Hang Glider

British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

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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

Skywings news items are available for the following publication years:

Skywings news items published in all non archived years are displayed below.

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Skywings News - all non archived years

Pierre Bouilloux

Our world is the poorer for the passing of pioneer pilot, instructor, manufacturer and vol-biv exponent Pierre Bouilloux on December 22nd. Originally a great climber who would go on to put up some great routes in the western Alps, in 1979 Pierre started a hang gliding school at Annecy.

In 1985 he took up paragliding and rapidly became one of the sport's early pioneers. He was one of the first pilots to start breaking records and went on to set many world triangle and out-and-return records; his 237.1km triangle around the Tête du Parmelan remains unbeaten after 12 years.

Pierre was also a pioneer of vol-bivouac flying, sometimes disappearing into the mountains for weeks and once achieving 385km in 12 days. Earlier, in 1982, he had set up Sup'Air to develop and manufacture hang gliding harnesses; when the company turned towards paragliding it soon became a world leader in harness design. Pierre led the company for over 30 years, relinquishing his controlling role only recently.

Although skilled in other flying disciplines including gliding, microlighting and flying small helicopters, at which he had recently set up a school, Pierre was most at home in the air with a lightweight paraglider, a string harness and no helmet or reserve parachute. To many who encountered him he became a kind of spiritual father.

Posted: 2 February 2016
By: Paul Dancey


Old hang gliding film

Francis Freedland's 1978 film Pico Peak International Hang Gliding Meet documents one of the earliest hang gliding competitions, held in Vermont, USA with a remarkable $10,000 purse. Notable appearances include Jean-Michel Bernasconi, (went on to found Pacific Windcraft) and Dennis Pagen (soon-to-be-prolific author) among many others.

The 48-minute film is available online on YouTube. Everard Cunion report, "Hang glider pilots are restoring old film of the early days while it is still there to be rescued; 1978 Pico Peak is about the best I have seen."

Posted: 2 February 2016
By: Paul Dancey


Record conditions in NSW

At a French record camp at Deniliquin Seiko Fukuoka Naville reset the female free distance (using up to three turnpoints) to 378km aboard an Enzo 2 on December 14th, handsomely exceeding Nicole Fedele's 2010 record of 255.7km.

Early in January we heard that Japan's Yoko Isomoto had broken Kari Castle's longstanding 353.4km ladies straight-distance-to-goal record with a flight of 367.6km from Forbes aboard a Wills Wing T2C.

Posted: 2 February 2016
By: Paul Dancey


Skywings online!

The launch of January's online version of Skywings magazine appears to have gone well. We've received a number of likes on Facebook and, once issues with members using older unsupported software were ironed out, no negative feedback. If the online version proves to be a popular option it will eventually reflect the online media world in appearance and functionality. But that's a long-term goal; for the present we are simply providing an online version of the printed magazine.

The February 2016 issue of Skywings is available to view online or download on the Skywings Magazine page of this website. Please enter the username and password published in the printed version of the February issue when requested. After six months this issue will be freely available with no password required.

The printed version of Skywings remains unchanged. Publishing an online version simply represents a modest experiment to evaluate the demand for an electronic version, and should also help us to get a better idea of the difficulties in delivering that.

On some devices, you may find that the best option is to either select single page spread when viewing online, or download the pdf file for viewing offline. This will enable you to make best use of your device's available screen width, and may help reduce the need to zoom in and out to increase text size.

Posted: 2 February 2016
By: Paul Dancey


BHPA AGM & Proxy Voting

The 2016 BHPA AGM will take place at the Belfry Hotel, Nottingham NG8 6PY (adjacent to Junction 26 of the M1) on Saturday February 27th 2016 in tandem with the BGA's AGM and trade exhibition.

The AGM will start at 11am and will include the presentation of BHPA awards and trophies, the Election of Officers and Officers' reports to the membership. It is hoped that members with an interest in the running of the BHPA will attend the meeting and bring any ideas for the future or present that they may have.

Members will note that there is a proposal to amend the BHPA Constitution, the Articles of Association. Historically the Executive Council had believed that it had the power to refuse applications for, or renewals of membership from people whom, for instance, it regarded as acting contrary to the good of the sport or the BHPA. Recent legal analysis has shown that this belief was mis-conceived and so the proposed amendment will align the reality with the previously held belief. To indicate the scale of use of this power, Exec has exercised this power two or three times in the 23 years of the existence of the BHPA.

For further information about the candidates standing for election to Exec, and the proposed amendments to the BHPA's Articles of Association, together with a Proxy Voting Form can be found in the BHPA AGM 2016 on-line pack which can be downloaded from the member documents area of this website. If you are unable to attend the AGM in person you can still cast your vote by completing the Proxy Voting Form and emailing it to the BHPA Office to arrive not less than 48 hours before the AGM is due to take place.

Posted: 5 January 2016
By: Paul Dancey


USHPA hits insurance wall

Rising insurance premiums resulting from increased claims threaten to wreck the entire American free flight association. Their insurance premium has already risen 130% in the last five years, substantially increasing membership fees. Now, in the wake of a number of recent claims, their insurers are to withdraw all cover. This could devastate free flight in North America.

These are unprecedented days for any association. USHPA has decided that self-insurance is the only viable option and has begun to form a self-insurance entity. To cover the projected costs they need to raise $2m by March 1st 2016 to protect their future! Their members are being asked to dig deep to keep their sport alive. USHPA has already put its premises on the market and will reduce its excellent magazine to a bi-monthly schedule; membership fees have increased by 50% overnight.

To learn more or to contribute please visit the USHPA website.

Posted: 5 January 2016
By: Paul Dancey


World Air Games

Romania's George Cotet took the top spot in paragliding accuracy after 12 rounds at the WAG in Dubai in December; Thailand's Nunnapat Phuchong secured the women's gold medal.

Other free flight events included were solo and synchro paragliding acro, won by France's Tim Alongi and the Twisted boys (France's Théo de Blic and Spaniard Horacio Llorens); and paramotoring led by joint winners Alex Mateos (France) and Piotr Ficek (Poland).

The only British pilots to compete in these events were paramotorists Phil Jennings and Mark Morgan who finished 14th and 22nd. The top four microlighting places were taken by Team GB to whom we extend our congratulations.

Posted: 5 January 2016
By: Paul Dancey


On trial - Skywings online!

Beginning this month the BHPA is trialling an online version of Skywings in addition to the printed version. This is available on the Skywings Magazine page of this website, for download as a pdf file or viewing online as a 'page-turning' electronic magazine.

A username and password published in the printed version of the magazine is required to view or download the electronic version. After six months each issue will be freely available with no password required. The printed version of Skywings will remain unchanged.

This departure represents a modest experiment to see evaluate the demand and get a better idea of any potential difficulties. Members should note that this is an add-on to the printed version, which currently costs just £15 of the annual subscription fee.

Posted: 5 January 2016
By: Paul Dancey


Skywings news last updated: 16 September 2017 at 06:56:37 PM

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