Paraglider

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 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 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


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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.

Once you have joined a club, you may choose to spend your first few hours' flying with no specific aim other than to safely accumulate airtime. However, it is well known that pilots make safer more efficient progress when they are given particular tasks to undertake.

With that in mind, a panel of experienced BHPA coaches have devised a new pathway to learning, the BHPA Pilot Development Structure. This offers an alternative to the more formal Pilot Rating System, and for newly qualified pilots aims to:

  • encourage interaction between new pilots, their club and its coaches
  • provide a structured way to progress, acquire knowledge and build skills through attainable goals
  • reduce flying related incidents and promote safe flying

Paraglider (Courtesy Jerome Maupoint)

The BHPA also 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, the only magazine dedicated to free flying in the United Kingdom. This glossy full colour magazine is distributed by mail to around 6,500 BHPA members each month 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.

BHPA members and Skywings subscribers can also download a password protected electronic vesrion of the magazine on our Skywings page. Issues of Skywings magazine with a cover date more than 6 months old are made freely available, and can therefore be downloaded or viewed on-line without the need to login.

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

Paramotor (Courtesy Janet Haines)

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 advice, information and debate on the internet, and the following list is just 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, and the views expressed in them are therefore not necessarily those of the British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association.

 

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Pilots Declaration: Uncertified Wing

From the 1st August 2017, the submission of a stand-alone pilots declaration uncertified wing form has been superceded by a new declaration included in the membership renewal form.

When pilots flying any wing that is uncertified join the BHPA or renew their BHPA membership, they will now have to declare that they understand and accept the additional risks of flying an uncertified wing with no acceptable independent verification of airworthiness. Pilots who entered the old system will automatically be transferred to the new system on their next renewal. Anyone who wants to START flying an uncertified wing who was not on the old system and who has not renewed since 1 August 2017 will need to speak to a Technical Officer...

Posted: 14 September 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Marathon Man sees the light

Some readers may remember the YouTube footage of a paramotor pilot, flying at extremely low altitude, along the Brighton shoreline on the day of the Brighton Marathon in April.

The CAA had been already been alerted as it appeared he had taken off from within the Shoreham ATZ. The pilot in question (not a BHPA member) was later tracked down by the BHPA and local paramotor pilots and interviewed under caution by the CAA's Enforcement Branch...

Posted: 7 September 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Opportunity: Airspace Support Consultant

The GA Alliance (GAA) are seeking an Airspace Support Consultant to provide contracted, paid project support to member organisations through the GAA airspace team.

The job involves proactive awareness, research and analysis of strategic and local airspace issues, and developing, with others, potential solutions and guidance to member associations...

Posted: 7 September 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Stolen paramotor found

On Sunday 30th July, two months after having his Bailey V4 paramotor stolen, John Richardson went down to the local recreation ground to walk his dogs and fly RC gliders. His partner noticed a silver BMW convertible with a paramotor and wing in the back, and said it looked like his.

Walking over for a sneaky look while the two guys set up the wing in the middle of the field, John immediately recognised it as his and called the Police...

Posted: 7 September 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Weird but wonderful!

In May 1975, at the 5th annual Otto Lilienthal Hang Glider Meet at Pismo Beach in California, a dayglo-orange WW2-surplus amphibious vehicle was used to ferry pilots and gliders over a mile to the 450ft Guadalupe Dune flying site.

Hang gliding history buff and avid modeller Everard Cunion has recreated the event in miniature using scratch-built model gliders and a 1/76th-scale Airfix kit of the DUKW amphibian...

Posted: 7 September 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Penninefest

Pennine Soaring Club will hold its annual Penninefest on the Chipping Showground on September 8th - 10th.

A marquee will be in position with bar, pumps and a selection of local beers. Eric's marvellous barbecue will be available from Friday until Sunday. Saturday night is pizza night at the Sun Inn Pizza Oven restaurant close by in the centre of Chipping - you need to book early...

Posted: 7 September 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Skywings news last updated:
16 September 2017 at 06:56:37 PM