Personal Journals about Hang Gliding

Look Ma, No USHPA!!

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:06 am

 
    Look Ma ...

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May 24th, 2015
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          ... No USHPA !!!
 
USHPA holds an effective monopoly on most popular hang gliding sites in the United States through their control of insurance.

This Blog is dedicated to both demonstrating USHPA's monopoly over popular sites and at the same time sharing the lesser known sites where flight is still possible without USHPA membership. You are invited to post sites of both types, but be advised that posts may be edited to update them with footnotes whenever requirements for a site are changed.

Please keep all posts short with just a brief description of the site and its USHPA requirement status. Please include a picture for each site if possible, and try to limit it to one site per post with the site name in large lettering at the top (see example below). Thanks!!

Here's the current list of sites posted as requiring USHPA insurance:

  • Torrey Pines - San Diego, California
  • Crestline, California
  • Sylmar, California

Here's the current list of sites posted as NOT requiring USHPA insurance:

  • All Utah State Parks!!!
  • Dockweiler State Beach when Business is closed (typically Monday and Tuesday)
  • Guadalupe Mountains, New Mexico
  • Anapra
  • Little Florida Mountains
  • Gray Hill
  • Victorio Mountains, New Mexico
  • GRANDMOTHER MOUNTAIN
  • Volcanic Peak
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Torrey Pines

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:19 am

Torrey Pines
San Diego, California

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October 17, 2014
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Torrey Pines is one of the most famous hang gliding sites in the United States. The land itself is owned by the City of San Diego. The City of San Diego currently leases the site to a business (Air California Adventure) which requires USHPA membership to fly.
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Crestline, California

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:42 am

Crestline, California

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Feb 22, 2014
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Crestline is operated by the Crestline Soaring Society (CSS). In my experience, the CSS is one of the best run clubs in the sports of hang gliding and paragliding. They supervise the Crestliine launch, the Marshal launch, and the Andy Jackson landing zone. I believe they require USHPA membership to fly.
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Re: Look Ma, No USHPA!!

Postby Bill Cummings » Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:37 pm

Guadalupe Mountains, New Mexico


guadalupe mountains hang gliding James Race 2012

Guadalupe Mountains New Mexico
http://rgsa.info/SiteInfo/Guadalupe-Ridge/guadalupe-ridge.htm

National Forest with camping on top near launch.
Landing in on BLM land. (Big LZ)
Open unrestricted flying site with MILES of ridge. Level of experience for this site is suggested at new H2.

PG from this site is "iffy" even during the winter months as conditions tend to be too strong to safely launch and soar the ridge. We are researching better times when PG pilots can safely fly, such as in the fall.
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Re: Look Ma, No USHPA!!

Postby Bill Cummings » Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:48 pm

Anapra, New Mexico

Anapra is a (sandy) east facing launch site (086°), 235’ agl.
The north south ridge is 2000’ long. Great for a students’ first high flight.
It sits about a mile SW of Sunland Park, New Mexico.
Sunland Park is on the SW side of El Paso, TX.
The site is on private land but there are no waivers or insurance needed to fly.
There is no requirement at this site to belong to any club or organization.
The cost to fly here is zero dollars. (Are you hooked up with a better deal?)
Location is: Lat 31.7868°, Long. -106.5828°
Knowing where the site is on your GPS and getting there by yourself for the first time could take two days. Your best advice is to have a local pilot lead you there and to the LZ by truck. At launch it’s two wheel drive if you’re smart and four wheel drive if you’re not.
Please do not fly over the fence at the south end of the ridge into Mexico. :shh:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rodad7JYBoM

EDIT Do not park or land within one stone's throw of the border fence. (Really)
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Re: Look Ma, No USHPA!!

Postby Bill Cummings » Sat Jul 25, 2015 12:43 pm

Little Florida Mountains, New Mexico

Little Florida Mountains.
Lat., 32.196788°, Lon., -107.610542° (Ramp 12’ by 4’)

Eight miles southeast of Deming, New Mexico (USA)

No Fee for flying at this non regulated, uninsured, hang gliding, ridge and thermal flying site, 940’ to 1,220’ agl. (Ramp at 5,400’ msl with the LZ at 4,560’ msl.)
Glide to the LZ is between 4/1 and 5/1 or less in a pinch with some thigh high brush to wade through.
Landing Zone (LZ), Lat., 32.192500°, -107.622637°
The launch and landing is on BLM land near and north of state park land.
Do not launch or land on Rock Hound State Park land.

The effective soaring ridge from the ramp to one mile north with this part of the ridge facing west.

The effective soaring ridge from the ramp to one mile SSE with the ridge facing west south west.

If the wind is any more south of 225° Dragon Ridge, (5,788' msl) three miles up wind, will put out some mild turbulence and you should stay further in front of the Little Florida Mountains for a better safety margin.

Most of this mountain has an abrupt vertical cliff down in front that sets up a bad rotor so only launch from the ramp in the saddle of the mountain.

This site is usually an early launch site since the ramp is in the mountains saddle which causes a Venturi (acceleration of the air flow) Many times the launch window is only 30 minutes but soarable all day once launched. Five mile an hour wind in the LZ is usually 15 to 20 mph at launch. If it’s 10 mph in the LZ you’re too late getting started.

This site is suitable for a pilots first high launch. :thumbup:

Finding your way up is difficult so go with a local pilot.
Robin Hastings, Lee Boone and I have flown cross country from this site.
http://rgsa.info/
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Re: Look Ma, No USHPA!!

Postby Bill Cummings » Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:25 pm

billcummings wrote:Guadalupe Mountains, New Mexico


guadalupe mountains hang gliding James Race 2012

Guadalupe Mountains New Mexico
http://rgsa.info/SiteInfo/Guadalupe-Ridge/guadalupe-ridge.htm

National Forest with camping on top near launch.
Landing in on BLM land. (Big LZ)
Open unrestricted flying site with MILES of ridge. Level of experience for this site is suggested at new H2.

PG from this site is "iffy" even during the winter months as conditions tend to be too strong to safely launch and soar the ridge. We are researching better times when PG pilots can safely fly, such as in the fall.

Link above is showing not found so try clicking on the link below or copy/paste it to the url box
http://rgsa.info/site-info/siteinfo.htm
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Re: Look Ma, No USHPA!!

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Tue Aug 18, 2015 10:42 am

billcummings wrote:Link above is showing not found so try clicking on the link below or copy/paste it to the url box
http://rgsa.info/site-info/siteinfo.htm


I wonder if the web site was re-organized and broke that link?
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Re: Look Ma, No USHPA!!

Postby JoeF » Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:03 am

Mark chimed in AGAIN at another forum:

A rating's value is only worth what others may think of it. A USHPA rating is not a guarantee that you can fly a site safely. It is a benchmark that says that at one point, you were able to demonstrate a defined set of skills to a repeatable level. It does not mean you can do so now, but it's something that a site manager can refer to as a way to gauge your flying ability. If you showed up at any of our sites with a "rating" issued by BobK's "organization", you'd be turned away unless you could show us a real rating from USHPA. Even a USHPA rating won't get you access to some of our sites, unless you've got the logbook documentation and knowledge to convince us you know what you're doing. Even with all that, some sites require an approved site guide to accompany you until you're dialed in and familiar with the specific issues and risks at that location.

Landowners are under no obligation to let us use their property. It is a privilege, not a right, and one that needs to be handled with great care and tact. As part of being responsible pilots, we carry insurance to protect others from financial loss caused by our actions. That's what our third party liability insurance does. It's a group policy that protects all USHPA members. Without it, you are exposed to the potential loss of your personal assets if you cause injury or damage to someone else. If you don't have assets to cover the damage you did, the injured party is going to go looking for someone else to pay for it....likely a landowner if the accident happened on their property. And that's the end of yet another flying site, because of the irresponsible behavior of just one pilot.

I can tell you for certain that BobK's group does not have a third party liability insurance policy, and their chance of obtaining one is miniscule. At minimum, they'd need to come up with a couple hundred thousand dollars up front to interest the insurers. Unless they've got a sugar daddy lined up, it's not happening. Even then it would be unlikely. That has nothing at all to do with USHPA...it's just the reality of the insurance business.

MGF


Read more: http://www.hanggliding.org/viewtopic.ph ... ht=#374605#ixzz3jH7NvETk
=================================================

1. "for certain" ... Mark presumes to know what he cannot. One thing he is not yet recognizing: Associating forms a body that goes beyond founders. BobK owns certain matters, yet the body of associating people is not owned by BobK, but is owned by the associates in community. U. S. Hawks has sectored life; one sector is John's, another sector is Margie's, another is BobK's, another is Sam's, etc. Further, so far, some of the associates have self-responsibility as a chosen means to forward conservative interface with the world. [Just maybe someone has paid for an insurance policy that covers 3PL for all those associating in the U.S. Hawks movement; I do not know; but what I do logically know is that I cannot be "certain" that such is not fact, even though I am involved in much of the communications surrounding the U. S. Hawks movement. Yet, Mark, in his distant observation point somehow has omniscient seeing ability. No way. ]

2. Mark floats along presuming, I estimate, that third-party insurance is a holy grail of how to relate with the sky for hang gliders. He seems not to spend much energy exploring deeply how worship of third-party insurance policies may have profound negative effects on the potential blossoming of hang gliding. He does not seem to well weigh how the USHPA tie to insurance may be affecting PDMC-PG fatalities; heck, lives and losses of bread-winners is outside the third-party-insurance deal... not covered; thus, no need to courageously face the PDMC death-bringer. Operate in ways that do not do damage to people, property, or self. Sign personal waivers that take personal responsibility. Let event managers do their thing separate from individual operations. Aim to have a conservative recreation HG that is not bound through 3PL worship with PDMC PG. Fall into the "vanillaization" of HG by buying into the 3PL hammer that is crushing play; hey kid, you cannot bring that ball into the park without first buying into the USBallAssociation 3PL policy along with a host of constraints over the ball's characteristics.

3. Mark goes to an extreme. Landowners may be more flexible than he portrays. Landowners may be smarter and more aware than Mark seems to give them. Accidents may happen on a landowners property; indeed, significant properties will have various incidents occur within the boundaries of the property. Recreation participants may commit damage to themselves and others; they do such damage regularly; owning property does not make one guilty or liable for the actions of a recreating person, be the person, the damaged player or the damaging player. Judges may see that the players are responsible for the results of the players' actions. An option is to paralyze play; damp play; squelch play; lower the creativity of a people; vanillaize the masses. If a landowner is asked directly for permission to play on a property, then a giving of a signed personal waiver could occur, but such would be redundant of relation. Act and be responsible for your actions.

4. Controlling sites with the USHPA formula is on the hot seat for a possible dysfunctional theory that may have ended up bringing fewer sites onboard for HG in the minds of its members. A different theory of self-responsible conservative HG recreating without 3PL and without joining the USHPA formula may foster responsible non-overt-permitting infinite HG sites. Examine how careful XC HG pilots outland. Careful launch with no overt-permitting of some land uses is a traditional way of recreating that could avoid some large-scale environmental damage as well as damage to persons and property; the level of care and individualization may dimension the damage picture way different than the big-org herding route; one would be invited to see just how much dumbing-down might occur in the USHPA formula; in the herding result there may be less care and poorer risk managing growing in the ranks. Once the insurance companies own the mental sphere of an activity, the game might be over soon; once herd mentality becomes the norm in a creative-play sphere, look to top-down vanillaizations sewn into the activity's fabric. The most responsible HG pilot might be one who refuses feeding the herding mentality and the top-down controlling processes while building a self-responsible habit with its invited keen risk managing. Want ever more control over your play: then fall into the abyss of keeping 3PL insurance companies in the profit realm.

5. Mark has a seeming habit of phrasing with "our sites." A wise pilot might explore just what the result might be if one simply never launched from a site that someone is placarding as "our site" with "control." Control may error. Those under control may herd under systematic error or defect. Immediate fertile factors may be neglected when one enters a controlled system or controlled environment. Traffic involving herded pilots who are under a veil or aura of control and 3PL: how might such be a formula for disaster? Avoid site managers. Avoid commercial instructor systems. Avoid sites that are controlled by USHPA. Avoid sites that require USHPA's 3PL insurance policy. Rather, be a safe pilot now and stay fully self-responsible; manage risks that fit the life you choose to cover self-responsibly. Find out what is needed to have great safe creaive HG in your life.

6. Mark apparently is not noticing that the HGP rating from U. S. Hawks may well become the most respected rating in the sport. An HGP rated pilot is free to add 1000s of HG skills to his or her person. An HGP rated pilot is free to open a topic thread for receiving comment from observers from all over the world or those close to him or her.

7. Mark, loss of HG sites just might be as a result of the USHPA strategy of control. Differently, explore that where one walks or hikes or swims or plays may already be a site for HG launch and landing: uncountable infinity of sites without USHPA control, especially. Assume the position of controlling agent and net a finite handful of sites. Assume that one may launch into the air self-responsibly (without a private controlling limited corporation with who knows what habits and missions for good or poor) and watch the site count skyrocket.

8. Mark remarks: "you are exposed to the potential loss of your personal assets if you cause injury or damage to someone else." Well, Mark, take that away from persons by the herded follow-up theory and find a possible weakened human and a weakened herd. One of the strongest things available in a human is to expose one's personal assets to risk of loss for doing damage to someone else! Sucking that dynamic away from pilots may be a severe de-vitalization of the pilots, and perhaps a dependency-creating takeover of important interior powers. Overlay a system and strategy that lowers self-responsibility awareness and investment and possibly find the system dragging a herd into a spiraling loss-behavior pattern.
Last edited by JoeF on Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:27 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Look Ma, No USHPA!!

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:09 am

That's a very carefully thought out response Joe. Your thinking explores the consequences of the knee-jerk embracing of 3PL in the same way that thoughtful people consider the long-term consequences of feeding wild life. We have to look at systems ... as systems. We have to see that the actions we take to alter a system might have exactly the opposite effect than what we intended. Thanks for that careful thought.

Mark Forbes likes to confuse ratings and insurance because he wants them to be the same thing. Mark wrote:

Mark Forbes wrote:If you showed up at any of our sites with a "rating" issued by BobK's "organization", you'd be turned away unless you could show us a real rating from USHPA.


In his ignorance, Mark has failed to realize that currently our ratings are only issued based on confirmed ratings from other well-established organizations (including USHPA). So to say that a US Hawks rating is useless is equivalent to saying that a USHPA rating is useless.

What the US Hawks ratings DO reflect is piloting skill (to the exact same degree that USHPA ratings do). What US Hawks ratings DON'T reflect is whether you've paid money to USHPA or bowed to their political and economic control. USHPA's recent expulsions have demonstrated that they allow political and economic factors to influence who THEY will allow to fly. The US Hawks does NOT abide by that concept, and we will work to separate flying from politics.

If the US Hawks does obtain 3PL insurance, it will remain a separate item from a pilot's rating. Earning a rating is a personal achievement. Purchasing insurance is a business transaction.

Ratings belong to the pilots who earn them and not to the business insuring them.

That's what we're accomplishing by recognizing USHPA's ratings and giving them back to the pilots who've earned them. We're putting ratings back into the public sphere - where they belong.
Join a National Hang Gliding Organization: US Hawks at ushawks.org
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