Parapente or paragliding is a part of the so-called free flight sports, which also includes hang gliding and kiting.
In Belgium the free flight is regulated by a national federation: The Belgian Free Flight Federation VZW (BVVF). This includes the management of flight sites, recognition of schools, certificates, exams, relationships with the government, and so on. The federation organizes the Belgian Championships and represents Belgium at international level. The BVVF is a non-profit organization, led by a Management Board composed of volunteers, which is democratically elected by the members of the association.
No certification is required for most, simple, flying sites if one stays on site, so not on a remote flight or XC departure. For certain sites or in certain countries, the Pilot certificate is required. In order to be allowed to do distance flights, the pilot XC Pilot certificate is required. There is also a certificate to perform duo (tandem) flights with passengers.
The training at Airsport is aimed at obtaining these certificates. A detailed description of these and other certificates can be found on the website of the BVVF.
Below is a brief overview of the Belgian certificates, who are also the basis of our training.
The Initial License, level green.
The initial certificate certifies the first exercises and flights made in the context of a recognized school. Its validation is done by your instructor and is about the technical and theoretical competences that you acquired during your first flights.
The Soaring certificate, level purple.
The soaring certificate validates your competences to fly at sea and in laminar wind and all this implies (starting with wind and being able to evaluate the evolution of wind conditions).
The Pilots license, level blue.
The Pilot’s Certificate validates your competencies to find and analyze the necessary information to be able to fly locally at each site without guidance, with adapted equipment and in different weather conditions.
The validation of the practical exam is done by your instructor.
A theoretical exam which can be obtained wit the BVVF, consists of a multiple choice questionnaire of 60 questions, to tests your theoretical knowledge.
XC pilot’s license, level Ochre.
The certificate of XC-Pilot certifies the ability to fly independently in any type of flight as well as the preparation of distance flights with respect for the airspace.
The practical part corresponds to the validation of all the competences in your pilot’s passport (available from Airsport or from federation.)
The theoretical part consists out of a multiple choice exam on aviation regulations as well as a concrete case of flight plan preparation in Belgium.