More wisdom from USPA

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Korbet McEniry

Dec 31, 2021, 3:55:00 PM12/31/21

Hi All,

I’m not sure how many of you know that USPA in their infinite wisdom has come up with a new hair brain scheme to “make hang gliding better. Here is a copy of the letter that was sent to Observers today. Just wondering how you all feel about this change and since we only have one ADMN in Oregon and one or two examiners how do you think this would work out for Oregon pilots? Thoughts?





Hi Hang Gliding Observers,  


I hope this email finds you well and that you have a very happy New Year!  I have had the wonderful opportunity to meet many of you over the last several years.  Those of you I have not met, I am Doyle Johnson and I own and operate Blue Water Hang Gliding in Minnesota.    It is my privilege to serve the USHPA membership as the Chair of the Training and Certification Hang Gliding Committee.  


There are 121 Observers on this email and as I look over the individuals on the list I am reminded of the incredible service you have provided the organization! Your service has been done quietly and with little recognition!  Many of you have dedicated countless hours standing in an LZ or at a launch site and driving pilots to a new site to expand their flying abilities.  Through your direct work you have helped countless members achieve new ratings and the result has made our sport more safe and enjoyable!  Thank you for your work that for many of you has spanned decades!  


I am writing to you to enlist your feedback on the attached Examiner/Observer proposal that is being discussed.  There have been no decisions made regarding this proposal.  The Training & Certification Committee is in the discussion phase only about this proposal, so know that your input will be taken into consideration and will help shape the development of this proposal.  There are some of you who are Observers with Paragliding so you may have already received this proposal through Greg Kelly, the Paragliding T&C Chair.  


I will highlight some key points and the feedback needed for this proposal: 


1.  Examiner roles would be eliminated and their current responsibilities would be transferred to Administrators.  The hope is that current Examiners would be willing to serve as Observers.  

-Feedback: If this were to happen, how would this impact members in your region in achieving ratings?  What impact would this have on ratings of sites and managing pilot ratings in your region?  What concerns would you have if Administrators were appointing Observers?  One member I spoke with suggested maybe having Adv. Instructors appoint Observers?  Thoughts?  

2.  Observers would no longer administer H3 and H4 Tests in the field.  Rather tests would be an online option only for members.  

-Feedback: If this were to happen, what impacts would this have on our members and your work as an Observer in your region?  

3.  Observers would need to become H4 rated pilots.  

-Feedback: What impacts would this have on you as an Observer?


Thank you for taking the time to review the attached proposal and emailing me (please reply only to me and not all) with your feedback.  I will bring your feedback to the T&C HG Committee for their consideration!   If I could receive your feedback by next Friday January 7th that would be ideal!  


With Appreciation, 

Doyle Johnson

Blue Water Hang Gliding

USHPA Chair T&C HG Committee


Living the Dream of Flight


ExaminerObserver Proposal 2021.pdf

John S

Dec 31, 2021, 9:42:29 PM12/31/21
to Korbet McEniry,
Hey Kory,
Thanks for bringing this up.  If the H3 and H4 tests are only online, is there no longer any flights/hours/types of flights required for advancement? I don't want some guy with 20 hours who is great at test taking to become an H4 and get injured. 

Also, if only instructors appoint observers, it is going to be really biased. Remember all that stuff with Vincent Crow and not being able to become an instructor? Some instructors might not "have the time" to appoint observers.  Instructors are mainly working with people learning the sport and we don't have very many instructors around as it is.  Observers should just be regular pilots who can give tests and witness certain flights, hours, etc.   I don't like these changes.  Who do we talk to before the big official meeting?
John Saltveit

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ray berger

Jan 1, 2022, 3:55:41 PMJan 1
to John S, Korbet McEniry, Oregon Hang Gliding
Good point John, how far are they willing to travel to get rated around here in the Northwest? 
The present structure was implemented decades ago to alleviate the problem of commercial interests exclusively running our sport also. It was meant to complement the instructors giving out ratings and encourage mentoring by our more experienced pilots. 
If they want to change anything it would be to allow Basic instructors to also give a hang 3 and 4.
Doyle Johnson who is heading up this committee/ great idea is an instructor administrator and runs Pasa certified Bluewater Hang Gliding in Minnesota.  What result is he fishing for? Which comments is he going to cherry pick to promote a final decision? I told him on the phone it is a conflict of interest, selling hang gliding equipment and giving ratings. For that matter, since I am an Examiner/observer , I too would have a conflict of interest by commenting, so let's let the membership decide. 
Does streamlining the board or rating system at such a crucial time increase membership? More drama and upsetting many of the remainder pilots who have supported Ushpa thru hell and high water wouldn't be my first choice to increase membership. 
So in conclusion, since it's a conflict of interest selling equipment and giving ratings, the present system complements the commercial interests and works just fine. Find something that actually increases Ushpa membership. 
Thanks, Ray Berger

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