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British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

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Skywings News - all non archived years

Forbes 2017

The 11th incarnation of the legendary Forbes Flatlands competition runs in new South Wales from December 30th to January 6th.

The FAI Category 2 tow-launched hang gliding championships is famous for its laid-back atmosphere, superb weather and and a warm welcome to newer pilots. The previous comp set a record 367km task, completed by eventual winner Jonny Durand in five hours, 41 minutes.

How good is Forbes? Visit the Forbes Flatlands website and find out!

Posted: 25 August 2016
By: Paul Dancey


Off-the-beaten-track podcast

We are often helped out - at home or abroad - when we land out or are involved in an incident. Can we give something back to the communities that we fly in?

In Judith Mole's latest podcast, Bella Messenger tells the story of the Cloudbase Foundation, and Karma Flights' work in Nepal in response to 2015's devastating earthquake. There are ways you can make a difference - whether great or small. The podcast is available on The Paraglider website.

Posted: 25 August 2016
By: Paul Dancey


Vintage rally gathers pace

Vintage Hang GliderThe inaugural British Vintage Hang Gliding Rally, to be held at Keswick Flight Park on September 17th - 18th, is achieving critical mass.

The event will be an informal get-together of vintage pilots and gear to celebrate the early days of UK hang gliding. Attractions include Jason Board's British Hang Gliding Museum, the Simon Murphy collection, equipment, photo and magazine displays and other gliders including Judy Leden's Royal Jordanian balloon-drop K4, John Pendry's Planter's Magic 3 and many more vintage wings. There will also be a 70s band, hog roast, a cake and coffee stall, beer and breakfast at Jocky Sanderson's, plus T-shirts, mugs, stickers, jackets and other memorabilia for sale.

Other attractions include field events for pilots using period equipment, and a competition to find the best lookalike to Harry Martin's 'Old Git' cartoons. Bring your own vintage tackle - there will be prizes for the best gliders of each generation. The rally will raise funds for the Alzheimer's Society. For more information and details on how to book, please visit the British Vintage Hang Gliding Rally website.

Posted: 4 August 2016
By: Paul Dancey


Ireland passes paramotor edict

The Irish Aviation Authority has decreed that all powered paragliders and hang gliders flown in the country must be registered and carry registration marks. The IAA requires the manufacture's name and designation, the serial number and the maximum occupancy of the machine to be submitted.

When issued, a registration mark must be carried on the aircraft on a fireproof plate and in 500mm-high letters on the underside of the wing. Paramotors and powered hang gliders of visiting pilots must also carry a registration mark issued by an 'ICAO-contracting state', eg the UK. It is not clear from published sources whether a PPL or equivalent is also required.

The legislation came into force on May 30th 2016; it is believed to be in response to several recent instances of daredevil flying in the Republic. Full details are available on the Irish Aviation Authority website.

Posted: 4 August 2016
By: Paul Dancey


2,000 miles by paramotor!

Irish paramotor pilot Oisín Creagh plans to fly 2,000 miles from Ireland to North Africa to raise funds for the Gorta Self Help Africa charity.

Cork-based Oisín will leave in the autumn, crossing from Northern Ireland to Stranraer, down the length of Britain to Dover and thence through France and Spain to cross into Africa at the Strait of Gibraltar. Cork-based Oisin has been paramotoring for the last ten years. He plans to begin his journey in August flying a US-manufactured Air Conception paramotor.

The organisation supports small-scale, family-run farming across Africa. Follow Oisín's journey and donate to his fundraising page on the Fly Africa website.

Posted: 4 August 2016
By: Paul Dancey


BHPA membership tops 7,000!

BHPA numbers passed the 7,000 mark in June, a level not seen since early 2007. Membership peaked at just over 8,000 in 1996 and has dwindled more or less erratically since then until beginning to rise again four years ago.

The current strength of 7,064 annual members includes 5,166 rated paraglider pilots, 1,075 rated hang glider pilots (446 pilots are rated in both disciplines) and 524 power-environment paraglider (i.e. paramotor) pilots, plus a number of smaller categories such as instructors and non-flying members.

Hats off to the schools who do the lions' share of recruiting - long may the slow increase continue!

Posted: 4 August 2016
By: Paul Dancey


Julian Robinson breaks Cavanagh record

A 103.22km triangle flight by Julian Robinson on June 18th has broken Mike Cavanagh's 100.7km paragliding declared triangle record. Julian flew his Gin Boomerang 10 from Carn Dubh via Aonach Mor and just north of Loch Eigeach.

Mike's record was set from Carn Liath in May 2014 on an Ozone Mantra M6. A month earlier, on April 17th, Kirsty Cameron flew a 72.46km declared triangle from Combe Gibbet on an Enzo 2 to claim the previously-unset UK women's declared-triangle record as well as beat Helen Gant's 2011 non-declared record.

Posted: 4 August 2016
By: Paul Dancey


Vintage hang glider rally!

Vintage Hang Glider - photo courtesy Mark WoodhamsThe inaugural British Vintage Hang Gliding Rally will be held at Keswick Flight Park on September 17th - 18th. The event features milestone gliders such as Judy Leden's Royal Jordanian Airwave K4, John Pendry's Planter's Magic 3, plus examples of the Wasp Gryphon, Flight Sails Shark and many others.

The event is the brainchild of veteran hangies Steve Pionk and Jonathan Howes, aided and abetted by 80s returnee Pete Sonderskov, former Airwave worker Jon Sacre and new convert Christo Tracey. They are aiming for an informal get-together of vintage equipment and pilots to celebrate the early days of UK hang gliding.

"It's amazing how fast the sport evolved from the early Rogallo-style wings," says Christo, "and it's remarkable how many of these old designs are still around. How better to celebrate this than with an end-of-season party with as many old wings on display as possible?"

Everyone is welcome, particularly if they have an old glider to rig. Prizes will include best in Show and Best Team; amenities include the usual Keswick Flight Park hospitality, plus evening entertainment and a bar. The rally will raise funds for the Alzheimer's Society.

For more information and details on how to book, please visit the British Vintage Hang Gliding Rally website.

Posted: 7 July 2016
By: Paul Dancey


Skywings news last updated: 4 October 2018 at 11:09:03 PM

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