British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association
Enter the first part of your postcode to find your nearest BHPA registered school
Visiting Overseas Hang Gliding & Paragliding Pilots please read this.....
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.
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.
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.
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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Following two years of the newly-established Icarus Cup contest for human powered aircraft (HPF) being run under RAeS auspices, this year's event will be staged independently as a rally.
Great Britain took 3rd place behind Columbia and the USA at the paragliding Pre-World Championship in Columbia.
Bursaries are awarded annually, aimed at facilitating young fliers aged between 16 years and 21 to take their qualifications to the next level. Bursaries include the Peter Cruddas Foundation Scholarship (up to £1,000), two President's Scholarships and the Breitling Bursary (each worth up to £750), and the Bramson Bursary (up to £500).
Hard on the heels of the news Ben Akhtar's CP at the age of 14 we learned that Theo Warden had qualified even closer to his 14th birthday at Airways last August.
We learn, belatedly, that the UK paragliding out-and-return record was pushed beyond 100km in August by Mark 'Wagga' Watts.
Annecy's Montmin launch has been significantly upgraded and there are now much better facilities for hang gliders, paragliders and spectators.
last updated: 06 March 2014