Paragliding Association of India Paragliding in India

PAI PPPI (Paragliding Pilot Proficiency Identification) System

PAI PPPI (Paragliding Pilot Proficiency Identification) System


PG1 (Student Pilot)

PG2 (Ridge Soaring Pilot)

PG3 (Thermal Soaring Pilot)

PG4 (Cross Country Pilot)

TANDEM (Tandem Pilot)


PAI BHPA Certification Workshop

Certified Pilots

Certified pilots


PAI - BHPA Instructor and Tandem (Dual) Pilot Competence Certification Workshop

March 2016 - Kamshet, Maharashtra

PAI BHPA Workshop

PAI introduced PPPI Rating System in 2012 to streamline all technical information related to training and to introduce a standard reference for identifying Paragliding pilots skills across India.

In absence of any authorised and credible certification system/authority for PG sport in India, PAI’s PPPI System needed support and a kick start from a credible organisation like BHPA (British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association). BHPA, a 24+ year old organisation is well established and reputed for its work in UK and Europe. In fact most Indian PG schools claim to follow, or at least started operations by following BHPA course structure (not officially).

When PAI approached BHPA in early 2016, BHPA Chairman MARC ASQUITH agreed to provide all possible support for PPPI - System and Certification. Senior Technical Officer - DAVE THOMPSON took the discussion further and welcomed PAI’s concept of revamping PPPI system, certification and advanced workshops in India.

IAN CURRER - Assistant Technical Officer, BHPA and the author of the famous book - Touching Cloudbase took up the task of conducting the first ever PAI-BHPA Certificate of Competence workshop for Instructors and Tandem Pilots in India. He was assisted by IAN BROWN - a senior British PG Instructor. PAI also requested DAVE LEWIS - Senior coach for assisting with his Tandem (Dual) flying skills.


The announcement of the workshop received great response from pilots across the country and Nepal. 13 candidates qualified for the workshop, which was conducted at Kamshet, Maharashtra from 25 -31 March 2016.

The 7 day workshop comprised of classroom discussions, theory, presentations, practical sessions at the base and at the flying site. BHPA representatives came well prepared with a clear course structure and course content. Everyday, the Instructors would brief the agenda for the day and the flow of discussions for the day.

Classroom, equipment sessions, administrative procedures, role play, solo presentations were the highlights of the entire course. Role plays were quite common throughout the workshop. This helped the participants step into the student/tandem passenger’s shoes and understand their perspective of things as well. All candidates were given ample opportunities to express themselves either during the training session, or during individual talks.

Lots of videos and pictorial representations were used to explain even the most complex of topics that helped the participants understand the topics without much difficulty.

After classroom sessions came the field sessions in the evening. On the field, activities were planned in a way that three groups were handled by the three available examiners. Each examiner would handle his group for the rest of the flying day briefing before the flight, assessing during the flight and debriefing after the flight. Lot of importance was given on debriefing to make the candidates understand what, why and how aspects of their tasks for the day.

Instructors were continuously assessing the candidates for their practical skills during flying. Considering the language barriers, the instructors took the theory exam of the candidates in a very interactive manner so as to make the candidates feel comfortable and to be able to answer the questions, albeit in their own language translated by PAI representatives.

At the end of the workshop, strength and weaknesses of every single candidate was discussed individually by the instructors. For the first time, someone unbiasedly assessed each candidate for the skills they held, in a positive and constructive manner. Candidates who hardly spoke on day 1, were comfortably communicating and in a lot better manner by the time the workshop concluded. That gave a big boost to the self confidence of many of the candidates.

11 Tandem and 3 Instructors candidates qualified this workshop. They were awarded with the PAI-BHPA Certification for Competence by IAN CURRER.

PAI is grateful to BHPA for their support. Though the workshop and assessment was carried out by BHPA Technical Team, the aim is to strengthen PAI’s own Rating System (PPPI) as National Certification for Paragliding Sport by aligning PPPI to the BHPA rating/certification system and also to FAI IPPI Para-pro levels. Although the original PPPI was build on the lines with FAI’s training structure, the details of the various tasks were created based on inputs of various organizations and experienced individuals. The PPPI system had almost all the information needed, but lacked organization and structure. After long hour deliberations amongst BHPA and PAI representatives, there was a common agreed structure for PPPI. This was a great evolution from the first conceived structure of PPPI. Thanks to the efforts from BHPA representatives, the latest revision of PPPI is greatly aligned to the rating systems adopted worldwide by various credible organizations.

With having achieved so much in so little time and such a short notice, one can only imagine if similar events were organized with more planning and time on hand. We look forward to many more such workshops in near future to continue this effort of bringing in more synergy and cooperation between both organizations.


Closing remarks by IAN CURRER

This workshop has been the first one of it's kind that we have done in India. We didn't know what we were getting into when we came in India, we had no idea of the standard.

The standard has been surprisingly high. I have done lot of tandem assessments. I have never had a course where every participant has passed, I have other courses where every participant has not passed.

The standard I have seen in India is much better than I had expected and I am very pleased.