Hang Gliding Instructional Procedures



The Andy Jackson Airpark is a H3 (Intermediate) site as far as pilots being allowed to launch from all mountain launches above the airpark. This includes launches from the Big-O launches or higher. Any USHPA pilot member is allowed to launch from the LZ (including 80’ training hill) unsupervised and unrated if they so choose. Instructors may allow and supervise non-rated or Beginner/Novice pilots from any of the launches (including Crestline) if the instructor evaluates student abilities and wind conditions as being appropriate. Please do not abuse this permission.


Progression of New Students

Paperwork, Equipment, and Conditions

All training in the LZ and adjacent 80’ training hill requires the students to have USHPA memberships and helmets and for the case of pilots without at least novice ratings, wheels are required on the gliders. It is recommended that conditions limit to 12 mph with occasional gusts to 15 mph although please modify this as wing loading dictates what is appropriate. Caution is advised to avoid times of day where possible gusts caused by dust devils are present. This means that although not specifically disallowed, it is recommended to conduct training hill operations either prior to 11AM or after 5PM during daylight savings time.

Pre-Solo Experience

Before taking new students up for first mountain solos including all launches from Big-O or higher, it is recommended to prepare the student by their having at least 25 flights from the LZ training hill. Mountain solos should only start when the instructor feels it is appropriate. Tandem training is an optional instructional tool and is recommended when feasible.  If progressing above the 80’ hill without tandem training, it is best to consider the Big-O as then next level. With tandem training, going directly to Marshall from the 80’ hill is usually fine. Use caution if using Crestline for first solos due to the long glide. Though not restricted, it is not recommended.

First Solos

Initial solo flights should have the instructor supervising by direct radio contact. Instructors should be supervising from the LZ for the students’ first couple of flights. Assistant instructors are recommended at launch but not required. As the instructor evaluates student abilities as being able to fly without radio, the student may continue flying additional flights with the instructor conducting non-radio supervision, either from launch or landing or inflight.

Unsupervised Signoff

As the student shows ability to fly in smooth conditions without assistance, the unsupervised signoff form (see webpage or PDF) may be issued to the student. Note that the USHPA Novice Rating (H2) must be issued prior to issuing this form. Although the student would then be allowed to fly unsupervised, it is recommended to continue supervision whenever feasible. The USHPA mentor program may be a useful option at this point as well.


Visiting Novice Pilots (H2)

Pilots who have trained elsewhere might or might not have the ability to fly unsupervised at the Andy Jackson Airpark mountain launches. They are not permitted to fly without obtaining the signoff. It is recommended that the instructor who issues this signoff evaluate the visiting H2 experience by inspecting the Novice’s logbook and by watching at least 1 flight into the airpark. Instructors have complete discretion as to when to issue this form to visiting H2s.