Updates and general posts relating to the FAA, Part 103, regulatory, etc.


Letter to Tandem Instructors

March 18, 2021

Dear USPPA Instructor,

Thank you for continued support of powered paragliding—doing work that is critical to our sport’s sustainable growth. We aim to provide you with the best possible tools. To that end, we worked to garner an exemption for tandem instruction of students.

We all win when responsible, safe, knowledgeable pilots emerge from your schools, and tandem training is a valuable tool. Ultralight flying in the U.S. enjoys more freedom than anywhere in the world, a freedom that carries immense responsibility.

If this program gets abused it will be terminated. Abuse means using tandems for other than its granted purpose of training, or issuing ratings to individuals who don’t meet the high standards expected of the program.


There are two documents required to be carried on every tandem flight:

1. Your rating card that shows you as “Tandem Instructor” (or Tandem Trainee for those not yet fully qualified), and

2. A copy of the exemption. It’s under “Training” from the home page of USPPA.org.

Help Us Keep The Exemption

We are passionate about keeping this exemption as a training tool for you. For some, it is your livelihood, and for all it is well worth protecting. By being able to train legally, you remove the uncertainty of legal action from the FAA, from an injured or disgruntled student, or from a competitor.

NOT flying legally risks the entire program. It is up to you to ensure that participants are flying legally, responsibly, and that tandems are only being done by those certified to do them.

We as a group have been tasked with policing ourselves.

If you see anyone operating outside legal bounds, talk to them. Explain what’s at stake for us as a community and for them personally. If they had an accident while operating illegally it risks the program. If a pilot continues to operate illegally, be tactful, but be firm that it cannot continue, that they risk it for all of us. If it still continues, document the violations and write a letter to be sent to the USPPA training committee. If the pilot is not certified under this program and is flying foot launched tandems, we will contact him/her to try resolving the situation. If they continue to ignore the law, we are obliged to report them to the nearest FAA Flight Standards District Office. We have been given the opportunity to fly tandems legally, we must use it wisely.

We either weed out those who willing risk our exemption, or face the consequence of losing it.

Thank you again for helping our sport continue as a responsible citizen of the flying fraternity.

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