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Non-commercial Tandem


The APPI Non-commercial Tandem (NCTP) rating is the first step towards APPI Professional qualifications. You want to learn a safe way to share your passion of flying, the APPI tandem course is for you! This 5 days minimum course is open to mature pilots that have APPI 5 advanced pilot qualification. Its also possible to enter this course with an equivalent rating (FAI IPPI 5) plus Advanced SIV proof and first aid certification. At the end of the course, you will have solid knowledge about tandem operating, procedures, gear and attitude. You will also have a minimum of 10 tandem flights as a pilot under the control of an APPI instructor.

There are 2 steps for a full non commercial pilot qualification, see description below in training.

A - Prerequisites

To enroll in a tandem pilot course, a pilot must:

  1. Be certified as an APPI 5 Advanced Pilot, or an equivalent rating (FAI IPPI 5) plus Advanced SIV proof and first aid certification.
  2. Be over 18 years of age.
  3. Submit proof of First Aid training (Red Cross or other rescue organization equivalence).

B - Training

The training includes a refresh of advanced theoretical knowledge about flight mechanics and piloting, weather and rules. Full review of specific equipment for tandem operating, gear ageing inspection methods are given, as well as mental state awareness, pilot’s and passenger emotional control. On the field, emphasis is put on safety procedures and specifics of tandem handling.

A minimum of 10 flights in tandem as pilot will be performed.

C - Qualifications and prerogatives

Step 1
At the end of the tandem training course:
* If the instructor judges the student is not ready to fly tandem, the NCTP status is canceled. The student should improve his skills flying a solo glider before re-attending the tandem course.

* If the students level is ok, the instructor leaves the status NCTP "Pending".
The student must contract a non commercial tandem liability insurance if available (provided with our APPI insurance if eligible), they are allowed to fly without direct supervision of the instructor, but only with pilots as a passenger.

Step 2
Once the student has a minimum of 30 tandem flights as pilot, done with minimum 2 different wings, on 3 different sites and with 4 different passengers, the student may then take NCTP exam with an APPI instructor (provide flight proof, photo or video, track, contact of passenger).

* If the exam is not satisfactory, the student’s status stays as NCTP"in progress" he should build more experience flying tandem with pilots as passenger until he passes the NCTP exam
* If exam is satisfactory, the student’s status will be updated to non-commercial tandem pilot "validated" allowing him to fly also non-pilots as passenger, but non commercially.

The examination : (given by one instructor minimum)

- Theoretical exam
50 questions 80% success required.

- Practical exam
Maintenance: glider trim control.
Flight: two flights in tandem as pilot.
* Impeccable briefing and safety procedure (written).
* Time between passenger intake, and ready to take off less than 20mn.
* Master one takeoff technique (direct or reverse) and able to perform the other one.
* Glider visual control, acceleration, trajectory control are safe.
* One descent technique.
* Timed maneuvers: inverted 360 30 sec glider stabilized, 360 same side 360 25 sec glider stabilized.
* Neat U shape approach, min 4 sec straight final, land two times on foot inside a 40m diameter target.

One joker flight possible in case of fail on timed maneuvers or accuracy.
If there is a fail in the safety procedure, the exam is over.
If the instructor judges an action is dangerous (on take off, at landing or uncontrolled maneuvers) he will cancel the exam.

D - Evolution

The non-commercial tandem pilot can then pass the following certifications: handi, SIV tandem, and get advanced tandem certification (necessary to fly XC).

E - APPI rules

ACRO in TANDEM
- No acro in tandem above ground,
- No acro in tandem above water below 200m/surface.
- Acro in tandem above water above 200m allowed if glider is 10G certified, 2 emergency parachute or one Rogallo type, rescue team ready.
- Acro is wing >90°, stall, spin, sat, spiral deeper -8m:s.
- In emergency situation any mean to go down is allowed.
- Special authorization to fly acro above ground can be given by a master under his responsibility.
XC in tandem
- Is allowed with non commercial or pro qualification, it requires tandem siv certification + solo perfo certification.

APPI noncommercial tandem pilot with status “Pending”
- Carry certified emergency parachute.
- Certified harness and helmets.
- Back protection for passenger and pilot.
- Tandem gear in good state.
- Non commercial tandem third party liability insurance mandatory if available.
- Report in APPI system of accident when involved
- Respect rules and regulations of the countries they are flying in.
- Expect to act in an exemplary manner.

APPI non commercial tandem pilot with status “validated”
- Carry certified emergency parachute except for dynamic soaring < 50m AGL and “walk and fly”.
- Certified harness.
- Tandem gear in good state.
- Non commercial tandem third party liability insurance mandatory if available.
- Accident report in APPI system when involved.
- Respect rules and regulations of the countries they are flying in.
- Expect to act in an exemplary manner (value of example).
- Freely welcome visiting APPI pilots.

F - Skills validation

A tandem pilot that is not an APPI member may ask for recognition of his skills. The process consists of attending a 5 days Pro-workshop and take the exams at the end of the pro-workshop. To qualify as APPI non commercial tandem pilot qualification, he should provide proof of:
- a minimum of 2 years paragliding activity,
- a minimum of 40 tandem flights as pilot,
- first aid certificate,
- proof of advanced SIV (video).
- mandatory maneuvers:
- pitch control on dynamic spiral exit,
- side collapse, autorotation and recovery,
- stall, backfly, recovery,
- spin min 180° + recovery,
- deep spiral damped exit.
If the master in charge has any doubt about practical skills, he might ask for a solo flight demo prior to any tandem flight.
Solo tasks: clean take off with safety check, 2x360 exit on axis in less than 15 sec glider stabilized, pitch and pitch control, landing with 4 sec minimum straight final in a 15m diameter target.

Upon completion of the exam, if not failed, the master instructor in charge may validate non commercial tandem pilot status “pending” or “validated”.

Tandem pilots with Swiss of French tandem certification, please contact secretary for simplified procedure.

Related documents:

  1. APPI pro Logbook
  2. APPI Tandem Pilot Exam

When validating an APPI level, the APPI instructor is responsible to ensure that the student can perform all the required tasks for the APPI level certification. The instructors decisions are final with no right of appeal..
APPI certification awarded to a pilot is internal to the APPI organization and shows no particular right in the country where the activity is done unless APPI certification is recognized by local authorities. check with them if such an agreement exists.


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