DECLARED TRAINING ORGANISATION SACAA/0044/DTO
Basic Licence Course
A Basic License is the minimum requirement by CAA to legally fly without supervision or instruction at all basic rated sites in South Africa and abroad (IPPI equivalent in Europe, or Club Pilot UK). This course is comprehensive and in-depth, we build a very solid foundation to take you further into the sport.
Due to our geographical location (inland and altitude) we do not do skimming or hopping flights as practiced by the coastal paragliding schools. The air we fly in on the highveld is much thinner, so we prefer to send our students off on their high flights right from the beginning. We know this can be daunting and don’t expect you to solo unless you have at least 3 tandem flights with an instructor. This builds good airmanship and safely eases you into your solo experience with confidence.
Attitude4Altitude believes that personal attention – quality over quantity – is key to transferring knowledge that turns people into paragliding pilots who remain interested in flying for years to come. At every step of the way the student is guided by an instructor. Student pilots are always in contact with an instructor via a radio whilst in the air. We also make use of a uniquely designed variometer, that allows us to hear what the student hears in thermic conditions, that way we can be perfectly in tune with what is happening at all times.
INLAND – April: > Local (Belfast, Hartbeespoort, Rustenburg, JHB South). This course usually runs over a set of extended weekends and includes a diverse combination of ‘local’ sites. Course fills up very quickly. Please book in advance.
COASTAL – November: > Wilderness, Western Cape. Ground school starts 2 weeks in advance in Gauteng to prepare students for flying.
All of our classes are kept small, generally not exceeding 6 to 8 NEW students at a time. With us its personal, and we like to keep it that way.
WHAT TO WEAR
We recommend cotton pants or shorts in summer.
A long sleeve shirt must be worn to prevent bruises and riser-bite.
Bring a short sleeve shirt to change into afterwards. Outdoor rough terrain shoes. Sunhat, buff, full fingered
mountain bike gloves. These are mandatory! No Gloves, No training.
WHAT TO BRING
Water, and loads of it. Healthy snacks, such as biltong, energy bars and nuts,
sandwiches and easy to digest foods. Do not drink energy enhancing
drinks such as RedBull. No alcohol is permitted during training, but we
don’t mind sharing an ice cold Flying-Fish once the sun sets.
YOU WILL LEARN THE FOLLOWING
Learn and understand all of your equipment – from the wing and harness, to the protection in your harness and the reserve parachute – and how it all fits together.
Get to pack and unpack the gear properly.
Gear safety and pre-flight checks
LAYOUT AND GROUND CONTROL
Learn canopy layout techniques, in gentle and strong wind conditions. Controlling the canopy on the ground is key to successful flying later on. Everything starts with proper launch and control technique. Expect to spend at least 12 to 16hrs on this aspect of your training.
Forward Launch Technique for light wind.
Reverse Launch Technique for stronger wind.
Sit in a harness in our simulator to get a better understanding of what it feels like to steer a paraglider in the sky.
The Basic License Course includes 3 to 5 tandem flights that count towards the 35 flights required for license.
Each instructional flight is about 20min. During these flights you will learn, through explanation and demonstration, how to make decisions in your new three-dimensional world. Various manoeuvres are required for Basic License, these manoeuvres are all demonstrated during the tandem flight by your instructor.
You are required to complete a minimum of 35 flights for your Basic License.
Each flight needs to demonstrate good launch, flight and landing ability. A flight has to be at least 3 minutes in length to be valid. This is our minimum standard, some schools count a flip off a dune as a flight, we believe that we are teaching pilots to remain pilots for years to come, and our students license anywhere between 7 and 9 hours total flight time, unlike the industry norm of 4hrs.
Most lessons are now online for self study, we have recommended reading and provide powerpoint slides with YOUTUBE links. Solid theory will prepare you for a long future in paragliding, and this course is only the first rung of that learning ladder. Paragliding is an extreme sport, we aim to reduce that risk by teaching the correct balance in decision making.
WHAT OUR PAST STUDENTS HAD TO SAY
Some of us are late bloomers and need a patient and kind instructor to guide us in our journey to the freedom of flight.
Thank you Tracey for picking me up every time I failed. For me, giving up was never on my mind, and you did not give up on me, ever. Flying alongside my son and husband, just never gets old to me. Being up there, is my happy place. Thank you A4A for opening the sky for me.
We thoroughly enjoyed learning to fly with Attitude4Altitude. Tracey and Adam are a well balanced team and safety is always to the fore. While the aim was to get us to pilots’ licences, the course and the pace of it was tailored to our needs and progress. A4A continue to watch over us and offer much-appreciated support even after we have flown the coop.
Doing a paragliding course with A4A is like joining a big family whose main purpose is helping make you a good, safe pilot. Every opportunity is used to teach or reiterate learning. But there’s always time for fun and great weekend getaways. I especially loved having a female instructor who totally gets me.
Both Tracey and Adam have a vast amount of knowledge which they freely share, from micrometeorology to the history of glider materials, they take you through your learning at your own pace without ever making you feel rushed or harassed. Getting to know Tracey and Adam has been a privilege! Their love of the sport comes through in the training and the one overriding factor has been the emphasis on safety. If the weather, wind strength or direction is not favourable, you don’t fly. The old adage they repeat, “It’s better being down here wishing you were up there than being up there, wishing you were down here!”
I cannot recommend A4A highly enough! One-to-one instructions, including radio contact, makes even the most nervous of first-time soloists become safe, well trained, competent pilots. The beauty of being part of A4A is that it doesn’t end there when you have completed your course, you will always be part of the A4A community, which means getting together with past students for flyaways, social events.
Over the years I had observed many paragliding instructors and schools. In selecting A4A I made an outstanding choice. I had seen A4A in action and was always very impressed by their professional approach to the sport. Tracey is a highly skilled pilot and has many years of experience both flying and instructing. She provided a level of personal support, encouragement and guidance on a day to day basis, her level of patience is exceptional. Tracey still continues offering me support and advice whenever we are at a flying site together. I feel part of the A4A family.
Tracey and her crew have knowledge of both thermal and coastal flying and they are able to communicate clearly to students, they are all passionate, focused and committed to safety. Students are allowed to progress at their own pace to their own skill level. This is an excellent and rarely found combination!
There are several things that I will always remember: 1) Your patience and emphasis on safety. 2) Your emphasis on mastering ground handling skills prior to any flight. 3) Your positive and encouraging outlook toward the sport and your students
I am also very satisfied with the equipment I got from you. It is a perfect fit for my size and abilities.
I couldn’t suggest anyone more honest, competent and dedicated, I can recommend A4A to anyone who is serious about flying.
The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in determination
And so we do the same thing over and over until excellence is achieved. Below are a select few moments that make our lives as instructors really special. It is hard work, and we invest many hours into our students, but the reward comes as we watch each student grow on their own time. Simply put, we really love to fly, having invested many many hours in our own progress, we take all of that collective experience and transfer it to our pilots, new or advanced.
The learning in paragliding never stops. The air presents unique challenges, we simply adapt what we know and make the most out of the day. We never stop believing in your ability to succeed. Some people take longer to learn than others, but hey… that is why we are called a SCHOOL. There is no such thing as a mistake, it is just another opportunity to do it better the next time round.
We look forward to giving you your wings.
A little video of us flying from our favourite training site in Mpumalanga – the Beautiful Bambi