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If you want to paraglide, and you want the best instruction available, then you want Eagle. There are important factors to consider before committing to a school. Learn to fly with our Award Winning Paragliding Instruction.

Become A Paraglider Pilot

Learn to Paraglide with Eagle Paragliding Most students are Novice rated in 8-10 days. After certification you're an Eagle student for life. Benefits include continuing education, and priority invitations to our world class tours. Find out what it takes to be a Paraglider Pilot.

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Paraglider Rating System

In general, paragliders are either given an EN or LTF rating. The LTF ratings include 1, 1-2, 2, 2-3, and competition, or 3. EN ratings are A, B, C, or D. A paraglider's rating can be viewed as the measurement of a glider's overall performance and handling. Among other things, the ratings are determined based on testing for how well they react and correct without any pilot input to different situations where the Paraglider leaves normal flight, such as asymmetric deflations. Wings that react more predictably (or recover to normal flight more quickly) from these situations are given a lower rating (LTF-1, EN-A being the lowest). Gliders that do not react quickly, or take a longer time to recover to normal flight get a higher rating (LTF 2-3, or EN D). Competition gliders (also called Open Class gliders) and Acro gliders are for the most part not rated by these rating organizations and are considered the formula one racers of the paragliding world. The competition gliders have the best glide ratios and speeds. However, the competition gliders are less stable than the beginner gliders and are flown by highly experienced pilots. It takes more work imput by the pilot for a competition glider to recover to normal flight than it does with a beginner glider. All gliders are load tested to determine if they are strong enough to withstand the highest forces of paraglider flight. You can view the test results and other general data on gliders at the Para2000 web site. Below is a table that estimates the difference between each of these ratings:

Paraglider Rating Systems - DHV, CEN, AFNOR

Who tests the gliders?
Paragliding manufacturers hire Agencies or Companies to test the gliders. These agencies or companies have a license to test and certify the gliders they test. Very experienced test pilots are the ones who fly the gliders.

The History:
At some point in time, the DHV (Deutscher Hangegleiter Verband, which is the German Hang Gliding and Paragliding Organization) required that all paragliders that were flown in Germany were certified by DHV. For some time, the DHV had somewhat of a monopoly on the market of certifying gliders. Other agencies had been certifying gliders such as AFNOR (French Association of Normalization), but the requirement of Germany's national organization of all gliders flown in Germany being certified by DHV had manufacturers choosing them to keep that market available. Due to this near monopoly on the market, the CEN ( European Committee for Standardization ) established its own certification standards, and the German Paragliding Association has accepted these ratings. Since this change in the market, various testing agencies have sprouted up and manufacturers have multiple options in choosing a rating agency. If your glider does not have a DHV, LTF, or EN rating, it might have another rating from an older agencies, which are listed below.

DHV – German Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association.
CEN – European Committee for Standardization
AFNOR – French Institute for Standardization
FFVL – French Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association
SHV-FSVL – Swiss Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association / Swiss Free Flight Federation

Why LTF and EN?
In January 2008, the PMA (Paragliding Manufacturers Association) made an agreement to change the name of glider ratings from DHV to LTF. Now, multiple testing companies are able to issue LTF ratings with the same standards.

Learn more about the future of Paraglider Certification.

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