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Re: US Hawks Rating System Proposal

Postby Bill Cummings » Thu Mar 17, 2016 1:16 pm

fcolver wrote:When I inquired, several years ago, why they (USHPA) didn't publish any letters in the magazine (Airmail column) anymore, the answer was that they weren't getting letters. I replied that I had written several that weren't published. :x

Frank

Same thing here Frank.
After a fly-in at Dry Canyon years back the Clubs President ask me to send in a report of the fly-in to USHPA magazine.
I told him, "No! They didn't publish the last two Fly-In reports that I sent in so I'm not going to waste my time."
True I can't speell fery good but isn't that what they have an editor for? :crazy:
But hey do you have any ideas for the rating procedure like Youtube and GPS tacks to be viewed by a rating board? ( an idea inspired by DHM.)
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Re: US Hawks Rating System Proposal

Postby reluctantsparrow » Sun Apr 24, 2016 6:34 am

After reading all that has been posted on this thread I would like to present a rating system idea to the US hawks board of directors that may result in less expensive insurance AND greater growth for our sport.

In the past, part of the required skills included landing safely within a certain radius of a spot on two feet, which requires that a low altitude aerobatic manuever be performed by total novices. The full flare stand up landing.
WHY couldnt the full flare stand up landing be a special skills write off instead of a required basic skill?
Most areas we fly have nice LZs where landing on wheels or skids can be done very easily.
The full flare stand up landing is only needed in rough LZs.
So why is this not a special skills write off instead of a required skill?
If it was standard practice to land on wheels or skids the LZ action would, admittedly, become quite boring. I love yelling whack as much as the next guy....I love seeing people crash...but
What if spectators no longer saw both perfect and imperfect flare timings that looked almost mystical to perform? What if spectators no longer witnessed any Whacks?
what if all they saw were guys and gals rolling in like regular aircraft and seeing that made them think....gee...that looks super easy, I think even I can do that, instead of seeing some good flares, some bad flares, some good landings, some bad landings, and the hit and miss of our landings make hang gliding look like a lot of guesswork is involved.....(scary)
what if the rotation of the pilot from the prone position to the upright position was NOT required to get hang ratings?
we have accepted a certain way as normal but why should we be requiring a brand new pilot to do the following tasks his first day out?
1. Take your hands OFF the controls at the most critical part of the flight, close to the ground.
2. rotate your weight into the upright position using your CONTROLS to climb up into that position, which does not always go so smoothly, at the most critical part of the flight, close to the ground (maintaining critical airspeed and directional control at the same time!!!! talk about Multi-tasking!!!!)
3. Require new pilots to have to .....feel.... the proper moment to make a full flare, which is a radical aerobatic manuever. (try doing a full flare at altitude and you will agree it is a VERY radical aerobatic manuever)

I think this a a major reason our sport has stayed small. WE have lost old pilots due to whacks and bad landings. we have also lost potential new pilots who have witnessed those whacks. We have also lost potential new pilots who have witnessed the hit and miss nature of the whole flare thing and it just looks too mysterious to do consistantly. it looks to them like we are guessing about when to flare. ( and indeed, some pilots do still GUESS about when to flare)

Then there are those flights where the pilot flares correctly but he/she is hanging too low (harness problems) or does not get their hands up high enough on the downtubes, or does not flare out and up but simply pushes out and the flare is not effective or the pilot who does Everything right but swings his or her legs foreward instead of arching them backwards to get their weight to the rear of the glider......all sorts of potential problems that a new pilot should simply not have to deal with.

Why not re-invent our sport as a sport where all pilots land on wheels and landing areas become BORING? Most of our sites have great lzs and there is absolutely no reason to require ANYONE to land on their feet at most of our sites, especially beginner sites.
landing on your feet could become a special skills write off...
How would this affect our insurance rates?
My Girlfriend is a non-flyer. She watches hang gliding whack videos with me and is blown away by what to her looks like utter stupidity.....not flying with wheels when there is a perfectly good axle built into the hang glider design.....to her not flying with wheels of skids looks totally stupid and I bet it looks that way to a lot of other people too, including insurance people.....RS
Last edited by reluctantsparrow on Sun Apr 24, 2016 7:17 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: US Hawks Rating System Proposal

Postby reluctantsparrow » Sun Apr 24, 2016 7:04 am

I just tried imagining a regular airport where regular Cessna 150s perform good landings most of the time but every sixth flight or so a cessna 150 totally piles in and has to be towed off the field while bloody passengers and pilots are taken to a nearby hospital and the people involved consider this NORMAL.
Would I want to crawl into one of those airplanes?
Maybe our sport got off on the wrong track right from the beginning.
i have suggested this before (many years ago) in the article I wrote about flying with Adequate wheels but nothing ever came of it.
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Re: US Hawks Rating System Proposal

Postby Rick Masters » Sun Apr 24, 2016 7:39 am

Maybe our sport got off on the wrong track right from the beginning.

You mean, like this?

"The FAA issued Advisory Circular No. 60-10, entitled 'Recommended Safety Parameters for Operation of Hang Gliders' on May 16, 1974. That advisory circular contained recommended safety parameters for the operation of sport hang gliders, in lieu of formal Federal regulation. The advisory circular defined "hang glider" as "an unpowered, single place vehicle whose launch and landing capability depends on the legs of the occupant and whose ability to remain in flight is generated by natural air currents only."
http://www.usua.org/Rules/faa103.htm
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Re: US Hawks Rating System Proposal

Postby reluctantsparrow » Sun Apr 24, 2016 8:43 am

wow! Yes Rick, I mean like that. Geez, I had no idea that was the FAA definition of a hang Glider. Well done FAA! Intentionally or unintentionally setting us up to fail from the get go.
A short summary of ideas I have picked up so far from US hawks forums that apply to ratings, lower insurance costs, improved safety, and greater growth in hang Gliding.

1. Wheels or skids become normal (no matter what the FAA has said) and US hawks that have not secured a full flare stand up landing write off will always fly with wheels or skids at all sites at all times until they have demonstrated the ability to perform the full flare, stand up landing consistently, at which time they will be given a special skills write off for that ability.
2. No paragliding, this is a hang gliding club. No flying devices that can plummet to the ground because of a brief encounter with mild turbulence will be allowed to flown at any of our sites by any of our members.
3. No more joy rides. NO more tandems just to give a thrill seeker a thrill. tandems are not required to learn to fly a hang glider. I learned without doing a single tandem. The only reasonable use for a Tandem....lesson....is to teach a student who has already acquired the basic skills needed to fly how to set up an approach from altitude or to help a student through his or her first high altitude flights. Giving Tandem lessons (joy rides) to anyone who has no intention of taking up our sport is not in the best interest of our sport. They can prove they intend to take up this sport by going through basic training and acquiring basic skills.
4. NOt only a better waiver but all wannabe aviators must pass a waiver Exam that proves beyond a shadow of anyones doubt (including the courts) that the wannabe pilot KNOWS what legal rights they are voluntarily surrendering.
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Re: US Hawks Rating System Proposal

Postby Bill Cummings » Sun Apr 24, 2016 4:28 pm

In September 2015 Harry started what developed into several post going on into April 2016.
Below are not the entire posts of each contributor but just a memory refresher.

If any of the, Trial Board Members feel that there has been an adequate comment period concerning the, "US Hawks Rating System Proposal," please propose a motion on the, "Board of Directors Private Discussions," thread.

Might I suggest reviewing this thread in its entirety before doing so.

RS's contribution about landing on wheels:
"WHY couldnt the full flare stand up landing be a special skills write off instead of a required basic skill?"

This opens the door to a safer standard for a pilot rating than is currently in effect.
Others have posted ideas that also would raise the bar where safety is concerned.
Safety improvements for the sport of hang gliding will help if litigation and insurance issues arise.

fcolver's idea that would have lawyers defending a pilots rights and not waiving pilots rights has a better sound to it.

The Trial Board Members are only advisory to date but this work can be a way forward for when board members have been elected by the US Hawks Hang Gliding Association membership.
_____________________________________________________________________
"Harry
Launch the new rating system.
Think of it as an active digital log-book. If I was to get a sign-off on every flight I took/take from now on, does that not carry more weight over a current system of just mailing in a check to maintain a membership card that says nothing about current skills? Would not an active resume of skills outweigh a receipt that you paid your dues? If I had a sign off for every flight I ever took over the past 40 years of flying, it certainly would weigh more than my self-entered log book data that I currently maintain. In my opinion, an active hard copy log book with a digital backup carries more weight and has more value than a membership card (insurance receipt).
_____________________________________________________________________
"bobk
Our ratings and our insurance (if we decide we need it) don't have to be identical. We can have ratings that specify pilot ability and ratings that are recognized by an insurance company. You can be rated as a Hawk4 but still not have an "insurance sign off" yet.
_________________________________________________________
"RickMasters
Harry, your ideas closely reflect mine. I think we need to do away with all the profiteering that has pulled the sport in the wrong direction and get back to the grassroots philosophy. The first thing I would do is offer all H4s in the Hawks the opportunity to quickly become official Observers by passing a written or online test. Do away with official "Instructors" and H5s all together.
Second, to do away (in a big way) with the following liability problems for our young organization, there will be no sanctioned tandem or formal instruction. Anyone taking payment for training does so as a private contractor and is not sanctioned in any way by the Hawks. No one who takes money for training is to be allowed to rate a pilot they trained. No tandem is sanctioned at all. No formal competitions. Let those folks stay in the USHPA and share their increased liability with paragliders.
__________________________________________________
"fcolver
We need a group of hang gliding attorneys to form a pro bono organization to handle suits against landowners, at no cost to them. After several lawsuits get thrown out, because of the landowner liability protections, then they could just present some "boiler plate" papers to a judge to get cases thrown out, without a lot of work on the attorney's part.
There could also be some donations to help with the attorney's out of pocket expenses.
Frank C.
__________________________________________________
"dhmartens
You are going to need 5 flights each at 5 non-coastal flying sites. I would film each flight with 2 go pro's and provide the gps tracklog (3 second increments) and post to a forum. Outsourcing Indian instructors could rate you and provide your rating using H1-b and L-1 contractors at reduced rates, as a community consensus. You would receive a rating that PASA and the RRG would accept.
__________________________________________________________________
"billcummings

Unless USHPA makes radical changes to the rating system your expired card will still indicate your ability to fly new sites so that the local pilots won't assist you off of a site that will place you in harms way.
DHM, I really like the idea of video evidence and GPS track log verification. How about if the US Hawks set up a rating board (while seated in front of their computers,) to see that the new pilot is completing the recommended tasks to prove up on a rating? With an okay from the board the physical (actual) H4 observer, would then sign the new pilot off. All current SOP's would be checked off for each rating awarded according to the new pilots abilities.
____________________________________________________
"reluctantsparrow
In the past, part of the required skills included landing safely within a certain radius of a spot on two feet, which requires that a low altitude aerobatic manuever be performed by total novices. The full flare stand up landing.
WHY couldnt the full flare stand up landing be a special skills write off instead of a required basic skill?---
---My Girlfriend is a non-flyer. She watches hang gliding whack videos with me and is blown away by what to her looks like utter stupidity.....not flying with wheels when there is a perfectly good axle built into the hang glider design.....to her not flying with wheels of skids looks totally stupid and I bet it looks that way to a lot of other people too, including insurance people.....RS
­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­_________________________________________________________
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Re: US Hawks Rating System Proposal

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Sun Apr 24, 2016 4:59 pm

reluctantsparrow wrote:I just tried imagining a regular airport where regular Cessna 150s perform good landings most of the time but every sixth flight or so a cessna 150 totally piles in and has to be towed off the field while bloody passengers and pilots are taken to a nearby hospital and the people involved consider this NORMAL.
Would I want to crawl into one of those airplanes?


RS, you make a very good point that general aviation would never tolerate that kind of performance. While the picture you paint is somewhat grizzly, it's funny to realize that's what we've adopted as acceptable in the sport. Very well done!!!

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


Bill, thanks for an excellent recap on the state of matters. Your research and compilation are superb!!!

Here's what we're up against. There's no doubt that USHPA would like to shoot us down. They are forming an RRG which may require them to provide insurance on a fair basis to non-USHPA members (at least according to some opinions on that law). If that's true, then we may be able to FORCE them to provide insurance to US Hawks pilots ... unless they (USHPA) can come up with some reasonable proof that we pose a greater risk than USHPA members. That's why I've backed the position that our ratings should be identical to their ratings. If we try to make any change that makes our ratings "better", they could turn around and claim that our change actually makes our ratings "worse". Whether that's true or not, it wouldn't stop them from claiming it and then denying all of our members the insurance that some of us need to fly our sites. So that's why I've been an advocate of not even changing one punctuation mark on the ratings requirements of USHPA. I believe that gives us the highest possibility of getting the insurance that we need to fly sites like Sylmar, Crestline, Funston, Point of the Mountain, Torrey, and dozens (hundreds?) of others across the country.

For better or worse, that's been our strategy up to this point. By the way, if there's any doubt that USHPA will try to undermine the US Hawks any way possible, just look at the first item that USHPA listed in my expulsion:

USHPA wrote:The behavior upon which the board has determined that you should be expelled from the association falls into the following categories:

1. Creation of at least two national hang gliding organizations with the stated purpose of competing with USHPA, one of which you currently control;

:shock:   :shock:   :shock:   :shock:   :shock:

In other words USHPA is claiming that simply starting an alternate hang gliding association is grounds for ... EXPULSION!!

USHPA will pull every dirty trick they can to keep us from growing, and they will surely try to undermine the credibility of our ratings any way they can - whether they're justified or not. So we have to come up with a system that doesn't let them do that. They best solution I can think of is for all of our pilot ratings to have been issued by USHPA in the first place. Then they will have a hard time calling them "substandard" ... because THEY issued them.

Any thoughts on that logic?
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Re: US Hawks Rating System Proposal

Postby Bill Cummings » Sun Apr 24, 2016 5:31 pm

Award USHHA rating according to our safer standards and right after (in parenthesis) put the current USHPA rating.
USHHA H2 (USHPA H3)
Right now of course they are equal. Hawks 2 (H2)
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Re: US Hawks Rating System Proposal

Postby Frank Colver » Sat Apr 30, 2016 2:32 pm

I like RS' wheels landings ideas but I also agree with Bob's assertion that we stay with the present rating system so that we don't give USHPA grounds for denying us entry into the RRG.

One more comment about wheels: I love the fact that I have lived long enough to see wheels on hang gliders go from an object to kid the pilot about having them (ha, ha, training wheels, etc.) to full acceptance. Aside from the fact that they were great on "blown" landings I liked the ability to wheel my gliders out of the landing area and watch others have to carry theirs.

Frank C.

BTW - Stuck in Escalante UT now, watching it rain.
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Re: US Hawks Rating System Proposal

Postby Craig Muhonen » Sun Dec 22, 2019 11:37 am

My Dad always made me keenly aware of "where ya gonna land son? ". As he cut the power and tested me. The most critical times for an aircraft wing are V1-V2, and "base to final", and we practiced those times over and over and over again, and when I thought I had it ....he would cut the power and I would have to "dead stick it".
I think "doing the proper flare to landing" should be taught over and over to young pilots, and maybe like carrier pilots, get a rating for each "spot" landing and it goes in your log book. Hang gliders do make "carrier" landings, in that they carry a low AOA almost all the way to the threshold, then "flare", and they get a rating on which wire they caught. It's some thing that has to be practiced to the N th degree. Now, LZ's are not a carrier deck, but it you "pretend" like I did as a young pilot, you get pretty good at putting her down on that good spot. I think that to carry a low AOA all the way to touch down, is a bit dangerous because of the speed, and unknown terrain and a "blown landing" may injure "some vitals" I think that advanced ratings are practiced and given for "prone" landings with wheels and "tow" take offs, but the basic "minimums" should be "ingrained" into new pilots heads.
A "caveat"......." a proper flare to landing" or "knowing how to helicopter", is a big advantage (and the glider triangle is built to take "a three point" landing) when you have to save your life by "hugging" the top of a tree. (Which seemed to be relatively easy for the bigger gliders) (I knew of a couple of hang gliders that "had to learn" this technique)
I think thats the why US HAWKS (and Joe) put young pilots "under their wing" and take them step by step to higher ratings and accomplishments, does so much more to encourage hang gliding over "hang falling". OOps.

Craig
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