Read This First

PASA School Certification Application Guide.

Mid June 2016

As I’m writing this, I’m into my 51st PASA application. It’s a wonder that I’m still alive or haven’t shot the neighbor’s dog. I have been wanting to write this guide since application 15 or so, but I was too busy mopping up the floor to turn off the water. Now there is urgency because people need to get back to work!

It is obvious that completing this application process is challenging. To some – more than others. I’m writing this in hopes of catching some of you before you submit your application in an attempt to save YOU a lot of time. It may not seem like what I’m going to suggest will save you time – but trust me – I’m talking about taking less work and maybe saving you a week in your certification experience.

I’m going to walk you through each step of the application process and tell you what we are looking for. I’m going to hit hard on some problems that pop up often. If you will do what I suggest here, then you will not get a dozen or more emails from me asking you to fix something or supply something. The lack of a properly done application seems like it’s costing the average applicant approximately an extra week. More -for some people. So, here we go.

Type of Organization.

If you are an LLC or a Corporation, in most states I can look you up online to see if you are registered with your state. (I will). If you are a Sole Proprietor, I can’t do that in many states, so I will ask you for a copy of a checking account statement that has your company’s name on it. I’ll ask you to block out any numbers (account or balances) because I just want to see that you’re running a business and not a hobby. You might as well take care of this up front because I’m going to ask.

Operation Plan

Almost no one has one of these coming into this PASA application process. The easiest thing that you can do to create one is look at the example on the PASA webpage and see what all we cover in our example. Do not cover any less. Cover more if you wish. We want to know how you operate your business. We are not looking for a syllabus at this point. I don’t need to see how you teach your lessons, I need to see the process you go through to get to that point. Please look at our example.

Emergency Action Plan (EAP).

Again, we have an example on our website. You can look at it and cover everything it covers. If you want to cover more – great, but don’t cover less. It is written from the point of view of a training hill so it covers one big area. If you teach at a mountain site you will want to make sure you cover the same topics for the launch area as you cover for the landing area. We want to see how you are prepared for and will handle an emergency. This HAS to be right. I’m sorry but I will send it back to you and there will be a delay if you don’t cover everything that is in that example.

That includes the address of the hospital. Here’s the main thing: You should have an Emergency Action Plan for your school. A well thought out plan. The insurers want to see it – so we have to have it.

Risk Management Plan

Once more – we have an example. The insurers need to see that you have recognized all the risks at your training facilities and have taken action to mitigate those risks. This one takes some time and thinking. For EVERY place you teach (that includes launch and the LZ for every site and every training hill and anywhere you meet for ground school) you need to cover obstacles, parking, pedestrians, wind streamers and socks. You need to include waivers, dehydration, injury prevention, health problem recognition, wind speed limits, cross wind limits. For time spent in structures, cover other hazards that apply – fire, earthquake, tsunamis, tornados. If your students have to walk up a long trail to your launch, cover possible hazards they could encounter and how you have mitigated those hazards. Those are the minimum. If you have a possible risk – identify it and say how you keep it from being a problem. This document is the one most sent back to the applicant. Please take the time to do this correctly the first time. Look at the example.

Excel Forms

A note about the 6 excel forms that you need to turn in: •Training Facilities List
•Landowners List
•Officers, Directors, Managers List

•Staff List •Instructor List •Equipment List

We need to have them on the excel forms. There’s a good reason. If you don’t have excel, then you can remedy that for this single project by going here:

When you fill out these excel forms, this is very important: Fill in all the fields. There is a place for your school name and date at the top of every form. Please fill them out. Fill out every field. If it does not apply to you, put N/A in the field.

Individually, lets talk about these forms.

Training Facilities List

As it says on the form – List everywhere you teach whether it requires insurance or not. You HAVE to do that. Everywhere.
Fill in ALL the other fields.

Landowners List.

List all the landowners that need insurance. READ the list. READ what it is asking for. Please don’t make us wonder what you were TRYING to say.


Officers, Directors, Managers List

READ the list. Fill out every field. If it does not apply put N/A in the field.

Staff List

This is for listing anyone associated with your business who will not be on your instructor list. Does your wife drive the truck back and forth to launch so you can do tandems? She’s staff. Does the guy from down the road drive the 4 wheeler to retrieve the tow cart after a tow? He’s staff. Be sure to put the date that you trained them in your EAP (That is the EAP that you presented earlier in this application).

Fill in ALL the fields.

Instructor List

Pay attention here. This costs people a lot of time. Before you submit this list
check it over 5 times. Make sure you are sending me everything to back up what is on the list you are sending me. For ANY instructor – if you are not submitting their USHPA rating and their CPR and their First Aid – then DO NOT PUT THEM ON THE LIST. IT WILL BE REJECTED AND YOU WILL HAVE COST US BOTH A LOT OF TIME. A common mistake is thinking that a First Aid card is enough. If you don’t have
First Aid AND CPR, then don’t put that instructor on the list. It will be rejected. We have to approve your instructor list. If it is not COMPLETE – then don’t send it in because it will be rejected. Do not put a note on it telling us that Instructor ‘billy bob’ will have CPR in 3 weeks. We will reject it. EVERYTHING on it must be current and up to date. Fill in ALL fields. Like all documents make sure it has your school and name on it. Now, please read all of that again. Then, read it one more time.

Instructor USHPA documents.

Ideally, we’d like to see a scan or good picture of both sides of their USHPA card. At a minimum go to the USPHA site and get the ratings graphic of the instructor. Just listing them on a word document is not good enough.

First Aid/CPR documents.

Everyone knows by now that you can’t use an ‘online only’ certificate. You must have been tested in person. See our application requirements for more details if you are not aware of this. Make sure that you send a VALID copy of your card or certificate. Make sure it’s legible. Be sure to include First Aid AND CPR for every instructor. Please, Please PLEASE don’t make me ask you for part of it. Please? Please take a couple extra minutes to make sure it’s all there before hitting submit.


So far there is a WIDE range of what people think a syllabus is. a syllabus is not:
It’s not a checklist
It’s not a how-to book

It’s not a site guide

Let me suggest what


A syllabus is a well thought out plan for taking someone from a non-flying human to a flying human. If you don’t have one for your school, you should. NO school should be teaching without a syllabus. Take the time to do it right. It’s a fundamental of teaching human flight (for teaching most things actually).

Letters of Recommendation.

It would be nice if these could come as a document instead of a copy and pasted email. Please make sure that the writer includes how they fit into our peer system (see our requirements). Make sure if they are an instructor that they put that on the document. IF they are a director, tandem pilot etc, please have them put it on the document.

Accident list.

Make sure your accident list has the following: The name of your school
The current date.
Make sure it covers the last 3 years.

If you have an accident to list on there, include an accident report.

If there is any thing in your application that you cannot upload in the space provided, then there is a dropbox at the end of your application where you can upload as
much additional stuff as you want.

I promise you that I did not want to write this guide. I felt I had to. Not knowing exactly what we are looking for is costing all of us very important time. I know people want to get back to teaching and making a living. I want you to get back to teaching and making a living. Help me help you. Just take a bit of extra time on the front end and save a lot of time on the back.

Thank you GW Meadows. VP, PASA