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October 2004     Let’s Build A Bridge!!
April 2004            Flying Legally
March 2004        
Safety Seminars
February 2004    NAPPF Today

January 2004     So you want to have a PPC fly-in!
January 2004      
NAPPF after Sport Pilot
December 2003  The PPC Pilots’ Organization
November 2003  Déjà Vu, All Over Again
October 2003      Women and Powered Parachutes
September 2003 Come Fly with Me 
August 2003        Guard the Mag Switches
July 2003              
Meteorology for Powered Parachutes
June 2003            The Wind – Is it “friend” or “foe?”
May 2003              Learning from others, don’t let history repeat itself!
April 2003             Update
August 2002        Security
July 2002              Involvement in the Industry
June 2002            National Elections
MAY 2002             Arriving To A Consensus Standard
April 2002             Sport Pilot & NAPPF Admin
March 2002          Sport Pilot
February 2002     It’s Not Too Late
January 2002       Housekeeping
December 2001   Elections
November 2001   2001 World Powered Parachute Championship
October 2001       Wake Up Call
September 2001 What to Do?
July 2001              Open for Business
June 2001             Board Meeting

October 2004    Ralph McClurg

NAPPF Update
Let’s Build A Bridge!!

Why would we talk about bridge building?  We are pilots and flying enthusiasts!!  We don’t even need a bridge!!

Oh, yes we do.  We need a bridge very badly, and if we start right now with the right tools and the right attitude, we can build it rapidly.  The bridge that I am talking about is intended to connect the GA community with the UL community.  That is, the General Aviation people with the Ultralight people.

Some will say, there is not a gap between the two, so why do we need a bridge.  If that is a true statement where you are, great, and you are lucky in that you do not need a bridge.  The truth is, though, that in almost every location there is a gap between the two communities.  There is a training gap, a size-of-toy gap, a credentials gap, a privileges gap, a services available gap, an image gap, and a communications gap.  Very few of us can say that we are not aware of someone in the GA community looking down on someone in the UL community, or someone in the UL community ridiculing the GA guys for their continued schooling, and expensive options.  It happens, it has happened for a long time, and it will continue to happen until we build that bridge.  And speaking of bridges, the new Sport Pilot program is an excellent way to get the construction started.  You might say that the new rule puts the bridge abutments in place and it is up to us to construct the span overhead.  We occupy the same air, albeit at different altitudes and different speeds.  We have so much in common and yet we are so different!!

I have been on both sides.  I have flown certified aircraft since 1966, and Ultralights since 1996.  I love both.  I enjoy the convenience of a 3 hour flight in lieu of a 13 hour drive.  I love the simplicity and thrill of flying just above the trees in the evening and watching the wildlife begin their nocturnal food search from my open-air machine.  I seldom leave the earth in either of the 2 types of flying machines that I do not say something like this, “Boy, this earth God gave us is beautiful from up here, and I’m glad I have the chance to see it this way!!”

I have friends on both sides of the gap.  One that comes to mind very sternly said, “I could never fly anything that is not certified!”.  He seems to have missed out on the fact that certification is a one-time event and on every flight the pilot “self certifies” that the aircraft is airworthy.  A friend on the other side has repeatedly said, “they just don’t know what real flying is.  All they are is a bunch of systems programmers who become organic ballast in a computerized powered airfoil!  They cannot possible know the real enjoyment of flying with the wind in your face and the entire earth open for your casual and leisurely inspection.”  Those may be the two extremes, but you must agree that they each represent a view that is not likely to allow the two owners of them to share a professional visit easily.

Certified pilots read FAR 103 as far as the part that says that a “vehicle need not have any airworthiness certification, registration or markings” and those flying them need not meet any “aeronautical knowledge, age, or experience requirements”.  After that, they have to do some gagging, some real serious hee haw style laughing, or they have to do a reality check and look it up to make sure this is a real regulation from the Federal Government.

Ultralight pilots wonder how you could spend months and years and thousands to learn to fly, when just a few evenings and a few hundred dollarscan get you in the air low and slow.  FAR Part 61 and 91 just don’t apply.  Your rules are on a single page, printed on both sides, and they are simple enough to allow you to have fun.

If you have read this far, you probably are now seeing the gap that needs bridged.  Although many of the present ultralight people will shun any more regulation and simply stay in ultralights, many thousands of these ultralight pilots will soon be joining the certified ranks, and their machines will be certified, too.  They will be flying in and out of our airports even though they may still go home to roost in a barn on some farm.  Some of the folks who used to have serious doubts about ultralight vehicles will now see them as certified and therefore open to consideration.  What both groups need is a bridge to help them reach out to each other.  Once they make contact, the sharing will begin and the understanding will increase and the communication will happen and both sides will be drawn toward the other.  Whether we meet totally in the middle or not remains to be seen.  What will happen is less snobbery on both sides and increased learning on both sides and less of a gap between the two sides.

If you now see the gap and the need to bridge it, you may be asking how to build the bridge.  After all, we are flyers-- not builders.  The first requirement to be met in order for the bridge to be built is to recognize the need for it and decide that you want to be part of the building crew.  Now, take the first step—read something about the “other side”.  Get a magazine that tells about the other side and read it (privately if you must).  If you are strictly GA, look for a magazine that contains something about ultralights—there will probably be some in the Pilot’s lounge, or you may have to go to a news stand.  Look at the web sites of some of the authors and find out what makes them tick.  If you are an ultralighter, try Plane and Pilot or Flying magazine.  Read it, even if you don’t let your friends see you doing it.  Now call on some reserve courage and contact someone on the “other side” just to establish contact and get some visiting done.  Ask him/her to come out to the flight line and look at your unit.  Offer to take him/her flying some calm evening so you both can experience the thrill together.  Go ahead, discuss costs, speeds, altitudes, number of flight hours, greatest thrills, etc.  Look for the opportunity to reciprocate.  Tell your new friend to tell others about what they learned and saw.  Invite them all to your next club meeting or pilot’s group.  Share photos and stories.  After all, we all do have one very big thing in common—we do not want to be bound tightly to this earth.  We want the freedom to explore the skies.  To break the bonds that chain so many millions to the ground!  Yes, we have a lot in common.  Let’s make the most of that one thing and get to know each other.  Let’s share the skies with fun and safety and professionalism.  Invite speakers from the “other side” to your pilot meetings and learn together.  Let’s build a bridge!!

April 2004     Ralph McClurg
Printed in April  UltraFlight Magazine

Flying Legally


As we visit with people around the country about powered parachutes, it soon becomes obvious that there are a lot of units flying illegally – some intentionally and some without knowing the requirements.  Many folks who fly regularly and try to follow the rules just don’t understand the things needed to make flying a 2-seat powered parachute legal.

Before we go into the legal requirements for a 2-seat unit though, let’s make sure we know the requirements for a legal single-seat unit:  5 gallons of fuel or less, a single seat, and empty weight less than 254 pounds.  The maximum speed and stall speed of an ultralight vehicle are irrelevant for a powered parachute.  Note that many single-seat vehicles do not meet the 5 gallon rule, and many have had options added that make their empty weight exceed the limit.

To be legally flown, a 2-seat powered parachute must be:

1.      Registered with an authorized exempting agency (ASC, EAA, USUA).  The registration number assigned must be displayed on the vehicle in characters at least 1 ½” tall.  The registration certificate must be in the vehicle or readily accessible*. 

2.   Inspected for condition by the owner or a BFI within the previous 100 hours or 12 months, whichever comes first.  The report of this inspection must be  available at the hangar or base of operations – it need not be in the vehicle.

3.      The unit must be flown by someone authorized by an exempting agency.  This may be a BFI, UFI, AFI, UFIE flying alone under one of the exemption conditions (to/from a training site to meet a student, maintenance checkout for new vehicle or other maintenance, proficiency of the pilot, currency of the pilot). or

4.      The unit must be flown by a student under the direct supervision of a BFI, AFI, UFI, UFIE) for training purposes,  or

5.      The unit may be flown by a student under a written endorsement from a BFI, AFI, UFI, UFIE.  The endorsement must specifically state the weather conditions under which flights may be made and the location and distance limits of the flight, and it should specifically prohibit carrying anyone else except an instructor.  The endorsement should also state what the student is to do if questions arise about the flight, and an endorsement shall not be valid for more than 90 days from issuance, unless renewed by an authorized instructor.   Instructors should not endorse students they are not familiar with and with whom they have not flown (or at least watched fly).

6.      A copy of an instructor’s exemption is required to be in the vehicle or readily accessible* for all flights.    All conditions of the exemption must be followed during the flight (no more than 2 seats, no more than 10 gallons of fuel, no more than 496 pounds, display TO BE USED FOR INSTRUCTIONAL PURPOSES ONLY,  etc)

Summary of requirements:

These documents must be readily accessible:  vehicle registration certificate, a copy of instructor’s exemption, and if a solo student in training with no instructor present, a written endorsement from an instructor.  The vehicle must have the registration identification assigned displayed on it.  The flight must have a training purpose, and solo flights by instructors must meet one of the 4 criteria listed above. The vehicle condition inspection report must be current but it can be located at the vehicle base of operations and does not have to be with the vehicle.

*Readily accessible means that the document is with the vehicle or can be produced within a few minutes without driving (in the owner’s automobile or the airport office).  I recommend keeping a copy of all of the needed documents in the vehicle somewhere.  An inspector is more likely to be favorably impressed if you know what documents are needed and produce them readily upon request.

“Any incident, accident, or mechanical malfunction of the airframe, drive train, or engine that involves training” must be reported to the exempting agency.  Note that this is a BFI requirement to report the accidents of all students.  The student is not required to report it – the BFI is.  Everyone flying should be a student or a BFI, so all accidents should be reported.

Here is an excerpt from FAA Advisory Circular 103-7:   “If your ultralight does not meet Sec. 103.1 (less than 254 pounds or 5 gallon capacity single-seat, 496 pounds or 10 gallons capacity for a 2-seat trainer), it must be operated in accordance with applicable aircraft regulations. You will be subject to enforcement action ($1000 civil penalty for each violation) for each operation of that aircraft.”

Let’s know and follow the rules, and let’s tell those who are not flying legally that they are a threat to the freedoms that we have under these rules and we want them to get legal.

March 2004     Jim Sweeney
Printed in March  UltraFlight Magazine


Safety Seminars

 As this issue of UPDATE hits the street, it should be mid February, but it’s not too late.  The arrival of winter has slowed the flying up north, but it’s still not too late. Even if winter is mild where you are, it’s not too late. You still have time to attend an Ultralight Safety Seminar.

The seminars have been offered for a number of years and even broadcast live via the internet. Not every state offers a Safety Seminar, but where they are offered, they are of great value.  Topics vary from year to year and the content may prevent an accident. Topics such as weather, preflight, annual inspections, regulations, airspace, aerodynamics, safe operating procedures, engines, canopies, navigation, GPS operation and radio procedure are some of the topics that have been presented in the past.  This year new topics may be added or the basics may be refreshed.  In any case, the content is sure to be of value.

The objective of the seminars is to get pilots thinking about safety and topics that may not have been reviewed during the past year. Even if you are current on the topics, it’s an opportunity to hear the subject from a different perspective and possibly in more detail.  It’s an opportunity to ask questions of knowledgeable speakers and get good solid answers. It’s an opportunity to discuss ideas eye to eye, a change from the chat room.

Below is a list of Safety Seminar dates and locations.  These are some of the best known and longest running Ultralight Safety Seminars. The list does not contain every seminar, but it is a starting point. If a seminar is not scheduled in your area, ask around, check with your local club, instructor, dealer or FSDO.  There may be a Safety Seminar or WINGS Program* in your local area.

What to do if there is not a seminar or program close to you?  How about organizing a program? It doesn’t have to be as large as the seminars listed.  It may just be the club or a group of fellow pilots.  It may be only one or two topics presented by a local instructor.  It will be an opportunity for fellow pilots to ask questions, discuss topics of interest and think safety. Airspace, NOTAMs and Temporary Flight Restrictions are always topics of interest.

Sponsor a meeting – they will come.  If you know a place to hold the meeting, the presentation material and speakers are available. The speakers may be a local instructor, a representative from the industry (dealer, manufacturer or distributor) or from one of the organizations (ASC, EAA, USUA or FAA).  The presentation material can be from training manuals, material from one of the organizations or information from the internet.  Someone in your group may volunteer to speak on a topic. 

If the flying has slowed in your area you can still think flying and about safety. If the flying is going strong even though it’s winter, all the more reason to think safety.  Attend or hold a Safety Seminar.  Your safety could depend on it.

* For information on the FAA WINGS Program go to www.cyberair.com/tower/faa/wingprog/index.html

Listing of Safety Seminars go to
Safety Seminars

February 2004      Jim Sweeney
Printed in February  UltraFlight Magazine


NAPPF Update


Last month the topic of the NAPPF Update was the future of NAPPF after Sport Pilot. All ultralight organizations are pondering their future and how best to serve their membership as the new regulation draws closer. This month the topic is a little more basic and at hand. What is NAPPF today?

NAPPF is an independent ultralight organization with the goals of safety, education, training & representation. NAPPF has a focus on PPC pilots and the PPC industry.

NAPPF does not have a Training Exemption and recommends that NAPPF members utilize one of the existing Training Exemptions. We do not expect that the FAA will issue any new Training Exemptions with Sport Pilot expected within the next year. The existing Training Exemptions are expected to be phased out during the Sport Pilot transition period.

NAPPF has hosted a number of safety & training seminars at air shows and at local Fly Ins.

The NAPPF Seminars Series in 2004 will be expanded to include more locations. Topics will focus on Safety & Training but will also be expanded to include Sport Pilot transition issues.

NAPPF has represented the PPC community on ASTM committees and at FAA Sport Pilot meetings. The requirements for the safe operation of powered parachutes are different than other ultralights and representing those differences in advisory committees has been the NAPPF goal and will continue to be.

NAPPF is a regular on the UltraFlight Radio Internet Radio Program, covering a number of topics of value to PPC pilots. Archives of the radio programs can be found at ultraflightradio.com.   Information on NAPPF and topics of interest to the powered parachute pilots can be found on the NAPPF website www.nappf.com. Back issues of the NAPPF Update and other news items are posted on the website.

Elections for NAPPF Regional Directors will be held in the spring. If you are interested in participating on the NAPPF Board, please send an e-mail to info@nappf.com. A list of the current Regional directors can be found on the NAPPF website.

Membership in NAPPF is $35/yr and includes a 12 month subscription to UltraFlight Magazine. If you already subscribe to UltraFlight Magazine, 12 months will be added to your current subscription.

NAPPF is a pilot’s organization representing pilots. Your comments and suggestions make it stronger.


January 04     Frederick Scheffel
Printed in April  UltraFlight Magazine


 So you want to have a PPC fly-in!


Why?  ‘Cause fly-in’s are fun – a lot of fun! 

Your timing is good.  Now is the time of the year to consider the PPC flying season schedule for next year.  Now is the time to decide to have or not have your fly-in.  But a few things really need to be considered…

  1. Your fly-in Objective…

·        Do you want to make $$$ (Money) – [OK, you are kidding right!  You really are not serious about actually trying to produce an income at your event – right?  Ok, I thought you were just kidding!]

·        You just want to share the skies with a bunch of your friends (and to meet new friends) [Note: This may be the most popular.  And it is definitely the easiest & the fastest to produce!]

·        To help the PPC community by promoting Safety & Educational seminars among the PPC pilots.  [Note: This is of course the most “noble” of objectives – but it will come at a higher cost of time and expenses!]

  1. Your Cost…
    [Note: When you consider cost – do not forget the cost of your time.  And if your time is taken from normal income producing “time” (i.e., you are not retired) – that is usually the most costly entity of the event!]
    1. Expenses

                                                              i.      Leasing a field

                                                           ii.      “T”-shirts (and don’t forget the designing of the graphics)

                                                         iii.      Insurance

                                                          iv.      Food – are you going to feed the pilots, or are they “on-their-own”?

                                                            v.      Competition items

1.       Awards (trophies or plaques)

2.     Nets, balloons, targets, ‘bombs’, etc.

                                                          vi.      Advertising – getting the “word” out to pilots and the public

                                                       vii.      Speakers

                                                     viii.      Tents

                                                         ix.      Safety fence

    1. Income

                                                              i.      Pilot Registrations

                                                           ii.      Introductory Flights for the public

                                                         iii.      Manufacturers

                                                          iv.      Organizations – it never hurts to ask for financial help

                                                            v.      Vendor booths

                                                          vi.      Food booths

                                                       vii.      Raffles (Note: These may not legal in some areas)

                                                     viii.      50-50 cash drawings (Note: These may not legal in some areas)

                                                         ix.      Donated cash (by spectators and wealthy pilots)

                                                            x.      Auction donated items
[Note: if some items are donated, how are you going to return the favor to the Donation Sponsors – as “Thanks” - as a bear minimum they deserve advertising at your event] 

  1. Your Dates – you do not want to interfere with another large PPC event that most of your pilots will want to attend, and therefore put the pilots into a dilemma ‘spin’.
  2. Your Responsibilities
    1. Safety – by far, and without a doubt – your #1 concern

                                                              i.      For the Pilots – Pilot Briefings should be mandatory!  Daily!

                                                           ii.      For the PPC’s - security

                                                         iii.      And safety for the (mostly naïve) Public!

    1. First Aid - Who will be available, and how do you contact them?
    2. Lost Pilots
    3. Legal

                                                              i.      Are you going to let ‘FAT’ ultralights fly?

                                                           ii.      Are you going to let un-registered two-seat PPC’s fly?

                                                         iii.      Are you going to let non-current BFI’s take humans in the 2nd seat?

                                                          iv.      Are you going to let ‘low-hour’ or “questionable” BFI’s take the public?

                                                            v.      Forms and Waivers

    1. Insurance?

                                                              i.      Are you going to protect the land owners? 

                                                           ii.      The public?

    1. Conveniences

                                                              i.      Port-a-potties

                                                           ii.      Water

                                                         iii.      Showers?

                                                          iv.      Do you want to make gasoline available?

  1. Options
    1. Competitions –  will they be for fun or “bragging-rights”
    2. Group Cross-country flights
    3. Entertainment – Do you want the pilots to have something to do, when they cannot fly?
    4. Inviting the Public – but know, if they see you – they will come (whether you want them, or not)
    5. Intro flights
    6. Food – how are these human pilots going to eat?

                                                              i.      Local restaurants

                                                           ii.      Via your hospitality (bar-b-ques each night, sandwich lunches, muffin breakfast

                                                         iii.      Food vendors

    1. Camping – do you have room for tents?  For RV’s?  Are campfires OK?
    2. Educational seminars
    3. BFI Refresher course


Yep, a Powered Parachute fly-in is indeed – without a doubt – great fun.  They can be a great opportunity for you to help our sport by increasing the knowledge and safety of the PPC pilots via educational seminars.  They increase the camaraderie among your fellow pilots.  And it is just enjoyable to share the skies with other PPC’s.

Just know your event objective before you begin your activities, and keep SAFETY the number ONE priority. 

[Note to fly-in attending pilots: Now that you are more educated as to what is needed to create them – I hope you will be more willing to lend a hand when you get there!]

OK, now you have a choice.  You can go for the whole “nine-yards” and consider the necessary details of each of the above items that are involved in PPC event.  Or just start with small, simple gatherings.  You do not need to be overwhelmed by the work that is needed to have an event.  Sometimes, if you think about it too much – you won’t do it.  And they are great fun!  Just keep it safe!  Just start with a few guys (and gals) that want to get together and fly.  And then, let the event evolve.  That is how the Albuquerque Hot Air balloon festival got started…

January 2004       Jim Sweeney
Printed in January  UltraFlight Magazine

NAPPF Update
NAPPF after Sport Pilot


 As this issue of the NAPPF Update hits the streets, Sport Pilot should be very close or already announced.  No doubt, many are asking what will become of the ultralight organizations in light of the new rule. The Training Exemption will be on the way out and pilots will have to decide how they want to fly after the transition period.  Will it be according to the new Sport Pilot / Light Sport Aircraft rules or according to Part 103?

Remember, Part 103 does not go away and may be the choice for many pilots. If you choose Part 103, make sure that you are fully compliant with it.

Back to the future. What will the ultralight organizations do in the future?  The most immediate answer to the question is to help their members make the move to Sport Pilot or help their members become compliant with Part 103.  That is exactly the goal of NAPPF during the transition period.

As the new rule is published, there will be many questions. What if? How does this affect me?  What do I do next? NAPPF will help answer all of our member’s questions as we inform and educate. Our objective is to get the information to our members quickly and accurately. NAPPF may work internally or with other ultralight organizations, but the objective is the same – answers & education.

The transition period will have a very specific duration during which pilots will decide whether it’s Part 103 or Sport Pilot.

After the transition period the goals of NAPPF will remain the same.  NAPPF will continue its mission of education and representation.  Education through seminars, publications, the website (nappf.com) and personal interaction. Representation in groups setting standards for the Sport Pilot industry.  Our objectives go beyond Sport Pilot. Our goals include both Private Pilot & Commercial Pilot ratings for powered parachutes. There are privileges that go with these higher ratings that our members are already asking for.

Now back to the present.  NAPPF has been on a membership dues moratorium for the past year.  Members of record as of fall ‘02, continued to be members, without any additional dues. This allowed membership dues paid to our old partner to run their course without affecting NAPPF members. As a result, all members who paid dues to the old organization continued to be a member of NAPPF.

In November the moratorium ended, by vote of the NAPPF Board, and annual dues were reinstated. Annual dues were set at $35.

There are benefits with NAPPF membership.  In addition to education & representation, another important benefit is UltraFlight Magazine.  Included in NAPPF annual dues is a 12 month subscription to UltraFlight Magazine.  Already a subscriber to UltraFlight Magazine? Your current subscription will be continued an additional 12 months with payment of your NAPPF annual membership dues.

Dues can be paid using PayPal on the website (nappf.com) or by sending a check for $35 to:

Box 399
Billings MT 59103

Other programs such as insurance are being worked on.  As they become available, you will see them first on the website nappf.com.

The future of NAPPF is Education & Representation on behalf of the Powered Parachute community.

December 2003    Scott Hughes
Printed in December  UltraFlight Magazine

The PPC Pilots’ Organization

Last week the board was discussing what this month’s NAPPF update should be about. We have so many exciting happenings coming down the pike over the next six months.

One is the upcoming elections of certain regional directors and at-large positions. I would encourage anyone who wants to run for office to do so. I know I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of making this organization into a top-notch pilots’ organization. Jim Sweeney (President) will address the particulars of the election in a later update. Also you can find further updates on the NAPPF web site www.nappf.com.

Another important item is how one can join NAPPF. For $35 you get NAPPF membership for one year plus a one-year subscription to UltraFlight Magazine where our updates are published. Now that’s a bargain.

That being said, there have been a couple concerns that have surfaced in my region. We have had quite a few engine-outs lately. Most have been gas related. The good news first. It was not because of lack of gas in the tank. The bad news is that it is related to gas contamination and carburetor icing.

It has always amazed me that a carburetor can actually freeze in flight. I have had carb-ice three times in a PPC. All three times it has resulted in a quick reduction of power until the engine quit. Ideal conditions for this are high humidity and a temperature between 32 and 72 Fahrenheit. Just don’t be fooled into thinking it couldn’t happen outside that box. Carb heaters can be purchased at a reasonable cost.

Fuel contamination, on the other hand, is something that can largely be avoided through the use of a Mr. Funnel or similar filtering device. Mr. Funnel will stop water and other debris from contaminating your gas. Just a reminder – DON’T pour the excess gas back into the gas can or your tank. On several different planes that experienced an engine out or were experiencing problems starting/running properly, we pulled all kinds of grass, dirt and water out of the float bowls. It wasn’t pretty.

After cleaning your bowls, be sure to take off the jet assembly and clean it, too. It’s amazing how stopped up the jets can get. While your there, you might as well go ahead and raise or lower the needle to achieve the ideal temperature setting. I shoot for EGT’s of 1100 to 1150 on my Rotax 503’s and 582’s. Hirth likes a much higher temperature. (See your Hirth dealer.) This seems to give me a very efficient burn. This whole process can be done in under an hour.

Philip Comparetto wrote a piece for our BARF newsletter that I thought would be good to include in this update. Here goes.

    Bay Area Recreational Flyers (BARF) newsletter

It has come to our attention that some of our members have had several engine-outs. It could be due to a hasty pre-flight, or maybe, it is due to improper pre-flight? We are all guilty of this, at one time or another. But there could be another problem  – dirty gas.

With today’s blended gas, you don’t know what you are getting. Some gasolines use alcohol, and this carries water to the engine. When this combination mixes with the oil, it forms a sludge.

Here’s a simple test to check for this. Take an empty olive jar (post martini, washed and dried) and fill it one-third full with water, marking the level. Then fill to the top with gas. Shake (not stir) and let it settle. Again, check the marked level. If the water is above the line, you have water in your gas, and you have potential problems. Be sure to use your Mr. Funnel, or a chamois.

    Blue skies and happy flying,

    Philip Comparetto

A few other related notes.

When you go to the gas station, you will help yourself even more if you don’t get gas from a station that just got a load of fuel or has pumps that are running slow. As part of your pre-flight, be sure to check your fuel filter. Over the years, I have seen a lot of people come out of the sky due to something as simple as a dirty fuel filter. I hope this information is helpful and will prevent some unplanned engine-outs.

Scott Hughes

PS It was great to see Irene up and at’em at the Extravaganza. Good luck on your recovery

November 2003    Jim Sweeney
Printed in November  UltraFlight Magazine

Déjà Vu, All Over Again

The hot topic at Air Venture 2001 was Sport Pilot and Light Sport Aircraft.  Norman Mineta and Jane Garvey both expressed their disappointment that they could not announce the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) but did reconfirmed their commitment to Sport Pilot and the new rules.

The hot topic, this time, at Air Venture 2003 was Sport Pilot and Light Sport Aircraft.  Marion Blakey expressed her disappointment that Sport Pilot was not here yet, but did announce that the FAA had finished its work on the rule and had sent it to the Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST/DOT) for their review and comments.

After OST/DOT the rule moves to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for their review and comments.  Then it’s back to the FAA for final cleanup and publication in the Federal Register.  Best guess is that Sport Pilot will become law in January 2004, with portions of it phased in over a period (six months) of time.  The Medical Requirements (Drivers License) could be the first portion phased in.

The question now is the same as it was back in 2001 – what is the active ultralight pilot to do between now and the proposal becoming law and during the proposed phase-in (transition) period?  I believe that the answer is still the same as it was in 2001 – do what you have been doing that is safe and works.

For pilots, Part 103 is still in effect and will continue after Sport Pilot and Light Sport Aircraft have become law. Many pilots will continue to fly under Part 103 rather than move on to Sport Pilot. Review Part 103 and check your compliance.  Remember, you must comply with ALL sections of Part 103 to be legal under Part 103.

Instructors should review the Training Exemption they instruct under.  ASC, EAA and USUA, in their receptive Training Exemptions, have very well defined expectations of their instructors and students.  Are you and your students compliant? The Training Exemptions promote safety and have been good for students, instructors and the industry.

If you pass your own review of Part 103 and the Training Exemption, then continue to do what you are doing safely. Students should continue to train to be pilots. Pilots, with plans to become instructors, should continue that goal. Instructors should continue to work toward AFI status. It’s best to have as much of this as possible accomplished prior to the effective date of the regulation.  Keep your log book up to date. Time in your logbook will count toward the requirements of Sport Pilot.

As the days get shorter and there are more dark hours, remember that ultralights don’t fly at night. Spend some time reviewing the ground school topics and looking into Part 91.  There will be a knowledge test as part of the Sport Pilot requirements. It may surprise some, but a large portion of Part 103 and the Training Exemptions are taken directly from Part 91 and from good practices developed over the years in other aviation areas.  Part 91 can be found in the FAR/AIM publications available at aviation stores (internet) and pilot shops.  There is no doubt that some paragraphs will change with Sport Pilot, but it does not hurt to have the background.

So, what to do? Continue to do what is safe.  Continue to fly by Part 103, and instruct by the Training Exemption.

October 2003    Sol Lovas
Printed in October  UltraFlight Magazine

Women and Powered Parachutes

 The question has occasionally been asked: Why aren’t more women involved in flying powered parachutes?
I don’t know why.  Because from personal experience, I can confirm that powered parachuting is a wonderful sport for women!

    It was my husband Art’s idea for us to try powered parachuting, but as soon as I left the ground, I fell in love with the sport.  The first time I was in the air in a powered parachute was for my solo flight, since the dealer we learned from only had a single-seat unit.  I conquered my butterflies, sat down in the airframe, and powered up.  As I lifted off, I looked around and down at the receding ground, picked up the radio mike, and said, “I like this!”  And I have been flying ever since.

    We were so hooked by our solos that we became powered parachute dealers in order to introduce others to this great sport.   In 1996, I was certified as the first female Advanced Flight Instructor for powered parachutes in this country.

    This is a terrific sport for women.  The machines are relatively lightweight and easy to maneuver out of the hangars and around the field.  Flight itself is fantastic. The feeling of freedom and the sway of the breezes, as you float slowly over the countryside, just can’t be adequately described to anyone who hasn’t tried it.  I have been very well accepted by the male pilots, and we all enjoy hangar flying about our various experiences.
    There are only two areas, both due to lack of muscle strength, where I have had any difficulty in this sport.  The first was pull-starting those Rotax motors.  It took me a while to learn the proper technique necessary to compensate for my lesser strength.  But the real answer was an electric starter.

    The second problem area was loading and unloading the PPC from the trailer.  Many trailers sit too high for me to push a PPC onto the trailer by myself (and forget the back of a pickup).  However, we found a trailer which has a torsion-bar suspension (so the bed is very close to the ground) and a full-width loading ramp.  Now I can load and unload our PPCs all by myself.

    With only these two minor accommodations to aid my lesser strength, I am able to fully participate in this sport completely independently.

    And my husband Art?  He flies, but not nearly as often as I do.  We both love the sport and the people we have met through it.  I do the introductory flights and all of the instructing, and Art deals with the technical and mechanical ends of the business.  Some customers are surprised when they first learn that I will be the pilot for their introductory flight, and that I will be training them and supervising their solos. Art’s simple statement that “she’s a better pilot than I am” solves that one quickly.  Competence means much, so much more than gender.

    I would love to see more women get involved as pilots in this sport.  It doesn’t require a lot of strength or mechanical ability.  If you can drive a car, you can certainly fly a powered parachute.  In fact, flying the PPC is a lot simpler, and way more fun.

    I highly recommend it to all women!

September 2003    Ray Pickens
Printed in September  UltraFlight Magazine

Com Fly with Me

For some of us, “Come fly with me” brings back the words of “old blue eyes.”  At a fly-in, it may be just the invitation you’ve been dreaming about – a chance to fly in an ultralight!
I’ve attended several fly-ins at which I have observed prospective “student pilots” standing in line to take their “introductory flight.”  When it’s their turn to board, they blissfully race across the flight field and enter the wispy little craft, expecting (and in most cases receiving) the thrill of their lives.  The pilot starts the engine and off they go.

    Once pilot and student have left the ground, how many student pilots have other thoughts? “Should I really be doing this?  I don’t even know anything about this flying contraption.  The pilot mentioned something about himself and his ultralight not being FAA approved and, and…
“Wow!  Things on the ground are getting smaller.  It’s fun, but I’m starting to feel a little nervous.  I wish I were back on the ground.  I don’t even know if this guy is a good pilot!  What if….?”

    Of course, almost always the introductory flight ends happily, with big smiles all around.  But is there a way to lessen those in-flight doubts?  And, is there some rudimentary information prospective student pilots should know before flying the first time?

    TAKE two:  Action!

    Let’s run this film backwards to the scene at the waiting line.  This time you’re there, waiting for your introductory flight in an ultralight.  Here are some questions you may have thought about and should ask yourself or your pilot before crossing that flight line.

    Am I ready to take a flight in an ultralight today?  How do I react to heights?

    If you are
unusually insecure about your personal safety, have an unreasonable fear of heights, or have any unusual medical problems you should advise your pilot first before boarding the craft.  Trouble on the ground doesn’t get any better in the air.  If you’re not well or you’re feeling pressured by your friends, stay on the ground.  There will always be another time to fly.

Am I properly dressed?  (Are these flip flops I’m wearing appropriate?)

    My suggestions for ultralight flight clothing in mild weather: long sleeved shirt, long pants, and sturdy shoes that will not fall off your feet (hiking boots are excellent).  In addition, I recommend eye protection (sunglasses).  Leave behind anything that may fall out or blow off (pens, pins, scarves, etc.) because they could be inhaled by the propeller.  Broken props in flight will usually give your pilot heartburn and may increase the cost of your introductory flight.

    Shutterbugs take note: 
Avoid strapping an SLR camera or any solid object around your body.  These seemingly harmless objects have been known to cause severe injury if they get between you and your pilot or between you and Mother Earth should an unusually hard landing occur.  It is best to handhold these items.  Be prepared to willingly jettison these potentially rib-popping objects in an emergency landing.   Broken ribs are reported to be very painful.

I have been told that ultralights and ultralight  pilots are not certified by the FAA.  What does that mean?  Is there a way to determine the depth of a pilot’s experience?  Is there any type of certification that he/she must possess?

    In order to comply with specific ultralight regulations set forth by the FAA, your pilot is required to inform you that
“this flight is conducted under an exemption granted by the FAA and that the FAA does not establish certification standards for powered ultralight vehicles, pilots or instructors.”

    In short, this means that the pilot and his/her ultralight vehicle do not have to be certified by the FAA.  However, the FAA has entrusted the strict governance of ultralight operations to three ultralight organizations: Aero Sports Connection (ASC), the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), and the United States Ultralight Association (USUA).  These three exemption holders grant specific designations and rights to ultralight pilots based upon their hours of flight experience and their performance on written and practical examinations.

    Any ultralight pilot taking up prospective student pilots for “introductory flights” (the flight you’re standing in line for) MUST at least have a Basic Flight Instructor (BFI) or an Ultralight Flight Instructor (UFI) rating.  This rating is a minimum requirement for a pilot instructor to legally operate a “two-place ultralight training vehicle.”  I suggest you make certain your pilot has this rating before you cross any flight line for an introductory flight.

Note:  Although many ultralight pilots are also FAA certified General Aviation pilots, they are still required to have an ultralight rating (minimum: BFI or UFI) or an endorsement from EAA, USUA or ASC before they can legally fly a 2-place ultralight vehicle.

I’ve noticed that the wind is picking up and dark clouds are beginning to gather.  Does weather make a difference?

    Weather conditions are extremely important when operating an ultralight vehicle.  If the weather seems adverse to you, stay on the ground!  Powered parachutes, more so than fixed wing ultralights, are designed for mild weather conditions.  Mild means the wind speed is between 0 and 10 mph with no cumulonimbus clouds (billowing thunderstorm clouds) on the horizon.  A good pilot will not fly in questionable weather conditions.

    Rule of Thumb: When nine pilots refuse to fly and #10 offers to take you up, complain about a sudden headache and start walking towards your car.

I notice some people are wearing helmets and some are not.  Does this matter?

    For your own protection, I strongly recommend that you wear a helmet.  Also, since it is important to verbally communicate with your pilot in flight, make certain the on-board intercom system is in proper working order before you leave the ground.   A quivering, sweaty finger pointing to the ground may not get your pilot’s attention.

Although this appears to be a relatively safe sport, I have heard there are risks, serious ones.  Am I prepared to accept these risks?

    This is a question only you can answer.  How well do you know this pilot and his piloting skills?  Do not be afraid to ask how long he/she has been flying.  In fact, ask to see your pilot’s Two-Place Training Exemption paperwork.  No paperwork?  Use ye old headache routine.

    If you don’t understand your pilot’s explanation of emergency procedures before you take off, I strongly recommend that you ask him/her to reiterate.  If you’re not satisfied with the response, do not board the ultralight.  Yes, it’s headache time again.

Special Note: Since most ultralight pilots do not carry liability insurance for personal injury, it is important to consider the medical expenses you may incur should you be involved in an ultralight accident of consequence.

    Now, let’s shift the focus to the ultralight pilot patiently waiting with the student on the runway.

    As the Pilot in Command (PIC), there are a few questions you should ask yourself before taking that student pilot into the air.  Honestly answering these few questions may help get your prop turning or, suddenly help you develop your own headache.

Do I have the proper qualifications to conduct an “introductory flight?”

    Is my exemption paperwork ( with either ASC, EAA, or USUA) current?

    Have I performed a thorough preflight on my vehicle and on myself?

   Is the length of my runway adequate for my student pilot’s additional weight?  And, is this combined weight compatible with safe flight?

    Do I have a specific plan for an emergency situation?  Have I adequately conveyed basic emergency procedures to my student pilot?

    Do I have proper helmets and communication equipment for my student pilot?

    Is the student pilot dressed properly and does he/she have adequate eye protection?

    Have I informed the student that this is not an FAA approved craft and that I am not certified by the FAA to fly this ultralight vehicle?

    If you, the pilot in command, find yourself honestly answering these few questions in the affirmative, then I think it’s time to say “Come fly with me.”

And you, the student pilot, if all or most of your questions have been answered to your satisfaction, then prepare yourself for the “thrill of your life!”

Ray Pickens BFI is an architect who has been flying and training in powered parachutes for the past three and a half  years.  He and his wife, Sue, currently live on a farm in central Virginia. He is a Powrachute dealer and owner of Skytoys Virginia, Ltd.

August 2003    Ralph McClurg
Printed in August  UltraFlight Magazine

Guard the Mag Switches

 Fly-in season is here, and here are some really good safety tips for the time you’re at a fly-in.   Actually, we should do these things all the time, not just at events.

1) If you have electric start on your unit, have a keyed switch for the starter and take the key out when you are not in the unit.  That can prevent someone (such as a kid)  from engaging the starter accidentally, when it should not be engaged.

2) When your unit is unattended, pull the plug wires from the plugs so it will not start if someone should rotate the engine with the electric starter, the recoil starter, or by turning the prop.  (Note: you should ALWAYS remove the plug wires when working on the prop!)

3) When warming up the engine, do something to prevent the unit from leaving the scene unintentionally.  Either restrain the unit with a good set of chocks or a tie-down, or keep your hand near the mag switches.  Just in case, aim the unit away from the crowd, not toward it.

Regarding number three above, let me tell you a single-carb 503 with a two-blade wooden prop on it can drag two full-grown men across several feet of grass with both of them holding on and trying to stop it.  A fellow south of me bought a PPC several years ago and learned to fly it by himself.  It was an SR1, and he flew where and when he pleased.  One day he was on final approach to the local tavern when a gust of wind caused him to hook a power line pole and tear the rig up quite a bit.  Before he got it repaired, he died of unrelated causes.

After a few years, two men (Cliff and Frank) bought the busted-up PPC from the widow and brought me a load of parts and pieces.  They asked me to make it fly and then to teach them how to fly it.  They called this machine the Phoenix.   Jerry Higgins spent many hours assembling the Phoenix and correcting many faults it had from the wreck.

When it was ready to run, it was started.  The throttle stuck – wide open of course.  I witnessed this machine drag Jerry and a friend flailing and fussing right into the side of my hangar.  The metal in a hangar door was dented.  As we discussed the incident, we all agreed that someone should guard the mag switches, or we should restrain it physically – or both!  Now you know why number three is important.

P.S. – The Phoenix has crashed a few more times since then.

July 2003        Tony Irwin
Printed in July  UltraFlight Magazine

Meteorology for Powered Parachutes

 Some of us are already well into the flying season. We have more people interested in this recreational sport every day. A lot of great instructors are doing a great job of educating students to do the right thing, and to develop a cautious judgment about the intangibles: i.e. WEATHER!! It can reach out and touch you when you least expect it! Gather data and plan, plan and plan. There are many ways to prepare yourself about the atmosphere you are about to fly in.

The most common source of information is the Flight Service Station in your area (1-800-WXBRIEF). I have noticed many people are reluctant to call them and obtain the first source of weather information for their area. They are a busy lot and sound busy when they answer the phone. Right off the bat, tell them you do not have a tail number, give them your last name, and ask for what you want.

“My last name is IRWIN. I do not have a tail number. I will be flying a Powered Parachute as a student pilot below 1000’ just south of New Braunfels. I would like to get the winds and any adverse weather conditions for this area for the next four hours.”

Take notes on the information you need, and report back any information they can use (Pilot Report or PIREP). They will be very helpful, and you will get used to using their services.

The other resources are the local weather channel, or computer weather reporting services. Start comparing data, and then make a decision.

When I get to the field, I launch a weather balloon. Get a party balloon package from Wal-Mart. It has balloons and helium. It is the easiest way to check out the atmosphere at your field for the first 500 feet. From there you will perform a risk assessment and exercise judgment as to whether or not you will fly. Remember takeoffs are optional; landing is mandatory.

Here’s an easy guide for converting Centigrade to Fahrenheit and visa versa:



The daily range of temperature, the range of temperature between night and day varies considerably with season and location. The daily variance is large near the surface of barren, high level places and over sand, plowed fields and rocks. It often ranges from 17°C to 28°C.

The variance is much smaller over thick vegetation and deep water surfaces, where it may be only about 1°C. Practically no change of temperature occurs between night and day in the stagnant free air at 4000 feet above the surface.

What does high pressure mean to you when you are watching the weather channel and you see the isobars with a big “L” or a big “H”? A “High” is a pressure system in which the barometric pressure increases toward the center, and wind flow around the system is clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere. Flying conditions are generally more favorable in highs than in lows because of fewer clouds, light or calm winds, and less-concentrated turbulent areas. But in some situations, visibility may be reduced due to early morning fog, smog or haze.

Note: A “LOW” is a pressure system in which the barometric pressure decreases toward the center and the wind flow around the system is counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere. The term LOW and Cyclone are interchangeable; whereas in referring to troughs, they are always referred to as low-pressure troughs.

Any pressure system in the northern hemisphere with a counterclockwise wind is a cyclone. Hurricanes, typhoons and tropical storms are all low-pressure systems, with tornadoes and water spouts often associated. Tornadoes and waterspouts are very intense low-pressure systems, which are associated with severe thunderstorms. Unfavorable flying conditions in the form of low clouds, restricted visibility by precipitation and fog, strong gusty winds and turbulence are common in low-pressure systems.

COL. A “col” is a saddle region between two highs.

Trough. A “trough” is an elongated area of low pressure with the lowest pressure along the trough line. The weather in a trough is frequently violent.

Ridge. A “ridge” is an elongated area of high pressure with the highest pressure along the ridge line. The weather in a ridge is generally favorable for flying.

Pressure Gradient. The rate of change in pressure in a direction perpendicular to the isobars is called pressure gradient. A pressure gradient exists in the horizontal (along the surface) as well as the vertical plane in the atmosphere. The horizontal pressure gradient is steep or strong when the isobars determining the pressure are close together. It is flat or weak when the isobars are far apart. The stronger the pressure gradient the stronger the winds.

Do you recognize this pilot?

“ACE: An odd sort of aviator. This character has a repertoire of  experiences that would put a Hollywood script to shame. Ace, like the parrot, is a good talker, but not a good flyer. His recollections of minute details of his many emergencies and associated problems are only surpassed by his ability to drop names.

Ace has known, drunk beer with or flown with every Star Pilot and will name them if you are willing to listen. He has had engines fail, drop off, catch fire and blow up. He doesn’t mention that it was his abusive operation that caused most of his problems. His stories get hotter and more hair raising with each retelling. He has had many forced landings. One gets the impression that he spent more time walking than flying.”

Thanks to Mike Novosel, Medal of Honor Recipient United States Army Aviator, Feb 1985 U.S. Army Aviation Digest. n





June 2003        Ralph McClurg
Printed in June  UltraFlight Magazine

The Wind – Is it “friend” or “foe?”

 Will Rogers is quoted as saying, “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”

Powered parachute pilots talk a lot about wind.  Every PPC pilot I know is a “windsock watcher.”  We frequently hear stories about someone driving along and seeing flags hanging limp, smoke going straight up, and tree leaves calm yet (usually in the same sentence) the person laments not being able to fly for some occupational reason.

If you think you only talk about the wind but can never do anything about it, please read the rest of this article.  Doing something about the wind can save your life.  That means not flying when the wind is not favorable or safe.

When we discuss PPC flying, we want calm air, because we know that we can take off, fly and land with more precise control.  We also know that we will be more comfortable in the air because the flight will be smoother.  However, do we really always want to have calm winds?  Can’t the wind be your friend sometimes instead of your foe?

First,  let’s consider how the wind can be your friend.  A favorable wind that is a constant 10 miles per hour (or less for the non-beginner), and is forecast to stay the same, or lessen, can be your friend.  It can provide rapid canopy inflation, shorter ground run on takeoff and landing, and can allow much greater obstacle clearance during takeoff and landing. It provides higher climb rates for a given amount of distance.  It allows a slower rate of closure on landing, so you have more time to flare.

A constant wind allows you to do more sightseeing if you choose to travel into the wind for a while. If it happens to be in the direction you intend to go, it makes the trip much shorter.  Take-off and landing charts for airplanes and helicopters clearly show the advantage of wind with regard to obstacle clearance.  Indeed, the wind can be your friend, even in PPC flying.

The wind can also be your foe.  We need to recognize this very clearly.  Limp flags and vertical smoke may mean a safe PPC flight, or it could lead us into a disaster.  Many weather factors must be considered before flying.  Current wind is one of them, but forecast wind can never be disregarded and should always be checked.

Many years I spent flying certified aircraft before joining the “chosen few” who really get to experience what graceful, safe, almost-divine flight is – the flight that PPC pilots experience.

Surprisingly, I sort of forgot some of the basic flight rules from my previous life during the early flights in my PPC, and I almost paid a high price for doing that.  I loved the PPC so much that I thought about it all day at work and hurried home in the evening to go fly.  If the wind was calm (as indicated by the flags, smoke, leaves, etc), I would do a preflight inspection, warm-up and go flying for what few minutes remained before dark.  This ritual did not include a call for a weather brief—I no longer needed that with my new-found freedom!

On one of those flights, I noticed the temperature dropping rapidly and headed for the hangar.  While I was bagging the chute, a huge gust hit and nearly jerked the canopy out of the bag!  What a disaster that would have been if I had stayed in the air another two minutes!  The temperature drop was indicative of frontal movement, and the wind was typical of rapid frontal movement.

I was lucky — and I was re-educated.  That experience taught me again the necessity of getting a weather briefing—even if you are only going to fly an ultralight in the local area. 

As I look back over the years, there were many “adrenalin moments” in the air, and many of them were caused by weather—in fact, too many.  The wind has been a foe on numerous occasions, resulting in rough landings, low fuel levels at destination, stress from constant controlling, and other discomforts including nausea.  It also stood my Pegasus on end last summer while I was helping a student strap in. 

A few months ago, the wind at Whiteman Air Force Base in central Missouri went from 9 kph to 65 kph in less than two minutes. It turned an AH-64 Apache helicopter over that was being towed by a ground vehicle.  The forecast did not include that kind of wind, although it did include thunderstorms and would have kept a conscientious PPC pilot on the ground.  With the light wing loading we experience in PPCs, we simply must know what the winds are going to do while we are in the air.  The wind can be a foe.

Always, always, always get a weather briefing before you fly.  Here are some tips on getting that briefing:

Call 1-800-wx-brief –that is 1-800-992-7433.  Follow the prompts to speak with a briefer.  Tell the briefer that you wish to fly an ultralight in the local area for the next one to two hours and that you would like to know if there are any hazardous conditions that could develop during that time.  Ask what the maximum winds will be, and if there are other factors that you should be aware of.

Don’t ask for a synopsis—that is more information than you probably need or want and takes up excess briefer time.  Just ask for what you need.  You may get a good weather forecast from sites like www.intellicast.com also, but that will not inform you of TFRs (Temporary Flight Restrictions) or NOTAMS (Notices to Airmen), so you still need to call the briefer.

Note:  Briefers now are very courteous and helpful when an ultralight pilot calls for a briefing.  I can remember some years back when they would snicker as you told them you were planning an ultralight flight.  Then they would often ask again, “And you don’t have an “N number?”  Times have changed.  Call for a briefing.  Fly safely – have fun.

 Ralph McClurg holds FAA Commercial and Instrument ratings in helicopters and airplanes.  He has been flying since 1966.  He is a Chief Warrant Officer, CW5,  Master Army Aviator in the Missouri Army National Guard, and is an Advanced Flight Instructor, ppw.  He can be contacted at mcclurg@sofnet.com or you can visit his web-site at sportflightinc.com.


May 2003    Scott Hughes
Printed in May UltraFlight Magazine

Learning from others, don’t let history repeat itself!

I just returned from the Powrachute Extravaganza Flyin and it was wonderful. Most of you probably know someone that went or you yourself went. My hat’s off to Eddy, Dawn, Bill and the gang. I don’t think anything other than a little less wind in the middle of the day would have been needed. I went through 33 gallons of gas, so I must have had fun.

There were plenty of things to do for everyone at the Powrachute Extravaganza. The seminars were wonderful and very informative. The entertainment was great. The only grumbling I heard from the pilots was that we couldn’t fly a little later Friday and Saturday night.

One of the highlights for me was seeing all my old friends again but especially my friend Freeman Tang and Jim Faye from China. They showered us with gifts and we showered them with all kinds of gag gifts.

What I am writing about was the number of rollovers (20+).  I watched 10 of them myself. Most of them were uneventful. I would like to review a few factors I saw that seemed to be consistent. Most of the pilots were in such a hurry to get airborne that they didn’t build a “perfect wing” first.

Let’s review a few rules of PPC flying. This really applies to those with low hours or those that don’t fly often.

Rule number one…take off into wind.

Rule number two… Take off into the wind.


After seeing four rollovers in a short period of time, I went over to those pilots (to remain nameless) and asked them if I could steal a little of their time. They all agreed. I began picking up grass and dropping it, trying to be very discrete. As we watched a few more interesting takeoffs, they could see a big difference just by where people lined up their carts, namely, into the wind or not. It was agreed that into the wind would save a lot of trouble, aggravation and offer less fighting of the chute. The grass trick worked and I think the lesson was learned.

I would like to bring up several other factors for pilots to consider before takeoff.

1) Take off into the wind.

2) Always have a go, no-go spot picked out. If you are not up and flying by that point, shut it down.

3) Have a point picked out so you can clear objects ahead of you. It also is a go, no go spot. For example, if I am not at 10 feet high by this point, I will shut down and land.

4) We noticed a lot of pilots that would just hammer the throttle and hope for the best. This is probably one area almost all pilots could constantly work on. Each time you take off try to find that sweet spot that allows the chute to smoothly pop up overhead and transition to flying status smoothly. As Eddie Johnson says, “finesse the chute to flying status.” Every chute has its quirks and attributes. Learn them and exploit the chute’s attributes and minimize the quirks. I counted four or five Chirons. They would be the exception to the rule concerning a heavy throttle on takeoff.

5) The part that scared me most part (I hate to say it) is that I watched at least 30+ takeoffs where the pilot never did look back to check the chute or check for pressure knots, line twist or proper canopy inflation. A friend of mine, Fredrick Scheffel in Utah, uses the “LOC” saying. On their take-off roll, before adding throttle and suffering from PMA, (Premature-Airborneness) use LOC.

L – Lines are clean and free

O – chute cells are all OPEN

C – chute is CENTERED

6) There were trees on the far end of the field that were causing mechanical turbulence. You must be ready to correct immediately for any gust of wind you may encounter. If you can avoid the mechanicals all together, it is even better. I use the 1/3’s rule. The height of the obstacle times three is usually a safe enough distance. There are other factors, such as wind velocity. But since we fly in generally under 15 mph winds, the rule works pretty good.

7) Which leads us to my final point…


You never have to fly. If it doesn’t look right, it isn’t going to magically get better. If it doesn’t feel right today, tomorrow probably will. We fly for fun and our love of the sky. It isn’t any fun if your machine or you are hurt. So let’s strive to be safe.

As a friendly reminder, NAPPF is sponsoring safety seminars all over the country this year. Check their web site for more information – www.NAPPF.com

April 2003    Jim Sweeney
Printed in April UltraFlight Magazine


Welcome to the new home of the NAPPF Update.  Our thanks go to Jim & Irene Byers for providing the space in UltraFlight Magazine for our membership update.

A lot has transpired in the past months, a number of items are in process and the NAPPF has a very bright future.  A few thoughts on each.

During the past year, the NAPPF Board has been very busy restructuring the NAPPF to be a Pilots organization. To that end, NAPPF has contributed to industry committees and the Board has voted on and implemented a number of motions:

bulletThe Bylaws were amended to allow Directors to use proxy votes at Board meeting they are not able to attend.  This action has increased the participation of all Board members on key issues.
bulletThe Bylaws were amended removing non-elected members from the Board of Directors. All Board members are now directly responsible to the membership through the election process.
bulletThe members of the Executive Board (President, Vice President, Secretary & Treasurer) were elected by the full Board.
bulletElections were held for twelve Regional & At Large Directors.  This was the largest NAPPF election to date with the largest number of candidates running in each region.
bulletNAPPF was a sponsor of the World Powered Parachute Championship in Greenville, Illinois.
bulletNAPPF presented training seminars covering ten topics at the World Powered Parachute Championship. Members who attended eight hours of instruction were given credit for a BFI Refresher.
bulletNAPPF was represented at the ASTM Consensus Standard meetings.  The PPC Consensus Standard will set the minimum standards for PPCs manufactured as Light Sport Aircraft.
bulletNAPPF was represented in meetings with the FAA for the development of Practical Test Standards (PTS) for the PPC Light Sport Pilot (LSP).  The PTS is the guideline that will be used by Designated Pilot Examiners (DPE) in testing PPC pilots for a Light Sport Pilot Certificate.

With all the positive work, there was a negative. In September, ASC notified NAPPF that ASC was canceling the contract that defined the relationship between the two organizations.  Sixty days after the notice, ASC separated NAPPF as a wing of ASC. 

NAPPF has always been an independent organization with an elected, volunteer Board of Regional Directors and Executive Officers. NAPPF no longer has any affiliation with ASC and is investigating an affiliation/association with other aviation organizations interested in powered parachutes and powered parachute pilots.

Items that the NAPPF Board is currently working on include:

bulletA new Training Exemption.  With the separation of NAPPF and ASC, the Board is looking into other Training Exemptions that may be available to NAPPF members. 
bulletA new logo.  NAPPF has used the current logo since 1998. In 2001 Suzie Harmening, the creator of the logo, filed a copyright on the logo.  In August, 2002, she notified the NAPPF board that the use of the logo was no longer authorized. The search is on for a new logo.
bulletMembership Benefits. A committee chaired by Scott Hughes is looking into benefits NAPPF can offer its members.  A number of suggestions have been received and the committee is evaluating all of them. 
bulletSport Pilot. NAPPF continues to be involved in the Light Sport Pilot/Light Sport Aircraft committees. The objective is to represent the pilot members in these important meetings.
bulletOrganization. The Board is working on creating the administrative infrastructure necessary to operate on a day to day basis.  A process for new memberships, renewals and other house keeping functions is being set up. 
bulletMembership. Until the administrative structure is completed, NAPPF members of record as of September 2002 will continue to be NAPPF members. New members can join at any time. Information on how to become a member of NAPPF can be found at the website, www.nappf.com under Membership.
bulletWebsite. The NAPPF website continues to be updated with information of interest to PPC pilots and information on NAPPF workings. Check it out at www.nappf.com.

The future for the NAPPF as an independent organization is exciting.  Members tell the board that the most important element is the pilot’s point of view.  The mission of NAPPF is to represent the pilot’s.

Beyond Sport Pilot, the powered parachute can operate in a number of areas defined by the regulations.  FAR Part 103 has a lot of life remaining it for single seat PPCs. For heavier machines, the powered parachute will be in a Category of its own.  The Category status allows for the possibility of advanced pilot privileges beyond Light Sport Pilot. Private Pilot PPC, allowing night operations and Commercial Pilot PPC, allowing commercial operations are possibilities.  A strong pilot’s organization focused on the future of powered parachute is what is required to start the process.  NAPPF has a goal to be that strong pilot organization. 

August 2002     Jim Sweeney


Security in the aviation industry has been around since the first airplane was flown by an unauthorized person.  Originally,  theft and the occasional unauthorized joy ride were the problem.  In the ’60, skyjacking was added to the security list and now terrorism.  The industry has dealt with security issues in the past and now we need to update and adjust to the new threat.

For the ultralight and general aviation communities, security issues may take a number of different forms.  There is real security and then there is perceived security – public perception.

Let’s start with a few of the public’s misconceptions about aviation.  Spending a lot of time at air shows and speaking with people interested in getting started in aviation, the following misconceptions keep surfacing.  The public thinks that all aircraft fly on flight plans, that all aircraft are in radio contact with the “control tower”, that all flights are under radar surveillance and that flying is a luxury to be enjoyed only be the rich.  The next part is the problem.  The public feels that flight operations not on flight plans, not in radio and radar contact are unsafe and represent a threat to their security. The perception that flying is only for the rich does not help minimize the misunderstanding. The tragedy on September, 11 has heightened the public’s concern of uncontrolled aircraft. Politicians are taking advantage of the public’s insecurity to pass legislation restricting the training of new pilots and recurrent training of existing pilots.  The legislation is in the name of public security.

As pilots, we should be aware of the concerns of the non-aviation public and do what we can to increase the level of aviation security and correct public awareness. This may involve aircraft security, airport security and operation security.  The topic of legislation also factors in.

Aircraft Security

We can take direct charge in this area.  Keep your aircraft secure. Keep it in a locked hangar or trailer.  Do not leave the key in the ignition. Secure the trailer. These actions may seem simple, but they go a long way to assuring the public that someone can not just walk up to your aircraft and fly it away. Public perception is a security issue.

If you are training, know who is operating your aircraft. Authorize each flight in your aircraft individually.  Do not allow the operation of your aircraft without specific permission just prior to the flight.  Last year there were at least two major accidents where the owner of the aircraft did not authorize the student/pilot to fly the aircraft on the day of the accident.

Airport Security

If you are flying from an airport, limit access to the ramp, hangars and runways. Keeps gates closed. Post signs limiting access by unauthorized persons. Keep hangars locked. Small airport security is becoming as important to the public as large airport security.

If you are trailoring an aircraft to a field or flying from your own field, keep things locked while you are flying or away from the field. 

Operation Security

Before flying, check NOTAMs (Notice to Airmen) at 1 800 BRIEF (Flight Service) to see if there is any TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction) airspace in your area.

Be aware of the standing NOTAMs that prohibit flight over open air assembly of people, circling nuclear and other industrial/chemical facilities and to be familiar with the intercept procedure as described in the AIM (Aeronautical Information Manual).

Fly responsibility. Extreme flying near populated areas may not be considered safe or welcome by people on the ground.


Politicians in a number of states are introducing legislation that will have an impact on all levels of aviation.  Legislation requiring background checks for student pilots is the most popular, but one state has expanded the background checks for all training activity. The legislation includes introductory flight lessons, flight training, training for advanced ratings, recurrence training, BFR (Biannual Flight Reviews) and other training activities.  This means that a prospective student/customer can not take a lesson until after the background check is completed. The background check takes months and is required before the training begins. This type of broad reaching legislation does not benefit the safety of the aviation community nor does it benefit real public security. Remember, all ultralight operations under the Training Exemption are for training.

Take a moment and see if there is pending legislation in state. There are many aviation organizations that are tracking aviation legislation and would appreciate your support.

Some of these suggestions address real security issues while others may seem to have little impact on a direct challenge to aviation security but address public perception.  Security is what we do to protect aviation and our privilege to fly.  Security is also what the public perceives it to be. We need to be part of the security solution and not the security problem.

July 2002    Jim Sweeney

Involvement in the Industry

The summer is well along and it is time for the NAPPF National Competition.  Again this year, NAPPF is holding the National Competition in conjunction with the World Powered Parachute Championships at Greenville, IL.  The best of the best will compete for bragging rights as the world’s best PPC pilot. For NAPPF members this is an opportunity to demonstrate your flying skills developed over time, practice and training. Spectators love to see the powered parachutes flying and will attend competitions to watch.  Pilots know that the competition develops flying skills and go to competitions to demonstrate their skills. Flying powered parachutes and competitions go together very well.

Pilots however should not limit their involvement in the powered parachute industry to competitions alone.  There are opportunities and issues that are as important as flying skills, but are located outside the cockpit.

Sport Pilot
The FAA is in the process of reviewing over 3,000 comments to the NPRM that were received from pilots, manufacturers,  industry organizations and other interested parties.  We as an industry can say that we did our part by commenting as requested. How many of the comments and suggestion will be used to clarify and improve the NPRM is an unknown.  The anticipated date for NPRM to become law is early 2003.  Till the effective date of the regulations is announced, we need to continue to fly under Part 103 as we have been doing. Annual inspections and machine condition, flying as outlined in the Exemption, BFI Refreshers, keeping a logbook and safety are all topics that we need to keep focused on.  Make sure that you  are a member of one of the 3 ultralight organizations and keep a logbook to have your flying time count toward the Sport Pilot License.

Consensus Standards
 In the May issue of NAPPF UPDATE, Roy Beisswenger, described the objective of the Consensus Standards. ASTM has been chosen to guide the industry through the creation of the Consensus Standards for Light Sport Aircraft and publish the standards.  In the future, manufacturers will be required to meet the published standards as a minimum for their aircraft. 

The ASTM process is available for all stakeholders to participate in and is not limited to manufacturers.  Every pilot, dealer, operator, manufacturer of accessories and equipment, industry organizations and government is a stakeholder in the process. All are invited to participate.  The openness of the process is what makes it work. You can obtain more details on how to sign up to participate by contacting any one of the 3 ultralight organizations or ASTM directly.

As pilots we are stakeholders in the ASTM process and have the opportunity to participate and define the minimum standards for the future Light Sport Aircraft.  Just as importantly the manufacturers have the same opportunity to participate.  Is the manufacturer of your favorite aircraft participating?  Are they helping define the future of the aircraft that we will be flying in the future?  Why not call and ask them? The ASTM process needs the full involvement of the industry for the process to work. The manufacturers need to get behind the process for it to be a success. As pilots we need to be involved in the process and encourage the manufacturers.  Remember, the ASTM process is defining what we will be flying in the future.

National Elections
The ballots for the National Election should be arriving at NAPPF for counting.  This election offered the largest number of candidates running in NAPPF history.  The results will be posted on the NAPPF website in mid August. Take a look and see who you’re Regional and At Large Directors are.  These are the people to contact to have your voice heard. Your comments, suggestions and topics that should be addressed are appreciated.

The content at www.nappf.com has been expanded. Sport Pilot, Internet Board Meeting topics, Board Member data, LINKS, Hints, Advisory Circulars, Regulations, NOTAMs and NAPPF UPDATE are a few of the areas.  Take a look, you may find something interesting and of value.  Comments and suggestions can be sent to info@nappf.com

In closing this month, remember the importance of the Pre-Flight. On the cart, make sure that everything is tight and secure. On the engine, check fluid levels, fuel lines and wires. The canopy should be given special attention. Make sure that it is in good condition, laid out properly and that all lines are free and clear. Recheck the lines. If you have a pre-takeoff checklist, use it. If you do not have one, you may want to create one for your aircraft.

June 2002    Jim Sweeney

National Elections

NAPPF has started the election process for Regional and At Large Directors.  During June and July, NAPPF members will receive a ballot for the Region that they live in and biographies on all of the candidates.  Please look the ballot over and see who is running for election in your Region.  You can then read the biography for information on the background and interests of the candidates running in your Region.  In addition to the Regional candidates, you can vote for up to four (4) of the At Large candidates.  Biographies are included for the At Large candidates.

Ballots may be returned in the enclosed envelope and must be postmarked by 8/1/02.  Information on the election and biographies may also be found on the NAPPF website at www.nappf.com.

NAPPF is transitioning to a pilot oriented organization.  The direction of the organization is to focus on pilot issues including; training, education; safety and information. Comments, issues and suggestions should be sent to your Regional Director or to info@nappf.com. The open interaction of members with the Regional Directors will help build a strong organization.  A strong organization representing pilots is the goal of NAPPF.

The election of your Regional Director and the At Large Directors will determine the progress of NAPPF.  Please read the biographies and select the candidates that best represent your thoughts on the sport and the industry. 

Information on Board Internet meetings, safety issues, organization structure, news, links, NAPPF UPDATE and other topics can be found at www.nappf.com.  Suggestions for topics that are not covered on the website can be sent to info@nappf.com.

This is an important election – Please Vote

May 2002
    Roy Beisswenger

Arriving To A Consensus Standard

 As the light aviation community begins a move to Sport Pilot, there is another concern that aircraft manufacturers are preparing for. That is the concept of a consensus standard for Light Plane design and manufacturing practices. What I’ll try to do this month is give manufacturers, potential manufacturers, and pilots an idea of how this will impact our sport.

First I need to explain what Sport Pilot, Light Planes, and consensus standards are and how they are related. Sport Pilot is a new rating that is being created by the FAA. This rating is meant to be a means to legitimize pilots of machines that are not really ultralights and are not FAA certified either. The Sport Pilot rating is meant to take the place of the BFI/AFI/UFI programs that the various alphabet soup organizations are running and at the same time give FAA certified pilots that have lost their medicals a chance to fly heavier than ultralight aircraft.

Since the Sport Pilot rating is an actual FAA pilot’s license, the FAA figured that the aircraft that the actual sport pilots would fly should be some kind of ‘certified’ aircraft. Unfortunately, one of the problems with general aviation (or GA) is that the certification process for aircraft is very expensive. That in turn helps make GA aircraft expensive and that makes flying less accessible to the general public (or GP).

So the FAA had to search for some kind of safety standard for the aircraft that sport pilots would be taking to the sky. Believe it or not, there really is not a fully accepted manufacturing standard for fixed wing ultralights and there is no standard at all for the newer flavors of lighter aircraft like powered parachutes, trikes, and gyroplanes. That’s great for folks that accept the risk and choose to fly solo into the skies. That’s because less government overhead keeps aircraft prices down and design innovations up for educated ultralight pilots that understand the risk they are taking when they enter into the sport.

The problem occurs when someone climbs into a second seat on any aircraft. There is a generally accepted thought that those types of aircraft should be built to greater design and manufacturing standards.

That posed a problem for the FAA. The government folks really believe that flying machines that are heavier, faster, and have more seats than an ultralight should have to have some kind of certification. An alternative to the full-blown, complicated types of certificates like Type Certificates and Production Certificates is the idea of manufacturers self-certifying their aircraft as built to a standard that has been agreed upon by the industry.

Of course the government is not going to just let manufacturers issue Airworthiness Certificates just because the manufacturers are saying they’re doing the right thing. (At least not technically.) That is still going to be a job for Designated Airworthiness Representatives. DARs are individuals that act under the general supervision of the FAA to inspect aircraft for certification, to issue airworthiness certificates, and to issue documentation showing the operating limits of a particular aircraft. However, most DARs don’t get their money from the FAA unless they are already employees of the FAA. Many DARs get their money from fees charged to folks that want their aircraft certified. In fact, there is a realistic expectation that many DARs will work directly for some of the light plane manufacturers. So kind of, in a way, it could look to the untrained eye like perhaps that the government might just be letting manufacturers issue their own Airworthiness Certificates. But you would be wrong.

Seriously, any DAR that signs on the dotted line for an aircraft takes on a big responsibility that the aircraft is airworthy. That is one of the reasons that part of the certification paperwork will be a signed statement by a principal of the manufacturing company. That letter will state that the individual aircraft was built according to the consensus standard accepted by the FAA. Oh, dear.  We’re back to consensus standards.

So What’s In A Consensus Standard?

A consensus standard sets out the basic rules that manufacturers have to stick to when designing, building, delivering, and supporting a light-sport aircraft. The rules are general so that they pertain to an entire family of aircraft such as powered parachutes, trikes, fixed wing or gyroplane. They include quality assurance standards, production acceptance standards, continuing airworthiness and operational safety standards but that is just the beginning of it.

What most folks are focused on are the Aircraft Design standards. This is because different manufacturers have different ideas of what constitutes a well built aircraft. The consensus standard for a particular aircraft category will address areas such as Flight, Structure, Design & Construction, Equipment, and Operating Limits & Information.

Design standards for flight specify the minimum performance standards for the aircraft type. Things like stalling speeds, takeoff distances, climb capability, landings, controllability, maneuverability, stability and more are things that designers can put numbers to and design for.

Structure standards define how strong an aircraft needs to be. Other measurable things like loads, safety factors, flight loads, flight envelopes, design airspeeds and more are things that the average pilot may not understand, but count on being right when flying an aircraft.

Design and Construction standards specify how well an aircraft should be built. Topics here include things we are more familiar with like fabrication methods, self-locking nuts, pilot compartments, engines, propellers, fuel tanks, fuel filters and the like. This is where the minimum standards for materials and workmanship are addressed.

Equipment standards define what kinds of flight and navigation instruments should be installed and what standards there should be for the instruments. It also talks about engine instruments and safety belts and harnesses.

Finally, design standards also include what minimum information a manufacturer should provide to the owner/pilot of that aircraft. ‘Small’ details like weight and center of gravity, powerplant limitations, instructions for continued airworthiness, airplane manuals, operating limitations, and operating procedures are all going to presumably be required from manufacturers. 

It is great to set up standards for manufacturing a product, but those standards are no good unless the factory has a process to assure that each aircraft produced conforms to the factory’s own design data. That is why the consensus standards will also include standards for setting up factory quality assurance (QA) programs.

QA programs cover entire manufacturing processes from testing and accepting raw materials and components through final testing of the completed aircraft. Part of QA programs involve setting up a QA organization that works with and throughout the entire factory. Normally QA programs identify steps in the production process where inspections or tests should be conducted to make sure that all of the parts are being produced properly and out of the correct materials.

After an aircraft is constructed it should be inspected to make sure that it performs according to its standards as promised in its flight manual and as demonstrated by the prototype aircraft. These are what are called Acceptance Test Standards. These standards are actually part of the QA program but are set out separately. Some of the measurements taken include empty weight and empty center of gravity. Other items would require a test flight. Whether the aircraft flies according to performance specifications, how controllable it is, stability, stall speed, engine cooling, propeller limits, and other aircraft systems are all done best in flight.

The QA standard would not necessarily mean that each plane be test flown, but would acknowledge that a sampling should be flown to make sure that the planes are being built properly.

The FAA also wants to make sure that the aircraft built to a consensus standard remain airworthy after delivery. This is called “Continuing Airworthiness Standards”. The FAA wants to make sure that there is a system in place to monitor and maintain operational safety of aircraft after they leave the factory. That could be accomplished by developing an agreement between manufacturers and customers documenting each ones responsibilities to do just that. Further, the manufacturer is supposed to make sure that customers do not make modifications to in-service aircraft that would take that aircraft out of compliance with the airworthiness standard. In fact, the manufacturer also has to approve all modifications to the aircraft by the owner. The mechanism detailing how to do these things can also be done through an agreement between customers and manufacturers.

 There are other topics like “Continued Operational Safety”, “Identification of Safety of Flight Issues”, “Pilot Reporting of Occurrences of Safety of Flight Issues”, and “Notification of Required Modifications to Operators”. Together, these programs are supposed to help keep an aircraft safe after it leaves the factory.

There needs to be a plan to first accept pilot reports of safety issues. Then there needs to be a plan for the manufacturer to publish those issues to other owners. If a modification is required, then there needs to be a procedure to notify operators of the required changes to an aircraft to make it safe again. Finally, before a company gets run out of business by having to advertise all of its mistakes, it needs to have a program in place to continue this program after its demise. This could take the form of an aircraft owners association or similar organization.

There are other housekeeping items that need to be in a consensus document. Items like the mechanism to keep the standards up-to-date and a way to issue a “Safety of Flight Bulletin” in case the standard changes so much that something radical has to be done to older equipment to make it safe.

As you can see, there are a lot of topics that need to be addressed, but that does not mean that the document has to be complicated. For machines like powered parachutes that have a great safety record, the document could presumably be fairly thin. A lot of that depends on the folks writing the document.

So Who’s In Consensus?

A common misconception is that only the manufacturers get to participate in writing the consensus standards. They get a very strong voice since they have a strong interest in the outcome, but they are not the only players.

First the FAA is part of the process as well as the ultimate authority in determining if the consensus standards are even accepted. To rephrase an old saw, “If the FAA ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”. But even the FAA answers to a higher authority, in this case the Office of Management and Budget. The OMB states that whatever group develops the consensus standard has to use an acceptable process. Part of that process is making sure that interested parties who are affected by the standard have a say in writing the standard if they chose to.

That means that pilots, instructors, resellers, maintainers, component suppliers, and others can work with the manufacturers and the FAA. There also has to be a “balance of interest” to make sure that everyone’s concerns are considered and that the decisions made do not favor just one particular group of people.

Even though the FAA has not made Sport Pilot a rule yet, industry folks are already trying to decide how to go about writing the consensus standards for the different flavors of aircraft. Who actually does the work has not yet been decided.

Of course some of the user groups such as the Popular Rotorcraft Association and the North American Powered Parachute Association are uniquely positioned to do some of the work if they are able to. Both organizations are unique in that they represent most of the constituents of a particular flavor of light sport plan.

Still another choice is a professional standards writing organization such as ASTM or ASME. Both of those organizations know very little about aviation, but know a lot about developing consensus standards for a variety of industries.

How Important Is Any Of This If I Already Own An Aircraft?

Actually if you already own an aircraft, none of this really matters to you. These will be new standards that will be finished and adopted some time after Sport Pilot goes into effect. Even if Sport Pilot is made into a regulation, there are provisions in the proposed rule to bring existing aircraft into the system as experimental aircraft. That will allow you to keep flying your older aircraft as a sport pilot when the time comes.

Roy Beisswenger is founder of the Easy Flight Powered Parachute Training Center in Greenville, IL. You can reach him at www.easyflight.com.

Courtesy of UltraFlight Magazine, http://www.ultraflight.com

April 2002        Jim Sweeney

Sport Pilot & NAPPF Admin

Sport Pilot

This issue of AERO CONNECTIONS is full of reviews, comments and suggestions on the Sport Pilot NPRM. It is important that we take the time to review the NPRM and send our comments to the FAA and copy the ultralight organizations.  The document is not perfect and your comment may make the difference on a necessary change.  Beyond that, we have another challenge – get the word out. I have talked with many ultralight pilots that do not understand the importance of the comment period and may not have read the NPRM or be familiar with it. Discuss the comment period up at your club, at your flying field and with fellow pilots.  Every individual comment counts.

There are two additional items you can work on. First, if you do not keep a log book of your flying time, start one.  Between now and the time the NPRM transition period is over, you may be able to complete all of the experience necessary for the certificate you have in mind.  Second, if you are reading this UPDATE, you are probably a member of ASC and your logged flight time counts.  What about the pilots you are flying with? Are they a member of one of the recognized ultralight organizations? Per the NPRM, prior experience will not count if you are not a registered member of one of the recognized ultralight organizations. Ask around. Get them to join one of the organizations. 24 months from the date the NPRM becomes law they will thank you for the suggestion.


 Regional Director Elections
The election for Regional Board Directors has been completed.  Due to the late delivery of some ballots, the postmark due date was extended to allow for late arriving ballots. The results of the election are as follows:

East Central Region             WI, MI, IL, IN, OH                   Mike Harmening
            South Central Region           NM, TX, OK, AR, LA             Scott Hughes
            At Large Region                    All States                                Roy Beisswenger

Congratulations to the new and re-elected board members. This is going to be an active year and we will be drawing on their expertise in guiding the organization. I know they would like to hear from the membership. There contact numbers and e-mail addresses can be found at www.nappf.com. The appreciation of the board and members goes out to Tim LeBlanc who elected not to seek re-election.  Tim served many years on the board and was a valued board member. Thank you.

NAPPF National Competition
During the internet board meeting the topic of the NAPPF National Competition was discussed and voted on.  The vote was to sanction the World Powered Paraqchute Championships, Greenville, IL as the 2002 NAPPF National Competition. The competition will be held Aug 15 – Aug 18. Competition rules can be found at www.chute-out.com. Qualification tasks are on Thu & Fri and the competition is on Sat & Sun. The mail-in registration data will be available shortly at www.chute-out.com and at www.nappf.com. The board will continue discussions on NAPPF prizes and a booth at the event.

Public Affairs Committee
The board voted to form a standing committee for public affairs.  Ralph McClurg was elected chairman. The first objective of the committee is an NAPPF comment & response to the Sport Pilot NPRM.  The committee would appreciate hearing comments from the membership on the sections of the NPRM that are of concern.  As you send your comments to the FAA, please copy Ralph and other ultralight organizations as appropriate.  Ralph’s contact data can be found at www.nappf.com.

NAPPF Executive Officers
The executive officers of NAPPF have been serving beyond their term to help the organization transition to a Pilot driven organization. The board would like to thank Randy Sneed, serving as President and VP, and Suzann Harmening serving as Secretary and Treasurer, for their years of service as Executive Officers. 

The board held an election as part of the internet meeting for Executive Officers. The executive officer positions are filled by current board members as nominated and voted for by current board members.    The results of the Executive Officer election are as follows:

            President                   Jim Sweeney             At Large Region
            Vice President          Jeff Jensen                At Large Region
            Secretary                   Doug Miller                At Large Region
            Treasurer                   Sol Lovas                   Northwest Region

The Executive
Officers serve for two years or until their successors are elected.

NAPPF Board Meeting
An NAPPF Board meeting will be held at Sun N Fun, Thursday, 4/11/02, 2:00 PM, at the ASC tent. All members are invited to attend the board meeting.  This will be an opportunity to meet the board members who are able to attend.  The board meeting at Sun N Fun is an in person continuation of the of the ongoing internet board meeting.

NAPPF Members Meeting
There will a meeting for NAPPF members at Sun N Fun, Thursday, 4/11/02, 2:30 PM, at the ASC tent. All members and those interested in NAPPF are invited to attend.  The goal of the meeting is member interaction with the board on current topics.  All industry and NAPPF issues are valid topics. If you are able to attend Sun N Fun, the board hopes you will take the time to attend the NAPPF Member Meeting.

March 2002    Jim Sweeney

Sport Pilot

By now you have heard about Sport Pilot, but just in case.  The long awaited Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) was published in the Federal Register on 2/5/02 and available on the internet before that.  Documentation is available at nappf.com. Check the Sport Pilot section and for more detailed information, check the LINKS section.

The proposal suggests changes in the regulations that impact all pilots and ultralights and more specifically powered parachutes.  A new aircraft category, Powered Parachute, will be created.  This recognizes that the PPC is an aircraft and that it has unique flying characteristics different than airplanes.  It allows pilots of all levels, student through ATP, with the proper training and log book endorsements to fly the aircraft.  We will no longer be called a vehicle or a machine, but rather an aircraft.

There is much more to the proposed changes and all of them will have an impact on you and your aircraft.  Although I think that the proposed changes are good and fill the gap between Part 103 and Part 91, the document is not perfect. There are items that were overlooked and not included, while others can stand some modification. The good point is that we have the opportunity to comment on the document and suggest changes till May 6, 2002.  All of the comments will be replied to as a group of similar comments.

What ever your initial feeling, get involved. If you do not want to review the document in detail, there are a number of groups and individuals that are reviewing the document.  Their overview and evaluations are available to you and I know they would like your support. Check the LINKS section of the website to locate groups or the chat rooms for individuals.

Remember, Part 103 does not change, nor does it go away.  If a pilot does not like the proposed changes, he/she can still fly under Part 103 in a Part 103 legal machine.

Some other topics

The results of the Regional elections will be announced on the website in March.  Take a look the results may already be posted.

The Board is voting on the location of the NAPPF National Competition.  The result of the vote will also be posted on the website.

As the 2002 flying season begins, remember your Annual Condition Inspection and Fly Safe

February 2002    Jim Sweeney

It’s Not Too Late

As this issue of UPDATE hits the street, it should be mid February, but it’s not too late.  The arrival of winter has slowed the flying up north, but it’s still not too late. Even if winter is mild where you are, it’s not too late. You still have time to attend an Ultralight Safety Seminar.

The seminars have been offered for a number of years and even broadcast live via the internet. Not every state offers a Safety Seminar, but where they are offered, they are of great value.  Topics vary from year to year and the content may prevent an accident. Topics such as weather, preflight, annual inspections, regulations, airspace, aerodynamics, safe operating procedures, engines, canopies, navigation, GPS operation and radio procedure are some of the topics that have been presented in the past.  This year new topics may be added or the basics may be refreshed.  In any case, the content is sure to be of value.

The objective of the seminars is to get pilots thinking about safety and topics that may not have been reviewed during the past year. Even if you are current on the topics, it’s an opportunity to hear the subject from a different perspective and possibly in more detail.  It’s an opportunity to ask questions of knowledgeable speakers and get good solid answers. It’s an opportunity to discuss ideas eye to eye, a change from the chat room. 

Below is a list of Safety Seminar dates and locations.  These are some of the best known and longest running Ultralight Safety Seminars. The list does not contain every seminar, but it is a starting point. If a seminar is not scheduled in your area, ask around, check with your local club, instructor, dealer or FSDO.  There may be a Safety Seminar or WINGS Program* in your local area.

What to do if there is not a seminar or program close to you?  How about organizing a program? It doesn’t have to be as large as the seminars listed.  It may just be the club or a group of fellow pilots.  It may be only one or two topics presented by a local instructor.  It will be an opportunity for fellow pilots to ask questions, discuss topics of interest and think safety. Airspace, NOTAMs and Temporary Flight Restrictions are always topics of interest.

Sponsor a meeting – they will come.  If you know a place to hold the meeting, the presentation material and speakers are available. The speakers may be a local instructor, a representative from the industry (dealer, manufacturer or distributor) or from one of the organizations (ASC, EAA, USUA or FAA).  The presentation material can be from training manuals, material from one of the organizations or information from the internet.  Someone in your group may volunteer to speak on a topic.

If the flying has slowed in your area you can still think flying and about safety. If the flying is going strong even though it’s winter, all the more reason to think safety.  Attend or hold a Safety Seminar.  Your safety could depend on it.

* For information on the FAA WINGS Program go to www.cyberair.com/tower/faa/wingprog/index.html

Ultralight Safety Seminars

January 12, 2002, Lakeland Safety Seminar, Lakeland, FL, contact: Rick Crose 407-658-1726

January 26, 2002, Light Aviation Safety Seminar, Tarrant Co. College, 4801 Marine Creek Parkway,
Ft. Worth, TX, contact: Sam Cox 817-232-3379 lightflyer@email.msn.com 

January 26, 2002, BUG Kentucky Ultralight Safety Seminar, Lexington, KY, contact: Alan Layman 606-734-5965

February 23, 2002, Illinois Ultralight/Light Plane Safety Seminar, Springfield, IL, contact: Roy Beisswenger 618-664-9706 roy@easyflight.com

March 2, 2002, Wisconsin Ultralight Safety Seminar (WUSS), Stephen’s Point, WI, contact: Bart Gaffney 608-221-8888, 262-567-4486 BKGEE@pitnet.net

March 9, 2002, Indiana ultralight Safety Seminar, Nobllesville, IN, contact: Jerry Hodson 765-457-4610 >4 PM Jjhodson42073@aol.com

March 16, 2002, Virginia Ultralight Safety Seminar, contact: Carolyn Toth 804-236-3637

Check ASC www.aerosports.org/ for additions to the list

January 2002    Jim Sweeney


As the New Year begins it is a good time to review last year and look forward to the new flying season.  With that thought in mind,  I will make this the Housekeeping issue of NAPPF UPDATE.

National Competition
Last year NAPPF participated in the World Power Parachute Championships.  We were a major sponsor of the Grand Prize, the Ford Harley-Davidson pickup.  Early in 2002 the board has to make a decision to hold our own National Championships, sanction another championship event or sponsor an existing championship.  Your Regional Directors are looking for your input on this topic. A list of the Regional Directors can be found at nappf.com.

Our website, nappf.com, is back on the net after a lengthy absence.  The goal for the website is “Pilot Awareness and Education” and to this end, information will be posted for quick access.  So far, FAR Part 103, Advisory Circular AC103-7, links and other information have been posted.  Please give the new website a look and send your suggestions for other topics and information to be posted.  We are also looking for authors of original material that would be of interest to the membership.

Elections will be held in March for three of the Regional Director positions.  Nominations are due by mid January.  A short bio is required of candidates interested in running for the positions.  Information on the election, Regional Director positions up for election, nomination requirements and an address for the bio to be sent is available at nappf.org or the December issue of AERO CONNECTIONS.  We are looking for people interested in working with other members to make NAPPF a strong organization representing the members.

The board has established a sub-committee, chaired by Sol Lovas, to review powered parachute training material.  The intent is to be able to recommend training material to instructors, dealers and owners that is accurate and complete.  A checklist is being prepared for all material to be measured against.  The results will be posted and available to the membership.  If you have training material that you think should be reviewed, send an e-mail with the name of the material and where we can find it to Sol Lovas.  Sol’s e-mail can be found at nappf.com.

Annual Inspection
Remember, an inspection of your powered parachute is required every 12 months if you are operating under the Training Exemption.  Most pilots seem to comply with this requirement by inspecting their machine in the spring, after its winter rest and before the frequent flying starts again.

If you fly more than 100 hours in the twelve month period, a additional inspection is required every 100 hours between the annual inspections.  The date and results of the inspection should be logged in the logbook you keep for your powered parachute.  An Inspection Guideline is posted on nappf.com

Before you fly, remember to check for new NOTAMs in your area.  The addition to Part 103 now requires that we check NOTAMs before we fly.  A call to WXBRIEF will get you the weather and a list of the current NOTAMs in your area.

In the November issue of NAPPF UPDATE covering the World Powered Parachute Championships, I omitted one of the major sponsors of the event, ULTRAFLIGHT magazine.  ULTRAFLIGHT has been a sponsor to the event every year and a supporter of the powered parachute industry and pilots.  My apologies to Jim and Irene Byers.

December 2001    Jim Sweeney


The days are getting shorter and the temperatures are dropping.  For most, that means that the air show and fly-in season is over and our flying is slowing.  Good time to complete some housekeeping. 

Elections for NAPPF Directors whose terms have expired are due and a time table for the elections has been established:

Announcement of Elections    12/15/01          December issue of AERO CONNECTIONS
Nominations Due                    1/20/02            NAPPF Nomination Committee
Ballots Mailed                          2/1/02              NAPPF Secretary
Ballots Due                             2/28/02            NAPPF Secretary
Results Announced                3/15/02            NAPPF Secretary

Three Director positions are up for election:

South Central Region: New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.
Only members living in this these states are eligible to vote for the South Central Regional Director.  The current board member is Tim LeBlanc. Nominations of members living in these states, interested in this position are requested.

East Central Region: Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.
Only members living in this these states are eligible to vote for the North Central Regional Director.  The current board member is Mike Harmening. Nominations of members living in these states, interested in this position are requested.

At Large Region
All members are eligible to vote for the At Large Director. The current board member is Roy Beisswenger. Nominations of any members interested in this position are requested.

With this issue of NAPPF UPDATE, we are announcing the election to be held in February, 2002, by mail. 

Nominations of candidates should be sent to the NAPPF Nomination Committee c/o Jim Sweeney 23385 Cattail Barrington, IL 60010 or E-Mail jimsweeney@att.net.  Nominations should be received by 1/20/02.  A short bio from each candidate must also be received by 1/20/02.

Ballots will be sent by the secretary to each member in good standing on or about 2/1/02.  Ballots will be sent to the member’s address on file.

Due Date
Ballots must be returned to the secretary with a postmark no later than 2/28/02.

The secretary will announce the results of the election on 3/15/02.

We are looking for interested and active members to participate on the Board of Directors.  If you are interested or know of someone who is, please nominate them and complete the bio.

November 2001    Jim Sweeney

2001 World Powered Parachute Championship

 The World Powered Parachute Championship was held this past August in Greenville, Illinois. 70 pilots participated as spectators enjoyed the competition and festivities on the field.  Sponsors of the Championship included ASC, NAPPF, APPC and other aviation organizations and local businesses. 

The sport and industry, in addition to the pilots, were benefactors of the good publicity generated by advertising and coverage of the event by the Discovery Wings Channel, industry periodicals, regional TV and cable systems, and locally on radio and in newspapers. Literally millions of people heard about the sport and the event.

The competition began on Thursday in order to complete the pre-qualifying rounds before the weekend. By the weekend the number of competitors was reduced from 70 down to 25. To qualify, pilots flew three events - bomb drop, spot landing, and multiple carrier hops.

Saturday the events became more technically challenging and the competitors rose to the occasion. Obstacle Precision Landings, Taxi Pylon Runs, Multiple Carrier Hops, Ribbon Cutting Contests, and Engine Out Landings gave the pilots plenty of opportunities to show their stuff.

Pilots were challenged by both the events and by the wind conditions on Saturday and Sunday.  When winds kept competitors on the ground, there were still things to do. Equipment manufacturers had displays that were successful in showing their wares to the public. There were food vendors, music, and even carnival rides.

On Friday night spectators were entertained by Bill
Amyx and his Powrachute outfitted with fireworks. While the band played “Night Riders in the Sky”, Bill provided everyone with a great air-to-air and ground-to-air fireworks show. On Saturday night the skies were lit again by the largest fireworks show ever seen in the Greenville area.

When the competition ended Sunday afternoon, Scott Hughes and Jeff Jensen found themselves sharing second place and a Chiron elliptical chute sponsored by Chiron. Norm Burley took home first place and a Powrachute PC 2000 sponsored by Powrachute, Performance Designs, Grand Rapids Technologies and Powerfin.

That left Clyde Poser as the World Champion Powered Parachute Pilot for 2001. He took home a Ford-Harley-Davidson F150 truck sponsored by the State of Illinois, NAPPF and Engle Brothers Ford. Clyde gave a very gracious acceptance speech where he acknowledged the skills of all of the competitors.

A full list of competitors and their standings is available at www.chute-out.com.

As a major sponsor, NAPPF is working with the American Powered Parachute Association (APPCA), ASC and the other sponsors to promote the sport and develop pilot flying skills through competition.

Thanks also must go out to the judges and volunteers that worked long hours to make the event a success.


October 2001    Jim Sweeney

Wake Up Call

Tragically, on September 11. 2001, our nation received a wake up call as never before.  Our hearts and prayers go out to all who lost relatives and friends in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.   The combined strength of our citizens and leaders will get us through this crisis.  We are a nation strong and united.

To the ultralight community, the first week of the national emergency was confusion. Are we part of the National Airspace System? Does the closed airspace include us? Where can I get information? What is a NOTAM?

During ground school and/or the BFI Refresher course, the topic of Airspace was most likely presented.  Class A, B, C, D, E and G, the inverted wedding cake, cloud clearance and visibility and communications were all part of the discussion.  What may have not seemed important then is now looking us square in the eye.  If we want to continue to exercise the privileges of flight, we must understand and comply with the National Airspace System.

Be there no doubt, we have always been part of and fly within the airspace system, be it at 100 ft or 5000 ft. Now is a good time to take time and review airspace and encourage those you fly with to do the same.

Many articles and books cover the topic very well.  The FAA has published the airspace diagram and requirements for each class of airspace for years.  In addition, detailed information is available in the FAR/AIM (Federal Aviation Regulations / Aeronautical Information Manual). Copies of all publications are available from FBOs, Pilot shops, the Internet, aviation organizations and the local FAA Flight Safety District Office.  Time to have your own personal copy for review and hangar flying.

Once you understand the airspace, you need to know where you are in it.  What is the date of your Sectional Chart? Is it current? Do you carry one?  Reviewing a current Sectional Chart is how you determine where you are in the airspace. Before you fly, spend some time reviewing where you intend to fly on the Sectional.  See who you are sharing the airspace with.

Each time you fly, before you leave the ground, you should obtain as much information as possible on weather, the airspace system, the local field/airport and the aircraft to allow a safe and enjoyable flight. We have all been taught to check the weather and do a thorough preflight, but do you also check the status of the airport and the airspace?  Checking the local field can be done by walking the field and checking with other pilots and/or the owner. In addition to weather information, checking the airspace system and distant airports can be done with a call to 1-800-WXBRIEF.

NOTAM – Notice to Airmen, are advisories of interest to pilots.  They contain information that may adversely impact safe and normal flight.  Changing information on airports, obstructions, navigational aids and airspace are a few of the topics that may be covered. After you receive a weather briefing, the briefer should offer NOTAMs.  If they are not offered, you should ask for the NOTAMs that pertain to your route of flight or flying area.

We fly in the National Airspace System, we are a part of it and we need to comply with its requirements. If we expect respect from our fellow users of the airspace system, then we need understand the system, be compliant and fly safe.


September 2001    Jim Sweeney

What to Do?

The hot topic at Air Venture 2001 was Sport Pilot and Light Aircraft.  Norm Mineta, Jane Garvey and Sue Gardner all expressed their disappointment that they could not announce the Notice of Proposed Rule Making but did reconfirmed their commitment to the new rules. 

The process remaining for the proposal to become law has been well publicized.  The time required is the unknown.  The 90-day public comment period is well defined, but the amount of required time before and after is vague at best.

So what is the active ultralight pilot to do between now and the proposal becoming law and during the proposed transition period?  I believe that the answer is simple – do what you have been doing that is safe and works.

For pilots, Part 103 is still in effect and will be even after Sport Pilot and Light Aircraft have become law. Read it over and check your compliance.  Many sections of Part 103 were taken from Parts 61 and Part 91 and they will be applicable to the Sport Pilot.  Reviewing Part 103 will begin your study for the Knowledge Test anticipated for Sport Pilot.

Instructors should review the Training Exemption they instruct under.  ASC, EAA and USUA in their receptive Training Exemptions very well define the expectations of instructors.  Are you and your students compliant? The Training Exemptions promote safety and have been good for students, instructors and the industry.  They also contain many requirements that are already utilized in Part 61, Part 91 and Part 23.

Are you already in good shape under Part 103 and the Training Exemption?  If you are, then you may want to look at the full paragraphs of Parts 61 and 91 referenced in Part 103.  It may surprise some, but a large portion of Part 103 and the Training Exemptions are taken directly form Parts 61 and 91 and from good practices developed over the years in other aviation areas.  The full paragraphs can be found in the FAR/AIM publications available at aviation stores and pilot shops.  No doubt that some paragraphs will change with Sport Pilot, but it does not hurt to have the background understanding.

So what to do? Continue to do what is safe.  Continue to fly by Part 103 and instruct by the Training Exemption.

Part 23  - Airworthiness standards: Normal, utility, acrobatic, and commuter category airplanes
Part 61  - Certification: Pilots, flight instructors, and ground instructors
Part 91  - General operating and flight rules
Part 103 - Ultralight Vehicles
Norman Mineta              Secretary of Transportation
Jane Garvey                  FAA Administrator
Sue Gardner                  FAA National Program Manager – Sport Aviation

July 2001    Jim Sweeney

Open for Business

The NAPPF is open for business for the new flying year.  With the current election cycle over, we can even hang out a sign saying "Under New Management".  Along with some new names is a more streamlined way of doing business.  At Sun 'n Fun, the NAPPF board approved new procedures for running our ongoing internet format meeting.  This type of meeting allows NAPPF a way to function over the weeks and months when we cannot have an in person meetings.

Below is a list of the directors of the NAPPF, newly elected and otherwise. As you look over this list of names, locate the person that is there to represent your region.  Do not feel shy about writing or calling this person.  It is actually encouraging for a representative to get calls from interested NAPPF members.  It is another chance for the representative to learn what is on folk’s minds and then to share those thoughts with others on the board.

NAPPF is divided into 9 regions with a Director representing each region. There are 5 additional Directors who represent the NAPPF at large. The Directors are elected by the NAPPF membership and serve staggered three-year terms.  The Executive Board is elected by the Directors and serves a 2-year term.

Executive Board
President                        Randy Snead                            (Acting)
Vice President               Randy Snead                             Buckchute@aol.com
Secretary                       Suzann Harmening                     (Acting)
Treasurer                       Suzann Harmening                     Hhfmfg@aol.com

Northwestern Region ‑ includes the states of Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Alaska.
        Sol Lovas                      sollovas@wtp.net

 Southwestern Region ‑ includes the states of California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado and Hawaii.
        Phil Dietro                     gotafly@paraplane.com

North Central Region ‑ includes the states of N. Dakota, S. Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri.
        Ralph McClurg               mcclurg@sofnet.com 

South Central Region ‑ includes the states of New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.
        Tim LeBlanc                  SKYRI1@aol.com

East Central Region ‑ includes the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.
        Mike Harmening             hhfmfg@aol.com

Southeastern Region ‑ includes the states of Kentucky, Tennessee, N. Carolina, S. Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
        John Massey                 BIGJOHN004@aol.com

Northeastern Region ‑ includes the states of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, W. Virginia, Virginia and District of Columbia.
        Barry Shellington           parafly@erols.com

        Jim Smyth                     justplanefun@sympatico.com


        Jeff Jensen                    Jeffceas@aol.com
        Roy Beisswenger          roy@easyflight.com
        Jim Sweeney                 jimsweeney@att.net
        Tony Irwin                      Anthony.Irwin@CEN.AMEDD.ARMY.MIL
        Doug Miller                    DMiller779@aol.com

        Randy Snead               Buckeye Industries          Buckchute@aol.com
        Dan Bailey                   Six‑Chuter Inc                   dan@sixchuter.com
        Suzann Harmening     Harmening High Flyers    hhfmfg@aol.com
        Matt Dautle                  Paladin Industries             PaladinInd@aol.com
        Eddie Johnson            Powrachute                        powrachute1@columbus-ks.com
       John Rivers                   Destiny                              mail@destinypowerchutes.com

June 2001    Jim Sweeney

Board Meeting

An NAPPF Board meeting was held at Sun N Fun in April.  Board members in attendance included Roy Beisswenger, Matt Dautle, Suzann Harmening, Mike Harmening, Eddie Johnson, Jeff Jensen, Randy Snead and Jim Sweeney.

Topics discussed covered activities during the past year, current status and plans for the new flying season.

Suzann Harmening presented the Treasurer’s Report.  There were no major expenditures last year, so the balance in the association checking account has grown to $12, 963. Our major source of funds is dues.  NAPPF receives $7.50 from ASC for new or renewing members that select NAPPF as their Wing.

The Board discussed ways to keep the membership better informed of Board activities and to solicit ideas & suggestions from the membership.  Jim Stephenson, ASC, offered space in AERO CONNECTIONS magazine for NAPPF updates and association news.  The Board voted to accept the offer and submit updates for publication.

During the past year, the Board conducted meetings over the Internet. Progress of the meetings was slow and not very productive.  The Board discussed the Internet meeting format at length and a number of suggestions were made for improvement. The Board voted to give the Internet and E-mail another chance for Board meetings and to use a new format to speed the discussion of topics.

The location and sponsorship of the NAPPF Nationals drew much discussion.  After a number of suggestions and comments, the board voted to co-sponsor the Grand Prize at the World Powerchute Championships.  $7,000 was set aside for the prize. As a NAPPF sponsored event, a motion was made and carried that “ Any person participating in the World Championships must be a NAPF member”. APPCA, ASC and NAPPF will further discuss the details of membership for the event.  The board also voted to remove the NAPPF name from the World Powerchute Championship Rulebook.  This change removes NAPPF from the rule making process and allows APPCA to make rule adjustments to keep the tasks challenging while safe for the contestants.

Other topics included an association brochure and website.  Both items were continued to the Internet meeting.

Election Results

NAPPF held the annual election to fill expired and open positions.  Of 1272 ballots sent out, 356 were returned.  The winners, by geography, are:

At large                       Tony Irwin, Doug Miller, Jim Sweeney
Canada                      Jim Smyth
North Central             Ralph McClurg
North East                  Barry Shellington
South East                 John Massey

The newly elected officers will join the board immediately and participate in the Internet meetings. Their term of office will continue till September 2002.  Please welcome our new board members and involve them in your comments and suggestions for NAPPF.

Send mail to info@nappf.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 2001 North American Powered Parachute Federation
Last modified: 07/23/09