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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The BHPA Elementary Pilot Training Guide - 8.43mb
Download the BHPA Elementary Pilot Training Guide (8.43mb)

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Visiting Overseas Hang Gliding & Paragliding Pilots please read this.....

The Pilot Handbook
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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
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

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


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 Paul Bailey)

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.


Buttermere Bash

Dates for this year's Buttermere Bash are Friday June 1st and Saturday June 2nd. Organiser Gordie Oliver says it's the UK's ultimate family-friendly free flight festival, the only place in the UK where you can share the sky and dance floor with some of the world's top acro pilots.

Jocky Sanderson and crew will set scenic tasks in the Lakeland Charity Open comp while musicians fill the evenings with song and dance...

Posted: 2 March 2018
By: Paul Dancey

Icarus Cup

The Icarus Cup human powered flying event will take place at Sywell, Northants from July 14th - 22nd. A generous donor has allowed the BHPFC to introduce a new competition and prizes - the Jacobson Figure-of-Eight competition.

It is hoped that the extra prize money, now at £2,000, will attract more constructors.

The aim of the BHPFC, formed in 2014, is to promote human powered flying technically and as a sport (even, in the future, as an Olympic sport)...

Posted: 2 March 2018
By: Paul Dancey


Scott Mason has relaunched his Parahawking venture in Andalucia, southern Spain, aided by a pair of Black Vultures that he has nursed from fluffy chicks to masters of the sky. Scott was operating in Nepal until the government closed the project down after 17 years.

Parahawking in Spain will offer the same unique experience of flying and interacting with trained vultures and other birds of prey...

Posted: 2 March 2018
By: Paul Dancey

Last call for RAeC Trust bursaries

A final reminder that applications for Royal Aero Club Trust bursaries close on March 31st. The bursaries are of up to £1,000; last year the Trust awarded 50 of them to young pilots of up to 21 years - and previous winners up to 24 - to progress their flying qualifications and further their dreams.

Recent BHPA recipients include Theo Warden, 18, top Brit at the PWC Superfinal, and Jack Pimblett, also 19, 5th in the South African Pre-PWC in December...

Posted: 2 March 2018
By: Paul Dancey

RAeC Awards

A number of Royal Aero Club awards have been made to BHPA members. Sacha Dench (Flight of the Swans) receives this year's Britannia Trophy; coast-to-coast paramotorist Giles Fowler the RAeC Silver Medal; former BHPA Technical Manager Mark Dale and Tony and Ioana Stephens the RAeC Bronze Medal, and aerotow pioneer Donald MacKenzie and BOS Club Class guide Mark Woodhams the RAeC Certificate of Merit...

Posted: 2 March 2018
By: Paul Dancey

Deployment bags for reserve parachutes

Independence Paragliding have issued a safety notice regarding a batch of Deployment bags for reserve parachutes where there is concern that the seam-line of the isolated upper loop, which is used to attach the deployment handle, could possibly cause a material weakening of factory delivered deployment bags.

This seam-line, if properly processed, has to be able to bear a load of 70 daN. Yet it was proven that a lower strength of this component can occur.

Owners are strongly advised to download the full Independence Paragliding safety notice for guidance on identifying if their deployment bag is part of the batch causing concern, and if it is, what action must be taken.

Posted: 26 February 2018
By: Paul Dancey

Skywings news last updated:
2 March 2018 at 11:44:52 PM