British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Overseas pilots visiting the UK

Enter the first part of your postcode to find your nearest BHPA recreational club
eg. enter CF44 if your post code is CF44 1BS

Post Code

Subscribe to Skywings the official magazine of the BHPA, or buy back issues

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

The BHPA welcomes pilots from abroad.

The UK is a fairly small island with some very crowded skies. The need to protect commercial airline operations has resulted in little space left over for recreational fliers, and even this has to be shared with military jets. Flying cross country in the UK therefore usually involves complex navigation around airspace that you must not enter.

The UK has very few mountains, so hills of 100 to 200 metres (top-to-bottom) are usually dynamically soared in winds of 25km/h or so. Good reverse launching skills are a must for visiting paraglider pilots, and all visiting pilots need to be aware that hills in the South East of the country can get very busy, with hang glider and paraglider pilots of mixed abilities often sharing the same hill.

UK flying sites are looked after by the local BHPA recreational club. Access to those flying sites has often been the result of lengthy, and sometimes difficult, negotiations with local landowners, farmers and graziers. Most UK flying sites are therefore subject to site rules which have been put in place by the local club to try to ensure the safety of pilots flying the site, and continued access to that site for the forseable future.

BHPA members carry £5 million third-party insurance cover as a result of their BHPA membership, and most UK flying sites have been negotiated on that basis. Visiting overseas pilots will therefore need to carry proof of suitable third-party insurance cover, and be able to produce an IPPI card to show that they are suitably qualified to fly a particular site.

If you decide to take out temporary BHPA membership, please be aware that the third-party cover in respect of the passenger if flying Tandem is restricted to flights in the UK only. For further information about about BHPA insurance cover, please contact the BHPA Insurance Officer

This is only a brief summary of flying in the UK, and we strongly recomend overseas pilots to download and read our more comprehensive guide, Guidance for Hang Glider & Paraglider Pilots Visiting the UK, before flying in the UK.

If you read the above guide and contact the appropriate UK club before flying one of their sites, you will be sure of a warm welcome, and hopefully enjoy some first class flying.