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 Steve Millson)

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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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...

Another up-and-coming youngster!

Jack Pimblett has been tandem flying with his dad Tony since he was five years old. Last summer, at the age of 14, he took his first bunny hops and small soaring flights at Dune de Pyla using an Escape speed wing.

Tony and Jack then set off on a five-week trip across the Pyrenees, flying tandem at a number of sites. Having grown up around paragliders, in May Jack, now 15, started to progress towards his CP under the watchful eye of Dean Crosby at Active Edge...

Coast-to-coast paramotor trip

Alex Colbeck and Alex Martinek, paraglider/paramotor pilots and old friends, plan to paramotor from Workington, Cumbria to Whitby in North Yorkshire, roughly following the route of Alfred Wainwright's 1972 200-mile coast-to-coast walk, to raise funds for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

They intend to complete the flight in a day using at least two fuel stops. With all preparations already complete and a support vehicle at the ready, they will attempt the flight as soon as a suitable weather window appears...

2 x 300km Alpine triangles!

On June 7th Austrian Enzo pilot Thomas Walder became the first paraglider pilot to fly a 300km triangle when he achieved 325.76km from Zillertal, destroying Pierre Bouilloux' 2010 record of 237km.

In the air for over 11 hours, Thomas exceeded 12,000ft in places. Despite many recent triangle flights exceeding 200km, the 300km mark has remained elusive even to those who have clearly had it in their sights. Thomas flew a 204km triangle back in 1996, then 254km in 2003 and again in 2008...

The Flying Show

Seager, publishers of Flyer magazine, have taken over the running of the BMAA's Flying Show. Several years ago the show was a joint BMAA/BHPA event. The BHPA withdrew from the partnership after the 2009 show and the BMAA ran it themselves very successfully at the NEC, but recent reports have said that there is less and less of interest for free fliers.

Seager's first move has been to move the show back to Telford where it ran for years before the move to the NEC in 2005. "The work of organising and running the show has increased over the years and now needs specialist input that we are not really geared up to give," says BMAA Chief Exec Geoff Weighell. "Seager runs flight training events all over the world and have the expertise to make the Flying Show an equally successful event"...

last updated: 05 July 2014