Tuesday, August 07, 2007

2007 USHPA Awards

Aloha! The following is a copy of my letter of nomination to USHPA in support of HPA as the 2007 "Chapter of the Year".



I have traveled to several states and countries; met and flown with pilots from "all over the world." Without fail, PG & HG pilots form an extraordinary community.

The question: What makes the Hawai'i Paragliding Association (HPA) extra-extraordinary?

The answer: Aloha.

What the heck does that mean?

“Aloha” is a rather ineffable word; with many definitions ranging from “Love” to “Welcome” to a sense of “Peace & Spiritual Awareness.”

“Aloha” is, also, a term we use to describe the manner in which visitors to the islands say they feel they’ve experienced the culture and magic that is Hawai’i: The Aloha State.

This sense can be summed-up in a recounting of some of the experiences of the many, many, many visiting pilots, visiting instructors, visiting family members, and from the "non-flying" community:

"I've never been around such a close-knit group of pilots. You folks really care about each other, all of the visiting pilots that fly with you, and the places in which you fly. You people exude ‘Aloha,’" visiting pilot from Washington on the difference between the members of his (and other US Mainland clubs) and the “feeling” that he and his traveling/flying buddy experienced while visiting Oahu.

“I have been training pilots for many years. I have never been treated with the kind of ‘Aloha’ that I have experienced here,” USHPA Tandem Administrator on his experience with providing a T-3 Clinic on Oahu.

“Thank you so much! It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. This was my 'Aloha,'” the daughter of a visiting pilot after a nearly two-hour tandem flight at Makapu’u (completely free of charge . . . just because.)

“Thank you so much for putting on this demonstration for the children. They were absolutely amazed. What a wonderful service to the community. What a wonderful gift of 'Aloha.'” counselor of the local YMCA Children’s Day Camp after a paragliding demonstration before nearly 150 children (7-12 year-olds.)

I could certainly go on and on about the members and actions of the HPA: From our USHPA award winning website; to our internationally recognized pilots, competitors, photographers, and videographers; to our fine instructors; to our damned fun BBQ’s on the beach, but I this isn’t such a forum.

One only need peruse the USHPA magazines of the past 10 years to realize how much the HPA has contributed to the world of free flight. Year after year, HPA members produce pictures, stories, accident reports/analyses, videos, new pilot and advanced pilot training, and community advancement for both paragliding and hang gliding.

If the goals of any USHPA chapter are to create a sense of community between pilots; ensure safe instruction to students; engage family and friends in the joy of free flight; inform and instruct the public at large; and promote the sport of free flight, it is hard to find a USHPA chapter more engaged in these goals than the Hawai’i Paragliding Association.

All of this from one of the smallest states, with one of the smallest populations in the US.

Should HPA be “Chapter of the Year”?

I believe the answer is, “Yes . . . Without question.”

I invite every member of the HPA to follow suit.
Please take a few minutes to nominate our club as "Chapter of the Year."


Oh yeah . . . just for the irony . . . feel free to nominate me for, "Safety Award,"



Brazilian Ray said...

good one, Pete!

Gravity said...

Brilliant, "Nuf said". Almost

PS - "Warm ocean water & soft rubber trees to land in..."