The TVHGC Big Fat Repack
The Thames Valley Club's Big Fat Repack will run on Sunday March 22nd at the Rivermead Leisure Complex, Reading.
There will be a zip slide to practice reserve deployment, and Bill Morris and his team of BHPA packers will be giving presentations on how to deploy and repack your 'chute. BHPA qualified packers will also be able to offer help and advice to ensure that everyone leaves with their 'chute properly repacked.
A First Aid talk has also been arranged; it will include basic first aid, dealing with fractures and back and head injuries, plus how to call the emergency services. The aim is to make you feel confident to assess and take control of the situation.
The Big Fat Repack costs only £26 - less than a commercial repack. Book online at www.tvhgc.co.uk/bfr.
World distance claims
On December 14th South African Nevil Hulett flew 501.1km aboard a Mac Magus from Copperton, South Africa, to claim the world paragliding open-distance record.
On the same flight Nevil overflew a declared goal at 411km to claim the distance-to-goal record too. The existing records are 461.6km (Marcelo Prieto, 2007) and 368.9km (Urban Valic, 2006) respectively. Congratulations to Nevil on a brilliant flight!
Celtic Cup anniversary
To celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the Celtic Cup, this year's competition is to be held at the event's spiritual home of Mt. Leinster in Ireland.
The competition, based in nearby Bunclody, will take place on May 1st - 4th and will be open to both both hang glider and paraglider pilots. "This is by no means a serious competition," say the organisers. "It’s a fun-for-all event - music, drinking and debauchery are planned for the Saturday night!"
There will be backup activities should the weather be unfavourable. More details next month, or contact Geoff McMahon 00353 862 338127 (hang gliding) or Eoin Hogan 00353 868 122030 (paragliding).
New John Silvester lecture
John Silvester is putting together a new lecture, illustrated with video and still photography, on his travels, under the working title of The Chogo Lungma crossing - 150km across the high Karakorum (with just an extra fleece and a paraglider).
John's talk covers the last ten years of paragliding discovery in India, Western Nepal and the Karakorum of Pakistan. It helped him make a paragliding variation on the ultimate mountain trek, the Hispar - Snow Lake traverse via the Chogo Lungma, which he describes as "…a flight that was a step too far and has changed me for ever."
One of the first outings for the new lecture is at the Cumbria Soaring Club (North Lakes Hotel, Penrith) on Friday March 6th at 8pm. Tickets are £5 for CSC members and £7 for non-members. Details are at www.cumbriasoaringclub.co.uk (and some of John's past adventures are on You Tube if you search for John Silvester).
Germany accepts EN testing regime
In November a meeting of Germany's "round table" - a working group answering to their civil aviation authority - agreed that future testing of paragliders would be to EN-926/2 (flight tests) and EN-926/1 (load tests).
The meeting, at Lake Starnberg in Bavaria, was attended by representatives of the DHV, European manufacturers, the test houses and the Paraglider Manufacturers Association. Spokesman Hans Bausenwein commented, "The EN standards will be adopted to prevent misunderstanding. The LTF 1 to 3 classification system will be replaced by the EN structure."
Nova's Hannes Papesh was also present at the meeting and reported, "We're a small scene, we need to work together and don't need more than one test standard… it needs a documentary system like the EN to ensure that you will get similar results wherever a wing is tested. The manufacturer is able to do a better prediction of the results and now the rules are clear for everybody."
We understand that these changes were to have been put into force on January 1st. This is a breath of fresh air for manufacturers and pilots alike, and a vindication of the ten years of effort involved in the establishment of the EN system.
Mode S transponder consultation
The CAA has published the results of its recent consultation on the proposals to proceed with mandatory carriage of transponders in GA aircraft - including gliders, hang gliders and sailplanes.
The documents, Synopsis of Comments Received and Summary of Responses, available at www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=1698&pagetype=90&pageid=9307 (along with the original Consultation Document), make interesting reading.
The CAA received nearly 2,000 responses to the proposals, over 75% of them from the gliding community and few of them favourable. The CAA's methodology is singled out for much criticism, for example: "It is incredible that the CAA, despite suggesting their willingness to discuss the issues identified here, continue to publicly state that "there are lots of glider infringements that we just don't know about."
The BHPA is still engaging with the consultation process and will advise members on development in due course.
The BMAA is planning an Ultralight Single Seat Rally (USSR) to encourage the use of sub-115kg and foot-launched aircraft.
It will start and finish at Sywell in Northants on the late May bank holiday weekend. Pilots will be briefed on the Friday evening and depart on route on Saturday morning, aiming to see as much of the UK as possible before arriving back on the afternoon of Monday May 25th.
Progress will be checked by GPS tracklog download. There will be major prizes and trophies for the longest distance flown, the most airfields visited, hours flown and so on.
Please register your interest before January 31st by contacting David Bremner on 01706 824909, mobile: 07801 142320 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dickenson replica flies!
On Saturday 18 October 2008 Jason Board successfully foot launched and landed a John Dickenson Mk1 replica hang glider, when ten short flights were made from a 30ft dune near Weston-super-Mare.
The glider, built by Jason to John Dickenson's original 1963 plans, had been modified after discussions between John and Mark Woodhams during John's UK visit in September (see October Skywings).
The alterations, to the hang point and A-frame attachment and the provision of a small kingpost to hold reflex into the unloaded sail, were entirely successful. It is hoped that a further modification to move the base bar back to allow a full flare on landing will allow the glider to be soared on bigger hills and windier conditions during its next series of tests.
Details of John Dickenson's contribution to hang gliding are at www.johndickenson.net.
For further information about the British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association and skywings magazine, please visit our about the BHPA and Skywings magazine pages on this website.