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Re: Why there isn't any growth in hang gliding

Postby Rick Masters » Sat Sep 12, 2015 9:14 pm

Bill,
If the people on a particular forum don't like you or the folks you are imagined to be associated with, in addition to password denial, they can pull your computer's identification number from their log program and stick it into their server's prohibited IP list so you can't connect. They seem to feel a duty to protect the innocent and tender minds of their naive and helpless forum members from exposure to dangerous ideas, uncomfortable thoughts or mental cul-de-sacs they could end up stumbling down. It's much like the proverbial weird Uncle Harold that the family hides from view, kept drooling inside a dark upstairs closet. Worse, really, because nailing that door shut prevents access by the search engines that share worthy ideas across the Net, making their forum irrelevant to the world at large and leaving the participants pretty much occupied with stroking each other in the dark.

Image
Google doesn't like that. Anyone can test this by entering recent discussion subjects from the forum in question and, if the subject has been discussed on the US Hawks, it comes up first with a link to the Hawks while the closed forum often doesn't come up at all. (Tip of the hat to BobK.)

Example: hang gliding rating system
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Re: Why there isn't any growth in hang gliding

Postby Frank Colver » Sat Sep 12, 2015 10:20 pm

Yeah, this really surprised me when I came back into hang gliding. I always thought HG pilots were free flying individuals who were open to all ideas even what appeared o be whacky ones. This innocent was surprised very quickly when I started hearing of the animosity in HG web sites and, of course, the whole mess at Torry and Bob's situation. I didn't think I could lose innocence at my advanced age but I sure did when it came to how much this sport/hobby had changed in some attitudes.

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Re: Why there isn't any growth in hang gliding

Postby Rick Masters » Sun Sep 13, 2015 10:30 pm

...when I came back into hang gliding.

    Frank, I came back into hang gliding, or at least back into the periphery of free-flight, when I filmed the 2002 U.S. Paragliding Nationals at Gunter launch in Owens Valley. I had pretty much stopped flying in 1987 to concentrate on making a decent life for my family, but every time I went to a flying site, pilots would offer me their harness, instruments and wings so it was hard to turn down an occasional flight. I think the last time I actually flew was 1988 or 1989, when I parked my gasoline tanker at the base of Point of the Mountain and was offered a couple flights on a big, really bitchin' high-performance Firebird by a very courteous German pilot who's name I can't remember. But I remember his face. What a great guy!
    Anyway, Mike Morrison, PhD., the University of California White Mountain Research Station manager, was approached by the Santa Barbara paragliding group you had mentioned (I might have this wrong) and he okayed them to stage the contest from the WMRS Owens Valley Laboratory east of Bishop. He never even mentioned it to me until it was a done deal. I remember my surprise.
    I didn't know much about paragliding, back then. I didn't know why people would fly parachutes when there were hang gliders available, but I was curious. I had looked up from my job there a year or two earlier and watched a guy, Eric, from Mammoth get killed when his paraglider collapsed. He was in one of Carrie's classes. Funny, I can't find a record of that anywhere... But I had no idea of the European fatality numbers. I had no suspicions at all, at that point. In 2002, I just figured paragliding was pretty much the same as hang gliding.
    You screw up, you die.
    We all live with that. It makes the best of us perfectionists.
    So I filmed the contest. Although I'd filmed the 1981 and 1982 hang gliding contests off Gunter in beautiful Kodachrome, I had transitioned to 720 HD video by 1999 and I used that video gear to record the contest. I had a big camera jib up there and the pilots were all pretty cool. I didn't know anything about the history or politics of paragliding. I was just filming, trying to obtain perfection in my technique and make a document of what was going on. I thought I'd trim it way down and add it as an epilogue to a remake of my "cult" film Aoli, Comet Clones & Pod People to show what had happened to hang gliding in 20 years. That's all. That was my intent.
    My old hang gliding friends were running the US Paragliding Nationals. Mark Axon, Peter Gray and J.C. Brown. They kept telling me to try paragliding. But after watching that kid, Eric, die off of Flynn, I wasn't interested.
    "I'll stick to hang gliding," I said. There seemed to be some kind of additional adrenaline element attached to paragliding that I didn't need.
    Then the day before the contest, they found Wallace, a founding Genentech scientist, on Mt. Langley. Dead. People were crying on Gunter. I thought, "Well, s*** happens." I didn't know about canopy collapses or anything. I figured it must have been his fault. He just got too close to the cliffs or something. I have always kept my distance - but it happens to other pilots. I didn't know this guy Wallace from Adam. I didn't realize how important he had so recently become in the scheme of all this competition paragliding stuff.
    Then the contest started. I remember thinking, "That's a race?" as they floated slowly away.
    On the second day, this paragliding instructor and GA pilot, Jody, gets dead-center nailed and lifted just a foot or two into the air by a typical tight Gunter thermal, ground-spinning through the South Launch. I've launched into them a hundred times on a hang glider. If you dead-center them, you can push out (but be ready for a dive recovery). It's the ones you can't see that pull down a wing.
    In 1998, I saw Scholl, hooked in but not yet ready for takeoff, get lifted by a big, gentle thermal during my contest off Mazourka Peak. To the amazement of the other pilots, he was suddenly lifted. Then he hung in the air, refusing to pull in the bar, for what seemed an impossibly long time. He then lowered himself gently back to his starting place. Other pilots asked him why he didn't head out. "I wasn't ready," he replied.
    But Jodie's canopy gets popped. He gets lifted off the ground and spins around one and a half times. His paraglider accelerates horizontally off to the west but Jody is twisted around backwards and his lines are locked tight. As his paraglider enters a spiral dive, you can see him backwards, facing you, his arm gripping the brake handle that would turn him away from the mountain. He has no control. He seems to be frozen, aware of what will happen next. The paraglider curves around, hurling Jody, nothing but a helpless weight on a pendulum, high in an arc, and smashes hard into the ground just below launch. He slides 40 feet and emerges from a cloud of dust, motionless.
    The contest is shut down for the helicopter rescue. Jody lingers long in a coma but is dead by Christmas. The two-million dollar helicopter that rescued him is destroyed attempting to land on its trailer in Bishop.
    A couple days later, a South African pilot has a collapse running north, throws his reserve and goes down on the side of the range. He lights a flare an starts a forest fire. The White Mountain range is closed to paragliding and hang gliding as borate bombers and helicopters fight the fire below the treasured Ancient Bristlecone Grove.
    I'm suddenly going, "Man, I've never seen anything like this! These paragliders are fu**ing crazy."
    J.C., Mark and Peter ask me to put together the sequence of Jody's crash. I edit all night and present it to them the next day. They're looking to find out what he did wrong. I'm thinking, "He didn't do anything wrong. The thermal lifted his paraglider, twisted his lines and smashed him into the rocks." Not complicated. Then they asked me not to show it to anybody, "out of respect for his family." So I wait eight years to put it on YouTube to show paragliders the risk they face. Then when I do, paragliders complain and YouTube yanks it "for violence," pulls my Director status and bans me.
    Soaring parachutists are not allowed to hear the truth. I've been banned from Paragliding Forum and Oz Report. Only here, on BobK's forum, can I speak freely. Thanks, Bob. I don't know if I've saved the lives of any soaring parachutists, but you've helped save my sanity.
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Re: Why there isn't any growth in hang gliding

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Mon Sep 14, 2015 7:13 am

Wow. That's an excellent recounting of events Rick.

Thanks for your perseverence all these years. It's a sad testament to the nature of humans that your efforts have met such resistance for so long.

It's really an honor to share this forum with you.
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Re: Why there isn't any growth in hang gliding

Postby magentabluesky » Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:39 am

Self Completion Keys to the Meaningful Life Robert S. deRopp wrote:What is the Work?

It can be defined very simply.

The Work involves the transformation of a muddled, delusion-ridden slave into an enlightened, integrated master...

The master has liberated himself from the delusion-producing mechanism in his brain. He is a dweller in the real world. In order to enter this world he has had to sacrifice his dreams. He has dared to confront the truth about himself and about his fellow men. He has been strong enough and cunning enough to escape from the prison in which the slaves pass their lives. He is fully awake. He has seen the truth and the truth has set hem free. But he has paid a mighty high price to attain that freedom.

Think very carefully. Can you pay that price? Do you dare to confront reality? Can you bear to know the truth about yourself and your fellow humans.

"The Work" is learning to control your own personal device flying through the atmosphere. It starts with the accepting the"truth" about space, time, and most of all other objects in that space and time and to avoid colliding with them at speed. Most of the truth is not seen with the eyes, but modeled in the mind based on experiences with the real world.

Thank you Mr. Masters - a Master.
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Re: Why there isn't any growth in hang gliding

Postby Rick Masters » Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:54 pm

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Re: Why there isn't any growth in hang gliding

Postby Bill Cummings » Tue Jul 26, 2016 9:08 am

The quoted post below was found at:
http://ozreport.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=48665
Below the quoted post is what I've decided to do, on my own, so as to not become part of the same problem that the Torrey Hawks Chapter is having.

Jacmac
Post Chapter Renewal Tue, Jul 12 2016, 1:39:01 pm
At some point, the USHPA implemented a 70% USHPA membership requirement for chapter membership in the USHPA. I'm not sure why that is necessary, but to comply our chapter had to implement a new by-law to place non-USHPA members in an inactive status. We placed the members into an inactive state based on seniority and current USHPA membership status to get our ratio above the 70% requirement.
This it seems is not enough of an explanation:
June 28th:
Before we can complete your chapter renewal, please answer the questions below so we can complete the review.
How many members have been made inactive per your bylaws to comply with the 70% USHPA member requirement?
Who are the members that have been made inactive?
The bylaws don’t specify how members are made inactive? Can you elaborate on how that process occurs? What are the criteria used to make that determination?
Is the decision to go into inactive made by the member or chapter?
June 29th:
Let me start with an overview.
The Torrey Hawks Hang Gliding Club is dedicated to promoting and
protecting the sport of hang gliding at Torrey Pines (as stated in our
bylaws). We feel that free membership is consistent with that goal,
and it helps us to be more inclusive of members who share that goal.
Our bylaws state:
Expired USHPA members may be placed on inactive status
as needed to maintain compliance with USHPA membership
requirements.
In order to remain compliant with USHPA's 70% membership rules,
we implement that bylaw by honoring seniority in our club. In other
words, members become inactive in reverse order of the date that
they joined the Torrey Hawks.
Now I'll answer your specific questions:
USHPA asked: How many members have been made inactive per
your bylaws to comply with the 70% USHPA member requirement?
There is no current USHPA requirement for clubs to provide a count of
members that might be inactive for any reason. If you can provide a
valid reason for needing that information, we will gladly provide it.
USHPA asked: Who are the members that have been made inactive?
There is no current USHPA requirement for clubs to provide a list of
members that might be inactive for any reason. If you can provide a
valid reason for needing that information, we will gladly provide it.
USHPA asked: The bylaws don’t specify how members are made inactive?
Can you elaborate on how that process occurs? What are the criteria
used to make that determination?
Our bylaws state:
Expired USHPA members may be placed on inactive status
as needed to maintain compliance with USHPA membership
requirements.
In order to remain compliant with USHPA's 70% membership rules,
we implement that bylaw by honoring seniority in our club. In other
words, members become inactive in reverse order of the date that
they joined the Torrey Hawks.
USHPA asked: Is the decision to go into inactive made by the
member or chapter?
Both. First, members may request being made inactive and their
status request is honored. Second, in order to remain compliant
with USHPA's 70% membership rules, we inactivate members in
reverse order of their membership date in the Torrey Hawks.
Two Weeks Later:
Chapter Officers,
In order to review your chapter application, the questions listed below will need to be completed with more detail to better understand how membership status is managed. Until you are able to do so, the chapter application cannot be considered for approval.
I see the terse reply the USHPA has sent in response to our answers as questionable. Has any other chapter run into this problem with chapter renewal? If you did, how did you solve it and what advice do you have for our situation. Basically, we could go so far as to alter our by-laws to inactivate all non-USHPA members that aren't club officers and our ratio would be 99%. I'm not sure what the point is though? What difference does it make if the club has 70% USHPA membership or 50% from a chapter point of view? Being a member of our club and the club being a chapter of the USHPA doesn't confer any rights or privileges to non-USHPA members, nor does it create any special liability to the USHPA. I can understand a chapter having to have at least a certain number of current USHPA members to be considered high enough to warrant being a chapter, but after that it's just a label: Flying member vs magazine only sound familiar?

I've let my USHPA membership laps until the USHPA reverses the expulsion of Bob Kuczewski. I emailed the region #4 directors of my decision.
I had been helping the RGSA Chapter of the USHPA by maintaining the local roster.
Now that my membership lapsed I no longer have access to the USHPA, Membership List, webpage.
Access was necessary to see if our local RGSA members were current USHPA members and had a waiver in place.
This information would be necessary to qualify for site insurance for those RGSA members that wanted site insurance.
Knowing that the USHPA had rules in place that would impede the local RGSA club in their efforts to qualify for site insurance by having me on their roster I let my RGSA membership laps.
The RGSA to my knowledge has no policy like the Torrey Hawks Chapter on making members inactive for the sake of the count to satisfy USHPA rules that are working against Recreational Hang Gliding.
By allowing my local RGSA membership run out the Evil Monopolistic Empire can no longer use me as a club to make demands of the RGSA hang gliding pilots. I will find other ways to support recreational hang gliding in my area.
Rick Masters said it best with something to the effect that, hang gliding isn't dying out. - It's being murdered!
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Re: Why there isn't any growth in hang gliding

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Tue Jul 26, 2016 12:57 pm

Bill Cummings wrote:Rick Masters said it best with something to the effect that, hang gliding isn't dying out. - It's being murdered!


That's the most concise statement of the situation I've read anywhere.
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Re: Why there isn't any growth in hang gliding

Postby Rick Masters » Tue Jul 26, 2016 1:19 pm

Rick Masters said it best with something to the effect that, hang gliding isn't dying out. - It's being murdered!

Well, it is clear to me that the USHPA hang glider pilots who mistakenly think that joining with parachuting helps them accomplish something are murdering their sport of hang gliding.
Here at the US Hawks, a movement dedicated only to hang gliding, I see real progress in regaining the identity and history of accomplishment for hang gliding in the United States.

What, exactly, is going on?
The USHGA made a terrible - and perhaps eventually fatal - mistake in the late 1980s by inviting in paragliding and describing everything both sports do as something called "free flight."
I have always recognized what we do as "hang gliding." Hang gliding is a freaking kick.
It's not parachuting. It has nothing to do with parachuting. It is a unique and independent sport, flying real wings that hold their aerodynamic shape from launch to landing.
Hang gliding is the primal sailplane.
Hang glider pilots engraved their sport and their names in history.
Now year after year, USHPA hang glider pilots serve to diminish and erase that tremendous accomplishment by willingly diluting it with a much lesser sport.

You USHGA hang glider pilots changed your association's name to USHPA to include parachutes.
But now, thanks to your lack of foresight, everything you USHPA hang glider pilots do is reflected as the same thing that paragliders do.
But since soaring parachutes are more dangerous than hang gliders, just how is averaging them in supposed to help hang gliding?
Unfortunately, because parachutes have no airframe, parachutes collapse in turbulence.
At take off. During ridge soaring. At landing.
Thousands have been maimed.
One thousand five hundred have been brutally killed. Yet they keep doing it.
They are different than us. They are stupid.
Since nothing can be done about this, all the hard-won safety accomplishments of hang gliding are averaged into paragliding accidents and continue to trend downward every year.

Paragliders get killed or break their backs at much higher rates than hang glider pilots.
And since paragliders crash much, much more often than hang glider pilots, they fill the newspapers with bad press for "free flight."
This "free flight" thing is looking pretty bad right now across the world.
The Foundation for Freeflight has even murdered itself over this bizarre form of political correctness.

But it is only the USHPA hang glider pilots that make all this reflect on hang gliding.
Without their participation in making hang gliding "free flight," hang gliding would remain hang gliding and paragliding would remain a form of parachuting so dangerous that not only the USPA would touch it.
Hang glider pilots could say parachutes are dangerous in turbulence: "You should fly hang glider instead. They stand up to turbulence because they have airframes and parachutes don't."
But who does that? Me, mostly, an outlaw. Any USHPA member seems afraid to speak out.
Where is our pride? Where is our history?
You murdered our sport, you idiots.
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Why isn't there any growth in hang gliding

Postby eagle » Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:21 pm

No comment
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