All things hang gliding. This is the main forum. New users, introduce yourself.

Moderators: sg, mods

User avatar
By LoganR
Just as a thought experiment, I'm curious if you can give me a specific reason why"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."

There are no requirements for free climbing, looking over the edge of a cliff, hiking or swimming or scuba diving on public land... each of which have far more deaths than flying.
User avatar
By magentabluesky
First, most managers in the National Park System have college credit in Biology, Physiology, and Physics. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out the outcome of two broom sticks and a bed sheet. They let us do what we do because we have shown them that we are responsible.

I would totally agree with you (LoganR) there seems to be a double standard on the requirements of the climbing community and the flying community. but . . .

The National Parks are tasked with providing an environment where everyone can enjoy the Park safely with as little impact on the environment. When the climbers do their environmental impact studies it is usually conducted very close to the base of the shear granite out of the presence and view of most visitors enjoying the park. The flyers environmental impact studies are broad reaching into the middle of the valley where other visitors may not what to participate in the flyer’s environmental impact study. I am sure just watching an environmental impact study can be traumatizing to an unsuspecting visitor let alone being an unwilling participant in the impact.

The NPS is allowing as much individual freedom in the use of the park without infringing on the enjoyment of park by the majority.
User avatar
By red

Environmental concerns?

I am no fan of the pitons left rusting in (and badly staining) the rock faces by climbers. Those stains will outlast everybody.

Free fliers don't do that. I can't speak for every pilot, but I leave nothing but footprints.
User avatar
By mtpilot
You would think a national org, U$HPA would be working to open access for us. Instead they want lots of money
to restrict access. I don't buy the whole phony insurance scam.
User avatar
By magentabluesky
Let Me Tell You How Awesome Part 103 Is ! ! !

Earlier in this thread TjW responded with:
TjW wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:40 am
Try flying your hang glider into SFO using that theory.
Well, I can tell you I have landed literally thousands of times at SFO in a wide variety of aircraft over the years but TjW is correct, I have not landed a Part 103 aerial vehicle at SFO.

There is a long long list of legal requirements to land those aircraft in SFO. It truly is astounding all of the legal hoops to jump through to land an aircraft at SFO.

But it got me thinking what the legal requirements would be to land a Part 103 Hang Glider at SFO. To “legally” land a Part 103 aerial vehicle at SFO, all you would need is permission. The likely hood of getting permission, I admit is slim to none, unless there was some special circumstance, but that has more to do with air traffic, safety, and respecting the rights of others to use the public domain’s airspace. But to land a Part 103 Hang Glider at SFO, you do not need a pilot license, medical, flight instruction, instructor sign offs, a certified aircraft, a/c maintenance inspections/records, tso’d radios, transponders, etc, etc. You do not need to be a member of any association or have insurance. You just need permission.

How Awesome is that!

With regard to Part 103:

To fly through the Class B airspace, all you need is permission.

It is the same for Class C and Class D airspace, all you need is permission.

Do you want to get really high? To fly in Class A airspace you do not need any specialized training, instructor sign off, there is no oxygen requirements, although I would highly recommend oxygen and know how to use it. To fly in Class A airspace, all you need is permission. To give you permission ATC will have to block off the airspace to other traffic. If they can accommodate you, they will. You just need permission.

If you have a long cross country going and you need to go through some restrictive airspace, if it is not hot, all you need is permission.

The FAA says under Part 103 you take the responsibility and assume the risk.

Try that with your Sport Pilot Rules.

WOW, How Awesome is Part 103.

Be responsible and don’t mess it up.
User avatar
By BubbleBoy
magentabluesky wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:12 pm
But to land a Part 103 Hang Glider at SFO, you do not need a pilot license, medical, flight instruction, instructor sign offs, a certified aircraft, a/c maintenance inspections/records, tso’d radios, transponders, etc, etc. You do not need to be a member of any association or have insurance. You just need permission.
Yep -- you just need permission. And sometimes you need some of those things to get permission.

User avatar
By magentabluesky

I think that is just for the 50 Passenger Hang Gliding Discovery Flights, those Part 103 Commercial Airline Operations. The ones Freeloading off Part 103 who can’t meet the Certification Standards of Part 135 and Part 121.

But that’s Ok, because our National Free Flight Association (NFFA) certified them and that is analogous to FAA Certification. Hey dude, like we’re good to go because we even self certified our random drug and alcohol testing too. We just have our instructors stand on one leg with their eyes closed and touch their nose with a finger and sing 100 bottles of beer on the wall. No worries, our random drug and alcohol testing in analogous to the FAA’s program only better. Our instructors are even licensed to fly hang gliders. Yo, you see it’s like this, the National Free Flight Association (NFFA) administers the Tandem Program under an approved exemption by the FAA so this Program is analogous to FAA licensing. Additionally, all our Freeloading Airline instructors have a FAA Private Pilot’s License. Don’t worry, our pilots have certification analogous to all those Commercial Airline Pilots only better because they’re our pilots and they fly hang gliders. You see, you’re not a real pilot unless you fly hang gliders. Those big airliners, the computer flies the plane. We’re the real pilots.

After your flight we will sell you some Flight Memorabilia, In-Flight Photos (of your flight) $40, In-Flight Video Raw Footage (of your flight) $60. We can sell you these additions services because we are self certified (and the FAA doesn’t watch us that close).

We even have insurance but we have you sign this wavier so if something bad happens you can’t sue us. If you do sue us it will get tied up in court for ever. Wow, like man, a real bummer.

Disclosure: the above is a satire and has no correlation of what is actually legal.

The following use to be (since revised) on a USHPA Board Member’s website advertising Hang Gliding Services:

Home Page:

With an eye on safe conservative flying, our professional staff of USHPA Certified Advanced Instructors will make your flying and learning adventure fun and exciting. No experience necessary, everyone is welcome, young, old and everyone in between.

We have flown over 3,500 Tandem Discovery Flights, with more than four decades of experience teaching hang gliding. Our USHPA & FAA licenses and certifications speak for themselves, along with National & International World Records. Is it any wonder we have an impeccable safety record.

Policies Page:

FAA Exemption 4721

All tandem (dual or two-place) flights are conducted under an Exemption granted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) whereby all tandem flights are for instructional purposes only.

Frequently Asked Questions

How safe is hang gliding?

Hang gliding, when done conservatively, is one of the safest forms of recreational aviation. ************ Hang Gliding has an excellent safety record and has a history of safe and conservative flying.

What is Tandem hang gliding?

Sometimes referred to as two-place or dual flying. Two people (a certified tandem instructor and a student pilot – that’s you fly side by side in a hang glider built for two.

Who will I fly with?

You will fly with a professional USHPA Certified Tandem Instructor/Advanced Instructor, who has a high level of experience and impeccable safety record.

Do Instructors need to be licensed to fly hang glider?

Yes The USHPA administers the Tandem Program. This Program is analogous to FAA licensing. Additionally, all ************** instructors have a FAA Private Pilot’s License.

Price List Page:

Flight Memorabilia

In-Flight Photos (of your flight) $40

In-Flight Video Raw Footage (of your flight) $60
50 Pass Hang Scare.JPG
50 Pass Hang Scare.JPG (27.89 KiB) Viewed 1781 times
User avatar
By LoganR
I would appreciate some other people voicing their concerns publicly regarding the illegal monopoly of our public land. Every time I speak with a public official in the National Park System, Department of Transportation, or a state specific whistleblower (fraud, waste and abuse) team; they tell me that they have never heard of this before. Since I am th only one they have heard from, I am not top priority (you know, compared to the literal fires in the parks). I guess if we just want to complain about USHPA this is a good forum, if we want to implement change it is not.
User avatar
By mtpilot
I am with you on this issue. It should be the goal of all hang glider pilots to make access easier. Instead of doing
this USHPA and it's lawyers have complicated things with layers of insurance and waivers. They have also built
ramps on public land under special use, just to collect fees. We and USHPA need better legal representation. California
is not a good model for the nation. Finally, since there is 0 disclosure it's impossible to understand the exact nature of the
User avatar
By mtpilot
Great, a lawyer dedicated to suing USHPA. The only solution I see is to separate hang gliding or is there a lawyer for suing
us also? This is way out of controll! Thanks for sharing info,
User avatar
By mgforbes
You *really* don't understand this legal stuff, do you? That lawyer is not dedicated to suing USHPA alone,
nor to suing over paragliding. This is how the US legal system works. There are lawyers who are paid on
"contingency", meaning they collect a share of the winnings. No payout, no fee. Thus, the billboard in

This lawyer, and thousands like him are trolling around looking for prospective clients, filing lawsuits,
and relying on the general tendency of most for-profit insurance companies to just pay off instead of
fighting it out in court. That's one of the root causes of our escalating insurance premiums in recent
years. Our former insurers were more interested in closing the books on a year's claims, than fighting
them out on principle.

The RRG isn't doing that. We don't have the time pressure of investors clamoring to get their money
back out of the insurance pool, so we can take the long view. If a legitimate claim arises, we want to
resolve it quickly and fairly without a long fight in court. If it's not a legitimate claim, then we're
willing to fight it out on principle, because we know we're setting a precedent that others will see.

In general, plaintiff's lawyers are aware that an RRG has different constraints and motivations than
a commercial insurer. This affects their willingness to take on a case, if they perceive it's going to be
difficult to litigate and unlikely to result in a payoff.

User avatar
By mtpilot
Mark, So what are you willing to disclose? Accidents, incidents, claims, lawsuits? Hard to get the record straight
without facts.
User avatar
By LoganR
Mark doesn't want to share facts, anyone that testifies against a USHPA member is kicked out of the club. That is why their percieved monopoly is so important; if all the "experts" are on your side and you control the "facts" you dont pay out no matter how many people you kill.
User avatar
By mtpilot
Sounds a bit harsh Logan. I do not enjoy USHPA bashing, but I believe it's way off track. We need an org that works for
HG pilots. If I had all the facts I could judge if USHPA can be salvaged as a dual sport or if HG needs to break free simply
from a liability issue. Obviously this issue will not come up with 60+ percent paragliding ( see magazine) we are forced to support.
I can disagree with Mark and still have respect, but I don't think USHPA will survive as a black op. Information or at least an
intelligent summary needs to be shared with members.
User avatar
By mtpilot
Logan, yes what you said was true but I couldn't see the gain or profit. My point is disclosure so more pilots can
understand what is really going on. We did not seem to have this mess as a HG org.
  • 1
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 17
Valle De Bravo Flight

It looks like you had some Good Flying. I hope th[…]

Hey Brosig, I hope you don't mind that I hijack[…]

I've applied to join the Facebook FLPHG group. I […]

Hang gliding is one thing, but paragliding is just[…]