CSS FFF Capital Pool Donation


I would like to start a CSS  FFF insurance capital donation pool.

It is an exceptionally worthy cause.  I'll pony up 500 bucks to start it off.

Donate to CSS, then CSS will in turn donate the funds toward the FFF campaign.

ALso, note that it is for the FFF so it is directed accordingly.!

Hello Dan,

As always, thank you for your efforts and contributions.  Is this fund part of the USHPA effort or just for the CSS site?  If it is just for our club site, what is the fundraising goal amount needed.

Thanks, Alan

It is going to the USHpA's effort. I thought it might spur more interest to bring it

to the local level. Sorta like team spirit and all that. Certainly anyone can send

direct to USHPA per the member email blast that went out a bit ago.

Summer got crazy with kids, then soccer (I coached one of my kids); and a million other excuses.  Now that the weather has turned REALLY crappy I'm ready to start flying again....LOL  I think I'm an H2, but not sure my rating ever got submitted so maybe I'm back to H0 ;)


Don't put too much pressure on me Nate.  Like Rob said (the gist of it not a direct quote): DNA is no substitute for practice, experience, and hard work.  I'm just out to have fun and fly safe.  See you soon I hope.

nice, glad to know things are well..

yep...sounds like a Rob quote lol

The weather will get better soon enough and we're glad you will be back; always an honor to fly with a Wills! yes

Details are at the USHGPA's website headline article  " FREE FLIGHT FOREVER "

I am mailing my CSS team spirit donation today to ..................


P.O. Box 9052, San Bernardino, CA 92427-9052,

In regards to the insurance issue, this was just posted by Mark Forbes on the HG.org site:

There has been some discussion of whether we could continue to just obtain pilot and site insurance from our insurers, probably with a premium increase, and leave the instructors hanging. That idea was floated as an alternative to forming an RRG and self-insuring, since "after all, that's what we used to do."

Yes and no....we had a hole in our coverage related to paid instruction, and we plugged that hole when we obtained instructor insurance. We didn't make a big deal of it at the time because we didn't want to panic our landowners into shutting down flying sites. Going back to that situation isn't wise, and leaves us exposed to serious risk.

But that's moot. We've now received word that our insurers do not intend to renew ANY of our policieswhen they expire at the end of February. Talk of continuing some partial level of coverage under the existing policy is no longer on the table. This just came to light in a string of emails over the past few days. We either find a way to self-insure through the RRG, or we're done. Until this morning, I was of the opinion that we might still have a chance to renew the CGL policy, if all else failed. That is no longer the case.

This really is "for all the marbles". As of today's report, we have donations totaling just under $113,000 from 440 donors, with an average donation of $256.44. What that means is that 4.6% of our members care enough about our sport to help it survive. REALLY? Are we that apathetic?

Come on...I know we can do better than that. If we all pitch in a hundred bucks, we're done with this thing and we can get on with flying at our favorite sites.

Mark G. Forbes
USHPA insurance chairman

Read more: http://www.hanggliding.org/viewtopic.php?t=33814#ixzz3uWdNkjFS


It appears that this fundraising drive and plan is the only game in town, so I hope it is not a question of "If" you donate, but only a question of how much and whether it is done sooner or later as the clock is ticking.  If all USHPA members donate $100 each this goal should be achieved.  Please bump this thread frequently as a reminder and due to the relatively short time frame.

Heres more information on the mechanics of the funding and investor payback courtesy of Mark Forbes:

The funding so far (exclusive of donations) is a letter of credit on the USHPA office building, a letter of credit on the Foundation's assets, cash from USHPA, cash from PASA, cash from schools. We have a $100,000 top-off donation from a member to finish the funding, and that leaves $830,000 to make up the whole pot. We're looking to sell the building, but there's no guarantee that'll happen before we need the money so a LOC is what we can use for right now, at about 2/3 of the actual value. The Foundation is in with a LOC as well, because that way it doesn't have to sell a lot of stock (into a down market right now) and turn it into cash. That LOC only gets drawn on if the RRG has a bad year and has to dip into its capital base to pay claims...which is unlikely in the first year or two, and hopefully longer than that.

So far, donations have totaled about $120,000 in the first couple of weeks, with about 5% of the membership contributing. We need everybody to step up and contribute, an average of about $100 per pilot. Beyond that we're looking for individuals interested in lending a minimum of $10,000 who meet the SEC definition of an accredited investor, found here:


Those individual lenders will receive a variable interest rate on their loan, compounded annually and derived from the profits of the RRG. The interest rate is capped at 10% maximum per year. We expect pay off the loans in 3-7 years depending on how well the RRG performs and how well we manage to hold down claims and expenses. If we do well, the interest rate will be higher and the payoff will be sooner. If not, the interest rate could be as low as zero, and repayment could be delayed until we have sufficient profits accumulated in the RRG to satisfy the Vermont insurance commissioner's requirements for repayment. 

There is no guarantee that we can find lenders willing to take this kind of a risk. We hope so, and we think so, but it's speculative and it will cost us more in the long run than just funding the RRG up front through USHPA money. If we can do it all with donations, then we'll be much better off. Profits in the RRG will then be used to retire the letters of credit, which would otherwise tie up the Foundation and USHPA assets. After that, the RRG can set its premiums based on its own history, and charge its insured customers (us) whatever is necessary to service claims and cover expenses. We expect that to be lower than what we've been paying, so that's how USHPA members eventually benefit from the RRG's profits. That, and we have a stable source of insurance that's not going to pay out bogus claims or panic if we have a bad year or two.

The sooner we get this done, the sooner we can get the RRG approved and start writing policies to cover pilots, sites and instructors. Waiting just makes it harder to do, and forces us to spend money to speed up the process. There's no reason not to donate NOW, since donations are refundable if we don't manage to make this work. March 1 is when our insurance runs out, but in a perfect world we'd already have the RRG up and running TODAY to get through various regulatory delays in different states. We don't yet, so we're going to be scrambling to get it all in place as soon as we have the money. Waiting costs us money! 


But more is needed!

Many pilots have been stepping up and donating to this huge effort.

There are lot's of posted threads on hangliding.org, paragliding forum & USHPA websites.

We would encourage you to read them and act soon. 

Fly Safe!

My last treasurer's report from October 2015 showed over $60,000 in the bank. That amount is under 2 years of operating expenses.

The board has approved a donation of $2500 of CSS funds.

Thank you CSS! 

Following Saturdays meeting the CSS Board agreed to donate another 5000$ toward the RRG fund.

Martin Palmaz added that there could be a 2 month gap from the time the reserve is funded and policies and certificates issued. Please add your contribution to the effort. Sooner is better.

We had a very informative meeting yesterday at AJX with Martin Palmaz, the Executive Director of USHPA. After hearing the current facts on the USHPA drive on the FFF RRG insurance issue, we held a special meeting to add more club funds to this effort.

The board has approved an additional amount of $5000 of CSS funds towards this effort.

This brings a total amount of $7500 of CSS funds "only", donated towards this effort.

We know and Thank all of you who have contributed on your own to USHPA to help with this huge fund raising drive for the RRG. It was explained that the sooner it gets funded, they can move forward with all the regulatory work to be done.

Thank You CSS Members!




I support and applaud the boards decision to bump up the contribution from the CSS.  I encourage any individuals to step up and pitch in what you can, and again it apparently makes a difference if you can do it sooner rather than later (for those procrastinators coming from a semi-reformed procrastinator).  Thanks again to those that have chipped in. See you in the air, Alan

Great idea, Dan.  RIght on, CSS!  I would throw in here with CSS but USHPA site got my donation already, after watching the countdown on hanggliding.org.  C'mon people, this isn't just each of us paying a relatively small bill, it's building a pile of small chips into an instrument enabling us to fly.  Given the difference between flying next year and scrimping for a newer wing, I will gladly forego the wing.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my pilot homies

Maybe we can have a CSS Yard sale with the money from the sold items to be sent in to FFF.. or trade labor for donation to FFF.... tandem flight for donations to FFF etc.....

Anyone have any junk stuff from shop to sell item and help donate $ to USHPA..
Any tandem pilots have do more tandem flight for get collect $ from many customer .
CSS membership/friend need do help make more $ rise for ushpa....

Rebar-Dan is out of town for a day or two ; i could sneek-in and grab his ATOS to sell ?

He will Never miss it !! --------- HA !!!


I'll have money to donate , at the first of the year , when i get paied .



FWIW - SHGA donated $5k.  SHGA has fewer members than CSS and has a smaller bank balance!

FYI - second hand report from Sunday's (1/10/16) SHGA club meeting with the USHPA Big Wigs - 17% of the USHPA membership have made a contribution.

This observation follows the Pareto rule - a very common effect in many social\contribution scenarios. It is practically expected:


If the matter is so important (and i believe it is), why doesn't USHPA just hike the fees for 2016? Seems this would provide a more sure-bet and would yield more control on the outcome. I mentioned to J. Bether in the LZ a while ago that only 20% of people would carry the load due to Pareto effects and now that prediction looks about right.

It takes centralized coordination along with enforcement to acheive an evenly distributed effort. USHPA can leverage their role to do more than just coordinate. Otherwise, from a sociological perspective, certainly one can expect huge un-eveness in contribution. But hey, at the end of the day, if that is good enough then fine...whatever does the job.




Dues went from $100 to $150.  I'm guessing fees going from $100  to $250ish would have resulted in fewer renewals.

The same source said that the average donation is $50.

As for membership fee increases - it is my understanding that the Big Wigs determined that a greater increase in annual fees would result in a drop in renewals.  Therefore the $150 is their best guess of overall maximum income.  Also, remember that renewals are spread over the year and they need the money NOW (well 3/1/16).  Of the approx. 9,400 members it would be interesting to know how many have flown in the last 6 months or 1 year.  It will also be interesting to see how many non-renewals there will be.


Well, it is not too clear how anyone makes such a determination. Alternatively, it would have been simple to poll:

Would you, the USHPA pilot, like to:

A) Endure a 1-time annual renewal of fee of $300. Guarantees site access.
B) Raise fee to $150, and employ a fundraiser for the remainder. Risks site access on f.r. outcome.

I feel most pilots would choose (A). Its just not that much more money (like, half a downtube?).

Pilots will tend to take a sure-shot when in trouble. Regardless, an easy way to be certain here is to simply ask!

With membership fees at $100 for pilot and $250 Rogallo, Calendar year 2014 USHPA spent $466K for the Instructor and site/member policy.  W/ no spending deficit. 

(From the USHPA https://www.ushpa.aero/member_financials.asp)

9400 members hopefully renew at 150 each.  Assuming budget numbers close to 2014 in 2016

except the insurance, of course. You have (9400*50) = $470K additional revenue plus whatever the Rogallo

increase is above $50 and add the increase in 30day temp fees.  Grossly oversimplified, yes. The 470+466K = 936K$ will arrive over the course of the next 12 months as renewals arive, but in order to kick off the RRG, the 2M spendable dough needs to be in hand.

Hence the mayday fund drive.  I also assume theres a load of process that has to occur from the time the financial target is met until certificates of insurance get mailed out. Hence the sense of urgency to get the funding well before Mar 1.

Keeping in mind that the HQ bldg is being used as a liquid asset in the event of a major claim. I'd assume it would be one of the first things pulled 'out of hawk' with the revenue stream increase.

edit: corrected 3d grade math error...



Dan, would it help to renew your 2016 USHPA dues ($150/yr.) now, instead of waiting till mid year when some pilots dues are due then?. It would put more money in the USHPA accounts for their use now.

If 9000 pilots renewed now, it would give them some working capital.

Just a thought!

According to the FFFsite this morning, the fundraising goal is as good as met with $336 to go a full month before the drop dead date. Excellent news. Now, hopefully First Flight will extend the existing policy to cover the gap until our RRG is able to write coverage and certs. 

I donated $367.00 to cap it off this morning. The FFF thermometer visualization didn't change yet; seems it is not updated in real time.

It's good to know a Crestliner "Rang The Bell" Nate.

May you have many more years of  great hangliding & (now) paragliding flights. 

Fly Safe!

Thanks Jeff for your excellent tenure as president, it has been fun both working and flying with you and i'm sure will continue to be.

The FFF amount report still hasn't been updated, but we should update that header on the CSS website because the goal is reached. My receipt from yesterday is below. Glad i could join you all in this effort. Thanks.