Sat, Apr 17 2021, 1:48:04 pm EDT
Statement from Tennessee Tree Toppers
In response to statement from David Hanning
Katie Dunn <<bretzgirl3>>
Does this really sound like good advice?
Some of you have recently received the following message from David Hanning. While most of it is riddled with inaccuracies, there are a few statements that
should be of concern to pilots everywhere. Read for yourselves:
Dave Hanning states:
“Hey ya'll we are all good as we never need TTT property...so I don't know why
they cry so much so loudly...the insurance situation is set to be capable of
excluding others not associated with USHPA or insured by RRRG. The chapter site
insurance does not cover flight activity originating from a non RRRG insured
site if it is a commercial site...meaning did you pay for access, t-shirt,
membership ...and its not RRRG insured....then the chapter is not covered if you
have an incident and sue the club, TTT...USHPA /RRRG legal team (Tim Herr) will
not defend the chapter if this occurs...weird. that's not the kind of insurance
I buy as a land owner...plus I know waivers, indemnification clauses, TN
recreational land use laws and FAA far 103 all protect land owners plenty for a
situation such as TTT is fear mongering about.
Now. TTT can do as it likes and threaten to have you arrested for
trespassing...which means the 2nd time the police come for you they could arrest
you except that FAA rules say your good and locally law enforcement isn't
interested in such pettiness from the few in control. As a ttt member you are an
owner and so...hard to arrest an owner for trespassing. Just a thought.
I recommend always pick safest lz and make a good landing. Then pick up and walk
off property to pack. This ensures land owners can not harass you for
trespassing. And no police officer would arrest you in such a position as your
no longer trespassing. Video evidence is not enough for them to arrest you. Usually a warning at most...but the if I have to come back here for
you...then...but again your protected by "emergency" landing...FAA laws.
Now as pilots flying you are covered....it's just the club that is not...how
weird is that...make a exclusion so that you can keep pilots from flying unless
they are on your side of the fence.
While I am buying more insurance coverage to resolve the complaints from
TTT...it is expensive and I get no benefit from insuring TTT so you all can fly
and land there...ill note even when I do have this new insurance that TTT has
already added wording specifying RRRG only insurance. Thus there is no solution
to TTT being a problem unless members and pilots stand up for their rights as
members and pilots. Certainly your voice matters more now then ever before at
USHPA. RRRG and ttt levels. I suggest you go get in the face of those creating
and maintain this situation. We are the only ones experiencing this
blockage...elsewhere no one cares to enforce this exclusion.
Everyone, you are the dog in this fight. Time to turn and bite that hand that
The 15$ landing fee from one of our generous land owners is a message...he does
not want all the solo traffic happening because TTT is pushing you all out by
cutting off your access to that lz. The fields are for hay for cattle and
horses. I lease property access so I can fly from my property here at Henson
Gap. TTT will arrest me if I go on TTT property. (I am a lifetime member and now
they make moves to kick me out all together. Just got the summons to their May
punitive hearing. We should all go! Hahaha).
And now all the other land owners in the valley will become sensitive to this
increase in pilot usage of their lands...how much longer before all land is a
DNL (do not land)...do we have to wait for such a desperate dire situation
before we get involved and force the solution you all deserve and the one that
USHPA should be forcing by any means possible. Some inside of USHPA want to help
(thank you).. but don't have enough influence. Most inside of USHPA don't care
about you the members. RRRG doesn't care. TtT doesn't care. They want you to
turn your back and leave.
I won't. And ill always fight for you and access so we can fly. Ill invest
thousands of dollars to enable the community because I know the value of friends
and flying. USHPA is harming you all...time to let them know what you want.. and
remember that these are people who are pilots and they volunteer for the job so
please be respectful...even if you feel disrespected by all that has happened
here these past 3 years and continues with no end in the foreseeable future. Respectful actions and attitudes get you farther every time.
It's your game...get in it and play like your playing to win. Not for me, but
for you and all your flying friends. Never have we all needed to come together
to make solutions for all pilots
Need email address or wanna talk about it.. call me...I'm open to any and all
BTW...if that fence got taken down...the current cost of lumber would probably
make it more difficult to reconstruct. Lemme know if you need to borrow any
And...this weekend is looking very good! NW is best.. Saturday afternoon and
Sunday looks amazing. BBQ Saturday night. See you here for flying, friends and
fun! Fear not.. they can't stop us from doing what we want...but they will
threaten you with rating revocation and you should tell them to shove it. Or
just ignore them. What ever works best.. so we can all get on with enjoying
flying and our friends. Club and org be damned if they can't and won't do what
is required to enable you all to fly and be safe.
Time to enact change however suits you best. We can all play a roll in shaping
Much love from the Flying Camp crew.”
We have shared the contents of this letter with the Sequatchie County Sheriff’s
Dept. and have discussed with them the implications of a pilot falsely declaring
an “Emergency Landing” in violation of FAR’s. We strongly recommend pilots NOT
use this as a defense.
We have also contacted a FAA “liaison” for advice who after “unofficially”
consulting with his counterpart with the FAA sent us the following
“I spoke with my FSDO contact. He said that you should get some video proof. He
said that for you to call XXX XXX of the Nashville FSDO and ask for his
assistance in the matter. He said that if that many people are having an
emergency, the FAA would be interested in reviewing his operation.”
Despite the endless claims you have heard from Flying Camp, our intent is not or
never has been to shut down Flying Camp. The last thing any of us want is FAA
involvement. We simply ask our club members to follow our rules and the flying
community to respect our property and not jeopardize our assets.
If the FAA does get involved, it is 100% the consequences of misinformed pilots
following David Hanning’s illegal advice by intentionally violating FAR’s by
falsely claiming “emergency landings.”
One of the reasons our club has flourished in this valley for 45 years is the
relationships we have built with the local landowners. Imagine how different our
relationships and our reputation would have been if we had told every land owner
that asked us not to land on their property that they could not stop us because
it was an “emergency landing.” How would your local community respond if all
clubs everywhere adopted this approach? We are simply asking that our property
rights be respected just as we expect our club members to respect other local
As if we haven’t already beaten this dead horse enough, we would be remiss in
our duties as a board if we did not address the insurance issues that are
brought up numerous times in the Hanning message. We are going to be very blunt
here. First you need to go to the link that was sent to you by USHPA earlier
this week regarding new insurance exclusions and why they became necessary. In a
nutshell, David Hanning’s RRRG insurance was not only cancelled but cancelled
RETROACTIVELY to his application date because of the issues (and many others)
mentioned in the RRRG letter. Our club was named as additional insured on Flying
Camps policy. Cancelled retroactively means that our club was not covered by the
insurance we were assured we had due entirely to deceit on David Hanning’s part. This is what the RRRG had to say about insuring Flying Camp:
“When this fraud was discovered, we cancelled Flying Camp's insurance and
expelled Flying camp from membership in Recreation RRG. Flying Camp is
ineligible for insurance from Recreation RRG and we will not directly or
indirectly insure the operations of Flying Camp or any other organization where
Mr. Hanning is involved in decisions related to the management of risk.”
If a professional insurance company cannot trust a company or an individual
enough to be associated with them in any way, how can we, as a club be expected
to accept what is claimed to be “adequate insurance coverage” from someone who
has already proven himself to be less than trustworthy and willing to put our
clubs assets in jeopardy? Quite simply, we will not. Period
The bottom line here is very simple. If you want to legally land in the TTT
1. You must be a current Tree Topper member.
2. You must be a minimum of H2 or P2.
3. You cannot launch from any SVS/Flying Camp launches at Henson or Whitwell
How hard can this be to understand and comply with? Yes, we have heard the
argument that you are a TTT member and should be able to land there regardless
of where you launch. Unfortunately, that is not the case because of insurance
issues directly caused and very well documented by others, not us. We are NOT
going to risk the club’s assets because a small handful of our members think
they have a point to prove. When you signed your application, you agreed to
abide by the club’s rules and this is one of them.
TTT is not taking anything away from TTT members wanting to use the TTT LZ.
If you want to Land in the TTT LZ, Launch from a TTT Launch. It’s that simple.
If you want to launch at SVS/Flying Camp, pay the $15 user fee at the SVS/FC
designated LZ. It’s that simple. Not wanting to pay the user fee is not a valid
excuse to abuse the TTT.
To be perfectly clear, the issue the dual SVS pilots are having are a direct
results of Dave Hanning’s actions. It’s that simple.
Well that certainly went down a road we did not want to go on but sometimes we
have to cover some rather unpleasant topics. Thanks to those of you who were
willing to read this far. Now that you know how easy it is to fly here (despite
what you might have been told), here is the good part.
We would like to extend a personal invitation to all pilots everywhere who might
be concerned or confused by this latest disinformation campaign to come and see
for yourself what our club has to offer and why it is so important for us to do
what is necessary to protect it. For the next 3 months, if you are willing to
come and check it out for yourself, we will waive the 30-day membership dues of
$40. You still must join the club and sign the waiver, but the first week is
free. One of us might even offer you a beer (after flying of course).
Please share this with all of your fellow pilots and help pilots everywhere
continue flying with minimal “help” from the FAA and the continued support of
you non flying neighbors.
Thanks for your help and understanding,
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