Re: The future of hang gliding on hanggliding.org

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:24 am

Rick Masters wrote:Bob, there is a little problem.
Two-thirds of USHPA fly paragliders.
We need a hang gliding association.
We need an association that promotes hang gliding.
We need an association that points out the superior qualities of hang gliders.
We need an association that will honestly point out the deadly flaws of paragliders.
No hybrid association will ever do this.
Even if you kiss and make up with the USHPA, we will still need a national hang gliding association.


I agree completely ... except for the first line.

Bob Kuczewski wrote:We want to be a voice and an association for recreational hang gliding pilots regardless of what USHPA becomes. It's in our mission statement, and we're sticking to it.


That's my promise to every member of the U.S. Hawks.
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Re: The future of hang gliding on hanggliding.org

Postby DaveSchy » Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:33 am

There was an interesting thread on CBCC's list this week, from a new pilot. He was looking to sell a new Falcon, harness, chute and wheels that were only used for 5 sled runs. He stated that he was moving to an area where hang gliding was not practical, so he was going to get into paramotoring! He was willing to lose about $2000 on the deal.
Here's where I messaged him directly, and with little effort, persuaded him to re think his options, including speaking with Kamron at Northwing about putting a trike and/or struts on his Falcon, or trading it.
He wrote back saying that he had not even thought of the idea, and knows that paramotoring is extremely dangerous. He said he was going to do more research based on my suggestion.
No one else posted more than re post his ad and wish him luck with paramotoring.
The point being, these CBCC bozos did nothing more than bid him adieu.
I was heartened that he heard me, and was glad to advise him.
Where have all the new pilot's gone??
GOSH!
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Re: The future of hang gliding on hanggliding.org

Postby Rick Masters » Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:46 am

I hope you suggested he visit the US Hawks.
Where have all the new pilots gone?

Once we were all new pilots.
What happened?
Well, at first, in the middle 1970s, the hang gliders were particularly dangerous.
A lot of the early pilots died in accidents or were injured so badly they left the sport.
Many of these were the best in the sport and had many followers who became disillusioned.
Then in the late 1970s and early 1980s, a lot of hang glider pilots transitioned to power.
Again, some were hang gliding's best and many were killed on the early ultralights which were not engineered for the stresses of power.
The late 1980s brought the paraglider, a much more dangerous cousin of the skydiving parachute.
Many of the best hang glider pilots tried this new sport and, accustomed to flying in strong thermal conditions, died in canopy collapses.
Others abandoned hang gliding for the ease of paragliding, despite the increased risk and decreased performance.
As the USHGA merged with paragliding, it was slowly taken over.
The vital emphasis on safety and hang gliding was lost as the leaders of USHPA fell under the influence of paragliding.
The promotion of hang gliding and even the honesty in recognition of safety issues dwindled.
Dave, I am certain you are intimately aware of all this but it needs to be repeated again and again for those evaluating choices in free flight.
The only way to bring hang gliding back into prominence or stability is to form a national hang gliding association focused on hang gliding.
USHPA is no longer an alternative nor even a good idea.
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Re: The future of hang gliding on hanggliding.org

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:34 pm

DaveSchy wrote:There was an interesting thread on CBCC's list this week ...

Rick Masters wrote:I hope you suggested he visit the US Hawks.

Thanks Rick. This really needs to be our focus for 2018.

The U.S. Hawks has gone from nothing (in 2010) to a regular hangout for a collection of visionary hang gliding pilots (2017).

We've created the first national hang gliding association that integrates local clubs into its infrastructure. We've supported existing clubs that predate the U.S. Hawks (like RGSA, Shasta, Torrey Hawks), and we've helped found new clubs (like SW Texas and Friends of Dockweiler).

We've helped open new sites like "Scott's Ridge" in New York, and we've re-opened older sites like Dockweiler to non-USHPA members.

We've held many years of successful Otto Meets that have reintroduced pilots to their roots. We've also used those events to introduce new potential pilots to the sport of hang gliding.

We've developed a rating system that's designed to be compatible with the current industry standard, and we've issued a number of ratings under that new system.

We've pioneered an open voting process for our trial Board of Directors, and we've helped to bring attention to USHPA's failure to do the same.

We've been an advocate for recreational pilots over the business interests that have steered too many of USHPA's decisions.

We've brought attention to the recreational use statutes that could supplant USHPA's faltering insurance schemes to put hang gliding on par with so many other outdoor activities (skiing, surfing, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, SCUBA diving, ...).

In short, we've done a lot considering that we're a small handful of folks who love hang gliding.

But it's time to do more.

It's time to make a more dedicated effort to boost our membership. Frank's recent letter to his mailing list is a good example. Let people know about the things we're doing and have done. Post about the U.S. Hawks to your local club. Ask your local club about becoming a U.S. Hawks chapter. If they're not interested, then start a new club. Work to break through the gag orders on sites that suppress discussion of the U.S. Hawks. Challenge those sites with your own willingness to be banned if that's what it takes.

That last point deserves special attention. The U.S. Hawks movement is a major development in the sport of hang gliding. Any web site that suppresses that information does a disservice to its members and to the sport as a whole. The U.S. Hawks now has a 7 year track record of fair and consistent operation. It's time to start calling out any forum operator who bans mentioning the U.S. Hawks or intentionally sabotages the links to our site. I encourage all U.S. Hawks members to put a link to our site (http://ushawks.org) in your signature lines on other forums. Challenge any operator who forbids such a simple and common practice.

Let's spread the word so we can start opening more sites to non-USHPA members and bring more focus to the Recreational Use statutes that were created exactly for sports like hang gliding.

Let's make 2018 a year of outreach to grow our membership to the next level.
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Re: The future of hang gliding on hanggliding.org

Postby DaveSchy » Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:30 pm

:salute:
I am also going to try to help grow this movement that returns the sport I have loved for more than 4 decades, to our roots, emphasizing our proud tradition of self regulation.
Despite the bombastic, jingoistic uneducated and petrified responses I get from local representatives of ushpa, my primary preference will be to help the Hawks all I can, while my secondary efforts will be to not be silenced in trying to bring ushpa back to our traditional values, from within. I am not optimistic, but what the hell!
I am skeptical that ushpa will survive the coming groundswell of reason, based solely on their record, except as a national paragliding corporation navigating bankruptcy.
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Re: The future of hang gliding on hanggliding.org

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:00 pm

DaveSchy wrote: :salute:
I am also going to try to help grow this movement that returns the sport I have loved for more than 4 decades, to our roots, emphasizing our proud tradition of self regulation.
Despite the bombastic, jingoistic uneducated and petrified responses I get from local representatives of ushpa, my primary preference will be to help the Hawks all I can, while my secondary efforts will be to not be silenced in trying to bring ushpa back to our traditional values, from within. I am not optimistic, but what the hell!
I am skeptical that ushpa will survive the coming groundswell of reason, based solely on their record, except as a national paragliding corporation navigating bankruptcy.


I like your spirit Dave!!!

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
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