USHPA Risk Management Plan

Announcements from the Fellow Feathers club.

USHPA Risk Management Plan

Postby Steve Rodrigues » Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:27 pm

As a Chapter of the USHPA, the Fellow Feathers has been provided with the following Risk Management Plan. The information contained can keep pilots safe and protect the flying site. It also outlines our responsibilities as a Chapter.

In order to reduce the possibility of incidents involving bodily injury to pilots, spectators and the general
public due to hang gliding and/or paragliding activities engaged in by members of USHPA, the USHPA
Board of Directors adopted and is implementing the following Risk Management Program, through Risk
Assessment and Mitigation at Flying Sites and USHPA Chapter Events.

The purpose of the Risk Management Program is to require USHPA Chapters and encourage USHPA
Members that manage flying sites to identify risks of bodily injury and property damage to pilots,
spectators and the general public due to hang gliding and/or paragliding activities at those flying sites,
evaluate those risks, and implement, at each flying site, measures designed to minimize those risks
where practical.

Program Details
USHPA Flying Site Recommended Operating Guidelines
USHPA adopts The USHPA Flying Site Recommended Operating Guidelines (attached as Appendix
"A") for all of its Members and Chapters to use as a starting point for establishing sensible rules
governing flight operations at each local site.

Program of Local Site Risk Assessments And Risk Mitigation Plans
As a condition of Chapter affiliation with USHPA, Chapters are required to perform an initial risk
assessment of the Chapter's operations, to update that risk assessment on an annual basis, and to
establish a written plan to mitigate the risks identified in that risk assessment. On an annual basis, in
connection with the renewal of their Chapter affiliation, Chapters will provide a certification signed by the
Chapter's designated safety officer, affirming that the Chapter has performed the required risk
assessment and has adopted and implemented a written risk management plan.
Risk Assessments by Chapters

The Risk Assessment should review the following Chapter operations for significant risks of significant
injuries to pilots, spectators, and members of the general public:

• The Chapter's physical facilities, such as clubhouses, storage sheds, windsock towers, launch
ramps, towing equipment, etc.
• Launch Sites owned, leased, permitted, managed and/or controlled by the Chapter, or over
which the Chapter has any control
• Landing Zones regularly utilized by Chapter's member pilots after launching from the Launch
• Glider Setup and Teardown Areas regularly utilized in connection with the Launch Sites and
Landing Zones
• Parking Areas adjacent to such Launch Sites and Landing Zones
• Roads leading to and from Launch and Landing sites
• Events in which the Chapter or its members participate, such as chapter meetings, fly-ins, flying
competitions, air shows, displays and demonstrations, lessons, clinics, training sessions, etc.
USHPA will provide Chapters with a Model Risk Assessment Protocol to assist them in performing their
risk assessment (including support materials, such as the Risk Assessment Worksheet).

USHPA will provide Chapters with training on performing a Risk Assessment under the Model Risk
Assessment Protocol (including a series of informational videos), and will provide Chapters with
consultation in assisting them in making their risk assessments.

Risk Mitigation Plans by Chapters
The Chapter will prepare a written Risk Mitigation Plan for each flying site, addressing the significant
risks identified in the Chapter's Risk Assessment of that Chapter's Operations. At a minimum, the
Risk Mitigation Plan should take into account the USHPA Flying Site Recommended Operating
Guidelines, and apply those guidelines, as appropriate, to the Chapter's operations.
It is understood that Hang Gliding and Paragliding both involve risks that cannot be decreased or

It is also understood that Hang Gliding and Paragliding pilots are free to make choices in their own
flying as to the amount of risk those pilots are willing to assume. Nothing in this Risk Management
Program is meant to take away from any pilot his or her right to choose to take whatever risks of
his/her own bodily injury that such pilot deems acceptable. Each member pilot has signed the USHPA
Release, Waiver and Assumption of Risk Agreement, allowing the member pilot to take such risks and
relieve all others from any liability for any resulting bodily injury or property damage to the pilot.

The Risk Mitigation Plan for each flying site will address mitigation of significant risks of significant
injuries to pilots, spectators and the general public that are identified in the Chapter's Risk
Assessment. Where mitigation is both possible and practical, the Risk Mitigation Plan will provide for
mitigation of the risk.

The Chapter will appropriately communicate its Risk Mitigation Plan to its members and to those who
utilize the facilities and operations managed by the Chapter.

USHPA will provide Chapters with training on the preparation of Risk Mitigation Plans.
USHPA Training Resources
USHPA will provide the following training resources to local Chapters:
• USHPA Flying Site Recommended Operating Guidelines
• Model Risk Assessment Protocol (including the Risk Assessment Worksheet)
• Example Risk Assessment(s)
• Example Risk Mitigation Plan(s)
• Series of Video Training Presentations available to the Chapter's Designated Safety Officers,
presented by USHPA Counsel as Attorney-Client Communications, via secured video delivery.

USHPA Flying Site Recommended Operating Guidelines
USHPA has determined that USHPA Members and USHPA Chapters are generally careful in their
selection of flying sites, site layout, and operational practices.
The suggested guidelines detailed below have been developed to promote improved site
management and provide added margins of safety for the ever-increasing numbers of gliders,
structures, vehicles, and spectators. Most flying sites and pilots should be able, with reasonable effort,
to comply with the suggested layout for general setup, launch and landing zones and conditions for
launching, flying, and landing.
These suggested guidelines are not mandatory requirements, and compliance with these suggestions
does not, of course, guarantee that no accident will occur. USHPA recommends that USHPA
Chapters and Members choose and, where appropriate, design, their flying sites based not only on
the geographic area available for those sites but also on obstructions, proximity of neighbors, parking
areas, overhead lines, access etc., while incorporating the recommendations presented below. When
choosing, and where appropriate, designing or redesigning, any flying site you are encouraged to
contact USHPA with any questions, comments, or concerns regarding these guidelines, layout, and

The official USHPA PILOT PROFICIENCY SYSTEM - Standard Operating Procedures - 12-2 remains
the governing guideline for pilot proficiency and all USHPA Members and USHPA Chapters should
conduct their flight operations in accordance with those standards.

USHPA recommends that each USHPA Member, whenever he flies, and each USHPA Chapter, in
connection with the management of sites under their control, follow these guidelines in conducting
flight operations. USHPA encourages each USHPA Member, whenever he flies, and each USHPA
Chapter, to use, further enhance, and adapt these general recommendations, and add site specific
operational guidelines to further increase spectator and pilot safety at the sites they fly and manage.

1. All participants in setup, launch, flight and landing activities should be current members of
USHPA, having signed the current USHPA Release, Waiver and Assumption of Risk

2. All participants must comply with all FAA Rules and Guidelines applicable to the setup,
launch, flight and landing activities at the site.

3. All pilots must wear appropriate Safety Helmets during launch, flight, and landing.

4. All pilots should perform a harness connection check before launching.

5. Before flight operations are first conducted at a new flying site, the local FAA Branch and
local general aviation operators should be notified of the operational area.

6. In the event that other exempt air space uses are present in the vicinity of the flying site
(ex: Radio Controlled Aircraft, Model Rockets, Kite Flying, etc…) coordination with those
other uses should be made to minimize the risk of interference or possible mid-air

7. All flight activities should be in compliance with USHPA PILOT PROFICIENCY SYSTEM -
Standard Operating Procedures - 12-2.

8. Launch Areas – Launch Areas should be clear of personnel (other than current USHPA
members directly involved in flight operations), structures, and vehicles 50 feet forward and
30 degrees either side of center of anticipated take off course and 30 feet rearward of
starting point target. (Distance is 75 feet forward for tandem flights)

9. Designated Landing Zones and Targeted Landing Areas – Spots designated or targeted for
landings should be located at a minimum of 100 feet from overhead power lines and 50 feet
from ground personnel, vehicles, structures, in-use roads and spectators.

10. Clearance from Overhead Power Lines, Trees and Towers - Planned flight path should
remain clear of overheard power lines, trees and towers by 75 feet. Launch points should be
clear of overhead lines, trees and towers by 50 feet. Landing target spots should be clear of
overhead lines, trees and towers by 100 feet.

11. No planned flight should take place within 50 feet of spectators on the ground

12. When spectators are present or at organized events in areas where weather conditions
exist that increase the chance of a glider inadvertently lifting-off, tie downs or other
methods of securing the aircraft should be employed for unattended gliders, in the set-up
and disassembly areas.

13. Demonstration equipment at organized events should be manned and secured by
authorized personnel until disassembled. Signs should be placed in front of all such
equipment at events, cautioning the public not to attempt to utilize the equipment without

14. At organized events the designated Safety Director will be responsible for designating a
spectator and vehicle parking area clear of gliders in a manner reasonably calculated to
separate spectators and vehicles from glider operations.

15. At organized events, signs should be posted and/or personnel should be assigned at launch
and landing areas to warn spectators and competitors to stay clear of launch and designated
landing areas.

16. At organized events, only USHPA pilots and approved competition staff who have signed a
USHPA waiver should be allowed in the designated launch area.

17. At organized events, only photographers approved by the event coordinator who have signed
the USHPA Photographers waiver should be allowed in launch area or below launch area.

The United States Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association •
USHPA # 30605
H-5, Mentor and Observer
User avatar
Steve Rodrigues
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Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 10:57 pm
Location: Brisbane, California

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