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Elementary Pilot (EP) – 5 Day Paragliding Course

(3 customer reviews)


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SKU: elementary-paragliding-course Category:

Product Description

Beginner paragliding course

Following the BHPA syllabus. Suitable for a complete beginner.

Welcome to Fly Sussex Paragliding, we are truly passionate about giving you the best paragliding experience! The five day elementary pilot paragliding course is the first flying qualification. Think of it as stage one on the BHPA rating scheme. Over the course of five days we focus on mastering the basic skills required to paraglide safely. Your progress is plotted in your personal BHPA training log book. The five paragliding lessons do not have to be done consecutively but can be spread out over a few months (the paragliding course is valid for a year). We do recommend that you come regularly in order for you to progress through the syllabus.

EP confirms you have a clear understanding of the basics for flying a paraglider. The licence, whilst enabling you to fly a paraglider solo, does not qualify you to fly outside of the school. The Club pilot is the next rating you need to fly unsupervised anywhere in the world. You can save money by opting for the ten day combined EP and CP course.


Here at Fly Sussex Paragliding we pride ourselves on being the only full time paragliding school in the UK who flies all year round 7 days a week (weather depending). We have even been know to fly on Christmas day! The ideal weather conditions are light winds (12mph max) with no persistent rain. We recommend you do your paragliding training regularly in order to progress through the syllabus. You don’t have to do the days consecutively but you will be a better pilot if you don’t have gaps in your training. The course is valid for one year from the date of purchase.


We have a team of full time BHPA qualified paragliding instructors who have your safety an enjoyment as number one priority.  All our instructors are experienced paragliding pilots who have flown all over the world and are rather obsessed with paragliding! Our chief flying instructor Tim Cox was awarded the Royal Aero club lifetime achievement award for his contribution towards paragliding. Feel free to call or pop in and meet the team and have a chat with one of our instructors.


A massive advantage of learning to paraglide with Fly Sussex is we have all our own private training sites dotted around the beautiful south downs national park. This enables you to fly in much safer uncrowded airspace on beginner friendly sites. We do also use public sites on the club pilot course.

We are one of the UK’s longest running paragliding schools, established for 25 years. Our paragliding shop is based on the A27 outside Lewes, 20 minutes from Brighton and 1 hour from London.


There is one small exam to sit on the EP course. Don’t worry – our carefully planned lectures will equip you with the theoretical knowledge required to pass.



We are a British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (BHPA) approved and regulated school, therefore all students must be a member of the BHPA whilst training. BHPA membership gives you third party insurance and allows you to gain any BHPA ratings. The cost of this is not included in the course and will need to be paid for by you. The BHPA fees are £15 per day, £99 for annual or £55 for three month training membership. We can organise BHPA paperwork when you sign in at the shop on your first lesson.


When do we start?
Don’t forget to call 01273 858170 after 7.30pm the evening before your booking and listen to the voicemail message for confirmation and start time for the following days flying. We will specify a time to meet at our shop which varies according to the weather forecast. If the weather prevents us from flying then just rebook. Please be aware the start and finish times vary according to the weather on the day.
What do I bring?
Paperwork: Please bring your voucher and completed booking form. We will need to check your voucher reference number off our records so it is important you bring the voucher with you on the day.
Attire: Comfortable clothing and suitable footwear (ie walking boots). Gloves and layers are a must on cold days. Suncream and sunhat are also a good idea.
Lunch: We also recommend bringing plenty to eat and drink, you’ll need at least a litre of water and plenty of snacks as learning to fly is physically demanding. Please note there are no shops near our base or on the flying sites so you will need to bring something from home.
Can’t make it?
You must give us at least 48 hours notice to cancel your booking. Failure to show up will result in you losing your day with us as your instructor will be waiting for you.
British Hang gliding and Paragliding association:
The flyer will need to join the BHPA on the first day of the course. The BHPA provide third party insurance which is mandatory. If you are already a member please bring your membership card so we can take a note in your training log book.
If you would like to take out personal accident cover then you will need to organise this on the morning of your course. Feel free to enquire with an instructor while signing in.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any queries. Check out our FAQs

Been there and got the T-shirt!

When ordering your paragliding voucher you have the choice to add a Fly Sussex T-shirt for a reduced price. When you come to fly on the day you can pick your perfect tee! Fly Sussex Tee

PHASE 1: Ground Training

    Introductory Talk
    Site Assessment Briefing
    Introduction to canopy and equipment
    Parachute landing roll

PHASE 2: Ground Handling

    Pre flight checks
    Getting into the glider
    Launching the glider
    Directional control

PHASE 3: First Hops

    Getting Airborne at low level

PHASE 4: Flight Exercises

    Flight briefing
    Communications (radio, bat signals etc)
    Responsibility briefing – you are the pilot in command!
    Higher flights
    Introducing turns
    Basic flight plans

PHASE 5: Theory and Exam

    Theory lecture on meteorology, principles of flight, anti collision and airlaw
    EP 30 minute exam – (70% pass rate)


Before undertaking the Club Pilot you must have successfully complete the BHPA Elementary Stage Paragliding (Hill). A check flight may be required in circumstances where there has been a significant interruption in the training program.

PHASE 6: Pre-Soaring

    Soaring theory
    180 degree turns
    Planned approaches

PHASE 7: Soaring

      Soaring flights
      Top landings
      Flying with others

    PHASE 8: Improving your skills

      Ground handling in light and strong winds
      Exploring the speed range
      Accelerated flight, speed bar
      Forward launch technique
      Reverse launch
      Weight shift and pitch control
      Slope landings

    PHASE 9: Instability and emergencies

      Theory of collapses, spin, stall, spirals, tree landings, PLF, line failure
      Active flying
      Rapid descent technique
      Dealing with tucks

    PHASE 10: Theory and examinations

      Principles of flight
      Rules of the air
      General airmanship
      Sit the Hill environment exam (25 questions)
      Sit the CP exam (56 questions)

    Final assessment for club pilot:

    If you have successfully reached the standard of airmanship required to fly safely and competently and have the right attitude to flying then you are given the BHPA Club Pilot Rating by our CFI.

Click here for the BHPA Elementary Pilot Training Guide

3 reviews for Elementary Pilot (EP) – 5 Day Paragliding Course

  1. Mark Hepburn

    These guys are completely professional, have an exceptionally standard, know how engage and coach their customers and go on the journey with them. I can’t recommend them more highly

  2. Ross Butler

    I did the one day course and it was so excellent, I signed up for my EP. The instructors are fantastic and go at your pace. The equipment is top notch and the flying sites are perfect. I felt safe the entire day. If you want to fly, these are the guys that can make it happen. Thank you fly sussex

  3. Qureshi A

    Top guys under the leadership of Tim, doing the EP training, loving every moment of it, although the school is a bit far from me, the travelling is really worth it. Highly recommend, attention to detail, organisation, management, teamwork and the personal touch are second to none. The best school for paragliding, I think.

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