Home  |
United States Hang Gliding Rating System
independent of
clubs, corporations, associations, schools, instructors, businesses

to fulfill self-regulation per FAR 103
for recreational hang gliding in the U.S.

Q&A   Send questions and answers to         Home  |                         

  • Cost?
    No fees for the USHGRS service concerning ratings! Pilots have enough costs at their end of the process!   We are supported by occasional donations. Treat a mentor to a meal. Be kind to observers and reporters. Pay for any professional instruction you obtain; pay the postage or time it takes to send USHGRS related facts or enhanced interest notes for your Pilot Page. The domain of ratings certified by USHGRS is :  H0, H1, H2, H3, H4, HGP, Otto, and "Pending Data Input."           Top  

  • Will there be a printable image for my carding?
    Yes.  We will not postal mail cards. You may print your Pilot Page.
    : Under construction: visit your Pilot Page via using any Internet connection. A  formal, always-the-same look, image in PDF format over-imaged with essential statements and USHGRS logo and art will be linkable there soon after a pilot has asked for such a printable item, as this project is yet under construction; email asking for the image will hasten the production of an image for you.  No charges. Free.  In time such a PDF file will be linked for all known-to-be-active HG Pilots. We have not an USHGRS logo   This note: Sept. 22, 2018.             Top  

  • Is a rating an aircraft pilot's license?  
    No.      FAR 103 has hang gliders that meet the weight requirements be without "aircraft" requirements; no license is needed. A rating is a self-regulation communications tool to help us stay aware of risks. Each launch requires risk management; hopefully no rated pilot forgets that at each launch, the realities of the scene cannot read a rating; one must face each scene's parameters anew. A rating does not guarantee safety. We do not need any license to fly in the federal airspace, so long as we totally respect allowed airspace, others, and others' properties. We are 100% responsible for our actions.             Top  

  • Must I be a US citizen?
    No.  If  one  has flown a hang glider in US airspace, then USHGRS may certify a rating statement on a dedicated Pilot Page regarding a pilot.  Also, if you are planning to fly in US airspace, then email USHGRS with data that could become part of the certification process; have your mentors, observers, examiners, coaches, or instructors email USHGRS about you also. With such and other tools, USHGRS will certify a rating from H0 through H4 or a simple "HGP" or in some instances "Otto".   USHGRS does not address other sports or activities or refined special skills. There is no fee for the process.             Top  

  • Does a rating affect the airworthiness of the wing? 
    Not directly; but the judgment and awareness needed for a rating will affect how a pilot examines a glider used. Be sure the craft is fit for the tasks!  FARs require we do no damage to others or others' properties and things.            Top  

  • Is USHGRS a club or a member association?
    No.  There is no joining or unjoining.   Consider good buddy systems locally.  Have fun; be safe.            Top 

  • Can USHGRS remove a rating?    
    No. Once stated, the rating remains. If the posted text accidentally gets deleted, the rating is still valid; and the posting may occur again.  Please report to us if you find a Pilot Page is missing; thank you.           Top 

  • Is there an expiration date for a rating?
    No. Be sure to stay current for any action you intend performing.            Top 

  • How does USHGRS arrive at a rating for a recreational hang glider pilot?   
    The process sometimes is quick and easy. At other cases the process is very extensive. We open a case file titled by the pilot's name. Then we load the case file with data. If review committee has any objection to the proposed rating to be stated, then a pause occurs while further data is obtained and analysis occurs. When there is an unanimous vote of the review committee, then the rating is stated on a Pilot Page and launched to the world. The data sources may include some, alll, or more than the following streams: mentors' reports, coaches' reports, instructors' reports, observers' reports, local group reports and local ratings, local club minutes and ratings, state ratings, national ratings, pilot-input data, examiner reports, test results,  flight videos, flight history, interviews, newspaper articles, magazine articles, local club newsletters, commentaries, forums' text, photographs, converations, and more.  The data is meshed witth pilot proficiency leveled-skill standards over many styles of recreational hang gliding.             Top  

  • Can USHGRS discipline or expel a pilot?    
    No. However, links on a pilot's Pilot Page to pertinent information may affect a pilot's standing at flight sites.  Be safe; play well with others; avoid all poor behavior; communicate well; have no accidents or incidents. Practice. Operate within your immediate readiness realm. Help others. Care for your gear. Stay hydrated. Hook into your wing and then check that fact just before launching. Etc. You know how to be a good recreational hang glider pilot.            Top  

  • May the public see our USHGRS-stated ratings? 
    Yes, the web pages involved are open to the public. There is no membership password needed to view pilots' ratings.             Top  

  • What are the links and notes I see in the lower sections of a Pilot Page?
    Occasionally public-domain matter concerning a pilot will be linked or noted.  A pilot may  request  we remove one or more links. Those items are meant to enhance interest in recreational hang gliding. Think of such content as a dynamic evolving magazine about part of that pilot's hang gliding world.             Top 

  • What efforts by the HG Pilot are done in the HG world that lead to a ratng certified by USHGRS?
    The efforts are very substantial over considerable amount of time. There are the efforts of ground-school, perhaps self-guided, but often guided by mentors or articles and books. There are efforts to get into physical fitness for the intended style of HG activity intended. And efforts to practice the elements of wing management, handling, and care. And efforts to journal and perhaps share learning points; the effort of reflection and analysis permeates the path to safe and enjoyable hang gliding. The pilot will invest robust energy to prepare for and fulfill practice sessions to build up mastery over elementary checks and motions. The pilot will make effort to listen to observers and mentors. And more.  Though USHGRS does its part, the huge hard part is done by the HG Pilot. Some certifications are done by USHGRS with little effort by staff of USHGRS; but sometimes the USHGRS volunteers go to long and complex efforts when a case presents with sketchy incomplete information that do not match or standards. So, sometimes USHGRS asks some HG Pilots in pending cases to make certain efforts that would help move the case to a conclusion.            Top  

  • Can a pilot opt out from having a USHGRS Pilot Page? 
    Maybe; just email us about your wish and concerns. Else, not, if your name is in public-domain news about recreational hang gliding. Independent rating of HG pilots is an important cornerstone of our sport.  If you are retired from recreational hang gliding and do not want to be mentioned in the Family Name list, then that is a matter that could trigger taking you off the list and removing a related Pilot Page. Only historical matters will be kept, perhaps in Getting rated via USHGRS has an involuntary aspect; that is, a pilot cannot merely rate himself or herself relative to the USHGRS; self-declaration is an important sector of concern, but such is insufficient to conclude the USHGRS process. USHGRS does not play games or charge fees with the ratings it certifies.             Top  

  • Do I have to renew my rating at USHGRS ?  
    No. Your rating remains valid forever.  However, it is up to you to keep current the skills and knowlege and judgment and overall readiness for the launch and flight you are about to execute.
    =============>>>>> Never be fooled by having a rating.            Top  

  • What is the reach of USHGRS?
    The USHGRS will only serve FAR 103 airframed hang gliders and within non-towing and non-powered realms. To serve a sector need not stop other sectors of flight from forming particular service agents. Other agents are welcome to integrate USHGRS into their platform of services.             Top  

  • Conduct codes? 
    Address such matters in your local RHG group.            Top  

  • Special skills? 
    Local groups and clubs will address these matters. There are hundreds of special skills available to those recreationally hang gliding. Your specials skills may or may not show on the printable HGPilotCard available from your Pilot Page. Keep us informed of skills to be remarked about on your Pilot Page.             Top  

  • What does it all mean?           Here we will post some interpretations:

    • "A skill level rating system seems like a good idea on paper, but means nothing in real life. Everyone learns and forgets at their own pace. Numbers don't translate to skill. Type of flying, past life experience, and currency hold much weight. Snow sports and mountain biking rate the run/trail from green to black or orange, rafters use classes 1-6 for whitewater, climbers rate the climb 1-5. Beyond being a rated as a pilot, it's unnecessary and misleading to go beyond that. This is aviation, but recreational aviation. There is no intermediate private pilot, or advanced private pilot. Any additional classification should be regarding the conditions and/or flying sites, not the pilot. When a pilot is ready for a double black diamond is their decision. What if you were carded for your rating card every time you got off a ski lift? No one would go to ski resorts. Institution is the opposite of freedom!"  
    • USHGRS certifications are forever; it is up to the Hang Glider Pilot to right-now be current for the type of activity one chooses while facing the right-now site, self, sky, and landing zone conditions. Don't be fooled by a pilot rating. Injury and death await poor judgment or poor decisions.            Top 

  • What evolving relationships does USHGRS have with other entities?
    Answer is at:    USHGRS Relationships                                          Top 
  • Report a typo or other error or suggestions or new pilot data:      Thank you.            Top 
  • What types of hang gliding activities are there as options?
    Variables: hang glider type, wind, conditions, launch, purpose, budget, time, energy, fitness, speed, distance, challenge, maneuvers, ...   100s of options.   Skills in a chosen option may be improved or neglected. Consider some of the options mentioned on Niche Activity.

Have a question or answer to propose?   Suggestion?