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British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

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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 (Courtesy Bill Bell)

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 Stuart Belbas)

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 Janet Haines)

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.

 

Parafest 2018

Parafest, set for July 27th - 29th, now has a spectacular new home at the huge ex-military airfield at Llanbedr, between Barmouth and Porthmadog on the edge of Snowdonia National Park.

Parafest's combination of a flying event and trade exhibition with a music festival is unique in the UK. Paraglider and hang glider pilots will be within easy driving distance of many great sites, and power pilots, including SSDRs, can fly out of the airfield and explore the coastline and the local mountains and valleys...

Posted: 3 February 2018
By: Paul Dancey


Brits down under

In early January another exceptional Forbes Flatlands comp in Australia saw seven consecutive tasks, with Rory Duncan beating seven-times winner Jonny Durand into second place by just one point.

The extraordinary career of Ollie Chity continues. Unfazed by finishing 44th on the third task after coming second and fifth on the first two, Ollie bounced back to win the fourth task, a mammoth 388km...

Posted: 3 February 2018
By: Paul Dancey


World Paramotor League Cup

After four qualifying events, a Thai team narrowly beat France and Poland to take the 2017 FAI World Paramotor League Cup.

The four contributing events were the 3rd FAI Asia-Oceania Paramotor Championships in Thailand in May, the Czech Open in June, the paramotor event at the World Games in Poland in July, and the European Paramotor Championships in the Czech Republic in August...

Posted: 3 February 2018
By: Paul Dancey


Icarus Trophy

Run three times in the US and billed as the 'world's only long-distance paramotor race', this year the Icarus Trophy will be flown over South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Zambia.

The race, over roughly 1,000 miles, begins just north of Johannesburg on July 25th...

Posted: 3 February 2018
By: Paul Dancey


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


Skywings news last updated:
3 February 2018 at 02:00:12 PM


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