Mission & Bylaws
The intent of the organizational structure is to give enough leeway to the officers to carry out the duties without letting it become lopsided. It is recognized that without the support of the membership the effort becomes ineffective.
USPPA Mission Statement
This Mission Statement is intended to define the manner in which Article 1, Section 2 of the Bylaws are implemented. The USPPA mission is to promote powered paragliding to both current and potential enthusiasts. The association will take steps which the Executive Officers deems appropriate to preserve and expand pilots’ opportunities to fly. A primary purpose of the mission statement is to specify those fundamental aspects which define the enterprise in which we are engaged, as a means of providing a philosophical base from which the board can take guidance for specific action.
Member Services to include: Access to a pilot rating program, full use of the USPPA web site, a periodic newsletter (if published) for members for the duration of their membership and other additional services as deemed desirable.
Association Administration to include: The administration of the Association’s finances to ensure long term existence; the active pursuit of a level of growth necessary to ensure the Association’s continued ability to provide member services; risk management through prudent management practices.
Operations will be managed to include: Administering programs and disseminate information that will develop, foster and promote practices for safe flying; promoting the acquisition of skills and techniques and knowledge for the continued development of the sport of powered paragliding; recognition and awards for those who make outstanding contributions to the Association and/or the sport of powered paragliding; promoting the development and standardization of methods for pilot training, including airmanship and knowledge of the appropriate FARs and promoting national and international competition;
National Liaisons with:
- Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other governmental organizations to minimize their regulation of powered paragliding activities;
- National Aeronautic Association (NAA), the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) and associated organizations (CIVL);
- Equipment manufacturers
- Commercial operations
- Professional associations
- Aviation community
- News media
Article I – Name and Purpose
The name of the organization is the United States Powered Paragliding Association, hereafter referred to as the Association. It will be a non-profit entity incorporated under the laws of the state of Delaware. Section 2. The purpose of the association is to educate about and promote powered paragliding which is herein defined as low-speed, light-weight, powered human flight in devices which are capable of being foot launched and use a paraglider-type wing for lift. A mission statement will serve to direct the manner in which the purposes of the association are carried out.
Article II – Affiliation
The Association will be affiliated with other organizations of like purpose in a manner to be determined by the Officers.
Article III – Membership
The membership of this association shall consist of the charter members and individual members whose applications for membership have been accepted by the Association.
Section 2 – Modified 12/10/01
Classes of membership shall consist of Full~, School~, Lifer, and School Lifer. Services, privileges and annual dues for each class of members will be as provided in these bylaws and as established by the action of the Executive Officers.
A Full~ member will receive the Association’s periodic publication, if published, at no charge as a benefit of their dues, and may vote as provided for in the bylaws.
A Lifer member will receive all the benefits of a full~ member for life. Any dues increases will be reduced by the amount of the monthly membership in effect at the time they joined or upgraded their membership to Lifer status.
Section 5 – Added 12/10/01
A School~ member will receive the Association’s periodic publication, if published, at no charge as a benefit of dues, and may vote as provided for in the bylaws. A school member, when appropriately rated, will also receive necessary documentation and is authorized to administer ratings.
Section 6 – Added 12/10/01
School~ Lifer members will receive all the benefits of a School member for life.
Article IV – Meeting
The annual meeting of the Association, for the purpose of conducting such business as may properly come before said meeting, shall be held at a time and place to be selected by the Executive Officers. Written notice of the date, time, place and purpose of such meeting shall be published on the Association’s web site 30 days before the meeting. A quorum for the conduct of business shall be five.
The meeting may be in the form of an electronic bulletin board and members present may be in the form of unique contributions during the time period of the meeting.
Article V – Executive Officers & Elections
Section 1. Modified 9/26/2007, 12/23/2015, 5/20/2022
The affairs and business of the Association shall be governed by four (4) Executive Officers (also known as directors) who will serve two-year terms and will be nominated and elected by the full~ members using the current election method.
Elections will alternate years so that the President and Vice President are elected in one year and the Secretary and treasurer are elected in the following year.
In the case of an election error, 100% of the officers can agree to make a change to election procedures for the purpose of correcting the error.
At the time of nomination, election and during his/her term in office, each officer must be a full~ member of the Association in good standing. Any member in good standing can nominate as many full~ members as he/she wishes for each scheduled vacancy. Members receiving two or more nominations will have their names placed on a ballot, unless they so decline. Incumbent Executive Officers will automatically be placed on the election ballot, unless they so decline. In the case of uncontested elections, there will be no voting.
An election method will be used that includes a way to reasonably validate that a only properly entitled voters are only allowed to vote once and has appropriate safeguards in place to prevent tampering or unethical influence. Elections may be done via paper or electronically in a manner approved by at least 75% of the executive officers.
The Executive Officers shall meet at least once a year and whenever called together by the President upon due notice mailed to each officer, or by the Secretary at the written request of two Executive Officers. This meeting can be either in person or electronically.
Three (3) Executive Officers shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at all meetings.
Section 4. Modified 9/27/2007
Any vacancy of the Executive Officers shall be filled, for the remainder of the term, by vote of the remaining Executive Officers.
Each Executive Officer shall serve without compensation or reward, except as otherwise provided by these bylaws. The corporation shall have power to indemnify any officer, employee, or other agent of the corporation to the greatest extent permissible under Delaware law in relation to any liability associated with claims, demands, damages or costs, including but not limited to an action brought (by the Attorney General or a person granted relator status by the Attorney General) for breach of duty relating to assets held in charitable trust. Expenses incurred in defending any proceeding may be advanced by the corporation prior to the final disposition of such proceeding, and the agent shall be indemnified against expenses actually and reasonably incurred by the agent in connection therewith.
Section 6. 07/15/01
Added Officers of the organization will have the authority to revoke an individual’s pilot status on appeal (such as a ratings or instructor status) by unanimous agreement. Any such consideration will be brought before the executive officers, in writing or by email, by the training committee chairman.
Article VI – Officers
(12/23/2015, Elections moved to Article V) Intentionally left blank.
The President shall preside at all meetings, appoint all committee chairmen, sign and execute all contracts in the name of the Association when authorized to do so by the other Executive Officers, and shall have general supervision over the management of all affairs of the Association.
The Vice President shall be vested with all powers and shall perform the duties of the President in case of the absence or disability of the President, and shall perform such duties as delegated to him by the President.
The Secretary shall keep the minutes for all meetings, be responsible for all meeting notices and keep historical records for the Association and shall perform such other duties as are delegated by the President that may be incident in the Secretarial office.
The Treasurer shall work with the President to coordinate procedures and processes for handling the Association’s monies. The treasurer shall review financial reports and shall work with the President, in concert with appropriate committees for planning of financial matters. The treasurer shall report financial status and activities to the membership on a periodic basis.
Section 6. Modified~ 07/15/01 Removed.
Article VII – Committees & Others
Committees may be formed by the President any time deemed necessary.
An Executive Committee will be composed of the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer and shall function for and have the authority of the Executive Officers between meetings of the Board.
Section 3 (Added 07/15/01)
A training committee will be composed of a chairman and at least two committee members. Training committee chairman may be proposed by any officer and will be elected by the executive officers. In the case of a tie vote the president’s selection will take precedence. Training committee members are selected by the chairman and will remain in position for at least one calendar year or their resignation, whichever comes first. For decisions requiring a majority approval of the training committee, any tie will will be broken by having the chairman’s vote prevail.
After Jan 1, 2003 any training committee member, including the chairman, must be a USPPA instructor for at least 180 days prior to the appointment’s effective date. This may be waived for those who have been USHGA instructors for 180 days or by majority vote of the executive committee.
A Business Manager may be added and appointed by the President but must be approved by at least 75% of the executive committee. The treasurer must approve of the appointment. The Business Manager will have duties as assigned by the president in conjunction with, and approval of, the treasurer. The position or appointed person may be rescinded at any time by at least 65% of the Executive Committee.
The Business Manager can write checks, and make financial transactions as requested by the President or Treasurer. A Business Manager may be removed a majority of the Executive Committee.
Section 6 Handling Complaints (Added 06/20/2016)
A complaint resolution facilitator (CRF) will be appointed as the point of contact with the person making the complaint and who it is against. If the CRF has any involvement that would affect impartiality someone else will be appointed for the conflicting case.
A complaint accusing a member of violating any tenet of the association is valid if it is:
1) In writing and sent to the USPPA’s postal or email address,
2) Names the person,
3) Provides appropriate information such as date, place, and what they specifically did,
4) provides enough evidence to identify the accused and the violation.
Valid complaints will be sent to the officers. If the complaint involves instruction or flying-related matter it will be also sent to the training committee.
The CRF will investigate by first providing the de-identified complaint to the accused and getting his/her response.
The CRF, working with the Training Committee and officers will suggest a remedy. First offenses will typically be a warning letter. Second offences will typically be a suspension of the rating for a period. Egregious, willful violations may go up to revocation of ratings and/or membership.
For flying related issues the training committee must approve the remedy by at least 65%. For non flying related matters the remedy must be approved by at least 65% of the officers.
A record of complaints and remedies will be kept in a place available to future leadership.
At least 65% of the executive officers must agree in order for an appeal to be successful.
Article VIII – Executive Committee
The President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer and shall function as the Executive Committee.
The affirmative vote of three (3) of the Executive Officers shall be an act of the Executive Committee, unless the vote of a greater nummber is required by these bylaws.
Any action required or permitted to be taken by the Executive Committee may be taken without a meeting, if all the members of the Executive Committee consent in writing to the action. The written consent or consents shall be filed with the minutes of the proceeding of the members. The action by written consent shall have the same force and effect as the unanimous vote of the Executive Committee.
Any action that may be taken at any meeting of the Executive Committee may also be taken without a meeting by Written Ballot. The Ballots may be delivered to the members of the Executive Committee and returned to the association by courier, mail, or fax. Each ballot shall (1) set forth the proposed action, (2) provide the members of the Executive Committee with an opportunity to specify approval or disapproval of each proposal, and (3) provide a reasonable time in which to return the ballot to the Association. All written ballots shall be filed with the minutes of the proceedings of the board.
Any action that may be taken at any meeting of the Executive Committee may also be taken without a meeting by telephonic polling of the members of the Executive Committee. Prior to the commencement of the polling, the proposed action shall be reduced to written form. The Executive Director or any Executive Committee member may conduct the telephonic polling. The written proposal shall be read to each Executive Committee member polled. The Executive Committee member’s vote shall be written down by the polling party on the written proposal together with the time of the telephonic contact and the telephone number at which the voting Executive Committee member was telephoned. All Written results of telephonic polling of the members of the Executive Committee shall be filed with the minutes of the proceedings of the board.
Article IX – Removal from Office
An Officer may be removed from office, for cause, such as violation of rules of the Association, or for conduct prejudicial to the best interests of the Association. Such action shall require the affirmative vote of 3 Executive Officers at one of their meetings, provided that a statement of the charges and a notice of time and place of the meeting have been mailed to the Officer at least seven days before the meeting and the Director or Officer will have an opportunity to present a defense at the meeting.
Section 2. (Modified 4/22/2002)
An Executive Officer may be removed from office upon submission to the Association of a petition signed by at least fifty percent plus one of the voting members. Receipt of such a petition will require that the vacancy be filled by an election conducted via the current election method.
Copies of letters and petitions requesting removal from office must be sent to the person in question, upon receipt by the Association. Section 4. An Officer may be removed from office for excessive absence from meetings, by unanimous vote of the other Executive Officers, without prior notification.
Article X – Finance
The fiscal year shall be from January 1st to December 31st.
Section 2 Visibility & Control Of Assets (Added 06/20/2016 To Improve Transparency)
A listing of all financial and asset holdings must be made available to all officers at any point by those having access.
At least two executive officers will have access to all financial instruments of the organization according to the limitations within the bylaws.
Article XI – Bylaw, Mission Statement, and Policies Amendment
The bylaws, Mission Statement, and Policies may be amended in one of two ways:
Affirmative vote of 100% of the Executive Officers. Any amendment by the Executive officers will not take affect until after the opportunity to rescind the amendment is provided to the membership. Of the members that vote, if 40% are against the amendment then the amendment will not become effective.
By 75% of the voting members. That means that of those who vote, 75% approve the change.