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Tim Ward
General Member

I have a question about a hypothetical scenario. Let’s say that sometime in the future the club votes to accept AUA ratings the same way we accept USHPA ratings now. Lack of insurance (from AUA) aside, let’s say that a pilot or instructor loses his USHPA ratings for one reason or another, but he/she is still a member of the AUA. Will that pilot or instructor be allowed to continue to fly or teach at AJX? What if that pilot or instructor loses their USHPA ratings and is not an AUA member? Will they be allowed to join the AUA and continue to fly and/or instruct at AJX as before? How is that going to work?

This isn’t a board position; this is personal opinion.

I think that should be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Ratings are, or should be, a convenient, compact way to transmit information about a particular pilot’s skill level.

Before hang ratings, it could be difficult to travel to other established sites, because the local pilots could be very protective (perhaps rightfully so) of their sites.  Sometimes it took a little negotiation to establish bona fides.  There were pilots around who had just bought a glider and didn’t know what they didn’t know.  Perhaps more so then than now, because I think now most pilots have had professional-level instruction of some sort.

I don’t look at ratings as an entitlement.  They’re certainly not a license.  They’re basically an instructor’s opinion of a pilot’s skill level and ability to follow rules.

If someone has all the highest ratings and signoffs and yet still demonstrates a lack of judgement that endangers other pilots, then I’d still prefer not to have to dodge them in the approach to AJX.

Conversely and contrariwise, if someone were to lose their ratings for (just imagining at random) being a thorn in the USHPA board’s side,  then, while I’d possibly agree that shows a certain lack of judgement, it’s not the kind that endangers the people they’re flying with.  If USHPA insurance isn’t a requirement to keep the site, then I’d probably share airspace without many qualms.

In my mind, those are pretty black-and-white scenarios.  Others might be considerably more gray.  There might be situations where there isn’t a really good answer, which is why keeping it on a case=by-case basis might be warranted.