Seniors arriving to SHGA Flight Park via vehicle types

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Joe Faust
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Seniors arriving to SHGA Flight Park via vehicle types

Post by Joe Faust » Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:30 am

There are many seniors who would like to join the park and club and play a substantial role in volunteer work for the club. But a deep redtape item challenges: the having to join a third party private corporation to land a hang glider on the club's 4.33 acres. '

Is the club searching for ways to have general recreational hang glider pilots-- who choose not to join the third party corporation-- to be permitted to land their hang glider in the Sylmar Flight Park where seniors are being invited to come and land their bodies in the park?

What if the senior volunteers arrived in a hang glider instead of their car or NEV to play a positive role for the club; would you mind if they arrived from the Federal skies in their hang gliders and then spent some hours helping the club's mission? The NEV or car arrivers do not have to join the third-party corporation that holds Forbes as a special director.

Why press third-party membership upon those seniors who arrive onto the 4.33 acres from the sky in their non-powered green wings that weigh much less than or NEVs operated by some seniors? The SHGA is not requiring invited senior volunteers to join the third party corporation where MGForbes is a director at large when those seniors arrive in their automobile or NEV or crutches or wheelchairs.

I am assuming in my asking, that Sylmar Flight Park is a fully private property and has no legal mandate to serve the public as public parks do. If that assumption is correct, then SHGA may require the joining a third-party corporation for anyone intending to land a hang glider in the owned 4.33 acre parcel. Emergency unintended landing in the 4.33 acres would not require joining that third party corporation. Many SHGA members have landed on non-SHGA properties without having to join tertiary corporations bound up with wishes of those far property owners.

If SHGA, Inc. stopped existing, are there any special provisos that must be met with regard to prior owners of the 4.33 acres? Who was the prior owner of the 4.33 acres? Thanks for data on title history.

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BudRob
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Post by BudRob » Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:35 am

The reason that we are not inviting non-USHPA flyers to drop in on SHGA property comes down to one thing -liability insurance. Although it is not a common occurrence, houses have been struck by hang gliders in the past and there is always the potential to injure a spectator. Our club is at risk of being sued by a property owner or injured spectator if pilots are not properly insured and right now USHPA is the only entity that can provide dependable liability insurance for hang glider/paraglider pilots.

As for seniors or any other non-pilot driving onto our property, I don't believe that our club could be held liable if their car were to cause similar damage.

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Joe Faust
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Post by Joe Faust » Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:01 am

BudRob wrote:The reason that we are not inviting non-USHPA flyers to drop in on SHGA property comes down to one thing -liability insurance. Although it is not a common occurrence, houses have been struck by hang gliders in the past and there is always the potential to injure a spectator. Our club is at risk of being sued by a property owner or injured spectator if pilots are not properly insured and right now USHPA is the only entity that can provide dependable liability insurance for hang glider/paraglider pilots.

As for seniors or any other non-pilot driving onto our property, I don't believe that our club could be held liable if their car were to cause similar damage.
Thank you, Rob.

"inviting" may be a key. Maybe don't invite non-current SHGA pilot members; that is what seems to be the course. If non-invitee pilot lands on the 4.33 acres of SHGA property: trespass and self-liability probably sustains for that pilot; SHGA would not be responsible for that trespasser's effects. The landing non-invitee may or may not be carrying third-party liability insurance. Suppose that trespasser injures the LZ by divots in the groomed grass; then that trespasser would be liable for curing the damage; similarly if that trespassing pilot injured a person on the SHGA property, then that trespassing pilot would be liable for those injuries.

The SHGA seems to be inviting all the public to visit the 4.33 acre Sylmar Flight Park; the invitation seems to go out robustly. An arriving person may respond to such invitation and arrive with car, motorcycle, van, bicycle, NEV, wheeled or not wing package, etc. It is very difficult to tell if the arrivers carry third-party liability insurance or not; SHGA is not checking such matter at the gate. I am guessing SHGA might be carrying some kind of general liability insurance similar to Home Owners Insurance, not sure; you may know what SHGA carries to protect itself over invited public people who may injure themselves or others while on the 4.33 acres responding to the SHGA wide invitation to arrive. Inviting carries with it responsibilities to have the grounds and structures non-negligently without hazards. How close to a landing strip might be a "hazard" for an invited public person? The SHGA lawyer team may have been looking at such questions.

There are probably very many reasons for recreational hang glider pilots to avoid landing anywhere near people, animals, buildings. FARs speak of avoiding congested areas for operations. "Congested" has not been well defined. What is congested for Joe F may not be congested for Joe G. :?
Last edited by Joe Faust on Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:51 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Jim
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Re: Seniors arriving to SHGA Flight Park via vehicle types

Post by Jim » Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:52 am

Joe Faust wrote:There are many seniors who would like to join the park and club and play a substantial role in volunteer work for the club. But a deep redtape item challenges: the having to join a third party private corporation to land a hang glider on the club's 4.33 acres.


How do you know this, Joe? Are you visiting Sylmar regularly to speak with seniors in the community? Which of those seniors you're referring to fly gliders? For the record, any non-flying seniors wishing to come to the flight park for any reason will not be required to become members as it would exclude them from the club's liability coverage, should they become injured, should one become injured. Pilot-members are expected not to seek compensation should they be injured.
Joe Faust wrote:Is the club searching for ways to have general recreational hang glider pilots-- who choose not to join the third party corporation-- to be permitted to land their hang glider in the Sylmar Flight Park where seniors are being invited to come and land their bodies in the park?
No. All general recreational pilots belonging to SHGA and sanctioned to use the SHGA LZ are required to be members of USHPA. The few members that do not have USHPA membership are not pilots or are not sanctioned to use the LZ. No seniors have been invited to land their bodies at the park and it remains to be seen whether this will ever occur, in an official, codified manner. The public is welcome to visit and are covered by our liability insurance. Also, the club is covered by USHPA's RRG should a pilot injure a member of the public in a flight operation.
Joe Faust wrote: What if the senior volunteers arrived in a hang glider instead of their car or NEV to play a positive role for the club; would you mind if they arrived from the Federal skies in their hang gliders and then spent some hours helping the club's mission? The NEV or car arrivers do not have to join the third-party corporation that holds Forbes as a special director.
Yes we would mind. If they are going to arrive in a glider, they must be members and, therefore, USHPA members with liability insurance. If they arrive by car or NEV, they must have their own liability insurance.
Joe Faust wrote:Why press third-party membership upon those seniors who arrive onto the 4.33 acres from the sky in their non-powered green wings that weigh much less than or NEVs operated by some seniors? The SHGA is not requiring invited senior volunteers to join the third party corporation where MGForbes is a director at large when those seniors arrive in their automobile or NEV or crutches or wheelchairs.


We press liability coverage on any pilots wishing to use the SHGA LZ to protect the club's interests. A non-USHPA and, therefore, non-SHGA sanctioned pilot (senior or otherwise), causing damage to a local property or injuring a spectator is a risk to the club's interests. Technically, the SHGA is not responsible for their actions. However, it is a matter of guilt by association. The pilot appears to be part of our club and, therefore, the club appears to be responsible. That would directly affect the community's view of the club and our flight operations, especially if the injured party is not made whole by the non-insured pilot.
Joe Faust wrote:I am assuming in my asking, that Sylmar Flight Park is a fully private property and has no legal mandate to serve the public as public parks do. If that assumption is correct, then SHGA may require the joining a third-party corporation for anyone intending to land a hang glider in the owned 4.33 acre parcel. Emergency unintended landing in the 4.33 acres would not require joining that third party corporation. Many SHGA members have landed on non-SHGA properties without having to join tertiary corporations bound up with wishes of those far property owners.
Looking for a loophole? My opinion only, but I would not consider it an emergency landing if a pilot launches from any location that is included in the usual range of our operations that has its own established LZ. To clarify, I would not consider it an emergency landing when the launch is anywhere between West Towers and Mount Lukens. There are LZs to land, within the range of any modern glider, when using any of the established launch sites in that range. Nor is it an emergency LZ if the intended cross-country destination is the SHGA property.

My advice to you and your constituents is to find sites away from any public or private property and spectators where you can do no damage that you are going to be personally responsible for unless you find your own, private liability insurance or are wealthy enough to self-insure or are poor enough
that your assests aren't worth the trouble.

Don't get me wrong: I truly hate the entire idea of insurance. It is based on fear and conceived in response to a lack of personal responsibility for one's actions. But it's what we've got and it isn't changing. Get your liability coverage, by any means (post a $1,000,000 bond; the SHGA BOD might consider that) and come fly with us as an esteemed, senior pilot.
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Joe Faust
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Post by Joe Faust » Sun Sep 02, 2018 10:08 am

Scenario: SHGA does not invite JoePilot to land on the private property SHGA 4.33 acres. And SHGA charges JoePilot nothing for a recreational-use landing on the said 4.33 acres. Indeed, SHGA notifies that such use by JoePilot is not permitted by the choice of the owner SHGA. Then JoePilot should not land on the said property, else serious trespass could be filed against JoePilot for a landing of his HG on the subject private property. Indeed, it seems that SHGA has sufficiently notified some pilots that they are not to land their HG on the subject property. Done deal.

I witness for my personal case that I have been notified not to land my hang glider onto the subject 4.33 acres. And I respect the rights of SHGA for their notification; and I will be faithful in respects not to so land my HG on the aforementioned 4.33 acres. I cannot in good conscience be a member of the USHPA; and I face that I do not carry third-party insurance to cover the world of people and property that exist within spheres of my recreations; if I injure someone or some property then I realize that I am responsible to make amends for those damages involved.

Since I cannot in good conscience join the third-party private organization USHPA, and since SHGA requires that of landing pilots, then I will never land a HG on the subject 4.33 acres of private SHGA land.

Or, maybe SHGA could receive from me a Waiver wherein I waive all rights to ever sue SHGA for matters related to any landing of a hang glider on their property; and then with that Waiver, then permit me to land on their property on the LZ strip. :idea: Why might SHGA extend such a permit? The SHGA need not extend such a permit. Los Angeles County extended such a permit to me for landing on County/State property at Dockweiler; they charge nothing; they just wanted the Waiver. Since SHGA is a non-profit corporation, it need not profit from extending such a permit to me; they may withdraw the same permit at any time without having to state any reason. How might SHGA benefit from extending such a permit based on a Waiver over the fact of my not joining the third-party USHPA? Side effects might be robustly positive for SHGA without SHGA overtly requiring positive lateral positive effects. SHGA, consider trying out this scenario; see how it works out for one pilot or two or three; extend the Waiver relationship to some non-USHPA pilots. If it goes well, great. If SHGA suffers for the experiment, then put a stop to the matter. However, just maybe such flow could add a huge positive sector to SHGA.

=====================================

Hi, Jim,
Over the recent decade at least two senior HG pilots do and still will volunteer to benefit SHGA's mission while not being permitted to deliberately land their HG on the subject 4.33 acres of private property.

Jim, I flew my hang glider in the subject region before SHGA was formed. And I will continue to fly my hang glider in the subject region whether or not SHGA exists or finds itself stopping to exist. That the SHGA supports PGs is a big count against the org, among the SHGA's very many positive points. Such PG support via support of USHPA flow and LZ-PG allowance and PG-member support causes a choice option that has me in good conscience not be able to even apply for membership in SHGA. Has SHGA considered banning on its property PG landings? Association with PG brings a guilt-by-association; such PG embedding seems to me to be injuring the hang gliding world.

Jim, I see you addressed a potential option by suggesting that the B.O.D. of SHGA might face a possible permit if presented with a request carrying a million dollar bond. Thanks for that time and thought and idea.

I wonder what will SHGA do when USHPA stops or its RRRG stops. Then none of the piloting SHGA members will hold a valid permit to land in SHGA land parcel. That will bum out the SHGA pilots, I guess. But then, in such case, maybe SHGA could simply accept waivers from permitted pilots and forget third-party-liability-insurance involvement. Just risk it while doing the best all may do while recreating.

SHGA presents no negligence in sculpting a no-odd-hazard LZ.

A strictly hang glider operation in Sylmar may occur aside from SHGA that carries the PG aura. Such operation may be commercial or non-profit or simply private and individual. SHGA does own its 4.33 acres but does not own the sky or other parcels in the region. I am hoping for non-PG but HG operations in the region close to Los Angeles or in Los Angeles.

Best,
Joe
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Jim
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Post by Jim » Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:43 am

Joe Faust wrote: Or, maybe SHGA could receive from me a Waiver wherein I waive all rights to ever sue SHGA for matters related to any landing of a hang glider on their property; and then with that Waiver, then permit me to land on their property on the LZ strip.
In a word, no. A non-liability-insured pilot must not receive any type of approval, explicit, implied or tacit, from the SHGA to fly with the intent to use the SHGA LZ or any other property that may be construed as a usual LZ for SHGA sanctioned pilots. To do so would be to expose the club to the repercussions of the actions of such a pilot. Any mishap by any pilot, insured or otherwise, exposes SHGA to repercussions. The repercussions will not be limited to, indeed, will probably not include monetary damages and likely would take form as a direct threat to flight operations for all pilots. Paying for any damages through insurance, which is required, at least mitigates the damage to the SHGA's standing; it demonstrates personal responsibility. A personal, physical injury would be far worse than mere property damage. Not having a means to compensate the injured party could be fatal to our existence.

Even SHGA's total denial of association with a non-insured pilot will not shield the club from the damage to the club's standing in our community; again, guilt by association ("Why did you let them fly?" As if we can really stop that). Therefore, it is in the best interests of the club to discourage such pilots, even actively work to deny them access.
Joe Faust wrote: Over the recent decade at least two senior HG pilots do and still will volunteer to benefit SHGA's mission while not being permitted to deliberately land their HG on the subject 4.33 acres of private property.
I've been back since 2002 and I don't recall any volunteer activity from senior pilots described above benefitting the mission of the SHGA. Please name them so I can extend my gratitude.
Joe Faust wrote: Jim, I flew my hang glider in the subject region before SHGA was formed. And I will continue to fly my hang glider in the subject region whether or not SHGA exists or finds itself stopping to exist.
Thanks for not listening and continuing to put us at risk.
Joe Faust wrote: That the SHGA supports PGs is a big count against the org, among the SHGA's very many positive points. Such PG support via support of USHPA flow and LZ-PG allowance and PG-member support causes a choice option that has me in good conscience not be able to even apply for membership in SHGA. Has SHGA considered banning on its property PG landings? Association with PG brings a guilt-by-association; such PG embedding seems to me to be injuring the hang gliding world.
Yes, you are correct: We should exclude 75% of the (politically and monetarily contributing) free-flight population because that would make us much stronger in the U.S in our preservation efforts. Good call.
Joe Faust wrote: Jim, I see you addressed a potential option by suggesting that the B.O.D. of SHGA might face a possible permit if presented with a request carrying a million dollar bond. Thanks for that time and thought and idea.
I was only speaking for myself; I have no official capacity in the club, except 'member'. However, if you wish to turn over $1M to be used by the board of directors at their sole discretion for the coverage of any damages you might incur to the property or population of our surrounding community, maybe something can be worked out.
Joe Faust wrote: I wonder what will SHGA do when USHPA stops or its RRRG stops. Then none of the piloting SHGA members will hold a valid permit to land in SHGA land parcel. That will bum out the SHGA pilots, I guess. But then, in such case, maybe SHGA could simply accept waivers from permitted pilots and forget third-party-liability-insurance involvement. Just risk it while doing the best all may do while recreating.
At that point, it will be just like the good ol' days and, eventually, all sites will be shut down, at least in areas such as ours, because someone will inevitably smack into something they can't pay for. The community will be duly and rightfully pissed off and have us kicked out. It will be time for us all to take up PG so we can launch and land near anywhere. Or quit flying.
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Joe Faust
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Post by Joe Faust » Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:31 am

Jim,
Bob and I are two known positively contributing seniors. Both have been given thanks. Sorry you missed it. OK.

Too far, Jim: "or any other property that may be construed as a usual LZ for SHGA" That is reaching too far. SHGA has its 4.33 acres, no more. It had once no LZ. In time, SHGA may have more LZ official LZ or less. The private corporation SHGA does not win the whole potential world or region just because it operates. It is up to other owners of property to handle their parcels. Construe as you might, but construing does not force owning. One would not want Jack to construe that SHGA belongs to him when, in fact, SHGA does not belong to Jack.

Continuing to sell soul to PG to win something will have its continuing costs.

SHGA, as you rehearse, probably won't properly be giving permission for activity beyond its proper scope. Similarly, when and if SHGA oversteps unjustly, then surely it will risk the consequences of such action. It may be best not to over-step. The all-is-SHGA arrogance because SHGA has some standing could piss off a Sylmar citizen that chooses not to join SHGA but remains a recreating hang glider pilot in the region. SHGA is supporting an org that acts against justice; that support brings in SHGA to the fray. If SHGA does not stop supporting a deeply unjust org for its core operation, then SHGA is risking its own existence and apparent good standing in the community. Burying the fact of cooperation with the unjust-acting USHPA might not keep such fact from coming to light by some Sylmar citizens who honor justice in American life. Arrogantly grabbing what does not belong to SHGA could hasten such revelations. Avoid considering what is not SHGA's as SHGA's.

Actually, SHGA could extend permit to a non-liability-insured plot for landing a hang glider in its 4.33 acres. Just how much SHGA chooses to do such is up to SHGA. Your "must not" may be on target or off target.

SHGA is exposed to all that happens in the universe. SHGA is exposed to the consequences of its own action. We all keep truck'n under this grand soup of activity. Be welcoming as those out-landing parcels are welcoming.

Jim, I am listening; patience, maybe. Comprehensive response may take some time. For you to rush to "not listening" may not be helpful. If something has not yet been addressed in our exchange, consider just patiently mentioning a matter again. And also, in time, I often go back over items to be sure I am listening; and I'll address something missed or address it again perhaps with new thought. I won't declare that you are not listening; if I have a concern about your notes, I'll just aim to face the matter again perhaps with fresh phrases. Gradually, I hope, issues may be smoothed. But in the end there will probably be differences.

SHGA is ever at risk for many things. Aiming to be in a no-risk scene is probably very unrealistic. Some risks may be seen as opportunities for growth and service. Consider how much good might unfold in taking on risks. In each of our flights we are taking on a long list of risks. Risk management is the party. Recklessness or carelessness is not suggested. Discernment and continued courage is invited. I took a risk in helping groom the land just outside of SHGA parcel so that outlandings could be with less hazards. I took a risk in entering this topic thread in hopes that clarity might develop on some matters; taking the risk does not mean objectives will be accomplished; but if the risk was not taken then life would be different, not sure how; there remains mystery in each Now.

SHGA, if it does risk grabbing more than it owns, then it will be risking consequences good or not. SHGA, if it risks staying joined at the hip with a repugnant USHPA, will have consequences for such risk; perhaps SHGA is or is not working to change USHPA from a bad player to a good player.

There could be a good neighbor SHGA2 that focuses just on airframed hang gliding operations in the region.

Your sarcasm is noted about PG. Preserving HG may best be served by full divorce from PG. Courage to stand on airframed HG with focus may best serve preserving and advancing hang gliding.

There could be one day a good neighbor SHGA3 that focuses on airframed hang gliders that adopts a hybrid landing scheme using electric assist to conclude landings to a particular land parcel.

All three SHGA, SHGA2, SHGA3 could get along well together.
If one of the three inappropriately acted as if it owned what is not theirs to own, then challenges could result. Indeed , there are many schools in Sylmar, many restaurants in Sylmar, many different churches in Sylmar, etc.
========== aside:
Just came back from a 2-hr visit at SHGA Flight Park. Angela and I clean part of the park. I pick up a mound of dog-poo from the lawn; someone did not follow the "No dogs" sign. Viewed the skies and launch: A helicopter hovered at Kagel launch for about 15 minutes; Angela saw the copter lower something; I've no information about the operation. A tweet reply:
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Despite being a national holiday, the men and women of the LAFD continue to train between incidents, ensuring they're ready when the need arises.
Angela said the new bathroom was "very nice." Congrats to SHGA!

Approx. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: saw no HG activity. Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 3.


Angela took photos of some HG-themed garden artwork near the SHGA gazebo.

I jumped up into the sky and came back down at my launch point: MMHG (micro micro hang glide; hat: wing. No incident. In the past at the SHGA LZ, I've seen a dog do a higher MMHG.
Perhaps my senior volunteering today will have saved someone from a really messy incident.
====================
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BudRob
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Post by BudRob » Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:22 am

Joe,

Firstly, I agree with MOST everything Jim has stated. We would NOT accept any other liability insurance other than the USHPA's because we can't trust it to pay. As far as a $1,000,000 personal bond, I suppose we could consider that if and when it is presented.

Secondly, we don't support USHPA, they pretty much support us. By providing reliable liability insurance, it gives us the confidence to fly KNOWING that if a neighbor or spectator were hurt or suffers property damage that it will be made right, at least financially. If the RRG went under, yes, we would likely find some way to fly anyway, as we always have.

As you mentioned, this will never be a risk free sport. But flying without reliable liability insurance when it is easily available to us (through USHPA) would be an unwise decision. This is a heavily congested residential area (by any reasonable persons account) and we simply cannot risk accepting non-USHPA pilots to land on our property, or even take them to our launch.

And yes, we do carry our own liability insurance for all visiting non-SHGA members that may hurt themselves in our LZ.

As far as paragliding is concerned, we welcome ALL forms of silent soaring aircraft. I see no threat caused by that form of soaring that a hang glider wouldn't pose as well. The important part is that they must be appropriately rated USHPA members.

And thanks for picking up the dog poo. It is much appreciated!

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