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British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Skywings News

Skywings news items are available for the following publication years:

Skywings news items published in 2020 are displayed below.

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There are 58 news items for 2020 in our database.

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Skywings News - 2020

BHPA AGM update

The 2021 BHPA AGM runs on Saturday March 13th. Although the venue is uncertain it will be live-streamed on the BHPA Facebook page.

Posted: 31 December 2020
By: J. Schofield


Christmas Holidays

The BHPA Office will close for Christmas at 1pm on Wednesday 23rd December, and reopen on Monday 4th January 2021.

The BHPA online shop will continue to be available over the Christmas holidays outlined above, but we will be unable to process any orders placed until staff return on Monday 4th January 2021.

Similarly, it will be possible to submit online applications to join the BHPA or renew BHPA membership via this website during the Christmas holiday, but we will be unable to process or approve any applications submitted during that period, until the office reopens on Monday 4th January 2021.

Posted: 18 December 2020
By: Paul Dancey


CANP contact change

Reorganisation of the RAF's low flying coordination system has seen the Low Flying Operations Flight (LFOF) become a part of the new Military Airspace Management Cell (MAMC).

With effect from January 4th, CANP bookings will now be handled by Low Flying Coordination (LFC). The contact e-mail is now SWK-MAMC-Lowflying@mod.gov.uk and the contact phone number is 01489 443100. The Freephone number 0800 515544 remains active.

The best way to submit a CANP request remains via the online system here.

Full details of the CANP system are here.

Posted: 14 December 2020
By: J. Schofield


Steve Bramfitt for X-Alps

Steve Bramfitt The tenth Red Bull X-Alps event is scheduled to start at Salzburg on June 20th, 2021. 33 pilots from 17 nations will complete in paragliding's toughest event.

Entrants include six-times winner Chrigel Maurer, 2019 runner-up Maxime Pinot, and Tom Coconea who was second in 2009 and 2011. Patrick von Känel was 8th in 2019; in August he beat Maurer into second place at the DolomitiSuperFly and might have something to say about another Chrigel win.

Among a total of 14 new entrants is British Open regular Steve Bramfitt, 35, originally an accomplished acro pilot but more recently an exponent of hike-and-fly.

Red Bull publicity will ramp up as the event approaches. Behind the razzmatazz, the pilots know they will have to travel 1,000km by foot or paraglider through often-inhospitable alpine terrain. They will endure pain, fatigue and possible injury to avoid elimination and reach the finish.

Although consummate flying skill and ultra-fitness are required, in the end the high cards are strategic thinking and mental fortitude. The X-Alps 2021 route will be announced on March 16th.

Posted: 1 December 2020
By: J. Schofield


Charity paramotor flight

Ric Womersley (top) and Richard Shaw (bottom)Yorkshire pilots Ric Womersley (top) and Richard Shaw (bottom), both BHPA paramotor instructors, are planning to set off on a long distance charity flight on the first possible day after Christmas - covid restrictions and weather permitting.

The 'Ric's Coast to Coast For Cancer Research' route will be between Withernsea on the east coast near Hull, and Southport, on the west coast north of Liverpool. Whether the flight is east-west or west-east will depend on the weather.

Ric will be flying a Parajet Polini 250 kept aloft by an Ozone Speedster 3. Richard, former British team leader, will be aboard a Fly Products Eclipse Atom 80/BGD Luna 2 outfit.

Their 200km route will roughly follow the Humber estuary and M62 motorway, with waypoints at the Humber Bridge and the Emley Moor, Pole Moor and Winter Hill communication masts.

To contribute via JustGiving click here.

Posted: 30 November 2020
By: J. Schofield


Model Ridge closure threat

The Model Ridge, main site of the North Yorks Sailwing Club, is under threat of closure.

The owners, the Urra Estate, have invested heavily in upgrading facilities at the site. After several meetings between the NYSC committee and the Estate it was agreed that if the club policed flying at the site they could continue to fly there.

The owners requested that anyone who flew the site must be registered with the club and also carry BHPA insurance, and that pilots would use the café.

Recently a group of hang glider pilots are said to have caused obstruction to members of the public, been rude to Estate staff and avoided using the café. The committee was given time to educate the miscreants - it turns out most of them were not NYSC members.

The threat of closure was raised. Following further discussion the club is still able fly there, subject to these reasonable demands:

Pilots must be members of both NYSC and BHPA, be polite and courteous to both staff and general public, only use available parking (not grass verges with double yellow lines), and use (and be seen using) the cafe. If these rules aren't respected the club, and the BHPA, face losing one of the finest sites in the north of England. 

If you are not a NYSC member and choose to fly the Model Ridge, Carlton Bank or Cringle Moor, please go to the club website and visit the Join-Us link. Please fill in and return the application form - the club allows payment by Standing Order.

NYSC members are asked not to let their membership lapse unless they no longer wish to fly these sites. Pilots may be asked to confirm their ID.

 

Posted: 16 November 2020
By: J. Schofield


Coronavirus – Covid-19 Update

England entered into a four week period of lockdown restrictions on Thursday 05 November.

The Regulations covering this latest lockdown period in England can be found on the UK Government website, and the associated guidance from the Department of Transport (DfT) can be found on the DfT Website.

The basic principle is that in England, we should stay at home. That is set out in Regulation 5. However, there are exceptions to Regulation 6 and these are set out in Regulation 6. The eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed Regulation 6(2)(d)

to visit a public outdoor place for the purposes of open air recreation—
(i) alone,

This exception would appear to allow hang gliding and paragliding. Indeed, elements of the previous guidance are not contained in the Regulation, such as the requirement to remain local when exercising and undertaking open air recreation. I have raised the discrepancy between the DfT position and guidance and Regulation 6 with the Officials from the DfT and received the following response:
"Thanks for getting in touch. I do understand the frustration but to confirm our position, as you have seen DfT's guidance is that aviation for sports and leisure purposes in England should not take place during the lockdown. Neither DfT, nor the CAA, will seek to monitor or enforce the activity of the BHPA or its members as enforcement of the lockdown is a police and public health matter.

However, I'd also advise that if DfT or the CAA were asked to input into any police enforcement action against persons conducting leisure aviation of any type, we would be obliged to advise that DfT guidance to such persons is that in order to comply with the law (Statutory Instrument 2020 No.1200, 'The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No.4) Regulations 2020'), and notwithstanding Regulation 6(2)(d), such activities should not be undertaken. Such persons may thus make themselves liable to prosecution. Therefore, should the BHPA decide to advise it members in contravention of the guidance published by DfT, it is possible that it could also make itself liable to prosecution or the recovery of damages from persons who follow that advice and are subsequently prosecuted."

Whilst I regard the veiled legal threats against the BHPA as entirely laughable, I think the only advice the BHPA can give is to obey the law.
Marc Asquith.
Chairman

Posted: 5 November 2020
By: Paul Dancey


UK Low Flying Booking Cell reduces opening hours

Due to restrictions on personnel numbers imposed by COVID19 measures, the UK Low Flying Booking Cell has reduced it's opening hours. And from Monday 2nd November will only be manned Monday to Thursday 7.00am - 5.00pm and Friday 7.00am - 3.00pm.

The reduced opening hours will be in place until further notice, but will be reviewed on 30th Jan 2021.

NB. CANPs should be submitted one hour before closing time to ensure publication.

Posted: 4 November 2020
By: Paul Dancey


Skywings news last updated: 14 January 2021 at 03:38:55 PM

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