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By Comet
#384445
This message from the Highland Airsports closing notification on Facebook:


Jim Reich Did the RRG and PASA regulations have anything to do with this decision? We are thinking of dropping our USHPA Instructor ratings due to the costs of the new program.
Like · Reply · 7 hrs


Since the 1990s USHPA policies have slowly killed hang gliding. The trend continues as more instructors are now considering opting out. The ASS. just blew $60,000 of your RRG funds to construct a new web site (superflous). How much more irresponsible damage can this now bloated bureaucracy do with their new $2 Million Dollar windfall? If you gave them money you are enabling them to perpetuate the death of hang gliding.
User avatar
By jimmygoat
#384453
I took up hang gliding in 2012 at the age of 54. I wish I had started 20 years ago. I broke my neck in 2013 during a Low and Slow scooter tow, dangerous. I just got back in the air 3 weeks ago, with one of the best instructors out there, George Hamilton, Sacramento Hang Gliding. I don't know if my accident was ever reported to USHPA. I did not sue even though I have a $34000 hospital bill I know hg is dangerous. I might have been able to . The instructor never cut the tow line when I was in trouble. He may have not known. At any rate I did not give $ to USHPA. Just waiting to see how Mavi and a couple of others respond to Comets post. I have not been in the sport long enough to really know what's going on. I was never contacted by USHPA.
User avatar
By jjcote
#384456
Did you by any chance report the accident yourself? Seems like you'd be the most qualified person to do so.
User avatar
By Darbbb
#384464
Comet wrote:This message from the Highland Airsports closing notification on Facebook:


Jim Reich Did the RRG and PASA regulations have anything to do with this decision? We are thinking of dropping our USHPA Instructor ratings due to the costs of the new program.
Like · Reply · 7 hrs


Since the 1990s USHPA policies have slowly killed hang gliding. The trend continues as more instructors are now considering opting out. The ASS. just blew $60,000 of your RRG funds to construct a new web site (superflous). How much more irresponsible damage can this now bloated bureaucracy do with their new $2 Million Dollar windfall? If you gave them money you are enabling them to perpetuate the death of hang gliding.
This was merely a question someone asked that went unanswered. To make more of it is ridiculous. The owners of Highland have already stated their reasons for having to shut their doors, which mostly involved 1. not being able to find a tug pilot in time for the new season and 2. a new owner of the airport where they operate who raised their rent and limited their hangar space. Please stop using this sad event to further your equally sad little agenda.
User avatar
By AIRTHUG
#384468
Comet (real name unknown). If you are a hang glider pilot, USHPA is *your* association. If the volunteers are doing as poor a job as you say they are... are you offering to help things go a better direction?

Seriously asking, not trying to be sarcastic.

Also- the new web site you see is not just lipstick on the pig. It had to happen in order for some very beneficial and efficiency increases to occur on the back end (as in the part you CAN'T see). That is still ongoing... but like I said, the cosmetically enhanced new web site you see is the tip of a greater iceberg.

If you are going to get involved in "politics" (in this case, being judgmental and speaking ill of USHPA)... you should ACTUALLY get involved enough to know what you're talking about. There are plenty of things to complain about... I've got my own list...

But quoting a question someone asked on a topic of a tow park closing because they have no tow pilot... and then making some uniformed remark about the new web site... why stir the pot if it's empty? At least find something juicy damnit! Or... find something positive to say, offer to help, suggest SOLUTIONS and offer to initiate them... in other words, please ADD to the hang gliding community... not detract from it by complaining how you think others are detracting from it. That don't help bud
User avatar
By Mavi Gogun
#384486
AIRTHUG wrote:... find something positive to say, offer to help, suggest SOLUTIONS and offer to initiate them... in other words, please ADD to the hang gliding community... not detract from it by complaining how you think others are detracting from it. That don't help bud
:ditto: :popcorn:
User avatar
By Mavi Gogun
#384487
jimmygoat wrote:The instructor never cut the tow line when I was in trouble. He may have not known.
An inexpert tow operator- of any sort -is a danger; that said, skilled scooter tow training can be one of the safest ways to capture solo air time, basic skills. I highly recommend securing such training from an instructor with a well established reputation- not just as an instructor or pilot, but for beginner training with a scooter specifically.

Leave instructors just getting acquainted with the process to experienced pilots. Ask the prospective instructor who they apprenticed under, for how long, how many pilots they've stewarded via scooter towing from beginner to novice- and then talk to some of those pilots. Ask them point blank about complications/accidents they've participated in- number and nature. Ask them about the throttle control they are using, line type, what method they have provided for cutting the line, and the advantages and liabilities of each. Ask them what time they start tow training; it the answer isn't "the crack of dawn", find out the rational for training later in the day. Talk to more than one person about the instructor you're considering.
User avatar
By brian scharp
#384491
Mavi Gogun wrote:
jimmygoat wrote:The instructor never cut the tow line when I was in trouble. He may have not known.
An inexpert tow operator- of any sort -is a danger; that said, skilled scooter tow training can be one of the safest ways to capture solo air time, basic skills. I highly recommend securing such training from an instructor with a well established reputation- not just as an instructor or pilot, but for beginner training with a scooter specifically.

Leave instructors just getting acquainted with the process to experienced pilots. Ask the prospective instructor who they apprenticed under, for how long, how many pilots they've stewarded via scooter towing from beginner to novice- and then talk to some of those pilots. Ask them point blank about complications/accidents they've participated in- number and nature. Ask them about the throttle control they are using, line type, what method they have provided for cutting the line, and the advantages and liabilities of each. Ask them what time they start tow training; it the answer isn't "the crack of dawn", find out the rational for training later in the day. Talk to more than one person about the instructor you're considering.
Should we even consider the pilot's ability to release themselves in an emergency?
User avatar
By Paul H
#384492
jimmygoat wrote:No, I did not.
Why not? And if you aren't sure if the instructor reported it, again, why not?
User avatar
By Paul H
#384493
brian scharp wrote: Should we even consider the pilot's ability to release themselves in an emergency?
Yes, we should, but we also have to keep in mind the fact that newbie pilots are much slower to react to unsual situations. It's all new for them and they haven't yet gained the experience necessary to make correct, quick responses when things begin to go sideways.
Remember how as a new pilot everything seemed to happened so quickly? It's because of the student having to consciously think through every action instead of automatically reacting. As the new skills are developed things seem to slow down as good habit patterns develop. During that formative time the towing instructor has to take on the additional responsibility of dealing with emergencies instead of waiting for the student to take action.
User avatar
By brian scharp
#384495
During that formative time the towing instructor has to take on the additional responsibility of dealing with emergencies instead of waiting for the student to take action.
I'm wondering if in jimmygoat's case he was waiting for the instructor to take action. Could better equipment have made a difference?
User avatar
By jimmygoat
#384498
My post was not meant to change topic from Comets' thread, but I will answer your questions. I did not report it partly because of embarrassment, and I didn't know I had to report it. What would the USHPA have done if I did? Maybe raise our rates? It was my first time scooter towing and it was way too slow and the operator cut the tow just as I was releasing the tow line. The glider did not respond to the direction I wanted to go, they say I pushed out. I made the mistake of turning away from the the pulley not realizing the tow line was still connected. I do not remember impact. My regular instructor, George Hamilton uses a kick ass tow system that gets you up away from the ground quickly and with speed, you can see it on youtube. I should have been patient and not scooter towed, but it was a lot closer for me. I just wasn't used to be towed so slow and low. Scooter towing might be ok for some but I was used to Georges' method. Definitely research the instructors technique and safety record.
Last edited by jimmygoat on Sun Mar 06, 2016 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By brian scharp
#384501
Definitely research the instructors technique and safety record.
Maybe we'll find your previous instructor's report of your incident.
User avatar
By jimmygoat
#384503
Hey Larry, did you report my accident?
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Last edited by jimmygoat on Sun Mar 06, 2016 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By jimmygoat
#384507
Back to Comets' topic. If USHPA did spend 60 grand for a website somebody made a hell of a lot of $. What did they do out source this? Years ago my brother in law set a website up for him and I and it didn't cost s---.
Last edited by jimmygoat on Sun Mar 06, 2016 11:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Lucky_Chevy
#384508
Jimmygoat,

I'm sorry you got hurt. I learned to fly via scooter tow. When operated correctly by a trained instructor scooter tow has a very good safety record. The instructor should be pulling the student 3-5' above the ground and modulating the throttle continuously. The idea is to set the student down at the first sign of trouble. Training for new students is conducted in the early morning and late afternoon when the air is stable. Hopefully that's the setup your instructor had.

If the scooter is too large or if too much power is applied the student can find themselves too high without the skill set to safely pilot the wing. There are a few scary videos like this on YouTube.

It is also possible for things to go wrong if the student makes an aggressive correction, hits turbulence, or if there is some type of equipment failure. Sometimes s--- happens.

Welcome back. May you have a long and safe flying career.
User avatar
By jimmygoat
#384509
Lucky, Thanks for your reply. The instructor might not have known I have towed to 800ft. with Sac. Hg. I can fly a glider at speed. George starts you off on the training hill with the condor then down sizes gliders as skills progress. Once he's confident you can control the wing he starts towing. I am addicted to flight. Felt good to fly again, I didn't know if I still wanted to fly, but my dream is to fly Hat Creek then someday fly my home Indian Valley. Thanks for the welcome back. Jim P.S. I know the Midwest has no hills per se and I can see where a scooter tow would be a good training aid.
User avatar
By mgforbes
#384510
jimmygoat wrote:Back to Comets' topic. If USHPA did spend 60 grand for a website somebody made a hell of a lot of $. What did they do out source this? Years ago my brother in law set a website up for him and I and it didn't cost s***.
I once built a go kart out of some wheels and scrap lumber. That shows there's no reason why cars should cost $25,000. See the analogy?

It's not just a website. What you see is a tiny little public-facing piece of a much larger and more complex system. The reason why we can run an association serving nearly 10,000 members with only four staff people is because things are so highly automated behind the scenes.

MGF

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