Powered 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 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 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.

Speed Wing (Courtesy Alan Clarke)

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 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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Farnborough Airspace Update 2

There may have been problems with some on-line responses submitted to the Farnborough consultation.

A particularly curious and tenacious member of Southdown Gliding Club has uncovered what might be a major issue with the technology that TAG are using to collect inputs to the ACP consultation. He noticed that some of the members of his gliding club had received confirmation emails after they had submitted a response, but others had not...

Farnborough Airspace Update 1

In their role as the GA Alliance lead on the Farnborough airspace proposal the BGA have produced guidance material for those that wish to respond to the consultation.

The guidance material is available on the BGA website

Club Coach Course dates

The available dates for new Club Coach Courses during 2014/15 are now available on the BHPA Courses page on this website.

BHPA Elementary Pilot Training Guide

The latest edition of the BHPA Elementary Pilot Training Guide (Version 2) has now been published on this website...

Farnborough - consultation on new class D airspace proposal

Farnborough have launched a consultation on their proposal for substantial Class D airspace. For insomniacs and/or those who can admire smoke 'n mirrors, their consultation document is available on the TAG Farnborough Airport website.

The potential effects of this upon all forms of GA are significant, needless to say the potential effects are not good ones ... unless you happen to being whisked to or from Farnborough in one of business jets that it now specialises in.

The BHPA is working with the GA Alliance on preparing a response that will object to the proposal in the strongest, but completely verifiable, terms. Because they probably stand to loose most the BGA are leading this work.

Lasham are holding an information meeting about the airspace change proposal for ALL aviators at 1pm on 23 March 2014. For full details including for those planning to fly in please visit the BGA website...

Human-powered flight rally

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.

It will take place at Lasham, Hampshire on June 28th - July 5th. The occasion will be more of a design/build/test event for university teams, with a 1.5km FAI triangle course and facilities to measure duration and speed performance...

Bronze for Brits at Pre-Worlds

Great Britain took 3rd place behind Columbia and the USA at the paragliding Pre-World Championship in Columbia.

The conditions at Roldanillo were less favourable than usual, but suited the man in form Alex Butler (Ozone Mantra 4). Alex was the highest placed Brit in 15th place, scoring for the team on all four tasks...

Applications are invited for the RAeC Trust bursary scheme for 2014

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).

The scheme covers hang gliding, paragliding, gliding, parachuting and microlight flying, as well as helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft...

Youngsters coming thick and fast!

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.

Now we hear that Samson Shaw, son of Green Dragons legend Andy Shaw, achieved his CP rating on his 14th birthday on January 4th...

UK out-and-return record passes 100km

We learn, belatedly, that the UK paragliding out-and-return record was pushed beyond 100km in August by Mark 'Wagga' Watts.

Launching on an Ozone Enzo at Mt Caburn on the 12th, Mark headed for Ashford, Kent. Reaching there and turning for home after two hours, he was able to get most of the way home, landing just 12km short at 4pm...

Montmin access news

Annecy's Montmin launch has been significantly upgraded and there are now much better facilities for hang gliders, paragliders and spectators.

Road access is also being improved by widening and grading. The cheap minibus service to launch from the landing field is also constantly improving...

last updated: 17 April 2014