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This first step establishes the skills, knowledge and experience for the pilot who gets to take his first two flights. He is far from ready to venture out on his/her own but has made a significant milestone.
These recommended limitations are intended to provide a guide for those at this skill level to remain within their ability. Obviously there are other considerations before flying but this is a good starting point. Only exceed these limitations under instructor supervision.
This rating signifies that the pilot should be able to fly on his/her own within the limits specified below. It’s understood to be the beginning of a lengthy learning period. It is for paramotor, what the FAA Private Pilot license is to General Aviation.
These are minimums. It is common to need 40 or more flights before attaining PPG 2 skill levels.
These limitations are intended as a guide for those at this skill level to remain within their ability. Obviously there are other things that should be considered before flying but this is a good starting point.
This rating builds on the knowledge and skills from the PPG1 & PPG2, only additional areas are included here. These are bare minimums. It is common to need 200 or more flights before attaining PPG 3 skill levels. It is for paramotor what the FAA Commercial License is for General Aviation.
Pilots should have a thorough understanding of the knowledge items required of those ratings. He/she should be able to judge and safely fly from any launch site within his skill level. Launches should be consistently successful with the ability to easily steer during the launch run as well as control the flight path immediately from liftoff.
These recommended limitations are intended to provide a guide for those at this skill level to remain within their ability. Obviously there are other considerations before flying but this is a good starting point.
These requirements are meant to insure flight instructors have the requisite experience and skills necessary to safely instruct. This is for an instructor who is not tandem qualified but does instruction using other means.
The Minimum Training Standards, as well as the Instructor Commitment are meant to help insure students receive safe and effective training. These recommendations come from experienced instructors who have found they minimize the risk during training.
This form of flying takes place between a USPPA Tandem Instructor (TI) and qualified pilot. This rating can be given by Tandem Instructors after administering the written examination and witnessing the proper flight skills utilizing the designated launch method. No remuneration is allowed for flying done by a TT. Applicants must meet the following requirements:
a. For FL the test must include at least 3 successful inflation and launches including one in wind less than 3 mph (may be simulated).
b. For WL the test must include at least 5 satisfactory takeoffs and landing including 3 with full inflations (not touch and goes).
This rating is only intended for tandem instructor trainees to build experience. The rating is only valid for 30 tandem flights or one calendar year, whichever comes first but may be renewed by a Tandem Administrator.
This is the full tandem instructor who may charge fees for lessons. They must meet the following requirements:
a. One successful flight as tandem pilot either with the administering TA as passenger or observing with a qualified PPG2 or higher pilot as passenger for each launch method sought.
b. Sufficient oral and/or airborne questioning to insure the applicant is ready to serve as a Tandem Instructor.
c. This can be done using video at the discretion of the administrator.
The Instructor Administrator info can be found on this page:
As part of the USPPA training program, instructors make this commitment to help ensure their instruction is as safe and effective as possible. This form is signed by every USPPA instructor. It was developed by the training committee and approved by the officers. It has been in place since the outset but is now presented on the web so prospective students and instructors can review it. It is also beneficial for USPPA instructors to periodically review their commitment to quality training.
While engaged in the administration of USPPA programs or ratings, as a USPPA instructor I commit to the following:
1. I commit to understanding and following USPPA training directives, training standards, and guidelines as detailed, updated, and communicated by the USPPA training committee.
2. I commit to following any applicable Federal Aviation Regulations.
3. I commit to following training and product trends in the paramotor and paragliding industry by reading articles in publications worldwide, discussions with other professionals, and whenever possible, attending fly-ins and trade shows.
4. I commit to sharing information on product deficiencies and improvements.
5. I commit to sharing information and seeking information on incidents and other safety-related subjects.
6. I commit to training and issuing USPPA ratings as described in the ratings skill levels with integrity.
7. I commit to using appropriate and modern equipment during training, and that this equipment be airworthy, inspected, and maintained to a high standard.
8. I commit to only conducting training in sites where both the student as well as other members of the general public and their property will be put at minimal risk. In so doing this means the choice of a big field without obstacles that may make flying hazardous such as but not limited to electric poles, trees, hills, water, buildings, ditches, animals, holes, etc...
9. I commit to fully communicating to the customer/student that all training, as well as paramotor flight and associated equipment used in the USA, is minimally regulated and as such it is up to the pilot in command to accept the risk this regulation brings.
10. I commit to communicating to the customer/student that to the best of my ability and his/her efforts, errors can and have been made in the past and no amount of care will eliminate them from occurring in the future. That accidents resulting in serious injury and death have and can happen, that the details of these accidents are made available as best as possible through our association as well as other associations.
11. I commit to cease training to any or all students that have shown any tendency to put their lives or the lives of others (as well as property) at risk and to do so immediately and as tactfully as possible, I commit to discussing this possibility with the customer/student prior to the start of training.
12. I commit to conducting a pre-course interview and to better understand the student’s needs as well as have reference information available should an incident/accident occur.
13. As a USPPA Instructor I pledge to use professional conduct, good moral and ethical values.
You want to earn your USPPA pilot ratings? Here are answers to some common questions.
USPPA does not charge for ratings but the instructor or administrator will likely charge for their time. If a new membership card is desired before the annual cycle, there may be up to a $15 charge although there is none currently. Ratings can be verified online here.
The best way is to get trained by a current and active USPPA Footlaunch Instructor. Here’s a list of instructors who are actively doing ratings. It obviously takes more work because you must demonstrate the necessary skills. PPG 2 is the rating most pilots get before setting out on the own and there is still a LOT to learn.
Same as for footlaunch (above) but you must go to a WL Instructor.
Go to a WL or FL instructor according to the rating you seek. He’ll take you through the PPG 1, 2 and 3, prepare you for and have you take all 3 tests, then demonstrate the skills required of the ratings. For a skilled pilot, this CAN take as little as 1 full day but must include calm wind launches and stronger wind launches, so that makes it harder.
Attend a clinic given by an Instructor Administrator (here’s the list) for the launch type you desire. An Administrator can give any instructor rating that he holds, including tandem. It’s entirely possible that the administrator may find that you’re not quite ready to teach under our program but it should be considered a learning experience in that case. He should explain areas where you can work on and that you can come back again. Refunds for courses are not likely and are at the discretion of the Administrator.
This will help understand the ratings program for instructors and administrators. It is paramount that ratings are earned with all the material covered! We would rather have fewer ratings given if it means they remain meaningful. As always, attending a clinic is never a guarantee of a rating. If no rating is earned, consider it a learning process.
PPG 1 FL rating: Submit signed PPG 1.
PPG 2 FL rating: Submit signed PPG 2 syllabus with PPG 1 also check marked.
PPG 3 FL rating: Submit signed PPG 3 syllabus with PPG 1 & 2 also check marked.
Become HIGHLY competent at WL flying! Then go to another WL Instructor who will:
PPG 1 WL rating: Submit signed PPG 1 syllabus and PPG 1 WL Syllabus Addendum.
PPG 2 FL rating: Submit signed PPG 2 syllabus and PPG 2/3 WL Syllabus Addendum (they don’t have to demonstrate the PPG 3 items).
PPG 3 FL rating: Submit signed PPG 3 syllabus and PPG 2/3 WL Syllabus Addendum.
Yes, but you’re just giving the PPG 1 WL through PPG 3 WL. To become a WL Instructor they must still go through an Administrator who will make sure their documentation is accurate and enter the WL Instructor rating.
Yes. If you were certified BEFORE 2011 but didn’t get a wheel launch rating (we didn’t have the rating at first), do the following.
Have another current USPPA wheel launch instructor who has observed you flying with wheels attest that you meet the skill level listed in the ratings program. Email your request and an image of his signed statement to our Membership Administrator.
The policies below help us serve in a fair and consistent manner. They include details on how ratings are issued, renewed, revoked, and other areas that need clarification.
Transitioning from other programs & curriculums
This concerns accepting Instructors from other programs: those who wish to transfer to the USPPA program. We appreciate your interest and do want competent people who share our passion to help graduate capable, knowledgeable pilots using a meaningful ratings program.
A tandem instructor from an FAA recognized organization can bypass the full tandem clinic but must:
We all win when instructors follow best practices. The vast majority do right by their students, and getting certified was part of that effort, but it can go wrong. If you’ve had a bad experience with a USPPA Instructor, or witnessed what looks like inappropriate instruction practices, we need to address it.
Ratings or instructor status may be revoked, for cause, by unanimous agreement of the training committee. (formerly on organizational policies page)
Ratings or instructor status may be revoked, for cause, by unanimous agreement of the training committee. (formerly on organizational policies page)
This is currently Section 6 of the Bylaws, added here for consistency.
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 offenses 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.
There will be no attempt made by anyone in the organization to require flier ratings at a flying site unless the group responsible for the site requests it.
Ratings shall expire after 3 years of having no membership in the organization.
Authority: Secs. 307, 313(a), 601(a), 602, and 603, Federal Aviation Act of1958 (49 U.S.C. 1348, 1354(a), 1421(a), 1422, and 1423); sec. 6(c), Department of Transportation Act (49 U.S.C. 1655(c). Source: Docket No. 21631, 47 FR 38776, Sept. 2, 1982, unless otherwise noted.
This part prescribes rules governing the operation of ultralight vehicles in the United States. For the purposes of this part, an ultralight vehicle is a vehicle that:
(a) Is used or intended to be used for manned operation in the air by a single occupant;
(b) Is used or intended to be used for recreation or sport purposes only;
(c) Does not have any U.S. or foreign airworthiness certificate; and
(d) If unpowered, weighs less than 155 pounds; or
(e) If powered:
(1) Weighs less than 254 pounds empty weight, excluding floats and safety devices which are intended for deployment in a potentially catastrophic situation;
(2) Has a fuel capacity not exceeding 5 U.S. gallons;
(3) Is not capable of more than 55 knots calibrated airspeed at full power in level flight; and
(4) Has a power-off stall speed which does not exceed 24 knots calibrated airspeed.
(a) Any person operating an ultralight vehicle under this part shall, upon request, allow the Administrator, or his designee, to inspect the vehicle to determine the applicability of this part.
(b) The pilot or operator of an ultralight vehicle must, upon request of the Administrator, furnish satisfactory evidence that the vehicle is subject only to the provisions of this part.
No person may conduct operations that require a deviation from this part except under a written waiver issued by the Administrator.
(a) Notwithstanding any other section pertaining to certification of aircraft or their parts or equipment, ultralight vehicles and their component parts and equipment are not required to meet the airworthiness certification standards specified for aircraft or to have certificates of airworthiness.
(b) Notwithstanding any other section pertaining to airman certification, operators of ultralight vehicles are not required to meet any aeronautical knowledge, age, or experience requirements to operate those vehicles or to have airman or medical certificates.
(c) Notwithstanding any other section pertaining to registration and marking of aircraft, ultralight vehicles are not required to be registered or to bear markings of any type.
(a) No person may operate any ultralight vehicle in a manner that creates a hazard to other persons or property.
(b) No person may allow an object to be dropped from an ultralight vehicle if such action creates a hazard to other persons or property.
(a) No person may operate an ultralight vehicle except between the hours of sunrise and sunset.
(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this section, ultralight vehicles may be operated during the twilight periods 30 minutes before official sunrise and 30 minutes after official sunset or, in Alaska, during the period of civil twilight as defined in the Air Almanac, if:
(1) The vehicle is equipped with an operating anticollision light visible for at least 3 statute miles; and
(2) All operations are conducted in uncontrolled airspace.
(a) Each person operating an ultralight vehicle shall maintain vigilance so as to see and avoid aircraft and shall yield the right-of-way to all aircraft.
(b) No person may operate an ultralight vehicle in a manner that creates a collision hazard with respect to any aircraft.
(c) Powered ultralights shall yield the right-of-way to unpowered ultralights.
No person may operate an ultralight vehicle over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons.
No person may operate an ultralight vehicle within Class A, Class B, Class C, or Class D airspace or within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport unless that person has prior authorization from the ATC facility having jurisdiction over that airspace.
No person may operate an ultralight vehicle in prohibited or restricted areas unless that person has permission from the using or controlling agency, as appropriate.
No person may operate an ultralight vehicle in areas designated in a Notice to Airmen under § 91.137, § 91.138, 91.141, § 91.143 or § 91.145 of this chapter, unless authorized by:
(a) Air Traffic Control (ATC); or
(b) A Flight Standards Certificate of Waiver or Authorization issued for the demonstration or event. [103.20 was amended 9/11/01 as per Federal Register page 66 FR 47378]
No person may operate an ultralight vehicle except by visual reference with the surface.
No person may operate an ultralight vehicle when the flight visibility or distance from clouds is less than that in the table found below. All operations in Class A, Class B, Class C, and Class D airspace or Class E airspace designated for an airport must receive prior ATC authorization as required in 103.17 of this part.
|Airspace||Flight Visibility||Distance From Clouds|
|Class A||Not applicable||Not applicable|
|Class B||3 statute miles||Clear of Clouds.|
|Class C||3 statute miles||500 feet below.1,000 feet above.2,000 feet horizontal.|
|Class D||3 statute miles||500 feet below.1,000 feet above.2,000 feet horizontal.|
|Class E – Less than 10,000 feet MSL||3 statute miles||500 feet below.1,000 feet above.2,000 feet horizontal.|
|Class E – At or above 10,000 feet MSL||5 statute miles||1,000 feet below.1,000 feet above.1 statute mile horizontal.|
|Class G – 1,200 feet or less above the surface (regardless of MSL altitude)||1 statute mile||Clear of clouds.|
|Class G – More than 1,200 feet above the surface but less than 10,000 feet MSL||1 statute mile||500 feet below.1,000 feet above.2,000 feet horizontal.|
|Class G – More than 1,200 feet above the surface and at or above 10,000 feet MSL||5 statute miles||1,000 feet below.1,000 feet above.1 statute mile horizontal.|