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Best Plan to Save Sport of Hang Gliding

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:35 pm

Best Plan to Save Sport of Hang Gliding

On June 22 2019, Swift started a topic titled "Best Plan to Save Sport of Hang Gliding" on the Oz Forum:

Swift wrote:Best Plan to Save Sport of Hang Gliding

Let's start a conversation. I have an idea that can positively result in the growth of new pilots.
People can start lining up with their own arguments and I'll hold mine off for a while. 
Do you see hang gliding dying a slow death, or not? 
Steve Pierson's recent concerns as the premier hg manufacturer in the US tells me the premise is true. What can we do about it?


Swift is one of the more knowledgeable and perceptive pilots in the sport of hang gliding, and I look forward to reading his plan.

Until then, I'd like to offer my own thoughts on saving hang gliding:

1. Hang gliding needs an association dedicated to hang gliding. That association needs to sink or swim on hang gliding alone - not on a combination of hang gliding and any other sport (paragliding, wing suiting, base jumping, ...).

2. The hang gliding community cannot continue to allow their communication channels to be controlled by Jack and Davis. There have been far too many good pilots with good ideas that have been silenced by those two clowns. And who do they silence? Some of the most talented and energetic people in the sport: Joe Faust, Rick Masters, Scott Wise, Ben Reese, Bob Kuczewski, Tommy Thompson, Warren Narron, Brian Horgan, Al Hernandez, and many others. These are the George Washingtons and the Thomas Jeffersons and the Patrick Henrys of the sport. Furthermore, the banning of these good men has also had a chilling effect on what others can say or not say (Frank Colver, Tom "Red" Howard, and many many others).

3. Hang gliding must start using the Recreational Use Statutes in every state. These statutes were created to explicitly protect land owners and encourage them to allow sports like hang gliding. In fact, the sport of hang gliding is explicitly named in many of those laws. The insurance trap fed by USHPA is unsustainable. No other sport carries that burden. Insurance should be a last resort to save a site ... not the first. The recent opening of Ed Levin Park, Dockweiler Beach, and all of Utah's state parks points the way. Several of our U.S. Hawks chapters are in the lead with non-USHPA sites (Tooele Hawks, Southwest Texas Hang Gliders, South Central New York Hang Glider Pilots, Rio Grande Soaring Association, and Friends of Dockweiler).

4. Hang gliding must be shared friend to friend as it was in the beginning. Almost all other popular sports are predominantly shared that way: golf, tennis, bicycling, swimming, skiing, hiking, baseball, football, basketball, soccer, sailing, snorkeling, and so on. Yes, there is professional instruction available in all of those sports, but it's highly optional. There is no other unregulated sport - including SCUBA diving (the closest example) - where paid instruction holds such a monopoly barrier to entry. Hang gliding is no longer the mysterious and untrodden ground that it was in the 1970's. Every competent pilot today has sufficient knowledge to safely bring new people into the sport if they choose. They should be allowed - and encouraged - to do so. On-line materials should support this. USHPA's protection of the for-profit schools has done the opposite. It's also attracted greedy, impatient shysters for instructors who've displaced the time-honored mentoring and observer system that was in place when hang gliding was growing.

These are all the things championed by the U.S. Hawks.

Come join us.
"People talk about the sport of hang gliding dying. It's not dying. It's being murdered. By the U$hPA." - Rick Masters

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Bob Kuczewski
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Re: Best Plan to Save Sport of Hang Gliding

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:09 am

Ben Reese wrote:Until HG has its own voice once again, it cannot fully excel..
It’s differences are not celebrated and promoted enough..

Joe Faust wrote:Excellent analysis, Ben. Thank you.

Conclusion of need for a HG-focused org is spot on.


I agree with both.    :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:      :salute:
"People talk about the sport of hang gliding dying. It's not dying. It's being murdered. By the U$hPA." - Rick Masters

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Re: Best Plan to Save Sport of Hang Gliding

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:12 pm

Swift ...

Swift wrote:
Christopher wrote:Here's an idea: hire an Association Communication Director to help promote the sport.

It's a corporate position in a company that doesn't make anything but corporate positions at corporation salaries.
I don't know what she can do with what she has to work with. I don't envy her job. I hope accolades are not what she took the job for.
There's only so much polish you can put on that turd.
Free advertisement for private, for profit instruction? What else is there?
USHPA is a corporation without a product.
It has sold their only asset/property.
Now they are lean and mean with no product but hot air.
They can't or won't teach anyone to fly hang gliders.

There's the answer. Create a non profit teaching system.
The money spent on corporate salaries would better be spent on a central teaching center.
One new pilot that otherwise will not go through the typical process to learn to fly may be all it takes to change the future prospects for the survival of hang gliding as we know it.
Reducing the cost and barriers to learning will bring in more prospects for saving hg from withering on the vine.

The corporate lawyer isn't ever going to expose the corporation/jobsecurity to the liability of instruction but they can donate to another non profit to do the work they won't do.
We could all donate. Work, equipment, infrastructure. Choosing the right people to run it and pay the people doing the work.

One millionaire could step up and fund this now. I think there are many.. Any volunteers to be the hero that helps save hang gliding for future generations?

Oh, that's right.. human contribution of .0024% of total atmospheric CO2 is going to kill us all within 12 years… what was I thinking?
Hang gliding people make a lot of CO2 compared to the proposed goal of 0%.
How is this going to work? Those that believe our tiny contribution of CO2 controls the weather will have to explain how their plan to save the world would ever work.
If we go third world in industrialized countries, maybe we could cut human contribution in half? Millions will die but maybe our contribution to the total atmospheric mix would then be .0012?


Third world doesn't have Land Cruisers with hang glider racks except for the Al Gore CO2 bosses. And maybe Davis?
It sure won't be me. Or likely you, either.
This is a conundrum. Do we save hang gliding or are we going to save the world?
"People talk about the sport of hang gliding dying. It's not dying. It's being murdered. By the U$hPA." - Rick Masters

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Re: Best Plan to Save Sport of Hang Gliding

Postby DaveSchy » Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:36 am

Approx 8000 members support 2 corporate jobs for $160,000 (plus expenses, etc), means $20 of each members dues of $150 goes to 2 people who RESTRICT access to our national airspace. These two have no intention to do more than keep feathering their nests, period.
Posing as an insurance company is fraud.
Why would any person stay in this "corporation" when a huge lawsuit would cause personal liability after the rrrg lawyer weasels out, and runs away? Is that worth $60,000 a year? Would anyone pay $150 a year for that potential road to personal ruin? Is $100 a year to play the lottery a better bet, with $50 left over for a nice meal?

Btw, lawyer gets paid either way, even when he finally will file for bankruptcy!!!
Run to fly and fly away...
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