Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Presidents Mid-Year Report

Northwest Paragliding Club
President’s Mid-Year Report
August, 2012

There is a lot of progress to report on this year.  Thanks in large part to the efforts of Rich Hass; the Club was finally able to complete a new Land Use License agreement (LUL) with DNR.  The LUL is an agreement between the Northwest Paragliding Club and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.  It specifically authorizes the Club’s use of the north and south launches, Chirico Trail, Tiger Mountain Road 1000 and the Highway 18 gate, operation of the Shuttle, construction and use of the Cut, and installation of a windsock tower and a storage container.  It also requires that we maintain our launch areas, the Cut, and Road 1000 between the Cut and launch. 

Most importantly, the LUL requires that we maintain several insurance policies, Including Commercial General Liability, Business Auto, and third party insurance naming DNR as an additional insured.  After a great deal of effort, the Club was able to obtain the required insurance.  The USHPS site insurance is a key portion of the required insurance.  As a result, USHPA membership (and the insurance it provides) is required for flight at Tiger Mountain

Status of the Club’s Projects:
·         The Cut at Tiger Mountain Road is now essentially completed and is in service.  The shuttle now drives all the way from the LZ to launch.  Thanks to Jeff Slotta’s very generous donation of a week’s effort with his large excavator and 3-man crew, we took down about a dozen large trees, placed about 400 cubic yards of gravel and graded the roadway.  We also installed a new culvert at the Tiger Mountain Road entrance and moved and installed one of DNR’s heavy steel gates.   Thanks to Jeff’s contribution, and to many of you who participated in several very successful work parties, we were able to construct the cut for a bit less than $6,000. 
The Cut is now a legal entrance to the interior Tiger Mountain road system, allowing emergency and maintenance vehicles and the Shuttle to drive through.  Private vehicles are not authorized to use the Cut except while performing maintenance. 
·         We are presently in the process of obtaining a county building permit; and installation of the tower will begin on north launch as soon as the permit is obtained.  Volunteers have replaced the cables and bearings on the tower, and it has been mostly painted.  A design for the tower’s foundation has been completed and its proposed location has been approved by DNR.  The tower will allow us to fly a windsock well above the 65-foot-tall trees on north launch, so that it will indicate wind from any direction.  We also hope to install web cams on the tower and move Wind Talker to the tower, improving its accuracy. 
·         About 20 volunteers spent two Saturday mornings in July filling holes and installing carpet on upper north launch.  The new carpet greatly reduces the risk twisting an ankle while launching. 
·         A 20-foot steel container was purchased by the Club and installed on north launch.  The container is primarily for the storage of tools and equipment, but is available for storage of flying gear.  Talk to one of the board members for more information. 
·         The AED (defibrillator) is located on the shelf under the outhouse at north launch.  Patti Fujii arranged for a class to show us how to use it.  About 15 club members took the class and are prepared to zap you, should you need it.  If that time comes, we hope one of the trained individuals is present to operate the device. 
Other News:
  • Matt Amend has volunteered to be the Safety Officer for the Northwest Paragliding Club.  This is a new position on the board.  The requirements for our third person insurance policy have become more complex and USHPA requires each member chapter to work with them to meet those new challenges.  Part of those requirements will be fulfilled by the position of Safety Officer and Matt has already hit the pavement running.
·         The Tandem Fly-In was held on July 21.  We had fewer student pilots than had been hoped for, but still flew about 45 tandems.  The weather and Jesse Saylor’s Bar-B-Q ribs were great, and everyone who flew landed safely.  Total income from the fly-in was $8,332, and the Club netted $3,703 after expenses; and after donating 25% of the net proceeds to the Shuttle. 
·         The floor of the Class B airspace above Tiger was recently lowered from 6,000 to 5,000 feet.  That means that paragliders and hang gliders may not legally fly higher than 4,999 feet over Tiger.  The lower ceiling extends over Squak Mt. and eastward over Tiger to a north-south line located approximately 2000 feet east of north launch.  The lowered airspace extends north to Redmond and south to about 5 miles south of Covington.  Please familiarize yourself with the new airspace boundaries.  Airspace maps can be downloaded at:   http://soaringweb.org/Airspace/NA/HomePage.html  
·         Thanks in large part to Chris Amonson, the Club’s blog editor; there are several new articles and great photos on the club’s blog.  Chris has kept the blog active and it is a good place to go to read about other pilot’s experiences.  Feel free to write up your flying experience and share it with the rest of us. 
·         After a lengthy review of comments from interested parties, including negative comments from the US Navy, the Parks Department decided not to allow paragliding at Ebey’s Landing.      
·         Anti-Dog Poop signs have been posted on the Tiger LZ, advertising the County’s leash law and our desire not to have the property fouled with feces and urine. 
·         The club has purchased a number of white, long-sleeved T shirts bearing the NWPC logo on the front.  These shirts are only given to individuals who make a special effort to help the club.  When you see someone wearing one, feel free to thank them for their efforts.    

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