Do pilots need to be licensed to fly hang gliders?

In the US, no, although some other countries require their hang glider pilots to obtain a license to fly. Most US pilots obtain a “rating” through a program that is administered by the USHPA (US Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association). To obtain a rating (Beginner through Master) a pilot must demonstrate proficiency in a specific set of flying skills; each rating carries a set of recommended operating limitations. Beginner-rated pilots, for instance, should only fly from hills under 100 ft. in height in mild winds and under the guidance of an instructor. While these ratings don’t carry the force of law in quite the same way as FAA pilot licenses do, the majority of flying sites in the US require that hang glider pilots hold some specific USHPA rating to be allowed to fly at that site.

Posted in: General Hang Gliding FAQs