USPPA

Pilot Proficiency Program
PPG1..PPG3, Instructor and Tandem Instructor
630-904-4754  www.USPPA.org
March 1, 2002

These are the guidelines for the various ratings offered by the USPPA. They parallel those developed by the USHGA as much as possible, diverging when necessary to accommodate the differences. Some items, such as most of the soaring specific material, are not included and motor related items used in their place. These are highlighted in blue.

An instructor applicant must have the PPG 3 rating for a certain time before going through the program. A Tandem applicant must be an instructor for a certain time before going through that program. In order to accept those experienced pilots and instructors who are already established, time minimums may be waived providing equivalent experience has been logged. Such waiving of minimums will be in effect until July, 31, 2003 or as decided by the officers.

PPG 1

Ground Requirements

Subject Code

Description

PPG1:PFD

Proper layout and pre-flight check of canopy and motor (including harness).

PPG1:GSU

Had successfully completed a basic ground school.

PPG1:BDD

Understanding of proper canopy packing, storage and care.

PPG1:SCD

Site analysis including wind direction and velocity, terrain shape, obstructions and engine-out planning.

PPG1:GHD

Proper canopy handling and kiting skills.

PPG1:MSU

Explains motor, propeller, and fueling safety

PPG1:MOU

Understands basic operation the motor including at least two ways to shut it off and what to look for on preflight runup.

PPG1:NEU

Has passed the USPPA PPG1 written exam.

Launch/Landing/Inflation

Subject Code

Description

PPG1:FID

2 forward inflations with visual canopy check each time.

PPG1:RID

2 controlled reverse inflations with proper surge dampening.

PPG1:CKD

Half-minute of controlled kiting overhead in a steady wind.

PPG1:FLT

Completes at least one flight from enough altitude to require flaring.

PPG1:HID

Demonstrates a method of establishing proper connection to the wing, with cleared lines and risers, just prior to inflation

PPG1:TKO

Demonstrates two flights with at least two 90 degree turns each

PPG1 Limitations

These recommended limitations are intended to provide 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.

Subject Code

Description

PPG1:ELR

Only exceed these limitations after mastering all PPG1 tasks and after acquiring a full understanding of the potential problems and dangers involved in exceeding them.

PPG1:DSR

All flights should be under the direct supervision of an instructor

PPG1:WSR

Max wind, including gusts of 12 mph

PPG1:WDR

Should only launch directly into the wind

PPG1:CTR

Uses canopy rated for beginner (DHV 1 or 1-2 or equivalent other rating).

PPG1:LZC

Takeoff and landing area should allow unimpeded climb and landing approach without maneuvering below 100' AGL

 


PPG 2

This rating gets the individual out on his own. At this level the pilot should fly either under instructor supervision or in good conditions with fairly wide-open launch/landing areas.

Ground Requirements

Subject Code

Description

PPG2:JMD

Pilot uses good judgment and have a level of Maturity commensurate with the rating.

PPG2:PPU

All witnessed flights must be pre-planned by the pilot and discussed with the instructor.

PPG2:AGU

Attends a minimum of 8 hours of ground school.

PPG2:PFU

Setup and preflight the glider, harness and reserve

PPG2:SCU

Verbal analysis of general site conditions including a flight plan (flight path, avoidance areas, obstacles, wind effects)

PPG2:PLD

Demonstrates proper and effective PLF technique.

PPG2:CRU

Explain the basics of airspace as it pertains to PPG and how to determine legal flight areas from sectional charts.

PPG2:RDD

Demonstrate reserve deployment while hanging in a harness in simulated turbulence or malfunction conditions.

PPG2:NEU

Has passed the USPPA PPG2 written exam

Launch/Landing/Inflation

Subject Code

Description

PPG2:FID

5 consecutive, forward inflations with visual canopy check each time.

PPG2:RID

5 consecutive, controlled reverse inflations with proper surge dampening.

PPG2:CKD

2 minutes of controlled kiting overhead in a steady wind.

PPG2:CWD

2 cross-wind (> 15 cross to takeoff path) launches in light wind (<= 5 mph).

PPG2:NWD

2 no-wind (0-2 mph) inflations/launches.

PPG2:HWL

2 high-wind (10-15 mph) launches.

PPG2:LPD

5 safe, smooth, power-on landings within 15' of a target and into the wind

PPG2:LND

5 safe, smooth, power-off landings, within 25' of a target and into the wind.

PPG2:GCD

Brief and instruct ground crew for assisted launch

PPG2:IRD

2 clean inflations/reversals.

PPG2:HID

Demonstrates a method of establishing proper connection to the wing, with cleared lines and risers, just prior to inflation

Logged Flight Experience

Subject Code

Description

PPG2:FLL

25 flights.

PPG2:FDL

5 flying days.

PPG2:AVD

Flights with smooth variation in airspeed and throttle to maintain level flight from just above min sink to fast flight on a constant heading

PPG2:STD

Alternating 'S' turn (at least 90 heading change) flights along a planned path. Heading change < 45 into wind.

PPG2:HOD

Hands off flying with smooth transition to climb and descent using throttle only.

PPG2:HTD

Hands off flying with turns using weight-shift (if available) and rear riser turns.

Verbal explanation requirements

PPG2:SWE

Explains proper strong wind landing procedures and how to keep from being dragged back.

PPG2:CCE

Explains correct canopy maintenance.

PPG2:PLE

Explains how to shorten and lengthen flight path with no power.

PPG2:RWE

Explains the right of way traffic rules.

PPG2:CME

Explains how to maintain directional control during and correct for an asymmetric  wing fold of 25% of the wing span.

PPG2 Limitations

These recommended limitations are intended to provide 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.

Subject Code

Description

PPG2:ELR

Only exceed these limitations after thoroughly mastering all Novice tasks and after acquiring a full understanding of the potential problems and dangers involved in exceeding these limitations.

PPG2:CRL

Max peak thermal strength 200 fpm.

PPG2:WSR

Max base wind of 12 mph, peak gusts 15 mph.

Max gust rate of 5 mph in 5 seconds

PPG2:WDR

Should not launch with the wind aligned more than 25 degrees from the takeoff path.

PPG2:BAR

Avoids using of brake beyond 2/3 of full travel (stall).

PPG2:TBR

Max bank angle of 30 degrees.

PPG2:DHR

Avoid flying downwind less than 150' above the ground.

PPG2:CTR

Uses canopy rated for beginner (DHV 1, 1-2 or equivalent other rating).

PPG2:LZC

Takeoff and landing area should allow unimpeded climb and landing approach without maneuvering below 100' AGL


PPG 3

This pilot should be able to safely fly any launch site as deemed safe by the pilot. He should consistently make his launches and be able to easily steer during the launch run as well as control the flight path immediately from liftoff. 

Ground/General Requirements

Subject Code

Description

PPG3:JMD

Pilot uses good judgment and has a level of Maturity commensurate with the rating.

PPG3:PPU

All witnessed flights must be pre-planned by the pilot and discussed with the instructor or observer.

PPG3:URU

Has received training in and understands right-of-way rules, FAA regulations, sectional charts, airspeed control, collapses, stalls, spins, and turbulence-induced collapses, is familiar with the canopy owner's manual and the USPPA incident reports.

PPG3:RDD

Demonstrate reserve deployment while hanging in a harness in simulated turbulence or malfunction conditions.

PPG3:NEU

Has passed the USPPA PPG3 written exam.

Launch/Landing/Inflation

Subject Code

Description

PPG3:SLD

All landings are safe, smooth, on the feet, in the desired touchdown area and in control.

PPG3:NWD

3 consecutive no-wind (0-2 mph) inflations/launches.

PPG3:CKD

Good canopy control while doing turns of at least 20 degrees while on ground running (or walking) with the wing overhead. 

PPG3:LPD

5 safe, smooth, power-on landings within 5' of a target and into the wind

PPG3:LND

5 safe, smooth, power-off landings, within 15' of a target and into the wind.

PPG3:GAD

Demonstrates smooth transition from descent to climb in a go-around maneuver with minimum surging.

PPG3:IRD

3 consecutive clean inflations/reversals followed by launch.

PPG3:HID

Demonstrates a method of establishing proper connection to the wing, with cleared lines and risers, just prior to inflation

Logged Flight Experience

Subject Code

Description

PPG3:FLL

90 flights.

PPG3:FDL

30 flying days.

PPG3:P2L

Has had USPPA Novice (PPG2) rating for at least 120 days.

PPG3:FHL

20 solo airtime hours.

PPG3:LCD

Demonstrates proper airspeed control on landing approach when descending through a gradient.

PPG3:STD

Alternating 'S' turn (at least 90 heading change) flights along a planned path. Heading change < 45 into wind.

PPG3:AVD

Flights with smooth variation in airspeed and throttle to maintain level flight from just above min sink to fast flight on a constant heading

PPG3:HOD

Demonstrates dampening surges using throttle only.

PPG3:180D

Linked 180 turns along a predetermined ground track showing smooth controlled reversals and coordination at various speeds, throttle settings and bank angles.

PPG3:360D

360 turns in both directions and at various speeds, throttle settings and bank angles.

PPG3:ASD

Demonstrates ability to use Trimmers or Speed Bar if installed on wing.

PPG3:VDD

Significant asymmetric tip folds and big ears (25% each side, 50% total) or other canopy reduction method to increase descent rate.

Verbal explanation requirements

PPG3:SWU

Explains characteristics of impending stall or spin and the recovery technique for each.

PPG3:DCU

Explains how to maintain directional control during and correction of 50% asymmetric wing collapses.

PPG3:PLE

Explains how to shorten and lengthen flight distance by adjusting speed, height and the relationship of headwind/tailwind in doing so.

PPG3:CME

Explains how to maintain directional control during and correct for an asymmetric  wing fold of 50% of the wing span.

PPG3 Limitations

These recommended limitations are intended to provide 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.

Subject Code

Description

PPG3:ELR

Only exceed these limitations after thoroughly mastering all Novice tasks and after acquiring a full understanding of the potential problems and dangers involved in exceeding these limitations.

PPG3:SFR

Follows safe flying guidelines.

PPG3:WSR

Max base wind of 15 mph, peak gusts 18 mph.

Max gust rate of 5 mph in 5 seconds.

PPG3:TBR

Limit turns to bank angles recommended my the manufacturer, Smoothly exit any spiral turn that is becoming steeper or accelerating.

PPG3:TFR

Should not fly in thermals where peak climb rates exceed 500 fpm or where significant cloud development exists.

PPG3:BAR

Avoids using of brake beyond 3/4 of full travel (stall).

PPG3:STR

Avoid steep banks close to ground.

PPG3:DHR

Avoid flying downwind less than 100' above the ground.

 

Instructor

These requirements are meant to insure flight instructors have the requisite experience and skills necessary to 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.

Ground/General Requirements

Subject Code

Description

INS:JMD

Pilot uses good judgment and has a level of Maturity commensurate with the rating.

INS:PPU

All witnessed flights must be pre-planned by the pilot and discussed with the examining instructor.

INS:CLU

Successfully passed USPPA Instructor Certification Clinic given by an instructor or completed 20 hours of apprenticeship with an existing USPPA Instructor.

INS:NEU

Successfully passed USPPA Instructor Written Test.

INS:AID

Successfully completed First Aid and CPR class.

Experience and Minimums

Subject Code

Description

INS:FYL

1 year of flying using a paramotor.

INS:FLL

120 flights using a paramotor.

INS:FDL

45 flying days using a paramotor.

INS:P3L

Has had a USPPA PPG3 rating for at least 180 days (may be waived).

INS:FHL

50 solo airtime hours.

INS:MTS

Agrees to apply minimum training standards prior to student instruction, flight and other areas as appropriate.

INS:MTT

Adheres to "commitment letter" whenever doing instruction for USPPA rating.

Tandem Instructor

This program, born of input from Brad Weiss, the training committee and the membership is a simplified version of the original. It is based on the USHGA concept of having the tandem pilot learn using a qualified PPG pilot as "passenger" before setting out with new students.

There is a Tandem Trainee (TT), Tandem Instructor (TI) and Tandem Administrator (TA). A TT will only fly with skilled pilots and a TI is a full tandem instructor. The goal of the program is to qualify TI's. TA's are experienced tandem pilots approved by the training committee to administer the program.

Grandfathering:

Any USPPA member who has logged at least 100 instructional tandem flights will be given the opportunity to become a TI. They must be recommended by an existing USPPA instructor (whether tandem pilot or not) who signs a form attesting to their skill level. This will apply until Oct 1, 2002. They must sign the USPPA commitment and other forms as required of an instructor.

Tandem administrators will be appointed by the training committee and will be any experienced TI that desires the position and is willing to administer the program in a thorough and fair manner. An administrator must have completed at least 200 instructional tandems. It is our goal to have qualified tandem administrators to help make available quality training.

Administration:

USPPA Tandem Instructor Certification Clinics shall be administered at least annually, or more as needed by a designated TA. There they will offer the written test, FOI test and allow pilots to demonstrate requisite skills. The TA can certify a TT or TI applicant based on first hand witnessing of the skills whether at the clinic or elsewhere but they MUST be witnessed.

Annual renewal : for all levels pilots must either 1) Submit documentation to USPPA showing a minimum of 10 tandem flights made each year at any given level or 2) Take a Flight evaluation with TI Or TA as Pilot/Passenger.

A peer review procedure to rescind a Tandem rating of any level from those instructors deemed to be operating outside of regulation will be established. 

Program Details:

Tandem Trainee (TT)

This form of flying takes place between a qualified USPPA instructor and consenting USPPA/USHGA ppg2/P-2 or higher rated pilots. This rating is authorized by Tandem Instructors after administering the written examination and witnessing the proper flight skills utilizing the designated launch method. No remuneration is allowed for their flight service. Applicants must meet the following requirements:

1.   Current USPPA Instructor,

2.   Minimum 100 flight hours or 300 flights of logged incident free airtime.

3.   Ability to consistently perform zero-wind and light-wind landings culminating in the slowest possible ground speed at the moment of the flare and when the pilot's/ passengers feet first contact the ground.

4.   Candidates will have a reputation/ history of being conservative, safe, and highly skilled pilots with judgment commensurate with the task of 2 place operation.

5.   At least 1 logged tandem flight as a passenger with a USPPA TI or TA.

6.   Successful completion of a flight skills test to be administered by the USPPA TI who attest that the applicant meets all requirements. This test will include, as a minimum, a passenger briefing, checklist, and a successful tandem launch and a successful tandem approach and landing.

7.   Successful completion of a written test administered by the USPPA TI or TA.

Tandem Instructor (TI)

This is the full tandem instructor and they may charge fees for lessons.

1.    At least 24 + logged / signed tandem flights with rated pilots of varying level.

2.    Flight evaluation by a TA as passenger or observing with a qualified PPG2 or higher pilot as passenger.

3.    Pass the FAA FOI test.

4.    Be a TT for at least 3 months.

5.    Is an established TI appointed by the training committee to oversee the T-rated operations and ratings in a given area. They must have logged at least 100 instructional tandem flights as TI.

TA's are responsible for certifying TT and TI pilots.

Operating Requirements

1.   When present at a flying site, any Tandem pilot should personally ensure that all tandem flying requirements and the site requirements are being strictly followed. Any tandem pilot will present his certification on request of another tandem pilot and any noncompliance shall be reported to a Tandem Administrator.

2.   Possession of the FAA's Part 103, FAR Grant of Exemption is mandatory while flying tandem. Tandem flying must be done under an existing exemption. For paragliding this is currently held by USHGA as exemption #4721. For powered paragliding it is done under the EAA or ASC. 

3.   This exemption is being sought from the FAA in Conjunction with FAA Sport Pilot. Its Duration and expiration will be listed here.

4.   All tandem accidents, at any level, should be reported by the tandem pilot involved and any other tandem pilot  aware of it.

Equipment Requirements

1.   The glider is recommended by the manufacturer for two-place flight.

2.   Appropriate helmets are required for both occupants during flight.

3.   Suitable harness on both people.

4.   Hook knife on pilot. 

5.   Although choice of other equipment is up to the individual pilot-in-command, ankle supporting boots, knee pads, gloves, and clothing appropriate to the site conditions are recommended. 

6.     First aid kit and communications (such as cell phone) are recommended.

 


Trike Add-On

Powered Paraglider trikes are defined as those where the pilot uses the same motor unit, including harness, as if it were being flown without the trike attachment. And it uses a paraglider wing.

Any instructor who has the add-on rating may administer that add-on to PPG rating applicants

Preflight

TRI:COD

Demonstrates the ability to accurately assess conditions which allow for safe trike launch (weather, field conditions, wing weight range & rating, etc.)

TRI:PFD

Demonstrates the ability to accurately pre-flight trike and canopy prior to flight (motor/trike connection, COG issues, canopy layout, avoiding wheel/line entanglements, etc.)

Launch

TRI:TFD

Demonstrates the ability to use terrain features to assist in no wind launches.

TRI:CAD

Demonstrates the ability to center canopy overhead using primarily brake toggle input and minimal nose wheel steerage.

TRI:PWD

Demonstrates appropriate use of power to maintain canopy pressurization during launch.

TRI:CAD

Demonstrates 5 successful no wind (0-5mph) launches.

Landing

TRI:SPD

Demonstrates an understanding and control of higher approach speed due to greater wing loading.

TRI:FLD

Demonstrates properly timed roundout and flare while maintaining level flight.

TRI:LND

Demonstrates 5 successful landings with proper canopy control and deflation.

Emergency Procedures

TRI:EME

Explains reserve parachute selection, mounting and deployment appropriate to the particular trike/motor configuration.

TRI:PLE

Explains a "modified PLF" designed to protect extremities in the event of a rollover.


Recommended Operating limitations

TRI:SFR

Takeoffs and landings from hard packed grass, dirt or paved surfaces free of terrain features which might cause rollovers.

TRI:

Takeoffs and landings limited to relatively flat or gently rolling terrain with laterally oriented slope gradients of less than 3%.

TRI:WNR

Should fly only in low wind conditions of less than 10 mph with minimal gusts.

TRI:XWR

Should not launch in cross wind conditions of greater than 20 or 5 mph.

TRI:THR

Should avoid flying in thermic conditions where peak climb rates exceed 200 fpm.