Sequatchie Valley Hurricane
Jessie Oliver <<oliver_jessiem>>
Hello TTT Members/Community,
I'm writing to let our TTT community know what's going on with our family and
our community. We have been very stressed and upset by the lies and
manipulations caused by David Hanning and Fly Camp.
My husband and I continue to struggle with the idea of staying in the area at
our forever home, or whether its time to leave this beautiful place because of
how saddened we've become.
My husband has been coming here for twelve years and fell in love with the area
and with TTT. He chose to fly Henson over Lookout because of the great valley
and the way the community made him feel like family. Also, the TTT parties,
events and the weekend meetups with friends made this place more desirable than
anywhere else he flew. The camaraderie was wonderful and heartwarming.
I came here about ten years ago to visit my husband during a team challenge.
When my weekend visit was up, I didn't want to leave. The valley was so enticing
with beauty and outdoor fun, and I was having such a good time with the pilots
here. I remember Curly was one of the first locals I met and how friendly he
was. He shared all kinds of stories with us, told us about the great places to
hike and gave Matt advice on hang gliding in the valley. He was so nice and
always took the time to answer questions. I enjoyed his good mood and smile. We
both loved this place and continued to come down from Ohio to visit.
Fast forward about four years ago when we decided to search for land to build
our dream home. We looked in Colorado, where I grew up, and here in Dunlap
because of my husband's love for hang gliding and paragliding. It was his dream
to live somewhere he could just walk to a launch site and fly anytime. No
driving involved. We also wanted to be a part of the TTT community to help
maintain/take care of this beautiful property for future years to come.
A year and half later we bought our property a few blocks away from launch. Two
and half years later we moved in with our new four week old baby girl.
Since we moved in, our experience has not worked out the way we had hoped.
Honestly, for the last year and a half our experiences at launch have gotten
more uncomfortable than we ever would have imagined. We forced ourselves to
believe that life around Henson's would get better with time. Time heals, right?
Unfortunately, not in this case.
Life at Henson's has changed once David Hanning wanted to establish his business
here. Rick Jacobs also changed and became more distant and unfriendly towards
the club. Since then, our local community has been split. Friends and David's
former employees have left, couples have left, couples have divorced, families
have decided to not to move here and our TTT community is getting smaller.
We started off neutral to both sides. Wanting to stay friends with everyone. My
husband and other TTT hang glider pilots learned how to paraglide from David,
and we were referring people to Fly Camp to take lessons on this up and coming
Since we remained friends with TTT members, David and Elena constantly
questioned us if we were spies for the other side. My father was even asked at
camp if he was a spy. After a while it wears on you. We were told by David that
the other side wasn't really our friends. That if you crossed them they would
turn on you. These people who would supposedly turn on us were the ones that
invited us to dinner when we were camping, offered us a place to stay when the
nights were raining or cold, they came over to help us build our house, raise
our walls, and put in our foundation framing. They were just a phone call away
anytime we needed them. How could this community be the bad egg. We were
supposedly "Drinking their Kool-Aid''.
They never lied to us or told us to stay away from Fly Camp. So if "Drinking
their Kool-Aid'' meant that we were kind, generous and helpful people then by
all means I'll have another drink.
David Hanning said we were friends and we were there for a while. Until our
friendship was tested. Everything he said we realized was a lie, just words, no
true meaning behind them. One day my husband voiced his opinion to a supposed
friend about what he thought David was doing wrong with the TTT and David found
out and sent Rick over to our property to confront us. It didn't end well.
From then on we were bad people, shamed and cast out. After that my husband
and I have never felt comfortable going up to launch. It's been about a year and
a half since my husband has flown at all. At the time it was hard for some
pilots to focus on flying safely when there are people videotaping you, calling
out names at you or making obnoxious noise in hopes that you mess up and they
can catch it on video to use against TTT. In that situation how can anyone feel
comfortable enough to show up to launch or fly safely.
I know a lot of you think David Hanning is a nice guy, and he is when you're a
customer and youre not challenging him on his way of doing things. There are
also a handful of people who don't stand up to David because they fear they
might lose their flying privileges at his flying sites. They might also end up
being belittled and called names by David. There is no excuse to continue to
support a man who lies, makes people feel small and who takes advantage of a
situation for personal gain. It hurts me, and makes me feel sick to my stomach
thinking of everything he has put people through.
David is a smooth talker, very persuasive and conversational. He says the things
people want to hear. I again feel a lot of people who support him don't know
that he can be manipulative, vindictive and has a very abusive side to him. They
have never seen it because they've never had a confrontation with him. If you're
one of his previous or current customers remember that he will always be sweet
and kind to you because he wants referrals, good reviews, repeat business,
anything that will benefit him. Why would he ever want to look bad in front of
David also talks a lot about people being mentally ill because of their actions.
I have a real big problem with people making fun of mental illness. It is
nothing to make jokes about. Also, calling my husband a bad father just to get a
reaction out of him is horrible and wrong. He is a wonderful father who takes
great care of our daughter.
David is not a good influence on our community. He may be good to the
paragliding community but locally he doesn't support or help out the Henson
community. He is only here to make money on property that was given to him. He
also pushes potential clients to join TTT, not because he supports the club but
because he wants to run all the locals out so he can have control of the club.
Much of this has been insinuated on Facebook. If his clients join the club they
can use TTT parking, bathrooms, clubhouse, camping and top and bottom landing
fields while they are learning from him. Nothing to do with supporting a local
club and being a part of the TTT community.
There are so many of us that David has hurt, and too many people who have turned
a blind eye. This is now the time to stand up against a bully and put a stop to
his intimidation and manipulation. Its in all our best interest that we should
stand together and help the Henson community become a happy place for locals and
If that means the community builds a fence to separate his business from the
club, we should do it. Or any other proactive actions that will bring a more
peaceful environment. We need to stand together for the betterment of Henson and
TTT has stood the test of time and I would hate to see it slowly disappear.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, I appreciate you. This was our dream
location and it has been anything but that. We spent 2 1/2 years building this
home by hand. My father, who is a carpenter by trade, designed it. We want to
feel at home here. Please help take a stand against David and Fly Camp, and
bring our community/friends/flying family back together. We need each other
during this stressful time.
Thank you and Namaste,
The fence has been built.