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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Download the BHPA Elementary Pilot Training Guide - 2.88mb
Download the BHPA Elementary Pilot Training Guide (8.11mb)

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

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

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

Events & Competitions Calendar
Events & Competitions

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Submit and incident report to the BHPA
Submit Incident Report

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

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 Dennis Thorpe)

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.

Paraglider (Courtesy Jerome Maupoint)

The BHPA 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, a glossy full colour monthly magazine. To wet your appetite, a small selection of past issues is available for download on our Skywings page.

Skywings is the only magazine dedicated to free flying in the United Kingdom, and is distributed by mail to around 6,500 BHPA members 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.

Back issues of Skywings magazine can also be purchased from our on-line shop.

Powered hang glider (Courtesy Gary Shaw)

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 lively debate on the internet. The following is only 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. The views expressed in them are therefore not necessarily those of the British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association.


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CAA campaign to reduce airspace infringements

The CAA has announced that the number of serious airspace infringements at six of the highest-risk pieces of controlled airspace (CAS) in the UK should be cut by much as 50 percent over the next 12 months. The six locations are Birmingham, Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton, Southampton and Stansted. Working Teams (local pilots, airport operators, ATC and CAA representatives) at each of the hotspots have agreed the targets and committed to delivering the reductions by improving existing procedures by December 2015.

Should the target for a particular hotspot not be met, options under consideration include the deployment of bespoke Surveillance Mandatory Zones (SMZ) to provide a conspicuity buffer around the Class D airspace of a hotspot. This could mandate the use of radios and/or transponders within that area and thus render it effectively closed to free liers. Other potential solutions include rationalising airspace boundaries...

Wonderful Wednesday I

Soaring forecasts were looking very good for Wednesday 24th June. Keen to break his own 266km UK record set in 2013, Carl Wallbank left Merthyr at 10:20, to land his Moyes RX3.5 just west of Cromer in Norfolk at 6pm for 338km.

This becomes the UK absolute hang gliding distance record, exceeding Nev Almond's 2014 rigid-wing mark of 307km. Carl also set a new UK declared goal record of 255km. A radio interview with the BBC's Mark Forrest was widely syndicated on local radio, and the Norfolk press had a field day...

Wonderful Wednesday II

On the same day Carlo Borsattino and Nancy Elliott went to Milk Hill and met up with Richard Osborne and Annee Breckenridge at around 10am. The sky was looking epic and Carlo set an ambitious declared goal of 200km near Northwold in Norfolk.

They launched just after 11am and Carlo got away first at around 11:30, followed by Richard, Nancy and Graham Steel. He soon picked up Carl Wallbank on the radio – on his way to a new hang gliding record from Merthyr...

Sensational Saturday!

Another 'banging' day down south. Congratulations to paraglider pilots Graham Steel and Theo Warden for joining the 200k club.

Theo Warden gained his CP in August 2013 and is, er, 16! Some flier!...

Kathleen Rigg sets World and European records

After Kathleen Rigg narrowly missed out on the hang gliding triangle distance record in Australia last December, world out-and-return record holder Tom Weissenberger contacted her to suggest she try setting records in the Austrian Alps.

The call came at the end of June, and on her very first flight, from Bavaria's Hochfelln on July 1st, she was able to claim both Word and European records for longest FAI triangle (200.8km) and speed round 200km triangle (27.08km/h)...

BHPA club presentation

Sites Officer Martin Baxter has put together a PowerPoint presentation to explain how the BHPA actually works. It answers fundamental questions such as who is on Exec, what is the FSC, who gets paid and where does the money from members' subscriptions go?

As few BHPA members ever attend the AGM in March, Martin's initiative is to bring the presentation to clubs up and down the country, to be delivered at winter meeting nights. It will offer members the chance to ask questions and discover more about what the Association actually does...

last updated: 22 July 2015