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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The BHPA Elementary Pilot Training Guide - 8.43mb
Download the BHPA Elementary Pilot Training Guide (8.43mb)


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


The Pilot Handbook
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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 Incident Report


The BHPA is a member of the The Royal Aero Club
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
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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 Bill Bell)

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 Laura Turner)

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.

 

David Cook anniversary

May 9th marked the 40th anniversary of David Cook's pioneering 1978 cross-channel flight on a modified Volmer VJ 23E hang glider.

Despite a modest 9hp engine - less than half the power used by Blériot's on his 1909 crossing - David achieved the seemingly impossible, touching down near Calais after over an hour in the air to be told by a startled local, "All English people are crazy!"...

Posted: 8 June 2018
By: Paul Dancey


Reckless paramotoring

Not for the first time, multiple reports are coming in regarding reckless paramotor flying around nature reserves, SSSIs and wetland habitats such as inland reservoirs. Many of these reports mention persistent nuisance and extremely low flying.

This time of year is particularly sensitive as most bird species are breeding and can be easily frightened into leaving their nests. Power pilots are reminded that the RSPB and other nature reserve operators are extremely well organised and their members own powerful binoculars and very good cameras...

Posted: 8 June 2018
By: Paul Dancey


The Lakes Charity Classic

A reminder that the 2018 Lakes Charity Classic runs at the Grasmere Showground on July 14th - 15th.

As well as the competition itself, the ever-popular coaching groups will run on both days. Alternative bad-weather tasks are planned, plus plenty of free activities and lots to do for non-flying family and friends...

Posted: 8 June 2018
By: Paul Dancey


Mid-Wales sites reminder

The Mid Wales Hang Gliding and Paragliding Club would like to respectfully remind all pilots that although the area has many tantalising and attractive-looking hills, we do not have permission to fly them all.

Before flying any hill that may not appear in the site guide please contact the Club...

Posted: 29 April 2018
By: Paul Dancey


Alex's 6 Peak Challenge

Dales Club adventurer Alex Colbeck has set himself a new challenge, a UK first.

His brainchild is the 6 Peak Challenge: climb and fly from the well-known 'three peaks' of Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon and the the three Yorkshire peaks of Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-Y-Ghent.

All this inside of 24 hours...

Posted: 27 April 2018
By: Paul Dancey


Parafest update

Tickets are selling fast for this year's Parafest (July 27th - 29th), which promises to be bigger and better than ever.

Llanbedr is a 600-acre former military airfield, right next to the beach yet with Snowdonia's free flying sites only a short drive away...

Posted: 27 April 2018
By: Paul Dancey


Skywings news last updated:
8 June 2018 at 12:26:43 AM