Nod to your communications good works, Rick, some was sent to Harris fund.
Hi Joe, We all want to relieve suffering, but in this case I feel your compassion was misplaced. James Harris has received (by my incomplete count) almost half the donations of ALL monies contributed through crowdfunding to broken soaring parachutists or their destitute families in this decade, a total of $107,750. Although his medical expenses far exceed that, it is important to ask ourselves, "Who are the real victims of the folly of paragliding?" Are the victims truly those who scoff at the idea of an airframe being a vital component of an aircraft? Are the victims truly those who believe or constantly insist that canopy collapse is a "safety feature"? Are the victims truly those so foolish as to fly in conditions that clearly threaten to become so extreme as to endanger their lives? James Harris decided to fly a paraglider the day following a 90 kph wind event. He knew this. The day of his accident, the winds were measured at 108 kph. He was stupid. You could say he got what he deserved. When soaring parachutists survive crashes following collapse, they have been warned. They have been warned that paragliders are not suitable aircraft. But do they listen? In an astounding number of cases, the answer is no. The crowdfunding monies spent for their recovery were essentially spent to put them back on paragliders. Does this make sense?
Steve Carr, now a paraplegic, returned to Hatcher Pass, accompanied by his little girl, and started paragliding again.
Who are the victims? To me, the real victims of paragliding collapse and uncontrolabillity are not the soaring parachutists themselves, playing out their narcissistic, denialist fantasies in a world of helicopters and socialized medicine. The real victims of paragliding are the wives and children. The wives are often left with mountainous expenses and no breadwinner. The children are left fatherless and thrown into a difficult life struggle, hardly of their own making. They often have little support. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of these women and children who are abandoned and forgotten. These are the real victims of paragliding. A few are apparent on the Web but most cannot be found. Here are some recent examples of crowdfunding for the families of the 1,396 soaring parachutists killed so far that I am aware of.
For any soaring parachutists who stumble across this post and think "Rick Masters is one callous dude," you should understand that I proudly gave up hang gliding so my wife and young daughter could be assured of a secure future. There are bigger things in life than constant injections of dangerous fun. But you soaring parachutists are beyond belief. Your dangerous canopies, which are not even suitable for flight in normal atmospheric turbulence, keep collapsing and killing you, leaving your families destroyed, your wives destitute and your children fatherless. Nothing could ever be more callous than that.
And then, there are our own...
Eric Mies died on August 24, 2014.
It's heartbreaking. The dangers are all too real. Hang glider pilots, hone your skills. Fly often, not occasionally. Always listen to the little voice that says - even for no apparent reason - "Not today." Soaring parachutists, you are a terrible embarrassment and threat to freeflight. Get an airframe.
If you are thinking about getting into freeflight, you should should think long and hard about what is going on in this photo. This soaring parachutist is risking a bad landing in wind and turbulence. He is deforming the airfoil shape of his paraglider's sides in an effort to penetrate the wind. Soaring parachutists call this "aerodynamic control." I call it weird and dangerous. If you choose to fly a paraglider, you will eventually hit the ground hard because turbulence is a natural component of the atmosphere and a paraglider is not robust enough to ensure your survival.
Hang gliders do not lose their airfoil shape in normal atmospheric turbulence. They are much safer aircraft to fly in active air or land in ground turbulence than paragliders. Hang glider pilots NEVER waste their time or risk their lives trying to keep their airfoil intact. They simply fly.
For any soaring parachutists who stumble across this post and think "Rick Masters is one callous dude," you should understand that I proudly gave up hang gliding so my wife and young daughter could be assured of a secure future.
I did that also, Rick. Now that the kids are 60 and almost 60 years old, I'm retired, in good shape both physically and financially, so I'm back to HG!
The framed Wills Wing I'm flying now (Alpha) can keep its shape in turbulence even better than the SST I was flying when I quit many years ago. However, even on that SST I flew through sail inversions with almost instant recovery. Had I been in a paraglider then, I wouldn't be here to see my kids reaching their 60 years now.
RickMasters wrote:You are an inspiration, Frank Happy Thanksgiving
Today I am thankful for Frank and Rick and Joe and Sam and Bill and Scott and Harry and Steve and Phil and Robin and Ernie and Tony and Mike and Brian and Warren and Doug and John and Margie and Tommy and Charlie and Jerry and hundreds of others who've made this effort work. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and many more to come.
I hope I die while flying a hang glider. What better way to experience being alive. Beats being trampled to death on any Black Friday. I'm planning on flying at Colorado Fly Week in 2016. Hope to see everyone there.
Harry Martin Fear is not boring, the stupid shall be punished