Hang Glider

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


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Buy the BHPA Pilot Handbook
Flight theory, meteorology, basic and advanced flying skills and more. Invaluable for post-CP pilots


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Events & Competitions

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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

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

Speed Wing (Courtesy Alan Clarke)

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 Haxby)

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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BHPA AGM 2018

The BHPA's 2018 Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday February 17th at Nottingham's Belfry Hotel (adjacent to Junction 26 of the M1). The event will take place in tandem with the BGA AGM and trade exhibition.

The meeting will include the election of officers to the BHPA Executive Committee, officers' reports and a members' discussion forum. A 2018 AGM pack is available for download on this web site. The pack includes formal notice of the meeting, details of members standing for election, and a proxy voting form.

Posted: 16 January 2018
By: Paul Dancey


The Northern Challenge Trophy

The Northern Challenge Trophy is a new collaborative effort from the six BHPA clubs north of the M62 and south of Hadrian's Wall.

It's a response to the difficulty of getting enough pilots - and the weather - to coalesce around fixed-date paragliding events. Pilots either don't sign up to formal comps, or don't turn up if the forecast is doubtful...

Posted: 4 January 2018
By: Paul Dancey


The Lakes Charity Classic

The 2018 Lakes Charity Classic runs at the Grasmere Showground on July 14th - 15th.

The venue includes an indoor bar, toilets, showers, plus wi-fi and good phone signal. As well as the competition itself, the popular coaching groups will run on both days...

Posted: 4 January 2018
By: Paul Dancey


Gradient and Swing UK

From this month Gareth Aston's V12 Outdoor at Llanberis will take on the UK distribution of Swing and Gradient paragliders.

Brad Nicholas of Snowdon Gliders, current UK distributor for both brands, says, "I'm delighted to have made this step forward; the promotion of Swing's new RAST system in particular will benefit from V12 Outdoor's investment."...

Posted: 4 January 2018
By: Paul Dancey


Dragon hike-and-fly 2018

Following the success of the first South East Wales Hike-and-Fly Race last year (see October Skywings), with the kind permission of SEWHGPGC, Alistair Andrews of Team Evol Paragliding will be organising a second event to be held on the weekend of July 14th and 15th 2018. To register your interest please contact alistair@goteamevol.com.

Posted: 4 January 2018
By: Paul Dancey


Christmas Holidays

The BHPA office will be closed for the Christmas holiday from Friday 22 December 2017 - Tuesday 2 January 2018. Our on-line shop will continue to be available during that time, but any orders placed will not be processed until the office re-opens.

Posted: 21 December 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Skywings news last updated:
16 January 2018 at 06:56:19 PM