Personal Journals about Hang Gliding

The end of a very weak national HG association

Postby Rick Masters » Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:59 pm

The new executive committee proposal of USHPA is a power grab by the paragliding money segment.
Make that nail in the coffin for HG.
Any so-called "bi-wingal" pilots will likely side with PG money on all actions taken.

PG James Bradley, chair (and moderator of Paragliding Forum)
HG Ken Andrews
PG Josh Cohn
HG Alan Crouse
PG Mark Forbes
PG Rich Hass
PG Paul Murdoch
PG Martin Palmaz
HG Steve Rodrigues
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Re: The end of a very weak national HG association

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:13 pm

Rick Masters wrote:The new executive committee proposal of USHPA is a power grab by the paragliding money segment.
Make that nail in the coffin for HG.
Any so-called "bi-wingal" pilots will likely side with PG money on all actions taken.

PG James Bradley, chair (and moderator of Paragliding Forum)
HG Ken Andrews
PG Josh Cohn
HG Alan Crouse
PG Mark Forbes
PG Rich Hass
PG Paul Murdoch
PG Martin Palmaz
HG Steve Rodrigues


Mark Forbes couldn't even get elected in his own region, yet he remains a USHPA insider. The fish rots from the head.
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Re: The end of a very weak national HG association

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:50 am

I get a fair amount of email from some good people. For example, I just got this one:

The USHPA BOD reform vote
Tiki's Perspective.

Tiki Mashy writes:

To My Fellow USHPA Members,

It is REALLY important that you vote.  We are a small group so your vote will speak volumes.

I’ll start by saying I am NOT in favor of the Governance Proposal and here is why (this may seem like a long read, but it is vitally important you understand what you are being asked to decide): This “Governance” issue came to the forefront just after our insurance crisis.  That’s why the insurance crisis example keeps coming up as a reason for a smaller board.  They reason that the Board was not kept informed of the crisis because it was too large and would have taken too much time to bring the Board up to speed.  So the work was done by a small group of people.

It is now reasoned that a smaller board is needed to deal with a future crisis.  What future crisis?  If anything, the crisis we are facing now started a long time ago with our declining membership.  This is the critical issue that needs to be addressed – not how the Board should “govern” itself.

Straight to the point, this Governance Proposal wants to concentrate more power in fewer hands; making less representation for the membership.  The USHPA is a member driven organization.  You, as a member, give this Board its power.  To put that leadership in fewer hands would be disastrous.  Also, as a member driven organization it is most important that when members reach out for help, they have their local USHPA Director there to help with local issues, which gives them a direct line to their organization.  Yes, we need change within the organization, but this Governance Proposal does nothing for the area of change that is needed.  In some ways it actually restricts growth.

I’ll get cut-off at the knees from some of my fellow Board members for saying this, but this Governance Proposal is the USHPA Board once again focusing on themselves, not the membership, not the instructors, not the schools, chapter or clubs, and certainly not the real critical issue facing hang gliding and paragliding – lack of growth.  Seriously, USHPA needs to quit re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic and address the gaping hole in the side of the ship.  Our boat is sinking and as a member you and I should demand USHPA pay attention.  This Governance Proposal is just another example of USHPA holding themselves above the membership.  It is a distraction that needs to be quashed.  The USHPA needs to get focused:

- Concentrate on growth and promotion.  Realize that growth and promotion is happening at the local level and it is not effective to promote growth at a national level.

- Make things easy for chapters, schools, clubs, instructors and competition organizers.

- Engage and harness the talent in the membership, the clubs, and the chapters.

- Grow the membership by strengthening and validating the small instructors and supporting the schools

This Governance Proposal essentially changes nothing except to put the same power the Board is already wielding in far fewer hands and giving you, the member, far less of a voice.  USHPA is a non-profit organization.  This Governance Proposal seeks to manage it as a corporation – big mistake.

We don't need diversity programs like there are in large corporations.  The Governance Proposal’s diversity equation disenfranchises the membership at large and does nothing at all to address our critical issues.  One reason, in a nutshell the diversity equation is highly unsuitable for our organization is; if a member gets the most national votes but does not fit into the “diversity equation” that member will not be selected to the Board.  Imagine that…the person the membership deemed will do the best job is counted out because of the “diversity equation.” Conversely a member who may only get a small number of votes has a better chance of being elected if they have the needed diversity make up. Seriously, that’s how it works.

Your smaller board will be made up of the members who checked all the “right “diversity boxes.  There’s even a provision if the equation doesn’t work, than the other smaller board members get to pick someone – anyone.  Wow – member driven organization?  Not under this Proposal.

Hence, under this Governance Proposal this is where your leadership will come from, the power concentrated in these fewer men and women.  That’s a bit scary.  This Governance Proposal isn’t going to help get more members, we need to leave it and begin the real work.  Again we need promotion from within and that comes from the local level, with just some basic support from USHPA in the form of insurance, rating programs, representation with the FAA, a magazine, etc.  USHPA as a membership facilitator.

Let’s face facts we’re losing small instructors, schools, chapters, clubs and members – tell me how this “business as usual” Governance Proposal with its smaller board is going to change anything.  It will in fact do the opposite.  Members will get even more disgusted because they have less representation, the needs of the individuals/groups/clubs/chapters will not be met, schools and instructors will grow increasingly fed up with the lack of support and hang gliding and paragliding will continue to decline until it’s on the bottom with its legs up.

Sometimes I am disgusted by the lack of foresight of this Board and their failure to stay focused on the real issues.  We need to direct the current Board along with the members to focus their efforts on building membership by cultivating our schools and instructors, making things better for them, because that is where our real growth will come from.  It is in those hands that the future of hang gliding and paragliding lay.  Make it better for them and it will be better for the membership at large.

Passing this Governance Proposal with its diversity agenda, supersized regions and fewer member representation is a recipe for disaster.  Wake up folks, your organization needs your help, our membership is shrinking and this Governance Proposal does nothing to address that critical issue.

There is so much talent and knowledge on the current Board that could be better managed, the committees especially need fixing.  Membership involvement could be better managed.  An unconscionable amount of time has been expended on this Governance Proposal issue (years that the membership has known nothing about) and for what?  It’s not gotten us any closer to solving what’s really broken.

We don’t need a smaller Board, we need to fix what we have, focus on surviving this downturn and growing the membership.  A smaller board is not a recipe for growth.  The Board spends far too much time pulling the train down a broken track, when we should be fixing the track – not buying a smaller train.  One thing the Board did agree on is that nobody really likes this Governance Proposal, but because of all the work expended the vote passed to send it to the membership to decide.

So here we are.  I hope we can finally put this to rest and get on with what is truly crippling this organization..  I will be voting “NO” on this Governance Proposal and if you care about the longevity of our sport, you will stand with me on the side of growth, instructors, schools, chapters, clubs and organizers.  Call, email me anytime if you would like to discuss this matter, I welcome all conversations for or against.

Respectfully Submitted,

Tiki Mashy, Regional Director Region 6, 11 and International
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Re: The end of a very weak national HG association

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:53 am

Paul Voight posted this one on the Oz Forum:

Well…even with the newest "improved" governance proposal… I'm not a fan. I recommend the members need to vote against this proposal. You do not want it to pass. Here are some of my arguments on the matter:

My MAIN objection… is that I don't think the old system is broken. I saw it evolve and work great for many, many years.

The decline in our Sports is what has folks frustrated… and they think changing the BOD structure is going to fix the Sports. Not going to happen.
When the insurance crisis happened, yes… the mechanics of the "large" BOD were problematic in a time crunch situation… and also frustrated these same people.

The decline in the Sports won't be fixed (more easily) (or at all) by a smaller BOD.
Creating a small board… so it can function "effectively"… like the RRRG group did… (Making a BOD & Bylaws that allow this to be "proper" procedure) is not in the USHPA membership's best interest, (IMO).

A great analogy for this proposal is: “The ship is sinking fast… and this “restructuring the board idea” is just changing out the motor… rather than dealing with the huge hole in the side of the ship” (Losing instructors… not generating new members…. basically withering away to nothing…)

We have wasted the last 12-18 months discussing this already…. And plan to waste the next 3-5 months even if it doesn’t pass the membership vote.
THEN… we will have to expend time & resources to address glitches in the roll out if it passes..… over (I predict) the next 3-5 years or more. (while still addressing RRRG fires)

In 5 years… new board members will inherit this nightmare, as the board changes personnel, and they will have one mess on their hands. (and very few instructors and pilot members left…)

The 5 Regions idea in the proposal is very hokey. It's just a “fix” (to the original proposal that had no regions) to appease the folks who were not in favor of the original proposal.

I don't think the membership will have enough Intel or enthusiasm to vote for people from all over the country for this "new board". I’m not convinced vote minimums will be met.

I believe self interest groups could get a person (or more) on to this new board with enough lobbying amongst the conspirators. LOL

I don't believe committee work will happen as they hope it will… outside of this small board. Why would it? ;-)

A LARGE part of this proposal (besides “shrinking” the board) involves attempting to get “diversity” on the board. Persons who WIN elections… WILL BE BY-PASSED for persons of diverse age, wing type, gender and Region. There is also a possibility that a region(s) can be left with NO regional directors for terms… if no “viable” persons from a region get enough votes nationally. Seriously.

I would hate to see this proposal pass… and then… worse yet… fail. I'm not sure the large (current) board can fix the Sports declining numbers… at this point… but they can produce as good (and probably better/more well vetted)… policies than a small board would… and can start doing it NOW without this distraction.

Just 2 cents…
Cheers!

Paul Voight
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Re: The end of a very weak national HG association

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:05 am

Here are 2 quotes from 2 USHPA Directors. As you read them, ask yourself which Director thinks he'll lose his Directorship in the downsizing and which Director thinks he'll keep it. I'll give you a hint ... Mark Forbes lost his election last year and yet he continued for all of 2018 as a "Director at Large".

Steve Rodriquez wrote:
The Oz Report wrote:
Upcoming membership vote

https://www.ushpa.org/member/governance-proposal-2018

At the fall 2018 board meeting, the USHPA board of directors voted 14-7 to send the governance proposal on for a full membership vote. snip…



I want to clarify the above statement because the insinuation is that the BOD supports the new governance proposal. The entire BOD does not support it!

I was USHPA Secretary and Director at Large the time that the BOD voted on the proposal itself, which resulted in a tie, meaning it did not pass. The recent 14-7 vote was *not* a BOD vote in favor of the proposal, it was only a vote to submit it to the membership so you all can make the decision, not the BOD.

While I appreciate the good intentions of those who believe in the proposal, I am opposed to it because it would radically disrupt our organization without sufficient reason to justify such a major upheaval.

True, there are some good ideas in the proposal, for instance having disciplinary investigations and actions be handled by a group of Examiners and Administrators rather than Regional Directors. I like idea because it keeps our RD's from having to be the bad cop at their home sites, and either alienating their fellow club members, or being ostracized themselves for having to enforce the rules. But we can implement this program without tearing apart our existing structure!

Other things like org-to-Chapter and org-to-member communications have already been improved with the addition of the USHPA Communications Manager.
Many other needed improvements can easily be made without this radical change to our governance.

I joined the USHGA in 1980 and I want to be part of it for another 4 decades. Please do not vote to blow it up!



Mark Forbes wrote:
Davis wrote:Maybe just expand the executive committee (which does the hard work) to 7.

That's essentially what this proposal does. It reduces the size of the body that makes binding decisions down to ten, which is a number that can reasonably operate on a phone call with monthly meetings. I've been a member of the EC for quite some time, serving as Treasurer and VP over the years, and I've participated in a lot of our conference calls. Getting 26 directors together on a call is virtually impossible, and there's no way to have a discussion that works. Even with plenty of advance notice, on such a significant question, we were only able to muster 16 voting directors for an evening phone call to approve moving forward with the draft of the proposed Bylaws.

I've been a member of the strategic planning committee that was tasked by the board to work on this proposal and come up with the details. I have had some significant reservations about it, as would anyone contemplating a major change in a management structure. But I see good reasons for doing it, as well as some drawbacks.

The insurance crisis illustrated the difficulty of engaging a large board on a complex task with time pressure. There was simply no way to keep the board informed and get consensus approval of our effort to solve the problem. We figured out what needed to be done between the small group of the EC and a few other select people, and we told the board what they needed to approve. They did, but they felt left out…and they were. That was unfortunate, but in a fluid situation with many unknowns and new information arriving hourly, it's the best we could do. It worked, and we pulled off a two-year project in just a few months.

We survived that crisis. For quite a long time it's been noted that our board, by comparison with most other nonprofits, is unusually large. The question was how to structure a board large enough and diverse enough to represent both regional and flight-specific viewpoints, but small enough to act quickly and decisively when faced with urgent issues. The Bylaws proposal that will be presented to the members and voted upon is the best consensus structure we could come up with. Maybe it's an improvement to our board, or maybe not. When we surveyed the membership asking their opinion, it was 2-to-1 in favor of a smaller board. So that's what we're proposing, and we'll see what the members think.

Tiki's right about needing to focus on membership retention and growth. But for all the
doom-and-gloom, our overall membership levels are not dramatically declining. We have
a structural problem in that many of our hang gliding members are aging out, and we've
seen that one coming for well over a decade. But our original Articles Of Incorporation
say that we're an organization devoted to "the development, study, and use of fuel-less 
flight systems and aircraft capable of being launched by human power alone". That's
not "hang gliding" or "paragliding" or anything else specific. It's human-launched,
fuel-less flight, in whatever form that happens to take. We're seeing increased interest
in speed wings over the past few years. We'll need to figure out how to incorporate
them into our organization if that's where the dominant interest of the public goes.

Tiki's focus is specifically on hang gliding. That's a worthy focus. But the decline of
hang gliding participation is not confined to just the US; it's a worldwide phenomenon,
along with a general decline in recreational aviation. While we should do what we
can to promote all facets of our sport, there are tides of public attention which may
be far beyond our efforts to change. Not to say we shouldn't try, but we need to
recognize that there are competing modes of flight now, which wasn't true back
in 1974. (Well, there were, but most of them didn't evolve successfully. See the
December 1975 issue of the magazine for a directory.) Perhaps a future evolution
of hang gliders (or something like them) will once again gain market share?

A 26-member board has talked *for decades* about "growing the sport". It has
not succeeded in making any meaningful change in the number of people taking
up foot-launched flight. Perhaps a different structure would help? I don't know,
and my gut feeling is that whatever the board does, at whatever size, is not
going to materially affect the public popularity of our sport. What we *can* do
is to operate prudently and efficiently, with the greatest level of responsiveness
we can manage. A smaller board will, I believe, operate more efficiently and
be able to make decisions quicker. All of its members will be directly involved in
the decision process, not sitting on the sidelines while a small subset does the
work. At least, that's the intent.

The flip side of this is that a smaller board will have fewer viewpoints, and may
possibly miss things a larger board would not. That's why there's a diversity
aspect to the voting, to try to include as many disparate viewpoints as we can
within those ten voting members. There are fewer regions nationally in the
revised proposal, so it's much more a national-scale election, rather than a
regional one. Candidates are required to submit answers to a list of questions
about their experience and qualifications, to insure that members have
enough information about them to make an informed decision. There will be
no write-in candidates; if you're serious about wanting to be on the board,
then you need to make a convincing case for why you should be elected.

You should read the proposed Bylaws, and the various discussions and opinions
both pro and con. I'd encourage you to not reflexively vote for or against on
the basis of someone else's opinion, before you've even looked at what is 
proposed. Consider the proposal fairly, then vote based on information.

MGF

Mark G. Forbes
USHPA Director-At-Large
Corvallis, Oregon


Can you guess which is which? ;)
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Re: The end of a very weak national HG association

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:04 am

Gee, maybe they should have listened to this guy back in February of 2010:

USHPA Region 3 Director Bob Kuczewski wrote:
To: Dave Broyles <broyles.dave@gmail.com>
CC: Ken Baier <airjunkies@sbcglobal.net>,
        Mark Gaskill <airutah@hotmail.com>,
        Rob Sporrer <rob@paraglide.com>,
        Brad Hall <brad.reg3@gmail.com>,
        Rich Hass <richhass@comcast.net>,
        Rich Hass <richhass@mac.com>,
        Lisa Tate <lisa@lisatateglass.com>,
        Lisa Tate <lisa@soaringdreamsart.com>,
        Lisa Tate <lisa.tate@ushpa.aero>,
        Mark G. Forbes <mgforbes@mindspring.com>

Date: February 08, 2010, 04:03:10 PM


Hello Dave (cc Brad Hall, Rob Sporrer, Ken Baier, and the EC),

I was at Torrey Pines yesterday and I witnessed an incident. Rather than describe it myself, I'll just pass along what was posted on hanggliding.org this morning by another witness who I know was there...

     ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Jason writes (http://www.hanggliding.org/viewtopic.php?t=15666):

     Witnessed an Incident yesterday- don't see the form on the USHPA
     website- and knowing Torrey---this will never be reported

     Sunday Feb 7
     While standing in the landing area talking to a friend, I hear him say
     "whats this guy doing"

     I look towards the ridge to see a paraglider pilot flying directly downwind
     low over the the PG set up area. The pilot then intiates a right hand turn,
     impacting two stationary hanggliders, and crashing between several others.

     After checking to see if everyone was ok and inspecting the gliders for
     damage (one of them had a bent washout tube) Bob, the local RD, asks the
     pilot who his instructor was and if he was on radio. Brad Geary immediately
     tells the pilot to "don't even talk"

     An immediate gag order was in place, no one knows who this pilot was, or
     who his instructor was. The pilot WAS on radio as evidenced by the radio
     strapped to his chest. And that he carried with him in his hand for close to
     15 minutes afterward
     ------------------------------------------------------------------------

I agree with Jason's description of this event, and I do not request any action be taken regarding the incident itself (unless it is found that the instructor on radio was willfully neglecting his or her duties to keep the student safe). We all understand how this can happen, and we can just do our best to minimize it.

But what does concern me is having a USHPA instructor tell a USHPA student to NOT reveal the name of his instructor to a Regional Director.

I certainly don't know all the legal requirements behind what a Director can ask, and what a student is required to give (I suspect it's zero). But we are supposed to be a self-regulated sport, and that means that our members (and particularly our instructors) are supposed to comply with standards of safety and accountability within our organization. If an instructor is telling a student to NOT reveal the name of his own instructor to an official within USHPA, that strikes me as a fairly severe violation of those standards.

There have been other postings to that topic, and I suggest that you skim through them. I posted two comments myself (which I have included below).

I am not sure what action should be taken at this time, but having USHPA instructors telling USHPA students to NOT reveal their own instructor's name after an incident is NOT something that USHPA can defend.

Bob Kuczewski
Regional Director - USHPA Region 3


USHPA did nothing of course, and they sent the message that the Torrey business could get away with anything. Tick tock.
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Re: The end of a very weak national HG association

Postby JoeF » Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:13 am

Some waking reflections this morning:

It seems clear that recreational hang gliding
will not be the core sole focus of the future
of that org. That org by bylaws now must be
ready to serve pogo-stick foot-launchers,
pole vaulters, high jumpers, tiny-parachute foot launchers,
foot-launch sailplaners, angel-winged foot-launch skip-rope pilots,
wingsuit foot launchers, no-neg-integrity high-aspect ratio PDMC thing users,
and anything else that comes along. And there is not a hint of cessation
of worship of the RRRG placed over those that do not need it. Whether
that org remains or not, it will not be focusing on RHG.

RHG funds, energy, and time by RHG pilots may focus just on RHG
even without a bylawed corporate arrangement. Just do it; communicate.
Have such a focused forum with committees. A committee might be slated
to focus on communication RHG to public journalists, school newspaper editors,
organization presidents, government officials, FAA. Message RHG looks like
the following..... and RHG uses state's recreational-land-use statutes for guarding property owners.

Join RHG by communicating with other RHG at Forum: USHawks.org
Find RHG project wings, tips, history, stories, equipment reviews, questions,
answers, and more. Volunteer and professional RHG mentoring, coaching, and instructing.
Volunteer observing and volunteer reporting. Use of RHG USHGRS rating and USHawks rating systems.
No need to invest funds to "grow" corporation fee-payers; just use one's coins to communicate and
locally "be there" for others; share the joy by sharing time locally with others. Report and story
in local chapters of the USHawks; benefit from all local groups via a gathering place via Internet
and phone. Two by two; or more. No worries about BOD. Keep one's ratings and be responsible
for currency for each flight. Too simple? RHG veers away from recreation when strangled by
crushing crusts of bureaucratic insurance-driven mandates. No insurance required; operate
so one's RHG does not hurt third-party persons or property. Let commercial ventures care
for themselves independent of the recreational hang glider pilot. Let tow operators care for
themselves. Let event organizers care for their own event.

It does not matter how many RHG pilots there are; one or more is fine. A million or more would
be fine. No need to convince anyone of this or that. Just share the joy of what one is doing;
if another wants the same joy opportunity: great. Let there be a communications gathering
place where RHG is at "home." Right now, USHawks seems like it is moving to fulfill that call.

sg-gathering place lost its opportunity by becoming direly untrustworthy.

The big org lost its opportunity by losing RHG focus and worshipping insurance money--
leading to a series of org-fixed repugnant decisions; that org is, in my estimation, culpable of
murder-of-humans-by-neglect with regard to PG PDMC ... and its paying members
share in that culpability no matter how much of turning of heads occurs. That org
could today vote to reject all PG involvements on simple PDMC safety matters.

USHawks forum is open to grow transparent communications that foster RHG
flying, wing design, informal gatherings, flying-site sharing, gear designing,
reviewing of all RHG matters, mentoring, coaching, instructing, service to
community, history, mutual critiques, ...
Committees. Rough drafts. Forum polling. Send resulting letters to certain places.
KISS: Keep it self-soaring. Keep it simple soaring.

The big org seems dead to KISS RHG; that org will continue doing things, but not
KISS RHG. RHG assets may be diluted when married to that big org.
Or RHG assets may focus to give life to a KISS RHG flow; right now there is
freedom to spend KISS RHG assets partly via the USHawks forum.
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Re: The end of a very weak national HG association

Postby Rick Masters » Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:46 am

The smaller BOD proposal
Image

USHPA has turned into a circus with the clowns running in circles trying to put out the fire in the bigtop with their seltzer bottles.
When you have a large, well-functioning organization, a large directorship is a good thing.
Because it's cumbersome, it prevents changes from happening too quickly. (Not all changes are a good idea.)
The USHGA was cumbersome but it served hang gliding sufficiently by fulfilling the request of FAR 103 to see that the sport regulated itself.
It taught airmanship and was deeply involved in HG safety issues such as appropriate positive and negative loading and reflex settings.
New pilots were taught in schools by certified instructors and far from the cities by peers, often with Special Observer ratings for issuing pilot certifications.
This worked very well and hang gliding flourished.

Today the organization bears no resemblance to its former self.
I can't even tell what it is.
I know two things.
1) It is not going to get fixed.
2) Recreational hang glider pilots can't save it, don't need it, and shouldn't waste their time with it.

Jason's description of the Torry Pines incident reveals the fatal flaw in the USHPA.
It is two unique aviation groups with little respect for one another but who lack the courage to separate.
Instead, they are building a circus that is, frankly, embarrassing to both sports.
The only thing that can happen is that the larger segment will seek to consolidate power.
Why anyone in the smaller segment would hang around is a mystery to me.

Hang gliding needs a national organization for itself.
Our old association has been lost and replaced by a burning circus.
Paragliding, too, needs its own org.
It is time to start over.
Rick Masters: Dangerous Thoughts    USHGA #30816  EAA #1269264     US Hang Gliding Rating System
A lot of foolish people think they're hang gliding with parachutes - but nobody ever thinks they're parachuting with hang gliders.
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Re: The end of a very weak national HG association

Postby DaveSchy » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:10 am

USHPA is NOT an organization for hang glider pilots.

US Hawks most certainly IS! :salute:

Sadly... USHPA IS IN A DEATH SPIRAL, LOCKED OUT AND TOO LOW TO DEPLOY
!!!
Vote with your wallets. Save your money, they do not honor it, they just need it.

The Titanic is already sunk to the gunwales.

The "Bored" is likely most responsible for losing Lloyds' insurance.
MGF apparently continues to draw some form of benefit for the disasters he has spawned.
ANYTHING MGF says is doublespeak, gobbledygook and completely self-serving. The only soaring I see in his words or logic is from my BS meter.
His thinly veiled corporate posing is ludicrous, juvenile and disingenuous (as in his stating he is "not at liberty" to discuss with the membership what is going on). Mighty big secrets to be kept from the rabble at large. BALONEY :srofl:

I commend Joe for the USHGRS system (I am hoping we can preserve our special skills as well as our ratings). Our rating loss threat WAS about the only financial hook USHPA had on the hang gliding membership, thanks to Joe Faust, that is over and done.

Any USHPA "insurance" brown shirts at launches on PUBLIC land need to keep silent at a most critical time, when our focus determines our safety, their "control" is invalid per Part 103 and the Outdoor Recreation Acts. These people may mean well, but will NOT be tolerated. It is an intentional assault on our flight safety, completely equal in intent to the sabotage of our equipment.
They can blather their "politics" all they wish, IN THE LZ or forums.

I will not be intimidated when preparing to fly from public lands.

I urge all site stewards who deal with PRIVATE lands to renegotiate without the USHPA (irrelevant) or RRRG (illegal).

USHPA has "insured" that they will have no future, the question is "How much longer can they last?"

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Re: The end of a very weak national HG association

Postby Rick Masters » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:49 am

You raise a good point about ratings.
FAR 103 expects hang glider pilots to regulate themselves.
While not explicitly requiring a rating system, ratings are evidence of competence under FAR 103.
Under FAR 103, Joe's USHGRS http://www.USHGA.AERO is absolutely equivelent to that of USHPA.
Joe knows that once you learn to safely fly a hang glider, it's like riding a bicycle.
Yeah, you should stay current or do a refresher, but that's a logbook thing, not a pay-money-to-USHPA thing.
In fact, if you are a current hang glider pilot but refuse to pay money to USHPA (with the greater part going to support paragliding), you lose your rating.
This is in violation of the intent of FAR 103.
It is commercial profiteering to hold your rating for ransom.
It's nuts for current pilots to participate in that kind of scheme.
All you need to fly from public land is a hang glider and a free USHGRS rating.

Local clubs should immediately renegotiate their local site operations under state recreational liability law.
Or when USHPA's house of cards falls apart, they will wish they had.

The primary purpose of a national association for hang gliding is not insurance, training, competitions, site management, promotion or even a ratings system.
It is so one hang glider pilot can talk to one person in government and say, "I represent the wishes of hundreds or thousands of citizens who fly hang gliders."
That is power. That is needed. It doesn't cost anything.
Rick Masters: Dangerous Thoughts    USHGA #30816  EAA #1269264     US Hang Gliding Rating System
A lot of foolish people think they're hang gliding with parachutes - but nobody ever thinks they're parachuting with hang gliders.
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