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

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 Ilan Ginzburg)

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 Derek Frith)

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 Paul Haxby)

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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Letters of Agreement - Urgent Action Required

Flawed CAA implementation of the Standard European Rules of the Air (SERA)legislation means that widespread Air Law changes will emerge in a last-minute rush before the December deadline, and with Rules more draconian than the BHPA had been led to believe. As we go to press it is still not known exactly what the new Rules will be.

It is anticipated that there will be adverse effects upon some airspace Letters of Agreement (LoAs) that Clubs, Schools and Tow Groups currently have. In order to try and limit the damage when the new Rules are known it is important that the BHPA reviews all existing LoAs. BHPA Clubs, Schools and Tow Groups should e-mail copies of all existing LoAs to Airspace Legislation Officer Tom Hardie ( as soon as possible.

New Southend RMZ

With effect from Saturday 19th July 2014 there will be a new Radio Mandatory Zone (RMZ) around Southend.

The following quotes are from the CAA letter announcing the airspace.

"Southend is in the process of applying for Controlled Airspace. However, even if this CAS ACP application is approved by the CAA it is not envisaged that CAS will be in place before...

Wagga Watts does 275km - Al Ward is right behind!

It was going to happen sooner or later, and Mark 'Wagga' Watts was one of those most likely to. On Sunday August 3rd Mark flew his Enzo 2 from Milk Hill to Cromer to set a new UK paragliding open distance record of 275km.

On the same day Al Wilson achieved a 226km declared goal flight record from Milk to Swaffham but flew on to reach 267km on his Gin Carrera, also landing at Cromer. Simon Twiss (Icepeak 6) also clocked 231km from Liddington along a very similar rroute...

Nev Almond - another record!

Sunday July 22nd saw Neville Almond (Atos VR) break his own 129km Class 5 defined out-and-return record with a six-hour, 141.47km flight from Combe Gibbett to Shepton Mallet and back.

Nev flew with young guns Ollie Chitty (Aeros Combat GT) and Luke Nicol (Atos VRS). "After being advised Coombe isn't very good in a north-easterly we took off, circled to base and left!" he reported. The first hour was blue and inverted but by the time the trio reached Wiltshire there was a cloudbase at 4000ft. After a low save at Devizes Nev and Luke hardly had to turn all the way to Frome...


The BHPA's 2015 Annual General Meeting will be held at the Belfry Hotel, Nottingham (adjacent to Junction 26 of the M1) on Saturday March 7th...

Merit award nominations

Nominations are sought for BHPA Awards of Merit to acknowledge conspicuous service to a club or clubs, to competitions or to free flying in general.

If someone in your environment has put their heart and soul into the good of the sport for many years, please consider writing a citation for them for a BHPA Merit Award...

Flying Dolomites-Trentino

Flying at Trentino and in the Dolomites is a unique and thrilling experience. However this activity can also be very challenging. We keep having serious problems in the area, expecially around Canazei, Col Rodella, Pordoi and Marmolada.

The Search and Rescue helicopter service in the Dolomites area is severely compromised when hundreds of pilots, from all over Europe, continue to fly during rescue operations. This prevents the helicopter from operating properly - to help fellow free flight pilots that need assistance. The situation is so bad that the authorities will close the area if we can't solve the problem.

In order to keep everybody safe and in order to keep one of the most beautiful areas in the world open to free flight, all pilots flying in the Dolomites area are requested to...

last updated: 07 October 2014