Paragliders are one of the simplest flying devices developed by mankind. Compared to airplanes they require almost no maintenance. The simplicity of the paraglider also allows it to be one of the aircraft that requires least amount of regulation.
Paragliding is regulated differently in each country – for example in Bulgaria paragliding pilots are not required to hold a valid license by law unless participating in a FAI sanctioned competition. In other countries however like Switzerland- pilots are required to have a local federation license and even a unique pilot number displayed on their wing.
Although licensing systems slightly differ between countries, there is an universal system for pilot level acknowledgement defined by the International Aeronautical Federation (FAI)
The FAI system separates pilots in 6 levels of proficiency and issues sporting paragliding license according to those levels.
- Ground Skimming (not flying higher than you would care to fall)
- Altitude Gliding (altitude and space to do maneuvers, no soaring)
- Active Flying (preparing for turbulence, recovery and descending techniques…)
- Soaring (using both ridge and thermal lift)
- Senior pilot (mastering one or more advanced practices)
- Tandem (non-commercial)
The FAI system is also known as Safe Pro or Para Pro and after a completion of each level a license card can be issued also known as IPPI card (International Pilot Proficiency Identification)
Skynomad offers both FAI and BHPA (British Association) licensing.