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P4 - Advanced Paraglider Rating

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Read more about the Advanced Pilot Training Clinic.

The pilot has the knowledge and skills to fly technically demanding sites in strong soaring conditions, and to judge when the site and conditions are within the pilot's skill, knowledge, and experience level. The pilot understands the USHPA paragliding rating system and recommended operating limitations, and the FARs and other flying rules applicable to his/her flying. The pilot will fly using good judgment and have a level of maturity commensurate with the rating.

P4 Advanced Rating - Required Witnessed Tasks

Logged Requirements

  • 250 flights.

  • Must have made 5 flights at each of 5 different sites in Intermediate level conditions, of which 3 were inland.

  • Must have logged a minimum of 80 flying days.

  • Must have at least three, 1-hour flights in thermal lift without sustaining ridge lift. Flights must originate from at least two different sites in Intermediate level conditions.

  • Must have at least one, 1-hour flight in ridge lift without sustaining thermal lift.

  • Must have logged a minimum of 75 hours total airtime, with no more than 25 of these hours to be tandem. Of these 75 hours, 25 must be in thermal lift, with no more than 10 of these 25 hours to be tandem flights.

  • Must have flown a minimum of 5 different canopies.

Demonstrated Skills and Knowledge

  • Preflight of the harness, canopy, and backup reserve parachute.

  • Verbal analysis of conditions.

  • Flight plan.

  • With each flight, demonstrates a method of establishing that the pilot is properly connected to the glider, with cleared lines and risers just prior to launch.

  • All inflations/launches should be aggressive, confident, and with a smooth transition from running to flying. Flights with slow, unstable inflations/launches will not be considered adequate as witnessed tasks.

  • All landings must be safe, smooth, on the feet and in control.

  • Demonstrate ability to allow clearance when doing 360 degree turns by demonstrating figure eights:

    a.In a wind sufficient to cause drift, two points will be selected on a line perpendicular to the wind.
    b. The pilot will fly along a line parallel to that joining the pylons, slightly downwind of the pylons, toward a point midway between them. During the crosswind leg, the pilot will establish the degree of wind drift. At the midpoint between the pylons, the pilot will make a smooth, deliberate upwind turn and enter a figure eight course consisting of smooth turns of constant ground track radius around the pylons (centered on the pylons) with straight segments at the midpoint between the pylons.
    c. The pilot must complete two consecutive figure eights in which the airspeed, bank angle, and turn rate are altered smoothly around the course such that the proper ground track is held and the drift is compensated for, without overcompensation or hesitation.

  • Demonstrate three consecutive spot landings within 10' of a target after a flight which requires turns on approach. In smooth conditions, the spot location should be changed by the Observer, for each of the three flights. Flights should be a minimum of one minute and 200' AGL.

  • Demonstrate smooth coordinated 360 degree turns in both directions, with reversal at various speeds and bank angles appropriate to the rating level.

  • Demonstrates significant asymmetric wing collapses (50% of the wing span) with directional control.

  • Demonstrates complete understanding of all Paragliding Tow Discussion Topics (for tow rated pilots only).

  • Must pass the USHPA Advanced Paragliding written exam.

  • Must convince the Instructor or Observer that he can check in and fly Advanced rated sites without endangering spectators, other pilots, or jeopardizing the site.

  • Must agree to all the provisions of the USHPA standard waiver and assumption of risk agreement for the Advanced rating and deliver an original signed copy to the USHPA office.

Recommended Operating Limitations for Advanced Paraglider Pilots

A. Should not fly within 30' of another glider in smooth air, or within 100' of another glider in moderately turbulent air.

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PO Box 91259, Santa Barbara, California 93190
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