Home Forums Safety Incident Report: PG vs Bushes Below Marshall Peak Launch, January 21, 2021

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    David Webb
    General Member

    Thank you, Jonathan.

    David Webb
    General Member

    Cool – Mitch has solved all of our problems: it is indeed LEGAL to fly a foot launch aircraft from anywhere in the San Bernardino national forest. Maybe all of the local students will start landing out in the wash or in the bushes then? Seems like a wonderful solution versus paying a small fee and landing on a huge grassy LZ.

    “Easy inexpensive mechanism for any unrated non-members to acquire a 30 day temp novice membership” – this has been up for a year now. Before that, there was a day-use fee (which was $10). $20 for a month doesn’t seem out of control to me, especially for how expensive our flight gear is.

    ”vindictive control freak attention whoring” – that’s a super interesting position from someone that posts insults a lot on a flying club’s forum for a club to which he neither belongs nor contributes.


    Yes. What David said. It’s legal to fly from the local mountains through our local airspace. Part 103.

    The LZ is however private property allowing public use based on specific regulations being followed. And it is in an almost identical situation as the Lake Silverwood State Recreation Area. Both are part of FERC Project P-2426  with the LZ created following the FERC amendment dated 7-23-1990 to that project. By luck and careful negotiating we don’t have state hired uniformed employees guarding the LZ with a gate that opens only on particular hours and days like at that recreation area. The state is trusting the CSS to do that for them. It is a win win for the pilots and the State of California. The state requires that the CSS provides insurance and the insurance company in turn requires certain regulations to be followed such as USHPA membership and pilots skills being evaluated, both of which the CSS is responsible to monitor.

    It should be obvious that we all benefit by unifying and not scattering our landings in the adjacent flood control. But scattered landings are a minor risk when compared to Andy Jackson landings not meeting our insurance requirements.

    The old expression applies regarding our LZ. It is ours, to lose.

    I used to believe that the HG and PG pilot community was unstoppable and able to meet any challenges that the city, county, state or federal governments threw at us. We did indeed jump all those hurdles. You have no idea how proud I was of how we all pulled together to get the LZ.

    I never imagined that the pilots would encore those successes by tripping over their own feet just trying to walk a straight line.


    David Webb
    General Member

    Well-put, Rob.

    David Webb
    General Member

    I don’t understand the anger, or why the need to spend energy posting here if you aren’t interested in being a part of or contributing to CSS. If it were me, I’d just focus on flying.

    I’m not sure who you asked about the temp membership, but everyone has been made aware of the monthly memberships via this website, email blast, and in person (there was also a vote on a bylaw update so that we could make that change). If you have questions about any of that and don’t feel like you’re getting the answers you need from someone you’ve asked in the LZ, please email info@crestlinesoaring.org – I check that quite often and usually respond pretty quickly.

    Re your tandem landing – I literally have no idea what you’re referring to. To date, I have not once yelled at anyone in the LZ (either in the air or on the ground) – I’m not a yeller, so perhaps you’re confusing me with someone else? I think you’re threatening me here for literally no reason at all, which I just don’t get.

    Please refrain from the threats, even if they’re just online – we just don’t need any more of that than we already have. At the end of next week, no one has to listen to me anymore about safety related issues, since it will be the end of my term on the board (I crave that authoritarian sense of power so much that I decided not to run again), so just have patience until then.


    Not sure what Mitch means by an easement claim. Here is where we were in Feb 1989. The Dept of Water Resources informed Juanita it intended to purchase her land at fair market value to build the Devil’s  Canyon 2nd Afterbay. Juanita would have the option to do what she wanted with that money. If she chose not to sell then the DWR intended to condemn the land and a judge would decide what value Juanita would get for it. The amount of money that Juanita would receive was estimated to be perhaps in the $150k to $200k range at most. There was no way that the money received would be enough to build another Airpark. Additionally there were no obvious sites that were suitable.

    An embarrassing challenge was that the business definition of the LZ was almost non existent plus it was conducting operations that violated San Bernardino city ordinance. Neither of these were huge challenges but would be additional hurdles to tackle.

    Pilots bickering among themselves was not making it attractive to convince Juanita to spend her nest egg and build another landing field from scratch. Pilots even started dividing into sides independently drawing the DWR into the pilot bickering. It was a time of tact and diplomacy. What else is new?

    Mitch is absolutely right that the State had no desire to operate a hang gliding facility. They wanted nothing to do with it mostly due to obvious liabilities.

    That was Feb 1989. As mentioned in a previous post we were awarded rights to receive a replacement landing field just 17 months later by means of an amendment to the FERC license to Devils Canyon 2nd Afterbay. That was a busy and challenging 17 months.


    Gary Anderson
    General Member

    David, you’ve done an excellent job as safety director and creating a fantastic website. For those members who don’t know, David’s website improvements have dramatically improved our records and eliminated an overwhelming management burden on future directors.

    Well done David Webb!

    David Webb
    General Member

    Thanks Gary!

    Albert Sharp
    General Member

    I believe accidents and incidents should be published so that we can all learn from them.  The pilot and instructor were not named and I also agree with that and feel that’s the professional way to do it.  I hope that trend continues with the new Safety Director.

    David, thank you for being part of the solution and for your efforts this past year in your position and with the website.

    Fly Safe Everyone.

    John Benario
    General Member

    I agree David has done a great job.  I hope the members support the new safety director with the continuation of moving the club  into a safer, more professional (which I use as meaning holding a skill that garners respect of others), more enjoyable environment.



    Well stated Albert.

    We can all learn from our lessons.

    As they say” There are no mistakes in life, just lessons to be learned”!

    I’ve hiked back from a few of them.

    Fly Safe!


    Has anybody (besides me) reached out to the instructor to ask wtf? After reading this thread it doesn’t seem solution based, just instructor bashing based. My intel is that the student was USHPA, had attempted to sign up to CSS online before flying and failed to complete it for some reason.
    I think y’all should be facilitating compliance by making it easier to sign up or renew- having working wifi in LZ might help- instead of bashing instructors that are building pilot member base. They’ve already got onerous uphill battles from the .org.
    Why don’t we have a site monitor? So many many pilots fly and land at ajax without proper credentials. Seems as if this instructor is being targeted (again) and fueled by others who have conflicted business interests.

    David Webb
    General Member

    Not looking to start conflicts here or bash anyone. My observation (from the air) was that there was quite a bit of time for an instructor/observer to tell the pilot to turn away from terrain, if that person was observing the pilot. Minor nitpick about the club membership or ushpa rating, but the club does require membership to fly here (that includes students). Since there was another similar incident with a student of the same instructor (this one was definitely unsupervised and also had no ushpa rating or club membership and they launched from Crestline which is a P3 launch), I thought those facts were with mentioning. I have no beefs with any of our instructors, but in these last couple of cases, I think we as a club can do better.


    So did you talk to the instructor? Or just post here in the hope that it would draw out information?

    David Webb
    General Member

    My attempts to reach them have mostly failed (for my entire year in this position). Not sure if my emails are getting lost on the internet or simply being ignored. That instructor (and anyone else that has relevant information) is welcome and encouraged to reach out to safety@crestlinesoaring.org. Open door here.

    I received information directly from the pilot and from others who have spoken to the instructor. Have also spoken to  USHPA and RRRG who have done their own interviews. Hopefully that is sufficient? Also, I don’t have any conflicting business interests with any of the instructors – I’m not in the instruction or flight business, and if I’m lucky, get to fly maybe once a week or every other week. I’m not exactly out getting beers with anyone at the club either – I live in San Diego and come up to fly before jumping back in the car for a long drive home.

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