This document serves to inform persons involved in the operations and flying of Powered Paragliders (paramotors), regarding the rules and regulations that concern Powered Paragliding (PPG) operations and activities in South Africa.
Controlling BodyOn 18 January 1999, SAHPA (South African Paragliding and Hanggliding Association) elected to adopt Powered Paragliding and Powered Hanggliding operations, following a proposal from the PPG Steering Committee.
An on-line copy of the proposal can be read here.
For a brief background and history of PPG in South Africa, read the on-line account here.
SAHPA, through the PPG sub-committee, took over the responsibilities for issuing Powered Paraglider Licenses, as well as the Registration of each Paramotor, from the Aero club of SA whom carried these tasks prior to this.
It is now up to SAHPA, the PPG sub-committee, and all PPG pilots to regulate and protect the future of powered paragliding in SA (as well as powered hanggliding).
LicensingLicenses are available in three grades, namely Student, Pilot and Instructor.
A PPG Student License is required before commencement of any powered flying.
Requirements for a PPG pilot's license:
- A minimum of a Basic Paragliding License as recognised by SAHPA
- A Powered Conversion Course with an approved PPG Instructor
An on-line copy is available here
- Write and pass the written Theoretical Knowledge Test.
- An Aircraft Radio License (Restricted License sufficient) is highly recomended and will become mandatory in the near future.
PPG Instructors, whom are not SAHPA Paragliding Instructors, may only carry out powered conversion courses for licensed paraglider pilots and may not teach students to fly paragliders, which must be undertaken by a SAHPA approved paragliding instructor.
Annual License RenewalsA PPG pilot must comply with the following in order to renew the PPG license every year:
- A minimum of 20 logged flights, or 10 hours flying of the appropriate wing
- At least 10 flights or 5 hours logged under power
(This implies that if the pilot does NOT fly (unpowered) paragliders, then all 20 flights or 10 hours must be logged under powered flights)
- Failing the above, the PPG pilot must pass a practical proficiency test with a PPG instructor and get written proof thereof
Rules and RegulationsThe Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ultimately governs all civilian aviation in south Africa.
The CAA have delegated the control and licensing of recreational flying to the Aero Club of South Africa (ACSA)
In turn, the ACSA has delegated control of Paragliding, Hangliding, and powered version of both, to the South African Hanggliding and Paragliding Association (SAHPA)
This allows us, the pilots, to be self-policing, as we vote members from our flying community into positions of authority within SAHPA.
As long as we are able to maintain control from within, the CAA essentially leave us alone. If the accident and incident rate becomes unacceptably high, this situation may change. If we have renegade pilots flying where they want, how they want, they jeopardise the situation for all licensed pilots. It is up to us, the pilots, to ensure the situation is kept under control, and to protect our sport from undesirable elements.
Some basic Do's and Don'ts:Exceptions from any of the above may be granted in writing, only by the Commissioner, Civil Aviation Authority (For example, authority to fly overhead a sport event, for the purpose of aerial photography or sponsor logo exposure)
- Helmets are compulsory for all flights (Boots are highly recomended to protect ankles)
- No flying permitted before sunrise, nor after sunset (A 15 minute leeway is tolerated)
- No flying over built up areas
- No flying over an outdoor gathering of people (e.g. sports events)
- All flights to be carried out with due regard and respect to safety of people, livestock and crops
- No takeoffs or power-on landing within 500 foot of building, unless permission obtained from occupants
- No powered takeoffs nor powered flying within 1000 foot of unpowered paragliders!
- No flying within Controlled Airspace without specific arrangements being made beforehand with the Controllers
- No flying within Restricted Airspace, without written permission from the relevant authority
- No flying at all, at any time, for any reason, within Prohibited airspace
- Flying over water only allowed within easy gliding to safe landing (inflatable life jackets highly recomended for extended flights over water)
- Airband radio (and license to use it) and sensitive altimeter (with QNH subscale) and Compass are compulsory when flying above 1500 foot AGL, or within Five miles of any Airspace or active airfield, or in areas of high air traffic volumes. (Also highly recomeded along all coastlines!)
- Only VFR flight allowed, no IFR Flight
- Minium distance of 500 foot clearance vertically and horizontally from cloud to me observed
- No Tandem Flight permitted (carrying of passenger) without a valid Tandem Pilot Rating, Tandem rated motor, Tandem Rated Wing, Tandem Rated emergency parachute.
- All accidents and incidents involving damage to third-party property, or injury to pilot or other persons, must be reported in writing through the SAHPA channels.