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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

Post Code

Or view
schools location map

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

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BHPA e-news

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

RSS Feed - BHPA e-News
RSS e-News

Follow the BHPA on Facebook

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

Airsports Insurance Bureau Ltd
Personal or travel insurance is available from Airsports Insurance Bureau Ltd

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.


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.

Paramotor (Courtesy Laura Turner)

The BHPA provides automatic third party insurance for its members, but if personal or travel insurance is required, this should be obtained from an independent insurance broker, like Airsports Insurance Bureau Ltd.

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, if you're looking for lively on-line debate, there are a number of independent hang gliding and paragliding forums on the internet. A few of these are listed below.

These forums are not affiliated to the British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association, and the views expressed in them are consequently not necessarily those of the Association.


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The 9th Red Bull X-Alps race, often said to be the toughest race on earth and now in its seventh incarnation, starts at Salzburg in Austria on July 5th.

The packed field of 33 pilots includes Brit Steve Nash, who has just returned from training in the heat of Brazil with fellow bivvy-exponent Dean Crosby.

Steve will continue to train right up till the Salzburg start, when he will be flying a Nova Mentor 3 Light...

British Paramotor Open

This year's Paramotor Nationals will be a single five-day event event running from May 30th to June 3rd. The location will be West Mersea in Essex, home to Footflight Paramotors.

Entry will be in two classes: UK pilots and foreign guests contesting for the British Open trophy, with the British National Champion title awarded to the highest-placed UK pilot, and the Discovery class for pilots who want to try competing without feeling pressured or intimidated...

RAeC awards for Adrian Thomas and Cloud 9

Current British Paragliding Champion Adrian Thomas is to be awarded the Royal Aero Club's Silver Medal for his outstanding achievement in helping to define new standards for FAI paragliding competitions.

Adrian, the BHPA's CIVL delegate, was drafted onto a working party to specify a new classification of competition wing after the 2012 Word Championships.

His expertise, diplomacy and enthusiasm were key to agreement on the new CCC standard and he travelled widely to campaign for its acceptance...

First Manx flying school

Noel Humphreys, stalwart free-flyer and former CFI at SkyDragons Paragliding School in North Wales, has come out of retirement after a nine-year absence to form the Manx Paragliding School, the first ever BHPA school based on the Isle of Man...

Aspres aerotow

Experienced aerotow pilots are invited to visit Jacques Bott's operation at Aspres near Laragne in France.

They open the season with a big competition this month and have a further competition for Class 2 gliders in August...

BHPA secures microlight insurance

The BHPA insurers have agreed to insure members flying microlights of all classes, providing £5m liability cover and £100k passenger cover.

Any legally-operated microlight, single seat or two seat, can now be flown by any properly-licensed BHPA member...


This summer will see a new three-day free-flying event, the biggest of its kind in the UK. Parafest 2015, dedicated to paramotors and paragliding, will take place on June 12th - 14th at Llangollen, North Wales.

Hang gliders and powered hang gliders will also be welcome. Attractios will include a dedicated traders' area, displays and demonstrations, a 120ft zipline for practice reserve and a kids' zone, plus mountain bikes, chainsaw carving, hovercraft and qualified parachute-packing support...

BHPA subs to rise

The BHPA Exec has agreed an increase in membership fees. Subs levels have been held very steady over the last few years with only occasional small rises; the current increase is around 4%.

Annual Flying membership will increase by £4 to £99 (the £7 discount for Direct Debit payers remains unchanged)...

last updated: 24 March 2015