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Re: More "doublespeak" from Mark Forbes

Postby JoeF » Sat May 12, 2018 10:19 pm

Further post in Jack's forum adding answer to MGF's open question:

Also,
When the board decided to remove a good HG pilot for testifying in court.

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Re: More "doublespeak" from Mark Forbes

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:32 am

This is the full quote from Mark Forbes on December 12th 2017 on hanggliding.org. Focus on his insurance comments in the first paragraph. Do you see the contradiction?

mgforbes wrote:If a someone wants to obtain land and let pilots fly there, that's great! Dockweiler is not now, and has not in the past been a USHPA-insured flying site. For many years it was closed, and Joe Greblo was the key to getting it reopened for training. He had to provide the city with insurance coverage as a condition of that reopening. In fact, the impetus for our RRG formation was his insurance renewal; he tried to renew his policy and the Lloyd's insurers told him they were exiting the business. That's when he contacted the USHPA office, and me, and we started digging into the problem.

If some pilots have obtained permission to fly there, outside of Windsports' normal business hours, that's wonderful. There are lots of places that we fly where the landowner does not require coverage under our policy. There are other places where they do....and those we refer to as "insured sites". Insured sites are restricted to USHPA members only, but you don't need to be a member of USHPA to fly everywhere else.

I encourage clubs NOT to extend site insurance to landowners unless it's the only way to gain access to a launch or LZ. There's no point in adding a landowner to our policy if they don't feel the need for coverage. But if a club needs that tool in order to open a site, it's there for them.

I hope these "no membership, no insurance" pilots have a good time flying at the beach. It's a nice place for basic training on a big, slow glider. I've only been there once, and it wasn't flyable.

MGF


On one hand, Mark Forbes wants to claim that Dockweiler is not a "USHPA-insured" site. Yet the insurance (whether pre-RRG or post-RRG) has always required - and enforced - USHPA membership. Isn't that convenient? And who owns and controls the RRG? Who did USHPA members send their money to when the RRG was being created?

The longer that I observe USHPA, the more convinced I am that Mark Forbes is at its rotten core. It's interesting that Mark Forbes was recently voted out of office by the members of his region, but his cronies on the USHPA board instantly made him an unelected "Director at Large".
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Re: More "doublespeak" from Mark Forbes

Postby Frank Colver » Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:54 am

I hope that partially agreeing with Mark doesn't get me banned from the US Hawks forum.

He is technically correct when he says that Dockweiler is not a USHPA insured site. If it was, then we would have failed in our efforts to get it open when Windsports is closed. If you haven't fired off an angry reply by now let me go further and disagree with how he (USHPA) has treated the site's Windsports coverage. What is wrong is that they have applied the coverage to all other pilots even if they fly without any connection to the school. Not using the school's equipment or instructors should put them outside of the USHPA insurance requirements. In other words; the school's activities are covered for the county but other recreational pilots are not. Instead USHPA tells the school that if any non-members fly, regardless of any connection to the school, the entire school's insurance is void. At least that is my understanding of the situation.

Unfortunately, the road is very rocky to the point of getting this situation changed. First USHPA needs to tell Windsports and the county that all Windsports activities are covered even if nonmembers of the public share the site. Only those nonmembers are not covered but members, who sign the schools register, are covered under the school's insurance. Then, if USHPA did that, we would need to convince the county that they need to extend the waiver permit flying to include all days of the week regardless of whether the school is operating or not. That would also include some kind of agreement on recreational use of the site, so as not to interfere with the commercial operation of the school.

Now I'll commit the unforgivable sin and applaud Mark for a statement that he and the USHPA organization should have made long ago. That is: if the land owner doesn't ask for insurance, then don't offer it. Only use the USHPA insurance if it is the only way to acquire a site. It is then out from under USHPA insurance control. Thanks Mark, you and USHPA should have been "shouting this from the rafters" for many years. USHPA needs to vigorously promote open, uninsured, flying sites for the good of the sport! Bob, you and I travelled to New Mexico to point this out to the RGSA membership. So, I'll give Mark credit for a very belated statement. I hope that he will strongly promote open sites especially using the various state's liability exemption laws.

I want to see USHPA, maybe even under Mark's promotional efforts (imagine that), publish the liability laws of all the states as they regard recreational activities on private land and urge all HG/PG pilots to use these laws to acquire flying sites without insurance. The fewer sites that need insurance the better off the RRG and USHPA are. In addition, USHPA should have some lawyers available, without charge to landowners, to provide the defense in case of a lawsuit against a land owner. Those lawyers should be able to quickly get suits thrown out of court if the landowner was not charging for the use of land, was not inviting the pilots in but just giving permission, and had not created a deliberately negligent man made hazard to the pilots. The land owner would also be smart to require personal liability waivers, just as LA County does at Dockweiler.

How about it Mark and USHPA? Do we have a deal? Officially promote all pilots working toward acquiring non insured sites for HG & PG. Maybe even converting some currently insured sites to uninsured by educating the owner about the liability exemption laws in his/her state.

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Re: More "doublespeak" from Mark Forbes

Postby Rick Masters » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:12 pm

The land owner would also be smart to require personal liability waivers, just as LA County does at Dockweiler.

Cringeworthy, Frank.
Could be interpreted as permission to fly.
The whole idea of recreational use statuates is that permission is not to be sought or given, therefore no liability is assumed.
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Re: More "doublespeak" from Mark Forbes

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:13 am

Frank Colver wrote:I hope that partially agreeing with Mark doesn't get me banned from the US Hawks forum.

I'll be taking it up with the Board. :)

Frank Colver wrote:He is technically correct when he says that Dockweiler is not a USHPA insured site.

It's even worse than "USHPA insured". It's USHPA controlled. It appears that USHPA has gotten themselves written right into the policy ... as a requirement.

Frank Colver wrote:If it was, then we would have failed in our efforts to get it open when Windsports is closed.

Actually, all permission to use land rests with the landowner. USHPA insurance doesn't keep a landowner from allowing whoever or whatever they want on their own land. USHPA's insurance might have restrictions which will invalidate coverage, but those limitations do not prohibit a landowner from doing those things anyway. USHPA (and Mark Forbes) like to make people think that USHPA insurance locks everyone else out. But that decision always rests with the landowner. Thankfully, Los Angeles County recognized that.

Frank Colver wrote:Instead USHPA tells the school that if any non-members fly, regardless of any connection to the school, the entire school's insurance is void. At least that is my understanding of the situation.

I think that's right. And that's what should make their insurance incompatible with any public site. Would California approve an auto insurance policy that was only valid if all the drivers on the road purchased that same company's policy? Of course not. USHPA's gotten away with this because hang gliding is such a small sport and they hadn't ruffled enough feathers for anyone to challenge them. But that's changing at sites like Dockweiler, Ed Levin park, and now in all Utah State parks. Mark Forbes knows that, and that's why he's trying to make it seem like USHPA isn't pushing their monopoly. Here's a test of Mark's sincerity. Where were all of USHPA's happy proclamations that insurance was no longer required at Dockweiler, Ed Levin, and now all of Utah's state parks? Those should all be big news in hang gliding, but you won't find them anywhere in USHPA's magazines or publications.

Frank Colver wrote:Unfortunately, the road is very rocky to the point of getting this situation changed. First USHPA needs to tell Windsports and the county that all Windsports activities are covered even if nonmembers of the public share the site.

I think the County could just tell Windsports that any insurance that discriminates against any member of the public for illegitimate reasons is simply unacceptable. For example, any policy that would only be issued to white people would be clearly unacceptable. The same should be true of any policy that's denied to anyone in retaliation for constitutionally protected activities (such as testimony In court or in a city council meeting).

Frank Colver wrote:Now I'll commit the unforgivable sin and applaud Mark for a statement that he and the USHPA organization should have made long ago. That is: if the land owner doesn't ask for insurance, then don't offer it. ...

I want to see USHPA, maybe even under Mark's promotional efforts (imagine that), publish the liability laws of all the states as they regard recreational activities on private land and urge all HG/PG pilots to use these laws to acquire flying sites without insurance.

How about it Mark and USHPA? Do we have a deal?.

That's a good challenge for Mark Forbes, Frank. How long do you think we should wait for those things to happen before declaring that Forbes was being dishonest in his statements? A week? A month? Let us know.

The fact that USHPA's kept the lid on recreational use statutes for all these years is enough for me. But let's see if Forbes rises to your challenge. Maybe send him an email message to be sure he gets it.
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Re: More "doublespeak" from Mark Forbes

Postby Bill Cummings » Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:53 pm

Rick Masters wrote:
The land owner would also be smart to require personal liability waivers, just as LA County does at Dockweiler.

Cringeworthy, Frank.
Could be interpreted as permission to fly.
The whole idea of recreational use statuates is that permission is not to be sought or given, therefore no liability is assumed.

We should double check the language here.
I was reading no invitation and no fee and that permission is seperate from an invitation.
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Re: More "doublespeak" from Mark Forbes

Postby Frank Colver » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:52 pm

Yes, the landowner can and should give permission, otherwise you are trespassing. Giving permission to recreational use is not inviting someone on to your property. And the landowner should ask for a liability release waiver for further protection. Invitation is saying come fly on my property, advertising a flight park, etc.

Police will actually ask to see the written permission by the landowner, if they suspect you of trespassing.

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