We’re excited to announce that new membership cards are in the works. For the time being, we are not sending out any membership cards because we’re redesigning them. The new cards will be plastic and of high quality. They will contain a unique URL and custom QR code that will allow your membership status and ratings to be displayed on any smartphone. To ensure you receive yours, please update your address in the menu under “Magazine” and then “Update your address for the magazine”. The cards will go to the same address we have for the magazine. Thank you!
Becoming an Instructor
It’s way more than just a rating. It’s valuable tips and techniques that will help make you more effective. You will learn the best practices to help your students quickly learn, survive, and thrive in this vulnerable time of their education.
Over the years a lot has been learned about what works and what doesn’t. This clinic will improve your instruction by sharing that wealth of information along with earning your instructor rating for those who qualify.
You’ll appreciate the course as much as your students will appreciate you having the knowledge.
$900 –USPPA Powered Paragliding Instructor Clinic
Tuesday-Thursday, Sept 20-22, 2022 during the Endless Foot Drag Fly-In with Paul Cooley
Please contact Paul at (608) 354-7812 or [email protected] to register for this instructor clinic
Candidates should have a PPG3 rating and have done at least 5 Days (20 hours) of Apprentice work with a USPPA (or USHPA, ASC) Certified Instructor prior to the Clinic.
A PPG3 rating can possibly be administered concurrently with the Clinic for those who have the skills and requirements, but only if there is enough time. There may be a waiting period after the clinic for these pilots to receive their Instructor rating (180 days).
PPG Instructor Experience and Minimums:
- One year of flying using a paramotor.
- 120 flights using a paramotor.
- 45 flying days using a paramotor.
- Has had a USPPA PPG3 rating for at least 180 days.
- Pilots wishing to be able to teach Wheeled Launch techniques must also have their USPPA PPG3 rating for Wheeled Launch and have at least 60 flights.
- 50 solo airtime hours.
- Agrees to apply minimum training standards prior to student instruction, flight and other areas as appropriate.
- Adheres to “Instructor Commitment Letter” whenever doing instruction for USPPA rating.
Preparation: There will be some homework and preparation for each attendee so that we can get the most out of our time together. Once you register, we will be sending you more information about the assignments, including syllabus and study materials. You should also begin an Apprenticeship in preparation for the Instructor Clinic. This is a very important part of your training to become an Instructor since it gives you hands-on experience working with real PPG students. This is usually done with your local USPPA Instructor. You will need at least 20 hours working with them to satisfy those requirements.
Please note: Simply attending and participating in this clinic does not guarantee an Instructor Rating. You must have all of the qualifications and demonstrate instructing skills to the Instructor Administrator(s) satisfaction in order to attain this rating. Also, a minimum number of participants are needed to make the clinic work. Please check with us in advance of any clinic you may have enrolled in before you make your travel plans.
Please contact Paul Cooley at (608) 354-7812 or [email protected]
The original post is available here: http://www.madcityparagliding.com/instructor-clinic—efd.html
by Jeff Goin
Effective Nov 3, I will be resigning as USPPA president and turning the keys over to Noah Rasheta — an extremely competent pilot, instructor, family man, and all-around great human. Once I’ve resigned, he must be approved by the remaining three officers and then takes over immediately. I will remain in an advisory role, help with the website for a while, and offer any other help desired.
In June 2019, after two tragic Boeing 737 Max accidents, a switch flipped in my head: we need a generational improvement in airline pilot distant learning. This is not unlike what prompted the forming of USPPA, or writing of the PPG Bible, or the Instructor book. But now it was about airline flying where these accidents were horrific reminders of what’s at stake.
Company-issued iPads are nearly universal among airline pilots. And it looked like we (I fly the Max) would ONLY get training on those iPads, which currently means minimally interactive slide shows and videos. Haven written software for a paramotor simulator, I knew we could do better.
A new software company, Reaction Simulation, was born.
Our mission: dramatically improve how airline pilots learn and maintain proficiency in emergency maneuvers, cockpit “flows” (cockpit setup for the next phase of flight), and Flight Management System use. We have built, and continue to improve, a family of products doing just that. Real-time responses are first learned, then practiced, then self-tested using the airline’s specific aircraft and procedures. It works with the fact that we learn best by doing. Once the pilot learns on their iPad, they can optionally use a virtual-reality version of the exact same training to gain muscle memory, also in self-guided, real-time fashion.
As you can imagine, the project is immensely consuming, and is more than full-time as I help our small team develop, present, attend trade shows, and so on. Plus, I’m still working full-time as an airline pilot.
This has prevented me from attending paramotor events, accepting invitations for tasks I would have loved to help on, etc. More importantly, and the reason for stepping down, is that I have been unable to invest time in the U.S. Powered Paragliding Association (USPPA.org) in ways that it could really use. As president of the organization, that’s untenable.
I’m holding it back.
USPPA is healthy, has more money in the bank than ever before, stable membership, great volunteers, and is running smoothly, but there are LOTS to do. Lots we want to do. So I am bowing out.
This has been months in the making as my obligations to Reaction Simulation have intensified. Recently Chris Santacroce (training committee) wrote a message to the leadership about how he envisions our mission. We are on the same page, and it prompted me to act on my need to pass the torch.
Noah Rasetta is passionate about people, training, and how to effectively and safely turn people into pilots. He is highly respected, embraces the positive, and strives to be gracefully effective in whatever he takes on. When I asked him about this, he enthusiastically took it as an opportunity to give back to a community that has given so much. He has plans that gel with what we all want.
He respects that we have the most freedom of any paramotor pilot on the planet and that it’s worth preserving. And we don’t want to replace the FAA with something worse. Of course we also want to ensure prospects that being a USPPA instructor means something. I’d rather a smaller, more meaningful org, than to accept substandard performance. That’s tough and is something the org was already working on.
I’ve admired the SCUBA orgs PADI and NAUI. Recently we sought advice on how to handle Quality Assurance from PADI and will likely adopt some of their methodologies. Noah is a NAUI Dive Master. He gets it.
It has been a great run, and I look forward to seeing what the org can become. Thanks to so many people for so much support over the years. What a great ride.
I won’t be stopping flying, of course, and will still contribute as time allows, but it will be a new chapter.
Here’s to changing the world for the better!
USPPA members get a discount for attending Sun-N-Fun in Lakeland, FL for 2021 and beyond.
To get the discount code, please send a request with your member number to [email protected] and it will be emailed to the address we have on file.
The Paradigm paramotor team will be performing on two evenings in the 2021 “night” show as they have in the past.
Thanks, and enjoy the show!
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.
We thought this may be of interest to our members: The US Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association is closing its online store due to various changing conditions. There are savings from 50% on up.
Go here: https://ushpastore.com/
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.
On May 23th between 7:10 and 7:20 PM at 355 Gum Tree Road, Coatesville PA, while flying his paramotor Henry “Clay” Baldwin impacted the ground first and subsequently a fencepost for a split rail wooden fence. He was hospitalized and placed on life support that evening.
On Sunday May 25’th, Clay was declared “brain-dead” with no chance of recovery and his wife Lisa made the decision to remove life support and he passed away 16 minutes later.
Clay was 55 years old, 160lbs, flying an Ozone Spyder 3 24M purchased in March 2020, and a Parajet Maverick Moster 185 purchased in January 2020.
Clay, from Coatesville PA, trained over 10 days Feb 7-17 2020 to the PPG 2 level and following the PPG2 syllabus in Wauchula Florida with 5 other students as part of a joint class between One Up Adventures, FlyMI PPG, and Paratour. His instructors were Kyle Mooney, Eric DuFour, Mike Cotter, Justin Fox, and myself. All are USPPA certified instructors with the exception of Mike Cotter. Although Clay met all practical and knowledge standards for PPG2, he chose not to pursue the rating.
Eyewitness accounts (which were relayed to me by his wife on the phone) described Clay as doing low to ground steep maneuvers before he made impact. After ground impact the remaining inertia carried him into a fencepost (see damage to cage hoop)
Tucker Gott graciously picked up his gear from Clay’s wife this past Thursday after the State Police released it back to her after their investigation. Tucker sent me photos, which I have attached below, and Tucker will be shipping the gear down to me this week.
Based on the photos, the engine was running at the time of impact (prop damage), and there is no indication of any pre-impact failures of the gear. I will inspect it again when it arrives here.
The weather history for that day in Coatesville can be seen here https://www.wunderground.com/history/daily/us/pa/coatesville/KMQS/date/2020-5-23
Clay was wearing a go pro, however the State Police reported that there was no video of the incident contained on the SD card.
I can only estimate that Clay has around 80 flights before the incident, his wife reports that he flew 2-3 times a day when weather was favorable. After his training in Wauchula, he had returned to Lake Wales in early March to get a few flights with me instructing him for his first few flights on his new Spyder 3 (his original glider was a Mojo PWR medium). During that time I observed and discussed with him the danger of him fly low while downwind. Clay always respected the training regimen.
Clay was also a volunteer throughout the Florida Fun Fest event in Palm Bay, FL.
Throughout the Covid period Clay had relayed a video to me via text of him doing low to ground steep maneuvers at home in Coatesville. I called and discussed with him the danger of those types of maneuvers, especially for his experience level, and convinced him to come back down to Florida for some intermediate training in early June which he agreed to do. I found out he had also sent video to at least one other student in his February class, who told him “you’re going to die if you don’t start slowing things down.”
I don’t know if weather played a factor, but may have as the weather history that day indicates light winds with 0 gusts until 7:15 PM when suddenly the gusts went from 0 to 14 MPH, and then gusts of 20 mph at the next observation at 7:35 PM. Conditions around the time of the incident were reported as fair to partly cloudy, winds variable at 7 gust 14, Temp 73, DP 64.
Clay was wearing a helmet and his wife reports it appears undamaged.
Cause of death was determined to be traumatic brain injury. I should note also that Clay had two past traumatic brain injuries during his life, the most recent 2.5 years prior.
It has come to our attention that an instructor may have flown his student on equipment that had not been properly tested and was not configured properly, which is obviously unacceptable. In this case, it was a wheeled machine where the front wheel(s) lifted off last, or “wheelbarrowed,” a dangerous condition that could cause a crash.
Student equipment should be hang-tested, and where possible, flight-tested by the instructor. A flight test may not be wise if the instructor is too heavy/lightweight to do it safely, and is less necessary if the product is flight-tested by the manufacturer (some wing makers do this).
The minimum standard is that equipment must be hang-tested to ensure proper behavior in all power ranges. This could expose unwanted hang-angles and unwanted twisting/turning tendencies. A simple hang test of the cart would have revealed the dangerous condition before exposing a student to risk. If running the prop would be too risky for a particular situation, apply force at the prop in the thrust direction to simulate behavior under power.
Although this advice is included in our Wheel-Launch syllabus, it has been added to the “simulator” section for better clarity. Instructors should download the newest syllabus from the “Instructors” page.