Paraglider

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

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


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


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


The Pilot Handbook
Buy the BHPA Pilot Handbook
Flight theory, meteorology, basic and advanced flying skills and more. Invaluable for post-CP pilots


Pilot Deveopment
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Events & Competitions Calendar
Events & Competitions


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Submit Incident Report


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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

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.

Powered hang glider (Courtesy Ian Ferguson)

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.

 

Tandem microlight record!

On Saturday September 14th Skywings designer Colin Fargher and his son Louis set off on their trike from one of the most easterly airfields in France, heading...

Posted: 7 October 2019
By: J. Schofield


BGD Weightless heads south

After successful events at Tolmin and St Jean in the last two years, Bruce Goldsmith and his team are to take the BGD Weightless event south for the winter - the 2020 event will be at...

Posted: 7 October 2019
By: J. Schofield


BHPA AGM

The 2020 BHPA AGM will be held at Lilleshall National Sports Centre, Shropshire, on the afternoon of Saturday March 7th. The meeting will follow the BHPA Trainers Conference that runs from...

Posted: 27 September 2019
By: J Schofield


Record week for HPA flight

Human powered aircraft took to the sky again in July at the 2019 BHPFC Rally at Lasham airfield. Competing for the Icarus Cup this year were 2013 champions Betterfly and three-time winners...

Posted: 27 August 2019
By: J. Schofield


New rules for Dolomites

The rules for free flying in the Dolomites have been further expanded to include the compulsory carriage of a red smoke bomb, available from the sports shop in Canazei. Recommended, but not...

Posted: 27 August 2019
By: J. Schofield


RAeC bursaries announced

35 bursaries were awarded in July by the Royal Aero Club Trust, enabling young air sports enthusiasts to advance their existing qualifications. 

Any young flier or would-be...

Posted: 27 August 2019
By: J. Schofield


Skywings news last updated:
8 October 2019 at 08:27:22 PM


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