Keith Beebe wrote:Hi My name is Keith Beebe. I am a pilot from western Mass. Love to touch base with some pilots of your group that are from NY. Since you are close to me and I fly in NY I like to hear your take on the local situation of being a Hawk in NY. I fly , Utsayantha, Altamont, Susquahanna, Ellenville, and occasionally Tuxarora, Hancock, Harris Hill, Indian cliffs, Hammondsport. I am also an USHPA member at this time. Thanks Keith
It's good to hear from you. I'm also glad you finally found the US Hawks! I happen to be US Hawks member #2 (Bob K being #1). I like to refer to my local club here as Socenny HGPA or just Socenny for short. I happen to be member #1 of Socenny and for local "political" reasons I'm one of the only members.
In fact, I left the USHPA because Paul Voight refused to properly deal with two local chapters which were violating more than one of the USHPA's SOP's against me (for truly idiotic and petty reasons). Since nearly all the local pilots (some one time very good friends) want to remain "on the good side" of the two local chapters, they felt that associating with me would condemn them with one club or the other. I think the term "peer pressure" comes into play here.
Anyway, I've been flying since 1975 and have flown in your area also*. Here in NY I've flown at Utsayantha, Ellenville (home site for 19 years), Harris Hill, Indian cliffs, Hammondsport and Mossy Bank. The last two are within about 5 miles of where I currently live. I've also flown from Bristol, Dansville, West Cameron (a site of my own) and the east side of Ellenville's Sawangunk ridge, aka the Gunks (one of about 6 pilots to have done so). I launched off of Bear Cliff once too.
Locally, I've been seeing less and less hang gliding activity. Four years ago there were 20 - 30 active "local" HG pilots. Not sure where they've all gone since they stopped calling me and I have no interest in speaking with them. Had Paul Voight done his job, and straightened out the multiple SOP violations of the two local clubs, I'd bet that local HG activity would be at a higher level (at least I
would have been working to make that happen - but no longer).
I'll have to send you a PM with info on contacting me. My situation here foreshadowed the decline of the USHPA - very much like Bob K's long running situation at Torrey Pines.
* Out on Cape Cod (N. Truro), Mt Ascutney, Morningside, . . . I also seem to remember flying at West Rutland and some other flying site in New England that was also a ski area (abt 1980?).