Forum Replies Created
You mock my pain.
Whatever you do, do not look at today’s windgram.
I get it that for safety reasons the USFS has closed the forest and access to all remote areas so the 750 and Marshal are obviously closed, but the Crestline launch has a public road to it and is surrounded by private houses whose residents are obviously exempt from any travel restriction, nor is there is any other restriction of public travel on the road to launch. AJX is not on Forrest Service property and therefore not affected. The restricted activities on the USFS website says nothing about HG or PG activity (see: https://www.fs.usda.gov/sbnf).
I don’t want to be a radical about this, but thinking rationally, why can’t we fly from Crestline? We don’t use sources of ignition (certain exceptions in the LZ), carry no flammable fuels and pose no risk of creating a fire. As to causing stress on emergency services, I suppose this is a valid consideration, but many of the services required in the remote chance a rescue is needed are not the same services fighting forest fires. In addition, the fire fighting TFR is well to the east of most of our flying activities and can be easily avoided.
We’ve had so many restrictions placed upon us this year I’m getting weary of the blanket remedies. I’m not going to be a radical about this, but come on. This is just getting ridiculous.
CSS has sound policies and rules in place. CSS has a beautiful website with tons of necessary and helpful information. CSS has an on-site display clearly depicting our rules, landing pattern and membership requirements. CSS has many superbly qualified instructors and many experienced pilots willing to share their knowledge. You would think with all these resources there would be few problems, yet this does not appear to be the case. It’s time we give serious consideration and effort to implementing changes that will make a difference.
We don’t like rules. No one does. They hinder our freedom. But what must be realized, is that true freedom is first grounded in discipline.
There is no perfect system and those bent on ignoring the rules and doing there own thing surely will. Funston doesn’t have a full time staff and yet they’re able to effectively police their site. Why? Because they have a system and a club membership willing to ask questions and enforce the rules. Why should we be different?
Stickers aren’t a perfect solution, but they could help. They would at least help identify persons who aren’t members or may not be familiar with AJX. True they may not prove a current membership, but if there were two kinds, annual stickers and temporary ones, you could at least distinguish between the two and ask a question. Few of us like to play cop, but if the alternative is accidents and loss of our flying site, we might just pony up.
I don’t believe a site brief by a local pilot hanging around the LZ is a guarantee of a good briefing. The site brief should be done by a mentor. Not necessarily an instructor (though all instructors should be mentors) but an experienced local pilot who’s received some instruction on how to give a brief. I would guess there are several dozen persons who could serve in this capacity. A list of mentors should be listed on our club’s website. The briefing should also be free of charge so as to provide no obstacle to anyone needing a briefing. Stickers and a log book could be kept on site with access granted to all mentors. It just doesn’t seem that hard to me.
I feel like I’m preaching to the choir here as its the same motivated folks who respond. Though it’s not a particularly supportive choir as I hear a mostly negative tune. Of course there will be violations, and yes it will cost a few bucks, and it will absolutely be a challenge to get it going, but come on… we got a problem here. Let’s do something!
Just a reminder for the H4 test prep clinic with Zac Majors tomorrow at 4:00 PM. PG flyers welcome too as much of the material will relate to them as well.
Also….. the C19 precautions will be observed and expected by all participants.
Thank you David for bringing this to our attention and for your thoughtful replies.
Experienced pilots and club members have developed many good policies for our self governance, but as you point out, enforcement is the challenge. I see no good solution other than frequent reminders and, as you often do, personally ask pilots you don’t recognize if they’re familiar with our site rules and have current or visiting memberships. This may create awkward situations or even hostile responses, but it may also avert undesirable outcomes. Instructors are also one of the crucial links in ensuring the rules are understood and followed. Marc’s suggestion for high visibility signs directing visiting pilots to the site rules couldn’t hurt and quite possibly help. Perhaps a similar notice should be posted at each of our common launch sites as well.
The other significant issue needing to be addressed is pilots flying wings they’re not rated to fly. This is a more complicated issue but I believe the problem is not rare. I personally think the rating system is too inflexible and outdated reflecting a bygone era of our sport. Nevertheless, I’ve found little support for revising it. The current system will clearly ensure adequate experience, but it’s rigid requirements make attaining the advanced ratings an inordinately long process. I got my Airline Transport rating in less time than it will take me to meet the minimum qualifications to become an an H4. Does this make sense? There certainly should be some numerical minimums for each rating, but instructors should also be given flexibility to evaluate a pilot’s skill and experience in granting the progressive ratings.
This problem goes well beyond our club, but it would be nice if a groundswell of support would urge our national organization to implement changes. Perhaps something along the lines of all pilots matter.
I’m not an attorney or particularly knowledgeable about insurance, but wonder if liability for anyone guilty of the four exceptions listed above is in fact limited to the individual. It seems attorneys always go after the deep pockets and the collective pocket of CSS is probably bigger than any of it’s members.
If it’s true we’re not liable for the actions of individuals who are not in compliance with our insurance policy, then there’s nothing to worry about, BUT, if we do have culpability, then certain actions should be taken.
Some of these might be:
1. CSS rules clearly presented at the LZ.
2. All pilots sign a document stating they have read and understand the rules governing flights at AJX. This is perhaps an annual requirement for members and a daily one for visitors.
3. All shuttles check that riders are current USHPA and CSS rated members.
4. Anyone seen violating any of the club rules should have a mandatory review of their documents (ie: current memberships and ratings) and counseling for corrective action.
5. A daily sign in sheet to provide a record of pilot and site activity.
There are other issues of concern, but I fear too long a post will distract from the above discussion. I’m a relative newby to the sport, but not new to aviation. The free flight community prides itself on self regulation with a minimum of government oversight. In my experience as a professional pilot, I found it ironic that insurance companies were actually far more strict in their governance than was the FAA. Insurance companies are the true regulators of aviation. A simple fact we must face.
No, I’ve not noticed any problem with over spray from the Sailkote. I was warned that Sailkote smells bad, and it does, but if goes away quickly.
There are exceptions to the face mask rule. This is one of eight exceptions:
Persons who are engaged in outdoor work or recreation such as swimming, walking, hiking, bicycling, or running, when alone or with household members, and when they are able to maintain a distance of at least six feet from others.
Clearly the distance rule cannot be maintained in a shuttle, etc, but easily done at both of our launch sites, and in the LZ (outside the shelter areas) so wearing masks is a personal choice and not a mandate. Studies on the spread of the virus have shown outdoor transmission is rare and low risk.
A thorough explanation of Sacramento’s face mask rules can be found with the below link:
Lots to read here and good stuff. Just want to add that I experienced a little LZ congestion with a PG last Friday. The PG landed very close to the cone we HG pilots aim for. I tried to loiter to give him time to clear, but he was slow and I had to come in. Ended up landing less than 10 yards from him. It all ended well, but I did express my annoyance with choice of landing spots. He was apologetic and asked where he was supposed to go. I asked if he was new and he said this was his first time at our site. I personally can’t imagine flying a new site and not finding out how things work, especially a place as busy as AJX, but that was his story.
If suppose its possible to miss the notices on the board, not check the website and make assumptions on how things run, so if you’re hosting a newby or see someone new, you might politely ask them if they’re familiar with our site. Assumptions and lais·sez-faire attitudes can ruin your day.