In France, to practice paragliding, you must have insurance and certain licences. There are different licences, and they vary according to several parameters. Adrenaline Parapente presents you in this article the insurances and the licences you need to have to practice paragliding.
Insurance for paragliding
The insurances you need to take out to paraglide are the Civil Aviation Liability (CAR) and the Personal Accident Insurance (PA). The RCA is compulsory in France, because without it, you can't go paragliding. It only covers damage you cause to others while practising this sport. Very few organisations offer this insurance. Among these, there is the French Federation of Free Flight (FFVL), or the French Federation of Alpine and Mountain Clubs (FFCAM). For example, when you are a member of the FFCAM, you automatically have their licence, which includes aviation civil liability.
Concerning the Individual Accident Insurance, it covers the damage that the pilot could have during the flight. It is not compulsory in France, and different IA options are offered depending on the coverage you want. This insurance generally offers many guarantees and covers several risks. All activities related to sports or training that take place on the ground or in flight are covered by this insurance. Similarly, all accidents that occur, whether the pilot is still on the ground or in the air, are covered by the AI. You also have home loan insurance that covers the risks associated with the practice of this sport. However, the guarantees are not as comprehensive as those offered by the RCA and the IA.
The different licences for free flight
Free flight licences are issued by the FFVL. They vary according to your level and your objectives in relation to this sport. For example, you have the contact day licence which is valid for 1 or 2 days maximum. It allows anyone wishing to discover free flight, and other FFVL sports, to have insurance cover. It includes the civil liability of the trainee and the individual accident insurance. Then there is the first-time licence or "9-day course" licence which is only obtained if:
- you have never had a FFVL licence,
- you have taken a 9-day course for free flight during the current year or in previous years,
- you have an annual licence that is at least 10 years old.
There is also the licence for the practitioner which is valid for a whole year. It can be a single-seater or tandem licence. To have a tandem licence, you must first obtain a tandem qualification from the FFVL. For instructors, there are the instructor and professional tandem licences. This is only obtained after compliance with the rules set out in articles L212-1 et seq. of the French Sports Code. This requirement concerns all the licensees who aspire to this title, whatever their nationality and country. At Adrenaline Parapente, our structure and all our instructors are in good standing with the Federation. We have all the necessary licences as instructors.
How to get your FFVL licences
To obtain your FFVL licences, simply go to the Federation's website and click on "Take your licence". If this is your first application, click on "continue" at the bottom of the window that will appear. Then put in your personal details, and enter the code of the school or club where you are doing your introductory course. You will then have a new window with the list of the different sports that are supervised by the FFVL. You will have to choose "paragliding" as your main activity. If you wish, you can add secondary practices. You must then choose the duration of validity of the licence.
When applying for FFVL licences, you must present a medical certificate dated less than one year. For young people under 14 years old, it must be at most 30 days old. This document proves that there is no contraindication to paragliding. The medical certificate must be renewed:
- every year for minors,
- every 2 years for people over 40 years old,
- every 3 years for people aged between 18 and 40.
In the case of an interruption in the first licence, a new certificate must be obtained from the FFVL.