Oct 20 11:59 PM
I was just speaking of my general impressions and rumblings I have heard from others. That and the only time I did get an administrator to meet up I just ended up doing six solo tows and then three tandem launches off a training hill and he charged me 400.00. Basically teaching me almost nothing but happy to take my money. To me those actions really speak. I am actually really mad that I actually paid, but I was tired. This after telling me he would have time to work with me on tandem stuff when I came all the way down from Alaska. Nice guy and all but...no thanks... This makes the third time dealing with USHPA instructors that left me wondering why I payed money. The whole situation is really frustrating. You want to learn and follow the steps but then you see a USHPA instructor and end up leaving wondering "why the hell did I pay for that?".
From what I see it is way easier to get help you need from PG world. Hell I could go down to Anchorage and get what I need taken care of if I switch to PG. The PG world seems to be a lot more enthusiastic and actually want to go train to fly...but that is just an impression.
Now that I see you are searching my records (which is weird) I will say that I have nothing but the highest praises for Rob Mackenzie and Jon Thompson. They are true professionals, but I only took tests given by them for ratings I never had them for lessons (wish I would have). Both have given me very good advice though and I have sent many people to go see them. But the gap between them and the instructors I had when I was training is HUGE. I even pondered flying Jon up to ak to fly with us (he said he would if I got him a ticket) and help us out with aero-tow (another thing we do without sign offs but we are private and/or sport pilots at least).
Jon I believe would put a tandem clinic together from which I would learn a lot..but then I wouldn't have the Platform launch sign off I need...or FL for that matter..or the winch tech thing..so then what? Why even do part of the sign offs if you are not going to be able to do them all? I think it is better just to do it without the sign offs and be happy. I want to do the right thing but it just isn't feasible. I can either do it alone or keep showing up to clinics where instructors decide after all that travel that the don't have time after all.
These are just my experiences, it seems like USHPA makes all these rules that make sense but the HG community just cannot provide instructors/admins with time/ability/will to implement them.
And I don't want to turn this into a USHPA bashing session, they (Mark Forbes) did help me open a site at the local University and that was a big help. But I just can keep traveling to see these guys to get training done for Tandem appointments then the guys don't show up or don't have time. It is frustrating and expensive. I am better off just doing tandems without sign off like I have been doing, it is a lot safer than putting new pilots on PL that have never towed before and it makes it easier to learn. I have helped a few people transfer from trikes to HG with good success all for free.
I mean even if a winch tech would have checked out the operation in Jean would it have made a difference? I am really asking, would it? didn't the PIC decide to use a main release after it had failed on the ground? If that is true I could imagine a PIC willing to use equipment like that could fall to same fate after being signed off by winch tech...some people are just more careless than others.
I really did try to go by the book. Just not possible in my situation.