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USHPA Driving Away Chapters ?!?

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:08 pm

I just got an email message from the President of the Yosemite Hang Gliding Association. She wrote:

Dear Chapter:

Recently we sent a statement to all of USHPA’s Regional Directors in an effort to get them to review their decisions regarding recent changes to SOP 06-01. These recent changes by the Board almost cost us Yosemite this year; if we had not had a very generous governing board in this chapter, it would have. Our Treasurer actually resigned just to save the site. This does not seem like a major issue until you realize this particular Treasurer has been instrumental in keeping this site open for the past 22 years. He is a past master pilot, a past Chapter President, past Regional Director, and past President of USHPA (serving 8 years). This pilot had a landing accident in Yosemite in 2011 and has not been able to fly since. He let his USHPA membership lapse until such a time as he feels that he can safely return to the sport. This lapse in membership is what has caused the problem. With USHPA’s new changes Chapters are now required to ensure that all officers are USHPA members. Rather than lose the site this officer stepped down.

This is only one incident but by no means the only one. USHPA’s own definition of a Chapter in SOP 06-01.01 states: “Chapters are member controlled organizations affiliated with the USHPA in order to encourage a close relationship between the USHPA and hang gliding and paragliding clubs or organizations (“Clubs”) throughout the country. This close relationship helps maximize the distribution of safety information and news, and to promote the growth of the sport.” It further states: “Chapters are autonomous organizations which are financially independent from the USHPA and are self-governing. In return, USHPA provides benefits to the Chapters.” If so, then it only follows that as member controlled, autonomous, self-governing organizations, we should be in control of who we accept as members, who we allow to direct and govern our sites, and the regulations and rules necessary to maintain and support our chapters/clubs/sites.

I suggest that Chapters/Clubs should not be controlled by USHPA, but instead USHPA would not exist were it not for the work of those involved with the chapter/clubs/sites. As we do with our Club, there are landowners who have never been pilots that are club members with invested interests in what we do as an organization. These new regulations prevent them from having any governance over their own property, should they decide to serve as an officer. Our landowners have been extremely supportive for over 30 years.

There is a very large aging population in our sport, as this process progresses, we will see more and more retired pilots. If we let these new regulations stand, we are telling these pilots thanks for the years, but get out of the way we no longer value your expertise, experience, or input. I suggest that these are valuable assets to our clubs/ chapters/ sites and should not be forced out or into lesser positions. It is demeaning and degrading. Whether they are still flying or not does not mean that they no longer have an interest, care or concern regarding the future of our sport or flying sites.

Please take the time to review the newly implemented changes SOP 06-01, evaluate how these new regulations affect your Chapter and the repercussions that they may have on your organization long term.

Please help us by sending a copy of our letter or your own letter to your Regional Directors right away. Let them know what your thoughts are on these new regulations. They are your voice in our organization, let them hear us. They are meeting this next week, please do this right now!

Thank you for your time,

Connie Work – President of the Yosemite Hang Gliding Association


The message contained this letter to the USHPA Board:

Historically, the USHPA’s Board of Director’s have made decisions that have put them at odds with member wishes and those decisions have had to be revisited. That is the situation with the most recent changes to SOP -06-01, Chapters.

The SOP 06.01 introduction states:

“Chapters are member controlled organizations affiliated with the USHPA and hang gliding and paragliding clubs or organizations (“Clubs”) throughout the country. This close relationship helps maximize the distribution of safety information and news, and to promote the growth of the sport.

Chapters are autonomous organizations which are financially independent from the USHPA and are self-governing. To achieve Chapter status, Clubs must conform to guidelines set by the USHPA Board of Directors. In return, USHPA provides benefits to Chapters.

The above statement is reasonable and accurate. Unfortunately the recent changes to the requirements to become a Chapter or maintain existing Chapter status violates the concept of “autonomous organizations” and potentially threatens the existence of some well established sites.

The issue is membership. To be a member of the USHPA, an individual must pay a membership fee and sign a waiver giving up some legal rights. The waiver is important to maintain Third Party Liability Insurance necessary to many of the sites the Chapters manage. If the Insurance Company had its way, every citizen in North America would sign this waiver, but that, of course, is not practical. Pilots sign the waiver because they recognize that without site insurance many flying sites would not exist. But there are many non-pilots who have an interest in the management of some flying sites and as such maintain some connection to the Chapters managing the flying site. Some of those people are:

  • Private landowners who allow the use of their lands for hang gliding and paragliding activities
  • Local Civic leaders in the case where those flying sites are on public lands.
  • Retired pilots who don’t fly anymore, but still have an interest in site management.
  • Key individuals who provide a service to the Chapter (such as legal or accounting services).

To require these individuals to pay a fee or sign a waiver giving up legal rights as a reward for their donating their time and/or property to keep a flying site open is certainly not reasonable and we do not do it (yet?.). But the latest revisions to Chapter Requirements are indirectly doing just that. Specifically:

  1. The requirements for the percentage of USHPA members in a Chapter has changed from 50% to at least 70%. While this isn’t a problem for larger Chapters, it is potentially problematic for smaller chapters. As an example, if the Chapter has 5 members, they now must make sure 4 of them are USHPA members as opposed to 3. This may not sound like much, but I know of at least one Chapter that has to deal with this issue. Personally, I think the requirement of 50% is sufficient to ensure pilots are managing their particular site.
  2. Of greater concern is the fact that the new SOP requires 100% of the Chapter’s Officers to be members. This is a very big deal and this policy could have cost us at least one major flying site. When the President of the Yosemite Hang Gliding Assn. went to renew Chapter status, she was told by the office that they could not process the paperwork because the Association’s Treasure was not an active USHPA member. That individual is a retired pilot who has been taking care of the Chapter’s financial processes for the last 22 years. That individual chose to retire as Treasure and the Club will have to deal with that at their annual meeting. Had he not chosen that path, the organization’s Chapter status would not have been renewed, no site insurance certificate issued and the top flying site in our National Park System as well as one of the premier flying sites in the world would have gone away. Given the political climate in our Federal Bureaucracy, the site would have likely been gone forever.

The bottom line is this – USHPA should be doing everything it can to give Chapters tools to manage and maintain their flying sites. Getting in the business of telling Chapters how to manage their sites, whether directly or indirectly should be avoided. Further if by USHPA’s definition and guideline the Chapters are “member controlled”, “autonomous organizations” which are “self-governing”, then what is USHPA doing setting Chapter/Club policy?

We urge you to reconsider these changes and revert back to the previous guidelines. We understand that our insurance carrier is driving some of these changes, but we cannot let our insurance carriers set policy for our organization or the tail wags the dog. Soon they will be asking us not to fly competitions, or where there are more than five pilots, all in the interest of reducing risk. Every USHPA pilot is aware of the risks and hazards of our sport, which is why they are willing to sign the waiver, but this is going over the line.

Sincerely,

Russ Locke – Past USHPA President
Connie Work – President of Yosemite Hang Gliding Association


Connie is right on target. In fact, I also know of other Chapters who may not renew this year because of USHPA's new requirements. Let's stand behind Connie on this!! :clap: :clap: :thumbup: :wave: :clap: :clap:
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Re: USHPA Driving Away Chapters ?!?

Postby JoeF » Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:07 pm

The insurance tail has been wagging the dog for about 40 years.
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Re: USHPA Driving Away Chapters ?!?

Postby Bill Cummings » Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:42 pm

Not to mention that the one last pilot can’t fly off of the AWCL because it’s no longer kosher for the non club member driver to stand on the ramp on the nose wires.
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Re: USHPA Driving Away Chapters ?!?

Postby SamKellner » Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:36 pm

Bill,

Here is a message I sent to USHPA lawyer Tim Herr, on the ushpa Visigy e-learning web site, owned by Tim.

I never got an answer. Neither did the other Safety Officer who had the same question, John Lowery.

I logged in today, and there were no messages posted since I signed in last time weeks ago.
.................................................................................................


Discuss Risk Management with our Lawyer / Re: Welcome to the USHPA Education Forum
« on: May 18, 2012, 07:50:54 am »

Quote from: John Lowery on May 08, 2012, 08:08:32 am
We have a number of spouses, friends and associates who regularly participate in flying activities



What I said:
In addition to flying activities, chapter functions are often performed by a member's spouse.
I believe a new requirement, under the risk mitigation effort, is that all chapter officers be full USHPA members.
This will effect our chapter in a negative way.

Thank You,
Sam Kellner
Pres.-Safety
Chapter #285
Southwest Texas Hang Gliders
.........................................................................................

I wonder how much ushpa is paying Herr for the website noone is using :thumbdown:
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Re: USHPA Driving Away Chapters ?!?

Postby Bill Cummings » Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:12 pm

I think the position in our club that is the most demanding is that of our secretary treasurer. For years our club, RGSA, based out of Alamogordo, NM had this position filled by the late Cindy West. She was a non pilot and the wife of a pilot.
Most all of our regular drivers are non pilots. At one time the best boat tow driver in all of region 7 with over two thousand tows to here credit was a non member.
The aerotow pilot for the Sky Dog hang gliding club based out of the Duluth Superior area at the western tip of Lake Superior was a non HG pilot.
Rather than loose all these willing participants maybe we should fire the lawyer.
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Re: USHPA Driving Away Chapters ?!?

Postby SamKellner » Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:13 pm

Yep, my wife assisted me organizing the TexasOpen Fly-in '02-'09, mostly as a Secretary but a lot of help. I do my paperwork early in the mormings :lol:

Then when we organized the chapter, '10, she filled the Sec. position. She don't like the dues increase and is kinda offended by the new mandates that were imposed on us members and has backed off helping to a great degree.

Now I'm late renewing the Chapter etc. :thumbdown: :eh: :problem:
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Re: USHPA Driving Away Chapters ?!?

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Wed Sep 21, 2022 10:07 pm

I just found this topic while searching for "Yosemite".

It's interesting to see the writing on the wall nearly 10 years ago.
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Re: USHPA Driving Away Chapters ?!?

Postby Craig Muhonen » Thu Sep 22, 2022 1:08 am

After reading these posts from Connie Work and others, I pulled out some lines.
Me in red

With USHPA’s new changes Chapters are now required (I say "Bullied")to ensure that all officers are USHPA members.

SOP 06-01.01 states: “Chapters are member controlled organizations affiliated with the USHPA(s) in order to encourage a close relationship between the USHPA(s) and hang gliding and paragliding clubs or
(what about LLC's instead of...)organizations (“Clubs”) throughout the country.
This close relationship helps maximize the distribution of safety information and news, and to promote the growth of the (our)sport.
("safety information and news" is how the USHPAS machine, has carefully controlled misinformation and half truths from day one, and changing SOP's at their whim. They Co-Opt Hang Gliding to their advantage, and promote the growth of their PG sport only, gotta hand it to them and now the Paramotor's have firmly attached themselves to the USHPAS PG's, and notice how the "H" in USHPA has been co-opted into one word, It's "Hang Gliding", so I thought. )

Bill Comings wrote;
Rather than loose all these willing participants maybe we should fire the lawyer(s). (and why not reorganize chapters into LLC's ?)

and Joe picked up on this;
The insurance tail has been wagging the dog for 40 years


USHPA Driving Away Chapters ?!?
by Bob Kuczewski » Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:08 pm 7Replies 3305 views(they are watching)
==============================================================================================================
I still think Lloyds of London would come back into the mix as an underwriter of AIG insurance (the Ski areas) if the right proposals were presented to them, as they fully supported the pioneers of Hang Gliding starting in 1972.

Clubs Unite!, have a new Hang Gliding "AI",
and "videographer" Corps.
It will drive them crazy.

C:+o) :wave:
"You gotta' push the stick forward while you're lookn' at the ground
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Re: USHPA Driving Away Chapters ?!?

Postby DaveSchy » Thu Sep 22, 2022 6:08 am

This looks, tastes and smells like typical, boiler plate Forbonian doublespeak.
I'm so glad to no longer be affiliated with these criminals.
They are their own worst enemies, and it's increasingly easier to see the lies, deceit and greed that drives this deplorable behavior.
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Re: USHPA Driving Away Chapters ?!?

Postby Craig Muhonen » Fri Sep 23, 2022 10:30 am

Just think High School


Love Hate


By Monica Garske and Brandi Powell • Published June 26, 2013 • Updated on June 27, 2013 at 9:36 pm
A report released by the medical examiner's office stated that Ho was paragliding with a class, including an instructor. After Ho drifted off and crashed into the rocks, the instructor gave him CPR.

"According to witness statements the man was unfortunately slammed into the rocks, on a hill, on a bedrock out by the beach area," said Lt. Marco Garmo.
Witnesses told NBC 7 they had seen the victim struggling while paragliding prior to the fatal crash on the rocks.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been told about the paragliding business involved in the fatal accident, and has been in contact with the business.

Garmo said it is illegal to paraglide in Imperial Beach except to practice getting the chute up and down. He said there have been no paragliding deaths in IB for at least two years.
IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif.—A Windsor, Colo., man has been killed in a Southern California paraglider accident.
The San Diego County coroner’s office says 48-year-old Henry Ho was with an instructor and classmates when he crashed onto rocks in Imperial Beach on Wednesday.
KNSD-TV ( http://bit.ly/152DUQ9)
A coroner’s statement says paramedics responded but Ho could not be revived and he was pronounced dead.
The newspaper U-T San Diego ( http://bit.ly/14Ay3PL) says Ho was founder of Financial Stewards Wealth Management Co. and was married with four children.
The city of Imperial Beach allows paragliding ground instruction but paragliders are not supposed to go airborne.
KNSD-TV ( http://bit.ly/152DUQ9) reports that authorities don’t know if Ho intentionally launched or was accidentally lifted off the ground by the wind.
July 16, 2014 – David Norwood David Norwood (55), co-chairman of the USHPA Accident Reporting committee, a Master (P5) pilot and USHPA member since 2007, suffered fatal injuries during a flight at Chelan, WA. He launched a familiar site and suffered a thermic induced collapse, which he was unable to recover from. Fatal injuries resulted from a collision with the ground.
FREE FLYING -- I've received a sharp response to my previous post regarding paragliding safety prompted by the death of David Norwood, a highly-regarded flyer who crashed to his death at Chelan Butte on Wednesday.
Like all tragedies, the incident is causing some flyers to step back and re-evaluate. The discussion can only be healthy.
But my previous post, in which I simply printed the personal perspective of Rick Masters of Owens Valley, California, was not well received by some paragliders.
Masters contends that when choosing to fly paragliders or hang-gliders, one is a safer choice in iffy weather because of the frame that helps prevent canopy collapse.
Masters suggests that frank discussions are hindered on chat rooms because paragliding sites often are controlled by people in the industry who don't want too much frank talk.

==========================================================================================================



Hate HateHate Hate


But James Bradley of New York, the U.S. moderator on the worldwide online forum paraglidingforum.com, sharply disagrees. Here's his message:
Your acceptance of Rick Masters as an authority on paragliding, apparently without taking the time to learn anything about him, or talk to any people who are actually involved with the sport--we are all concerned about safety--is pretty disappointing.
I am one of a handful of US pilots who race on the Paragliding World Cup circuit. I am also the only US moderator on the worldwide online forum paraglidingforum.com (a volunteer position). Rick Masters was allowed to join there and post like anyone else. We learned that he is on an enduring anti-paragliding crusade. Like a religious zealot, he is not interested in facts or discussion unless they support his rigidly defined position. He behaved badly for some time on the forum and then we banned him, as we have a handful of other people over time.
Masters' disregard for facts is evident in his facile characterization of Paragliding Forum as populated mainly by people with a commercial interest in the sport. There are some of those of course but we have 30,000 registered members worldwide and an untold number who read without registering. The vast majority are simply enthusiasts in the sport.
All light aircraft are dangerous. The accident and fatality statistics for hang gliding and paragliding over time are about the same. The most common accident types are different. Accidents come in clumps in all sports, probability predicts that. We are sadly in a clump of paragliding accidents in North America at the moment, much more than average. The last couple of years have been the other way, lighter than the average.


IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif.—A Windsor, Colo., man has been killed in a Southern California paraglider accident.
The San Diego County coroner’s office says 48-year-old Henry Ho was with an instructor and classmates when he crashed onto rocks in Imperial Beach on Wednesday.
A coroner’s statement says paramedics responded but Ho could not be revived and he was pronounced dead.
The newspaper U-T San Diego ( http://bit.ly/14Ay3PL) says Ho was founder of Financial Stewards Wealth Management Co. and was married with four children.
The city of Imperial Beach allows paragliding ground instruction but paragliders are not supposed to go airborne.
KNSD-TV ( http://bit.ly/152DUQ9) reports that authorities don’t know if Ho intentionally launched or was accidentally lifted off the ground by the wind.
July 16, 2014 – David Norwood David Norwood (55), co-chairman of the USHPA Accident Reporting committee, a Master (P5) pilot and USHPA member since 2007, suffered fatal injuries during a flight at Chelan, WA. He launched a familiar site and suffered a thermic induced collapse, which he was unable to recover from. Fatal injuries resulted from a collision with the ground.
FREE FLYING -- I've received a sharp response to my previous post regarding paragliding safety prompted by the death of David Norwood, a highly-regarded flyer who crashed to his death at Chelan Butte on Wednesday.
Like all tragedies, the incident is causing some flyers to step back and re-evaluate. The discussion can only be healthy.
But my previous post, in which I simply printed the personal perspective of Rick Masters of Owens Valley, California, was not well received by some paragliders.
Masters contends that when choosing to fly paragliders or hang-gliders, one is a safer choice in iffy weather because of the frame that helps prevent canopy collapse.
Masters suggests that frank discussions are hindered on chat rooms because paragliding sites often are controlled by people in the industry who don't want too much frank talk.
But James Bradley of New York, the U.S. moderator on the worldwide online forum paraglidingforum.com, sharply disagrees. Here's his message:
Your acceptance of Rick Masters as an authority on paragliding, apparently without taking the time to learn anything about him, or talk to any people who are actually involved with the sport--we are all concerned about safety--is pretty disappointing.
I am one of a handful of US pilots who race on the Paragliding World Cup circuit. I am also the only US moderator on the worldwide online forum paraglidingforum.com (a volunteer position). Rick Masters was allowed to join there and post like anyone else. We learned that he is ..........




Rick Masters, The writer, is so hated by Paragliding, think about that for a moment. We should 100% support him, and US HAWKS.
and our selves write letters to his substack.com account.
Let's not let them get away with slandering a good persons character, and
as a Pilot of a Hang Glider,
and many of us Too.

C:+o)
not many people care about HG PG stuff, but...
Substack is a pretty easy way to practice typing and searching on a writers forum and when I typed in Hang Gliding or Paragliding,
I got Rick Masters both times, a very small site amongst some great writers, he likes to write and post some "make you think" videos.
As a lover of airplanes with a pilot dad, this piece by Rick really hits home with me and any pilot , maybe this could be read by all
Hang Glider and Paraglider Trainees,
why not get them a little excited.

Rick Masters writes;

You embrace her and feel her tremble and sigh, responsive to your touch.

You pay attention to the air ocean you are about to enter.

You don’t turn your back to it’s waves, lest they sweep you away.

You don’t make a bunch of ridiculous and distracting choreographic moves at the critical moment of take off.

You stand firm and focus on the sky that beckons you.

You stand firm and focus on the movement of the air coming up the hill towards you.

A gust? A thermal? The devil?

Your hang glider is completely ready to go, trusting you to guide her.

You stand there, confident, in quiet excitement, feeling her fly on your shoulders like an ever wondrous and powerfully fleet, obedient Gryphen about to be released from her cage.

You see the grass ripple.

You watch the birds.

You listen to the words of the wind, sometimes you wait for signs of a thermal teasing the bushes.

You wait for the right moment, when the wind feels perfect, with your fabulous wing already flying inches over your head, responsive to your every command.

You trust her.

Then you take a few steps and fly away to heaven.

You are joyously and instantly and smoothly transformed into an ethereal being.

There is no drama.
Drama is for idiots. R.M. 2018
===============================================================================================================


.
"You gotta' push the stick forward while you're lookn' at the ground
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