Friday, February 12, 2010

USHPA Radio Authorization Exam & License

I will bring the USHPA Radio Authorization Test and Applications to the meeting in case anyone wants to get their Radio rating. Or you can download the full PDF file here.


The Federal Communications Commission on March 16, 2001 granted to the United States Hang Gliding Association, a radio station license in the IB business radio service for an unlimited number of vehicular and portable units in specified quantities.

These radios are licensed for use on 151.505, 15 1.625, 151.925, 151.955, and 158.40 MHz transmitting with a power limit of up to 50 watts. The call sign issued to the USHGA was WPRY 420.

The area of operation is the United States nationwide. The license is issued for ten years and the control point is James A. Zeiset, c/o USHGA, P.O. Box 1330, Colorado Springs, CO 80901, (719) 632-8300.

This has been a major breakthrough in radio communication for the Association. Before this we had been relegated to the Citizens Band Service which most serious pilots found to be inadequate for cross-country retrievals. Limitations were: use by
rude operators, linear amplifiers and overall poor reception qualities of an amplitude modulated system. The aircraft service was inadequate because of power limitations (10 watts), limited useable frequencies (123.3 & 123.5), amplitude modulatio (subject to static), $70.00 per radio licensing fees for mobile units, $35.00 per radio fees for the aircraft unit, the potential for FAA control through required registration numbers and the high cost of aircraft radios. The amateur radio service was inadequate, in spite of two-meter use of frequency modulated emissions (FM) and many useable frequencies, because of their stringent licensing requirements for both pilot and retrieval driver, and expense ($35.00). This service has emergency communications available through telephone patches and the many amateur radio operators that scan and monitor all channels to police the legality of users.

The Business Radio Service License was issued under the auspices of CFR 47, Part 90, Private Land Mobile Radio Service, Subpart D, Industrial Radio Service, Section 90.75, Business Radio Service. This radio frequency must be used for the business
of the USHGA per item 3 1, "Eligibility", on FCC application form 574 and the Articles of Association which were submitted as a part of the application. That eligibility was stated as: "Applicant is in the business of operating competitive cross country events, meets and retrievals. Radios will be used in the conduct of these activities."

Use of radios in competition is covered in the Competition Rule Book, section 4.5d, and states:
1. Radios may be carried and be accessible if the pilot is authorized or licensed to use his chosen frequency.
2. Information may be transmitted by pilots and drivers to report their position and request ground conditions from launch or goal.
3. Pilots may request and drivers may transmit ground conditions in the interest of safety when they have reason to believe landing is imminent.
4. Pilots are prohibited from transmitting information designed to mislead other competition pilots.
5. Pilots are responsible for their driver's transmissions.

The logistics behind complying with the Federal Communications Commission’s requirements to maintain responsibility and control per CFR 47, 90.403 (a) will be considerable. in this light we have constructed the following procedures:
a. The USHGA office will administer and issue on membership cards another special skills sign off called (PA) Portable Authorization and/or (VA) Vehicular Authorization.
b. This sign-off will be granted by USHGA observers/instructors after the applicant completes a 24-question quiz based on the FCC regulations the USHGA is bound by, listed above.
c. If the observer/instructor has reason to believe that the applicant will use the authorization(s) responsibly he must sign a statement to that effect at the bottom of the completed test and submit it to the USHGA office, with a one time $15.00 records fee per Authorization, for assignment of a PA and/or VA special skill. The USHGA will then issue a new member card reflecting that information.
d. The $15.00 records fee, per authorization, is to justify the paperwork load on the office staff.
e. This sign off may be revoked by the issuing observer/ instructor, or any director for any series of actions that jeopardize our qualification to maintain the station license. Observers/Instructors will not be permitted to sign themselves off for this
It is imperative that the USHGA office keep a current list of all Radio Authorization sign offs. Even though we may apply for permission to operate more stations in the system it will always be a finite number that we may not exceed.

Write or call Jim Zeiset for further information, if needed, as: 13154 County Road 140, Salida, CO 81201 (719) 539-3900,

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