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Elementary Pilot Course (BHPA) UK - North West/East


Paragliding Course Description

Sunsoar, through several incarnations, has been teaching paragliding in the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales nationl parks for over 24years now. Although we were the first BHPA school to offer paragliding training abroad, we always say 'you can't beat a good day in the UK!'

The green rolling hills of our own country in good weather are unbeatable. 

Sunsoar are very fortunate to have the best range of flying sites in the UK, ranging from shallow grassy slopes to Englands highest mountains.

So if you have the patience and time to work with the British weather, you will be well rewarded in the UK.

What does it involve?

We allow five days for the Elementary Pilot Course. This usually works out at four days practical instruction and a day's theory to take you up to the EPC exam, with the flexibility to add more flights on additional days if required at no extra cost. 

The Elementary course  involves getting in plenty of top to bottom flights to practice your take-offs and landings and develop your control skills. You would expect to be flying solo from the first day, which will culminate with short flights at fairly low altitudes.(see the Taster Day info. for more  detailed information on this). On Day 2 you will continue from where you finished on your first day progressing higher up the hill. Given good conditions and a reasonable degree of competence you could well be launching from the top of the hill by the end of Day 2. Day 3 and Day 4 are a progression on this till you have shown that you can take off, control the glider and land it safely with a reasonable degree of accuracy. Throughout the course, especially if the weather turns bad, there will be schoolroom work to keep you up to speed with the theory needed for you to pass your EPC exam.                  

What do I achieve?

The purpose of the EPC is to get you to the standard whereby you can launch and land your glider safely and reasonably accurately and exercise good control in the air. These are the basics but most important aspects of your flying--everything else is built upon these skills.

Apart form the practical applications being learned you will be developing your confidence on the ground and in the air. And, very importantly, improving your ability to make decisions and react correctly and instinctively throughout the whole flight. You can then define yourself quite confidently as 'the pilot in command'! 

How long will it take?

The time it takes for you to get through a paragliding course in the UK is dependent, equally, on two things. The weather and your availability when it's good! So it could take you a week or a Summer! The more available you are, the sooner you will get through--the learning curve during paragliding training is very fast. We are out nearly every weekend during our season and on weekdays if we have a group of 3 or more. You will be receiving regular newsletters with weather info. for the weekend ahead to give you some idea of how likely the conditions are going to be. Once booked in on any given day you will call us around 8.00am for the final weather check and if it's on we meet at 10.00. and continue for the rest of the day.

What if I decide to go on one of your foreign courses part way through?

That's fine. The EPC courses in France and Switzerland can be a continuation of your EPC from wherever you have got to in the UK. If you have paid for your EPC at home and continue abroad part way through we will credit you with any days owed. (These will be in UK).  

How fit do I have to be?

You don't need to be an Olympic athlete to paraglide but you have to be reasonably fit. If you are in reasonable health you should not have any problems, the courses allow you to progress at your own pace. 

The first couple of days can take it out of you, but as you become more experienced you will find it getting much less energy intensive. You need to be able to walk up the hill several times throughout the day carrying a pack weighing approximately ten kilograms.

There is a medical questionaire attached to the booking form, and if you think you may have a problem or cannot self-certify your fitness on this form, please give us a call to discuss what is involved.  

What if the weather turns bad part  way through the day?

Safety is our number one priority and if the weather deteriorates, we will stop flying,  we may retire to our centre and finish the day with theory if this is applicable. If the day is abandoned early we will rebook you at no additional cost.


Sunsoar provide all the equipment for your UK courses. This will be a glider that is suitable for your weight range and certified for a level of guaranteed safety appropriate for training (EN A/ DHV 1-1/2 or Afnor Standard). You will also be supplied with a suitable harness with protective padding and a crash helmet which is EN certified for paragliding.

What if I have to cancel my day?

As long as you give us some reasonable notice there will be no problem-we will rebook you for another day.



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