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P3 Test – Study Guide

The intermediate / P3 exam is 25 questions.   It is pretty straight forward and covers general knowledge that each pilot should have a solid understanding of as they have gotten out and flown.

To prepare for this exam, study the USHPA part 104 and know the recommended operating limitations for Intermediate pilots. Differentiate what is required vs what is recommended. Full Set of Rating Criteria (for all USHPA Ratings)  is here…

C. Recommended Operating Limitations for Intermediate (P3) Paraglider Pilots (Nutshell)

  1. Maximum base wind of 15 m.p.h.
  2. Maximum peak gusts to 18 m.p.h.
  3. Maximum gust rate of 5 m.p.h. in 5 seconds.
  4. Avoid steep turns close to the ground.
  5. Avoid application of either brake beyond 3/4 of the way from full off to stall position.
  6. Limit turns to bank angles recommended by the manufacturer, limit speed in turns to 2 times the straight line, brakes off, cruise speed, and smoothly exit any spiral turn that shows a tendency to steepen or accelerate.
  7. Should initiate downwind turns only with 300′ of clearance outward from the hill or ridge in winds above 15 m.p.h., and 200′ of clearance in winds above 10 m.p.h.
  8. Should not fly in thermals where peak climb rates exceed 500 fpm or where significant vertical cloud development exists.
  9. Upon mastering the above skills, an Intermediate Paragliding Pilot should pursue new maneuvers, sites, and conditions with the guidance of a USHPA Certified Advanced Paragliding Instructor or Observer.

——————————————- Content to be familiar with ———————————————

  • Be familiar with air traffic rules and FAR Part 103.  Use my Airspace Article to help you learn about air traffic rules.
    • Know the standard flight elevations that air traffic stays at under IFR “Instrument Flight Rules” .
    • Know how to read a sectional and the importance of this relating to XC flying.
    • Know numeric symbols on a Sectional and what they mean.
    • Know how areas are denoted on sectionals – colors, hash marks etc.


  • Know Wind Gradients and the danger of underestimating the wind.
    • When measuring the wind at any flying site, if you hold up an wind meter, it is prudent to know that the wind speed will be higher at wing level and much higher as you ascend.


  • Know what USHPA’s official recommendations are for reserve chutes.  The concept that a chute should be carried on “any flight where successful deployment could occur” is a concept within the test, but not in the part 104.  So, remember that there is no altitude, just this concept.


  • Know the following terms and have a full grasp of concepts around such (Study the article about critical flying situations):
    • Deep or Constant Stall
    • Full Stalls
    • Spins
    • Spirals and Locked in Spirals
    • Asymmetric Collapses
    • Full Frontal Collapses
    • Water Landings