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British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

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Skywings News - all non archived years

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. If you fly a Wills Wing glider, please let us know so we can add you to the UK Wills Wing team to receive invites to WW events and the WW UK newsletter. We are also actively looking to sponsor pilots."

Judy Leden and Chris Dawes at Airways say they will continue to be an active backup for the brand. For more details phone Green Dragons on 01883 652666, e-mail fly@greendragons.co.uk or visit the Wills Wing website.

Posted: 23 October 2017
By: Paul Dancey

Tom Hardie steps down

Tom Hardy steps downLongtime 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.

Tom was also a member of innumerable committees where a BHPA presence was necessary, and in the early 1990s he was one of the architects of the smooth and equitable amalgamation of the BAPC and BHGA. "I've enjoyed working with all of you on many different things and have some really good memories," he says, "but now is the time to move on."

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). At the time of writing Idris Birch, Russ Ogden and Seb Ospina have achieved automatic selection by finishing in the top 15 in one of the four 2017 PWC rounds. Other British pilots - Guy Anderson, Richard Butterworth, Andrew Williams, Steve Bramfitt and Luke Nicol - may also qualify after the Ecuador PWC which finishes on November 4th.

A Google Earth feed makes live tracking a lot easier to use - it is now much easier to pick out individual pilots in the gaggle, and you can choose to view it with terrain, normal mapping or aerial photos as a background using a standard Google Maps interface. Live commentary includes news, comments and reactions from the pilots, the weather conditions, the ambience and what's really going on. It has already proved to be very popular, with 10 - 14,000 readers per competition. British Champion Guy Anderson says he's hooked on it! For further details please visit the Paragliding World Cup website.

Posted: 23 October 2017
By: Paul Dancey

PeaBee ready to fly

Flylight PeaBee nanolightFlylight'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.

In practice this means that you sit in a roomy, well-padded seat with adjustable pedals, yet can carry carry camping gear, a change of clothes and enough fuel to actually go places. The trike unit can be folded in minutes to fit inside a car, and the machine is light enough to allow the pilot to switch the engine off and soar in good conditions. The trike unit was extensively tested with the Foxcub's 13TL wing and then married to the lighter 13T wing - itself already test flown - when the production versions arrived at Flylight's Sywell factory.

Using the 25hp Corsair M25Y engine and Helix prop, the PeaBee weighs in at 61kg empty, allowing enough fuel to be carried for three or four hours flying while remaining within the sub-70kg category. The PeaBee will be in production by the time you read this; list price is £8,300 + VAT but there will be a 15% discount on the first three units off the line. More details from Flylight Airsports Ltd, Sywell Aerodrome, Northants NN6 0BN, tel: 01604 49445, e-mail: info@flylight.co.uk, website: www.flylight.co.uk.

Posted: 3 October 2017
By: Paul Dancey

British Paramotor Open

Danny Kettle and trike about to launch courtesy of Paul SmithA pessimistic weather forecast led to a small turnout at the 2017 British Paramotor Open at Green Dragons' base in the Surrey hills. Nevertheless guest pilots were present from Poland, Turkey and Sweden. Despite strong winds, rain and low cloud over the four-day event, Meet Director Barney Townsend ran seven excellent tasks to validate the Championship, with Dylan Marsh winning the fuel economy task and Mark Morgan the navigation one.

Landing accuracy ultimately provided the tie-break and Michel Carnet, flying the Nirvana Instinct 200/Nucleon WRC31 combination he's been using for years, won the British Paramotor Champion Trophy for a record 13th time! There was a disappointing end to the competition for promising young pilot Dylan Marsh who was injured when he stalled his wing on a landing approach. He is reported to be recovering well.

Posted: 3 October 2017
By: Paul Dancey

Skyway Code (print version)

Launched online earlier this year, the CAA's new Skyway Code is now available as a hard copy. Described as a one-stop shop for safety rules and advice for GA pilots, the guide condenses the 'must know' info on recreational flying into an easy-to-navigate document.

Areas covered include pilot responsibilities, pre-flight checks and flight planning, airspace rules and regulations, risks and emergencies and links to useful safety and regulatory resources. It's still available as a free download too on the CAA website; the print version costs £12.95 from AFE online.

Posted: 3 October 2017
By: Paul Dancey

Pilots Declaration: Uncertified Wing

From the 1st August 2017, the submission of a stand-alone pilots declaration uncertified wing form has been superceded by a new declaration included in the membership renewal form.

When pilots flying any wing that is uncertified join the BHPA or renew their BHPA membership, they will now have to declare that they understand and accept the additional risks of flying an uncertified wing with no acceptable independent verification of airworthiness. Pilots who entered the old system will automatically be transferred to the new system on their next renewal. Anyone who wants to START flying an uncertified wing who was not on the old system and who has not renewed since 1 August 2017 will need to speak to a Technical Officer.

For further information about certification and flying an uncertified wing, please download a copy of the BHPA Certification Factsheet.

Posted: 14 September 2017
By: Paul Dancey

Marathon Man sees the light

Marathon Man 2017Some readers may remember the YouTube footage of a paramotor pilot, flying at extremely low altitude, along the Brighton shoreline on the day of the Brighton Marathon in April.

The CAA had been already been alerted as it appeared he had taken off from within the Shoreham ATZ. The pilot in question (not a BHPA member) was later tracked down by the BHPA and local paramotor pilots and interviewed under caution by the CAA's Enforcement Branch.

Taken aback by the volume of evidence presented, the pilot is said to have apologised to all concerned and, with a view to furthering his airmanship, has since requested further training. Respect is due to all in the paramotor community involved in engineering this positive outcome from a potential PR disaster.

Posted: 7 September 2017
By: Paul Dancey

Skywings news last updated: 5 April 2019 at 02:29:44 PM

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