as we used to call them were rapidly becoming 2 place cross country machines. These were a far cry from the 254 lb limit. Maybe if they hadn't strayed far from the two place Quick, the exemption could have stayed. But Hang gliding two place exemptions make sense, from safety and performance. They weigh WELL under the 154 lb weight limit for unpowered aircraft, and their performance doesn't exceed that of their single place brothers. That wasn't the case for ultralights. But I concede that it could be a solution. But the steps to build a two place glider as an SLSA so that it could be used for profit would be onerous for the manufacturers. And expensive for the consumers Has the FAA actually made any indications that they are displeased with the exemptions?

And yeah, the punitive aspects of member management by the USHPA is a little disconcerting. I've heard more than one pilot say that they have dropped their membership over this. What you say, USHPA? You have to have heard the complaints. What is the justification for not just putting the membership on hold?
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