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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Subscribe to Skywings the official magazine of the BHPA, or buy back issues


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


Events & Competitions Calendar
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.

Powered hang glider (Courtesy Ian Ferguson)

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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Carl's European record

Carl Wallbank's 264.99km straight-distance-to-goal record of last April has been recognized by the FAI as a European record. Carl's flight, on Moyes Litespeed RX 3.5, retraced the route of his 2012 UK record flight from Llangollen to land at goal at Weymouth (in 2012 Carl missed out on a similar goal by a few hundred metres).

In 2015 Carl topped the hang gliding XC league with over 1100km; last year he won again at 1,197km...

Posted: 6 March 2017
By: Paul Dancey


RAeC Trust bursaries

A final reminder that applications for Royal Aero Club Trust bursaries close on March 31st.

The bursaries are of up to £1,000; last year the Trust awarded 50 of them to young pilots of up to 21 years to progress their flying qualifications and further their dreams.

New rules introduced last year allow previous winners of up to 24 years to make further progress...

Posted: 6 March 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Glasto helicopter infringer prosecuted

Helicopter pilot Mark Matthews, 49, was prosecuted at Bath Magistrates' Court in January for flying his helicopter into and out of the 2016 Glastonbury Festival without permission. Matthews was seen to have landed his Robinson R44 at the Love Fields on June 23rd, and was later photographed and filmed taking off again.

Since 1998 regulations have prohibited aircraft from flying below 3,100ft amsl within 2.5 nm of Glastonbury. Matthews, of Radstock, Somerset, did not have the required permission from the police to enter the TRA; he pleaded guilty to two charges and was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,000.

Readers may recall that paramotor pilot David Hoare was similarly prosecuted by the CAA and fined for landing at the site in 2015 and 2011...

Posted: 6 March 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Nova XC-Challenge

Nova's own-brand worldwide online XC contest continues in 2017 for a third year.

To participate, pilots simply upload their flights to XContest.org and Nova's own system generates the XC-Challenge rankings. Note that it's important to use the correct model name as the system will not recognize flights with incorrectly named wings...

Posted: 6 March 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Kenya o/r record falls

Brit Hunter Marriam's world tandem paragliding out-and-return distance record, set two years ago at Nyaru, Kenya, has been broken by Slovakian pilot Miroslav Matovič...

Posted: 6 March 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Buttermere Bash dates

The 10th anniversary Buttermere Bash and Lakeland Charity Open paragliding comp will take place on Friday and Saturday June 2nd - 3rd at its usual location on the shores of Buttermere.

Plans are afoot to attract some of the world's top acro pilots to perform jaw-dropping stunts, and some fantastic bands to fill the nights with music.

Details of the paragliding competition - A and B comps as well as a coaching group for low-airtime pilots - can be found on Jocky Sanderson's website...

Posted: 23 January 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Skywings news last updated:
6 March 2017 at 07:38:30 PM