SAFA Paragliding and Paramotoring Exams - A Definitive Guide for Australia

SAFA Guide

In Australia's vast and varied landscapes, the allure of the skies beckons adventurers and thrill-seekers. Paragliding and paramotoring offer unique perspectives on these terrains, from the rugged outback to the sweeping coastlines.

The Sports Aviation Federation of Australia (SAFA) plays a pivotal role in ensuring the safety and proficiency of pilots in these sports. This guide is an essential resource for those preparing for the SAFA paragliding and paramotoring exams, providing insights into the process, preparation, and exhilarating world of flight.

Understanding SAFA's Role

SAFA is Australia's governing body for paragliding, hang gliding, and paramotoring. It sets the training, certification, and safety standards in these sports. Recognising SAFA's role is crucial for any enthusiast looking to partake in these activities responsibly and safely.

The Exam Structure

SAFA's thorough examination process ensures pilots are well-equipped with knowledge and skills. The exams are categorised into two main components:

  1. Theory Exam: This multiple-choice test encompasses air law, aerodynamics, meteorology, and flight theory. Pilots must comprehensively understand these topics to ensure safe flying practices.
  2. Practical Requirements: Pilots must demonstrate their flying skills, including ground handling, launching, in-flight manoeuvres, and landing. The requirements will also test the pilot's ability to handle the paraglider or paramotor in various conditions.

Study Materials and Resources

SAFA provides a range of study materials, including manuals and online resources. It's crucial to utilise these extensively to prepare for the theory exam.

Training with Certified Instructors

Training under the guidance of SAFA-certified instructors is invaluable. They provide the practical skills and knowledge necessary to fly and pass the SAFA exams.

The Importance of Safety Culture

Safety is a cornerstone in the world of aviation. SAFA's exams and requirements emphasise a safety-first culture, ensuring pilots understand flight mechanics and the critical aspects of risk assessment and emergency procedures. Building a safety-centric mindset is essential, as it will guide all your decisions in the air.


Passing the exams earns you a certification from SAFA, a requirement for flying in certain airspaces and is often necessary for insurance purposes.

Continuous Learning

The world of air sports is dynamic. Stay updated with advancements and continue honing your skills even after certification.

Advancing Your Skills

After passing the initial training to become a paragliding or paramotor pilot, consider further developing your skills. SAFA offers advanced certifications, including cross-country flying, competition flying, and even becoming an instructor. Continuous learning is key to advancing and enjoying the sport to its fullest.

More info on the various SAFA licence levels can be found in this blog: How To Progress From A Beginner to an Advanced Paraglider Pilot.

Joining a Club

Becoming a member of a local flying club can offer additional support, shared experiences, and practice opportunities in a community setting.

Staying Connected

The paragliding and paramotoring community in Australia is vibrant and welcoming. Engage with this community through social media, forums, and local club events. These platforms are invaluable for sharing experiences, seeking advice, and forming lifelong friendships.

Embracing Technology

Leverage the latest technological advancements in gear and flight instruments. These tools, from GPS devices to weather apps, can significantly enhance your safety and flying experience.

Physical and Mental Preparation

Paragliding and paramotoring demand physical fitness and mental agility. Regular physical exercise, mental preparation, and a healthy lifestyle are crucial for the demands of these sports.

The Joy of Flying

Amidst the focus on exams and preparation, it's important to remember the core reason for pursuing this passion – the sheer joy of flying. There's nothing quite like the feeling of soaring over the stunning landscapes of Australia with the wind as your companion.

Wrapping Up

Becoming a certified paraglider or paramotor pilot is challenging, rewarding, and exhilarating. This guide is your companion through the process, helping you confidently navigate the SAFA exams and requirements. Prepare thoroughly, respect the sport and its rules, and you'll soon find yourself part of an elite group of pilots who call the Australian skies their playground.

So, gear up, aim high, and prepare to embark on an unforgettable adventure. The skies above Australia await your arrival! 

Ready to Embrace the Skies? Join a High Adventure paragliding course today!