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 Post subject: Difficulty Renewing Torrey Hawks 2016 USHPA Chapter Status
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:20 pm 
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Location: San Diego, CA
Without making any judgements (at this time), I just want to let the club know about the difficulty we've been having renewing our Torrey Hawks Chapter status with USHPA this year.

As background, we became a USHPA Chapter in September of 2007. We have maintained our Chapter status ever since that time. We have renewed every year and have met every requirement that USHPA has placed on us. We have applied for site insurance (and paid the fee), but it was never granted. So our Chapter does not currently purchase site insurance through USHPA.

As further background, on February 27th of 2015 (last year), we completed our Chapter renewal with this email message:

Quote:
Subject: Re: Chapter 270 renewal
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2015 12:08:09 -0800

Hello Ashley and USHPA (cc Brian McMahon),

Thanks for sending the forms. I have attached the following documents which should complete our 2015 renewal for the Torrey Hawks Hang Gliding Club:

     - Renewal_Form_2015.pdf
     - RiskMgmt_front.pdf
     - Flying_Sites.pdf
     - Chp270Rpt.pdf
     - Bylaws.pdf
     - Roster.pdf
     - MembApp2008.pdf

Since we do not have any insured sites, we have not included a late fee applicable to insured sites as we have discussed recently and in the past.

Please call both myself (858-204-7499) and our Club President Brian McMahon (phone number removed) immediately if we've missed any requirements for renewal.

Sincerely,
Bob Kuczewski
Club Secretary - Torrey Hawks Hang Gliding Club


On February 25th of this year (2016), I called USHPA and spoke with Ashley about our 2016 renewal. I was told that due to insurance changes, Chapter renewals would not be done until June. I followed up with this email message to confirm that communication:

Quote:
From: Bob Kuczewski
To: Ashley Miller
Cc: USHPA: US Hang Gliding & Paragliding Assn. <info@ushpa.aero>, Brian
Subject: Re: Chapter 270 renewal
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2016 09:59:10 -0800

Hello Ashely (cc Brian McMahon),

Thanks for your time on the phone this morning.

I'm just writing to include our Chapter President Brian McMahon in the discussion and to confirm that the 2016 Chapter renewal deadline for the Torrey Hawks (and all other Chapters) is currently extended until some time in June due to the changes in insurance.

As I mentioned on the phone, the Torrey Hawks does not currently purchase insurance, and we would be happy to renew before then, but we are also willing to wait along with other chapters as well.

Please keep us (both Brian and myself) informed as to when we might be able to renew our Chapter status.

Thanks,
Bob Kuczewski
Club Secretary - Torrey Hawks, USHPA Chapter #270


I got a nice reply that same day:

Quote:
From: Ashley Miller
To: Bob Kuczewski
Cc: Brian
Subject: RE: Chapter 270 renewal
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2016 19:36:17 +0000

Sure thing, will do!


Ashley Miller

Membership Coordinator

United States Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association, Inc.

719-632-8300 | 800-616-6888

http://www.ushpa.aero | http://www.ushpa.org


We didn't hear a thing from USHPA for months, but we had been hearing of other chapters being renewed. So on May 25th, I wrote to USHPA Regional Director Ken Andrews:

Quote:
From: Bob Kuczewski
To: Kenneth Andrews
Cc: Brian, Joe, Frank
Subject: Torrey Hawks Club Renewal Help Request
Date: Wed, 25 May 2016 10:40:03

Hello Ken (cc Torrey Hawks President Brian McMahon, and others),

The Torrey Hawks Hang Gliding Club has been a USHPA Chapter since the fall of 2007. We are USHPA Chapter #270. We have paid all of the fees to be a Chapter and we would like to continue to be a Chapter.

However, we have not yet received our Chapter renewal packet or any other renewal information this year. This is inconsistent with USHPA's process in the past, and I am concerned that USHPA may be trying to essentially remove our Chapter status by simply not giving us the access to renewal information.

Ken, can you let us know what we need to do to renew our Chapter status this year?

Thanks,
Bob Kuczewski
Club Secretary, Torrey Hawks Hang Gliding Club
858-204-7499


Ken replied that same day and included an email message that appears to have been sent to all chapters on April 21st, 2016 ... but NOT to the Torrey Hawks:

Quote:
From: Kenneth Andrews
To: Bob Kuczewski
Cc: Brian, Joe, Frank
Subject: Re: Torrey Hawks Club Renewal Help Request
Date: Wed, 25 May 2016 14:18:47 -0700

Bob,

So far as I know, the Torrey Hawks officers should have received the following chapter renewal information on April 21, and the USHPA Chapter Newsletter on April 15. These provide the information needed for chapter renewal. If you did not get these email messages, I presume you could contact the USHPA office (info@ushpa.aero) to get that corrected.

-Ken

Quote:
-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: 2016 Chapter Renewal
Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2016 19:40:53 +0000
From: Ashley Miller <ashley@ushpa.aero>
To:

Greetings Presidents, Vice-Presidents, and Secretaries:

With the new RRG insurance in place, USHPA is now ready to proceed with the 2016 Chapter and Site Insurance renewals. To minimize “lost deliveries”, this notice is going out to all chapter presidents, vice-presidents, and secretaries. Please be sure to co-ordinate the renewal process with your fellow officers to avoid confusion and duplicate work.

· Online Renewal: This year USHPA has implemented an online renewal process. Using this online system, you will be able to complete your chapter renewal and upload any required paperwork. The system also offers a “Save & Return” feature so that you can save your partial work and return to complete it at another time.
· Chapter Report: Attached you will find a pdf of your current chapter report. Please review this report and notate any changes (using a pdf editor or simply by printing and marking it up) to have handy for use during the online renewal process. If you are making any changes to sites or landowners for your site insurance, you will be asked to upload a copy of these mark-ups.
· Site Insurance Payment: Standard per-site rates for the annual site insurance have not changed. At the end of the renewal process, you will be asked to pay your site insurance fees to complete the process. You will have the option of choosing to pay by mail-in check or by credit card.
o Excess Limits Sites: Excess Limits fees will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the underwriters. Your chapter will be contacted by USHPA or the RRG with more information on what the fees are and how to make payment.

An Important Note on Shared Sites
Ideally, all flight activities at any given site will be managed and insured by a single chapter. That chapter will be the one responsible for ensuring proper pilot and safety procedures are being followed. If multiple chapters regularly use a site, and each requires its own set of insurance certificates, then each will have to pay the full price of the insurance to insure their activities at the site. Risk management plans at sites insured by multiple chapters must be coordinated to ensure all chapters agree on site protocol.

Chapters who choose to cooperate on managing a site can elect to have one chapter pay the full cost of the insurance and have the other chapters pitch in to reimburse them. However the insuring chapter will be the only one named on the certificates and will be the one ultimately responsible for all pilot activities and safety in the event of an incident.

If you have any questions regarding the chapter renewal process, please contact us (719-632-8300 or info@ushpa.aero) at the USHPA office.

Best Regards,
The USHPA Office Team


On May 25th, 2016 I wrote to Ashley at USHPA with a CC to Ken, Brian, and other observers:

Quote:
From: Bob Kuczewski
Sent: Wednesday, May 25, 2016 10:46 PM
To: Ashley Miller
Cc: Brian; Kenneth Andrews; Joe, Frank
Subject: RE: Chapter 270 renewal (Torrey Hawks)

Hello Ashley (cc Brian, Ken, Joe, and Frank),

I'm writing to find out about the procedure for renewing our Torrey Hawks USHPA status (Chapter #270).

I've included the discussion below (from February of 2016). At that time, you were anticipating that the renewals would be due in June. But I just inquired about it with Ken and he sent me an example letter that appears to have been sent on April 21st. As far as I can tell, none of our officers got a copy of that letter.

We would like to continue our Chapter status that we have had since 2007. Please let us know what we have to do to renew this year.

Thanks in advance,

Bob Kuczewski
858-204-7499


As confirmation, our Club President replied as well:

Quote:
From: Brian
To: 'Bob Kuczewski' , 'Ashley Miller'
Cc: 'Kenneth Andrews' , Joe, Frank
Subject: RE: Chapter 270 renewal (Torrey Hawks)
Date: Thu, 26 May 2016 11:39:18 -0700

I looked through my emails and deleted items from late April; I don’t see anything about Chapter Renewal.

Brian


I confirmed that I hadn't gotten anything either and I voiced my concerns to Ken and the group

Quote:
From: Bob Kuczewski <bobkuczewski@gmail.com>
To: Brian, Kenneth Andrews
Cc: Joe, Frank
Subject: RE: Chapter 270 renewal (Torrey Hawks)
Date: Thu, 26 May 2016 11:52:28 -0700

Thanks Brian. I checked my deleted and junk items as well and didn't find anything.

Ken, it's quite possible that USHPA will try to avoid renewing our Chapter status out of spite. They got away with expelling me for no reason, and they may do the same with our club's renewal. If that ends up being the case, will you help us with our renewal?

Thanks,
Bob Kuczewski


Ken wrote back on May 27th with a bit of reassurance:

Quote:
From: Kenneth Andrews
To: Bob Kuczewski
Cc: Brian, Joe, Frank
Subject: Re: Chapter 270 renewal (Torrey Hawks)
Date: Fri, 27 May 2016 09:54:52 -0700

Bob and all,

I expect that the USHPA office will process your chapter renewal without problem. If you encounter any further difficulty, let me know, and I’ll do what I can to help.

-Ken


On June 2nd, 2016, we got this message from USHPA:

Quote:
From: USHPA: US Hang Gliding & Paragliding Assn. <info@ushpa.aero>
To: Bob Kuczewski
Subject: Chapter Exipration Notice
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 2016 10:31:52 -0400 (EDT)

Your chapter and site insurance have expired!

Chapter Expiration Notice

Dear Chapter Officer,

This message is being sent to all email addresses associated with your chapter, in order to increase the likelihood it will be received. Please coordinate with all current chapter officers to ensure that appropriate action will be taken.

1 - Your chapter is currently inactive. We have not received a completed chapter renewal application for your chapter. This year the process happens completely online via the Chapter Application/Renewal Form (click here for online form). Please submit only one form for your chapter. Note you will also need your Chapter Report in order to review the current information on file for your chapter.

Your Chapter Report was sent as a PDF to the President, Vice President and Secretary on file for your chapter. There was no paper packet sent. If you can not locate your Chapter Report please email the USHPA Office with your name, your chapter's name, your chapter number, and the note "Please send Chapter Report" and it will be emailed to you.

NOTE: There is an error in all Chapter Reports. They list the Chapter Expiration Date as 6/30/2016 - this is incorrect. Your Chapter Expiration Date is 5/31/2016.

If your chapter renewal has already been submitted and you are receiving this message that means there was information missing (such as a payment). You should have already been notified about the information still needed - please contact the USHPA Office if you have any questions.

2 - Your sites are currently uninsured. The extension for the previous USHPA insurance expired on 5/31/2016. You must submit your Chapter Renewal Form (including payment) in order for your site insurance request to be sent to the RRG for processing. As soon as the RRG has issued the Certificate of Insurance for your site it will appear on the USHPA website (click here to check - requires Members Only login) and the certificates will be sent to the primary contact indicated for your chapter.

Due to the large number of chapters who have not yet submitted their paperwork the office is experiencing high call volumes. If possible, please make any inquiries via email so your questions can be answered as quickly as possible. Don't forget to provide your chapter name and number in your correspondence to expedite a response.

Thank you for your patience while we work through this new process!

Best Regards,
Ashley Miller
USHPA Membership Services

USHPA,
1685 W. Uintah Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80904


Brian responded that same day:

Quote:
From: Brian
To: info@ushpa.aero
Cc: 'Bob Kuczewski'
Subject: RE: Chapter Exipration Notice
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 2016 07:55:11 -0700

There has been some mistake, we never got the renewal information until now. I’m pretty positive I never got the “Chapter Report” that is being referred to here, although you don’t state when it would have been sent. I looked back through all emails from April and I don’t see anything from the USHPA at all. Can you mail the chapter report to me now?

Brian McMahon


I followed up:

Quote:
From: Bob Kuczewski
To: Ashley Miller
Cc: Kenneth Andrews, info@ushpa.aero, Brian McMahon
Subject: Re: Chapter Exipration Notice
Date: Sun, 05 Jun 2016 12:38:09 -0700

Hello Ashley (cc Brian and Ken, bcc observers),

I agree with Brian's comments below. I have checked my email and I have not received any "Chapter Report" from USHPA. We were also not informed of the May 31st deadline - even though we've been inquiring about our Chapter renewal since February (see email evidence below).

Furthermore, since our Chapter does not purchase site insurance, there has been no need to delay our renewal at all. Yet it has been delayed. The last information that we had gotten was that the renewal would be due in June, and yet we suddenly find that our chapter is no longer listed on the USHPA web site.

Please send the renewal information that Brian has requested to all club officers as currently listed. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Bob Kuczewski



There was no response from USHPA. I followed up again on June 8th:

Quote:
From: Bob Kuczewski <bobkuczewski@gmail.com>
To: Ashley Miller
Cc: Kenneth Andrews, info@ushpa.aero, Brian
Subject: Re: Chapter Exipration Notice
Date: Wed, 08 Jun 2016 10:02:01 -0700

Hello Ashley,

This is Brian's first year doing the Chapter renewal, and I am helping him with the process. Brian has sent me the verified membership roster that he received from USHPA showing the following information:

         Thank you! Your roster has been sent to the USHPA office,
         no further action is necessary.

         Chapter Number: 270
         Chapter Name: Torrey Hawks
         Percent Current: 74%

Does that complete the renewal or are there any other items neeeded? Also, when will our Chapter be restored to the USHPA Chapter listing?

Thanks in advance,
Bob Kuczewski
858-204-7499


Again, no response. I followed up again on June 9th:

Quote:
From: Bob Kuczewski
To: Ashley Miller
Cc: Kenneth Andrews, info@ushpa.aero, Brian McMahon
Subject: Re: Chapter Exipration Notice
Date: Thu, 09 Jun 2016 11:15:47 -0700

Hello again Ashley,

From yesterday ...

     Does that complete the renewal or are there any other items neeeded?
     Also, when will our Chapter be restored to the USHPA Chapter listing?

Thanks,
Bob Kuczewski
Club Secretary, Torrey Hawks Hang Gliding Club


Again, no response. I followed up on June 17th:

Quote:
From: Bob Kuczewski
Sent: Friday, June 17, 2016 12:24 PM
To: Ashley Miller
Cc: Kenneth Andrews; USHPA Information <info@ushpa.aero>; Brian McMahon
Subject: Re: Chapter Exipration Notice

Hello again Ashley (cc USHPA Director Andrews and others),

Can you tell me the status of our Torrey Hawks Chapter renewal?
I have been checking the USHPA web site and we are still not listed.

Please let me know what we must do to complete the renewal as
soon as possible.

Sincerely,
Bob Kuczewski


There has been no response until last night (June 28th, 2016) when I got this message from USHPA:

Quote:
From: Galen Anderson
To: Bob Kuczewski
Subject: RE: Chapter Exipration Notice
Date: Tue, 28 Jun 2016 22:04:48 +0000

Hi Bob,

Before we can complete your chapter renewal, please answer the questions below so we can complete the review.

How many members have been made inactive per your bylaws to comply with the 70% USHPA member requirement?

Who are the members that have been made inactive?

The bylaws don’t specify how members are made inactive? Can you elaborate on how that process occurs? What are the criteria used to make that determination?

Is the decision to go into inactive made by the member or chapter?

Best,

Galen Anderson
Membership Coordinator
United States Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association, Inc.

719-632-8300 | 800-616-6888

http://www.ushpa.aero | http://www.ushpa.org


Now USHPA knows that we have completed all of the forms and complied with all of the membership requirements. They know that there is no requirement to list members that are no longer active members of a club. So why would USHPA be asking us for that information?

I consulted with our club President, Brian, and I replied with the following message which he approved in advance. I also blind-copied all members of the Torrey Hawks:

Quote:
From: Bob Kuczewski
To: Galen Anderson
Cc: Kenneth Andrews, USHPA Information, Ashley Miller , Brian McMahon
Subject: RE: Chapter Exipration Notice (Torrey Hawks)
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2016 11:52:40 -0700

Hello Galen (BCC all members of the Torrey Hawks),

Let me start with an overview.

The Torrey Hawks Hang Gliding Club is dedicated to promoting and protecting the sport of hang gliding at Torrey Pines (as stated in our bylaws). We feel that free membership is consistent with that goal, and it helps us to be more inclusive of members who share that goal.

Our bylaws state:

       Expired USHPA members may be placed on inactive status
       as needed to maintain compliance with USHPA membership
       requirements.


In order to remain compliant with USHPA's 70% membership rules, we implement that bylaw by honoring seniority in our club. In other words, members become inactive in reverse order of the date that they joined the Torrey Hawks.

Now I'll answer your specific questions:

Galen asked: How many members have been made inactive per
         your bylaws to comply with the 70% USHPA member requirement?


There is no current USHPA requirement for clubs to provide a count of members that might be inactive for any reason. If you can provide a valid reason for needing that information, we will gladly provide it.

Galen asked: Who are the members that have been made inactive?

There is no current USHPA requirement for clubs to provide a list of members that might be inactive for any reason. If you can provide a valid reason for needing that information, we will gladly provide it.

Galen asked: The bylaws don’t specify how members are made inactive?
         Can you elaborate on how that process occurs? What are the criteria
         used to make that determination?


Our bylaws state:

       Expired USHPA members may be placed on inactive status
       as needed to maintain compliance with USHPA membership
       requirements.


In order to remain compliant with USHPA's 70% membership rules, we implement that bylaw by honoring seniority in our club. In other words, members become inactive in reverse order of the date that they joined the Torrey Hawks.

Galen asked: Is the decision to go into inactive made by the
         member or chapter?

Both. First, members may request being made inactive and their status request is honored. Second, in order to remain compliant with USHPA's 70% membership rules, we inactivate members in reverse order of their membership date in the Torrey Hawks.

The Torrey Hawks Hang Gliding Club has maintained compliance with USHPA's Chapter Requirements, and I look forward to our speedy renewal. Please also include our club President Brian McMahon in all future communications regarding our renewal.

Sincerely,
Bob Kuczewski
858-204-7499


That's where it stands right now.

_________________
Join a National Hang Gliding Organization: US Hawks at ushawks.org


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 Post subject: Re: Difficulty Renewing Torrey Hawks 2016 USHPA Chapter Stat
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 2:34 am 
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Posts: 4529
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Our response to USHPA's questions was sent on June 29th (last message in previous post).

Yesterday (July 12th, 2016), Galen Anderson of USHPA finally responded with this:

Quote:
From: Galen Anderson [mailto:galen@ushpa.aero]
Sent: Tuesday, July 12, 2016 11:06 AM
To: Bob Kuczewski; brian; bob
Subject: RE: Chapter Exipration Notice (Torrey Hawks)

Chapter Officers,

In order to review your chapter application, the questions listed below will need to be completed with more detail to better understand how membership status is managed. Until you are able to do so, the chapter application cannot be considered for approval.

Galen Anderson
Membership Coordinator
United States Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association, Inc.
719-632-8300 | 800-616-6888
http://www.ushpa.aero | http://www.ushpa.org


He's referring to the questions he asked that I either answered completely or pointed out that they are not required under any USHPA regulation. Our president Brian responded quite appropriately:

Quote:
From: Brian
To: 'Galen Anderson' <galen@ushpa.aero>, 'Bob Kuczewski', bob@ushawks.org
Subject: RE: Chapter Exipration Notice (Torrey Hawks)
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2016 11:38:39 -0700

Hi Galen,

I don’t mind putting in more detail, but can you tell me how many other chapters are currently in the same situation as our chapter? How have other chapters dealt with this new requirement? We are trying to be compliant the best way we know how to, but we are not claiming expertise on how to best handle this requirement. Any guidance you can give on the matter would be helpful.

I’ll ask other chapters how they have handled this, but ours was to change the by-laws to place members into an inactive state based on seniority (when they joined the club), and current USHPA membership status. I’m not understanding what extra detail you would need or why you need it. If we wanted to, we could simply place all non-club officers or non-USHPA members as patrons of the club through a by-law change, similar to the USHPA’s own magazine-only membership. That would instantly answer all of your questions about who and how, and it would set our membership ratio to 99%.

Thanks,

Brian McMahon


It's obvious that USHPA is just fishing for any excuse to deny our Chapter Renewal.

_________________
Join a National Hang Gliding Organization: US Hawks at ushawks.org


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 Post subject: Re: Difficulty Renewing Torrey Hawks 2016 USHPA Chapter Stat
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 7:40 am 
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Posts: 2478
Location: Las Cruces NM 88005 (Region 4)
Torrey Hawks,
I thought excluding members from a RRG was the deal breaker with regards to qualifications to form a RRG in the first place.

Any percentage requirements by the USHPA would be excluding a pilot from joining a RRG which would violate the rules for the formation of the group.


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 Post subject: Re: Difficulty Renewing Torrey Hawks 2016 USHPA Chapter Stat
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:03 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2011 5:11 am
Posts: 2454
To become a member of an RRG, you have to be a legal entity.
I doubt that an unincorporated club will meet that legal definition.
But that is a good thing.
As I've been trying to explain all along, when an RRG fails, members are on the hook for losses and expenses.
Court cases and legal expenses can go on for years.
Without government guaranty funds - which are unavailable to RRGs - the members themselves can be financially ruined.
The worst type of RRG you could ever dream up would be a dangerous sports RRG with minimum funding.
It's a disaster.

You don't want to go there.
I expect it will prove much better for unincorpated hang gliding groups to develop site usage based on state recreational liability laws and citizen rights.


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 Post subject: Re: Difficulty Renewing Torrey Hawks 2016 USHPA Chapter Stat
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 9:42 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:20 pm
Posts: 2478
Location: Las Cruces NM 88005 (Region 4)
I'm sure you are right Rick. I prefer to go the route you suggest but for those that are inclined to pursue RRG coverage in spite of our best advice the rules about excluding pilots doing the same sport has been addressed in the RRG rules.

The appropriate state insurance commissioner should be contacted if anyone is prevented from getting insurance. Nothing will be allowed to stand in the way of their insurance scheme. The USA is an insurance company with a standing army.

As to limiting one's risk many states allow home owners to fill out a form to remove their home from any attachment by a court. I can't remember now if it had something to do with declaring it a homestead or not.
If protected someone suing can't list your home as an asset to be up for grabs.


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 Post subject: Re: Difficulty Renewing Torrey Hawks 2016 USHPA Chapter Stat
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 7:37 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:20 pm
Posts: 2478
Location: Las Cruces NM 88005 (Region 4)
Bill Cummings wrote:
I'm sure you are right Rick. I prefer to go the route you suggest but for those that are inclined to pursue RRG coverage in spite of our best advice the rules about excluding pilots doing the same sport has been addressed in the RRG rules.

The appropriate state insurance commissioner should be contacted if anyone is prevented from getting insurance. Nothing will be allowed to stand in the way of their insurance scheme. The USA is an insurance company with a standing army.

As to limiting one's risk many states allow home owners to fill out a form to remove their home from any attachment by a court. I can't remember now if it had something to do with declaring it a homestead or not.
If protected someone suing can't list your home as an asset to be up for grabs.

http://www.homesteadus.com/faq.htm


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 Post subject: Re: Difficulty Renewing Torrey Hawks 2016 USHPA Chapter Stat
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 8:53 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:28 pm
Posts: 201
Location: Reseda California
Spring 2017 is judgement for the USHPA/RRRG monoply. This is the exact moment I have been planning for for years as we will have "Telemetry" that can be under subpoena and we will once and for all win this issue. Patients pays off. We have a new allied coalition to help.

Image
Image

USHPA needs to understand the ace up the sleeve and they are being toyed with for entertainment purposes and have no chance.

USHPA is an all volunteer organization and may be spared if Felipe Amunategui is assigned the presidency.


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 Post subject: Re: Difficulty Renewing Torrey Hawks 2016 USHPA Chapter Stat
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2016 3:40 pm 
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Posts: 4529
Location: San Diego, CA
USHPA twisting the SOPs to force all clubs to be biwingual

Here's a quote from USHPA's SOP's as of July 23rd, 2010. Note that Chapter requirements (SOP 06-01.02) are distinct and different from Site Insurance requirements (SOP 06-01.03). These were very similar to the SOPs in place when the Torrey Hawks became a USHPA Chapter in September of 2007.

Quote:
06-01.02 Chapter Requirements

USHPA chapter status requires written application by an officer of the organization requesting chapter status. The officer should indicate intent to maintain the Chapter qualification requirements. Chapter applications are available at the USHPA office. Required paperwork includes the following items:

  1. A list of current officers including names, addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses if available.
  2. A membership roster including the names and addresses of all members of the organization. (Indicate which members are USHPA members and provide their membership numbers and expiration dates.)
  3. A copy of the organization's bylaws.
  4. A copy of the organization's membership application form. (The organization’s membership application must have space for the applicant's USHPA number and expiration date.)
  5. The application should also include the names and addresses of two magazine subscription recipients. (The local library or the accommodating landowners are two possibilities.)

06-01.03 Site Insurance Requirements

  1. All new site insurance requests require oral or written Regional Director approval. Approval of Chapter applications will be by letter after qualifications have been confirmed.
  2. The following items are the conditions of responsibility a Chapter accepts when requesting site landowner coverage. They represent the minimum standards established by USHPA and the insurance company to help administer safe, controlled flying sites that are to be covered by site landowner insurance obtained by USHPA.
    1. The Chapter must monitor or administer the site to assure that only USHPA member pilots fly the site or that other participating pilots have proof of independent insurance which has been determined by the USHPA to be of equal or greater coverage as that provided by USHPA to both the site and the pilot.
    2. The Chapter must establish minimum pilot rating requirements for safe use of the site.
    3. Pilots must be required to wear protective headgear while flying the site.
    4. Only USHPA members must be permitted to act as launch assistants for those participants who are covered by landowner site insurance obtained from USHPA.
    5. Pilots using insured sites must avoid safety violations and observe all safety precautions relevant to the site.
    6. A copy of the Chapter’s site rules or procedures must be submitted to USHPA.
    7. If a USHPA approved chapter implements its own waiver form, the USHPA must be named as a released party and the waiver must be reviewed by the USHPA office before it is implemented
    8. Chapters must provide USHPA with a comprehensive listing of additional insureds/landowners, showing their complete names and addresses and interests in the named property, including proof of ownership if requested by the Executive Director.
      There is no restriction on the number of additional insureds/landowners who may be listed on a site's certificate.
    9. A copy of any landowner agreements that may exist detailing the nature and extent of the use of the site must be submitted to USHPA.
    10. The Chapter must ensure that recreational flight privileges are made available at any insured site to any and all qualified USHPA members meeting Chapter site requirements in a fair and equitable manner without discrimination.
    11. Chapters may be able to share site insurance fees at common sites depending on the nature of the landowner agreements pertaining to the sites. It is recommended that the chapters alternate the fees from year to year.
    12. Any adverse incident caused by a non-member of USHPA could result in the local Chapter, its members or its site owners, being held responsible.
    13. The insurance policy has a pilot deductible. Should a claim be filed against the landowner or Chapter, the responsible pilot will be accountable for 100% of the deductible. If covered claims exceed the pilot deductible amount, the amount that exceeds the deductible is to be paid by the insurance company.
    14. It is the sole discretion of USHPA Board of Directors or its appointed agents to immediately suspend or cancel any and all insurance benefits.


Those SOP's made it clear that Chapter requirements (06-01.02) were different from site insurance requirements (06-01.03).

But more recent versions (including this one from June 14th, 2014) have intentionally combined and confused the two sections. Notice that many of the previous insurance requirements (especially item 10) have somehow become "Requirements for chapter status".

Quote:
06-01.03 Administrative Requirements

Hang gliding and paragliding clubs can apply for Chapter status by completing and submitting a chapter application to USHPA together with the required one-time documentation fee for new chapters. USHPA and USHPA Regional Director(s) review applications for new chapter status and determine if chapters satisfy the eligibility requirements set forth below. Chapters are required to complete and return a chapter renewal application annually.

Requirements for chapter status:

  1. Chapters must have at least five members.
  2. At least 70% of the chapter members must be USHPA members. Chapters are required to provide USHPA with a membership roster annually. The roster must include names and USHPA membership numbers for USHPA members.
  3. Not less than 60% of chapter officers must be USHPA members. Non-pilot chapter members may serve as chapter officers provided they do not hold more than 40% of the elected officer positions. The 40% limit does not apply to non-pilot officers who are USHPA members.
  4. Chapters are required to appoint or elect a Safety Coordinator responsible for encouraging safety and helping develop and implement site risk assessments and safety protocols. The Safety Coordinator must be a USHPA member but is not required to be a club officer or board member.
  5. The Safety Coordinators must sign a USHPA site risk assessment and compliance certificate for each insured site and every actively used flying site the chapter manages or controls.
    1. When signing this certificate, the Safety Coordinator is acknowledging the chapter has a current USHPA risk assessment and mitigation plan on file with the chapter and is complying with or, for newly developed sites, in the process of complying with the recommendations of the plan.
    2. New chapters and chapters opening up new active flying sites have 90 days to complete site risk assessments and 12 months to implement mitigation plans.
  6. Chapters are required to provide USHPA with current chapter bylaws meeting the following requirements:
    1. Chapters are required to hold annual elections for chapter officers.
    2. Chapters are required to have objective requirements for membership and voting in chapter elections. Chapters may restrict membership and voting rights provided the restrictions are based on objective requirements such as minimum pilot ratings or a dues structure with different annual dues for each class of membership. Chapters may not discriminate by using a membership review committee, for example, to screen prospective members.
    3. Chapter members shall be entitled hold office as officers of the chapter, subject to the objective requirements and USHPA membership requirement described in this SOP.
    4. Chapters may not, as a matter of policy, discriminate against pilots of one glider type, either hang glider or paraglider, or discriminate between pilots of equal pilot rating. Chapters must ensure that flight privileges at insured sites are made available to any and all qualified USHPA members meeting chapter site requirements in a fair and equitable manner without discrimination. Note: This requirement does not mean chapters cannot designate a site for hang gliding or paragliding only. Glider specific site requirements are permissible because of safety or landowner requirements, and possibly other conditions.
    5. Chapters are encouraged to comply with applicable state regulatory requirements for clubs and non-profit organizations.
  7. Chapter membership applications shall not unreasonably limit or restrict membership or the rights of individual members.
  8. USHPA reserves the right to ask chapters to provide copies of current Club bylaws, membership rosters and meeting minutes.
  9. Complaints regarding chapter governance may be submitted in writing to the chair of the chapter support committee.
  10. In extraordinary circumstances, a Club may not be able to conform to the organizational requirements. The chapter can submit a request for exemption from an organizational requirement to USHPA. Such requests are reviewed by the Chapter Support Committee and must be approved by the Board of Directors.



This was clearly done so the USHPA leadership could use it as a political weapon against chapters they didn't like. It's clear that's what they're doing to the Torrey Hawks.

Here's the worst part. USHPA members pay for the airfares, hotel stays, meals, and miscellaneous expenses for Directors who sit around either actively conspiring against members or having too much fun to actually read what they're passing. When I was Regional Director, I read this stuff, and I challenged it on behalf of the members. That concept was so foreign to them, that they couldn't wait to get rid of me. Nothing has changed since then.

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 Post subject: "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor"
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2016 5:58 pm 
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"If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor"

You may remember those words from Obama ... which turned out to be a lie.

I've attached the main page of the USHPA Chapter application from 2007 (the year the Torrey Hawks became a chapter).

You'll notice - right at the top - they asked chapters to circle whether they were a hang gliding chapter or a paragliding chapter.

Now the Torrey Hawks club is being refused renewal because we stuck to our application ... and USHPA didn't.

     USHPA: "If you like your hang gliding club, you can keep your hang gliding club."

Liars.

Attachment:
pkt_Chapter_Application_p2_top.jpeg
pkt_Chapter_Application_p2_top.jpeg [ 112.79 KiB | Viewed 1790 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Difficulty Renewing Torrey Hawks 2016 USHPA Chapter Stat
PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 8:09 am 
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FYI ... I just spoke with Wingspan on the phone and he again demonstrated his thorough comprehension of the regulations by pointing out that we could apply for an exemption to the biwingual club requirement (funny that USPA never mentioned that in their correspondence).

The problem with asking for an exemption is that it assumes that USHPA actually wants to find a way to renew the Torrey Hawks. Unfortunately, the opposite appears to be the case. :(

But Wingspan's suggestion is a good one anyway because it will further demonstrate how unreasonable USHPA has become.

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