A guide to flying in Sweden
A brief introduction in English to our association and to paragliding in Sweden.
The Swedish Paragliding Association is the official organisation for paragliding pilots in Sweden. If you have any questions about paragliding in Sweden, don't hesitate to get in touch with our office. Phone number and email below. Add the Swedish country code 46 and drop the zero in the telephone area code.
Except for this page, this website is all in Swedish. Below is some general information about paragliding in Sweden in English. You might also want to seek useful information at the club sites linked under Clubs ("Klubbar" in Swedish).
Foreign Pilots flying in Sweden
All foreign pilots visiting and flying in Sweden need as a minimum a liability insurance with coverage equal (or higher) to our Swedish liability insurance (see link). Accident insurance is not mandatory but highly recommended.
Sweden accepts and follows the international pilot licence system "IPPI" and it is highly recommended to have an IPPI licence card with you when flying in Sweden.
Flying rules for paragliders in Sweden follow international VFR rules for general aviation. We want you to focus on following basic rules:
A paraglider or any other aircraft in emergancy has the right of way
Paragliders coming from above have to give a right of way for paragliders coming from below.
When two paragliders are on a collision course the paraglider coming from the right has the right of way. He/she continues on a straight course while the other paraglider turns and passes behind.
When two paragliders are on a straight forward collision course both paragliders turn to the right and pass each other.
A paraglider that is cathing up another paraglider has to give way and pass on the safest side.
When two paragliders are in ridge soaring and meet on a straight collision course, the paraglider that has the ridge on his/her right hand side has the right of way.
The other paraglider has to avoid collision by turning to the right and passing on the outside of the other paraglider.
The first paraglider to enter a thermal decides turn direction. All others have to follow this direction. Overtaking is allowed at a safe distance on the outside.
Paraglider that is lower has a right of way when landing. If two or more paragliders are at same hight they share the landing field.
On collision course with other aircraft than paragliders, the aircraft with the best manoeuvre possibilities gives the other one right of way.
Currently there are about 1500 active paragliding pilots in Sweden. There has been a steady growth in the number of pilots ever since paragliding first was introduced here back in 1986-1987. Today we have outnumbered our collegues in the free air, the hangliders. Most of the pilots live in more populated southern half of Sweden.
Southern Sweden is rather flat with a varying landscape containing both rural areas with open fields and surrounding dense woods. In these parts most of the flying is done by towing in the flat areas, or by ridge soaring on smaller hills. There are also some really lovely coastal soaring sites.
The northern two thirds of Sweden is less flat, but is also covered with endless woods. Here you will find some mountain sites with a decent vertical hight differance. But also here a lot of the flying is carried out with towing, this since few of the mountain sites have access roads.
Along the border to Norway, there are some high mountains. Not alp standard, but high and steep enough for flying. But there are few roads and not many villages. In this region we have our probably most famous site, the Åreskutan at Åre ski resort.
The winter in Sweden begin in mid november to late december depending on how far north in Sweden you are. The spring starts in March to April and the summer arrives some where in June. During winter the temperatures range from cold to very cold and the days are short. In the extreme north there is no daylight at all from mid December to mid-January. On the other hand the same areas have constant daylight from mid June to mid-July.
A brief summary of the seasons:
Autumn – numerous low pressure systems, high winds, rain – flying mostly limited to the odd day of soaring.
Winter – short daylight, cold, sometimes stable high pressures with sun and snow – some nice flying if you have warm enough clothes.
Spring – low pressures, sometimes strong winds, but in between there are good days with sun and thermal activity.
Summer – long days, with a bit of luck there can be thermal activity from around ten a clock in the morning to seven or eight in the evening, some low pressures, little wind in early summer, stronger in late July and August.
The weather in Scandinavia is during most of the year dominated by low pressure systems coming from south west, moving over southern Norway and the middle of Sweden. These low pressure systems produce strong winds, rain and from time to time the conditions which give us good thermal activity.
Flying cross-country in Sweden
The cross country flying has developed rapidly and distances which a few years ago only existed in our dreams are now acheived by many pilots. The current national Swedish record in distance without declared goal is 252 km. Distances of 100+ km are beginning to occur more and more frequently.
Flying cross country in Sweden means flying flatland and very often tow launch. The main drawback (beside the short season) is that a good flight most certainly will carry you out in the wilderness where there are only dirt roads and few houses. But there are several good points in flying X-country here: In most of Sweden there are few and often only very small airfields which give the great advantage of free air whithout much interference from other aircrafts. Since trespassing is not a big issue in Sweden very few people will object you landing on their ground as long as you avoid growing crops and peoples private gardens.
If a you have the time and patience to wait for good conditions there is a great potential for flying great distances in Sweden.