Alpine Paragliding Centre
Q. When is the best time to come?
A. For beginners or very low airtime Pilots we recommend either early or late in the season - the weather is usually good with reasonable thermic activity but without the thermals being too strong for low airtime Pilots. January to May and September to end of October are prime times. More experienced Pilots can come anytime, but April to September are the very best for thermalling and XC flying with good thermic activity most days and a normally high cloudbase in the range 2500m - 4600m.
Q. If I get EP can I join a club and fly on my own?
A. You can certainly join a club but you need to progress to Club Pilot/Novice before you can fly unsupervised by an instructor - Normally this can take 6 -13 days training, sometimes longer depending on the skill and confidence of the individual Pilot
Q. What kind of clothing do I need to bring?
A. Good boots with ankle support together with warm outdoor clothing. In Spring and Autumn the Alps can be cold at night or whilst flying, long trousers and jacket as well as gloves are normal flying attire.
Q. How soon will I be flying?
A. You will probably be flying by the end of the 1st day of training. Initially you can expect to be doing low level flights, gaining height as competence, confidence and conditions allow.
Q. What do I need to do to be awarded the EP/CP?
A. For EP you need to do a minimum of 12 flights unaided, be able to complete a full pre-flight check on the paraglider/harness to understand and assess the flying conditions on a given site and to pass a simple exam. CP requires an additional number of flights (20 approx) to be completed together with some basic instability manoeuvres, demonstrate safe accurate flying/landing, airmanship and top landing skills. There is an additional examination at that stage before the CP/Novice licence is awarded.
Q. Where can I stay?
A. Self catered accommodation in a provencial maison du village with starter food hamper to get you going, for seven or fourteen nights. Available Saturday to Saturday from 1600 hrs onwards on arrival day until 0900 hrs approximately on departure day.
Shared room basis per person €315.00 per week
Private room basis €420.00 per week
Single with private bathroom €490.00 per week
Double with private bathroom €665.00 per week
Other options are available including low cost camping package Accommodation options
Q. How many others will there be on my course?
A. Depends on our bookings but we never have more than 6 students to 1 instructor - this means you always get the attention you need during the early stages of your flying career. Similarly with our thermalling and XC courses we normally keep class sizes to no more than 5 per instructor.
Q. Why do I need both BHPA and repatriation/travel insurance?
A. The BHPA are the national governing body for the sport in the UK and they issue the licences awarded and provide 3rd party insurance to members. You also get a nice magazine each month called Skywings. The BHPA insurance does not cover accident/illness repatriation so you must have a separate cover for this - We suggest Sportscover Direct or Worldwide both of whom have links from our downloads page.
Regular progressive ongoing training is the key to successful Pilot development - from ridge soaring onto thermalling then XC flying. You can learn to thermal in the UK but good thermalling days are often few and far between. Doesn't it make more sense to learn in Alpine France where thermalling conditions are the norm and the weather is much more favourable?