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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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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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

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The BHPA supports the
Drone Aware Initiative

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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 Mike Scholes)

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 Grant Oseland)

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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Brett Janaway takes over Airtribune

Airtribune, the GPS tracking and competition results service developed by Alex Belskiy, has been taken over by xTc's Brett Janaway.

Alex has developed Airtribune over the last five years with the help of a large team of professional developers, but Brett says there's still lots to do...

Posted: 23 October 2017
By: Paul Dancey

A History of Hang Gliding

A new electronic book on the emergence of hang gliding is now available for download to iPad and Kindle tablets.

Author Mark Woodhams, a founder member of the BHGA and the Southern Hang Gliding Club, has gathered together a number of his articles originally published in Wings! and Skywings, with other supporting texts, and assembled them into a coherent narrative outlining the birth of the sport and its development from the very first days...

Posted: 23 October 2017
By: Paul Dancey

Green Dragons take over WW importership

The UK importership for Wills Wing hang gliders, previously run by Airways Airsports, has been taken over by Green Dragons. "To start with we aim to have one glider a month on order", says GD boss Andy Shaw, "which will assist with bringing in urgent spare parts. We already have a huge stock of Wills Wing uprights and second-hand Gliders...

Posted: 23 October 2017
By: Paul Dancey

Tom Hardie steps down

Longtime BHPA Airspace Liaison Officer Tom Hardie has resigned from almost all formal airspace connections. Tom has worked hard for the BHPA, and more recently for the GA Alliance too, to protect our freedom to fly.

The BHPA and GA Alliance roles had broadly similar aims and yet, in the face of mounting pressures on airspace on all sides, staying on top of the escalating requirements to identify and collate responses to the latest proposals, and to notify those affected by the latest encroachments, was turning into the Labours of Hercules...

Posted: 23 October 2017
By: Paul Dancey

New PWC App

Ulric Jessop, the brains behind the first automatic paragliding XC League, has designed an app for the PWC which simplifies access to the live commentary, tracking, leaderboard, pilot lists and results. It's available now for use on all platforms on the Google website.

The new app will make it much easier to keep up with the top British pilots at the Super Final (January 9th - 21st)...

Posted: 23 October 2017
By: Paul Dancey

PeaBee ready to fly

Flylight's new PeaBee 'nanolight' trike made its maiden flight in September.

According to designer Ben Ashman, the idea was to build a high-performance sub-70kg machine with superb comfort and build quality while retaining the performance of their SSDR microlights...

Posted: 3 October 2017
By: Paul Dancey

Skywings news last updated:
23 October 2017 at 08:00:39 PM