Here is the latest USPPA exemption. It must be carried with you while doing covered tandem flights.
PDF USPPA Tandem Exemption 9751F FAA-2002-12476 Expires Sept 30, 2022.
Dear USPPA Instructor,
Thank you for continued support of powered paragliding—doing work that is critical to our sport’s sustainable growth. We aim to provide you with the best possible tools. To that end, we worked to garner an exemption for tandem instruction of students.
We all win when responsible, safe, knowledgeable pilots emerge from your schools, and tandem training is a valuable tool. Ultralight flying in the U.S. enjoys more freedom than anywhere in the world, a freedom that carries immense responsibility.
If this program gets abused it will be terminated. Abuse means using tandems for other than its granted purpose of training, or issuing ratings to individuals who don’t meet the high standards expected of the program.
There are two documents required to be carried on every tandem flight:
1. Your rating card that shows you as “Tandem Instructor” (or Tandem Trainee for those not yet fully qualified), and
2. A copy of the exemption. It’s under “Training” from the home page of USPPA.org.
Help Us Keep The Exemption
We are passionate about keeping this exemption as a training tool for you. For some, it is your livelihood, and for all it is well worth protecting. By being able to train legally, you remove the uncertainty of legal action from the FAA, from an injured or disgruntled student, or from a competitor.
NOT flying legally risks the entire program. It is up to you to ensure that participants are flying legally, responsibly, and that tandems are only being done by those certified to do them.
We as a group have been tasked with policing ourselves.
If you see anyone operating outside legal bounds, talk to them. Explain what’s at stake for us as a community and for them personally. If they had an accident while operating illegally it risks the program. If a pilot continues to operate illegally, be tactful, but be firm that it cannot continue, that they risk it for all of us. If it still continues, document the violations and write a letter to be sent to the USPPA training committee. If the pilot is not certified under this program and is flying foot launched tandems, we will contact him/her to try resolving the situation. If they continue to ignore the law, we are obliged to report them to the nearest FAA Flight Standards District Office. We have been given the opportunity to fly tandems legally, we must use it wisely.
We either weed out those who willing risk our exemption, or face the consequence of losing it.
Thank you again for helping our sport continue as a responsible citizen of the flying fraternity.
The USPPA Tandem exemption 9751F has been renewed for two years. This was closer to the wire than we’d like, in spite of the renewal being requested earlier than last time. FAA personnel are working from home which slowed the process down, but we were in contact in the last weeks and they came through.
Instructors, please make sure to download the newest copy to have it available as required.
All Tandem Instructors who were WL Instructors have been updated to show that thye are now Tandem WL Instructors. Tandem Instructors giving tandem training must have a copy of exemption 9751E and proof of qualification. Both can be done by having an image of the full exemption and an image of your ratings page showing appropriate qualifications on your smart phone. To do wheeled tandems requires being a Tandem WL Instructor.
A tandem FL instructor may become qualified to offer wheeled tandems by getting the PPG 3 wheel launch rating from any USPPA wheel launch rated instructor.
We now have a program for those who want to go through the instructor program using wheels only. That has always been possible but never with the ability to do wheeled tandems so there were some minor changes to our programming and processes.
New wording includes the requirement to include information “provided in the FAA Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge and the Powered Parachute Flying Handbook as applicable to part 103 operations” which our existing published program goes well beyond.
As always, there is no cost to members for access to our training program.
Instructors must carry a legible copy (it can be small, though) of the new exemption with them when conducting tandem operations and, of course, comply with the program. We must wield our freedom responsibly to avoid political pressure that would constrain it again.
For now all of our tandem pilots are footlaunched rated so adding the WL (wheel launch) rating is a viable solution. But eventually some tandem instructors may only certify as WL so we have updated our online ratings software to reflect that fact.
Read more about the FAA’s Exemption Denial here.
The FAA has denied our request for an exemption of FAR 103.1 to allow wheeled tandems saying that, among other things, they are no longer going to approve exemptions of definitions. So if we want to apply for a wheeled exemption, it would have to be under the Light Sport Rules. This also implies that future foot-launch tandem exemptions will have to be done in the same way.
Since foot launched craft are not part of the Light Sport Rules, this makes no sense. We will be exploring options.
It does not change operations under our existing exemption but does mean that a different tact will need to be steered.