The Aero Club of South Africa (AeCSA) got appointed by the CAA in 2001 on the basis of an MOU ( Memorandum of Understanding )  to be in charge of administration of the permission to fly a Hang Glider or a Paraglider.

AeCSA is affiliated to the FAI ( Federation  Aviation International),  the  world wide fly for fun association.
CIVL, ,  is the Hang Gliding and Paragliding section of FAI.
SAHPA is part of FAI and CIVL through the Aero Club membership.

Competition flying and world records are handled by FAI.
Want to fly in a comp or break a world record, better be an FAI member through the local Aero Club.
For a world record, check the CIVL and FAI website for the latest sporting codes. And have an FAI observer at hand.
Ask the SAHPA office on how to become an FAI observer.

What SAHPA does

Approve Safety Courses

For a Sports rating one has to do the safety course maneuvers.
To ensure a certain standard for those pilots who want to attend a safety course, SAHPA has opted that the person who wants to organize and run a safety course, have to register  it with SAHPA.
Otherwise any clown can declare himself a safety instructor and get the novice pilots to fall out of the sky.
If you plan to organize a safety course, get it approved by SAHPA first.
If you plan to attend a safety course, get confirmation that it is an approved course before you put down your money. Otherwise you wasted your money and risked your life unnecessary and still can not get a sports rating.

Approve Competitions

To avoid an  overlap and have an evenly spaced competition calendar SAHPA approves competitions.
Also to ensure that a minimum safety standard is met. Like having a paramedic on site.
Also a comp has to have a minimum of 5 days to make it worthwhile for pilots living far away to attend.
If you plan to host a comp, work on a 6-9 months leadtime to get it approved and published by SAHPA.

Team Selection, National Colors, Provincial Colors

 Teams get selected based on the pilots results in the various competitions that they have been flying.
The details are defined as an Addendum to the SAHPA Operations and Procedure manual.

Once a team has been approved by the SAHPA committee, the names get passed on to AeCSA.
AeCSA then has to pass the info on to the National Sport Council to get the pilots approved for National  or Provincial Colours.
So that they can then be called a SA National team or the whatever province team. And collect their Protea Colors at the Aero Club awards dinner around October

Any pilot attending a world championship event better has the paperwork with him from the various governing bodies to support his credentials.
Otherwise anyone could rock up from SA in some place in the world claiming to be the SA team representative for the xyz world championship.

IPPI and FAI cards

 CIVL offers an International Pilot Proficiency  Identification (IPPI) card. A sort of international drivers license for Paragliders and Hang Gliders.
The IPPI card can be obtained from the SAHPA office.

The IPPI levels as issued by SAHPA have been reviewed and altered, and

approved by the SAHPA Committee. In future they will be issued as follows:

IPPI 3: New Basic Licence with less than 30 minutes total thermalling

experience (determined from the logbook)

IPPI 4: Basic Licence with more than 30 minutes total thermalling

experience (determined from the logbook)

IPPI 5: Sport Licence

Before you plan to fly outside of Africa, get your IPPI card .

To enter in any FAI / CIVL competition a pilot has to have an FAI card. Which is part of the SAHPA membership.

Before you plan to fly a competition overseas , get your FAI card from the SAHPA office.

FAI  Hang Gliding and Paragliding competitions are rated in categories.

For local SA events, every SAHPA member has got their FAI membership automatic through SAHPA membership.
It is built into your membership fee.

Class 1 and 2 results are used for the world pilot ranking scheme (WPRS).

SAHPA competitions are scored using the CIVL RACE code.
Local comps use the SAHPA Scoring Formula in Paragliding events. The stiffies use GAP.
The SAHPA Formula takes into account the amount of Basic versus Sport rated pilots for the validity of a day.

Paragliding Team selection is based on a number of best tasks over a time period. If you want to make it into the team, fly lots of local and overseas competitions.
And get a high score in all your tasks. Details, see the Addendum of the SAHPA Operations and Procedure Manual.

HG team selection works on the basis if  a stiffy driver got the  pocket money to represent SA on some overseas event. If you can afford it, you can be on the team.
Taking a HG overseas just costs too much. HG up to now have not bothered about any team selection criteria. And we hardly ever have anyone representing SA in an overseas HG event.

 How to Register as a Pilot for a Competition

 This is a mass mail to all pilot registered at   or
The scope is to explain how to use the pilot & competition handling site.

The pilot only register ONE time.
When a new pilot register, he/she is not automatic connected to any competition.
The site can handle multiple competitions.
The pilot can apply for participate multiple competitions.

To apply for participating a specific competition, do following steps  ….
1)   login with the user identification and password U were given at registration. If U don’t login, U will NOT be able to apply to join selected competition.
2)   Click on COMPETITION on menu
3)   Click on VIEW COMPETITION for to select the competition U are interested of.
5)   The pilot will be shown at WAITING LIST, for that competition.

The organization will get a message that U are interested of competing in competition.
And if all requirements are full filled, the organization will approve the pilots, which will be shown as PILOTS IN COMPETITION.

To clarify the difference between the SAHPA Sport Licence and the FAI

Sporting licence:

The SAHPA Sport Licence is our top licence. One must have it to become an

instructor or tandem pilot. It is required to fly competition or proto type

gliders and certain DHV 2 gliders that are rated for 250+ flights. (Most DHV

2 gliders require only a Basic Licence and approx 100 flights.)

The FAI Sporting Licence is

1. proof that a pilot is a member of a country affiliated to the FAI, the

international body controlling sport aviation competition and record

regulations. Only members of FAI affiliated countries can obtain this

licence (hence pilots from countries not affilliated cannot hold official

records or participate in international competitions)

2. is required for all pilots flying in competitions and attempting world

records (regardless of what licence they receive from their local


SAHPA licensed pilots are automatically issued the FAI Sporting Licence with

their normal membership fees, regardless of what licence they hold. In other

countries (and in other aviation sports in SA) one has to buy it separately.





GAP2002 International Scoring System


For more info on rules and regulations and the law that governs our flying see  Airlaw for Floppies and Stiffies 


CAT2 comps  How to organize Category 2 events