New pilots who have completed their initial training in a BHPA school (or any other NGB accredited school overseas) who want to convert their Club Pilot rating to Para Pro 3, the minimum requirement to allow them to fly unsupervised, should read the following:


The BHPA CP rating is broadly similar to our own Para Pro 3 (Novice) rating - BUT there are significant differences in the tasks and experience requirements that must be met.

The BHPA CP rating is the bare minimum training required to allow a novice pilot to wobble around the skies without placing either themselves or other pilots in too much danger. In Ireland the minimum pilot rating required to fly unsupervised is Para Pro 3 (Novice).

The flight experience and task requirements for a Para Pro 3 (Novice) rating are a little higher than those required for a CP rating, and it is essential that the new student pilot gain ALL of those proficiencies and experience under the watchful eye and guidance of an instructor.

Student pilots are reminded that they are not free to fly outside the school environment until you have been awarded a full Para Pro 3 (Novice) pilot rating. Those pilots who have only attained a Para Pro 2 (Elementary) or a CP rating are obliged to continue their training in a school until they have been awarded Para Pro 3 (Novice). Flying unsupervised with only a Para Pro 2 (Elementary) or CP rating is a blind alley that will not lead to gaining a higher pilot rating, as those flights taking place outside the instructor's supervision will not be counted towards the Para Pro 3 (Novice) rating requirements. All pilots should be aware of this and advise any student pilots flying unsupervised accordingly.

Those new pilots wishing to convert their CP rating to IHPA Para Pro 3 (Novice) will need to enrol with a school to complete the remaining tasks and flight experience necessary for the Para Pro 3 (Novice) rating. The school will credit you with all the tasks and experience you gained on your CP course, and you need only complete the outstanding tasks, and log the necessary flights before sitting the Para Pro 3 (Novice) exam paper.

The Experience Requirements for IHPA Para Pro 3 (Novice) are that the pilot must have completed a minimum of 60 flights totalling not less than 10 hours in the air as pilot-in-command. These flights must be spread over at least five different launch sites, of which at least three must be inland flying sites. The pilot must have spent a minimum of two hours in lift over any three flights.

Novice Plots who have been awarded a Para Pro 3 (Novice) pilot rating from an overseas school will be required to provide a logbook, signed by their instructor, detailing their exprience (60 flghts and 10 hous minimum) before the IHPA will issue an IPPI card.

The reason the IHPA requires this minimum level of instructor supervised experience is that the meteorological conditions in Ireland are significantly more challanging than those experienced in a typical school on the continent. These experience requirements are for YOUR SAFETY and the safety of other pilots. We do not want to see you get hurt! Please do not see this requirement as a penalty, but as an insurance policy. Any extra time spent training under the supervision and direction of an instructor only serves to make you a safer pilot. Injuries cost you time, money and pain!

New CP pilots who completed their course using a Tow or winch system will also be required to complete a Hill Launch Conversion course so that they can foot-launch to the satisfaction of their instructor.

Attaining a Para Pro 3 (Novice) or CP rating is not the end of the training period in a new pilot's career. They are required to actively progress towards attaining a Para Pro 4 (Intermediate) or 'Pilot' rating with the assistance of a Club Coach, who will sign off the required Rating Tasks, and pass the Para Pro 4 (Intermediate) or 'Pilot' exam.

A list of current IHPA Club Coaches is available on the website:

The IHPA would like to encourage as many PP3+ pilots as possible to become Club Coaches so that we can grow an effective network of coaches to help new pilots entering the sport. As always, the IHPA will refund the course fees on successful completion of the course.


Philip Lardner
IHPA Training & Flight Safety.


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