Hang Glider

British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Enter the first part of your postcode to find your nearest BHPA registered school
eg. enter CF44 if your post code is CF44 1BS

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Download the BHPA Elementary Pilot Training Guide - 2.88mb
Download the BHPA Elementary Pilot Training Guide (8.11mb)

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Visiting Overseas Hang Gliding & Paragliding Pilots please read this.....

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Flight theory, meteorology, basic and advanced flying skills and more. Invaluable for post-CP pilots

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Events & Competitions

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The BHPA is a member of the The Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom
The BHPA is a member of The The Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom

The BHPA is a member of the European Hang Gliding & Paragliding Union
The BHPA is a member of The European Hang Gliding & Paragliding Union

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Welcome to the British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association (BHPA) website.

From its head office in Leicester the BHPA supports a country-wide network of recreational clubs and registered schools, and provides the infrastructure within which hang gliding and paragliding in the United Kingdom (UK) thrive.

Hang Glider (Courtesy Mike Scholes)

The BHPA oversees pilot and instructor training standards, and provides technical support such as airworthiness standards, and coaching courses for qualified hang gliding and paragliding pilots.

Initial hang gliding or paragliding training must be undertaken at a BHPA registered school.

Most schools offer training in a wide range of flying disciplines, so it's important to understand the differences between the disciplines before choosing a school.

The Learn to Fly section of this web site explains the relative merits of each discipline, the types of flying involved, and provides an insight into the training methods used.

As you near the end of your initial training with one of our registered schools, it's important to start looking for suitable recreational club to join.

The BHPA supports a network of UK hang gliding and paragliding recreational clubs who are able to offer the supportive flying and social environment vital to the safe development of your flying skills as you leave the school enviroment to join other recreational flyers on the hill.

Once you have joined a club, you may choose to spend your first few hours' flying with no specific aim other than to safely accumulate airtime. However, it is well known that pilots make safer more efficient progress when they are given particular tasks to undertake.

With that in mind, a panel of experienced BHPA coaches have devised a new pathway to learning, the BHPA Pilot Development Structure. This offers an alternative to the more formal Pilot Rating System, and for newly qualified pilots aims to:

  • encourage interaction between new pilots, their club and its coaches
  • provide a structured way to progress, acquire knowledge and build skills through attainable goals
  • reduce flying related incidents and promote safe flying

Paraglider (Courtesy Derek Frith)

The BHPA also has a disability initiative called Flyability. This reports directly to the BHPA's Executive Council on disability related matters within the sport.

Flyability doesn't simply take people with disabilities flying, it strives to motivate people with disabilities to become involved in the sport of hang gliding and paragliding and to train as pilots.

Much of Flyability's work in the sport, focuses around changing peoples perception of disability and their attitudes toward people with disabilities. Disability awareness, education and advice play key roles in Flyability's aims and objectives, as does the development of specialist equipment, training and flying techniques.

The BHPA also publishes Skywings, the only magazine dedicated to free flying in the United Kingdom. This glossy full colour magazine is distributed by mail to around 6,500 BHPA members each month as part of their membership package.

Skywings magazine is also read by countless more hang gliding and paragliding pilots and organisations around the world who have purchased an International Skywings magazine subscription from our on-line shop.

BHPA members and Skywings subscribers can also download a password protected electronic vesrion of the magazine on our Skywings page. Issues of Skywings magazine with a cover date more than 6 months old are made freely available, and can therefore be downloaded or viewed on-line without the need to login.

Back issues of Skywings magazine can also be purchased from our on-line shop.

Paramotor (Courtesy Paul Bailey)

The BHPA provides automatic £5 million 3rd-party insurance for its members. But if you require personal or travel insurance, this should be obtained from an independent insurance broker.

We hope that when you've found a school appropriate to your needs, made contact and begun training, you'll discover for yourself the excitement and challenge that makes free flying such a great pastime.

If you do, you'll also find that the level of support and camaraderie amongst pilots is one of the many great strengths of the sport.

You'll make friends, go places and achieve things that you may have only dreamed about in the past.

It's a fantastic sport...

So why don't you join us, and never look back.

Whilst Skywings magazine frequently includes lively and thought provoking articles and letters about our sport, there are numerous alternative sources of advice, information and debate on the internet, and the following list is just a small selection of those available:

The websites and Facebook pages listed above are independent and not affiliated in any way to the British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association, and the views expressed in them are therefore not necessarily those of the British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association.


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Safety Notice - Jojowings Instinct S paraglider

As the result of an investigation into a recent fatal paramotor incident the BHPA's Flying & Safety Committee has issued a Safety Notice for the Jojowings Instinct S paraglider which was found to be displaying an out of date certification placard indicating that the glider was rated to AFNOR 'Standard'.

However, since certification in 2005, the manufacturer has extended the weight range and added risers fitted with a trimmer system. Both the extended weight range and the addition of the trimmers render the certification invalid...

Posted: 23 May 2017
By: Paul Dancey

Paramotor incursion delays Royal Flight

On Thursday March 9th, two paramotors were identified crossing the Air Traffic Zone at Cotswold Airport (Kemble), half a mile from the airfield. Undetected by radar, the paramotors had entered the Kemble Air Traffic Zone and temporary Class D Airspace. Nearby RAF Brize Norton were notified and a Royal Flight was delayed. A Mandatory Occurrence Report (MOR) was submitted to the CAA and a report made to Gloucestershire Police...

Posted: 9 May 2017
By: Paul Dancey

New approach to airspace consultation

In late March the CAA asked for views on its draft guidance that sets out how their redesigned airspace change process will work. The new process was developed following consultation with the aviation industry, local communities and airspace users.

All parties are now urged to have their say on the draft guidance. It outlines seven stages of the new process for permanent changes to UK airspace, from initial objectives to post-implementation review...

Posted: 9 May 2017
By: Paul Dancey

Luke changes sides!

On 11th April it was reported that top hang glider pilot Luke Nicol had flown 206km on a second-hand Ozone Zeno paraglider, from Garway Hill, Herefordshire to near Duxford in Cambridgeshire in company with Mark Watts.

It turns out that this was no flash in the pan - Luke went on to fly 130km from Devils Dyke to Broadstairs on April 14th with Mark, Catherine Turner and Roger Turner...

Posted: 9 May 2017
By: Paul Dancey

New electric records

Four months after setting a world record time to climb to 3,000m (see Skywings, February), the FAI has ratified two further records for the electric-powered Extra 330LE aeroplane.

Two flights were made in Germany on March 23rd, at different weights, to secure speed-over-3km records of 337.5km/h (500-1000kg class) and 342.86km/h (1000-1750kg class)...

Posted: 9 May 2017
By: Paul Dancey


We are pleased to announce that in respect of wheeled undercarriage for paramotors (paratrikes), our work with the CAA has borne fruit.

On 26th April 2017 the CAA published an exemption which allows paratrikes to fly without the need for a pilot's licence. This applies to aircraft which weigh less than 70kg (or 75kg if the aircraft is equipped with an emergency parachute recovery system) and have a stall speed below 20kts. The exemption only applies to aircraft flown solo...

Posted: 29 April 2017
By: Paul Dancey

Skywings news last updated:
23 May 2017 at 03:30:26 PM