Los Angeles, know thyself

Honoring the rich history and bright future of gliding at Dockweiler Beach

Los Angeles, know thyself

Postby JoeF » Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:25 pm

Aviation has been kind to Los Angeles' economy. Aviation forms part of the fabric of life in Los Angeles. Very many L. A. citizens depend on airports, pilots, and aviation industries in Los Angeles. Keen insight would reveal that hang gliding roots and supports all that aviation dynamic. It would be wise for Los Angeles to support hang gliding very pointedly. One way Los Angeles could support hang gliding (birthplace of pilots, aviation workers, airplane designers, etc.) would be to treat hang gliding at least as equitably as walking, running, jumping, bicycling, skating, umbrella using, kiteboarding, surfing, hiking, building sand castles, swimming, etc. Neglect of equitable treatment of something that has so very blessed Los Angeles and continues to bless Los Angeles may amount to some kind of crime against the people of Los Angeles. The simplistic ban against hang gliding at coastal berms and slopes except by forcing a licensed operator with inequitable insurance requirements was a mistake and deep slap at what makes up Los Angeles' strong asset: people who wish to fly and do so, a habit that colors their professional lives of service within Los Angeles. Los Angeles can add to its greatness by severely modifying its stance about hang gliding and move to provide equitable space and place for hang gliding without overburdening the activity to any level of impossibility. To all the people of Los Angeles: Wake up and be all you can be; you can fly, yes you can! Just do it! Know your history, where you come from, and where you are going. Hang gliding should be openly supported by the broad public. May at least Dockweiler live on for hang gliding; but more, Los Angeles, open up even more place for hang gliding. Free and equitably treated as other recreation activities! Be wise and stay in the aviation culture. Find your strength, Los Angeles, and let it fly.
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Re: Los Angeles, know thyself

Postby Frank Colver » Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:31 pm

:clap: You should send that excellent piece to the LA County Board of Supervisors. :clap:

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Re: Los Angeles, know thyself

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:43 pm

I agree. Joe's words were deeply inspired.

It's not too often that I pick up the phone to compliment someone on their post. I did that today!!!

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Los Angeles, know thyself

Postby JoeF » Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:51 am

fcolver wrote::clap: You should send that excellent piece to the LA County Board of Supervisors. :clap:

Frank


Thanks, Frank and BobK.

I just sent the paragraph to the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors.

Best,
Joe F
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Re: Los Angeles, know thyself

Postby Frank Colver » Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:21 pm

Wonderful!!!! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

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Re: Los Angeles, know thyself

Postby JoeF » Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:50 pm

The reply, so far:

ExecutiveOffice ExecutiveOffice@bos.lacounty.gov via upperwindpower.com
4:36 PM (5 hours ago)

to Joe
Thank you for contacting the County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors.   In response, the following e-mail has been forwarded to each Supervisorial District.  


From: joefaust333@gmail.com [mailto:joefaust333@gmail.com] On Behalf Of Joe Faust
Sent: Wednesday, August 12, 2015 9:50 AM
To: Executive Office
Subject: Preserving Los Angeles' best:

I am not a political person and am 73 yr old in a month. So, please help extend this message to appropriate eyes and ears; thank you in advance for your help on this. There is looming a great loss to the Los Angeles County:

Here is my best:
· ·
Los Angeles, know thyself
Post by JoeF » Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:25 pm
Aviation has been kind to Los Angeles' economy. Aviation forms part of the fabric of life in Los Angeles. Very many L. A. citizens depend on airports, pilots, and aviation industries in Los Angeles. Keen insight would reveal that hang gliding roots and supports all that aviation dynamic. It would be wise for Los Angeles to support hang gliding very pointedly. One way Los Angeles could support hang gliding (birthplace of pilots, aviation workers, airplane designers, etc.) would be to treat hang gliding at least as equitably as walking, running, jumping, bicycling, skating, umbrella using, kiteboarding, surfing, hiking, building sand castles, swimming, etc. Neglect of equitable treatment of something that has so very blessed Los Angeles and continues to bless Los Angeles may amount to some kind of crime against the people of Los Angeles. The simplistic ban against hang gliding at coastal berms and slopes except by forcing a licensed operator with inequitable insurance requirements was a mistake and deep slap at what makes up Los Angeles' strong asset: people who wish to fly and do so, a habit that colors their professional lives of service within Los Angeles. Los Angeles can add to its greatness by severely modifying its stance about hang gliding and move to provide equitable space and place for hang gliding without overburdening the activity to any level of impossibility. To all the people of Los Angeles: Wake up and be all you can be; you can fly, yes you can! Just do it! Know your history, where you come from, and where you are going. Hang gliding should be openly supported by the broad public. May at least Dockweiler live on for hang gliding; but more, Los Angeles, open up even more place for hang gliding. Free and equitably treated as other recreation activities! Be wise and stay in the aviation culture. Find your strength, Los Angeles, and let it fly.

~ Joe Faust
Los Angeles County
Join a National Hang Gliding Organization: US Hawks at ushawks.org

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Re: Los Angeles, know thyself

Postby Frank Colver » Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:47 am

VERY GOOD, Joe :!:

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Re: Los Angeles, know thyself

Postby wingspan33 » Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:14 am

Your comments are great Joe! And it would be nice to know how each L A City leader who reads it responds. Do all, some, or any of them even know about Windsports' insurance problem? Has the issue been presented to them at a previous LA City meeting?

I would also like to mention that it is nice to place minimal gliding activity among other common recreational activities (that have little or no legal restrictions). But Dockweiler Beach is a public place where every citizen has free public access.

Dockweiler Beech also happens to be a kind of "Hang Gliding Airport" including areas required for set-up and take off, and areas required for landings. There are frequent times when the average member of the public can't be in those places when flying activities are taking place.*

The unique features of minimal gliding flight create atypical public safety concerns. A hang glider (as an object) can interfere with the free movement of the public - in set-up and take off areas and even more so in areas needed for landings. Considering a glider's lack of power, it can't rise back into the air to avoid hitting a citizen who wanders unknowingly into its flight path on final glide.

It's obvious such a situation could do significant damage to a beech walking pedestrian. This is where maintaining a Hang Gliding Site (AKA, HG Airport, HG Take Off and Landing Strip, etc.) creates special liability problems. I would also mention that some of the biggest insurance losses (for companies who insure HG flying sites) have occurred when hang gliders have struck people as the glider came in to land at an unrestricted public beach. A 20 mph nose plate, leading edge, side wire, or control frame (with 200 - 300 lbs behind it) can do significant damage to a vulnerable human body.

A comparison of hang gliding to other recreational activities should include how those other activities ALSO include uncontrollable and unpredictable safety related problems and liabilities.

I would guess that while biking along the paved path at Dockweiler Beech is completely unregulated, accidents happen many times a year. Some of them probably include serious injuries. So, while biking is a VERY accepted recreational activity, does it actually create MORE of a liability for the City of LA than (insured and regulated) hang gliding activities (with few or no accidents per year)?

The L A City leaders might gain some perspective from such a comparison. Is the City afraid of limiting its "bike crash" liability problem because of the numbers of bicyclists - who would obviously protest if bike riding was strictly regulated or required $300 a year insurance coverage and a special "Bike Pass" per bike rider?

There's a section of the US Constitution that mentions Equal Protection Under the Law. If equal liability rules/laws/insurance requirements are not applied to bicycle riders at Dockweiler Beech as compared to the stricter hang gliding rules/laws/insurance requirements then that could be seen as unequal protection (i.e., unconstitutional).



*The same, of course, can be said of the bikers on the nearby paved path. They take up space that pedestrians also occupy. However, bikes have brakes, tires, and handlebars which allow positive 2 dimensional as well as speed control.
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Re: Los Angeles, know thyself

Postby JoeF » Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:17 pm

Nice points, Scott! Such should add to the efforts nicely.
=================================================
It is the County of Los Angeles that is the direct supervising entity, I believe; the County holds the City of Los Angeles and scores of other cities.

I get the sense that the County's risk management team aims to lower their risk whenever they can do so; burdening the pedestrian and bicyclist with waivers, fees, and insurance requirements probably makes a poorer target than the faction of public that has a less popular activity like HG. As long as the risk-lowering team can get away with burdening HG, they probably will; I'd like that team to face your suggested equal protection under the law ... unconstitutional pressure.

As a recent incident shows, a pedestrian can have a knock-down interface with the lifeguard. The news item had some water coming from the lifeguard, a dispute over smoking on the pier, and then a resultant brawl with people hurting each other.

The County cleans the beach sand so pedestrians won't get as hurt by objects left in the sand. Parking-lot fees help pay for the cleaning effort. A pedestrian chooses to wear implement on their feet or not, carry things or not, have up to 10' x 10' canopies or not; the canopy geometry and rigging is regulated. A canopy can still blow with wind and kill someone; the things people bring to the beach can hurt people. Yet pedestrians do not pay a fee and do not sign a waiver and do not have to have 3PL insurance at suffering rates, indeed not at all. The County is not liable when a pedestrian gets sunburn and cancer and dies from being an unwise beach user.

About Dockweiler HG site: HG has not the right of way, has not a privatization of space, etc. Though the space is designated as the place where HG may take place, a pedestrian may arrive and take up takeoff space and HG LZ space; HG must bow to that pedestrian. HG does not have any exclusive right to the site, only permissive space. HG with smile can ask cooperation of from pedestrians and other users of the beach, but HG cannot demand removal of others from HG wanted space. HG has shown itself to be good neighbors in that regard. And generally the smile and information is enough to garner the space HG wants. A running pedestrian can ram into another person and knock heads at terrific force; such is why the County has some restrictions on certain ball playing at the beech; such matters are written up in the ordinance set; yet when allowed, the Frisbee players and ball players do not have to go get a big insurance policy and pay fees and sign waivers. There is inequity relative to HG. And the risk management team of the County will go after lowering their risk in any way that is politically feasible, it seems.

Biking has some regulations in the ordinance set. There are some rules over the use of the bike path. The overarching rule repeated in the long ordinance documents: Obey the orders of the lifeguards or other officers of the law. Then also the many details of the ordinance set are supposed to be respected. Don't dig holes deeper than 18" (unless approved for certain purposes); etc. Experiences brought forward many detail ordinances. Hopefully, the experience of HG at Dockweiler may soon permit there to be free HG parallel with a selling concessionaire, just as free-picnic bringing parallel with food stands.

Best,
Joe F
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