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 Post subject: Torrey Hawks Newsletter - May 9th, 2014
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 11:43 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 2:40 pm
Posts: 5288
Location: San Diego, CA
Hello Fellow Hawks,

This month's newsletter contains a few important items:

     - Meeting with San Diego Mayor Faulconer - May 30th
     - Site Insurance Request through USHPA - Ongoing
     - New Mandatory Radio Rule at Torrey - June 1st
     - Second Sunday at Torrey - May 11th

I hope you can find a few minutes to read about them below.

The most important item is our upcoming meeting with the newly elected San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer on May 30th. I've attached an email message to the Mayor below which introduces these three topics for discussion:

     - USHPA Site Insurance for the Torrey Hawks at Torrey Pines
     - Oversight via the Torrey Pines City Park Advisory Board
     - Ensuring that the RFP for the Lease includes all options

It would be helpful to have a good showing of Torrey Hawks members attending this meeting, and I am asking everyone to please contact me if you can be available from 11am to noon on May 30th, 2014 to meet with the Mayor. You won't need to say anything, but just being there will be helpful. So please let me know as soon as possible if you can make it. Write back by email or call me at 858-204-7499. Thanks.

The second item is an ongoing effort to obtain USHPA site insurance for the Torrey Hawks at Torrey Pines. Unfortunately, USHPA has opposed our efforts to obtain site insurance in the past, and they are continuing to do so now. Earlier this week, I wrote to USHPA President Rich Hass asking for an objective letter to the City of San Diego stating that USHPA provides site insurance to its Chapters and that such insurance would be available through the the Torrey Hawks if the City of San Diego would like to move in that direction. This should be a standard letter that USHPA provides for all of its Chapters, but Rich Hass is playing "politics" with the USHPA site insurance program and is refusing to provide such a simple letter for us. I've included a select list of Torrey Hawks members in my ongoing discussions with Rich Hass and other USHPA officials. Please let me know if you would like to be included in those email discussions as either an observer or a participant. Thanks.

The third item refers to a new rule at Torrey Pines which is going to require ALL pilots to have radios so the Concessionaire can tell pilots what to do at all times. This is a very bad idea. In recent years, there have been at least two separate crashes between paragliding students who were already under direct radio control of Gliderport instructors. If they can't keep their own students from colliding into each other via radio contact, why in the world would we give them the ability to turn ALL pilots effectively into "remote controlled" aircraft? Seeing and avoiding traffic is the pilot's responsibility, and it would be inherently unsafe to allow a ground based concessionaire (with no radar!!) to tell individual pilots what flight decisions they should be making. This is especially troubling given the concessionaire's past "safety rules" such as the "Tandem Right of Way" rule. For those who aren't familiar with it, the "Tandem Right of Way" rule stated that tandems had the right of way over all other traffic - violating the normal right of way rules (such as the "pass to the right" ridge rule). The "tandem right of way" rule was another bad idea, and it was eventually repealed ... but only after it was found responsible for another accident!! I recommend that the Torrey Hawks oppose this new rule, and I will bring it up at our Second Sunday meeting this month.

The fourth item this month is our Second Sunday meeting and fly-in. This month's Second Sunday is May 11th, and I plan to be there with the regular cooler full of snacks and drinks. My van is currently out of operation, but Mike will be bringing my Falcon 3 195 for any qualified pilots who'd like to fly it. The wind prediction is still a little bit light, but it does look like a flyable day. I hope to see you there.

Finally please feel free to write back about any items in this newsletter, and please feel free to join or start discussions on our club forum at viewtopic.php?f=4

Thanks, as always for your membership!!

Bob Kuczewski
Club Secretary - Torrey Hawks Hang Gliding Club

======== Email to Mayor Faulconer April 27th, 2014 =========

Greetings Mayor Faulconer and Staff (cc/bcc others),

Thank you very much for giving our club (Torrey Hawks) the opportunity to meet with you regarding the Torrey Pines City Park and Gliderport. In reviewing the available dates (May 16th at 2pm and May 30th at 11am), it will be most convenient for some of our members to meet on the 30th, and I respectfully ask to reserve that date and time for the meeting. Thank you.

Also, as a prelude to the meeting, I would like to introduce the following topics for discussion:

1. Insurance. USHPA offers clubs (like the Torrey Hawks) the ability to purchase low cost liability insurance protecting landowners at the many sites we fly throughout the country. Our club (Torrey Hawks) is a USHPA Chapter, and we would like the opportunity to provide such liability insurance (a $1,000,000 policy) at no cost to the City of San Diego.

2. Oversight. Our club (Torrey Hawks) provided a Board Member to the Torrey Pines City Park Advisory Board. We would like to continue participation in either a continuation of that Board or in a new Board which will advise the City regarding flight operations and safety at the Torrey Pines Gliderport. We feel this is particularly important because the concessionaire has a financial conflict of interest in the operation of the site. We would like to ensure that all user groups of the park participate in advising the City regarding the oversight of that park.

3. RFP/Lease. The 10 year Gliderport lease expired in 2008. Our club would like to ensure that any RFP published for the Torrey Pines Gliderport is written in a manner that does not preclude participation by any stakeholders (pilots, clubs, instructors, etc.) who may wish to be involved in the process.

This is not a complete list of the topics that may come up during the meeting, but they are three important issues that we would like to be able to discuss.

Thank you again for the opportunity to meet with you regarding the Torrey Pines Gliderport. Torrey Pines is famous throughout the world as one of the premier sites for unpowered flight sports. Our club would like to ensure that the Gliderport remains a safe and enjoyable park for all participants and observers of these sports.

Bob Kuczewski
Club Secretary - Torrey Hawks Hang Gliding Club

  Brian McMahon - President, Torrey Hawks
  Rich Hass - President, USHPA
  Ken Baier - Torrey Hawks representative to TPCPAB
  Alan, Corey, Dan - Region 3 Directors of USHPA
  Other interested parties

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"History is never recorded by truth never told." - Warren ("Free")

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