What kind of projects promote free flight?
Projects that involve preservation, safety, education and competition promote free flight. The FFF works with local clubs and organizations to protect sites and keep them open for pilots. Power lines that render a landing zone unusable, federal or state policies that impact campsites near flying sites, roads to launch, roads to landing zones and the implementation of easements or assistance in purchasing land. Here are a few examples of both past and current success stories.
In 2005 a matching grant of $10,000 was awarded for purchase and an easement of the West Rutland Launch in Vermont, which will allow
Hang gliding to continue there for years into the future.
Safety Campaigns and Education
“Hook in!” the two words commonly seen on hang glider launch ramps across the country, have helped to reduce those types of accidents over the years. These visual reminders are an example of what can come from problem solving as a community to minimize risk.
In Europe, sports like hang gliding and paragliding are highly valued by the culture and supported by the community at large. American pilots are grossly underfunded by comparison, putting them at a disadvantage. Teams like the 2005 years X Alps paraglider pilots are a group of highly accomplished and deserving pilots.
Dave Turner, Dawn Westrum, Honza Rejmanek, Gavin McClurg
Their accomplishments alone do not help them compete at a world-class level. They need to have the necessary logistical support while there and to get there and then back home they need financial resources. While most of the money comes from there own pockets sometimes it is not enough to compete with European teams. http://www.usparaglidingteam.org
Resources to Keep Free Flight Opportunities Available
In many cases, negotiating with local, state and federal agencies can be overwhelming. Private land owners also have a relationship with local clubs. The quality of those relationships and the negotiations can keep free flight alive for years to come.
In many cases a project seems too big. “Our club doesn’t have the funds to do that.” Small organizations and groups of pilots may not realize that the Foundation for Free Flight is designed to support their efforts. Accepting proposals for worthy projects is part of the mission. Building ramps, burying power lines and assisting with legal fees are the kind of projects the Foundation for Free Flight is looking to support.
What you can do?
Besides donating to the Foundation, you can help on a local level. If your club or team has a project that seems overwhelming, consider submitting a proposal. We want to support free flight in the USA. You are invited and encouraged to submit proposals for the next deadline.
If your organization is interested in applying for a grant, the application process can be simplified by contacting the Foundation for Free Flight grants committee before completing a grant application. Call Foundation for Free Flight at 559-338-2370 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief description of your project. A Foundation for Free Flight Grants Program Advocate will then contact you to discuss your project and provide information that will help you with the application process.