Personal Journals about Hang Gliding

Re: Flying with children

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Sun May 17, 2015 11:05 am

RickMasters wrote:
USHPA actually did something to a Torrey instructor

But there were two instructors and two children involved.

Good catch Rick!!

As mentioned above, I believe the other tandem pilot was Max Marien ... Robin Marien's son.

I have not been directly informed by USHPA as to what's been done to either pilot, but it's my understanding that Brad Geary spent a considerable amount of time in prison subsequent to the video. I've heard rumors that his prison time resulted from drug smuggling charges at the US/Mexico border ... possibly involving paragliding? So any suspension of his ratings - while in prison - is pretty much a non-punishment.

As for Max Marien, I've continued to see him regularly at Torrey. I don't know the status of his ratings.

But one thing is clear. USHPA didn't send an email message to its entire 10,000 members smearing Brad Geary or Max Marien as they did to me. I testified truthfully under oath about the problems at Torrey Pines and that's why I was expelled. U$HPA clearly has its priorities backwards, and they've been irresponsible in their "self regulation" of our sports. It's just a matter of time until it bites them again ... and again.
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Re: Flying with children

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Sun May 17, 2015 4:26 pm

It's hard to quote a full sentence from Tad without running afoul of George Carlin's "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television". But this one squeaked through:

Tad Eareckson wrote:What did Brad do that was so grotesquely egregious that he got a permanent revocation of his tandem ticket while Max didn't even hafta stay after class and clean the chalkboard?
                -   Link removed pending establishment of fair use  


Brad ended up going to jail on other charges, so revoking his tandem ticket wasn't much of a punishment ... but it looks good when USHPA talks about "how they've corrected the problem".   :roll:

Of course Max is the son of Robin Marien and they're all well-connected with the Jebb family. Here's a visual of the "buddy buddy" relationship between Robin and Gabe:

Robin_Marien_Gabe_Jebb.jpg
Robin_Marien_Gabe_Jebb.jpg (32.21 KiB) Viewed 1442 times

Torrey is the tail that wags USHPA, and that pretty much answers Tad's question ... and many others.
 
 
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Re: Flying with children

Postby Rick Masters » Sun May 17, 2015 5:42 pm

his prison time resulted from drug smuggling

Wow...

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Adventure aviation operators should face random drug tests, a New Zealand coroner said Thursday, after finding the pilot of a balloon that crashed killing 11 people was a "chronic cannabis user". Coroner Peter Ryan said pilot Lance Hopping's judgement was probably impaired by cannabis when the balloon hit power lines in January 2012 before plunging to the ground in a flaming wreck. Ryan said cannabis would account for some of the "inexplicable" actions taken by Hopping in the lead up to the crash, which killed everyone on board -- all New Zealanders -- as relatives watched from the ground in horror.

..."The question that must then be asked is: was Mr. Hopping's piloting of a commercial balloon with THC (cannabis) in his system an isolated incident, or is this a widespread problem within the adventure aviation sector?" Adventure aviation includes hot-air ballooning, gliding, tandem hang-glider and paraglider operations, as well as commercial parachuting.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/ar ... agedy.html
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Re: Flying with children

Postby wingspan33 » Sun May 17, 2015 7:43 pm

About Max Marien as the "other" Air California Adventure Inc. tandem pilot who endangered a child in his collapsible canopy wing -

He looks and sounds stoned as can be in that "infinite tumble" video taken in the country of Turkey. And talk about endangering the life of your passenger! Holly Shoot!

So, I ask, how is it that Max Marien hasn't also had his tandem rating (and/or COMPLETE u$hPa membership) revoked?

Perhaps it has something to do with him being the son of "Made" Marien?

Gee, the part of my earlier post in this topic that referenced the u$hPa being involved in "organized" crime, . . .

I wrote: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 [which] 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.


Actually protecting a u$hPa member (by way of not acting to revoke his [Max Marien's] tandem rating or membership) who endangers the life of a child, . . . That goes beyond "supporting the commission of" and moves into the "aiding and abetting" (and worse) category.

Very Seriously, it's time to call the FBI.
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Re: Flying with children

Postby Frank Colver » Sun May 17, 2015 8:58 pm

Back in the seventies, when the hang gliding accident rate was high, I always told people, who mentioned it, that if the number of accidents that were due to drug and alcohol use were known and if those accidents were taken out of the statistics the sport would look pretty safe. I would hear of another accident of some HG pilot I knew and quite often I would know he was either stoned or drunk because he always flew that way.

One death i remember occurred when the pilot started doing 360's and just kept doing them until he hit a house. He had smoked a joint just before launch.

fcolver

BTW - I turned down an offer of a tandem paraglider cliff soaring flight at Wilcox because the pilot was completely stoned. He even started to drive with his glider hanging out of his trunk and dragging along the ground. If I hadn't yelled to stop him it would have been destroyed. Later I thought maybe I shouldn't have yelled. As far as I know he flew Wilcox but I didn't stick around to see.
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Re: Flying with children

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Mon May 18, 2015 1:57 am

I had a friend who took lessons at Torrey who frequently complained that Max Marien (Robin Marien's son) was often high when teaching.

Here are some posts from "Yelp" about some of the Torrey tandem paragliding pilots and instructors (duplicated from other topic):

http://www.yelp.com/biz/torrey-pines-gliderport-flight-school-la-jolla
6/6/2012
"I don't want to risk my life flying with someone who stinks like pot. I know marijuana is legal now for some people but seriously, would you want to jump off a cliff dangling from a parachute steered by someone who is stoned? The pilots aren't the only thing high, the prices are way too expensive. $150 for 15 minutes? I can go to a flight school and fly a real airplane with a licensed pilot for a whole hour for less than that."


Crystal D. from Long Beach on 4/11/2015 wrote:I would give this 0 stars if I could. These guys are complete dicks. The Ragnar Relay paid to use this site for a rest exchange in the SoCal race and participants paid in too of that to eat here. One of the pilots came over and literally locked the bathrooms and told us to get lost because they pay for it. Yes, and we paid to be here and to eat here! Really selfish and shitty move, and it completely ruined this spot.


Gino C. from Concord Ca, 4/10/2014 wrote:They offer a living social voucher during low wind season which they don't fly in. Which makes it nearly impossible to redeem. And won't give an extension to the voucher until the next possible flight day( wind is strong enough). It is pretty much a scam for them to get your money with out a deal.


Kim from Atlanta, 8/10/2013 wrote:So here are some observations. The view IS amazing. Watching all the action is entertaining, to the untrained eye. The food was decent... nothing special but OK, if a bit overpriced. However there was ALOT about this place that disturbed me. If you come here to take a recreational tandem flight, be aware of a few things. First, your pilot may smoke cigarettes right on top of you, and you and your children will be subjected to a litany of foul language and crude talk amongst employees and staff. Also, there are so many people doing tandems that you may feel rushed in and out of your experience, which might leave you feeling let down after a $150 price tag. The large number of people landing and taking off from the same zone is also unsafe. I was there for 2 days and saw MULTIPLE incidents of people landing on top of one another and getting their wings tangled up. In one of these incidents I watched a 12 year old girl get drug 40 feet across the ground before smacking into a solo pilot on the other side of the field. Scary and reckless! I HAVE to comment on the bathroom situation also. There are only 3 porta-potties available for the public, all of which were in a DEPLORABLE state both days I was there. A pyramid OVER seat level and urine covering the floor!! I was blown away at the insanely unsanitary conditions! They were completely unfit for human use! Shameful!!! If you come here as a pilot hoping to fly I would warn you about the rude behavior of the staff and local pilots. I was shocked at one group of men in particular that seem to be the daily posse there. Both days I was there I heard them heckling others and loudly making extremely crude and distasteful comments about other pilots AND tourists there for a tandem expereince. After 2 days there observing all of this I can say I would NEVER bring a child into this environment! Also there are signs up stating that by county ordinance there is to be no smoking... I saw tandem pilots smoking all day long as well as kitchen staff smoking, IN the kitchen right next to said signage. This area is FILLED with families and children throughout the day. In many ways the "rules" seemed to apply to visitors but not to the "local posse", pilots, or staff. My advice would be to stop by for the view but unfortunately look elsewhere to try paragliding. This operation struck me as quite unprofessional and dangerously sloppy. If your a pilot, and can deal with a group of wierd, ego-inflated older men, then good luck. Just make sure and plot your landing well. I give them 2 stars for the great view and the fact that this place is a great concept. If it was managed and run correctly this place could be world class.


Dominique M. from Beverly Hills, CA on 8/4/2011 wrote:This was complete bs... I had been to the nude beach below and admired the paragliding from above. I agree with the other review about there release of reliability and just how confident they were in their flying skills. Okay no problem allow me to sign my life away should the instructor fail to steer correctly or mother nature blow us into a cliff wall. The weather appeared just fine to me, there were many other paragliders in the sky however I was told I had to wait because it wasn't safe to fly due to the current weather condition. Wow, really?!?

If it wasn't safe to fly why were so many still in the sky and not told to land during my waiting time because of the non safe weather condition or did someone just need to take a lunch break and wasted my time?

To each is own, right? To me this was a waste of money and terrible first experience towards something that should have been exciting.


nacia z. 6/18/2009 wrote:The gliderport itself... beautiful.

But the gliderport store and shop, workers there are douchebags, and they're shady about returns. Be warned


Mike F. from Vista 6/21/2009 wrote:The owner and manager extort money from independent pilots. They are under a city lease which allows them to charge $35 per flight. I heard the manager say to our pilot that for $100 he would allow us to fly. Extortion. The City should fix this, it is a public park.

Other wise, a great view of coast and activities.


Laurie T. from Torrence, CA 1/10/2011 wrote:who wouldn't want to jump off a cliff with nothing but a strip of nylon saving you from a grisly death? after some intense badgering, i finally agreed to fork out the money to go paragliding. sure, it was a gorgeous day, and sure, the view was beautiful, but it was totally NOT worth $150 (for 20 minutes of gliding time).

**long story: after signing the necessary papers and watching other paragliders sail across the sky, i was called up. i was getting situated in the harnesses when, all of a sudden, the wind caught my parachute and dragged me a good 40 feet down the grassy lawn. (yippee. is it over yet?) eventually, my instructor and i made it off the cliff and started gliding. he pointed out some naked people on the beach below and proceeded to tell me stories about seeing naked people through the windows of the houses that we were passing. (awesome. my guide is a perv.) since that conversation lasted all of 5 minutes, we tried making small talk. (i can't believe i paid $150 for forced conversation with a peeping-tom.) eventually our conversation stalled, and we glided in silence. after a while, he asked me if i wanted to take some pictures. i totally didn't know you could bring a camera with you. a camera may have made time pass by a little faster, but alas, disappointment was the theme of the day. 5 minutes later we landed back on the grassy lawn. after my airborne excursion, my body felt heavy...but my pockets were decidedly lighter.

**short story: watching paragliding is more fun than actually paragliding.


Karen H. from Boca Raton, FL 10/23/2011 wrote:Well the place is beautiful. Since I am from Florida we have the lovely ocean but not these views. Went back a second day to see the sunset. The gliding was boring and I am a big chicken. The "manager" Jeramy gave the most boring ride. He told me nothing about the area and we only flew over a small area while I saw other instructors talk to people and give them big long rides. Mine was a dud. Landed on beach an not back on the cliffs. Okay with that a you are warned about it. I just wonder if it was the pilots skill as everyone else landed back on the cliff. Best be in shape for the climb back up-it is huge and you are not prepared-no water or anything. Not worth the $150. However, you can enjoy the place and people without gliding. I spent the entire day up there. The cafe had excellent food.


Stephen W. from San Diego 7/23/2008 wrote:You can get food here, but it's nothing worth anything.

I used to go here to fly RC gliders. Tons of fun, and a great flying spot right here in San Diego. Problem is, the guy who leases this land from San Diego (for like $1 or something), makes all of his money from the paragliding operation. So, he's not a big fan of the RCs. In fact he's been downright nasty to rule-abiding folks on many occasions.

Still, if you wanna to a tandem paraglide for your birthday or something, this is the place to go. And it's a nice spot to just chill out and watch the sunset.


B.R. from Hermosa Beach, CA, on 5/28/2011 wrote:My wife planned an amazing surprise for my birthday, paragliding over La Jolla beach. How cool is that? Well... we arrived at the Gliderport and went inside to check in. The vibe was immediately off, as the manager and staff were strangely condescending and combative from the get-go. After expressing interest in a tandem paragliding ride, they hand me the liability release to sign. I start reading it, and the manager makes a mocking comment, "Huh, we got a reader here." RED FLAG - now I know that I need to read this release form. While I'm reading it, two more staff members make the same crack comment, trying to get me to hurry up and sign the 'damn' thing. Listen, accidents can happen, forces of nature can happen, that's just the reality of higher risk activities...but when you sign their release you exempt them from negligence (in multiple paragraphs). Your guide could be strung out on LSD, forget to strap you in, or fly you straight into a cliff, and you've signed away your right (or your surviving family's right) to sue them for negligence. Knowing that that won't hold up, you also sign away your right to take them to court. If you do, you pay their legal fees from day one, even if you win the case; you can even infer from the release that you'd be responsible to cover any restitution fees that they owe you if you win the case. It's a massive, legal circle jerk. I lined out whole sentences and paragraphs and was told, "You don't sign, you don't fly." So, I held onto my $150 dollars and walked away. To note, I am not a lawyer and even I could tell that this was the most toxic liability release that I have ever read. Why would a 'reputable' company need to screw you over so badly in their contracts? I decided not to find out.
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Re: Flying with children

Postby JoeF » Mon May 18, 2015 7:40 am

Flash idea that just came to me:
The idea concerns an illustrated set of facts about PG and HG and the concession.
A dedicated volunteer offers a free copy to every tourist arriving to the city park.

Would such information affect the PG business? Would the business in the city park grow or decline by reason of people having facts?

Would parents let their children have an illegal joy ride on a canopy after having access to facts?

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Re: Flying with children

Postby Rick Masters » Mon May 18, 2015 9:20 am

A dedicated volunteer offers a free copy to every tourist arriving to the city park.

Judging from what we've seen so far, that would probably result in a "workplace violence" SLAPP-suit with the volunteer repeatedly being hauled off to jail by the Geheime Staatspolizei.
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Re: Flying with children

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Tue May 19, 2015 2:54 am

RickMasters wrote:Judging from what we've seen so far, that would probably result in a "workplace violence" SLAPP-suit with the volunteer repeatedly being hauled off to jail by the Geheime Staatspolizei.


I've lived my whole life without knowing what a "SLAPP" suit was ... and now I hear it almost daily!!!!!

Joe, your ideas for Torrey Pines are very good ones, and I think I'll be implementing many of them ... after the Otto meet. Right now, I'm just really looking forward to seeing so many good pilots and good friends for a fun day of flying!!!!

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Flying with children

Postby Rick Masters » Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:58 am

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Why my boys paraglide without helmets, by Bear Grylls:
Adventurer risks backlash after saying they don't need protective gear because he 'knows how to do it safely'
Former soldier admitted he does not make them wear safety helmets
This is breach of the regulations laid out the UK national paragliding body
Grylls was criticised by paragliding instructor for failing to follow the rules

Grylls has three sons, Jesse, 10, Marmaduke, eight, and Huckleberry, six, and he told The Times: ‘People go mad [that I take my sons paragliding]. But I am really safe with it. We probably should have helmets and stuff like that but the thing is, I know how to do it safely.

'The law would say: “Do the helmet”, but I know the sport well, I know where the risks are.’

He also told of his reaction when Jesse recently broke his leg jumping off a slide. His rough and tumble father told him: ‘Bones heal and chicks love scars, so remember that’.
more http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3120856/Why-boys-paraglide-without-helmets-Bear-Grylls-Adventurer-risks-backlash-saying-don-t-need-protective-gear-knows-safely.html
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