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How to become a paraglider tandem pilot ➞ Everything you need to know!

Since time immemorial, the human being has dreamt of flying. At Overfly Tenerife, we make your dreams come true! Today, we want to talk to you about how to become a paraglider tandem pilot. However, if you are interested in paragliding, you can find many other posts related to this topic in our blog. For instance:

How to become a professional tandem paraglider pilot — Pro Tandem Qualification

If you want to know how to become a paraglider tandem pilot, you should know that the Pro Tandem qualification is the best choice to make your dreams come true. It is intended to train tandem pilots with solid skills and experience. Pilots will learn to operate in such a professional way and — among other things — their main objective is to be able to work efficiently with a high safety level.

Prerequisites to become a tandem pilot

If you want to take the APPI professional tandem pilot exam, you have to be previously certified as a non-commercial tandem pilot for at least one year in order to show proof of a minimum number of 100 tandem flights as a pilot.

Information about the examination

It is a double validation, due to a master plus another instructor or master will give you the exam.

  • Theoretical exam: an exam with 50 questions. To pass the exam, you must get 80% of success at least.

  • Practical exam — 3 parts:
    1. Maintenance of the paraglider trims control.
    2. Practical flight exam based on a professional tandem operating:
  • Attention and care of the passengers.
  • The efficiency of time. It must take less than 10 minutes between “passenger intake paraglider in the bag” and “ready to take off”.
  • Written briefings and procedures
  • Being an expert in direct and reverse take-off techniques.
  • Being functional over a great range of conditions and loads.
  • Use and management of the camera, which is a GoPro stick. This way, you will be able to take pictures and videos of your flights.
  • Management of safety during the whole flight process. You must make sure that everything is correct during the take-off, during the flight, and during the landing.
  • An excellent technique for the acceleration, visual, and trajectory control of the paraglider.
  • Excellent technique in take-off exit. This is extremely important for getting the passenger into the harness while you keep piloting.
    1. You must perform: two flights in tandem, 2 inverted turns during 25 seconds with the paraglider stabilized, and another 2 turns in the same direction during 20 seconds with the paraglider stabilized too, one technique for descending fast, U-shape approach, minimum 4 seconds straight final, and land two times on foot in 30 metres diameter target.

➛ On the one hand, the exam will be automatically over if something fails in the safety procedure.

➛ On the other hand, the instructor can cancel the exam if he or she judges that action is dangerous. For example: during the take-off, landing, or uncontrolled manoeuvres.

Prerogatives

According to APPI standards, APPI pro tandem pilot has to be able to practice the commercial tandem activity with a high level of safety and efficiency.

APPI rules that you must know

ACRO in TANDEM

– Acro is not allowed in tandem above ground.

– You need a special authorization to fly acro above ground, and it can be given by a master (under his or her responsibility).

– Acro is not allowed in tandem above the water below 200 metres/surface.

– Acro is allowed in tandem above water above 200 metres if the paraglider is 10G certified, it has 2 emergency parachutes (or just one, but Rogallo type) and a rescue team ready to be used.

– Any mean to go down is allowed in an emergency situation.

XC in tandem

XC is allowed in tandem with non-commercial or pro qualification. It requires SIV tandem certification and solo perform certification.

APPI pro tandem pilot

– You have to carry a certified emergency parachute (except for dynamic soaring).

– You need a certified harness.

– Your tandem gear must be in good condition.

– It is mandatory a third party liability insurance (if it is available).

– If you have an accident, you must report it in APPI system.

– You must show your flight certificate to passengers. It is mandatory to show your name and your APPI number, APPI logo and website address.

– You have respect all the rules and regulations of the country where you are flying.

– Act in an exemplary manner.

– You always have to welcome visiting APPI pilots.

Validation of your skills

Any tandem pilot who is not an APPI member should ask for recognition of his or her skills. The process consists of attending a 5 days Pro-workshop and takes the exams at the end of the workshop. To be qualified as an APPI pro tandem pilot, you have to be provided with a proof of:

– A minimum of 150 tandem flights as a paraglider pilot, 3 years of experience and one year of tandem operating.

– First aid certificate.

– Proof of advanced SIV certification.

Mandatory manoeuvres: side collapse, pitch control on dynamic spiral exit, autorotation and recovery, back fly, stall, recovery, deep spiral damped exit, and spin min 180° plus recovery.

➛ The master in charge may ask for a solo flight demonstration prior to any tandem flight if he or she has any doubt about your practical skills.

We hope that this information about how to become a paraglider tandem pilot has been useful as well as we hope that you won’t hesitate to contact us if you have any doubt. You can also do it if you are interested in our paragliding tandem flights. Because the best part of paragliding is that you don’t really need to be a pilot to enjoy one of the best experiences of your life! Remember that we are waiting for you in Costa Adeje, in the south of Tenerife.

Judith Escudero

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Judith Escudero

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