RMHPA Meeting Minutes for 18 Apr 2018 (7-8 pm)
The Studio Boulder
3550 Frontier Avenue Suite A2
Boulder, CO 80301
The evening flying in Boulder was great yesterday and quite a few people were packing up in a hurry to get from the LZ to the meeting. We waited, and convened a little late. It gave everyone time to grab some street tacos and a beer or two from Sanitas Brewery. Adam reported that he needed big ears and speed bar to get down for the meeting—I questioned his priorities but then again the sun was setting.
Will Stites (USHPA Vice–President) convened the meeting and reiterated RMHPA’s Mission in three words:
RMHPA manages eight sites and secures and pays for landowner insurance for seven of those sites. Without the on- going effort to maintain and improve relationships with the communities involved we definitely wouldn’t have access to all of these sites. Your efforts and support as RMHPA members makes it possible.
On the theme of access Will introduced our guest speaker, Chris Scolari from Western Resource Advocates. Western Resource Advocates is dedicated to protecting the West’s land, air, and water to ensure that vibrant communities exist in balance with nature. Chris emphasized that even small groups like our paragliding community can make a big difference when we speak with one voice. To ensure our flying sites and new sites for the future we can make a difference by working together. Recreation and the economic value it brings to the State are recognized by government. As recreational areas are threatened by other interests and the pressures of growth, we can make a difference in protecting our natural resources. Maintaining the “Leave no trace” attitude as we enjoy our flying sites and building relationships can go a long way to ensuring access.
Our scheduled guest speaker on raptors and avoiding disturbing their nesting sites could not attend our meeting. They plan to speak at the May meeting. In their absence, we discussed maintaining 1500’ above the nesting sites. A picture with the sites marked should be distributed soon. Two primary areas of concern are the back side of the Flat Irons and Ralston Buttes. Watch for pictures with avoidance areas to be posted soon.
The mentor program in Boulder was discussed and approved. It is not a sponsorship program like Lookout. The mentor program is a way for less experienced pilots to grow in there flying skills and knowledge by working with and learning from the more experienced flyers. As an added bonus, some of the mentors are observers which means if you work with them long enough and meet all the requirements, to include gaining their trust in your judgement and knowledge, they can sign you off for P3 and P4 ratings. Look for observer names on the website or better yet talk to the pilot with the “hot” wing on launch and see if they will be your mentor.
Marcos Rosenkjer, our communications director, discussed setting up some simple fun comps on the front range. Expect those to be happening by the end of the month. The app being used for the scoring will be Spedmo. If you haven’t gotten it yet, it’s free, download it now and put it in your paragliding bundle. It has lots of great paragliding news, weather and the ability to upload, store, and score your flights among lots of other great, and did I say free, features.
A big shout out to our event coordinator Adam Lendl for helping with the meeting and all the other big events he’s helping plan—check WhatsApp and the Forum for more details:
20 Apr Repack Clinic 5:30 pm
25 Apr HAM Radio Study Course
BBQs at Lookout and Boulder soon to come
On the “There I Was” safety front we heard about a Boulder South Launch tree landing (30-40’ up). The takeoff was inadvertently executed with a full twist in the risers. The major lesson learned was always complete your preflight checks. The pilot in this case was feeling a little rushed to clear launch. Some takeaways/suggestions on preflights:
-Have a preflight check and do it before every launch
-Say the steps out loud and really look/touch/pull to see if each item is correct
-If you get interrupted, start over
-If something doesn’t look quite right, it isn’t, figure it out before you launch
-Don’t ever launch before you are ready, don’t let others rush you (step aside if required)
We also heard about some high wind kiting where the west winds dipped down and the winds got a lot higher than planned. The pilot got to 30’ flying backwards before being deposited back to earth on some soft ground—luckily unhurt. For a different outcome and a thorough discussion of a similar event, see my write up in the forum safety section, “Kiting Safety and My Accident”.
On the legal front Rahgu showed us some Colorado Statues (33-41-102 among others). The big picture is that when discussing access, before we go the insurance route, there are laws that protect landowners from liability when their land is used by recreational users (users with or without permission to use the land). Good to know and a great place to start when landowners start worrying about liability. However, in our litigious society, someone will always find a way around laws limiting liability. These laws are useful but our sites still require insurance for us to maintain access and fly.
We’re back to where we started the meeting: Access.
--Paraglider, reserve and harness--$4000-$7000
--Helmet, radio and instruments--$100-800
--Access—Priceless (thanks for being good stewards and flying safe)
We also gave a big shout out to the fab four, Peter, Tim, Dusty and Carl. They installed a new windsock mounted in Boulder—yes it did survive the 100 mph winds so they must have done a great job. Thanks for stepping up.
I couldn’t capture every detail of the meeting so try to be there next time if you can. We missed you. If something needs to be expanded with more details or information, just respond and add it on to this post.
Lift and cloud streets…Drinks