The structure of paragliding education depends mostly on the country requirements and regulations on equipment use, safety principles and precaution measures on physical health. The three areas of concern remain the same, however the execution of the logic behind them varies from country to country.
When it comes to paragliding worldwide, there are three Ecole’s which are internationally recognized and accepted by most countries in the world. Once junior paragliders receive their formal certification from one of these ecoles, all other paragliding schools and training clubs recognize the scope and content of the education that is given to them. This allows the certified paragliding pilots to enjoy all the paragliding parks worldwide, join international paragliding clubs and groups while being able to share their experience with new comers of this outdoor sport. Receiving an international paragliding education makes people equalized among the same branch while creating opportunities for them to communicate and transfer the knowledge gained from individual practical experience.
So far there are three important education and certification ecoles for paragliding that are internationally accepted and recognized:
- BHPA: British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association is the most famous ecole in paragliding education in the UK and overseas. The new comers of this extreme sport begin their education with theoretical classes at BHPA registered schools. After this the paragliding students start practicing what they have learned in theory. As much as they gain experience with BHPA registered schools, they qualify for the next level certification and education. There are also paragliding schools in overseas which are registered under BHPA.
- APPI: Possessing a Swiss touch on the paragliding education, APPI stands as the European ecole in this area. Association for Paragliding Pilots and Instructors, APPI, divides the structure of paragliding education mainly into five levels: APPI 1 Discover, APPI 2 Explore, APPI 3 Pilot, APPI 4 SAFEPRO and APPI 5 Advanced Pilot. The new comers start with APPI 1 and they continue as much as they want until APPI 5. Throughout this education, paragliding students broaden the scope of their education and improve their practical skills. After APPI 5 Advanced Pilot level, the pilots still improve themselves with additional skills offered by special trainings.
- USHPA: This is the most accepted and internationally recognized paragliding education system which is structured by Americans. As being the American ecole, USHPA offers different rating system for paragliding students. New comers start with H1/P1 Beginner Pilot and the rating continues with H2/P2 Novice Pilot, H3/P3 Intermediate Pilot, H4/P4 Advanced Pilot and H5/P5 Master Pilot. H1/P1 level starts with zero knowledge on paragliding and zero practical experience. However, as the pilots become more experienced and trained, they increase their ratings. As the number of flights increase, their practical experience also increases. According to knowledge gained and the number of logged flights, pilots receive new ratings.
Chose your paragliding ecole and have your education today!