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Flying with children

Postby Rick Masters » Sat May 16, 2015 9:36 am

A lot has been discussed on US Hawks forums about flying with children. Like proselytizing drug addicts, fliers of all persuasions (except BASE jumpers, as far as I know) have exhibited a penchant for taking others along for rides. This blog looks at people who think it is okay. Is it child endangerment or the right of a parent to have their children participate in dangerous sports? Or is it an exaggeration to call such flying a dangerous sport?

Let's take a look first at parasailing.

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In parasailing, the rider is never in control, anyway, so is this okay? The baby will have a story to tell to its grandchildren, so why is it anybody else's business?


They weren't children.

Animals aren't children so why is it anybody else's business?
Last edited by Rick Masters on Sat May 16, 2015 11:21 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Flying with children

Postby Rick Masters » Sat May 16, 2015 9:45 am

Paragliding

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Here a father takes his 1-year-old daughter for a high-altitude flight. It's his daughter, so why is it anyone else's business? Now she will have an adventure to tell her grandchildren about.

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A commercial paraglidiing instructor is paid $200 by the mother of an 8-year-old boy to take him for a flight. In the air, the instructor engages in advanced close flying with another instructor, also carrying a child. His tandem license is yanked by the national organization. But no one is hurt, so why is it anybody else's business?
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Re: Flying with children

Postby Rick Masters » Sat May 16, 2015 10:04 am

Hang gliding

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A commercial instructor took an 11-year-old boy on an auto-tow for $200 and locked out. Both were killed. The family had enthusiastically sent the boy on the flight, so why is it anybody else's business?

Video: Child, pilot killed in hang gliding accident near Jean ID'd
http://www.fox5vegas.com/story/28635734 ... z3aJz9nom5
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Re: Flying with children

Postby Rick Masters » Sat May 16, 2015 10:08 am

Sailplane

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A grandfather took his daughter-in-law and her 3-year-old son on a tandem sailplane ride, but stalled under aero-tow and crashed, killing all. The mother obviously gave permission for the child to ride along, so why is it anybody else's business?

Video: http://www.khou.com/story/local/2015/05/16/11744614/
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Re: Flying with children

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Sat May 16, 2015 11:30 pm

Very timely topic Rick.

I tend to be somewhat libertarian on this subject, and I think people should be given quite a bit of freedom with their own children.

However, an instructor flying with someone else's child is a different matter. In that case (or any case when an instructor is responsible for another life), the instructor has a duty to act responsibly. This is not acting responsibly:

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Anyone who's ever experienced a frontal collapse (and I have) will tell you that things go from "all's well" to "all's hell" faster than you can blink an eye. Furthermore, I am quite certain that the stunts performed in that video and the potential consequences were NOT fully explained to the parents, and I suspect the instructors did NOT have the parent's permission to engage in activities outside the normal course of tandem paragliding.

Actually, you can tell how bad it was by the fact that USHPA actually did something to a Torrey instructor. That means it must have been considered even worse than ... assault and battery.    :shock:
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Re: Flying with children

Postby Rick Masters » Sun May 17, 2015 1:34 am

USHPA actually did something to a Torrey instructor

But there were two instructors and two children involved.
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Re: Flying with children

Postby wingspan33 » Sun May 17, 2015 7:56 am

RickMasters wrote:
USHPA actually did something to a Torrey instructor

But there were two instructors and two children involved.


I've been wondering about the OTHER Air California Adventure PG Tandem pilot who also endangered his child passenger. It's pretty obvious that both tandem pilots HAD to be working in concert.

Bob, what was the other tandem pilot's name. I'd expect that you know it. Is he still doing tandems?

If so, how does the USHPA condone not taking action on his part?
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Re: Flying with children

Postby Rick Masters » Sun May 17, 2015 9:03 am

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Re: Flying with children

Postby wingspan33 » Sun May 17, 2015 9:41 am

On this topic in general, . . .

I view it in two ways. Moral/Ethical and Legal.

On the Legal side -

Their are laws EVERYWHERE that make it a criminal act to endanger the welfare of a child.

So, the question in the legal case becomes -

Is sending a child into the air on a "high risk" minimal soaring air vehicle an act that endangers the child?* Well, if you read the u$hPa's waiver - as attached to any 30 day or long term membership form - you can find the words "personal injury, bodily injury, death" repeated a number of times. Seems like a significant feature of the "sport participation agreement". For all intents and purposes, the person signing the waiver/membership agreement has been informed that flying a minimal soaring air vehicle can injure or kill a participant in the sport.

If a parent is signing the waiver connected with a 30 day temp membership so their child can take a joy ride - then the parent(s) are at least negligent (in not fully understanding the "personal injury, bodily injury, death" parts of the waiver). But since that language exists - and is based on a well known HISTORY of personal injury, bodily injury, and death occurring in the sports of hang gliding and paragliding/speed wings - then "allowing" your child to be a (training) pilot or passenger on an HG and/or PG fits with endangering their physical (and perhaps mental) well being.

If I were a City, County, State, Federal (or FAA) Attorney and had knowledge of a case where a child was injured or killed in a PG or HG, I believe I would have an EXCELLENT case of criminal endangerment against (at least) the parent(s)and/or guardian(s). If a u$hPa waiver was signed then the proof is right there. These sports are DANGEROUS!

Now if a HG/PG school or instructor was witnessed to say -

HG/PG School or Instructor wrote:Don't pay attention to that "personal injury, bodily injury, death" language!
It's only in there for "legal" reasons. The sport is absolutely safe!"


Well, that would be an act of intentional deceit. That might relieve the parent(s) of SOME of their liability.

Now, the legal side of things can also come back to bite the u$hPa. If they have NO regulations regarding minors participating in the dangerous sporting activities they promote then it could be claimed that they are supporting the commission of criminal acts (i.e., child endangerment). This boarders on (?) an activity involving "organized" crime. Yea, really.



On the Moral/Ethical side of this issue -

Children are not capable of making certain decisions because they lack the maturity, experience and therefore sound judgement to make such decisions. This clearly pertains to significant/important decisions - not questions like "Do you want another cookie?".

Through all of history children have been protected by their parents, community and society from situations that are considered to be dangerous. The idea being that until any child reaches a certain age they need to be shielded from things that could injure or kill them. Why do that? Well, there's something about ensuring that the next generation live long enough to keep the species going.

Someone may argue that . . . "Heck, if MOST of the children live to be adults isn't that good enough?" Well, civilized society has determined that it is important to (legally) promote the protection of ALL children - not just "most".

Think also about this - Childhood is required to deliver us into maturity. It leads us towards the "serious" portions of our lives, where we accomplish our most significant positive acts. The kind of acts that contribute to the positive evolution of society. When a child looses their life, society has lost ALL of the (hopefully) positive benefits that that child may have brought to his/her community/society. That is a BIG loss to society (not even mentioning the loss to the child's parents).

So, my view on this topic is that the u$hPa should disallow the participation of minors under the age of 16 (? higher ?) from participation in tandem operations and/or solo training flights up to, or at, significant altitudes (e.g., Low and slow ground skimming may be allowed). Policies could exist where a minor who repeatedly demonstrates their mature judgement be allowed to advance to "higher risk" flight activities.


[ Note - Perhaps I/we can write up something along these lines to be included within the US Hawks policies? ]


*BTW - I'm not so sure that the sailplane crash falls into the "high risk" category of minimal soaring craft.


.
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Re: Flying with children

Postby brianscharp » Sun May 17, 2015 10:03 am

wingspan33 wrote:
RickMasters wrote:
USHPA actually did something to a Torrey instructor

But there were two instructors and two children involved.


I've been wondering about the OTHER Air California Adventure PG Tandem pilot who also endangered his child passenger. It's pretty obvious that both tandem pilots HAD to be working in concert.

Bob, what was the other tandem pilot's name. I'd expect that you know it. Is he still doing tandems?

If so, how does the USHPA condone not taking action on his part?

http://www.kitestrings.org/post7743.html#p7743

Tad Eareckson wrote:Jump to next post:
http://www.kitestrings.org/post7744.html#p7744

I'm starting this topic as an archive of stills and the transcript from:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmSBX-mERwY
[video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmSBX-mERwY[/video]

This may be the single most important video in the history of the foot launchable soaring sports.

- Starts out with a paraglider slamming in - 2011/07/24 14:30 PDT - as a consequence of a midair between Shannon Hamby:
Shannon Hamby - 90636 - P1 2011/01/21 - Bradley Geary - FL - Exp: 2012/01/31
under radio guidance and David Fischbach:
David Fischbach - 28300
- H5 - 1988/05/02 - Gregg Lawless - FL PA AWCL CL FSL RLF TUR XC
- P3 - 2011/08/15 - Max Marien - FL PA CL HA RLF RS TUR
who comes down in the usual way. Shannon's husband Jon:
Jon Hamby - 90635 - P2 - 2011/05/14 - Bradley Geary - FL CL RS - Exp: 2012/01/31
is contacted on the phone.

- Shannon is seriously injured and sues. Former USHPA Regional Director Bob Kuczewski:
Robert Kuczewski - 81898
- H4 - 2005/09/13 - Steve Stackable - 2012/09/30 - FL AWCL CL FSL RLF TUR
- P4 - 2006/04/11 - Ken Baier - FL CL FSL HA RLF RS TUR
testifies on behalf of the plaintiff as an expert witness and this becomes a major issue in his expulsion from the national "association" which will be happening at the conclusion of the show trial later this evening.

- Tandem "instructors" Brad Geary:
Bradley Geary - 82636
- H4 - 2008/08/12 - John Heiney - FL AWCL CL FSL RLF TUR XC
- P4 - 2007/07/09 - Joshua Meyers - FL ST TFL CL FSL HA RLF RS TUR XC - TOW TECH
and Max Marien:
Max Marien - 75916
- H4 - 2015/03/24 - Steve Stackable - FL PA VA AWCL CL FSL RLF TUR XC
- P4 - 2003/04/15 - Gabriel Jebb - FL M1 M2 ST TFL PA VA CL FSL HA RLF RS TUR XC - ADV INST, TAND INST
take, respectively, little kid brother "students" Zack and Alec for rides. The flying is spectacular and the kids have the times of their lives and so USHPA naturally rewards the more expendable pilot with a permanent revocation of his Tandem ticket.

Enjoy.

A quick search of Max and I found this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EPJ3uOfT4E

Max Marian - acro pilot from California, USA
http://justacro.com/news/120822/max-mar ... fornia-usa
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