These standards are meant to be a guide to instructors in an effort to reduce risk to the student and improve learning. USPPA instructors are asked to adhere to these standards whenever training students towards a USPPA rating. Additionally they are asked to agree to the Instructor Commitment.
It is recognized that students for initial ratings must be brought up to speed gradually. That requires either towing, hill launches, tandems or other means to get the student in flight with minimum risk.
It is necessary for initial students to follow a certain order and acquire minimum skills before being allowed to solo using a motor. Ground handling must be at least to PPG1 levels and the first flights should either be off of a hill, towed or a tandem flight. Training should avoid ground handling only followed by motored flight.
If tows are used there must be sufficient knowledgeable folks to operate the tow system. At minimum this is a tow operator who is certified by USHGA, USPPA or has equivalent knowledge. Towing can be extremely dangerous, especially when using a “turnaround” pulley which is best only used for very low tows, less than 10 feet, and only be experienced tow operators using industry standard safety practices.
Radios are very important if the student is leaving the ground. Ideally the student would be able to talk with the instructor but at minimum he should be able to hear the instructor.
Radios become even more important for solo students who are not yet rated.
For high flights, especially if any turbulence is present, it is preferable if the student is equipped with a reserve. For flights using no motor, a harness with some back protection is desirable.
There are a minimum number of days of training for each rating. For a PPG2 rating a minimum of 5-7 days is required (including the time spent on the PPG1 rating) for the amount of information to be learned. This helps insure that the student flies in enough different conditions and gets enough repetition to really learn the material.
Spot landings should only be allowed to count providing they are done safely. The idea is to prevent low altitude maneuvering that has proven to be dangerous and precludes turns below 80 feet or excessive brake use until a normal flare. Also the pilot must land, and remain on their feet with no other part of their body or any part of their machine touching the ground.