.

.

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

Moderators: sg, mods

User avatar
By WhackityWhack
#405490
Has anyone here ever petitioned a landowner to launch / land on their property? How was your experience with it ? I am trying to line up a new HG launch near me but haven't yet approached the owners of either the Launch or LZ.Any suggestions on how to proceed?
User avatar
By Paul H
#405491
Approach them very politely and explain what it is you would like to do on their property. Find out what concerns they have about it. Educate yourself about the recreational use laws that cover them against liability so you can ensure they are aware of that and be able to answer questions they might have. Only bring up the subject of insurance coverage if necessary. The subject of liabilty coverage can sometimes have a negative affect by giving them the idea that it might be too risky to allow you use of their property. It's better to explain how we operate legally in accordance with the FAR's and how the USHPA ratings work as an indication of training and experience. The better informed they are, the better they will be able to make the decision that will benefit you.
User avatar
By miraclepieco
#405494
I've opened many new sites. In the 1980s landowners were almost universally receptive. Nowadays the answer is almost always NO.

From my experience the strategy that has worked best is to just fly the site and ask permission afterwards. Landowners typically are so impressed and enthused that they are much more amenable. This works great when the takeoff is public land (BLM, USFS, etc) but obviously won't work if the launch is private and you'd have to trespass to reach it.

My suggestion: find out if the owner is a registered Republican. If so, approach them wearing a "Trump 2020" shirt. If they're Democrat wear a "F*** Trump" shirt. In today's climate, political ideology overrides EVERYTHING.
User avatar
By bigbird
#405496
I've pioneered several sites in my time, including Hat Creek Rim. But, that was in the 70s - a different time for sure.
I'd suggest that you NOT approach the landowners about 'opening' the site to flying. Rather, approach them in person about how cool it would be if you (as a local to the area) could take a flight off their property (and have all the reasons you find their location so appealing ready to share with them). I'd also get a feel for which property owner might be more open to the idea, and ask them first. If they're open to it, this might help the other landowner make the same decision.
Find out what you can about the landowners. You're basically looking for common ground that you might be able to build on. Also, if the site looks appealing to you, then it's looked appealing to other pilots too. So, there's a chance the landowners may have already been approached about flying there - it would be good to know this ahead of time.
Be prepared to be turned down at first, but continue getting to know your neighbor (s). Share contact info with them. That 'no' may eventually turn to a yes if they feel you're a good person and neighbor.
WhackityWhack wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:11 pm
Has anyone here ever petitioned a landowner to launch / land on their property? How was your experience with it ? I am trying to line up a new HG launch near me but haven't yet approached the owners of either the Launch or LZ.Any suggestions on how to proceed?
By USHPA7
#405497
My suggestion:

If you can find a mutual friend of yourself and the land owner then talk to the friend first about what you want to ask the owner.

My successful experience with this approach did not involve hang gliding but could have been just as sensitive (maybe more sensitive).

A remote B&B in Southern Utah had an invasive non-native tree growing on the property. It was supplying seed for the area which was causing seedlings to spread out on surrounding land. I wanted to ask the owner if I could cut down this tree on their property. How about that for a scary thing to do?

I called a friend of mine who I thought might know the owner and asked him how I should approach this. He said they knew each other very well and I should start my introduction to the property owner by mentioning him (our mutual friend).

I did that and got a warm reception. The property owner said it had been a while since he had seen our friend and asked me how he was doing, so I filled him in with whatever news I had about our friend's recent activities and health. Then I told him that I had a request of him, that our friend thought was a good idea.

Results: The invasive tree is gone along with any seedlings that it had fathered. I'm on friendly visiting relations with the owner and all is well. I think this approach can also work for acquiring hang gliding permissions. Of course it depends on having a mutual friend who agrees with hang gliding activities.

Wishing very good luck to all who try this, :thumbsup:
Frank Colver
By CloudDiver
#405510
I'm new to the sport, but I'm not new to negotiations so I'm just going to share some general tips that typically help in any situation where you are asking for something;

BTW, some great recommendations above from others pilots and those who have already opened new sites.

1. Always make it a win for the Land Owner, you need to try to offer them something in return (within reason). I am assuming your local USHPA chapter will sponsor this site if all works out, so you have a group of organized people who can contribute to site maintenance. Can you do some landscape work on the site that will benefit or save time/cost to the owner? There are probably tons of things I could guess at, but essentially the best thing to do is ask "what can we do for you?". Side note, something as simple as offering aerial photog/video is enough of a reward for some people.

2. It was mentioned above that you should ask to fly the site first by yourself (or just 2 or 3 pilots), yes do this. In negotiations this is a 'soft offer', kind of like an entry level toe in the water. This can soften the blow of later asking to open the site for use by potentially dozens of pilots. Beyond liability issues (can of worms), I'm fairly sure most Land Owners first concern will be impact on their property. Dozens of vehicles, parking, erosion, trash, noise etc. may be running through their minds. Just a couple of pilots flying from a single vehicle parked at the LZ will have the least impact while giving the LZ land owner the chance to watch and get that 'Wow" factor (also mentioned above). Then later when you go to ask about LZ and/or Launch use to be opened to the local chapter members it will be an easier concept to fathom with less fear of possible unknowns.

3. Some land owners may have significant social standing in the community already, or want to enhance their current position. Opening an LZ to free flight is akin to sponsoring a non-profit organization, and of course free flight is a low impact and sustainable sport... so you can talk up all the social benefit positives and offer to include them in the local USHPA chapter membership; the social aspect alone could be very appealing while the 'giving' on the part of the landowner could help them in their bid for local/state office for example.

4. If you have qualified Instructor/Tandem pilots in your chapter, take them FLYING!

Cheers,
Luke in S.D.
User avatar
By lizzard
#405511
I would always approach the owner and explain that i would be trespassing and not hold them responsible ...with a wink .

that usually is enough untill a buch of wuffos arrive with rubbish and booze...then its really f**k off .
and a locked gate .

a power unit solves these issues ..but again respect for privacy and peace.
User avatar
By magicpotato
#405512
Take the advice of Frank, Paul, miracle, and bigbird, all excellent bits of advice. Don't get USHPA involved, though. Bringing in insurance will kill the site for sure. There are liability laws on the books in some states that will protect land owners from pretty much everything that happenes to you so long as they don't charge you for the use of their land. Here's the issue with insurance: pilot gets injured, insurance pays out, insurance looks at the property owner for a reason why the pilot got hurt, insurance sues or charges the land owner for the pilot's medical bills for neglect (or some other stupid law that the lawyers can get them for). Think that's insane? It is, and this has happened at private airports before.

Responding to Cloud drivers advice, don't soft sell it. A half truth is worse than a lie. If you want to fly it, then ask to fly it. If you want your local club to fly it, then ask if they can fly it after he watches you, or an experience local pilot, do it safely a few times. Just be honest. Try not to bring insurance into the mix, and don't get organizations involved, especially non-profits. That's more liability on the landowner.
User avatar
By Paul H
#405514
Every state has laws in effect that deal with recreational land use liability. They basically state that if you allow someone to use your land for recreational purposes without you taking compensation for it, you aren't liable for them if they injure themselves. In some states hang gliding is actually mentioned as one of the examples of the types of activities considered to be recreation.
User avatar
By TjW
#405515
Paul H wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:57 am
Every state has laws in effect that deal with recreational land use liability. They basically state that if you allow someone to use your land for recreational purposes without you taking compensation for it, you aren't liable for them if they injure themselves. In some states hang gliding is actually mentioned as one of the examples of the types of activities considered to be recreation.
True. But it doesn't actually prevent a suit being filed. If a suit is filed, you must defend it, or they get a default judgement in their favor. So whether the person filing the suit wins or not, you still have to pay for a legal defense.

It certainly is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, but it's not a cure all.
User avatar
By Paul H
#405517
TjW wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:15 pm
Paul H wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:57 am
Every state has laws in effect that deal with recreational land use liability. They basically state that if you allow someone to use your land for recreational purposes without you taking compensation for it, you aren't liable for them if they injure themselves. In some states hang gliding is actually mentioned as one of the examples of the types of activities considered to be recreation.
True. But it doesn't actually prevent a suit being filed. If a suit is filed, you must defend it, or they get a default judgement in their favor. So whether the person filing the suit wins or not, you still have to pay for a legal defense.

It certainly is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, but it's not a cure all.
And that's where insurance can help out, as a final step towards gaining access to a new site. Those rabid anti-USHPA, anti-insurance individuals who are always trotting out the rec use laws as the cure-all for site access don't seem to understand that. Even if someone is finally vindicated in court, fighting a lawsuit can be extremely expensive.
An organized, methodical approach is the way to go. A single person or a very small group of people that represent the local flying community is the best approach. Repeatedly being approached by numerous individuals can feel like nagging or harassment and could make the land owner feel like just saying no would be the easiest way to deal with it. First of all, always be polite. Do NOT exhibit the attitude that you are somehow entitled to access to someone elses land. I've seen that before and it doesn't work out well. It's their land, they don't have to let anyone else use it. Don't try to BS the owner, just be honest and be ready to answer any questions they might have.
User avatar
By DMarley
#405523
magicpotato wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:33 pm
... Don't get USHPA involved, though. Bringing in insurance will kill the site for sure. There are liability laws on the books in some states that will protect land owners from pretty much everything that happenes to you so long as they don't charge you for the use of their land. Here's the issue with insurance: pilot gets injured, insurance pays out, insurance looks at the property owner for a reason why the pilot got hurt, insurance sues or charges the land owner for the pilot's medical bills for neglect (or some other stupid law that the lawyers can get them for). Think that's insane? It is, and this has happened at private airports before. ...
What?! :crazy:

The whole premise behind the RRRG is to insure and protect land owners and their properties against property damage and lawsuits derived from hang gliding. It is not insurance for the pilots directly. The idea is to protect the land owner(s) so that hang gliding can continue at the site.
The USHPA provides this insurance as a means of assuring property owners that we pilots are responsible and can be trusted. If the owner(s) don't require the assurances of our insurance and legal backing, then so much the better. The RRRG and USHPA are the substantial tools we can use to help convince a reluctant property owner to allow us the use of his/her lands.
By blindrodie
#405524
Yes but in many cases, not upfront! Use the USHPA and the RRRG as a backup or enhancement.

8)
User avatar
By Underdog
#405525
So why the @#%& are we pushing insurance for public land use for free flight ?.... Because a few want to profit on that public land and spread the liability cost to all pilots..Killing and risking future access .....FUKD


Those who profit must take all the liability and leave FREE FLIGHT PILOTS to enjoy flying public land without all the BS
User avatar
By Paul H
#405527
Underdog wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:11 pm
So why the @#%& are we pushing insurance for public land use for free flight ?.... Because a few want to profit on that public land and spread the liability cost to all pilots..Killing and risking future access .....FUKD


Those who profit must take all the liability and leave FREE FLIGHT PILOTS to enjoy flying public land without all the BS
Don't get your panties into a wad. The question was asked about gaining access from a landowner. Sounds like PRIVATE land, not public. Nobody is pushing insurance for public land use. It's always been a tool to be used when necessary, not as the first thing brought up.
It would be nice if there were no worries for anyone about being sued by idiots and their families, but we have a problem in the US with too many people not wanting to take responsibility for themselves and then things end up in court. Having liability insurance never looses a site, but pilots acting irresponsibly do.
User avatar
By Paul H
#405530
Yes, one of our local sites is on private land. Access to the Palomino flying site was closed earlier this year and we have been working on reopening it.
User avatar
By magicpotato
#405536
This is true, DMarley, the RRG is different than insurance like Castello or AOPA (coming from the sailplanes world) and it does fix a lot of the issues we had with our previous insurance. Guess I still have a bad taste from our old insurance. But, I still think that larger insurance companies apart from the RRG can bite you in the rear if a pilot gets hurt since they will try to find who was at fault, and it's easy to go after property owners. So yes, USHPA could be a benefit at the site.
By cheesehead
#405541
I have a lot of experience flying unregulated sites, a few on BLM or NFS land, most on private property. Officials or landowners rarely witnessed us flying; they rarely spent any time doing anything on the land. We stayed very low key. Authorities and landowners were cool when we did see them. They had no problem with us but made it clear that for the record we did NOT have permission--if we got hurt, they would state that we had been trespassing and they would never allow such activity. With this understanding, sites stayed open for many years; new construction on our launches and in the LZs were the death knell for the sites.
User avatar
By bigbird
#405542
Perhaps the simplest way of looking at this is to put yourself in the landowners place. What would persuade you to open your property up for use? Understanding this might help you understand them.
As you've seen from the many helpful tips and responses here, there are no absolutes when it comes to securing access to someone else's land (unless you buy the land ;)...

Good luck.
WhackityWhack wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:11 pm
Has anyone here ever petitioned a landowner to launch / land on their property? How was your experience with it ? I am trying to line up a new HG launch near me but haven't yet approached the owners of either the Launch or LZ.Any suggestions on how to proceed?

Thanks I really enjoyed the flight, beautiful cou[…]

Launching Hang-2s at Dunlap

Yeah we both generally do that, just because it's […]

You need to do something about your hangstrap and […]

Don't forget the hook-in check especially before c[…]