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Posted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 9:46 am
Well said Greg!
Posted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 1:41 pm
Greg (and Mario),
I believe the largest recent settlement was the Torrey Pines case (settled just before the insurance cancellations). We don't know the amount because USHPA's not telling us (likely due to an agreement to keep it from the members).
Everyone who's been around the sport for the last decade (and not living in a cave) knows that I've been calling for oversight of the Torrey concessionaire for most of that time. They also know that USHPA has refused to address the specific problems I've brought forward. In fact, in 2010 I reported a Torrey cover up of a situation very similar to the case that was settled this spring. USHPA did nothing in 2010, and history repeated in 2011 - with much worse consequences.
From you post, you've already donated $600 to USHPA's scheme. What assurance do you have that USHPA won't continue their practice of failing to address problems reported by members?
As a side note, USHPA knows human nature, and they know that once people put in their money - they're hooked. That's why this RRG push has been portrayed as saving the sport rather than a logical discussion of how to best fix the problem. USHPA is appealing to emotions of fear and loyalty rather than discuss what went wrong and how to fix it.
I have suggested that a wise approach for local clubs would be to pool your donations locally BEFORE handing it over to USHPA. That gives local clubs greater control and greater say in how USHPA proceeds. USHPA doesn't want that, and that's why they're appealing to members directly.
So far there hasn't been a single reason given as to why Sylmar shouldn't pool their donations locally first.
Posted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 5:13 pm
Greg Kendall wrote:I think Bob has a point. The root of this insurance crisis is safety. Clearly, our recent record is not good enough. All of us, including USHPA leadership, need to do better. I donâ€™t think anyone can argue with that.
USHPA argues with that. I reported problems with instruction of solo PG students at Torrey Pine - in writing - when I was a Director in 2010. That predated the Hamby accident by about a year.
Now if USHPA's leadership were serious about fixing that problem, they might have changed their attitude toward my long time calls for oversight. But they didn't. Instead, they decided to expel me on trumped up charges in a proceeding where I could not present witnesses or even document the "trial".
The root of this insurance crisis is safety, but the root of safety is competent management. That's where USHPA has failed, and now they're asking the members to "donate" to an RRG that will be owned and controlled by the very people who created this mess.
This needs to be discussed with all of these fact on the table. But USHPA doesn't want that, and they're desperate to silence all discussions and replace them with the mantra: "Donate. Donate. Donate."
Posted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:12 pm
The only assurance I have that USHPA won't â€œcontinue their practice of failing to address problems reported by membersâ€� is that they canâ€™t.
The reason for contributing directly to the RRG is that it shows commitment. Saying â€œwe have this money that we might contribute, but there are strings attachedâ€� will sound a lot like â€œyou go firstâ€� to other clubs and individuals. Thatâ€™s not going to get the ball rolling.
Bait and Switch
Posted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 10:23 am
Greg Kendall wrote:The only assurance I have that USHPA won't â€œcontinue their practice of failing to address problems reported by membersâ€� is that they canâ€™t.
Greg, every concrete action that USHPA has taken indicates they're going to repeat the past ... exactly. I'm sorry to use Torrey as an example again, but it's the situation I know best. If USHPA were to say "OK, the Hamby case has proved that Bob was right about needing better oversight at Torrey. Bob, we'd like you to add the Torrey Hawks to the Soaring Council to provide a voice for your club.", then I might have hope that they were serious about changes to protect the funds that everyone is donating. Instead, they've said "Bob, we don't like your criticism so we're expelling you."
That's not a change. That's USHPA doubling down on their failed policies.
Greg Kendall wrote:The reason for contributing directly to the RRG is that it shows commitment. Saying â€œwe have this money that we might contribute, but there are strings attachedâ€� will sound a lot like â€œyou go firstâ€� to other clubs and individuals. Thatâ€™s not going to get the ball rolling.
USHPA is desperate to "get the ball rolling" so there's no time for thoughtful discussions. USHPA is creating and fueling a sense of panic because people in a state of panic don't act rationally. For example, why did they choose an RRG instead of some other funding mechanism? The answer is to ensure ownership and control by their buddies. Mark Forbes was answering the "ownership" question when he said that only large investors could be "owners", because it was too risky for small investors. Yet he's asking members to just GIVE their money to the fund. What could be more "risky" than losing 100% of your money ... the moment you write the check?
Now USHPA originally claimed that they were only forming the RRG for the businesses and that regular pilots would still get regular 3rd party liability coverage. OK, maybe an RRG funded and owned by the large schools might fit well in that scenario. But an RRG owned and controlled by the large schools is NOT an appropriate model for insuring the general membership. It was a "bait and switch" tactic to ensure that members would be spending their money on an RRG for the businesses rather than on mutual self-insurance for the members.
The bottom line is that Sylmar and other clubs should be having these discussions FIRST before your members throw money at USHPA's scheme. And for Jonathan, "scheme" is exactly the right word for what USHPA is doing
Posted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 10:59 am
Bob, you've had your say. It's clear that you have reason to suspect the USHPA's intentions. However, your suspicions, a result of the actions taken against you, personally, are a result of every self-destructive thing you've done since I met you. Your response to differences in opinion with how you see things, the way you want things to work, is always to resort to tearing down the thing you purport to fix. Torrey has been your obsession, your single-minded tilt against the windmill. You even testified against your sport and helped to bring about this crisis. And yes, paragliding has to be your sport as much as hang gliding. There are so few of us, we need to stay together for the numbers. You? You're all about divide and conquer. But despite your claim that there are many non-USHPA member pilots out there, there still aren't enough, HG and PG need to support each other, even if it means some sites support one more than the other.
Again, you've had your say on possibly the last forum that allows your participation. Stop wasting your time. The members of the SHGA will make their decision and do what they will. If I were you, I'd get behind the one organization that can help our flying continue and give them a big donation. Maybe a sincere apology and your monetary support will make them stop and think to restore you. I would support that, too.
Posted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 12:00 pm
A forum isn't about having one's say and then disappearing. A forum is an ongoing discussion of point and counter point. If people feel that a person is being repetitive, then they stop reading their posts. It's very simple.
A forum begins to break down when one side of a discussion tries to silence the other side. That typically happens when the first side finds itself with no valid argument sustaining their position.
Jim, we've met a few times, and I have a firm belief that you are trying to do what you think is best. I respect that, and I would not want your voice silenced. I ask only the same courtesy in return.
These are difficult times and calm discussion is what's needed to find our way to the best solution. Thanks.
With regard to my testimony, it was accurate and honest. I have yet to see anyone post anything of substance in my testimony that was in error. We all want and deserve justice. Shannon Hamby deserved that every bit as much as Robin Marien. It is a false dichotomy to say that the sports of hang gliding and paragliding can only survive if we allow gross negligence to go unpunished. Yet that's the only choice USHPA has given us.