Back: About the USPPA

The Origin, the Purpose & the People

By Jeff Goin | July 29, 2001


Some have asked about the origins of USPPA and the motivations behind it. My desire here is to lay out what prompted it’s formation and give some background on those who came forward to help it begin.

When I got into the sport I was surprised to find out there was no organization dedicated solely to POWERED paragliding and no standardized training program. So when discussion came up on the subject I thought it was a good idea.

In about December of 2000, after talking personally with the founder of  NAPPG it became apparent they had switched focus and did not want to be democratically run with all the associated hassles. Shortly thereafter the seeds of USPPA were sown.

In the next couple months I began building the web site and organizational form using a modified framework from the USHGA. I still wasn’t sure I wanted to take on what seemed like a monumental time commitment but in early March I took the plunge and offered it to the PPG community at large. At the same time I solicited PPG people who I respected, had expressed a similar vision and were very committed to the sport.

The Purpose

It was one of those things that I felt convinced should be done…uniting the pilots to whatever extent was possible and providing benefits that could essentially only be had through this type of organization. I felt the training program should be completely voluntary, be set up by those folks most experienced at training and be minimally expensive to be included.

If good people wanted to share in the load and the vision than it would likely succeed. If not then it would become extinct. But at least we would know whether the pilots, overall, were ready and desiring this type of effort.

It was also important that not one individual or even group of individuals control it without recourse…thus the form and by-laws. They were created so that the folks who ran it could not enact unpopular changes without fear of losing their office. It was also made so that changes to the by-laws must enjoy wide support in the membership and so the direction could not be changed easily by the leadership.

The People

There are some very interesting histories involved in those who have dedicated large chunks of their lives to this sport. There is also a common thread…they gave up much in earnings to do this sport they love so much. The vast majority of folks I know who make a living in a ppg business do because they enjoy it and are willing to risk their careers to pursue it.

Some of these folks I have come to know better as a result this organization. It’s interesting to recount their histories. While I mention here the ones who have contributed to this effort, I also acknowledge many others who have made big contributions to the sport.

Francesco DeSantis: Having accepted an offer for a juicy job in Canadian ATC he got an offer from a ppg dealer to do instruction full-time. It was for noticably less money than the ATC job and certainly didn’t have nearly the trappings. But it would allow him to do the sport he loved full-time. He’s been training and flying ever since.

Alan Chuculate: Having worked in the Aerospace field for a few years he decided it wasn’t the life for him and chose to teach ppg instead. The hope: to be able to fly more often. Like Francesco, he has traveled all over the world training pilots to ppg with a wide variety of equipment.

Chris Bowles: He is a gifted craftsman and machinist who has dedicated his talents to this sport for many years. In addition to designing and working on various innovative products, he his wife Tammy do a lot of instruction. They’re choice of a house was based almost entirely on it’s proximity to a good soaring location in western NC.

There are others, of course, and hopefully we’ll be able to get them to come down long enough to participate in whatever way they can. My reason for adding this is to provide one perspective on these folks and their impact on our sport.

USPPA
500 Westover Dr. #2384
Sanford, NC 27330
866-37-USPPA (87772)