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Re: Best Plan to Save Sport of Hang Gliding

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Sat Sep 07, 2019 3:05 pm

OK, that was 2 nice happy posts. Now comes what USHPA did to the Torrey Hawks Hang Gliding Club. This post won't be so happy.

In December of 2008 I was elected as USHPA's newest Region 3 Director defeating the incumbent David Jebb. David Jebb was the owner of Air California Adventure that had operated the Torrey Pines Gliderport (through a free lease) since 1998. I defeated Jebb by a vote of 122 to 98. He was humiliated because he thought he was undefeatable. His loyalist crowd hated me from that instant and they began working on a recall immediately. It would be a year and a quarter into my two year term before they could succeed.

The USHPA "insiders" (like Mark Forbes and Tim Herr) worked against me at every turn. I personally purchased site insurance for the Torrey Hawks with cash at the USHPA counter. The office staff accepted the payment and issued a receipt for $250 (order ID 141669) dated March 31st, 2009. But Mark Forbes (insurance chairman) refused to issue the site insurance because it would have given the City of San Diego an alternative to Air California Adventure.

Right there USHPA undermined the sport of recreational hang gliding to protect the paragliding business monopoly at Torrey.

It gets worse, but I'll spare you about 10 years of USHPA's malfeasance and get to USHPA's refusal to renew the Torrey Hawks in 2016.

The earlier post showed the Torrey Hawks Chapter renewal status from early 2008 through early 2016. We tried to apply for renewal in 2016 just like every other year, but USHPA simply refused to process the paperwork. We jumped through all the hoops and we met all the requirements. Our Region 3 Director Ken Andrews assured myself and our club President Brian McMahon that it would be processed, but it never was. Here's Ken's exact email message from May 27th, 2016:

On Fri, 27 May 2016, Ken Andrews wrote:Bob and all,

I expect that the USHPA office will process your chapter renewal without problem. If you encounter any further difficulty, let me know, and I'll do what I can to help.

-Ken

That was over 3 years ago. USHPA didn't renew the Torrey Hawks. We let Ken Andrews know about it (as he requested) and he didn't "help" at all. He did nothing.

Now that should be big news in the sport of hang gliding. USHPA denied insurance to a USHPA Chapter for no valid reason, and USHPA refused to renew a hang gliding chapter for no valid reason. But neither of those things can be widely disseminated because Jack (hanggliding.org) and Davis (ozreport.com) will threaten anyone who mentions the Hawks clubs. So the USHPA propaganda machine can post whatever they want without opposition.

So, bringing it back to the topic at hand ... Rick Masters said it perfectly on March 21st, 2015:

Rick Masters wrote:People talk about the sport of hang gliding dying. It's not dying. It's being murdered. By the U$hPA.

If we want to save the sport of hang gliding, we have to recognize and oppose the forces that are murdering it.

 
 
========================== Documents ==========================

Receipt for Site Insurance dated March 31st, 2009:
Site_Insurance_Receipt_2009c.png
Site_Insurance_Receipt_2009c.png (8.14 KiB) Viewed 674 times


Proof of USHPA's denied Site Insurance with paid premium on file with USHPA:
DOC041811_Returned_Checkc.png
DOC041811_Returned_Checkc.png (17.54 KiB) Viewed 674 times
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Re: Best Plan to Save Sport of Hang Gliding

Postby Free » Sun Sep 08, 2019 2:00 pm

spydermike wrote:
Free wrote:You were concerned that my 'Grendel's mother' comments would be a deterrent to prospective pilots and I disagreed because if that was the case those prospective people probably wouldn't have what it takes to stick with the usual expensive program of hoop jumping to become a pilot in the first place.


As I first mentioned, I am concerned in general with negative posts against organizations and people involved in the sport...I think is a turn off to building commaraderie. To be clear, I was not singling you out nor did I mention that thread you reference. You can disagree with me, and that is fine. I understand your point. I am merely suggesting to minimize one of the "relatively easy" hoops to jump first.


You are merely suggesting something that never was and never will be. There are no hoops to be jumped through for a fake qualification of camaraderie. You might be trying to create a false safe place for snowflake wannabes. You might be saying it is better to be dishonest to the most sensitive among new prospects to the sport. Much like Davis censors or bans all he deems to be unbearable to the most sensitive co-conspirator. You might be gas lighting. You probably are just wrong.
If people are turned off to the truth they probably shouldn't take up hang gliding.
Those would not be the ones we are waiting for.
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Re: Best Plan to Save Sport of Hang Gliding

Postby Free » Sun Sep 08, 2019 2:34 pm

spydermike wrote:
Free wrote:You say you don't read Ozreport but you came to this thread based on the locked down thread of the same title at the Ozreport?
I would still like to know why you don't visit the Ozreport as that would be more pertinent info as to what turns people off to any particular site or subject.


I responded to this thread on this website. I did not come here from OZ and I don't go to OZ. I personally have no interest or connection to OZ. I honestly do not care how the thread started.


I care about how this thread started and you should too. Davis Straub shut it down on Oz and you want to keep that fact from being known. You act like you do care when you argue for a cover up. Are you against telling the truth?
You defend USHPA the same way in not wanting their truth be told.
Truth is what hang gliding is all about. Are you sure it is for you? You can't tell us why you don't visit Oz or belong to USHPA, yet you advocate a cover up of their deeds. This is not a way to save the sport. This is what is wrong with the sport.
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Re: Best Plan to Save Sport of Hang Gliding

Postby spydermike » Sun Sep 08, 2019 2:55 pm

Free wrote:You are merely suggesting something that never was and never will be. There are no hoops to be jumped through for a fake qualification of camaraderie. You might be trying to create a false safe place for snowflake wannabes. You might be saying it is better to be dishonest to the most sensitive among new prospects to the sport. Much like Davis censors or bans all he deems to be unbearable to the most sensitive co-conspirator. You might be gas lighting. You probably are just wrong. If people are turned off to the truth they probably shouldn't take up hang gliding. Those would not be the ones we are waiting for.


Wow, just wow.
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Re: Best Plan to Save Sport of Hang Gliding

Postby spydermike » Sun Sep 08, 2019 3:15 pm

Free wrote:I care about how this thread started and you should too. Davis Straub shut it down on Oz and you want to keep that fact from being known. You act like you do care when you argue for a cover up. Are you against telling the truth? You defend USHPA the same way in not wanting their truth be told.
Truth is what hang gliding is all about. Are you sure it is for you? You can't tell us why you don't visit Oz or belong to USHPA, yet you advocate a cover up of their deeds. This is not a way to save the sport. This is what is wrong with the sport.


You read a hell of a lot into my posts that is just not there - against telling the truth, defending USHPA, advocating a cover up, gas lighting, etc.. I don't need to tell you my reason for not visiting OZ or belonging to USHPA as it is none of your business. Maybe I will turn the question around and ask you why should I subscribe to OZ and why should I be a member of USHPA? You certainly don't seem to advocate either of those.

Is this how your approach all new folks coming to this site, or is it just me?

Based on this thread, I don't really understand your approach to bringing new people into the sport. You state you have some ideas, maybe you could elucidate them. If you already have, will you steer me toward the threads/posts where it is defined? Thanks.

Mike
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Re: Best Plan to Save Sport of Hang Gliding

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:45 pm

Gentlemen,

Let's start by assuming we're all friends here until proven otherwise. Thanks.

I think all of Mike's suggestions are very good advice in general:

spydermike wrote:I will give my opinion for what it is worth - something I rarely do on public forums. However, I see that this question is being asked on a few forums, so here goes:

1. Stop all the negativism towards USHPA, the OZ Report, and other individuals/organizations in the sport. It is a real turn off to those that want to join for camaraderie and share the passion of flight. I honestly don't know what outcome is expected from these diatribes. I have left a few hobby forums due to the politics, the bickering, and the sniping. I sincerely hope it won't be the case here. How can this come across as positive to new people researching this sport?

2. Fly and be seen flying. Introduce the sport to any person that shows interest. Spread the passion. Share on social media.

3. Reduce the cost of the sport. Develop low cost beginner products - e.g., harnesses. Provide different setups like seated and suprone for those that don't want to fly prone (for whatever reason).

4. Develop sites near major urban areas for greater exposure. Get local press coverage if at all possible.

5. Create flying clubs to share equipment and provide a no-cost to low-cost way to fly though the H2 point. Most people will not fly all on the same day - share the equipment.

6. Link training and mentor-ship to the flying club to promote retention. Get people to H3 and beyond through the club. I took a three year hiatus from the sport at H2 because I had no mentor. I know others that dropped out at that point as well. I felt just knowledgeable to be dangerous to my self and I backed off. I needed more flights to get my confidence built. My main flight site requires a mentor and I couldn't secure one, so here I am.

Anyway, these are just my thoughts. Thanks for letting me post up.

Mike

The only one that trips me up a bit (and probably Warren as well) is the first one. I suspect many of us here will struggle with that one because many of us have been personally injured by the actions of those named (and others).

But Mike's advice is still good because it recognizes that many new pilots (and even old pilots) don't want to participate in what appears to be a lot of "baggage" that's not their problem.

But then Warren's point (fairly enough) is that it should be their problem because it's a systemic problem in the sport.

In other words, you both have valid points, and I agree with you both. And I think (hope) you can each see the other's point as well.

As for what to do about it, that's really up to our U.S. Hawks Advisory Board. I would argue that we should do the following:

  1. Encourage free speech - including political speech - for everyone.
  2. Encourage non-political "happy happy I'm flying" speech even more.
The first is what makes us unique among hang gliding forums and we should cherish it (I certainly do). The second will help us grow. We will need both if we really want to succeed in saving the sport of hang gliding. That's what spurred me to pledge to try to make 2 "happy I'm flying" posts for every "this sport is screwed up" post. I'm finding it's not as easy as I'd hoped!!   ;)
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Re: Best Plan to Save Sport of Hang Gliding

Postby spydermike » Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:58 pm

Look, I am new to this forum. You can consider me relatively "new" to hang gliding (forget my short foray into the sport in the mid- to late-1970s) as I really restarted about 4 years ago and took the last three years off. I gave my opinion on "Best Plan to Save Sport of Hang Gliding" including what I feel is a turn off to new people joining this sport from my perspective. That is something I rarely do on public forums for the exact reason of what transpired thereafter. I really have no need to continue to banter about it or the odd direction it has taken.

I sincerely hope your "Best Plan to Save Sport of Hang Gliding" methods find you success.

Mike
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Re: Best Plan to Save Sport of Hang Gliding

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:55 am

Hi Mike,

I'm sorry for all the politics. Let's get back to flying ...

Please contact me when you get your Dockweiler waiver back from Beaches and Harbors, and we can meet at Dockweiler for a fun day of flying. I've got a Wills Wing Falcon 195 and a Wills Wing Alpha 210. They're both fun in most Dockweiler conditions, and they can soar on stronger days. If Frank is there with his Wills Wing Condor 330, the soaring window is even wider. :)

I'll pick up your parking fee as a show of good will. :thumbup:

Thanks to your feedback. I am going to try to make at least 2 positive posts (like this one) for every one I make that's negative.

Your idea to fly and be seen flying is excellent. Let's do that at Dockweiler. Your idea to introduce the sport to any person that shows interest is also excellent. Several of us have done some outreach at college campuses, and we should renew those efforts. Maybe you can join us?

I think Dockweiler, Torrey, and Funston are some of the most visible sites for spectators. I've done outreach at all three with "Little Hawk", and we should do more in those 3 urban areas (and others).

So far, the U.S. Hawks has helped grow several new clubs (Tooele Hawks in Utah, Southwest Texas Hang Gliders in Texas, Friends of Dockweiler, Mo Hawks in Missouri, and South Central New York HG club). We've also adopted several existing clubs (Rio Grande Soaring, Austin Free Flight, and Torrey Hawks) which predated the U.S. Hawks. Most of these also hold outreach events like our regular Torrey Hawks Second Sundays, and our annual support of the Otto Lilienthal meets. Most of us share our personal gliders at these events.

When it comes to training and mentorship, it's hard to beat the RGSA. They are constantly working with new pilots at their training sites. They are a role model for all of us. :salute:

So your ideas are very welcome. Now let's plan for a few Dockweiler days and be seen having fun in one of our great urban sites!

:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
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Re: Best Plan to Save Sport of Hang Gliding

Postby Free » Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:49 pm

spydermike wrote:
You read a hell of a lot into my posts that is just not there - against telling the truth, defending USHPA, advocating a cover up, gas lighting, etc.. I don't need to tell you my reason for not visiting OZ or belonging to USHPA as it is none of your business.

It's a marketing issue. It may be beneficial to have this information to promote this group's alternative organization. I don't need your information personally but this organization has an interest in knowing the facts. Positive or negative.. which is quite subjective. No harm intended but you brought up what seems to be a sensitive subject. We might be able to help?

Maybe I will turn the question around and ask you why should I subscribe to OZ and why should I be a member of USHPA? You certainly don't seem to advocate either of those.
I'm not advocating you join either one of those. My suggestion would be not to join them but to make that determination effective, you kinda need to publicize your decision and reasoning.

Is this how your approach all new folks coming to this site, or is it just me?

There is no approach here, but you do seem to be getting special treatment. You ask, and you receive.
Based on this thread, I don't really understand your approach to bringing new people into the sport. You state you have some ideas, maybe you could elucidate them. If you already have, will you steer me toward the threads/posts where it is defined? Thanks.
Mike


My ideas are based on high volume instruction up to a solid Hang 2. It wouldn't have a lot of personal hand holding in the sense of happy safe spaces and warm fuzzy feelings. It would be more like boot camp but with happy camping after hours for rest and recovery for the next session. The student has to bring his best effort to match the program. Safe spaces for hang gliding is standing on the ground watching someone else doing it.

Truth would be essential in all aspects and there would be no sacred cows.
Your suggestion #1 is to protect sacred cows.
Presently, this is the only conflict I see between us.

Do you really think we should refrain from telling new people the truth about things and instead create a false happy place when their lives actually are at stake?

Davis is posting some bad things about a PG business at this very minute on his profitable web site.
If you think that is wrong you could sign up and tell him to stop as it scares away prospective pilots.

You could tell him that, but he would probably ban you, delete you and say bad things about you after you were gone. (facts you need to know)
But Davis might be saving someone's life by posting bad things about a bad actor. We just don't know until we get more information.
Calling the information negative and attempting to squelch it is not the right path to take. I hope you see the point.
This is a dangerous sport and happy fuzzy feelings are best left for the camaraderie drunks at the campfire.
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Re: Best Plan to Save Sport of Hang Gliding

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:25 pm

Bob Kuczewski wrote:Hi Mike,

I'm sorry for all the politics. Let's get back to flying ...
   :
   :
Now let's plan for a few Dockweiler days and be seen having fun in one of our great urban sites!


Warren, book a "red eye" flight to LAX and sleep on the plane. I'll pick you up at LAX and we'll go straight to Dockweiler for a fun day of flying. I'll buy or bring breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Then take the "red eye" home and sleep on the way as well. Maybe we can arrange for Joe, Frank, Mike, Eagle, John Heiney, Dave Beardslee, and a bunch of other "locals" to join us.

Be sure you've got your signed waiver from Beaches and Harbors before you book your flights.

That's my best advice!!   :thumbup:
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