The APPI PPG Tandem Pilot rating allows the pilot to carry out Tandem PPG flights. During their training candidates review APPI Standards, procedures and general related issues. Candidates also review their practical flying ability, general procedures, methods and flying knowledge. After successfully completing an APPI PPG Tandem course pilots can offer commercial flights.
Prerequisites/ Course contents/ Obligation
To enroll in an APPI PPG Tandem Pilot course an individual must:
- Be certified as an APPI PPG Assistant Instructor or another hold a similar qualifications from another PPG training organization, for at least one year.
- Be at least 21 years old and be in a good medical condition.
- Agree to complete the APPI PPG Tandem Pilot Theoretical course and exam.
- Agree to sit a minimum 6 Day course with a certified APPI PPG Tandem Instructor consisting of the following APPI PPG Tandem Pilot training syllabus:
- A Tandem Certified wing must be used. Not just a wing that is large enough, it must be certified as suitable for tandem flying.
- A Tandem Reserve Parachute MUST be carried on ALL tandem PPG flights (same requirement as for tandem PG flights).
- The paramotor must be powerful enough to launch the combined weight of both pilot and passenger and must be capable of a reasonable climb rate for a sustained period.
- A radio is essential (as it is for student PPG flights), however an intercom system between pilot and passenger, especially if it is VOX operated, is highly recommended. APPI recommends Tandem PPG pilots use an all-in-one communications system, with helmets and headsets that allow radio operations as well as intercoms between pilot and passenger.
In order to commence tandem flying, the pilot having met all of the above criteria, should proceed as follows:
- The pilot must have at least 10 solo flights on the specific engine he plans to use for tandem, for the purposes of familiarization, BEFORE attempting to take a passenger.
- Before attempting any tandem flights, do a full hang test with the motor, pilot and a passenger, suspending the equipment from a hang test rig. Get to know all the adjustments of the motor/harness combination and how these are affected by different pilot/passenger weights. Strap yourself into the passenger harness too (with a buddy in the pilot harness) and get to know how the passenger adjustments are made and fine- tuned.
- The first 2 tandem flights should be carried out as a passenger with the APPI PPG Tandem Instructor, in order to prepare the Trainee Tandem pilot so they know what to tell their passengers prior to each flight and what to expect.
- The following 10 tandem flights should be with another licensed PPG pilot as the passenger. Even though the passenger may be a licensed PPG pilot, every flight should be done with the full pre-flight briefing to the "passenger", for the purposes of developing a comprehensive and thorough pre-flight briefing. The passenger can assist in the development of the briefing "patter", so ask for his feedback and ideas, before and after each flight.
Note: A comprehensive pre-flight briefing for your passengers is essential. Do not skimp on this. Always ensure you do a thorough pre-flight 6 point check of the passenger and make them aware to not unclip unless told to do so by you, the pilot in command. The passenger needs to be made aware that they should continue to run even when they feel lift.
The first few flights should be in perfect conditions, a steady breeze (enough for a reverse launch) and an oversized field. Do NOT attempt nil wind launches too early. As with solo PPG, the most difficult and most dangerous part of tandem PPG flying is the nil wind launch. Towards the end of this stage, practice at least a few nil wind launches before progressing on to the next stage.
- Complete 3 tandem flights of over 30 minutes.
- Perform 3 flights with different weighted passengers
- Complete maneuvers as documented in the APPI Manual of Procedures. Again, try to avoid nil wind launches in the early stages if at all possible and remember that the take off run will be longer and faster with heavier pilots and at greater altitudes.
With each tandem flight, evaluate your own performance, improve your pre-flight briefing with the passenger, debrief the passenger after each flight for evaluation, assessment and improvement. Tandem PPG flying can be very rewarding to share your flying experience with your friends and family, however you need to be twice as diligent when flying in tandem compared to flying in solo.
Do NOT forget your pre-flight checks of the equipment, as well as the post-flight inspections.
Do NOT skimp on the pre-flight briefing of the passenger, especially a person that has not flown before.
Even the slightest problem with the motor must be dealt with promptly. Small problems quickly escalate into major problems, especially with the added complication of a passenger on board. It’s not only your own life at stake, you are now also responsible for the safety of another life. Always allow for at least 3 emergency landing options in the event of an engine failure and remember that the higher you are the more time you have to deal with problems.
We tend to fly PPG with wings that often have only a PG certification and no powered certification. Powered certification is often done at a higher wing-loading than un-powered certification. For example, a typical medium sized solo paraglider may have a PG certified weight range of 80-105kg all up flying weight, However, if the same wing is certified for powered flying too, it will likely be rated at 80-140kg all up powered flying weight. For this reason, even wings that do NOT have powered certification, are typically flown at these higher wing- loadings under power. There is no legal requirement that a wing must have powered certification for PPG, however it is highly recommended by APPI, especially with the added complications of tandem under power. The engine needs to be powerful enough to ensure a steady climb out, even in nil wind conditions. To ensure the passenger remains directly in front of the pilot APPI recommends Tandem Paramotors are fitted with a tandem bar which surrounds both the pilot and passenger. The bar is attached to the Paramotor frame and hang points but is not load bearing.
Training and Certification
Pilot candidates must satisfactorily complete all course performance requirements to be certified as APPI PPG Tandem Pilots. To apply for certification, the certifying APPI PPG Instructor must submit online a completed, validated APPI PPG Tandem Pilot Application to the APPI website, along with the application fee and other qualifying certification documentation (if applicable). Upon approval of the application, APPI will issue an APPI Certification Card.
To renew annually, an APPI PPG Tandem Pilot must log at least 20 hours a year of Tandem flying. They must then submit a Membership Agreement online and complete the payment of their membership fees. APPI PPG Tandem Pilots who let their membership lapse will need to be reassessed by an APPI PPG Tandem Instructor.
a. APPI Response Awareness
b. APPI PPG Tandem Pilot Progression Form