The Oz Report, a near-daily, world wide hang gliding news ezine, with reports on competitions, pilot rankings, political issues, fly-ins, the latest technology, ultralight sailplanes, reader feedback and anything else from within the global HG community worthy of coverage. Hang gliding, paragliding, hang gliders, paragliders, aerotowing, hang glide, paraglide, platform towing, competitions, fly-ins. Hang gliding and paragliding news from around the world, by Davis Straub.

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  • +2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 7Cancelled (Sat 5:54pm)

    2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 7

    Sat, Apr 17 2021, 5:54:36 pm EDT

    2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 7

    Cancelled

    The southwest wind was too strong.  If the wind direction had been south, southeast, south southeast, west, east, northeast, northwest, or north, the speed would have been fine.  The results at the end of day 6 are the final results.

    Discuss "2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 7" at the Oz Report forum   link»

  • +Statement from Tennessee Tree ToppersIn response to statement from David Hanning (Sat 1:48pm)

    Statement from Tennessee Tree Toppers

    Sat, Apr 17 2021, 1:48:04 pm EDT

    Statement from Tennessee Tree Toppers

    In response to statement from David Hanning

    Katie Dunn <<bretzgirl3>> sends:

    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 beats you.

    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 conversations.  +1423.XXX.XXXX

    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 tools.

    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 the future.

    Much love from the Flying Camp crew.”

    TTT Response:

    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 recommendation:

    “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 landowner’s requests.

    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 Henson LZ:

    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 Launch.

    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,

    TTT BOD

    Discuss "Statement from Tennessee Tree Toppers" at the Oz Report forum   link»

  • +Civil and Criminal ActionsThe breaking point (Sat 1:33pm)

    Civil and Criminal Actions

    Sat, Apr 17 2021, 1:33:00 pm EDT

    Civil and Criminal Actions

    The breaking point

    Previous Oz Report stories on this issue:

    https://ozreport.com/toc.php?25.043#2

    https://ozreport.com/toc.php?25.044#1

    https://ozreport.com/toc.php?25.044#2

    https://ozreport.com/toc.php?25.056#1

    https://ozreport.com/toc.php?25.057#1

    The USHPA has issued Insurance Exclusions for Flying Camp and SVS locations.  If you are a USHPA member you can find the notice and historical justifications for these actions here: https://www.ushpa.org//member/2021-insurance-exclusions.  The previous stories in the Oz Report go over some of these justifications.  Here is an excerpt:

    Tennessee Tree Toppers has announced to the hang gliding and paragliding community that their landing zone is off limits and has requested that no pilot use it as a landing zone on flights originating at JustFly-SVS or Flying Camp.  Instead of honoring that request, JustFly-SVS and Flying Camp communicate to their patrons and students that the Tennessee Tree Topper's landing zone is the "best landing zone" and that they should use it notwithstanding the Tennessee Tree Toppers request not to.

    The Tennessee Tree Toppers have reached a breaking point and have decided to pursue legal action - civil and criminal - against pilots who continue to land on their property when launching from JustFly-SVS or Flying Camp.  Unless we add JustFly-SVS Flight Parks and Flying Camp to the "Excluded Locations" in the USHPA GL Policy, we anticipate having to defend numerous USHPA members in civil suits brought against them by Tennessee Tree Toppers for using the Tree Topper's landing zone without permission.  Providing coverage in this way would be counterproductive to USHPA's goal of having a sustainable source of insurance to keep the sport alive and healthy.  It would also be rewarding pilots for violating the property rights of the Tennessee Tree Toppers.

    Discuss "Civil and Criminal Actions" at the Oz Report forum   link»

  • +Felix FlightsA compilation (Fri 9:21pm)

    Felix Flights

    Fri, Apr 16 2021, 9:21:21 pm EDT

    Felix Flights

    A compilation

    https://youtu.be/3-Zo2F8GxeI

    Discuss "Felix Flights" at the Oz Report forum   link»

  • +New Irish Paragliding Record275 km (Fri 9:13pm)

    New Irish Paragliding Record

    Fri, Apr 16 2021, 9:13:40 pm EDT

    New Irish Paragliding Record

    275 km

    https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:SkyMaster/15.04.2021/11:12

    His story: https://xcmag.com/news/bogdan-bialka-flies-275km-ireland/

    Discuss "New Irish Paragliding Record" at the Oz Report forum   link»

  • +2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 6Results (Fri 8:30pm)

    2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 6

    Fri, Apr 16 2021, 8:30:48 pm EDT

    2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 6

    Results

    https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/results

    # Id Name Glider Time Distance (km) Total
    1 948 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 02:56:52 57.74 342.0
    2 973 Phill Bloom Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 02:57:35 57.74 334.7
    3 979 Filippo Oppici Wills Wing T3 144 02:57:36 57.74 332.4
    4 978 Tyler Borradaile Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 02:58:22 57.74 329.8
    5 974 Konrad Heilmann Moyes Litespeed RX3.5 Technora 23.20 168.4
    6 985 Davis Straub Wills Wing T3 144 19.23 152.8
    7 957 Willy Dydo Wills Wing T3 136 12.96 132.0
    8 969 Pedro L.  Garcia Wills Wing T3 144 12.90 131.8
    9 946 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat C 13.5 12.68 130.8
    10 967 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 12.11 127.9

    Discuss "2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 6" at the Oz Report forum   link»

  • +2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 6You know, every now and then I think you might like to… (Fri 7:43pm)

    2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 6

    Fri, Apr 16 2021, 7:43:02 pm EDT

    2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 6

    You know, every now and then
    I think you might like to hear something from us
    Nice and easy but there's just one thing
    You see, we never ever do nothing nice and easy
    We always do it nice and rough

    The forecast:

    NWS:

    Today

    A slight chance of showers, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 8am.  Partly sunny, with a high near 82.  West wind around 5 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 40%.

    Hourly in the afternoon: 6 mph west wind at 1 pm increasing to 8 mph west northwest by 4 PM, cloud cover 64%.  Hourly and daily forecast do not agree on high temperature with hourly displaying 78 degrees.

    RAP

    1 PM:

    Southwest surface wind at 1 PM: 6  mph, 2000' 8 mph , 4,000' 14 mph

    TOL at 1 PM: 5,100'

    Updraft Velocity at 1 pm: 600 fpm

    CB at 1 PM: 4,000'

    B/S at 1 PM: 8.0

    4 PM:

    West southwest surface wind at 4 PM: 10  mph, 2,000' 14 mh, 4,000' 14 mph

    TOL at 4 PM: 6,100'

    Updraft Velocity at 4 PM: 620 fpm

    CB at 4 PM: 5,100'

    B/S at 4 PM: 7.0

    This is what it looks like most of the day:

    Every once in a while it will open up and there will be sunshine on the ground., Cu's form under the high level clouds and there are spots of rain here and there.

    We've got a hell of a task:

    Wilotree Park to Gore and then back to Wallaby Ranch.

    There is some reluctance to launch given how dark the sky looks at times.  They delay the launch by 40 minutes so it's not until 1:20 that pilots start launching.  Kasey pulls me up at 1:40 above everyone else but two pilots at 2,100' (2,000' AGL).  I'm right under those two pilots that are off by themselves and under a weak looking cu.  Everything looks weak under the high level clouds.

    I climb to 2,800' but fifteen minutes after I pinned off I'm back down to where I started.  Despite unrelenting circling and joisting with one pilot after another, half an hour after I launched I'm down to 800' AGL at the south end of the field.  I climb at 6.6 fpm until I find 160 fpm west of Wilotree Park and climb to 2,200'.  I was previously very concerned about how all of us would land at the same time at the park, which it looked like we were going to do.  There were many relights.

    After a few different thermals and lift at around 130 fpm I'm able to climb to 3,200'.  I'm only 2.5 kilometers from Wilotree, but hanging with four or five other pilots downwind to the east.

    I follow the pilots I'm near to the southeast to where just outside the 5 km start cylinder they find 144 fpm and I join in.  Pilots are landing every where behind us.

    It is all dark and shaded to the south along our course line.  We get to 2,900' and then the six of us head south into the darkness.  For over 6 km we glide and it looks like we are going to land (as two pilots already did) just north of the mines.  Down to 900' AGL I spot Zac below us just north of the mines and to our east when he begins to turn.  We come over him and start turning in lift that averages 134 fpm.  I'm on top of him for at least 5 minutes when I lose my focus for a second and suddenly I'm on the bottom and out of contact.  I see the five pilots I was with climb up faster and get away from me.

    I head southeast to get under where they have stopped for lift but it takes me nine minutes to get back up to 3,000' and I can no longer see the other pilots.

    I'm just east of the mines but in an area where retrieval will not be easy unless I drop straight down.  I've got to go south following where they went to get south of highway 474.  I head for the best looking patch of cumulus cloud but there is no lift there.  I'm down to 1,400' at 474.

    South of this east west road there are very limited access possibilities for quite a ways.  I feel that I need 3,000' to chance going out south of the highway.  I can see to the south that there is blue sky and lots of cumulus clouds that look so much better than anything that we have been flying in., but they are too far away for a pilot who is as low as I am.

    I search around near the highway but not finding any lift land in a field just to the north of the road.

    The pilots I was with are able to make it to the cu's and then complete the task.

    https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/16.4.2021/17:40

    https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2763323

    Discuss "2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 6" at the Oz Report forum   link»

In the latest issue: (25.65, Friday, April 16, 2021)

+
  • +2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 5

    2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 5

    Thu, Apr 15 2021, 7:55:32 pm EDT

    2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 5

    Very windy and overcast

    Replay: https://airtribune.com/play/5009/2d

    Forecast:

    There is a large mass of clouds moving from west to east in the northern Gulf.  We saw a bit of this on Wednesday in the morning before the clouds to the north and west disappeared.

    NWS:

    Thursday

    Increasing clouds, with a high near 87.  South wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

    Hourly in the afternoon: 11 mph southwest wind at noon increasing to 15 mph by 5 PM  and turning west, cloud cover going from 19% to 50% then 71% at 5 PM

    HRRR

    1 PM:

    Southwest surface wind at 1 PM: 14  mph, 2000' 21 mph, 4000' 22 mph

    TOL at 1 PM: 4,800'

    Updraft Velocity at 1 pm: 500 fpm

    CB at 1 PM: 4600'

    B/S at 1 PM: 4.3

    4 PM:

    West southwest surface wind at 4 PM: 13  mph, 4,000' 21 mph

    TOL at 4 PM: 3,900'

    Updraft Velocity at 4 PM: 400 fpm

    CB at 4 PM: 0'

    B/S at 4 PM: 1.4

    So we expect a windy and gusty day with the upper level clouds coming completely over us, but letting in filter sunlight.  With the southwest direction we first look at a task to the northeast but conclude that with the high winds the safety factor finding landable areas would be very narrow.  I propose a cross wind task to the north hoping that we will get lighter winds and it will be soarable.

    Results: https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/results

    Task 4: https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/results/task5009/day/open-class

    # Name Glider Distance Total
    1 JD Guillemette Moyes RX3.5 26.72 192.0
    2 Raul Guerra Icaro Laminar 14.7 23.65 177.4
    3 Filippo Oppici Wills Wing T3 144 23.67 177.3
    4 Tyler Borradaile Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 23.59 176.8
    5 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 23.54 176.2
    6 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat C 13.5 23.12 173.4
    7 Konrad Heilmann Moyes Litespeed RX3.5 Technora 22.75 169.0
    8 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 22.40 165.1
    9 Austin Marshall Wills Wing T3 154 18.32 122.0
    10 Davis Straub Wills Wing T3 144 18.07 120.7

    Cumulative: https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/results/task5009/comp/open-class

    # Name Glider Total
    1 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 2972
    2 Filippo Oppici Wills Wing T3 144 2936
    3 Tyler Borradaile Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 2916
    4 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat C 13.5 2845
    5 Pedro L. Garcia Wills Wing T3 144 2844
    6 Robin Hamilton Aeros Combat 13 2599
    6 Raul Guerra Icaro Laminar 14.7 2599
    8 Kevin Carter Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 2541
    9 John Simon Aeros Combat C 12.7 2283
    10 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 2220

    There was no Sport Class task today given the high winds forecasted.

    The winds at launch were within our pre assigned parameters (20 mph south and 10 mph west - so 15 mph southwest).  The safety and meet director were monitoring the winds at launch and their criteria was 10 - 15 mph with no gusts over 5 mph.  That's what they got.

    The high level clouds from the north came near us but there were plenty of cu's underneath them.  When I got pulled up after not choosing to go in the first round I pinned off in lift at 1,500' behind Bobby Bailey.  I quickly climbed to 5,200' at 335 fpm despite all the upper level clouds.  I was drifting at 12 mph out of the west southwest.  I wanted to get to the west side of the 5 km start cylinder, which was not all that easy to do.

    Heading west and then climbing back to 5,000' it was time to go to get the first start clock.

    After the task opened we all raced to the northwest and found lift west of Groveland again back to 5,000'.  I followed three pilots ahead and over me and found 350 fpm to 4,500' behind them and they had to come back to me.

    As we went further north under the upper level clouds, but still toward cumulus clouds, the lift deteriorated.  As we came over Grass Root airfield at a little less than 3,000' we spotted Zac Majors circling low on the north side.  We climbed at 140 fpm to 3,300'.  Zac headed off to the northwest low and we all lost track of him, except maybe Austin.

    I'm only able to climb to 2,800' in the next thermal at 124 fpm.  Others get higher.  We are all being pushed to the east northeast and there is a small gaggle northeast of the Turnpike.  I don't find any lift under them at 2,600' and head west toward the open fields on the south side of the Turnpike and near highway33.  I note that the wind is 22 mph out of the west.

    Making very slow progress against the head wind, down to 1,200',  and not being able to make it to my preferred field to the west I turn east to be able to land near highway 27.  There is a huge field there and I come in at 500' and stay prone and on the base tube all the way to the ground not wanting to get turned.  My ground speed is less than 5 mph when I land in a nice soft field.  It is very turbulent.

    Kevin Carter measures 30 mph when he is coming in to land, hits 1,500 fpm low, and just keeps heading into the wind and landing.  J.D. gets out ahead of everyone and wins the day.

    https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/15.4.2021/17:34

    https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2762660

    Discuss "2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 5" at the Oz Report forum   link»

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