Paraglider

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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Buy the BHPA Pilot Handbook
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 Ilan Ginzburg)

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

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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Users of Airband radios

The radio airways have become very congested and additional capacity is being created by changing from 25 kHz to 8.33 kHz spacing.

What this means to you is that from 1st January 2018, if you need to communicate on an 8.33 kHz channel you will need to use an 8.33 kHz capable radio.

Further ahead, from 1st January 2019, if your flight mandates carriage of a radio, then it must be 8.33 kHz capable...

Posted: 7 December 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Charlie King flies Kilimanjaro

On September 27th British pilot Charlie King flew from the summit of Africa's highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895m) in Tanzania, and is thought to be the first woman pilot to have achieved this feat.

She flew a BGD Echo and was part of this year's Paraglide Kilimanjaro expedition...

Posted: 20 November 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Has paragliding gone mainstream?

Many will have missed four-times British paragliding champion Adrian Thomas on BBC Radio 4's Life Scientific programme on October 31st, explaining his professional life of research into insect flight and building dragonfly-drones.

Non-radio listeners will also have missed the previous Sunday's 'slow radio' spot...

Posted: 20 November 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Suffolk Club renames itself

The Suffolk Coastal Floaters Hang Gliding Club has renamed itself Suffolk Hang Gliding. The original club was formed in 1979 and most flying was indeed done on a range of coastal sites all round the East Anglian coastline.

With the lifting of the BHGA ban on towing the club acquired runway access and storage at Mendlesham in Suffolk and commenced towing...

Posted: 20 November 2017
By: Paul Dancey


January date for BFR

The Thames Valley Club's Big Fat Repack will take place earlier than usual this year, on Sunday January 14th at the Rivermead Leisure Centre in Reading.

Two custom-built zip wires (thank you Go Ape!) will be in operation for practice deployments. Air Ambulance personnel will give talks on incident management and first-aid essentials, and Bill Morris's team will demonstrate the crucial points of repacking your reserve...

Posted: 20 November 2017
By: Paul Dancey


North Wales Repack

The North Wales Hang-Gliding and Paragliding Club will be running its annual parachute repack at the Airbus Social Club at Broughton, near Chester, starting at 10.00 on Saturday 20th January 2018.

Bill Morris and his team of BHPA parachute packers will provide instruction and supervision...

Posted: 20 November 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Skywings news last updated:
7 December 2017 at 11:16:05 AM