About rating officials

Key to USHPA's Pilot Proficiency Program are rating officials, who facilitate pilot advancement in our sport. The primary rating officials most pilots will interact with are Instructors, Observers, and Examiners.


There are three types of Instructors: Basic Instructors, Advanced Instructors and Tandem Instructors. Basic and Advanced Instructors are appointed by an Instructor Administrator, and Tandem Instructors are appointed by a Tandem Administrator. Instructors are appointed for one or more craft (hang glider/paraglider/both). Basic Instructors may only rate Beginner and Novice pilots. Advanced Instructors may rate all levels of ratings, Beginner through Advanced. Tandem Instructors may issue Student ratings for the purpose of taking students on tandem (two-place) instructional flights. Find an instructor


Observers are appointed by an Examiner for one or more craft (hang glider/paraglider/both) for which they are an Examiner. Observers are only appointed by Examiners within his/her region and must be USHPA Full Members with Intermediate or higher pilot standing. The Observer's duties are to observe pilots' flying skills for rating Intermediate and Advanced ratings, Special Skills, administration of oral (optional) and written (mandatory) tests for those ratings and skills, and to write letters of recommendation for Master Rating applicants to indicate that he/she has known of the applicant's good judgment, safe practices, etc. for a period of three years, or less if indicated. Observers are to actively work to establish proficiency ratings for any flying sites in their area which are presently non-rated. Find an observer


Examiners are appointed by Regional Directors for hang gliding, paragliding or both. Examiners are appointed by Regional Directors to serve for a period of one calendar year. Examiners are responsible for the appointment and performance of Observers for their craft (hang glider/paraglider/both), and to serve as a review person when questions regarding the Pilot Proficiency Program arise in their craft and area. Examiners will provide guidance to Observers in mediating conflicts at the pilot level. Examiners shall work cooperatively with the Regional Director/s, Observers and Instructors in his/her region to support their efforts to rate unrated sites, and to support the efforts of Instructors and Observers to obtain compliance by pilots with those site ratings. Find an examiner