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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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schools location map

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


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


Purchase the Pilot Handbook
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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Submit and incident report to the BHPA
Submit Incident Report


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


Be safe - be lawful - be drone aware
The BHPA supports the
Drone Aware Initiative

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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 Darren Blackman)

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 Haxby)

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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PeaBee ready to fly

Flylight's new PeaBee 'nanolight' trike made its maiden flight in September.

According to designer Ben Ashman, the idea was to build a high-performance sub-70kg machine with superb comfort and build quality while retaining the performance of their SSDR microlights...

Posted: 3 October 2017
By: Paul Dancey


British Paramotor Open

A pessimistic weather forecast led to a small turnout at the 2017 British Paramotor Open at Green Dragons' base in the Surrey hills.

Nevertheless guest pilots were present from Poland, Turkey and Sweden. Despite strong winds, rain and low cloud over the four-day event, Meet Director Barney Townsend ran seven excellent tasks to validate the Championship, with Dylan Marsh winning the fuel economy task and Mark Morgan the navigation one

Posted: 3 October 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Skyway Code (print version)

Launched online earlier this year, the CAA's new Skyway Code is now available as a hard copy.

Described as a one-stop shop for safety rules and advice for GA pilots, the guide condenses the 'must know' info on recreational flying into an easy-to-navigate document...

Posted: 3 October 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Pilots Declaration: Uncertified Wing

From the 1st August 2017, the submission of a stand-alone pilots declaration uncertified wing form has been superceded by a new declaration included in the membership renewal form.

When pilots flying any wing that is uncertified join the BHPA or renew their BHPA membership, they will now have to declare that they understand and accept the additional risks of flying an uncertified wing with no acceptable independent verification of airworthiness. Pilots who entered the old system will automatically be transferred to the new system on their next renewal. Anyone who wants to START flying an uncertified wing who was not on the old system and who has not renewed since 1 August 2017 will need to speak to a Technical Officer...

Posted: 14 September 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Marathon Man sees the light

Some readers may remember the YouTube footage of a paramotor pilot, flying at extremely low altitude, along the Brighton shoreline on the day of the Brighton Marathon in April.

The CAA had been already been alerted as it appeared he had taken off from within the Shoreham ATZ. The pilot in question (not a BHPA member) was later tracked down by the BHPA and local paramotor pilots and interviewed under caution by the CAA's Enforcement Branch...

Posted: 7 September 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Opportunity: Airspace Support Consultant

The GA Alliance (GAA) are seeking an Airspace Support Consultant to provide contracted, paid project support to member organisations through the GAA airspace team.

The job involves proactive awareness, research and analysis of strategic and local airspace issues, and developing, with others, potential solutions and guidance to member associations...

Posted: 7 September 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Skywings news last updated:
3 October 2017 at 07:04:35 PM