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British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

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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


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Events & Competitions

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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


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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

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.

 

The CAA's Airspace Modernisation Strategy

On July 19th the CAA published its Draft Airspace Modernisation Strategy. In their view the design and operation of UK airspace is constraining the growth of commercial aviation and causing delays to passengers, and therefore should be 'modernised'. They say that they are concerned that other airspace users are able maintain 'appropriate access to airspace'.

The CAA described the document as 'a roadmap of changes that will be necessary for modernisation'. It is intended to cover the use of UK airspace up to 2040 and will supersede the existing Future Airspace Strategy (2011). It includes the prospect of new structural design and operational concepts, and the new technology needed to achieve these.

The Draft Strategy has been released so that interested stakeholders can offer feedback before a final version is delivered to the Secretary of State in December 2018. Details of the strategy - and the CAA's case for modernisation - can be found on the CAA Website. All air users are invited to provide feedback via an online survey.

Feedback and comments must be submitted by Monday 10th September 2018.

Posted: 19 July 2018
By: Paul Dancey


Immediate Urgent Warning: Innsbruck area

To ALL pilots flying in the Tirol, Bavarian Alps and Südtirol (Northern Italy)

Due to a meeting of EU Ministers, temporary restricted airspace, radius 30 nautical miles, will be established around Innsbruck. The restriction runs from 07:00 local time on July 12th to 20:00 local time on from July 13th.

The restriction prohibits all civil aircraft operating in VFR including hang gliding paragliding and parachute jumping operations. Aircraft violating the regulations will be intercepted by military aircraft.

Ambulance flights, rescue flights, flights within disaster operations and Police UAVs are of course exempt. Further details, in English and including a map, can be found on the Austro Control website.

Posted: 5 July 2018
By: Paul Dancey


Tour de France urgent warning

The 2018 Tour de France runs from July 7th - 29th, with 21 legs all around France. The race and its preceding advertising caravan is overflown by several fixed and rotary wing aircraft at different altitudes. These include film crews, VIP flights, etc, based at the airports nearest to where the race stops overnight.

In mountain areas Temporary Restricted Areas (TRA) have been a rule for several years. In addition, the CNFAS (Conseil National des Fédérations Aéronautiques et Sportives) of which the FFVL is a member, strongly recommends avoiding flying over the Tour de France during the stages. It is also mandatory to respect air rules and the conditions of penetration of the airspace published in Notams, AIC or AIP Supplements...

Posted: 5 July 2018
By: Paul Dancey


Buttermere Bash - higher than ever!

This year's 12th anniversary event was the most successful yet as gorgeous summer weather greeted the 800 people who attended. In fantastic flying conditions the valley filled with colourful paragliders who eventually floated down to the Buttermere shore.

The Bash is primarily a charity fundraiser, donating around £3 - £4,000 to local causes each year. Beneficiaries this year include Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team, the Air Ambulance, Motor Neuron Disease Research and the community-led Fix the Old Coach Road project helping improve access to flying sites...

Posted: 5 July 2018
By: Paul Dancey


RAeC Trust awards

Despite receiving fewer applications this year, the Royal Aero Club Trust has awarded 48 bursaries to enable young air sport enthusiasts to advance their ambitions. Widening the age range and adding follow-on awards resulted in an increase in applications in 2016 and 2017, but these fell off slightly this year.

Two of the bursaries were awarded to BHPA members: Isabel Mackintosh (17) of the SE Wales club will train to CP level and John Delves (17) of Green Dragons will pursue a paramotor conversion. It turns out John is a now Green Dragons/UP/Thermal Chasers sponsored pilot and is helping to form an official Air Cadets BHPA club under the GD umbrella...

Posted: 5 July 2018
By: Paul Dancey


Parafest reminder

Final call for the Parafest festival at Llanbedr, North Wales, on July 29th - 29th. The event is on target to sell out again - there are only days left to grab tickets for the best event of the summer.

Parafest has everything for pilots and families to enjoy a great weekend...

Posted: 5 July 2018
By: Paul Dancey


Skywings news last updated:
19 July 2018 at 03:05:21 PM