instructors and other qualified pilot fiends

General discussion about the sport of hang gliding

Re: instructors and other qualified pilot fiends

Postby Steve Davy » 2017/12/18 17:52:33 UTC

http://forum.hanggliding.org/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=35776
MN's recreational land use laws
Dan DeWeese - Region 3 Regional Director 2016-2018 - 2017/12/18 16:01:01 UTC
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Re: instructors and other qualified pilot fiends

Postby Tad Eareckson » 2018/01/16 13:31:52 UTC

http://forum.hanggliding.org/viewtopic.php?t=35824
USHPA Chapter Renewal Blues
Mark G. Forbes - 2018/01/12 03:17:30 UTC

No matter what I say, I'm sure there's a way you'll misinterpret it and spin it as some sort of fault of USHPA.

I'm thinking you'd hafta work anything pretty hard to spin it as NOT being some sort of fault of u$hPa.

But to attempt to answer the question, it is true that we have not in the past done a complete and thorough job of reviewing the details of every flying site.

What good would it do? You're not and cannot be in the business of keeping pilots "safe" so how would you know what to look for?

Under our new insurance program, we are taking a much more comprehensive look at site conditions, known hazards, potential hazards and how those hazards are communicated to pilots.

1. What kind of fishing line should we be using for weak links and how should we be tying it to maximize aerotowing safety?

2. So obviously in your professional and extremely thorough investigation of the 2015/03/27 Jean Lake double fatal tandem training flight you interviewed all the students left standing in line at the conclusion of the first one. How come we never heard anything about how well the known and potential hazards of such an extremely TYPICAL such operation were communicated to them?

3. We've had two global impact tandem discovery flights in which unhooked students were dropped to their deaths and the instructors ended up with felony manslaughter convictions and another in which the most highly qualified and keenly intellectual hang gliding instructor in the world history of the sport failed to hook himself in and dove himself and his glider and student into the powerlines while dangling from the basetube. The latter's clearly stated and officially unchallenged position is that there is no procedure to effectively defend against this issue and one's only hope is that an oversight will be detected by one of one's friends as the point of no return is approached. Has any tandem student ever been advised accordingly? Or even just been made aware of the issue? I don't recall ever seeing anything in any SOPs.

We are using the knowledge we have gained from past accidents...

What percentage of them does Tim Herr allow you to see?

...to recommend changes such as signage...

Bigger "HOOK IN!" bricks. And use them to pave walkways to the ramps.

...spectator exclusion zones, minimum rating standards, or even things like maximum height for grass at select locations. All of this is based on data we're gathering...

...and not allowing the public or membership to see...

...about accidents and review of past accidents and claims that have arisen from them. As an example, when you've seen several training accidents that include "tall grass grabbed base tube", you might reasonably tell instructors that the site may not be used if the grass is higher than X. Keep the training hill grass mowed, guys!

That's TOTALLY INSANE. We fly foot landable aircraft, our goal is always XC, we need to be able to safely land in tall grass and narrow dry riverbed with large rocks strewn all over the place. Thus to increase overall safety there needs to be a MINIMUM allowable grass height. Nothing under eighteen inches. Better feedback for imperfectly timed flares, better pilots graduating from the training hills.

All of this review requires information, in far more detail than was formerly provided.

But just to select board members - need-to-know only. Nothing to the muppets of course.

And thus JR's complaint about how the process is so much more paperwork-intensive than it used to be. He's right, it is. But when I look at the documentation we're asking for, and the past claims history, there's a straight correlation between the two. We're asking because we know that incidents have happened in the past...

Do you know about Terry Mason? I never heard anything from u$hPa to suggest that he wasn't still around and doing fine.

...and we want to head them off in the future.

Well then obviously you need to be doing a lot more of whatever it was you were doing in the past.

Our past history...

Doesn't exist. 99 percent of it gets shredded by Tim Herr before anyone else gets to see it.

...suggests that the process we used to use, leaving it at the local club level without extra oversight, wasn't working.

And I have little doubt that with a Board stacked with commercial tandem thrill ride operators everything will soon start falling into proper place.

So we're changing that process and adding oversight, and so far the accident statistics indicate that it's helping.

Suck my dick, Mark. u$hPa hasn't had any stabs at legitimate accident statistics for decades and the situation further deteriorates with each passing year. And there's NOTHING that's ever gonna turn this shipwreck around before it finishes going under.

P.S. And you've got certified instructors who need to be advised / compelled to not fly students into landing environments with grass high enough to tie itself to trainer basetubes?
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Re: instructors and other qualified pilot fiends

Postby Tad Eareckson » 2018/01/26 18:13:38 UTC

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zebra_(medicine)
Zebra (medicine)
Zebra is the American medical slang for arriving at an exotic medical diagnosis when a more commonplace explanation is more likely. It is shorthand for the aphorism coined in the late 1940s by Dr. Theodore Woodward, professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, who instructed his medical interns: "When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses not zebras". Since horses are common in Maryland while zebras are relatively rare, logically one could confidently guess that an animal making hoofbeats is probably a horse. By 1960, the aphorism was widely known in medical circles.

And...

08-19
http://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5277/30076449505_1f6ed2f804_o.png
Image

...it's REALLY hard to go wrong identifying, with no further information made available, ANY serious paragliding crash as the consequence of a collapse.

In hang gliding... broken arm - imperfectly timed flare. Next.

That was a thermal turbulence induced collapse.

http://ozreport.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=25656
The young girl who died hang gliding solo
Jim Rooney - 2012/03/06 18:34:14 UTC

ND's onto it.

No one ever wants to wait for the accident investigation... they want to know "NOW DAMNIT!" and there's always a lot of self-serving arguments surrounding it.

And it's always the same.
The same damn arguments get drug up every time. And they're all just as pointless every time.

We have a system in place.
It works.
Let it work.

Our procedures are well established at this point in time and there are no gaping hidden holes that need to be addressed immediately.

RR asked what the status was.
ND's provided the answer (thank you).

Please take a deep breath. And wait.
Accident investigations involving fatalities take a long time. And by long, I mean they can take years.
(yes, years, I'm not kidding)

The sky is not falling.

http://ozreport.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=49837
Jim Rooney tandem paraglider incident in New Zealand
Jim Rooney - 2016/10/01 05:55:48 UTC

Up from surgery... Plates on L2 while it heals, will come out after. Feeling good.
I won't comment on my crash just yet. Maybe after the CAA investigation.

Just posting here too let people know that I'm doing well.

Maybe after the CAA investigation. Maybe. Near a year and a third now.

The Press - 2006/03/15

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is urgently pushing for new hang-gliding industry standards after learning a hang-gliding pilot who suffered serious injuries in a crash three weeks ago had not clipped himself on to the glider.

Extreme Air tandem gliding pilot James (Jim) Rooney safely clipped his passenger into the glider before departing from the Coronet Peak launch site, near Queenstown, CAA sports and recreation manager Rex Kenny said yesterday.

However, he took off without attaching himself.

In a video, he was seen to hold on to the glider for about fifty meters before hitting power lines.

Rooney and the passenger fell about fifteen meters to the ground.

Wow. In just three weeks the CAA was able to determine that James (Jim) Rooney took off without attaching himself and held onto the glider for about fifty meters before hitting power lines. Guess he wasn't in much shape to take advantage of the video card swallowing option as the smoke was clearing. But now, less than a month shy of a dozen years after the incident, we still haven't heard anything about any of the new hang-gliding industry standards that the CAA had implemented to deal with this totally unprecedented failure mode.

The reason you have ACTUAL investigations by RESPONSIBLE authorities is to identify actual issues to prevent deadly reruns. And if accident investigations that involve fatalities take YEARS (yes, years, I'm not kidding) then we're undoubtedly flying around for YEARS just rolling dice with our lives - plus the lives of any tandem thrill riders we may happen to have flying around with us.

But back in the real, Rooney-free world there are virtually always people around who know perfectly well what the problems are while the glider's still thirty or more feet shy of impact and the reports can be prepared after no more than an hour on the laptop.

These fake investigations that the glider organizations and aviation regulatory agencies pretend to conduct exist only for the purpose of safely outlasting the public's three day attention spans. This vile little parasite got collapsed too low to be able to recover or get an emergency chute safely deployed and there wasn't a goddam thing he could do about it or anybody else would've been able to under similar circumstances.

But nobody can say that 'cause there's all this paragliding, recreation, tourism industry shit going on in which continued existences are dependent upon paragliders being perfectly safe aircraft on which no one should have the slightest hesitation about sending his twelve year old kid for a ride.

Jim Keen-Intellect Rooney in particular can't afford to breathe a single word on the incident 'cause he got kicked out of The worlds largest hang gliding community for telling all us stupid muppets how perfectly safe paragliders were. So either he was totally:

- clueless or lying about that issue; or

- incompetent in crashing a tandem ride on a perfectly safe aircraft in an ideal tandem thrill riding environment in ideal tandem thrill riding conditions.

Catch-22. Lose/Lose. Finally realized he'd painted himself into too many corners to be able to comment on any shadow of any circumstance relevant to this major mainstream news event.

And he can't ever work in The Industry again 'cause if he crashes and burns a third chick tandem thrill ride the public and plaintiff's attorneys are gonna have fuckin' FIELD DAYS with his background.

And he can't ever fly solo recreational hang gliders recreationally again for the same reasons he could virtually never fly them before - 'cause he:

- would run the risk of:

-- getting his butt kicked by some Hang Two muppet any time he chose to go up in real world conditions

-- having his throat slit by any one of the thousands of recreational pilots he abused and degraded in the reign of terror he perpetrated in his tug pilot era

- rendered himself over-the-top toxic to the u$hPa Ponzi scheme when he started believing all the superlative crap he manufactured about himself during episodes of extreme unchecked megalomania

And Highland Aerosports needed ONE tug driver to stay alive into the 2016 season. It and Mid Atlantic hang glider aerotowing went permanently extinct either because:
- he had better things to do (taking cute chicks for tandem paraglider thrill rides off of Coronet Peak in Queenstown)
- Highland Aerosports would no longer tolerate the monstrosity they'd created

My money's on the latter and that fits into the big picture pattern. But either way he will NEVER be forgiven - even by the mainstream garden variety douchebags of this sport - for that level of annihilation of flying opportunities.

Kinda funny the way both Yours Truly and Jim Keen-Intellect Rooney, extreme polar opposites in the sport, both abruptly, completely, permanently ceased to exist in mainstream hang gliding - for extreme polar opposite reasons. Well actually Yours Truly still has something of a footprint - but just about everybody in the mainstream has learned to not acknowledge it.

2013/02/02 at Quest. Not the end of the use of the Standard Aerotow Weak Link - as per early indications. But for all practical purposes the ends of Industry statements on the purposes of aerotow weak links and the reputations of untold hundreds of Infallible Weak Link advocates, experts, enforcers.

2016/09/29 at Coronet Peak. Rooney's total history - the kind of history that suddenly nobody seems to be able to remember.

And I've just noticed, realized... pretty much the end of hang gliding experts. Nobody even knows who Pagen is anymore. Rooney was deified by the masses and backed by u$hPa, started buying into his own scam, painted himself into scores of corners, became a massive global embarrassment. Boychick's making a rather pathetic stab at it but has zilch in the way of substance and lacks anything close to the necessary critical mass.

Also when u$hPa realized it couldn't be in the safety business and needed instead to go full steam ahead into the risk management business aeronautical competence - both legitimate and counterfeit - went totally out the window. And flyers with aspirations of becoming pilots tend not to get very hyped up about risk management strategies. They want nuts and bolts procedures and equipment that they can learn, incorporate, implement. (They mostly want total shit nuts and bolts procedures and equipment - but that's entirely beside the point.)

You'll notice everyone and his dog endorses the excellent article by Mike Meier, "Why Can't We Get a Handle On This Safety Thing?" but nobody ever quotes anything from it - because there's nothing in it of any actual substance to quote.

Ditto for...

u$hPa - 2015/05/11

Jean Dry Lakebed Accident Report and Analysis

You are encouraged to re-read the excellent article by Mike Meier, "Why Can't We Get a Handle On This Safety Thing?" (http://www.willswing.com/why-cant-we-get-a-handle-on-this-safety-thing/). Although published in 1998, the risk mitigation analyses and approaches in the article are timeless and still applicable. Additionally, the technical information in "Towing Aloft" by Dennis Pagen and Bill Bryden is an excellent and complete reference on towing equipment and procedures.

Rich Hass
President

Martin Palmaz
Executive Director

...the excellent book, Towing Aloft, by Dennis Pagen and Bill Bryden - another product of 1998 (celebrating its twentieth birthday this month and massively and universally discredited).

http://ozreport.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=24846
Is this a joke ?
Paul Tjaden - 2011/07/30 15:33:54 UTC

Quest Air has been involved in perfecting aerotowing for nearly 20 years.

Really Paul? To the point that you'll kill two highly qualified professional pilots after another several years of perfecting aerotowing in conditions that aren't even slightly rattling the tugs?

And if Quest and (the now extinct) Cloud 9 have been doing all this excellent perfecting of aerotowing then the technical information in "Towing Aloft" by Dennis Pagen and Bill Bryden CAN'T POSSIBLY BE an excellent and complete reference on towing equipment and procedures and those claiming otherwise are LIARS who can't be trusted on ANYTHING of importance or substance.

Got that, people of varying ages? u$hPa's official position on hang glider - not to mention paraglider and ultralight sailplane - towing procedures and technology is that well before publication date, over twenty years ago, every aspect of every flavor was as good as it could possibly get over as many corners of the planet as anyone cares to name. If it's not in the excellent book, Towing Aloft, by Dennis Pagen and Bill Bryden it needs to be treated like plutonium.

Funny that it tells you to only get equipment from reputable Industry sources like Quest Air and Lockout Mountain Flight Park who are claiming to be perpetually perfecting aerotowing and developing newer and more superior aerotow releases every eighteen months.

And not one single individual outside of Kite Strings has ever taken the slightest issue with that totally certifiable bullshit signed by two top u$hPa operatives who have ZERO qualifications I know about to comment on ANY towing issues.

We've got a sport built on a foundation of total shit and guess what happens - even if you do occasionally throw in the odd legitimate construction element every now and then - as you keep building it higher and higher each year.
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Re: instructors and other qualified pilot fiends

Postby Tad Eareckson » 2018/01/29 19:22:17 UTC

http://ozreport.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=54916
Angle of Attack Indicator for Aerotow Tugs
Davis Straub - 2018/01/25 12:40:13 UTC

Angle of Attack Indicator for Aerotow Tugs
No time to stall

Why should it matter any for the planes on the front? For the ones on the back a stall is a mere inconvenience which increases the safety of the towing operation.

Doug DuBois
Adventure AirSports Tug Pilot

Aerotow tug pilots spend roughly 3/4 of their airtime in very close proximity to their aircraft's "stall speed", and much of this time is done in windy/gusty/turbulent conditions. Hang gliding's remarkably good aerotowing safety record speaks very highly of the skill of our tug pilots, as ultra-light aircraft combined with "stall speed" proximity in gusty conditions could easily amount to a recipe for disaster, especially when you add to the mix a glider on tow! Please note the quotes used around the term "stall speed", as it is somewhat of a misnomer for reasons discussed below.

I'm still a rather new tug driver myself, having started my ATP training less than 3 years ago and having conducted fewer than 300 tows so far. When I first began towing in rowdy midday conditions, I was uneasy with the narrow airspeed margin and also noticed that the normal airspeed cues (airspeed indicator, the feel and sound of the wind, etc.) didn't always seem to give an accurate sense of the tow plane's proximity to a stalled condition. Since we're generally trying to keep the airspeed very low (within manageable limits for the glider and pilot), and a stall/spin under tow could spell disaster, I decided to investigate the use of an angle of attack indicator on our Dragonfly tug.

"A wing can stall at any airspeed or attitude, but it will always stall at the same angle of attack." This axiom is drilled into the heads of new pilots, and with good reason. If we let complacency lull us into the practice of avoiding stalls simply by attempting to maintain a minimum airspeed, that practice can fail us someday. Maintaining an appropriate angle of attack (AOA) for the current conditions is the true key to stall-free flight, and this observance is relevant to any flying machine that creates lift by pushing an airfoil through the air. I can think of no flying activity in which AOA management is more critical to safety than in our low-speed aerotowing.

In theory, AOA is easy to understand. It is simply the angle between the chord of your wing's airfoil and the relative wind. In practice, the path of the relative wind is easy to observe by attaching a piece of yarn to the aircraft in the passing airstream, taking care to locate it in air that is undisturbed by the aircraft. Go one step further and install a reference line for the yarn to register against (relative to the aircraft) and voila, you have an AOA indicator.

Aerotow tug pilots spend roughly 3/4 of their airtime in very close proximity to their aircraft's "stall speed", and much of this time is done in windy/gusty/turbulent conditions.

And Standard Aerotow Weak Link and Dragonfly tow mast breakaway protector protected hang glider pilots spend roughly 4/4 of their tow airtime on the razor's edge of a dangerous stall. And they only fly in turbulent conditions so every launch is a potential fatality.

Hang gliding's remarkably good aerotowing safety record speaks very highly of the skill of our tug pilots, as ultra-light aircraft combined with "stall speed" proximity in gusty conditions could easily amount to a recipe for disaster, especially when you add to the mix a glider on tow!

Suck my dick, Doug DuBois, Adventure AirSports (Blindrodie) Tug Pilot.

- You pulled hang gliding's remarkably good aerotowing safety record entirely out of your ass 'cause you have absolutely NOTHING on which to base your bullshit proclamation.

But let's try this for anecdotal. Find out the number of flights Jeff Bohl had on conventional aircraft and as a commercial airline pilot and note the ones upon he got a scraped knee or worse. Then look at his total number of hang glider flights and the number of them on which he was killed instantly with nothing particularly unusual going on.

- Show me some videos of awesome tug pilots pulling gliders with great skill. And let's note that Bobby Fucking-Genius Bailey is universally praised as the greatest tug pilot the planet has ever seen and he towed a Norwegian national champion to his instant death - still connected at impact time - in totally benign conditions.

- Really amazing how all tug pilots are so highly skilled from Day One, Flight One of operating as tug pilots just because they're tug pilots. I'd call that screaming evidence that there's ZILCH skill involved in operating as tug pilots. Fuckin' obviously if towing hang gliders required any level of skill worth mentioning we'd see tons of incidents of crashed tugs and gliders as consequences of deficiencies in the department. And they're statistically nonexistent.

The aerotowing crashes we DO see are goddam near all equipment issues - engine and control system failures on the tugs and Standard Aerotow Weak Link inconveniences and refusals to actuate easily reachable releases on the gliders. And, no, you don't get to count an asshole who stalls his tug trying to force it into the air before it has any speed as SKILL issue. That's a fundamental incompetence issue.

I'm still a rather new tug driver myself, having started my ATP training less than 3 years ago and having conducted fewer than 300 tows so far.

But apparently started off with the outstanding skill you needed to prevent any incidents.

When I first began towing in rowdy midday conditions, I was uneasy with the narrow airspeed margin and also noticed that the normal airspeed cues (airspeed indicator, the feel and sound of the wind, etc.) didn't always seem to give an accurate sense of the tow plane's proximity to a stalled condition.

But you never actually ENTERED a stalled condition when you first began towing in rowdy midday conditions, right? And then when you were no longer first beginning towing in rowdy midday conditions you were no longer uneasy with the narrow airspeed margin. You just told us that.

Since we're generally trying to keep the airspeed very low (within manageable limits for the glider and pilot)...

How 'bout THIS:

http://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4174/34261733815_bfb41c49d8_o.jpg
Image

glider and "pilot" (pro toad asshole)? He's got the bar FULLY STUFFED just to maintain position with the tug keeping the airspeed very low to accommodate him? Wouldn't a two point bridle - with an upper attachment to trim the nose down and move the pilot way the fuck back into normal position relative to the control bar...

03-001306
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7634/16556850377_7dd54ff840_o.png
Image

...so that he's flying fast at trim and has the ABILITY to fly way faster than any reasonable upper tow speed limit greatly increase the safety of the operation for BOTH planes?

...and a stall/spin under tow could spell disaster,

1. Thank you so very much helping further illustrate that anything the compromises control of and endangers the glider also endangers the tug.

2. And speaking of windy/gusty/turbulent conditions...

http://ozreport.com/13.238
Adam Parer on his tuck and tumble
Adam Parer - 2009/11/25

Due to the rough conditions weak links were breaking just about every other tow and the two tugs worked hard to eventually get everyone off the ground successfully.

Any thoughts on having to do the most dangerous and expensive phase of the flight twice the number of times a COMPETENT operation would to get the gliders off the ground and up to workable altitude?

3. Can you CITE any disastrous stalls/spins with gliders under tow?

I decided to investigate the use of an angle of attack indicator on our Dragonfly tug.

Fearing that hang gliding didn't have quite enough solutions in search of actual problems. (Better check to make sure you got the backup loop.)

"A wing can stall at any airspeed or attitude, but it will always stall at the same angle of attack." This axiom is drilled into the heads of new pilots, and with good reason.

Because if it ISN'T the results will be HORRENDOUS!

If we let complacency lull us into the practice of avoiding stalls simply by attempting to maintain a minimum airspeed, that practice can fail us someday.

And DO let us know if/when you find an actual example to illustrate your point.

Maintaining an appropriate angle of attack (AOA) for the current conditions is the true key to stall-free flight, and this observance is relevant to any flying machine that creates lift by pushing an airfoil through the air. I can think of no flying activity in which AOA management is more critical to safety than in our low-speed aerotowing.

What a load o' shit. Nobody stalls gliders or tugs on tow because they don't know where the limits are. And in free flight...
- Gliders stall when they get dumped out of thermals and:
-- gadgets and instruments don't/won't make the slightest difference
-- we recover from them and resume what we were doing before
- Who gives a flying fuck about a tug when it's not engaged in doing the only job for which it exists and flies.

In theory...

Hang gliding doesn't do theory - just the most popular opinions.

...AOA is easy to understand. It is simply the angle between the chord of your wing's airfoil and the relative wind. In practice, the path of the relative wind is easy to observe by attaching a piece of yarn to the aircraft in the passing airstream, taking care to locate it in air that is undisturbed by the aircraft. Go one step further and install a reference line for the yarn to register against (relative to the aircraft) and voila, you have an AOA indicator.

We've got a pretty good stall indicator for the glider on our end. We tie a piece of 130 pound test fishing line in a loop and install it on a tow bridle end. When it breaks we're stalled (inconvenienced). And if we're near the ground we usually get a broken downtube as a backup indicator.

Stunning how conspicuously and totally the tuggie class omits glider control issues from discussions about the safety of the tug and overall tow.

- Despite the fact that they can always fix whatever's going on back there by giving us the rope (without ever having to make a control negating easy reach to anything), using anything an ounce heavier than 130 pound Greenspot will pose an insane increase in risk level to the tug. (Unless the glider has passenger on it. Then it's fine.)

- Then post Marzec Davis and many of us become happy with 200 - minus the slightest peep from a single tuggie anywhere. And when an airline pilot uses up his easy reach allotment securing a dangling camera, enters a slow left lockout behind an underpowered tug on a short runway forced to turn right to stay out of the trees, and dies a second after the Tad-O-Link increases the safety of the towing operation and three quarters of a second after the anonymous driver fixes whatever was going on back there by giving the air the rope, nobody anywhere ever has a word to say about anything because hang glider aerotowing has already been perfected - save for the problem that only one tug driver is using a stall warning device.

And all this has been accomplished by totally butchering both letter and intent of every aerotowing SOP and regulation put on paper and converting everything to guidelines that nobody ever reads or adheres to.

I recommend the use of an AOA indicator for beginning and seasoned tug pilots alike. Sometimes when the tug flies out of strong lift and into sink, your airspeed will seem to plummet.

Possibly because it IS plummeting. But this post is all about stall warning devices - not airspeed indicators.

If you're managing your AOA by airspeed alone, the natural and safe response is to shove the nose down quick and hard to prevent a stall.

But with the addition of the feedback provided by a stall warning device you'll know to respond by a shoving the nose up quick and hard to make things run more safely and smoothly.

It's very reassuring in this kind of situation to have the yarn to glance at to see what's really happening AOA-wise.

For those of you who lack the aptitude to respond to anything by feel.

In my experience with this indicator, that sudden sinking feeling rarely requires aggressive elevator correction, and by avoiding that I'm not diving away from the glider and slacking the rope as much as I might otherwise.

1. What did your experience WITHOUT this indicator lead you to do in response to that sudden sinking feeling?

2. Oh. Rarely. So SOMETIMES you DO need to shove the nose down quick and hard to prevent a stall. But your yarn does nothing to help you identify those situations. So I guess you just stall on those occasions and hope that they occur at high enough altitudes. Should be OK 'cause these are just rare occurrences.

3. Right. Diving AWAY from the glider SLACKENS the rope. Quantum physics thing beyond the scope of this article.

Although I prefer to have the indicator when I'm towing, when I do fly without it my senses, instincts and reactions will be much better informed from all this experience with it.

WILL be? How much more experience with it do you think you'll need before you'll be able to write "ARE"?

Seasoned ATP pilots will also probably learn some subtle lessons about lift reserve and coordinated flight in a Dragonfly, I'll wager!

And we'll finally stop seeing all the sloppy and dangerous under, over, poorly controlled crap we have been for the first four decades of mainstream hang glider aerotowing.

Not a single incident cited nor three second clip of video referenced to support the position that this effort is addressing an actual issue anywhere.

Doug DuBois is a GA/UL/HG pilot with a background in aircraft building, machining, engineering and industrial design. He is a partner in Adventure AirSports, LLC, and was the group's first tug pilot.

And has never had a ghost of an expressed perspective on any hang glider towing issue...

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/skysailingtowing/message/7230
Towing question
Martin Henry - 2009/06/26 06:06:59 UTC

PS... you got to be careful mentioning weak link strengths around the forum, it can spark a civil war ;-)

...until now. Just make sure you don't address any of the many actual deadly problems we have on towed gliders - which outnumber tugs at fifty to one ratios within regular towing center ranges. Put all of your expertise into developing fake solutions for obviously nonexistent problems on the planes that are never the slightest bit fazed while the gliders behind them get crashed and killed due to glaringly defective equipment.

And when we back-end guys provide the solutions ourselves make sure they don't get into circulation and their innovators and advocates get properly silenced.

It's really depressing reading the mainstream crap and seeing how totally devoid of discussions of actual substance they are. But we all know who's controlling the mainstream conversations and what their motivations are.

P.S. Adventure AirSports went extinct a zillion years ago. It's really weird that he's using it in his credentials and using an obsolete or bogus URL...

(If anyone out there comes up with a better version, please contact me through http://AdventureAirsports.com to share your improvements.)

...as a contact. And check out this relic:
http://www.questiongravity.com/adventureairsports/
from 2002.

P.P.S. Note the absence of any response, comment from hang gliding's former greatest authority on everything and Davis Show pet.

P.P.P.S. - 2018/01/29 19:40:00 UTC

After a bit more nosing around and searching I realize that this is just some old junk that Davis dug up and posted to try and make his dump more legitimate looking. Nothing whatsoever having to do with any recent sign of a pulse from Doug DuBois.
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Tad Eareckson
 
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Re: instructors and other qualified pilot fiends

Postby Tad Eareckson » 2018/02/03 20:23:29 UTC

http://ozreport.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=54907
Lost Site?
Mark G. Forbes - 2018/01/27 03:52:31 UTC

A British paramotor pilot said something silly years ago. Ok, fine. Lots of people say silly things; see Ben, above. The point is that the relative risks of HG vs PG are not significantly different, nor are their potentials for third party injury or damage. Either one of them can kill you. Either one of them can injure you. The nature of the accidents may be somewhat different, but they're statistically similar in overall risk. Both are fundamentally dependent on the judgment of the pilot, and that pilot's evaluation of the flying conditions.

I don't fly my paraglider in strong thermals and gusty winds. I don't fly my hang glider in close proximity to a low sand dune where there's a risk of catching a wingtip. I don't fly my trike low over populated areas, or where I don't have a landing field available in case the fan stops turning.

From an insurance risk standpoint, we worry about injuries to spectators, damage to property, and actions by pilots that put the public at risk. We all choose to fly whatever sort of craft we prefer, and as long as we're putting ourselves at risk, at whatever level we're comfortable with, then that's on the individual pilot to decide. We encourage pilots to fly safely, but they have to make that choice. Students in training, whether tandem or solo, explicitly accept the risk of injury and sign a waiver to that effect. Part of the underwriting process for schools is to verify that they're operating in accordance with consensus training standards, and not behaving in a manner that might open them to a charge of negligence. Schools that do not adhere to training standards or otherwise fail to operate safely, don't get insured.

How come you're posting on The Davis Show instead of the official u$hPa discussion group? (As if the Jack and Davis Shows weren't the official u$hPa discussion groups.)

A British paramotor pilot said something silly years ago. Ok, fine. Lots of people say silly things; see Ben, above.

How do you know what's silly and what's not? In hang and paragliding isn't one individual's opinion just as valid as anyone else's?

The point is that the relative risks of HG vs PG are not significantly different, nor are their potentials for third party injury or damage.

And you, of course, have the statistics to validate your statements.

Either one of them can kill you.

There's nothing that I fly that can kill me. I've trained, qualified, gained experience as a pilot to keep things under control. Russian roulette isn't a game in which I have any interest.

Either one of them can injure you.

See above.

The nature of the accidents may be somewhat different, but they're statistically similar in overall risk.

1. There's no such thing as an accident. And anyone who believes otherwise has no fuckin' business flying any of these things.

2. Suck my dick, Mark. The sports have NEVER had any solid crash statistics. But in the dinosaur era we at least had a few responsible individuals doing the best they could to collect and publish data and make valid recommendations for remedial actions - which the assholes controlling training made sure were never implemented. We've got nothing but misrepresented, ass covering crap now - on the rare occasions we get anything at all.

Both are fundamentally dependent on the judgment of the pilot, and that pilot's evaluation of the flying conditions.

Identify some individuals in these sports who qualify as pilots.

I don't fly my paraglider in strong thermals and gusty winds.

Or conditions in which strong thermals and gusts could possibly occur.

I don't fly my hang glider in close proximity to a low sand dune where there's a risk of catching a wingtip.

Good for you, Mark. Most of my early airtime was NOTHING BUT flying in close proximity to a low sand dunes where a tip was frequently in contact with the sand. And I've never seen and you can't show me a ghost of a serious incident precipitated by somebody flying his glider in close proximity to a low sand dune where there was a risk of catching a wingtip.

I don't fly my trike low over populated areas...

You're not legally permitted to fly your trike low over populated areas.

...or where I don't have a landing field available in case the fan stops turning.

Suddenly losing thrust is a mere inconvenience - regardless of one's situation at the moment. For hang gliders anyway.

From an insurance risk standpoint, we worry about injuries to spectators, damage to property, and actions by pilots that put the public at risk. We all choose to fly whatever sort of craft we prefer, and as long as we're putting ourselves at risk, at whatever level we're comfortable with, then that's on the individual pilot to decide.

Unless, of course, he's under the supervision of an instructor making sure he does everything as safely as possible.

We encourage pilots to fly safely, but they have to make that choice.

1. Who's we?
2. Given that u$hPa isn't and can't be in the safety business how the fuck do you have the slightest clue what's entailed in flying safely?

Students in training, whether tandem or solo, explicitly accept the risk of injury and sign a waiver to that effect.

Or, if the student in training is eleven years old, have one of his parents sign it on his behalf. And that signature is bulletproof even if the relevant parent thinks the tandem thrill ride operator is a skydiving instructor. (And it's a pity Kelly Harrison WASN'T a skydiving instructor. 'Cause if he had been he'd have probably understood what the parachute was and put it to use.)

Part of the underwriting process for schools is to verify that they're operating in accordance with consensus training standards, and not behaving in a manner that might open them to a charge of negligence.

CONSENSUS training standards. Yeah Mark. This is hang gliding...

Dr. Trisa Tilletti - 2012/06

If tandem operators think that, practically, a 520 lb. double loop weak link is too much for a tandem, it is way too much for a solo pilot.

We don't do aeronautical theory, engineering, procedures. We do most popular opinions.

That was the beauty of the 130 pound Greenspot precision fishing line Standard Aerotow Weak Link...

Dr. Trisa Tilletti - 2012/06

We could get into details of lab testing weak links and bridles, but this article is already getting long. That would be a good topic for an article in the future. Besides, with our backgrounds in formal research, you and I both know that lab tests may produce results with good internal validity, but are often weak in regard to external validity--meaning lab conditions cannot completely include all the factors and variability that exists in the big, real world.
http://ozreport.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=31052
Poll on weaklinks
Davis Straub - 2013/03/06 18:29:05 UTC

I'm thinking about doing a bit more testing as there seemed to be some disagreement around here about what the average breaking strength of a loop of Greenspot (or orange) weaklink was.

Its strength was always precisely what any Industry douchebag felt like saying it was at any given moment because his opinion was at least as good as anybody else's. And bench testing had little external validity because lab conditions cannot completely include all the factors and variability that exist in the big, real world (mostly the opinions of Industry douchebags like Dr. Trisa Tilletti).

So how the fuck do you sleazebags know what consensus training standards are? Who gets to vote? Gotta be an Instructor in Good Standing like Pat Denevan? Or until the early afternoon of 2015/03/27 Kelly Harrison? I'm guessing they do 'cause Pat never caught the slightest degree of official flak for any of his atrocities and everything Kelly was doing and using was and remains "typical".

Can we see the records of how people voted? Oh, right. u$hPa doesn't maintain voting records.

Does the vote of a thirty day tandem thrill rider member count the same as a twenty year Four? Do you check logbooks? Is a surviving victim of a u$hPa Instructor in Good Standing allowed to express an opinion?

What a total load o' crap.

Schools that do not adhere to...

...our totally bogus...

...training standards or otherwise fail to operate safely, don't get insured.

Mission Soaring Center.

- Lin Lyons walked away smelling like a rose 'cause he got his chute open with several seconds of plummet time to spare.

- Nancy Tachibana still had a pulse when she was evacuated from the field and didn't die until the following day. And that was all pilot error anyway.

- And not the slightest suggestion of third party injury or property damage in either one. Lin missed the powerlines by a good thirty feet.

No problems, Pat. Keep up the great work.

Consensus standards. That's how you write and revise your SOPs, right Mark?

Meanwhile, back in reality...

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TUGS/message/1184
aerotow instruction was Re: Tug Rates
Larry Jorgensen - 2011/02/17 13:37:47 UTC
Air Adventures NW
Spanaway, Washington

It did not come from the FAA, it came from a USHPA Towing Committee made up of three large aerotow operations that do tandems for hire.

Appalling.
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Tad Eareckson
 
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Re: instructors and other qualified pilot fiends

Postby Tad Eareckson » 2018/02/04 18:34:58 UTC

http://ozreport.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=54907
Lost Site?
Mark G. Forbes - 2018/02/01 05:26:59 UTC

1) I think they're both equally UN-airworthy in the wrong conditions. All aircraft have operating limits, beyond which they are unable to maintain control.

Well, with a hang glider you can always expand the operating limits by going upright and placing your hands on the control tubes at shoulder or ear height. This is especially useful in the critical phases of launching and landing where you need to maximize roll control and flare authority.

And in both flavors of aviation in critical towing situations you have such an excess of control authority that there's never the slightest degradation or compromise involved in flying one-handed while actuating your easily reachable release.

The operating envelope for a paraglider is narrower than that of a hang glider, which is in turn less than a sailplane or GA aircraft, and in turn less than private or commercial jets.

Too right, Mark! I can't think of a single situation from which a paraglider would come out smelling like a rose while an Airbus and the humans associated would be instantly and totally obliterated.

It is the responsibility of the pilot to fly within the safe operating limits of the aircraft.

Even when u$hPa SOPs, tug drivers, meet heads, flight park operators dictate otherwise.

Good judgment is the key, and that's difficult for humans to exercise consistently. I was reviewing some incident report data today...

What incident report data? The crap that Tim Herr permits to be gutted of actual substance and made publicly accessible?

...and I noted a mix of accidents and incidents for both HG and PG pilots.

Did you check who the instructors had been for the relevant individuals?

In broad terms...

Fuck you, Mark. Anything you got in the way of incident report data was from a grotesquely corrupted source.

...HG pilots tend to break arms, heads and upper backs, and PG pilots tend to break legs and lower backs.

1. And none of these are fatals. 'Cause the cause of death in 100.00 percent of fatal crashes is the suffering of fatal injuries.

2. Where the fuck are you getting this data and why isn't it publicly available - 'specially to prospective students on the verge of signing the waiver?

That's because of the flight attitude, seated vs prone.

99 percent of hang glider crashes occur when and because the monkey who was clipped in was upright when contact with something solid was made.

Causes vary; incorrect control inputs, turbulence, poor judgment of flight path.

...total shit incompetent instruction, massively corrupt national organization, nonpilot sleazebag corporate lawyer functioning as Secretary and Risk Management Officer.

Wow. Who'da thunk. So let's all get our shit together and stop making incorrect control inputs, flying in turbulence (all thermal conditions for starters), poorly judging our flight paths. Really valuable information. Probably oughta also give some more consideration to being careful out there.

USHPA's total membership is now about 60% PG, and my anecdotal observation is that there's much more active flying taking place within the PG community. That is, we have a number of HG pilots on the books who are not flying very much, if at all.

So then what's the point in invalidating one's ratings solely because he's allowed his u$hPa membership for three years? He could be a Four flying his brains out for three years and documenting it with aerobatics videos but some minimal Three who's maintained his membership but left the glider in the bag for twenty is perpetually good to go.

That's a natural consequence of an aging population...

And killing all of your new guys as fast as you can bring them in.

...and of the inherent characteristics of PGs vs HGs.

Not to mention the mandated u$hPa and u$hPa operative bullshit to deliberately designed to slash safety margins to zilch or worse.

To be blunt, when you get old and creaky, it's a whole lot easier to schlep a PG around. It's easier to learn if you're taking up the sport in your 50's and 60's, and we're seeing folks in that age group entering the sport. As a result, I'd expect to see more reports (numerically) of PG accidents, because of the higher level of flight activity.

For which you have absolutely no actual data.

I think these are some of the factors that contribute to the decline of the HG-only pilot population, mirroring trends in other countries. Back when HG was all there was, everybody who wanted to foot launch flew some sort of HG or variant.

Nobody WANTS to foot launch. Foot launching is a dangerous evil necessary to get a glider airborne off a ramp in the mountains. In places like Florida and Texas nobody DOES foot launch. Never in the history of aerotowing has anybody declined the use of a solid cart because he wanted to foot launch. And if people DID foot launch behind tugs you'd see the serious crash rate go through the fuckin' ceiling.

Now there's a choice, and so people choose.

'Cept when it comes to aerotow equipment. Then Davis Dead-On Straub and Jim Keen-Intellect Rooney make our choices for us.

Denigrating their choice isn't a good way to persuade them to your preferred craft instead.

Just like posting fatality statistics.

2) I don't think a pilot should assume that any aircraft is "safe".

No. He should wait to be told that by his instructor.

I think they should consider safety relative to the flight, not the craft. In appropriate conditions, I think a paraglider can be flown quite safely.

Oh good. Let's base our pilot decisions on what some sleazebag u$hPa operative who has openly stated that u$hPa isn't and can't be in the business of keeping pilots safe and all but openly stated that u$hPa and its operatives will suppress and viciously torpedo any solid aeronautical procedure and/or standard that shows up on the outer edges of their radar.

In the wrong conditions, I think a hang glider cannot be flown safely.

So we SHOULDN'T fly into tornados?

And vice-versa. There are days when I won't fly my trike, because it's too windy or thermic, even though it's bigger and heavier than the HG or PG.

I fly my PG in morning and evening air, relatively light winds or at coastal sites with consistent, smooth air. If it's getting thermic, or particularly, thermic with wind, then I don't want to be up there. Mid-day, I pretty much don't fly in summer; I do this for fun, and I prefer the milder morning and evening conditions. Others have a higher tolerance for turbulence and risk, and skills beyond mine. I set my personal limits based on my own perception of my skills and currency.

Bull fucking shit. Paragliders collapse in thermal conditions and if they're too low for recovery or deployment WHEN that happens there is no:
- tolerance for turbulence and risk
- skill beyond yours
that's gonna make the slightest difference. How many more thousands of fatally splattered hot shot air jocks do we need to get that point across?

I'll fly my HG in stronger conditions, and I particularly enjoy aerotowing in Florida...

Guess you foot launch down there - 'cause that's what you really wanna do.

...with all those big, smooth thermals.

Like the one that Zack Marzec deliberately flew into below a hundred feet while Mark Frutiger deliberately continued the tow five years minus a day and a half prior to this post of yours? What do you think the problem was? Incorrect control inputs, turbulence, poor judgment of flight path? Some combination of the above? A bit odd 'cause there was never a hint of any of the above in any actual accounts. Just a BIG SMOOTH thermal, a tandem aerotow instructor pro toad hotshot, and the safest possible weak link any glider of any flying weight has ever flown anywhere.

There, I'll fly mid-day...but not out here in the mountains, if it's really cooking.

Why? Do we have any actual data to indicate that that's dangerous? 'Cause when it's really cooking is when everyone and his dog is fighting tooth and nail for a place in the launch line.

There are exceptions; I had a great flight mid-day when there was some high cirrus that damped the intensity down, and light winds. And there's the opposite case, where I decided to land "before it got too scary" only to get seriously whacked about 100' over the LZ.

Good thing you were upright and had superior roll control authority - like Joe Julik.

I landed safely, but it told me that I was under-estimating the conditions near the surface and needed to dial back my risk threshold.

So you got seriously whacked at a hundred feet, landed fine, learned that you underestimating conditions near the surface. I'd have thunk that you'd have come away thinking that you'd underestimated the conditions a hundred feet over the surface and that the conditions near the surface were fine.

Since part of your original premise had to do with risk as it relates to things like the FAA and our self-insurance model, let me discuss that a bit.

From the FAA's standpoint, they want to see us offering tandem flights to new students with an element of instruction.

Then why haven't those motherfuckers shut you motherfuckers down based on the evidence of tens of thousands of obvious tandem thrill rides for one timer bucket listers who never get a hand anywhere near a control at any phase of the flight?

It doesn't have to be a rigorous academic course...

Which is a really good thing - seeing as how very few of these drivers have IQs up and clear of the low double digit range.

...but there does need to be some ground instruction, some level of verification that the student understands the basics of what they're about to do...

Look up at the camera, smile, give a thumb's up...

7-14522
http://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5517/14036301121_17849a6a04_o.png
Image

...for the bucket lister video before heading off to the zip line park.

...and some degree of in-air training, either by demonstration or with the student handling the controls.

The STUDENT handling the controls?! Are you out of your fucking mind?

We have successfully renewed our tandem exemption multiple times over the years, and we have reported to FAA on accidents and incidents that happen in tandem flying.

Doesn't really even hafta be flying...

http://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5788/23461251751_e98b9c7500_o.png
Image

Or an accident. You suck their dicks, they'll suck yours.

To my knowledge, FAA is satisfied with how we're operating under our tandem exemption, whether it's a hang glider or a paraglider, or possibly some other foot-launched-thing that complies with Part 103, yet to be invented.

How 'bout Arys Moorhead's mom? How many stars did you get from her on the feedback form? Four 'cause there really wasn't anything worth mentioning as a problem until the landing? (Other than that I really enjoyed the play.)

With regard to insurance, you need to understand that we insure for third-party damage. We DO NOT insure pilots for their personal injuries.

And that of course includes...

Image

...student pilots. They understand that flying is inherently risky even with the absolute best of typical standards, procedures, training in place and signify that understanding and acceptance of risk by having a parent or legal guardian sign the waiver and pay the thirty day membership fee.

Wearing the amoral green eyeshade of insurance economics, we don't care if pilots kill themselves, as long as they don't hurt anyone else or anyone else's property.

And there's not much chance of anybody's property getting destroyed out in the middle of a desolate dry lakebed. So pretty good outcome, all things considered.

(Obviously we do care, but I'm talking about economics here..."the dismal science"...not about empathy.)

OBVIOUSLY "we" do care. I'm always moved to tears seeing how obviously we do care in the aftermath of one of these.

Our insurance risk is for the most part driven by injuries to spectators and damage to property, with a secondary factor being claims by participants (or their families) who try to sue despite the waiver the pilot signed as a condition of membership or training.

A membership OR training? So a thirty day membership AND *LEGITIMATE* training doesn't make one a member? How is that possible? You were granted the tandem exemption based or your claim (pretense) that you needed it to enhance the safety and effectiveness of pilot training - not to sell tandem thrill rides to bucket listers and eleven year old kids on family vacations to Vegas.

2013/03/27 - Kelly Harrison

Kelly Harrison (56), a Master (H5) pilot, tandem and advanced instructor and USHPA member since 1990, suffered fatal injuries during a tandem platform truck circuit tow at Jean Dry Lakebed near Las Vegas Nevada. His 11 year old student also perished in the accident.

Arys was a legitimate student pilot and legitimate u$hPa member. In thirty days he could EASILY have qualified as a Two and flown most any high site under supervision. I had an eleven-year-old at Kitty Hawk who was mostly there in two or three days. And it's quite possible - weather permitting - to go from Zero to Three in thirty consecutive days. So how come you identify Kelly Harrison by name in all your reports but refer to Arys only as "his 11 year old student"? Splattering him in front of his family wasn't enough? You gotta dehumanize him after that by not even dignifying him with his name?

In that regard, HG and PG pose similar risks. If anything, the third party risk from a PG is somewhat lower, because the typical velocity is lower and so is the total mass of pilot+wing. Crash energy is MV^2, so a velocity reduction greatly reduces the overall energy available to cause damage. Damage claims we've seen in the past have been for things like power lines, buildings and vehicles. Less often there's a claim related to a spectator being impacted, either by a pilot in flight, or by a wing on the ground in the setup area. Of the significant high-dollar past claims I'm aware of, I'd say that they shake out equally between HG and PG accidents, and in none of those cases was the accident attributable to the failure of the wing in flight, whether HG structural failure or PG deflation.

Tell me about some of the HG structural failures. Properly preflighted hang gliders don't structurally fail unless they're tumbled in severe turbulence - virtually always at high altitude - or overstressed in of as consequences of blown aerobatic maneuvers.

Regarding paragliders you feed us this bullshit:

I fly my PG in morning and evening air, relatively light winds or at coastal sites with consistent, smooth air. If it's getting thermic, or particularly, thermic with wind, then I don't want to be up there. Mid-day, I pretty much don't fly in summer; I do this for fun, and I prefer the milder morning and evening conditions. Others have a higher tolerance for turbulence and risk, and skills beyond mine. I set my personal limits based on my own perception of my skills and currency.

Paragliders are fuckin' deadly in real world thermal conditions but OK if you have really great skills and greater tolerance of risk. Which obviously translates to what everyone and his dog knows anyway - that if your paraglider collapses at a hundred feet your skills will be worth the same as they would be if one of your hang glider sidewires failed at a hundred feet.

You are totally rolling dice with your life - and look out below - any time you elect to fly a paraglider in thermal or thermal potential conditions. If you do that you're not a pilot. You're a dice roller. But if you look at the relevant u$hPa SOPs:

The United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association, Inc. - 2017/03/04
12. Standard Operating Procedure
02. Pilot Proficiency System
16. Advanced Paragliding Rating (P4)
-B. Advanced Rating - Required Witnessed Tasks
01. Logged Requirements

-d. Must have at least three 1-hour flights in thermal lift without sustaining ridge lift. Flights must originate from at least 2 different sites in Intermediate level conditions.

-f. Must have logged a minimum of 75 hours total airtime, with no more than 25 of these hours to be tandem. Of these 75 hours, 25 must be in thermal lift, with no more than 10 of these 25 hours to be tandem flights.

18. Paragliding Special Skill Endorsements
-A. Special Skills attainable by Novice and above (P2-P5).
-6. Turbulence (TUR):

-e. Must have logged five 30-minute thermal flights without sustaining ridge lift.

They FORCE you to fly in dice rolling conditions to prove yourself as a competent, skilled, safe, responsible pilot.

Take all the thermal stuff out of the requirements. Paragliders CAN be flown safely in smooth air.

And if people ELECT to roll dice with their lives launching, working low, approaching in thermal conditions with nothing important in range below them then fine - still better than football where you know that there's gonna be significant brain damage happening every play. But they're not operating as pilots and shouldn't be the responsibility of a pilot organization.

P.S. Zack Marzec, Jim Rooney, and (much as it bothers me to include him in any list which includes Jim Rooney) Arys Moorhead. You want those names forgotten - for different reasons. And you want the incidents that ended their flying careers forgotten along with them. So I'll be continuing to do what I can to keep memories going.
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Re: instructors and other qualified pilot fiends

Postby Tad Eareckson » 2018/02/08 14:17:55 UTC

http://www.ushawks.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=2093
USHPA sends safety letter about HG & PG fatalities
Bob Kuczewski - 2018/02/07 07:47:40 UTC

I disagree strongly with Tad on many things, but he makes a very good point here:
They FORCE you to fly in dice rolling conditions to prove yourself as a competent, skilled, safe, responsible pilot.

I disagree strongly with Tad on many things...

Good.

http://www.shga.com/forum/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3840
[TIL] About Tad Eareckson
Bob Kuczewski - 2013/03/10 18:20:34 UTC

Eventually (and for reasons that I won't full disclose here), it became necessary to ask Tad to leave the US Hawks forum, and he is currently the only person who's been completely banned from the US Hawks.
...
Indeed, I consider it a failing on my part that I wasn't able to help Tad get past some of his "personality" issues and become a good contributing member on the US Hawks forum.

I'd have considered it a major failing on my part if you DIDN'T strongly disagree with Tad on many things, it HADN'T eventually (and for reasons that you won't full disclose here), become necessary to ask Tad to leave the US Hawks forum, he currently WEREN'T the only person who's been completely banned from the US Hawks.

...but he makes a very good point here...

Which is virtually the same point I make about the total lunacy of Hewett based towing with its Reliable Releases, Infallible Weak Links, drivers who can fix whatever's going on back there by giving you the rope.

You hook up behind a Dragonfly with an ace driver like Jim Keen-Intellect Rooney, tow mast breakaway, tow mast breakaway protector in thermal conditions - and there's zilch reason to hook up behind a Dragonfly in non thermal conditions - you can end up just dead as any of these PG motherfuckers who've bought it from lower altitude collapses.

http://ozreport.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=24846
Is this a joke ?
Paul Tjaden - 2011/07/30 15:33:54 UTC

Quest Air has been involved in perfecting aerotowing for nearly 20 years.

These sonsabitches have been perfecting aerotowing for decades to make it as dangerous as possible for the guy on the back end by flagrantly violating every SOP and regulation they can think of. Until you clear a couple hundred feet or so you are rolling dice with your life every time you launch and - for the benefit of you twats who have very little experience towing - it's a ROTTEN feeling.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/skysailingtowing/message/7230
Towing question
Martin Henry - 2009/06/26 06:06:59 UTC

PS... you got to be careful mentioning weak link strengths around the forum, it can spark a civil war ;-)

Name some civil wars that got lit off minus triggers of life threatening issues. And this was a civil war between hang glider pilots tired of being forced to roll dice with their lives and ultralight drivers who didn't wanna admit they'd ever been wrong about anything.

That quote from the better part of nine years ago was a little after I was effectively expelled from the sport for taking too strong a stand on the glider side of the civil war. And back then the weak link was a single loop of 130 pound Greenspot anywhere you wanted to put it and its strength and G rating were anything any ultralight driver felt like saying they were.

And now in the post Marzec first half decade the culture no longer permits any mention of weak link strength, material, construction, or purpose. And gliders no longer pop off tows from weak link breaks - they pop off tows as consequences of LINE breaks. Fuckin' elephant in Jack's Living Room.

And a smaller elephant in Jack's Living Room is that we've got two Dragonfly drivers who bought it due to an obvious but unidentified control system issue. So those motherfuckers are all dice rollers too.

Emperor Bob, who has very little experience towing, wants a healthy future for his myopic, parochial, warped vision of hang gliding. And in theory fuck anything beyond the US borders but in actual practice it's more fuck anything outside of Southern California plus all tow launching inside Southern California.

OK Bob, let's go with it.

Several aerotow operations - including at least a couple high volume ones - have COLLAPSED in recent years. Those translate to huge losses in flying opportunities and huge increases in cost and frustration levels for the aging and shrinking population. And as shoddily as aerotowing is conducted mountain flying is still ten times as dangerous as cart launching, thermalling, landing in the flatlands and airport environments. Think Karen Carra and Jesse Fulkersin for recent local anecdotal examples.

And even the mainstreamers are watching the lay of the land, numbers, trends and looking to the day when what happened to Highland Aerosports and Cloud 9 starts happening to glider manufacturers.

So go ahead and continue having very little experience in towing, allowing it to be conducted according to the physics of popular opinion and in violation of FAA regs, watching people get consequently needlessly snuffed. Let all the flatland airtime, activity, instruction, resources wither away and see what and who you'll ultimately have left to work with in your corner of the country.
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Re: instructors and other qualified pilot fiends

Postby Tad Eareckson » 2018/02/09 05:23:23 UTC

http://ozreport.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=54907
Lost Site?

David Williamson - 2018/02/02 20:05:28 UTC

It may not affect insurance if pilots kill themselves but what about passengers? They are the ones who, I think, should be warned of the dangers inherent in P/Gs (even in benign conditions) before taking to the air.

But not in hang gliders towed by totally incompetent drivers with total shit equipment certified only by its virtue of being "typical" in the most benign conditions and environment imaginable?

Mike Bomstad - 2018/02/03 04:27:07 UTC

Being alive is a risk, minimize the risk in everything you do, no matter what it is.
This all sounds like a mother yelling to "put a coat on or you'll catch a cold".

Suck my dick, Mike. Show me a video of someone on a glider deliberately taking what this idiot culture perceives as an unnecessary risk - like flying with an unlocked carabiner at an inland (but not coastal) site - without getting jumped all over by everybody with access to a keyboard.

Mark G. Forbes - 2018/02/06 05:51:35 UTC

We have students, not passengers. Tandem flights for non-rated pilots are for instructional purposes only. One of the things we're emphasizing with instructors and PASA-certified schools is the necessity of an instructional syllabus, ground school and in-air flight training for tandem flights. Every student MUST be a 30-day member and sign the USHPA waiver before the lesson starts. Not before flying...before beginning the lesson. We're working on an on-line module to provide some pre-flight ground school training, and a way to electronically fill out the waiver and membership form prior to the lesson.

When I think about serious tandem accidents in recent years, it's hang gliding that comes to mind, not paragliding. We've had accidents in both disciplines, but if anything the balance is tipped to the HG side.

As I said before, either one of them can be dangerous. Either one can be flown safely. Paragliders do NOT just spontaneously fold up and fall out of the sky for no reason, any more than hang gliders suddenly dive into the ground for no reason. I used to think that was the case; Kari Castle pointed out the absurdity of my belief, and I really appreciate her advice that led me to learn to paraglide as well as hang glide.

If someone does get hurt on a tandem flight, they have agreed to accept that risk. Schools are facing increased scrutiny and oversight to make sure they'll properly managing and minimizing risk. As an example, schools must submit a detailed risk management plan for EVERY site they use for training, and they are not insured for any operations at sites other than those they have been approved for. And that's not just a rubber-stamp of a club's site evaluation; the school needs to evaluate it for its use in instruction, which may be much different than the criteria for use by experienced pilots. Our objective is not to have those accidents in the first place, by doing a better job of managing risk and the awareness of it.

We have students, not passengers.

You have PASSENGERS.

99.99 percent of the people paying for this bullshit are one-timers. Their intent before the flight is to take a single ride and after they've achieved that goal they're even less inclined to pursue a goal of becoming a legitimate student than they were before. And the kind of individual who wanted to give hang gliding a try before deciding whether or not he wanted to make the commitment is nonexistent in the sport as a solo flyer - FORTUNATELY.

Tandem flights for non-rated pilots...

Bucket listers. Non-rated pilots my ass. What a degradation of the term.

I remember the thrill I got on my first hang glider flight which was a straight wind assisted sled on a Kitty Hawk Kites trainer off a dune - PRONE. All I did was exercise a bit of pitch control but I was solo and the Pilot In Command of that aircraft for those few seconds. And by the end of that stay on the Outer Banks I was doing fairly hard reversing coordinated turns watching the ground rotating under my wingtips and REALLY feeling like a pilot.

And everything you vile motherfuckers do with your tandem rides, upright only "training" harnesses, no turns under two hundred feet and before two hundred flights robs those with serious intentions of those experiences and undoubtedly stops a high percentage in their tracks.

...are for instructional purposes only.

Yeah? I've got a master's equivalency in education and education is measured by changes in behavior - the student is able to understand and do things he couldn't before the instruction. So show me some evidence that these alleged students are benefitting from any kind of instruction. And even if you can, show me that they're benefitting more from these two hundred dollar instructional flights than they would from watching a couple of YouTube videos in their living rooms.

And the reality of your solo training for individuals attempting to legitimately pursue the sport is that it just makes them stupider. And that's exactly what you u$hPa shits want 'cause stupid people are fairly easy to bilk and control.

One of the things we're emphasizing with instructors and PASA-certified schools is the necessity of an instructional syllabus, ground school and in-air flight training for tandem flights.

Why do you need to emphasize anything with instructors? Aren't they supposed to be good to go after you've certified them for the flying stuff and the American Red Cross has certified them for applying splints and tourniquets and administering CPR after the flying stuff doesn't work out all that well?

Every student MUST be a 30-day member and sign the USHPA waiver before the lesson starts.

Care to tell us what percentage of those thirty day members pursue the sport beyond the first fifteen minutes of their coverage? If it's the sub one percent we all know it to be wouldn't a witness for the prosecution be able to make a pretty good case for fraud?

Not before flying...before beginning the lesson.

Oh. So an extra fifteen seconds before the flying.

We're working on an on-line module to provide some pre-flight ground school training...

Really? Who are we and what are our qualifications for doing so?

...and a way to electronically fill out the waiver and membership form prior to the lesson.

How 'bout making the data publicly available so's when we have another Kelly Harrison / Arys Moorhead we can see how much time elapsed between the beginning of instruction and impact?

When I think about serious tandem accidents in recent years, it's hang gliding that comes to mind, not paragliding.

1. Sure, if you consider what Jon Orders and Kelly Harrison were doing to be hang gliding.
2. Based on what actual data?

We've had accidents in both disciplines, but if anything the balance is tipped to the HG side.

As long as you motherfuckers consider these crashes to be accidents none of this really matters.

As I said before, either one of them can be dangerous. Either one can be flown safely. Paragliders do NOT just spontaneously fold up and fall out of the sky for no reason...

Nah, they just fold up and fall out of the sky when they spontaneously encounter the edges of strong thermal lift.

...any more than hang gliders suddenly dive into the ground for no reason.

I almost got killed when my hang glider got overwhelmed by an unbelievable thermal blast, turned 180 back towards the base of the dune spine, and dumped into freefall. But I still had a solid airfoil with which to work and was able to pull out with a couple feet to spare. And I learned never to risk flying in the conditions that precipitated that one again. I implemented a personal SOP. (John Harris witnessed the incident from back at the shop and said he'd never seen anything like it before. But the landscape had devolved into something it had never been before. And it would never return to what it had been.)

How 'bout showing me the SOPs you have to preclude paragliders - solo and tandem - from flying in known lethal conditions.

I used to think that was the case; Kari Castle pointed out the absurdity of my belief, and I really appreciate her advice that led me to learn to paraglide as well as hang glide.

Yeah Mark...

Mark G. Forbes - 2018/02/01 05:26:59 UTC

I fly my PG in morning and evening air, relatively light winds or at coastal sites with consistent, smooth air. If it's getting thermic, or particularly, thermic with wind, then I don't want to be up there.

Totally absurd.

If someone does get hurt on a tandem flight, they have agreed to accept that risk.

What risk? I thought Kari Castle pointed out the absurdity of the idea that paragliders don't just spontaneously fold up and fall out of the sky for no reason.

Schools are facing increased scrutiny and oversight to make sure they'll properly managing and minimizing risk.

Yeah, no harm in that. It's the safety business we don't wanna get into. That's where you take actions to eliminate risk.

As an example, schools must submit a detailed risk management plan for EVERY site they use for training, and they are not insured for any operations at sites other than those they have been approved for.

You mean like the one Davis had implemented for the Quest Open when they spattered Jeff Bohl behind a never identified 582 Dragonfly?

And that's not just a rubber-stamp of a club's site evaluation; the school needs to evaluate it for its use in instruction, which may be much different than the criteria for use by experienced pilots.

Like you don't want students flying pro toad aerotow bridles because they don't have the experience and skill to respond appropriately and quickly when encountering thermal turbulence.

Our objective is not to have those accidents in the first place, by doing a better job of managing risk and the awareness of it.

http://www.hanggliding.org/viewtopic.php?t=26870
weak links
michael170 - 2012/08/17 17:01:40 UTC

Zack, let me see if I understand your logic.

You had a thing and it broke needlessly.
You didn't want the thing to break needlessly.
You replaced the thing with a stronger thing.
Now the thing doesn't break needlessly.

Nah, that would be the PILOT approach to the problem. But u$hPa no longer does pilots. Risk management is all the rage now. So the proper approach is to become better at managing the risks presented by the focal point of one's safe towing system. Take some tandem tows with Dr. Trisa Tilletti to learn how to stay better centered in the Cone of Safety.
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Tad Eareckson
 
Posts: 8005
Joined: 2010/11/25 03:48:55 UTC

Re: instructors and other qualified pilot fiends

Postby Tad Eareckson » 2018/02/09 15:21:32 UTC

http://ozreport.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=54907
Lost Site?
Mark G. Forbes - 2018/02/01 05:26:59 UTC

I fly my PG in morning and evening air, relatively light winds or at coastal sites with consistent, smooth air. If it's getting thermic, or particularly, thermic with wind, then I don't want to be up there. Mid-day, I pretty much don't fly in summer; I do this for fun, and I prefer the milder morning and evening conditions. Others have a higher tolerance for turbulence and risk, and skills beyond mine.

And let's go back into some of the latter years of the u$hPa Hang Gliding Expert Era...

Dennis Pagen - 2005/01

Thirdly, experienced pilots should be aware that towing only from the shoulders reduces the effective pull-in available to prevent an over-the-top lockout. Like many pilots, I prefer the freedom of towing from the shoulders, but I am aware that I must react quicker to pitch excursion. Sometimes reactions aren't quick enough and emergency procedures must be followed. It seems to me that we shouldn't be overly eager to encourage lower airtime pilots to adopt this more advanced method of aerotowing. Normally, we tow topless gliders with about 1/3 VG pulled to lighten pitch forces and increase speed. Intermediate gliders are often towed as much as 1/2 VG pulled for the same reasons. Pilots must understand these matters when aerotowing.

Notice the pattern? If you crash and burn on any of these u$hPa Monopoly controlled birds in any of their u$hPa Monopoly approved ("typical") configurations as a consequence of being overwhelmed by meteorological conditions it will NEVER be because you were overwhelmed by meteorological conditions...

Bill Bryden - 2000/02

Dennis Pagen informed me several years ago about an aerotow lockout that he experienced. One moment he was correcting a bit of alignment with the tug and the next moment he was nearly upside down. He was stunned at the rapidity. I have heard similar stories from two other aerotow pilots.

It will ALWAYS be because you lacked the experience and skills to react quickly and skillfully enough to safely handle the overwhelming meteorological conditions. These are the sanctified grounds upon which only a Bo Hagewood dare tread.

http://ozreport.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9230
Departing the launch cart
Jim Rooney - 2007/09/01 02:39:53 UTC

I don't tow solos under full power... you could't keep up with me if I did. I wouldn't be going faster horizontally, but my accelleration and climb rate would be so extreme that most pilots couldn't keep up the timing needed to make it work. (I think Bo's the only one I've successfully towed at full boost)

The Righteous Stuff, best of the best kinda dude who has the stratospheric skill and lightning fast reflexes to tow behind a Jim Top-Gun Rooney in his 914 Dragonfly with his turbocharged afterburners blazing and his propeller CAVITATING!!!

http://ozreport.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=24846
Is this a joke ?
Davis Straub - 2011/08/26 14:04:52 UTC

We had six weaklink breaks in a row at Zapata this year. Russell Brown (tug pilot, tug owner, Quest Air owner) said go ahead and double up (four strands of Cortland Greenspot). He knows I used his Zapata weaklink in Big Spring (pilots were asked to tell the tug pilot if they were doing that).

2012/02/02 Zack Marzec was the absolute final death knell of u$hPa hang gliding safety discussions. Swap out his pro toad bridle and/or Standard Aerotow Weak Link with a two point and/or Tad-O-Link and he walks away smelling like a rose after having executed his perfectly timed flare precisely on the old Frisbee in the middle of the LZ.

But with risk management we swap out his salad-bowl-on-a-string helmet with a top quality full face job - 'cause no way in hell are his easily stowable release system and the focal point of his safe towing system ever gonna be issues. Not while the technical information in "Towing Aloft" by Dennis Pagen and Bill Bryden is an excellent and complete reference on towing equipment and procedures and available for $29.95 plus shipping from the Instructor Library section of the u$hPa Store.
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Tad Eareckson
 
Posts: 8005
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Re: instructors and other qualified pilot fiends

Postby Tad Eareckson » 2018/02/12 21:16:57 UTC

Wills Wing Owner / Service Manual - 2015/02

T2 144,154
T2C 136,154
T2C 144,144C,144S

Note: The T2 has been designed for foot launched soaring flight. It has not been designed to be motorized, tethered, or towed. It can be towed successfully using proper procedures. Pilots wishing to tow should be USHGA skill rated for towing, and should avail themselves of all available information on the most current proper and safe towing procedures. Suggested sources for towing information include the United States Hang Gliding Association and the manufacturer of the towing winch / or equipment being used. Wills Wing makes no warranty of the suitability of the glider for towing.

Note: The T2 has been designed for foot launched soaring flight.

It's been designed - and HGMA certified - for soaring flight. It hasn't and can't be certified for particularly safe foot launching or foot landing...

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...as you illustrate in all your manuals.

It has not been designed to be motorized...

Hardly anybody is interested in motorizing them. And the miniscule number who are tend to know what they're doing.

...tethered...

It also hasn't been designed for use underwater. But nobody's interested in using it thus and nobody needs thus informed. So why waste our time talking about tethering?

And what's "tethering" anyway? Fixed line tow, truck stopped, 25 mph wind? How's that different from towing?

...or towed.

It bloody well HAS been designed to be towed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvhzoVC1UqM
Simple Progression for Teaching Hang Gliding
Ryan Voight - 2015/02/22

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An excellent cue is to try to pull the glider through the air with the harness.

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That's a Wills Wing glider being towed by one of your pet Wills Wing dealers/instructors being towed hands-off from and over flat ground during a foot launch simulation. Hang gliders evolved from tow launch only and it's impossible NOT to design one for towing.

Hang gliders are towed by transmitting tension through line and/or webbing to the hang point on the glider's keel.

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Doesn't matter in the least whether the requisite thrust is being generated by the glider, something at the other end of the rope, or some combination of the two.

Even here:

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one can make a pretty good argument that the glider's being towed. Force of gravity is acting on / pulling the pilot and the force is being transmitted to the hang point on the glider. Take away - or even just majorly reduce - that transmitted force and you won't be able to make the glider go where you want it to. And run a truck tow bridle to his hips and start adding tension - 20, 40, 60... 200 pounds. What's happening that affects the manner in which we control the glider and it responds? Compare/Contrast with:

http://ozreport.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=27086
Steve Pearson on landings
Steve Pearson - 2012/03/28 23:26:05 UTC

I can't control the glider in strong air with my hands at shoulder or ear height and I'd rather land on my belly with my hands on the basetube than get turned downwind.

Note: The T2 has been designed for foot launched soaring flight.

Let's go converse for this ass covering bullshit.

- Foot launch - free flight or tow - is about fifty times more likely to result in a crash than even the shoddiest rolling tow launch exercise.

- Soaring flight means thermals. Hang gliders doing everything possible right get tumbled every now and then 'cause they don't have the tails necessary for solid pitch stability. So claiming that they've been designed for soaring flight is bullshit. We need to manage things as best as possible to stay out of extreme situations and hope things work out with the parachute if we don't/can't. Real hang glider pilots understand and accept the risk and dismiss this disingenuous bullshit.

- Hang gliders are certified under loading which is multiples of anything they're ever gonna encounter towing. When you hear about a buckled cross spar or snapped outboard leading edge section it happened in free flight. No modern / HGMA certified and properly assembled and preflighted glider has ever experienced a structural failure on tow.

- There is NOBODY who doesn't fly his glider as conservatively as possible on tow. (Ignoring, of course, the issues of the crap equipment that 100.00 percent of your tow based dealers/instructors assure your customers is the best money can buy and the product of decades of evolutionary trail and error perfection.)

So when you're saying that your gliders haven't been designed to be towed what you're really saying is that they've been even less designed for foot launched soaring flight.

And how 'bout THIS:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jn4cTQH743E

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Wills Wing? If that isn't a hang glider tow certification test flight I don't know what is. Compare/Contrast with what you're doing for HGMA certification free flight testing. Airborne Sting 3. (And with a Tad-O-Link that doesn't break when it's supposed to.) Are their gliders better than yours? (Total smoking gun.)

You motherfuckers don't require your gliders to go upside down for HGMA soaring flight certification. Thirty degree pitch up and down / Sixty roll. And you pulled those numbers out of your asses. And NOBODY adheres to them - 'specially thems what follow your landing instructions. So what's stopping you from pulling some reasonable tow figures out of your asses and certifying your gliders accordingly? Not smart enough?

It can be towed successfully using proper procedures.

1. It can also be flown successfully by some asshole dangling from the basetube. Why don't you tell us about some of the occasions when some of your gliders WEREN'T towed successfully...

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...and what some of the problems were. That was a Five rated "instructor" with an eleven year old "student" doing everything "typically" on a Wills Wing tandem "instructional" flight. Most catastrophic crash in the global history of the sport. I'da thunk you guys might have thought it worth a comment somewhere. Lotsa regular folk were discussing it.

2. What ARE "proper procedures"? How 'bout starting out by telling us what "an appropriate weak link" is, what it's supposed to be doing for us, what happens when people use INappropriate weak links.

3. Nobody with half a brain or better is interested in doing anything "SUCCESSFULLY" in an aircraft. We want to do stuff SAFELY. You fly a bombing mission SUCCESSFULLY. That means you weren't blown out of the sky by ground fire, missiles, or fighters - you LUCKED OUT. And there's a limit to the number of bomber missions you can fly successfully before you go down in flames or psychologically disintegrate. That's the bullshit implication that you're making. "Yeah, you can get away with going up on the shit equipment our dealer/instructors have you using. But if you find out the hard way that an easy reach during a lockout ain't all that easy or that it's impossible to recover from a Standard Aerotow Weak Link inconvenience / increase in the safety of the towing operation... Not our problem. We gave you fair warning."

If an aerobatics pilot said something about having pulled off a loop SUCCESSFULLY he would mean and everyone would understand that he damn near fell back into the wing when he was upside down. Competent aerobatics pilots never do successful loops - successful means you beat the greater odds of failure. They do them with safety margin to burn. And ditto for tows in the potentially violent thermal conditions to which we're flocking for competitions and top experiences.

Pilots wishing to tow should be USHGA skill rated for towing...

1. You mean the way Kelly Harrison was when he snuffed himself and that little kid "student" of his out at Jean Lake?

2. It hasn't been "USHGA" for the past dozen years. That's over a quarter of hang gliding history and nearly a third of modern hang glider towing history. Anything else in your advisory that could stand a bit of updating?

3. Why? What qualifications does Wills Wing have to make recommendations regarding tow instruction? Name a single goddam positive contribution to towing Wills Wing has made in its entire goddam history.

4. You've got dealers all over the fuckin' planet and your gliders are sold and flown over way more of the fuckin' planet. What's so goddam special about u$hPa and what's wrong with all the other national associations?

...and should avail themselves of all available information on the most current proper and safe towing procedures.

Which can always be safely determined by gauging the current most popular opinions.

So the physics of hang glider towing keep changing so the procedures need to keep evolving to keep pace? Tell me why there should be any significant differences between towing an early Seventies standard and a 2015 T2C 154 yesterday. Do we foot/slope launch any differently?

Here's Davis getting his fucking face rearranged...

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...on a Wills Wing demo Sport 2 supplied with the Quallaby release and weak link system by Rob at the National Fly-In at Finger Lakes on 2004/08/02.

Joe Gregor - 2004/09

The weak link broke (2004/06/26 - Mike Haas) after the glider entered a lockout attitude. Once free, the glider was reportedly too low (50-65 feet AGL, estimated) to recover from the unusual attitude and impacted the ground in a steep dive. The pilot suffered fatal injuries due to blunt trauma. There is no evidence that the pilot made an attempt to release from tow prior to the weak link break, the gate was found closed on the Wallaby-style tow release.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/skysailingtowing/message/4049
Towing errata
Bill Bryden - 2004/04/01 16:20:18 UTC

Some aerotow releases, including a few models from prominent schools, have had problems releasing under high tensions. You must VERIFY through tests that a release will work for the tensions that could possibly be encountered. You better figure at least three hundred pounds to be modestly confident.

Maybe eight to ten years ago I got several comments from people saying a popular aerotow release (with a bicycle type brake lever) would fail to release at higher tensions. I called and talked to the producer sharing the people's experiences and concerns. I inquired to what tension their releases were tested but he refused to say, just aggressively stated they never had any problems with their releases, they were fine, goodbye, click. Another person tested one and found it started getting really hard to actuate in the range of only eighty to a hundred pounds as I vaguely recall. I noticed they did modify their design but I don't know if they ever really did any engineering tests on it. You should test the release yourself or have someone you trust do it. There is only one aerotow release manufacturer whose product I'd have reasonable confidence in without verifying it myself, the Wallaby release is not it.

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http://ozreport.com/9.009
2005 Worlds
Davis Straub - 2005/01/11

This type of release mechanism has been banned (at least for a short while) from the Worlds at Hay.

http://www.chgpa.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3107
I have a tandem rating!!!
Lauren Tjaden - 2008/03/23 22:20:15 UTC

When Jim got me locked out to the right, I couldn't keep the pitch of the glider with one hand for more than a second (the pressure was a zillion pounds, more or less), but the F'ing release slid around when I tried to hit it. The barrel release wouldn't work because we had too much pressure on it.

Anyhow, the tandem can indeed perform big wingovers, as I demonstrated when I finally got separated from the tug.

Guess we finally got that chintzy crap totally and permanently out of circulation about a decade ago, huh guys? Or did we decide to keep it around anyway due to the superiority of the length of its track record?

How 'bout a 1980 Harrier? Can we just assemble, preflight, launch, thermal, land it the same as our 2015 T2C 154? Or do we need to avail ourselves of all available information on the most current proper and safe free flight procedures? I'm guessing not 'cause I've never seen any comparable bullshit regarding.

Show me one single half decent or better hang glider towing procedure, element of theory, piece of equipment around now in 2018 that SHOULDN'T have been around in 1975. Show me the advances in sailplane towing procedures and equipment over the same timespan. And bear in mind that we've always had sailplane models from which to parasitize. (Koch two stage - early Eighties - was kinda clever but it was neither rocket science nor a totally great solution.)

So what you're saying is that what we were being told and sold four or five years ago was lethal crap compared to what we're being told and sold now. And what we're being told and sold now will be lethal crap compared to what we'll be told and sold four or five years ago. And when you take the most cursory look at what's going on with hang gliding in general and hang glider towing in particular it's totally fuckin' obvious that the sport's rapidly reverse evolving. And you're feeding us this crap that things just inevitably get better and better over time under the leadership and management of u$hPa's ass covering, sleazebag, non pilot, corporate attorney.

Suggested sources for towing information...

Suggested by whom? And with that stupid criminally negligent nose wires catch issue of yours...

Steve Goldman - 2000/11
Pittsboro, NC

In September 2000 Hang Gliding you published a safety advisory regarding the nose wire tang releasing during a platform tow of a Wills Wing Fusion. While I appreciate Wills Wing notifying pilots of this safety problem I truly resent what seems to me as Wills Wing rewriting history. As the pilot in the 1991 accident that resulted in the "lock" being added, I may be too sensitive about this and reading too much into it, but I just can't let this go without a response.

In the current warning Wills Wing says, "In June of 1991, following a second incident of this type, we redistributed the advisory, adding the warning that routing the line outside the "V" of the wires but behind the tang handle could also result in disconnect of the wires." A more accurate sentence would have added "recanting our previous advice." To quote from the June 1989 article that I used as advice, Wills Wing said, "To avoid this problem, the nose line should be either looped and cinched over the top of the keyhole tang and nose bolt, or it should pass completely outside and to one side of the nose wires." I was using the second recommendation when I had my accident. If I was a different type of individual I would have sued Wills Wing out of business over this bad advice, but I felt I knew what I was undertaking and I appreciated that they modified the design after my accident.

In the current advisory Wills Wing also says, "The critical consideration is that the nose line must be routed in such a way that there is no possibility that the line can push or pull forward on the tang, the tang handle, or the wires." Personally, I believe the setup I used when I had my accident met this requirement. In my opinion the keyhole tang and "lock" as they currently implement it (even with the rope routing currently recommended) is a low-probability accident waiting to happen during platform tows. Wills Wing does finally get around to some truth on this matter when they say, "We have limited knowledge of the range of different designs and procedures in use for platform tow vehicles." In other words, if you're platform towing a Wills Wing glider you're a test pilot since they are not into platform towing. They basically admit this when they report later, "However, experiments by those investigating the accident on site which have been repeated by Wills Wing, have indicated that it is possible that a swiveling action of the nose tang during ground roll prior to launch could cause the safety lock (ha!) to be rotated..." In other words, we didn't actually bother to fix this problem in real-life platform towing situations until after we had another accident.

As far as the claim that there have only been three reported incidents of this type, this doesn't appear to be the case, although I don't believe this is some Wills Wing cover-up. There have been more incidents but it seems there have only been three serious accidents and apparently only those have been reported to Wills Wing. I personally know of one other incident here in North Carolina (prior to my accident) and when I expressed my dismay and disappointment about the latest accident on the hang gliding e-mail list I got messages from pilots reporting three other incidents. In all cases the tang being released was noticed before the glider was released from the truck. Lucky for them.

P.S. I have my doubts that the USHGA will publish a letter critical of the leading U.S. hang gliding manufacturer and big Hang Gliding advertiser, but I would hope that the safety issue outweighs these concerns. After all, the USHGA is supposed to be a pilots' organization.

...who the fuck do you guys think you are to EVER be suggesting ANYTHING about towing?

...include the United States Hang Gliding Association...

Oh. Good choice. We can probably go to their website and see the equipment that's passed their rigorous and uncompromising certification standards program.

...and the manufacturer of the towing winch / or equipment being used.

And the manufacturer of the towing winch / or equipment being used would be the FIRST person to advise you that the equipment he's selling is total crap. (You guys good with...

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...Mission Soaring Center? I guess so 'cause he's one of your pet dealers/instructors and uses only state-of-the-art equipment.

How 'bout Bobby Fucking-Genius Bailey? Designer of the Bailey-Moyes Dragonfly tug. Towed a Norwegian national champion to fatal impact on the defective glider release system he "designed". Remedial action... Ban the release from the competition for three days, force everybody to fly on 0.5 G weak links.

What a load o' shit. Buy your towing equipment from somebody who's built a winch, truck tow rig, tug and you'll be fine. What's the point of flying a seven thousand dollar HGMA certified topless bladewing with some uncertified and uncertifiable cheap piece of bent pin shit that's gonna render you just as dead just as fast as some full luff diving early Seventies standard?

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Wills Wing makes no warranty of the suitability of the glider for towing.

1. Now where have we heard something like that before?

Matt Tabor - 2009/07/12

GT Manufacturing Inc. (GT) and Lookout Mountain Flight Park Inc. (LMFP) make no claim of serviceability of this tow equipment. There is no product liability insurance covering this gear and we do not warrant this gear as suitable for towing anything.

Oh yeah.

2. Then stop selling gliders and running demo days in Florida, Texas, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and at Ridgely, Manquin, Currituck and shut your fuckin' mouths telling us how to go about it.

3. Then Wills Wing should also make no warranty of the suitability of the glider for flying. 'Cause you can't show me a single clip of video demonstrating a certified hang glider reacting in an unpredictable manner under tow just like ditto for free flight. You specify some unnecessarily narrow ass-covering operating limitations for your gliders in free flight:

Flight operation of the T2 should be limited to non aerobatic maneuvers; those in which the pitch angle will not exceed 30 degrees nose up or nose down from the horizon, and the bank angle will not exceed 60 degrees. The T2 can be induced to spin at any VG setting. At VG settings of less than 50% (VG middle or looser) the T2 is moderately resistant to spinning, and has spin and spin recovery characteristics that are typical for other Wills Wing high performance ex wing gliders. At VG settings greater than 50% (VGM to VG full tight), the T2 becomes progressively and rapidly more susceptible to spinning, and the spin characteristics and spin recovery characteristics become markedly more extreme. In the most extreme case, a spin entry at VG full tight (VGT), initiated by a rapid pitch up to a significantly nose high attitude, the spin response will be a very sudden and abrupt spin with a very high rotation rate and a tendency towards a very nose down attitude. Any spin and / or the recovery from the spin involves a significant possibility of a total loss of control of the glider, including in flight inversion and possible structural failure. The probability of this result increases with the abruptness of the spin entry, the abruptness of the spin recovery, and the percentage of VG that is on when the spin is performed.

Nobody's getting into any trouble on your gliders without asking for it and/or operating them way outside of their certified configuration - as in foot launching and landing and getting pulled up pro toad.

The Federal Aviation Administration does not require a pilot's license to operate a hang glider. Hang gliders and hang gliding equipment are not designed, manufactured, tested or certified to any state or federal government airworthiness standards or requirements. Federal Aviation Regulation Part 103 states in part, "ultralight vehicles are not required meet the airworthiness certification standards specified for aircraft or to have certificates of airworthiness" and "operators of ultralight vehicles are not required to meet any aeronautical knowledge, age, or experience requirements to operate those vehicles or to have airman or medical certificates." Wills Wing hang gliding products are not covered by product liability insurance. As a hang glider pilot, you are entirely responsible for your own safety. You should never attempt to fly a hang glider without having received competent instruction. We strongly recommend that you not participate in hang gliding unless you recognize fully and wish to personally assume all of the associated risks.

But there IS a Hang Glider Manufacturers Association which has established rather rigorous strength, performance, stability standards and we tend to survive that aspect of the sport pretty well. And Wills Wing is the biggest glider manufacturer on the planet and is armed to the teeth with the tooling, machinery, expertise to pump out pretty high performance and complex aircraft and put them through the testing and certification wringers.

But in the 37 years of modern hang glider towing not one of those motherfuckers has ever lifted a finger to so much as do a single load test on somebody else's design of a component which is integral in 100 percent of conventional gliders. And the motherfuckers also gotta bend over backwards to not so much as specify a weak link for a particular glider model - even in the fourteen years since the FAA started covering aerotowed hang gliders under sailplane weak link regs.

I wonder what the average cost of an easily and cheaply preventable towing equipment based career ender impact is to Wills Wing in terms of loss of future sales. 'Specially when it's Tomas Banevicius and the entire operation goes down with him.

Hang gliding is a form of aviation. Like any form of aviation, its safe practice demands the consistent exercise of pilot skill, knowledge of airmanship and weather, judgment and attention at a level that is appropriate to the demands of each individual situation. Pilots who do not possess or exercise the required knowledge, skills and judgment are frequently injured and killed. The statistical rate at which fatalities occur in hang gliding is approximately one per thousand participants per year.

And there's not a goddam thing you guys can do to help put a dent in that statistic, is there? Nah, more fun to sit back and watch the carnage. Besides, in a lot of the nonfatals you get to sell replacement gliders and parts.

Oh, and one final gotchya for the time being.

Approximately one fatality per thousand participants per year. That's been a pretty reasonable ballpark figure for the past several decades and nobody takes issue over it.

Pilots wishing to tow should be USHGA skill rated for towing, and should avail themselves of all available information on the most current proper and safe towing procedures.

The implication being that we just keep doing things better and better as we develop better equipment, implement better procedures based on experience, improve training techniques.

So how come the fatality rate never diminishes?
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P.S. - 2018/02/12 21:25:00 UTC

Note the similarity to the Bob I-Have-Very-Little-Experience-In-Towing(-So-I-Couldn't-Possibly-Comment) Kuczewski strategy.
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Tad Eareckson
 
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