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Wecome New Instructor Administrators

Aug 05, 2005

Welcome two new Instructor Administrators. Both are long time USHGA Instructors who have embraced flying, mastering and teaching powered paragliders. More importantly, they plan on taking other pilots through the process of becoming USPPA instructors. Steve Mayer of Cloud 9 in Salt Lake City and Chad Bastian of American Paragliding in Santa Barbara, CA will make great additions. 

Anyone interested in becoming a USPPA instructor can work through these Schools to do so. Visit the schools list for a directory of certified schools and instructors that can be listed whole or by state. The directory of schools continues to be updated in the new system, schools themselves can now update their own data as well as the webmasters.

We Were at OSHkosh, barely

July 30, 2005


Nick (Mike's Son and soon pilot), another soon-to-be who's just starting training and Mike Cannella in the Paracruiser booth.

It is the worlds largest airshow. It is the worlds busiest control tower for 7 days. It is an event well worth going to but it's not the place to fly a PPG. Although there were a few, we were well represented. The Paracruiser folks brought a wide selection of paramotors and trikes, one of which was used for the USPPA's presentation. Thanks to Leon for that. Mikey Cannella flew one of those to demonstrate our craft to a sizely throng. 

The event seemed well attended, even at the Ultralight "Farm" and crowds continuously lined the fencerow along its grass runway.

Scott Johnson also brought the Miniplane that he imports from Italy. The Miniplane is one of the longest running machines out there and, although updates have been made, it is still largely the same machine as it was introduced in the late 1990's. John Magdic brought his Fresh Breeze but couldn't fly for wont of a spark plug. Hopefully he eventually did, they could have seen how quiet the PPG can be. He put that in a good light though: "I saved the farm today - I probably could have flown but would have risked it quitting at an inappropriate time." Thank you John. He found a spark plug and will likely have flown before the event ended on Sunday.

Long time pilot and former instructor Bill Walsh made an appearance although his ride was a hang glider trike. He was nursing a sore arm and wasn't able on Saturday.

The USPPA forum presentation was very well attended. There is indeed a lot of interest in the sport and, judging from comments of the manufacturers, gear is selling well.

UltraFlight Magazine had a nice spread and gave away many magazines. A side note: you'll love the September issue. Yes, August was thin on PPG coverage but things get back to normal and September goes to the cover.

The EAA does an awesome job with trying to get all the different types of craft some airtime in an incredibly crowded event but there is only so much time in the day and we soft-wingers get short shrift. Kudos to a convention well done and to those who made a presence. It's interesting to walk around there with a motor on your back and watch the stares. People are watching, represent us well out there!

Used Gear Improved

July 19, 2005

The used gear listing, a free service to USPPA members with viewing available to the general public, has been improved. The date the ad posted is visible, making it easier to determine it's freshness. All ads remain listed for 60 days unless refreshed by their poster.

The used gear listing includes Motors, Paragliders, Accessories, Package deals and other categories to make selection easier. Being able to see the date helps avoid "stale" information. Members are still requested to remove their ads once the item sells to save themselves and the shoppers a wasted call.

To see the Listing, click on Used Gear at the top of the Home Page.

Membership Streamlining

July 15, 2005

Tim Kaiser has worked out a deal that will speed future magazines to new members. By coordinating dates of preparation, we will be able to get members on the magazine mailing list up to 4 weeks quicker. Currently, it is possible to Join and then not get the magazine for up to 3 months. That, understandably, elicited questions from those having the longest wait times.

Following this month, memberships will be processed on the 10th. Of course the web-based member benefits begin right away.

PPG Importer Nominated For Award

July 9, 2005

Alex Varv (pictured right, pointing), importer of the Black Devil motor has been nominated for the 2005 Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association (LAMA) President's Award for Outstanding Individual. He was nominated due to consistently representing his company and our sport in a favorable way and his willingness to help others, regardless of brand.

Previous winners have been: 1992: Dick VanGrunsven (Van's Aircraft), 
1993: Randy Schlitter (RANS Aircraft)
1994: Lance Neibauer (Lancair Aircraft)
1995: Phil Reed (SkyStar Aircraft)
1996: Homer Kolb (Kolb Aircraft)
1997: Dennis Soder (New owner: Kolb Aircraft)
1998: Tom Peghiny (Flightstar Aircraft)
1999: Bob Gavinsky (Stoddard-Hamilton Aircraft)
2000: Darryl Murphy (Murphy Aircraft)
2001: Chris Heintz (Zenair Aircraft)
2002: Chuck Slusarczyk (CGS Aircraft)
2003: Mike Loehle (Loehle Aircraft)
2004: Phil Lockwood (Lockwood Aviation Supply)

The award, to be presented on the first day of EAA's AirVenture show, will be that person receiving the most nominations. The presentation will be at

World Championship Cancelled

July 8, 2005

After getting swamped by Sport Pilot duties, event organizer Roy Beisswenger has decided to cancel this year's PPC/PPG competition in Greenville, IL. Roy says it was an incredibly difficult decision but that he could not put in the kind of time required for a first-rate event. It was going to be the first time including PPG's in a USPPA sanctioned competition. The $500 PPG prize money offered by Red Bull will instead be offered to the Albuquerque PPG competition coming in early October.

Beisswinger said he is going to put his energies into doing it big for 2006 and we will again plan on working with him to include PPG's in a way that pilots, spectators and media will truly enjoy. There is a promotion appearing in the coming UltraFlight magazine that could not be pulled in time.

Info Website Up

June 30, 2005

Matt Unger has returned his PPG Info web site to live status with updated information and links. The site endeavors to provide news and resources regarding the sport. Visit www.PPGInfo.com.

Standardized Hand Signals Developed

June 24, 2005

Thanks to efforts of Jerry Starbuck and in conjunction with a number of USPPA instructors, we have created a set of standardized hand signals to be used by instructors. They have been placed in the Training section but are available to all. Our hope is that by making them available, it will improve the experience of students who may go to instructors in other parts of the country.

Jerry Starbuck did the initial design and artwork, Chris Bowles, Francesco DeSantis and Mo Sheldon contributed to content along with other instructors to help ensure uniformity.

All in-flight instruction should be done where the instructor can talk to the student via radio but these can sometimes be faster or help in case of radio failure. The signals can be viewed at our training section.

New Video Is Out

June 20, 2005

A new video is out that takes a humorous, fast-paced look at paramotoring through the USPPA-sponsored National PPG convention in Florida. Besides flying and quick chats with many prominent "Names" that showed up, it also has a concise description of the USPPA competition while showing those who flew it. Of Significance to USPPA is that it presents all of its officers and several of its instructors in a somewhat humorous, irreverent light.

It includes scenes of demo flying by Russian pilot Igor doing things most of us ought not. Don't try this at home but it's fun to watch when nobody loses an eye over it. Flying scenes range from the East Coast to the West Coast but obviously come mostly from the event.

The 62 minute DVD "Meet Powered Paragliding" was produced by Jeff Goin along with footage and help from Phil Russman. More information is available at www.FootFlyer.com

Monthly Membership Record

May 18, 2005

Thank you for your support! Probably as a result of the convention, we blasted by our previous monthly membership total. According to Tim Kaiser, membership administrator, there were 51 memberships (new & renewals) including those who signed up during the 2005 convention in Florida. Memberships are processed on the 15th of each month.

Thanks to Tim Kaiser, Marc Damon and Phil Russman for helping staff the USPPA booth where we also offered (and sold out of the stock we brought) the Risk & Reward video. We appreciate those who stopped by to say "hi."

Risk & Reward Sellout

May 13, 2005

We had an initial run of 1000 DVD's that we figured would last for a year. Two months later we've had to go into the second run of 1000. It has proven to be highly successful and we are thrilled that the word is getting out - it is the one video that could save a pilot's life.

Details and pilot reviews are available here.

Schools & Clubs List

May 11, 2005

The automation of our very popular Schools and Clubs list continues. Soon, every school in the country that we know about will be on this list with data that is mostly entered by the school itself. That better inures accuracy, timeliness and reduces the workload for our administrator (Tim Kaiser). All updates must be approved to reduce errors and make sure valid information gets included.

The big advantage is that it will allow the user to select schools by state and eventually by other criteria. Secondly, it is a comprehensive list, including all schools even those that may not yet be USPPA certified. If you have an active school make sure to update your information. Visit the Schools and Clubs page for more info.

Farwell Party

May 5, 2005

One of the country's most prolific paramotor instructors and USPPA supporters, Eric Dufour, is moving to Albuquerque, NM to team up with the Daniels at American Flyer. He is leaving Fly-By Ranch, where he has led a thriving PPG training operation for the past several years. They are closing up shop to this form of flight and will be Missed, as will Eric. 

Some of his local former students are having an informal farewell party at Fly-By Ranch and invite friends to come "see him off" on May 21. They will fly until sunset then toast. According to Marty Hathaway, it will be "nothing fancy, just some well-wishing and maybe a few drinks." For information, contact marty using CrazyParaglider@aol.com.

Information on the new combination school in New Mexico can be found at www.Paratour.com.

Fly For Egypt

May 5, 2005

Philanthropic PPG Pilot Rob Van Arr has a heart for the people and places of Egypt. As a world-wide traveler, he has found his personal flight to be an ideal way to share life and a way that breaks cultural barriers and is just plain fun to boot. This project involves six pilots, including Rob's son, who will be flying across the country, sharing their love for flight and showing the children of Egypt (and others) another perspective on life.

Rob is from the Netherlands and hopes to complete the flight itself in 2005 although much planning remains. More information is available on the website at www.FlyForEgypt.nl

Longtime Propeller Business 4-Sale

May 3, 2005

Business Includes:

1. PPG Prop duplication machine, 2-at-a-time, 1/2 length prop patterns, set up parts, 22 prop patterns in use.

2. Pitch cutter machine from 0 to 90 degrees for use on all propellers. 

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4. Display Propeller patterns (40), with or without clock / engraving center.

5. Balancers come with supplies and ordering parts information for 1 inch and 20mm. 

6. Leading edge tape comes with cutter and ordering information.

7. Hub patterns 50 in all.

8. Engraving machine, software cost approx $7000.00, aluminum, acrylic, trophy supplies and other supplies.

9. Finishing Room, large and small propeller presses and supplies.

10. Shipping Room equipment, boxes and supplies.

11. Camping equipment.

12. Customer records for last two years.

13. Business name...WHITE WING PROPELLER

For many years Dave Beres produced quality, affordable paramotor props and competition plaques for our sport through his business, Beres & Hirsch Propellers. His untimely death in 2004 was a tragedy to our community in many ways but most directly the loss of his crafted output. His widow, Katy Beres, has decided to sell the business, now called "White Wing Propeller." She is working to craft a new life herself and doesn't feel she can do justice to the business, it was her husband's passion. 

We offer this information to the community as a last favor to one of our sports most stalwart supporters. She is asking $45k for everything related to the business. Inquiries should go to White Wing Propeller, Kathleen G. Beres (Katy) Sole Proprietorship, 1941 Lund Road, LaPine, Oregon 97739. Contact her using 541-433-2456 or email Props@empnet.com.

Convention News

Apr 23, 2005

A crowd pleaser of a demonstration was launched Friday afternoon (Apr 22) at Fantasy of Flight. Russian pilot and world champion Igor Pitipkin flew a routine of spirals while trailing a 150 foot long yellow ribbon. His turns were such that he could have touched its tail.

An early effort at the mass launch was abandoned when wily winds picked up only 15 minutes before the planned start. Although it was originally scheduled for Saturday, officials opted for an early attempt to be forecast bad weather.

The first US competition completed with 9 pilots scoring including Russian pilot Igor of ParaAvis. Results can be seen here.

Web Outage

Apr 20, 2005

The member services section of the USPPA web site was down doe  Period on April 20 and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Our server for that portion is at a different location than this part of our web presence. Since we offered up our space for the US National PPG convention, it meant that service is also unavailable.

The problem was resolved in the morning of the following day.

Getting Shot At

Apr 16, 2005

Be careful whose house you fly over! Lane Poole sent us this report from WWMT in Michigan and it was good to see that the police were on our side.

David Eberstein lives near Three Rivers Airport near Centreville, Michigan. He's not far from a large annual PPC gathering and doesn't like the craft flying over his open land; enough that he threatened to shoot those who dared try. 

The police, acting on a tip, set up a sting and laid wait on near his house while a PPC flew by, completely legally, but over his land. When three shots rang out, they moved in. Fortunately the pilot wasn't hit and but Mr. Eberstein was taken in.

The court doled some unusual punishment in a plea bargain. Instead of going to prison, Mr. Eberstein will report to a local jail, each year, for the duration of the ultralight festival. Additionally he will get psychiatric counseling.

Merging Schools

Apr 14, 2005

Paratour and American Flyer PPG have teamed up to create a new, full-service paramotor facility in Albuquerque, NM called "Para-motor City." They aim to add complementary capabilities to their already successful schools. 

Besides training of new pilots, they will also offer wing inspection, repair, motor repair and other paramotor related services. More importantly, they plan to offer an Instructors program for those who aspire to teach this sport. Eric Dufour is a USPPA Instructor Administrator and will work with pilots to help them earn their USPPA Instructor rating.

For more information, visit www.AmericanFlyerPPG.com or www.Paratour.com until their own website is completed.

Finding Schools & Clubs Gets Easier

Apr 12, 2005

Our list of schools and clubs is poised for a major upgrade. Tim Kaiser originated the idea after answering too many inquiries about schools - the list had become difficult to manage. Simply keeping it current represented a fair amount of time. Jerry Starbuck developed the brains to make it work and it will soon go live. 

The biggest advantage is to students who will be able to look for schools and clubs by state or name. This is one of our most popular features and making it easy will be a boon to prospective pilots. Secondly, schools will be able to maintain their own data. We are allowing all schools that have some level of certification (USPPA, USHGA and others as appropriate) to list, as they do now, plus have access to their data. Changes are reviewed to make sure this list contains reasonably valid data. Of course we can only verify the data of USPPA schools.

All schools currently listed with an email address have been privately invited to update their data on the new system. They may also be added by us, time permitting, to complete the process. The existing page will be left up during the transition time until the end of June, 2005.

This will also give us the opportunity to purge those schools that may no longer be active.

If you are instructing, are not currently on the list but would like to be, please visit the schools & clubs section and follow the prompts to list your school.

Free-Flight Transition Trip Give-away

Apr 4, 2005

Motor pilots looking to transition into free flight may be interested in a trip give-away by Blue Ridge Paragliding and Cloud 9 Soaring center. Jerry Starbuck and Steve Mayer are USPPA and USHGA instructors who plan to help those attending learn free flight at the famous "Point of the Mountain" near Salt Lake City, Utah.

The winner gets round trip airfare departing August 24, 4 days of rental car, hotel and group paragliding lessons for 3 days. More information is available at Blue Ridge Paragliding.

PPG Rental: A First

Apr 2, 2005

In what may be a first for our sport, Bruce Brown of Fly Ohio Powered Paragliding is offering motor rental during the upcoming convention. Rated pilots or those with known experience will be allowed to fly the latest offering from Airfer (A Tornado Light) for $50 per hour wet (fuel included) or $500 for the entire convention (still includes all fuel).

A $250 deposit will hold a motor and the balance is due at the convention. Understandably, a $1000 refundable damage deposit is required with pilots being responsible for any damage to the units. 

Given the cost of shipping, fuel, oil, wear on your own motor and the hassle, this may be a great way to come fly at the convention.

For more information contact Bruce Brown at 419-823-1270 or email brucebrown@wcnet.org.

Freedom & Tolerance

Mar 12, 2005

Some residents of Kane County in Northern Illinois are endeavoring to limit our ability to fly due to noise issues. Although we've been lumped into the pile of motor-driven vehicles, it portends to give law enforcement unreasonable power to crack down on folks out having fun. According to an article in the Beacon News, one government official remembers a time when there was tolerance for the noises of toys. 

Although this particular proposal carries little actual restriction against the powered paragliding activity (we rarely fly during the times it proposes to limit), it's effort at restricting flight beyond the FAA rules would set precedent. Having a showing of pilots would at the meeting would benefit our sport before the gathered public.

Many residents moved out there so they could ride their dirt bikes and fly their ultralights without being so close to homes. It appears that a few are trying to foist their will on the many. We can only hope that they understand how this same process could be brought to bear on whatever it is they do for fun.

A public hearing will be held March 16th by the county board's Judicial and Public Safety Committee. It starts at 6pm in the County Board Room at the Government Center in Geneva, IL. The outcome of this process has repercussions on all of us.

Being Neighborly (Canadian Style)

Feb 12, 2005

To better accommodate members from Canada, our members area portion of the web site has been updated to incorporate the Provinces. The provinces added are: 

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Alberta

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British Columbia

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Manitoba

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New Brunswick

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Nova Scotia

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Newfoundland

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Nunavut

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Ontario

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Prince Edward Island

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Quebec

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Saskatchewan

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Yukon & Northwest Territories

Learning in Phoenix

Feb 09, 2005

There's more to a large flying event than flying. A number of informative seminars scheduled on a variety of useful topics will be presented at no extra charge to PPG pilots at upcoming conventions. The USPPA has provided material for one on Airspace and Sectional charts that was presented Saturday afternoon at the Arizona Flying Circus near Phoenix.

There is a need in this area to understand our incredible freedom and to handle it responsibly and it is up to us, collectively, to understand. Seminars have been given both in recent events and will be again at the upcoming US National PPG Convention in Florida. Please see "Coming Events" for more details.

Risk & Reward Nears Completion

Jan 27, 2005

The USPPA's "Risk & Reward" has been shown, in rough-cut form, to several pilots who have reported it to be of exceptional quality. Phil Russman reports that it should be complete by Feb 20th and available to members and the public by March 15th.

The 1 hour video is chocked full of dramatic presentation on where the risk lurks and offers some ways to minimize it. While our sport may be the safest way into personal flight, there are critical steps needed to keep it that way.

This has been a collaborative project with a number of people who have contributed greatly but Phil Russman of Lite Touch Films has put in several hundred hours seeing it through.

UltraFlight Magazine Changes Hands

Jan 26, 2005

After nearly a year of discussion with John Yonkin, Jim and Irene Byers have sold a majority interest in UltraFlight Magazine to Mr. Yonkin. The investment arrangement allows for growth of the magazine in a way that should allow for increased coverage of our sport.

There will be no immediate changes as editing duties will transfer gradually to Pat Yonkin and others that will assume increasing roles in the magazine's production. The Byers will continue to be highly involved.

Our USPPA arrangement with UltraFlight will continue providing the most complete coverage of powered paragliding ever enjoyed by the sport. Pat Yonkin, who will take on greater editorial responsibilities, explained that he is looking forward to working with the existing staff and authors.

Web Site Changes

Jan 21, 2005

A number of changes have been made to the USPPA web site in response to the efforts of Jerry Starbuck. They are intended to give the site a more streamlined, clean look. Most notable are the new header and background (white which makes for easier and more varied formatting options). If you have any comments on the changes, please send your thoughts to Tim Kaiser info@usppa.org.

Additionally, a new polling capability was added on the front page. As with most internet polls, it is entirely unscientific but provides some feedback on public thought. Polls will generally end on Monday to be discussed on the PPG Radio Show.

Convention Back on Track

Jan 21, 2005

The 2005 Convention is on!

There was some doubt when the Parastars Club decided against running it but several people worked successfully to put things back together. Many Parastars members will be helping

It will be called the 2005 US National PPG Convention. Final details have been worked out with Fantasy of Flight who has been a marvelous supporter of the paramotor community.

It will be handled by a Jim Jackson and EAA Chapter 126 with help from members of several clubs including the Paragators and Parastars.

For more information, sponsorship or advertising opportunities, please visit here.

Convention Changes Hands

Jan 17, 2005

The Parastars club has decided against running their annual convention, originally planned for April 2005. This event has grown into the premier event where vendors and pilots come together to fly and try.

After a Jan 16th meeting of the club leaders and membership, it was decided by a majority vote of those present that the club would not host it this year. According to Vice President David Warfield, they did indicate a desire to run it for 2006.

In spite of over a 70% majority approval to an unofficial phone poll, those at the meeting questioned it sufficiently to have it shelved. Some members are trying get the convention back on track but it is far from certain whether or not it will take place. 

Updates on the status will appear on our "Coming Events" Page.

Flight Park Victory

Jan 12, 2005

It's a flight friendly farm in Illinois that became home to a number of pilots who enjoy sharing air west of Chicago. But last year, in spite of pre-purchase assurances that occasional ultralight flight would be no problem, the county filed a lawsuit. After many iterations and finally a move out of the county, the lawsuit was thrown out.

Harryport (named that by it's Illinois visitors) is back. Of course it is still a farm and crops will continue to occupy most acreage but flying will be now unfettered. Pilots must, as always, be good neighbors, fly quietly and avoid the usual sensitive areas nearby. 

Anyone interested in flying there should contact Harry Rossett.  

Gear4Sale Broadened

Jan 12, 2005

To give a broader audience for members selling gear, Jerry Starbuck has added the capability for all web site visitors to view what members are selling. While only members can post gear, anybody can see what is for sale and contact the seller.

If you are a member and have something to sell, it is free and easy: log in to the member services area and follow the buttons. If you would like to see what USPPA members are selling, use the home-page button just under the top banner. Click here to go there now

 

Click here for older stories

Newsroom Policies and Goals

Industry news from press releases, events and developments in the industry are presented here. Anything reported to the organization deemed worthwhile to include will be put here. If you have some newsworthy piece of knowledge please send them to info@usppa.org.

Advertising will not be accepted on the web site due to possible conflicts and the hassle of handling and selling it. Our desire is to keep this non-commercial until the membership determines they want it...then the policy will change.

Submission of "Letters to the Editor" must adhere to the following:

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No personal attacks

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Only USPPA related business

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Submissions must be respectful. No intent is made to restrict the subject or opinion of the author, only it's expression. Decisions of the editor (or forum moderator) can be overridden only by consent of any two officers.

Editorial Policy can be found in the Bylaws and Mission Statement section under policies.