Hang Glider

British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Skywings Archived News

Skywings Archived News - Jul 2011

Urgent Notice: Paragliding Competitions

Following the recent events at the Paragliding world championship in Piedrahita, the following statement was issued by CIVL:-

"Due to recent incidents at the 12th FAI Paragliding World Championship in Piedrahita, Spain the CIVL Bureau has temporarily suspended the certification of Competition Class Paragliders with immediate effect. This suspension means that paragliders classified as Competition Class under Rule of Section 7B of the FAI Sporting Code are not permitted to fly in FAI Category 1 championships for the period of the suspension. Organisers of FAI Category 2 events are also strongly advised to consider whether Competition Class paragliders should be permitted to compete in events with racing tasks for the period of the suspension."

Members of the Paragliding Competitions Panel met with The BHPA Executive Council at an emergency meeting in Leicester on the 14th July to decide on the steps that should be taken in response.

The BHPA's position, with immediate effect, is that participation in all BHPA Paragliding Competitions involving racing tasks is limited to the use of EN or LTF certified gliders only. This position will remain in force until CIVL's decision is reversed or varied.

A significant effect will be that BHPA competitions currently in progress or planned, must proceed using certified gliders only. This will seriously impact upon the British Paragliding Championships, the next stage of which is to be held in St Jean. The Paragliding Competitions Panel is currently liaising with competitors involved.

Important: Insurance Situation:

This will affect the applicable BHPA liability cover. Your BHPA 3rd party liability insurance will be invalid if you participate in the organisation (eg: task-setting or marshalling) of any paragliding competition involving racing tasks where pilots are flying uncertified gliders. If any member is uncertain as to whether this affects them, they must contact the BHPA to discuss their particular situation.

For Clarification:

  • Free flying is not affected
  • Paragliding XC League and Accuracy competitions are not considered to involve "racing tasks" and are therefore not affected
  • The BHPA 3rd Party Liability insurance continues to cover individual pilots who fly uncertified gliders at all times, provided they are registered with the BHPA in the usual way
  • Paramotoring is governed by CIMA and is therefore unaffected by the advice from CIVL

BHPA Executive Council
BHPA Paragliding Competitions Panel
15 July 2011

Everest summit flight

On May 31st tandem pilot Sanubabu Sunuwar, 28, launched from the summit of Everest with Lakpa Tshering Sherpa as passenger.

The pair gained altitude at the summit to fly 30m above the world's highest mountain; after 40 minutes in the air they landed 20km away at Syangboche airstrip, Namche Bazaar. The pair had launched from the north-west face having climbed the classic South Col route.

Sunuwar and Lakpa Sherpa are now preparing to continue their adventure by crossing India from Nepal to Bangladesh by Topolino kayak. The trip is intended to publicise Nepal and Nepalese achievement by walking, cycling, climbing, flying and kayaking from Katmandu to the sea in one continuous expedition.

In March 2010 Sunuwar completed a 30-day, 850km tandem bivouac flight from east to west Nepal.

Nev Almond takes UK out-and-return record

June 11th saw the declared out-and-return record pushed to 80.19 miles (129.05km) following Nev Almon's Atos VR flight from Westbury to Lasham and back.

"I sneaked away from Westbury at 11:30 with a good line of Cu's, flying east to near Devizes to start the task at 12:00," writes Nev. "I arrived at Lasham at 13:15 but struggled on the way home, sneaking into the final turnpoint with 500ft to spare!"

In the last nine weeks Nev has logged 24 hours of XC airtime. "My experience can place the glider in the right bit of sky," he says, "but a lot of credit has to go to the masterpiece of aeronautical engineering I'm lucky enough to fly!"

Carnet is "best foreigner" at French paramotor nationals!

Michel Carnet secured the "best foreign pilot" award in the paramotor class of the French national microlight championships at Couhé Vérack near Poitiers early in June.

There was quite a strong British showing including Mike and Pascal Campbell-Jones and Laura Turner. 70 paramotor pilots contested the event along with about a dozen flexwings and four three-axis machines.

Anne-Catherine Fargher, partner of Skywings' designer Colin Fargher, had a lucky escape when the Savannah three-axis microlight in which she was navigating crashed on take-off on the final task.

FAI Hang Gliding Diploma for Rod Fuller

The FAI Hang Gliding Diploma has been awarded to Australia's Rod Fuller in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the sport of hang gliding.

Rod, now 73, was the first person to fly the flexible wing hang glider designed and created by John Dickenson in September 1963. A photograph of Rod, airborne while towed by a water ski boat, in Australia's Grafton Daily Examiner signalled the initial spread of hang gliding around the world.

"I am absolutely delighted that after all this time your contribution is now formally recognised by the international body that administers our sport," writes John Dickenson, himself a recipient of the FAI Diploma.

British historian Mark Woodhams wrote these lines to Rod: "...let me add my congratulations to you for the pioneering work that you did with John Dickenson all those years ago. I imagine at the time you had no idea that the mode of flight you were developing would be taken up all over the world by so many new aviators. Every flier today owes you a debt of gratitude."

More record claims

Italian paraglider pilot Arduino Persello has claimed a new European out-and-return distance record of 264.1km with a flight from Sorica in Slovenia on May 6th.

This flight eclipses Aljaz Valic's 206 mark of 259.7km. On the same date, also from Sorica, Nicole Fedele set European feminine out-and-return distance (205.5km) and 200km speed (226.16km/h) records.

The existing feminine out-and-return record of 264.6km was set by Nicole herself in 2009; the speed record is previously unset. All three pilots were flying Ozone Mantras; all three claims are subject to FAI homologation.

The legendary Wessex Bash is back!

Once again, the Wessex Bash will be held at Lyscombe Farm, Cheselbourne, in an idyllic part of Dorset between Dorchester and Blandford from Friday 5th to Sunday 7th August 2011.

The Bash is ideally located for many inland and coastal sites representing almost every wind direction. The farm itself is 100% organic and home to rare-breed sheep, wild deer and a range of rare flora and fauna. A natural brook bubbles past a beautifully restored chapel, some of which dates back to the 12th Century. All the Bash action will take place in a huge (mainly) flat field, surrounded by a natural amphitheatre of downland, which is said to be flyable in certain conditions.

And what a line up! On Friday night, guest speaker Eddie Colfox will give a talk about flying in the Himalayas, littered with stunning photographs of big mountain flying. On Saturday night, there will be cool soul and funk music from Mr Bigstuff, and one helluva barbeque and hog roast from event caterers Black Cat Catering.

Throughout the weekend, Phoenix Flying Club will be giving model flying displays. For children of all ages, there'll be a gurt big bouncy castle. All weekend a range of real ales, lagers and soft drinks will be available in the beer tent. And as usual, there'll be an enormous camp fire to sit round and discuss epic flights and epic fails.

Tickets are now available for the Bash. They cost £20 per person in advance, £25 on the gate (under 14's go free) and include the food on the Saturday night. They can be purchased quickly and securely online using Paypal from the club's website, www.wessexhgpg.org.uk.


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