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Date of Draft: 9 may 2016

Purpose of this Operating Procedure (OP)

  1. The purpose of this Operating Procedure is to define the HPAC/ACVL pilot rating system and specify the requirements that pilots must meet in order to obtain specific ratings.

Description of the HPAC/ACVL Pilot Rating System

  1. The HPAC/ACVL rating system consists of five levels each for hang gliding and paragliding. A pilot can hold one rating for hang gliding and one rating for paragliding.
  2. The Beginner rating (H1/P1) is given at the introductory level of instruction and is aimed at introducing pilots early on to the HPAC/ACVL rating system and to make them aware of the Association.
  3. The Master rating (H5/P5) is awarded to selected individuals who have contributed significantly to the sports of hang gliding and paragliding in Canada.

Minimum Requirements for Beginner through Advanced ratings

  1. The tables below specifies the minimum requirements that must be met by a pilot in order to obtain Beginner, Novice, Intermediate, Advanced ratings and specific endorsements for paragliders and for hang gliders.
  2. Note: The HAGAR examination is administered by Transport Canada.

Rating

Paragliding

P1

Beginner

  1. General Description

A Beginner pilot has the knowledge and basic skills necessary to fly and practice under direct instructor supervision and within significant operating limitations. The pilot understands the HPAC/ACVL paragliding rating systems and recommended operating limitations.

  1. Beginner Rating - Required Witnessed Tasks
  1. Attends and completes a basic ground school.
  2. Understands and demonstrates use of radio.
  3. Layout and preflight of canopy and harness.
  4. Demonstrates canopy handling skills sufficient to launch - under control.
  5. With each flight, demonstrate method(s) of establishing that pilot is properly connected to the canopy, with cleared lines and risers, just prior to inflation.
  6. Launch unassisted showing:
    1. Aggressive inflation and run.
    2. Pendulum control during launch.
    3. Directional control.
    4. Smooth transition from running to flying.
  7. Airspeed recognition and control,
    1. Two flights, predetermined to show:
      1. Constant airspeed.
      2. Smooth straight flight towards a pre-selected target.
      3. Safe, smooth landing, on feet, into wind.
    2. Four flights, predetermined to show:
      1. Confident, slight variation in airspeed and direction showing awareness of control inputs and pendulum control.
      2. Smoothly increasing airspeed, and smoothly slowing airspeed showing good control.
      3. Safe, smooth landing, on feet, into wind.
  8. Shows the ability to recognize and understand how different wind conditions at a site will affect their flights.
    1. Wind direction.
    2. Wind velocity.
    3. Terrain shape.
    4. Obstructions.
  9. On each flight, demonstrates proper post-landing procedure, to include, but not limited to:
    1. Canopy deflation.
    2. Canopy immobilization.
    3. Checking traffic.
    4. Removal of canopy from landing area.
    5. Disconnection from the canopy.
  10. Demonstration of understanding of the importance of proper packing, storage, and care of the canopy.
  11. The pilot shall use good judgment and have a level of maturity commensurate with the rating.
  12. Must pass the HPAC/ACVL Beginner Paragliding written exam.
  13. Must agree to all the provisions of the HPAC/ACVL standard waiver and assumption of risk agreement for the Beginner rating and deliver an original signed copy to the HPAC/ACVL office.
  1. Recommended Operating Limitations for Beginner Pilots:
  1. Flights should not exceed 300 ft (100 m) AGL.
  2. May exceed these limitations only after demonstrating complete mastery of the required Beginner paragliding tasks (above), and only after acquiring a full understanding of the potential problems and dangerous situations which may arise from exceeding these limitations.
  3. While a student, all flights be made under the direct supervision of a HPAC/ACVL Certified Instructor
  4. Once the Beginner rating (P1) is attained, all flights must be under the direct supervision of an instructor or an instructor-approved mentor.
  5. Should fly only in steady winds of 12 mph (20 km/h) or less.
  6. If foot launching, should foot launch only on slopes of 3:1 - 4:1, where wind is within 15° of being straight up the slope.
  7. Should launch only when there are no obstructions within 60° to either side of the intended flight path.
  8. Should fly appropriate sites for this skill level.
  9. Should fly a paraglider recommended by the manufacturer as suitable for Beginner or Novice pilots.

P2

Novice

  1. General Description

Novice rated paraglider pilot has the knowledge and basic skills necessary to fly and practice without direct instructor supervision but within significant operating limitations. The pilot understands the HPAC/ACVL paragliding rating systems and recommended operating limitations. The pilot shall use good judgment and have a level of maturity commensurate with the rating. Pilots must demonstrate Beginner level skills and knowledge before obtaining the Novice rating. All witnessed flights must be pre-planned by the pilot and discussed with the Instructor.

  1. Prerequisites
  • Paragliding P1 Beginner Rating.
  • Thermal Endorsement or the Coastal/Ridge Endorsement.
  1. Novice Rating - Required Witnessed Tasks

Logged Requirement

  • Must have logged a minimum of 25 flights.

Candidate must attend a structured ground school whose focus is on safety considerations, the theory of flight and weather and wind conditions.

Consistently demonstrate the process of determining:

  • Current and forecast weather analysis
  • Launch safety and characteristics
  • Danger signs and possible results
  • Landing field analysis and characteristics and approach procedures
  • Consistently demonstrate knowledge of and proper preparation of radio, vario and compass.
  • Weather
  1. Show how to observe weather forecasts relating to the particular site from news broadcasting, newspapers and the Internet.
  2. Monitor weather forecast on a weather radio and or smart phones prior to leaving for flying and on site prior to flying.
  3. Discuss the wisdom of calling a local pilot to gain insight into the local conditions.
  • Launches
  1. Consider altitude, humidity, and temperature factors (air density)
  2. Consider the slope of the hill, wind factors.
  • Danger Signs
  1. High wind, dust blowing, whitecaps, swaying trees, birds, smoke laying down and lenticular clouds.
  2. Contradictory and dangerous wind possibilities with respect to wind indicators at launch: note overall wind signs (cloud drift, water lines, bird drift, smoke from fires or smoke stack smoke direction, cat's paws ) with respect to wind indicators at launch.
  3. Varying wind directions and speed differences at launch and landing.
  • Landing
  1. Consider air density (as listed above in launches)
  2. Wind direction awareness and how wind affects landing. Wind direction indicators other than the wind sock.
  3. Approach:
    1. Watch for man-made objects. Lines in the field mean fences, ditches or power lines. Assume all roads have power lines.
    2. Setup procedures for long straight approach.
    3. Discuss approach options and preferred approaches with locals.
    4. Extra speed for handling gradient and turbulence.
    5. Review crosswind landing techniques
    6. Tree landing techniques
    7. Avoidance of obvious crop fields.
  • Equipment
  1. Water (and food, for after flight)
  2. Radio
  3. Variometer
  4. Compass (or other directional bearing device)
  5. Mobile phone
  • Site Orientation
  1. Discuss general site specifics, and protocol.
  1. Demonstrated Skills and Knowledge - Logged Requirements
  1. Demonstrates consistent ability to achieve successful aircraft landing approaches.
  2. Demonstrates consistent ability to achieve S-turn or figure eight landing approaches.
  3. Demonstrates layout and preflight of the canopy, harness, and backup reserve parachute.
  4. Gives a reliable analysis of general conditions of the site and self, and a flight plan including flight path, areas to avoid in relation to the wind flow, and obstacles to stay clear of.
  5. Demonstrates consistent ability to achieve consecutive forward inflations with a visual check of the canopy each time.
  6. Demonstrates consistent ability to achieve consecutive controlled reverse inflations with proper surge dampening.
  7. Demonstrates controlled kiting of a paraglider overhead for 2 minutes in a steady wind.
  8. Demonstrates consistent clean, smooth reverse inflations prior to launch.
  9. 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 inflation.
  10. Demonstrates 2 successful, aggressive, confident inflations/launches, where the wind is at least 15° cross to straight up the hill in wind not exceeding 5 mph (8 km/h)
  11. Demonstrates 2 no-wind (0-5 mph, 0-8 km/h) inflations/launches.
  12. Demonstrates how to brief and instruct a ground crew in assisted launch techniques and explain when an assisted launch is necessary.
  13. Demonstrates flight with smooth variation in airspeed, from minimum sink to fast flight, while maintaining a heading.
  14. Demonstrates flight showing the ability to comfortably and precisely slow the glider to minimum sink and smoothly increase to normal airspeed while maintaining a heading. The pilot should not slow the glider to near the stall speed.
  15. Demonstrates flight(s) along a planned path alternating 'S' turns of at least 90° change in heading. Flight heading need not exceed 45° from straight into the wind. Turns must be smooth with controlled airspeed, ending in safe, stand up landings on a heading.
  16. Demonstrates 180° turns in both directions, and at various speeds and bank angles.
  17. Demonstrates hands-off flying, one handed flying skills, weight-shift turns, and rear-riser turns.
  18. Demonstrates symmetric and asymmetric tip folds for increased descent rate.
  19. Demonstrates the ability to judge and allow for proper clearance from a ridge and other aircrafts
  20. Demonstrates 5 landings within 33 feet (10 m) of a target, safe, smooth, on the feet and into the wind. The target must be sufficiently close to launch such that turns are required to set up an approach and avoid over-flying the target. The target should be at least 100 feet (30 m) below the launch point.
  21. Explains proper strong wind landing procedures and how to keep from being dragged back.
  22. Explains correct canopy maintenance.
  23. Explains how to lengthen and shorten the flight path.
  24. Explains the right of way traffic rules.
  25. Demonstrates the proper use of a speedbar/accelerating system.
  26. Demonstrates reserve deployment while hanging in a harness in simulated turbulence or malfunction conditions.
  27. Demonstrates the ability to differentiate airspeed from ground speed from wind speed.
  28. Maintain directional control during and correct for an asymmetric wing fold of 25% of the wing span.
  29. Increase descent rate and/or forward speed.
  30. Fly at minimum sink while precluding any chance of inadvertent stall or spin, particularly when flying through lift, sink or in conjunction with making turns.
  31. Gives a thorough verbal demonstration of knowledge:
    1. Demonstrate proper and effective PLF (parachute landing fall) technique.
    2. Must pass the HPAC/ACVL Novice Paragliding (P2) written exam.
    3. Acknowledges and understands the need to become familiar with site-specific restrictions and launch or landing access limits, consistent with preservation of flying privileges at a site.
  1. Recommended Operating Limitations for Novice (P2) Paragliding Pilots
  1. Should exceed these limitations only after thoroughly mastering all required tasks, and after acquiring a full understanding of the potential problems and dangers involved in exceeding these limitations.
  2. Should be governed by the operational limitations associated with their choice of prerequisite endorsement.
  3. Should not fly in thermal lift where peak climb rates exceed 400 fpm (2 m/s).
  4. If foot launching, should launch only on slopes steeper than 4:1, where the wind is within 25° of being straight up the slope.
  5. Visual contact with the landing zone.
  6. Avoid application of either brake beyond 2/3 of the way from slack to stall position.
  7. Limit turns to 30° of bank, limit speed in turns to 1.5 times the straight line, brakes off, cruise speed, and smoothly exit any spiral turn which shows a tendency to steepen or accelerate.
  8. Should fly a canopy recommended by the manufacturer as suitable for beginner to Intermediate pilots.

P3

Intermediate

  1. General Description

The pilot has the knowledge and skills to fly most sites in mild to moderate soaring conditions, and to judge when the site and conditions are within the pilot's skill, knowledge, and experience level. The pilot understands the HPAC/ACVL paragliding rating system and recommended operating limitations, and the CARs (Canadian Aviation Regulations) and other flying rules applicable to his/her flying (ridge rules, thermal right of way, CAR 602.29, airspace regulations, etc.). The pilot shall use good judgment and have a level of maturity commensurate with the rating.

  1. Prerequisite
  • HPAC/ACVL Novice rating (P2).
  • Must have attained both the Coastal/Ridge Endorsement and the Thermal Soaring Endorsement.
  1. Intermediate Rating - Required Witnessed Tasks
  1. Logged Requirements
    1. Must have logged a minimum of 30 flying days.
    2. Must have logged a total of at least 90 flights.
    3. Must have logged a minimum of 60 hours of logged airtime.
  2. Demonstrated Skills and Knowledge
    1. Has received training in and/or understands the importance and significance of:
      1. Right of way rules.
      2. Transport Canada Regulations and aircraft sectional charts
      3. Airspeed control, stalls, spins, and turbulence-induced collapses and recoveries.
      4. Canopy owner's manual.
      5. HPAC/ACVL Accident Report current results.
      6. First aid (highly recommended).
    2. Can give verbal analysis of conditions on the hill, demonstrating knowledge of wind shadows, gradients, lift, sink, laminar air, turbulence and rotors, and the effect these items have on an intended flight path and turns.
    3. Must give a verbal flight plan for each observed flight.
    4. Must show thorough preflight of the harness, canopy, and backup reserve parachute.
    5. 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.
    6. 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 for witnessed tasks.
    7. For witnessed tasks, all landings must be safe, smooth, on the feet, and in control.
    8. Demonstrates the ability to differentiate airspeed from ground speed from wind speed.
    9. Demonstrates linked 180° turns along a predetermined ground track showing smooth controlled reversals and proper coordination at various speeds and bank angles.
    10. Demonstrates 360° turns in both directions, and at various speeds and bank angles.
    11. Demonstrates symmetric and asymmetric tip folds (25% per side, 50% total) or some other method of canopy reduction for increased descent rate.
    12. Demonstrates one method to increase forward speed.
    13. Demonstrates proper surge control of canopy using properly timed brake application.
    14. Gives a thorough verbal description of how to maintain directional control during and correct for an 50% asymmetric wing collapse.
    15. Gives a thorough explanation of:
      1. why flying a paraglider with one or both control toggles significantly extended should be avoided unless flaring for a landing.
      2. the signs that the paraglider has entered a stalled configuration (one or both sides).
    16. In 5-15 mph (8-24 km/h) winds, demonstrates the ability to maintain airspeed at or near minimum sink during crosswind and upwind legs, without any evidence of stalls.
    17. Demonstrates 5 landings within 10 feet (3 m) of a target after flights requiring turns on approach.
    18. Demonstrates proper airspeed control on landing approach when descending through a gradient.
    19. Demonstrates proper airspeed for maximum distance flown into a significant headwind.
    20. Must pass the HPAC/ACVL Intermediate Paragliding (P3) written exam.
    21. Acknowledges and understands the need to become familiar with site-specific restrictions and launch or landing access limits, consistent with preservation of flying privileges at a site.
  1. Recommended Operating Limitations for Intermediate Paraglider Pilots
  1. Maximum base wind of 16 mph (25 km/h).
  2. Maximum peak gusts to 19 mph (30 km/h).
  3. Maximum gust rate of 5 mph (8 km/h) in 5 seconds.
  4. Avoid steep turns close to the ground.
  5. Avoid application of either brake beyond 3/4 of the way from full off to stall position.
  6. Limit turns to bank angles recommended by the manufacturer, limit speed in turns to 2 times the straight line, brakes off, cruise speed, and smoothly exit any spiral turn that shows a tendency to steepen or accelerate.
  7. Should initiate downwind turns only with 300 feet (100 m) of clearance outward from the hill or ridge in winds above 15 mph (24 km/h), and 250 feet (75 m) of clearance in winds above 9 mph (15 km/h).
  8. Should not fly in thermals where peak climb rates exceed 800 fpm (4 m/s) or where significant vertical cloud development exists.
  9. Upon mastering the above skills, an Intermediate Paragliding Pilot should pursue new maneuvers, sites, and conditions with the guidance of a HPAC/ACVL Certified Advanced Paragliding Instructor or Observer.

P4

Advanced

  1. General Description

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 HPAC/ACVL paragliding rating system and recommended operating limitations, and the CARs (Canadian Aviation Regulations) 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.

  1. Prerequisite
  • HPAC/ACVL Intermediate rating (P3).
  • All three following Endorsements: Coastal/Ridge, Thermal Soaring, SIV ("Simulation d'Incident en Vol", Simulation of Incidents in Flight).
  • Pass HAGAR exam.
  1. Advanced Rating - Required Witnessed Tasks
  1. Logged Requirements
    1. 250 flights.
    2. Must have made 5 flights at each of 5 different sites in Intermediate level conditions, of which 3 were inland.
    3. Must have logged a minimum of 80 flying days.
    4. Must have logged at least 3, 1-hour flights in thermal lift without sustaining ridge lift. Flights must originate from at least 2 different sites in Intermediate level conditions.
    5. Must have logged at least 1, 1-hour flight in ridge lift without sustaining thermal lift.
    6. Must have logged a minimum of 120 hours total solo airtime. Of these 120 hours, 60 must be in thermal lift.
    7. Must have flown a minimum of 5 different models of paragliders
    8. Must have achieved the Coastal/Ridge Endorsement and the Thermal Endorsement.
  2. Demonstrated Skills and Knowledge
    1. Demonstrates preflight of the harness, canopy, and reserve parachute.
    2. Can give a verbal analysis of conditions.
    3. Can develop then follow a flight plan.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. All landings must be safe, smooth, on the feet and in control.
    7. Demonstrate ability to allow clearance when doing 360° turns by demonstrating figure eights:
      1. In a wind sufficient to cause drift, two points will be selected on a line perpendicular to the wind.
      2. 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.
      3. 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.
    8. Demonstrate three consecutive landings within 10 feet (3 m) 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 feet (60 m) AGL.
    9. Demonstrate smooth coordinated 360° turns in both directions, with reversal at various speeds and bank angles appropriate to the rating level.
    10. Must pass the HPAC/ACVL Advanced Paragliding (P4) written exam.
    11. The Instructor or Observer must be confident that the pilot can check in and fly Advanced rated sites without endangering spectators, other pilots, or jeopardizing the site.

Endorsement

Paragliding

Thermal Soaring

The Thermal Soaring Endorsement signifies that the pilot understands the special conditions and has demonstrated the flying skills required to fly safely in moderate to strong thermal conditions (400-1200 fpm, 2-6 m/s)

  1. Demonstrates controlled, calm and confident flight in conditions requiring quick, deliberate, substantial, and correct control application to reduce pendulum motion.
  2. Demonstrates the ability to launch unassisted with strong, running forward-inflation launches in winds less than 3 mph (5 km/h).
  3. Demonstrates proper directional control and correction of full (i.e., 50% of the wing span) asymmetric collapses.
  4. Demonstrates sustained flight in moderate thermal conditions without the aid of ridge lift.
  5. Demonstrates smooth and correctly timed surge control.Must have logged five 30-minute thermal flights without sustaining ridge lift.
  6. Demonstrates understanding of high altitude conditions (e.g., air density, cloud suck, anabatic and catabatic conditions, hypoxia, hypothermia).

Recommended Operating Limitations for Thermal Soaring Conditions

  1. Maximum base wind of 9 mph (15 km/h).
  2. Wind velocity gust variation of ±4 mph (±6 km/h) (up or down).
  3. Maximum crosswind in launch window of 15 degrees.

Coastal / Ridge flying

The Coastal or Ridge Soaring Endorsement signifies that the pilot understands the special conditions and has demonstrated the flying skills required to fly safely in the strong laminar wind flow found on ridge and coastal sites which in turn makes soaring possible.

  1. Demonstrates 2 high-wind (12-16 mph, 20-25 km/h) inflations/launches.
  2. Demonstrates symmetric and asymmetric tip folds for increased descent rate.
  3. Demonstrates the ability to judge and allow for proper clearance from a ridge obstacles and aircraft.
  4. Demonstrates a consistent ability to top land in 12-16 mph (20-25 km/h) laminar flow wind and be able to identify the different approaches needed for landing in those wind speeds.
  5. Understand and explains the causes, variations and problems associated with Venturi.
  6. Understand and explains the causes, variations and problems associated with Wind gradient.
  7. Understands and explains the signs indicating change in wind speed and direction that may be observed during flight.
  8. Demonstrates how to brief and instruct a ground crew in assisted launch techniques and explain when an assisted launch is necessary.
  9. Explains proper strong wind landing procedures and how to keep from being dragged back, as well as various strong wind glider disabling techniques.
  10. Demonstrates the effective use of the acceleration/speed system.

Recommended Operating Limitations for Ridge and Coastal Soaring Paragliding Pilots

  1. Maximum base wind of 19 mph (30 km/h)
  2. Maximum peak gusts to 22 mph (35 km/h)

Towing

  1. Must participate in a structured ground school and instructional course whose focus is the theory and practical demonstration of the skills, techniques, methods and communication skills needed in towing
  2. Understand and discuss towing pressure.
  3. Demonstrate consistent ability to inflate and launch in no wind from the forward inflation position
  4. Demonstrate consistent ability to inflate and launch in winds up to 12 mph (20 km/h) from the reverse inflation position.
  5. Demonstrate an ability to communicate both with hand or leg signals and by radio.
  6. Understand the term "lock out" and describe how to avoid it.
  7. Demonstrate consistent skill in staying "on line" during tow.
  8. Demonstrate consistent skill in staying "on line" during a cross wind conditions of up to 30°.
  9. Understand and communicate with the instructor the skills and procedure necessary to safely exit a low level line break.
  10. Understand and communicate with the instructor the procedure to take should the towline fail to release or become entangled with the pilot upon release.
  11. Understand and explain the mechanism for stalling a wing that is specific to towing, such as high cable tension, or excessive brake tension.

SIV

("Simulation d'Incident en Vol", Simulation of Incidents in Flight)

A pilot wanting the SIV Endorsement must present to the rating HPAC/ACVL Instructor signed proof by an SIV Instructor, of their successful completion of a SIV course consisting of the following basic criteria:

  1. big ears
  2. spiral descent ability
  3. recovery from induced asymmetrical collapse
  4. recovery from induced frontal collapse
  5. recovery from induced spin
  6. recovery from induced stall

nb -The SIV Endorsement is not an aerobatics Endorsement.

Speed riding

Speed Riding, dating back to winter 2001 is a combination of paragliding and skiing and the use of small, low performance canopies typically found in parachuting.

Speed Gliding (also known as Speed Flying) is also a discipline that is part of paragliding, but using a small canopy paraglider and is typically foot launched. The Endorsement for Speed Riding and Speed Gliding is the same and combined, but pilots should take into account knowledge and insure that their ability and training is appropriate to participate safely in each respective discipline.

The Endorsement will be a single qualification under the term "Speed Riding" or "Speed".

Requirements

  1. In order to qualify to obtain an HPAC "Speed" Endorsement , pilots are required to have at least (minimum) a P2 rating in Canada.
  2. Demonstrate capacity to set-up, inspect gear and control static glider inflation.
  3. Demonstrate control of glider on skis (or walking) along a given direction, slow down and brake.
  4. Demonstrate ability to launch from a training hill (with or without skis accordingly). Land and continue with static control.
  5. Demonstrate capacity to launch and land safely from a training hill while maintaining direction (without the need to manage an approach).
  6. Demonstrate capacity to manage a high flight in a known flying site.
  7. Demonstrate controlled skiing under canopy (Speed Riding).
  8. Demonstrate safe flying close to slope, touchdown and ski with glider above head (Speed Riding only).
  9. Show solo flying abilities and prefight management in known flying site.
  10. Demonstrate complete directional control and landing technique on slope (Speed Riding) and/or on feet (Speed Gliding).
  11. Demonstrate that Pilot is autonomous on all sites in flight (and on skis Speed Riding only). Pilot must be able to judge conditions for safe Speed Riding at given site.
  12. Pilot must have complete control while kiting glider on foot or on skis at all time
  13. Pilot must demonstrate ability to launch with glider uphill from pilot and downhill from pilot (Speed Riding).

Rating

Hang gliding

H1

Beginner

  1. General Description

A Beginner pilot has the knowledge and basic skills necessary to fly and practice within significant operating limitations. The pilot understands the HPAC/ACVL hang gliding rating system and recommended operating limitations. The pilot shall use good judgment and have a level of maturity commensurate with the rating.

  1. Beginner Rating - Required Witnessed Tasks
  1. Attends and completes a basic ground school.
  2. Understands and demonstrates use of radio.
  3. Shows the ability to set up and preflight hang glider and harness.
  4. Demonstrates ground handling skills sufficient to launch - under control.
  5. With each flight, demonstrates method(s) of establishing that pilot is properly connected to the hang glider, ie hang check.
  6. Launches unassisted showing:
    1. Appropriate ground speed and pitch control during launch.
    2. Level wings and directional control.
    3. Smooth transition from running to flying.
  7. Recognizes and controls airspeed,
    1. Two flights, predetermined to show:
      1. Constant airspeed.
      2. Smooth straight flight towards a pre-selected target.
      3. Safe, smooth landing, into wind.
    2. Four flights, predetermined to show:
      1. Confident, slight variation in airspeed and direction showing awareness of control inputs.
      2. Smoothly increasing airspeed, and smoothly slowing airspeed showing good control.
      3. Safe, smooth landing, into wind.
  8. Recognizes and understands how different wind conditions at a site will affect flights.
    1. Wind direction.
    2. Wind velocity.
    3. Terrain shape.
    4. Obstructions.
  9. On each flight, demonstrates proper post-landing procedure, to include, but not limited to:
    1. Hang glider control appropriate for wind conditions.
    2. Unhooking prior to ground handling.
    3. Checking traffic.
    4. Removal of hang glider from landing area.
  10. Demonstrates understanding of the importance of proper packing, transport, storage, and care of the hang glider.
  11. Passes the HPAC/ACVL Beginner hang gliding written exam.
  12. Agrees to all the provisions of the HPAC/ACVL standard waiver and assumption of risk agreement for the Beginner rating and deliver an original signed copy to the HPAC/ACVL office.
  1. Recommended Operating Limitations for Beginner Pilot:
  1. Flights should not exceed 300 ft (100 m) AGL.
  2. Should exceed these limitations only after demonstrating complete mastery of the required Beginner hang gliding tasks (above), and only after acquiring a full understanding of the potential problems and dangerous situations which may arise from exceeding these limitations.
  3. All flights should be made under the direct supervision of a HPAC/ACVL certified instructor.
  4. Flies only in steady winds of 12 mph (20 km/h) or less.
  5. If foot launching, only launches when the wind is within 30° of being straight up the slope with a wind less than 6 mph (10 km/h), and within 15° for winds 6-12 mph (10-20 km/h).
  6. Launches only when there are no obstructions within 60° to either side of the intended flight path.
  7. Flies appropriate sites for this skill level.
  8. Flies a hang glider recommended by the manufacturer as suitable for Beginner or Novice pilot.
  9. Flies a hang glider equipped with wheels on the basetube.
  10. Wears a helmet while flying a hang glider.

H2

Novice

  1. General Description

A Novice rated hang glider pilot has the knowledge and basic skills necessary to fly and practice without direct instructor supervision but within significant operating limitations. The pilot understands the HPAC/ACVL hang gliding rating system and recommended operating limitations. The pilot shall use good judgment and have a level of maturity commensurate with the rating. The pilot must posses a Beginner rating before obtaining the Novice rating. All witnessed flights must be pre-planned by the pilot and discussed with the instructor.

  1. Prerequisite

HPAC/ACVL Beginner rating.

  1. Novice Rating - Required Witnessed Tasks
  1. Passes the HPAC/ACVL Novice Hang gliding (H2) written exam.
  2. Logs more than 2 hours solo airtime.
  3. Logs 75 supervised flights including 10 at height greater than 500 feet (150 m).
  4. Attends a structured ground school whose focus is on safety considerations, the theory of flight and weather and wind conditions.
  5. Pre-Launch, consistently demonstrates:
    1. Current and forecast weather analysis for the particular site based on various sources; news broadcasting, newspapers and the Internet.
    2. Launch safety for the pilot and others.
    3. Identification of hazards and possible results.
    4. Landing field analysis and characteristics, and approach procedures/options.
    5. Appropriate use of a radio and flight instruments.
    6. Weather forecast monitoring on a weather radio and or smart phones prior to leaving for flying and on site prior to flying.
    7. Contacting a local pilot to gain insight into the local conditions.
  6. On launch, consistently demonstrates:
    1. Consideration of altitude, humidity, and temperature factors (air density)
    2. Consideration of the slope of the hill, wind factors.
    3. Identification of high wind, dust blowing, whitecaps, swaying trees, birds,smoke laying down and lenticular clouds.
    4. Identifcation of negative wind possibilities – note overall wind signs (cloud drift, water lines, bird drift, smoke from fires or smoke stack smoke direction).
    5. Identification of varying wind directions, speed differences, gust factor and their relevance.
  7. While landing, consistently demonstrates:
    1. Consideration of air density (as listed above in launches)
    2. Wind direction awareness, how wind affects the landing, and awareness of wind direction indicators other than the wind sock.
    3. Safe approaches that take into account man-made objects. eg. lines in the field indicate fences, ditches or power lines; assume all roads have power lines.
    4. An approach that allows for a long, straight final.
    5. Prior consultation with locals on preferred approach and options.
    6. Extra speed for handling gradient and turbulence.
    7. knowledge and application of crosswind landing techniques.
    8. knowledge of tree landing techniques.
    9. Avoidance of obvious crop fields.
  8. Flies with appropriate safety equipment; appropriate glider for ability level, helmet, reserve, wheels, radio, variometer, altimeter, compass or directional bearing device, mobile phone, satellite location transmitter, food and water.
  9. Demonstrates knowledge of and adherence to site specifics, and protocol.
  10. Additional skills - consistently demonstrates:
    1. Figure 8 and aircraft landing approach.
    2. Thorough preflight of wing, harness and reserve.
    3. A safe flight plan including flight path, areas to avoid in relation to current weather conditions and obstacles to stay clear of.
    4. Pre-launch hang check practices.
    5. Effective ground handling and launch unassisted in consistent 16 mph (25 km/h) wind.
    6. Smooth transition from running to flying, as well as a smooth controlled transition into prone position.
    7. Successful launch in at least 15° crosswind in up to 12 mph (20 km/h).
    8. Successful launch in less than 3 mph (5 km/h) on shallow slope.
    9. Flying full speed range (from min sink to arms straight back) of the glider with full control and maintaining heading. Glider must not stall when flying slow.
    10. A gentle stall (at altitude) and gradual recovery.
    11. How to brief and instruct a ground crew in assisted launch techniques and explain when an assisted launch is necessary.
    12. Flight(s) along a planned path alternating 'S' turns of at least 90° change in heading. Flight heading need not exceed 45° from straight into the wind. Turns must be smooth with controlled airspeed, ending in safe landings on a heading.
    13. 180° turns in both directions, and at various speeds and bank angles.
    14. Hands-off flying to locate bar position for trim speed.
    15. Ability to judge and allow for proper clearance from terrain and other aircraft.
    16. 5 landings within 100 feet (30 m) of a target; safe, smooth and into the wind. The target must be sufficiently distant from launch such that turns are required to set up an approach and avoid over-flying the target. The target should be at least 100 feet (30 m) below the launch point.
    17. Explains appropriate ground handling and unhooking after landing in strong winds.
    18. Explains correct glider maintenance.
    19. Explains how to lengthen and shorten the flight path.
    20. Explains the right-of-way traffic rules.
    21. Reserve deployment while hanging in simulator in a harness with simulated turbulence or malfunction conditions. Knows the PLF technique.
    22. Differentiation of airspeed from ground speed from wind speed.
    23. Knowledge and understanding of the need to become familiar with site-specific restrictions and launch or landing access limits, consistent with preservation of flying privileges at a site.
  1. Recommended Operating Limitations for Novice (H2) Pilot
  1. Should exceed these limitations only after thoroughly mastering all required tasks, and after acquiring a full understanding of the potential problems and dangers involved in exceeding these limitations.
  2. Maximum peak wind of 19 mph (30 km/h) and a maximum gust factor of 6 mph (10 km/h).
  3. Should not fly in thermal lift where peak climb rates exceed 400 fpm (2 m/s).
  4. If foot launching, should launch only on slopes steeper than 5:1 and up to 1:1slope angle.
  5. Launch in cross winds up to 45° off straight in with a wind speed of less than 6 mph (10 km/h). For winds greater than 6 mph (10 km/h), the wind direction must be progressively closer to straight in the stronger the wind.
  6. Visual contact with the landing zone.
  7. Limit turns to 35° of bank.
  8. Fly a wing recommended by the manufacturer as suitable for a Beginner or Novice pilot.

H3

Intermediate

  1. General Description

The pilot has the knowledge and skills to fly most sites in mild to moderate soaring conditions, and to judge when the site and conditions are within the pilot's skill, knowledge, and experience level. The pilot understands the HPAC/ACVL hang gliding rating system and recommended operating limitations, and the CARs (Canadian Aviation Regulations) and other flying rules applicable to his/her flying (ridge rules, thermal right of way, CAR 602.29, airspace regulations, etc.). The pilot shall use good judgment and have a level of maturity commensurate with the rating.

  1. Prerequisite

HPAC/ACVL Novice hang gliding rating.

  1. Intermediate Rating - Required Witnessed Tasks
  1. Passes the HPAC/ACVL Intermediate (H3) written exam.
  2. Logs more than 10 hours solo airtime.
  3. Logs more than 150 solo flights.
  4. Logs a minimum of 30 flying days.
  5. 10 inland thermal soaring flights.
  6. Flown at 5 different sites.
  7. Has received training in and/or understands the importance and significance of:
    1. Right of way rules.
    2. Transport Canada Regulations and aircraft sectional charts
    3. Airspeed control, stalls, spins, and turbulence-induced pitch and roll forces and recoveries.
    4. The hang glider owner's manual.
    5. Current results of HPAC/ACVL Accident Report.
    6. First aid (highly recommended).
  8. Gives verbal analysis of conditions on the hill, demonstrating knowledge of wind shadows, gradients, lift, sink, laminar air, turbulence and rotors, and the effect these items have on an intended flight path and turns.
  9. Gives a verbal flight plan for each observed flight.
  10. Shows thorough preflight of the harness, glider, and backup reserve parachute.
  11. With each flight, demonstrates a method of establishing that the pilot is properly connected to the glider just prior to launch, ie hang check.
  12. Demonstrates aggressive and confident launches with a smooth transition from running to flying. Flights with slow, unstable launches will not be considered adequate for witnessed tasks.
  13. Demonstrates consistently safe landings on the feet and in control.
  14. Demonstrates the ability to differentiate airspeed from ground speed from wind speed.
  15. Demonstrates linked 180° turns along a predetermined ground track, showing smooth controlled reversals and proper coordination at various speeds and bank angles.
  16. Demonstrates 360° turns in both directions, and at various speeds and bank angles.
  17. Verbalizes why whip stalls are dangerous.
  18. Gives a thorough verbal description of spins and spin recovery.
  19. Gives a thorough explanation of the consequences of flying at minumum sink in turbulent or strong wind conditions.
  20. Demonstrates 5 landings within 50 feet (15 m) of a target after flights requiring turns on approach.
  21. Demonstrates proper airspeed control on landing approach when descending through a gradient.
  22. Demonstrates proper airspeed for maximum distance flown into a significant headwind.
  23. Acknowledges and understands the need to become familiar with site-specific restrictions and launch or landing access limits, consistent with preservation of flying privileges at a site.
  1. Recommended Operating Limitations for Intermediate (H3) Pilot
  1. Maximum base wind of 16 mph (25 km/h).
  2. Maximum peak gusts to 19 mph (30 km/h).
  3. Maximum gust rate of 6 mph (10 km/h) in 10 seconds.
  4. Avoid steep turns close to the ground.
  5. Does not fly beyond the limitations stated by the manufacturer for that wing.
  6. Initiates downwind turns only with 300 feet (100 m) of clearance outward from the hill or ridge in winds above 12 mph (20 km/h), and 250 feet (75 m) of clearance in winds above 9 mph (15 km/h).
  7. Does not fly in thermals where peak climb rates exceed 800 fpm (4 m/s) or where significant vertical cloud development exists.
  8. Upon mastering the above skills, an Intermediate pilot should pursue new maneuvers, sites, and conditions with the guidance of a HPAC/ACVL Certified Advanced hang gliding instructor or observer.

H4

Advanced

  1. General Description

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 HPAC/ACVL hang gliding rating system and recommended operating limitations, and the CARs (Canadian Aviation Regulations) and other flying rules applicable to his/her flying. Knowledge of First Aid is highly recommended. The pilot will fly using good judgment and have a level of maturity commensurate with the rating.

  1. Prerequisite
  • HPAC/ACVL Intermediate rating (H3).
  • Pass HAGAR exam
  1. Advanced Rating - Required Witnessed Tasks
  1. Passes the HPAC/ACVL Advanced (H4) written exam.
  2. Passes the Transport Canada HAGAR exam.
  3. Logs more than 75 hours solo airtime.
  4. Logs more than 250 solo flights.
  5. Actively flying hang gliders for more than 3 years.
  6. 25 mile (40 km) cross country flight.
  7. Basic first aid certification.
  8. 5 flights at each of 5 different sites in Intermediate level conditions, of which 3 were inland.
  9. Logs a minimum of 80 flying days.
  10. At least 3, 1-hour flights in thermal lift without sustaining ridge lift. Flights must originate from at least 2 different sites in Intermediate level conditions.
  11. At least 1, 1-hour flight in ridge lift without sustaining thermal lift.
  12. Flown a minimum of 5 different models or sizes of hang gliders.
  13. Demonstrates preflight of the harness, wing, and reserve parachute.
  14. With each flight, demonstrates a method of establishing that the pilot is properly connected to the glider, ie. hang check just prior to launch.
  15. Demonstrates aggressive and confident launches, with a smooth transition from running to flying.
  16. Demonstrates safe & smooth landings on the feet and in control.
  17. Demonstrates ability to allow clearance when doing 360° turns by demonstrating figure eights:
    1. In a wind sufficient to cause drift, two points will be selected on a line perpendicular to the wind.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
  18. Demonstrate three consecutive landings within 10 feet (3 m) 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 feet (60 m) AGL.
  19. Demonstrates smooth coordinated 360° turns in both directions, with reversal at various speeds and bank angles appropriate to the rating level.
  20. The instructor or observer must be confident that the pilot can check in and fly Advanced rated sites without endangering spectators, other pilots, or jeopardizing the site.

Endorsement

Hang Gliding

Thermal Soaring

The Thermal Soaring Endorsement signifies that the pilot understands the special conditions and has demonstrated the flying skills required to fly safely in moderate to strong thermal conditions (400-1200 fpm, 2-6 m/s)

  1. Demonstrates controlled, calm and confident flight in conditions requiring quick, deliberate, substantial, and correct control application.
  2. Demonstrates the ability to launch unassisted with strong consistent launches in winds less than 3 mph (5 km/h).
  3. Demonstrates proper directional control and correction in turbulent conditions.
  4. Demonstrates sustained flight in moderate thermal conditions without the aid of ridge lift.
  5. Demonstrates smooth and correctly timed speed control in turbulent conditions. No stall.
  6. Logs five 30-minute thermal flights without sustaining ridge lift.
  7. Demonstrates understanding of high altitude conditions (e.g., air density, cloud suck, anabatic and catabatic conditions, hypoxia, hypothermia).
  8. Demonstrates consistent safe landings in thermic conditions with zero damage to person or glider.

Coastal / Ridge flying

The Coastal or Ridge Soaring Endorsement signifies that the pilot understands the special conditions and has demonstrated the flying skills required to fly safely in the strong laminar wind flow found on ridge and coastal sites which in turn makes soaring possible.

  1. Demonstrates 2 high-wind (9-19 mph, 15-30 km/h) launches.
  2. Demonstrates the ability to judge and allow for proper clearance from a ridge obstacles and aircraft.
  3. Demonstrates a consistent ability to top land in 12-19 mph (20-30 km/h) laminar flow wind and be able to identify the different approaches needed in landing in those wind speeds.
  4. Understands and explains the causes, variations and problems associated with venturi.
  5. Understands and explains the causes, variations and problems associated with wind gradient.
  6. Demonstrates how to brief and instruct a ground crew in assisted launch techniques and explain when an assisted launch is necessary.
  7. Explains proper strong wind landing procedures and how to keep from being turned down wind, as well as various strong wind glider unhooking technique.

Ground-based Towing

Ground-Based Towing is defined as any method of towing where the mechanism providing the towing force remains on the ground.

  1. Participates in an instructional course whose focus is the theory and practical demonstration of the skills, techniques, methods, equipment and communication skills needed for the type of towing being practiced, ie foot launch, cart, wheel, or vehicle.
  2. Understands and discusses towing pressure.
  3. Demonstrates consistent ability to launch in no wind with the method for which the pilot has received instruction, ie foot launch, cart, wheel, or vehicle.
  4. Demonstrates an ability to communicate both with hand or leg signals and by radio.
  5. Understands the term "lock out" and describes how to avoid it.
  6. Demonstrates consistent skill in staying "on line" during tow.
  7. Demonstrates consistent skill in staying "on line" during a cross wind conditions of up to 30°
  8. Understands and communicates with the instructor the skills and procedure necessary to safely exit a low level line break.
  9. Understands and communicates with the instructor the procedure to take should the tow line fail to release or become entangled with the pilot upon release.

Aerotowing

  1. Participates in an instructional course whose focus is the theory and practical demonstration of the skills, techniques, methods, equipment and communication skills required for aero towing.
  2. Understands and discusses towing pressure.
  3. Demonstrates consistent ability to launch in no wind with the method for which the pilot has received instruction, ie foot launch, cart, wheel.
  4. Demonstrates an ability to communicate both with hand or leg signals and by radio.
  5. Understands the term "lock out" and describe how to avoid it.
  6. Demonstrates consistent skill in staying "on line" during tow.
  7. Demonstrates consistent skill in staying "on line" during a turn by the tow plane.
  8. Understands and communicates with the instructor the skills and procedure necessary to safely exit a low level line break.
  9. Understands and communicates with the instructor the procedure to take should the tow line fail to release or become entangled with the pilot upon release.

Application for Beginner (H1/P1) to Advanced (H4/P4) Rating

  1. Certified instructors are responsible to forward applications for the Beginner (H1/P1), Novice (H2/P2) and Intermediate Ratings (H3/P3) to the HPAC Office. The application must be accompanied with a marked copy of the Rating Examination signed by the instructor certifying that the applicant has passed the examination.
  2. Certified instructors are responsible for forwarding applications for Advanced ratings to the HPAC Office. The application must be accompanied with a marked copy of the Advanced Examination certifying that the applicant has passed the examination. The application must indicate that the pilot has passed the HAGAR examination and the instructor or pilot must send in a scan of the letter from Transport Canada before the Advanced Rating can be recorded at the Office.
  3. Abrogated (2014).
  4. Rating application forms are available on the HPAC/ACVL website.

Requirement for Master Rating

  1. The HPAC/ACVL BoD will award all Master pilot ratings.
  2. Pilots seeking a Master Rating can apply in writing to the President. In the application, the candidate must describe his/her accomplishments and contributions to the sport of hang gliding and paragliding. Alternatively, a HPAC/ACVL member can submit a nomination on behalf of a pilot.
  3. An applicant for a Master's rating must have an advanced rating and 250 hours of flight time in the activity for which the rating is sought. Upon reception of an application for a Master's rating, the BoD will rate the applicant's accomplishments against the criteria below. A score of 25 points is required to qualify a pilot for a Master's rating.

Accomplishments

Point Value

Service on the Executive, Board of Director and/or Officer level of the national association.

0-6

Service in outreach programs or committee levels of the national association. This includes HPAC/ACVL committee chair person, representative to the FAI/CIVL or provincial or national aviation related associations.

0-4

Service on the Executive or Board of Directors of a Provincial Association

0-4

Service at the committee or officer level of any provincial association. Includes Board of Director's, secretaries, representatives to the HPAC, committee chair persons, representatives to provincial aviation related associations

0-2

Service at the executive or director level of a club or regional association

0-6

Service at the committee or officer level of any club or regional association. Includes secretaries, representatives to the provincial associations, committee chair persons, representatives to local or provincial aviation related associations.

0-3

Responsibility for the organization of a hang gliding or paragliding competition or responsibility for direction of the meet

0-4

Responsible assistance in the operation of a hang gliding or paragliding competition. Eg: launch director, launch assistant, landing director or landing assistant, chief scorer or scoring assistant, pylon judge

0-2

Certification and record of accomplishments as an HPAC Instructor

0-4

Editing a local, provincial or national Newsletter or Webmaster for a Web site pertaining to Hang Gliding and / or Paragliding

0-5

Canadian Correspondent for a foreign hang gliding or paragliding publication

0-2

Contribution of articles on hang gliding or paragliding for publication or for press release

0-2

Representing Canada in FAI/CIVL sanctioned competitions

0-5

Production and release of a documentary, film, television coverage or commercial advertisement on hang gliding or paragliding

0-4

Establishing an FAI approved world record in a category pertaining to hang gliding or paragliding

0-4

Other contributions worthy of consideration — Noting the total point total awarded will take into consideration the weighting of the above criteria

Open

  1. Master Pilot ratings will be awarded at the ADM following the receipt of an application provided the application is received no later than two months before the ADM.
  2. There is no fee for an application for a Master rating.

Foreign Rating Equivalent

  1. Current members of the HPAC/ACVL who receive a foreign rating out-of-country, as well as new applicants to HPAC/ACVL are required to contact an HPAC-certified instructor to have their skills and knowledge tested to determine the equivalent HPAC/ACVL pilot rating for which they may be qualified.
  2. The HPAC/ACVL will recognize an IPPI Card and equivalent USHGA rating. The HPAC/ACVL may also recognize other foreign ratings. The applicant must provide proof of his foreign rating as well as a verifiable reference so the HPAC/ACVL can verify the equivalency.

Responsibilities

  1. The BoD is responsible for reviewing applications for, and award, Master (H5/P5) ratings.
  2. The Executive Director is responsible for reviewing applications for, and award, Beginner (H1/P1) to Advanced (H4/P4) ratings.

IMPORTANT NOTE: For information on the Instructor Certification Program, see SOP 420; For information on the Tandem Endorsement Program, see SOP 430.


    Revision history:
  • 2015-01-09 SL: updates
  • 2015-11-17 SL: correct link
  • 2015-12-07 SL: new version conform to canadian regulations
  • 2015-01-09 SL: changed item 16
  • 2016-05-09 SL: add 8 HG thermal, remove 4 HG towing
May 9 2016   Top Top