British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Skywings Archived News

Skywings Archived News - Oct 2011

Flying in the Dolomites - an urgent request from FIVL

Pilots visiting Italy and flying in the Dolomites (in particular Val di Fassa - Canazei, and Molveno Dolomites of Brenta) are advised to take note: In the event you become aware of an accident in your vicinity, you are advised in the strongest possible terms to either land or clear the area immediately.

This is because the presence of PGs still in flight in the area has seriously hampered helicopter rescue services which attend casualties on a regular basis, not just for pilots, but also other mountain-based sports such as mountain bikers and climbers.

The situation has become so serious that there is currently a threat to close these sites to flying unless the situation improves. This is a request from the FIVL that the BHPA fully support and we hope you will co-operate so that the sites can be preserved for all.

Safety Notice: 3.5mm maillons fitted to wings from Paramania manufactured since March 2011

FSC has issued a safety notice regarding the maillons fitted to wings from Paramania manufactured since March 2011, and any pilot who has a Paramania wing manufactured since the beginning of March 2011 fitted with 3.5mm maillons is advised to contact their dealer for details of the checking and replacement procedures Paramania have established for ensuring the airworthiness of the maillons fitted to their wing.

The notice can be downloaded from the Safety Notice area of our website.

Hangies win again at Worthing

Veteran hang glider pilots took all the top places in windy conditions at the Worthing (formerly Bognor) Birdman competition on August 13th and 14th.

The overall winner was irrepressible boffin Dr Bill Brooks with 78.4m; Bill also stayed longest in the air at 14.78 seconds. Tony Hughes flew 65.4m and longtime rival Ron Freeman made 54.2m; last year's winner Toby Quantrill also flew his Clubman but did not place.

All these Worthing Birdman regulars continue to pursue the elusive - but definitely attainable - 100-metre flight and the £30,000 prize that will go with it.

CAA Safety Plan

The CAA has issued the latest version of its Safety Plan. Following BHPA input to the CAA's consultation on the draft document, a Desired Safety Outcome has been added to investigate the risk of accidents due to the effects of helicopter and wind turbine induced wake turbulence.

The BHPA has long been of the opinion that there is a significant gap in the knowledge of both BHPA pilots and helicopter pilots regarding rotor-induced turbulence; demonstrated by a number of incidents and Airproxes over the past few years.

The Safety Plan can be found on the CAA web site.

RAeC Trust bursaries

The RAeC Trust bursary scheme for 2012 is now open. It offers several bursaries including the Peter Cruddas Foundation Scholarship worth up to £1,000, two Presidentlsquo;s Scholarships (each worth up to £750), the Breitling Bursary (worth up to £750) and a number of additional bursaries worth up to £500 each.

These are open to anyone between 16 and 21 years of age wishing to progress their interest in either air sports or aviation. Applicants must be UK citizens and resident in the UK; training and flying must be conducted at UK clubs, associations or training establishments. Applications, which must arrive at the Trust by March 31st 2011, should be submitted through a sponsoring organisation (eg the BHPA).

Past winners have included BHPA members Idris Birch, Tas Spence and Katie Lawrence. Details and an application form are on the Royal Aero Club web site.

Stewart Midwinter crashes

Ex-pat British hang glider and paraglider pilot Stewart Midwinter, 56, was airlifted to hospital in Calgary, Alberta on August 14th after crashing into trees at Mount Lady MacDonald near Canmore, soon after taking off on a paraglider.

Stewartlsquo;s flying buddy Will Gadd was airborne at the same site at the time. Stewart set a number of world distance, speed and height-gain records in the 1980s on flexwings, and in the 1990s aboard a Bright Star Swift; several of these still stand as Canadian records.

Latest news is that Stewart will be in hospital for some time. We wish him a full recovery.

British record

British paraglider pilot Emma Casanova-Senior claimed Fiona Macaskilllsquo;s 2007 25km speed triangle record on August 9th, flying her Ozone Mantra at 27km/h from Saint-Vincent les Forts during a British Championships task that was later cancelled.

Emma went on to finish top British woman pilot at St Jean and overall British Womenlsquo;s Champion (Full report in Skywings). Although the record remains subject to FAI ratification, we congratulate Emma on her flight.

CAA Olympics podcast

A CAA aviation safety podcast outlining the Airspace changes surrounding next year's London Olympics. It explains how the restrictions will be put in place, how to use the restricted zone, and other safety and airspace issues.

The podcast is on the CAA web site.


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.


Events & Competitions Calendar

Visiting Overseas Hang Gliding & Paragliding Pilots please read this...

Find us on facebook


The BHPA is a member of the Royal Aero Club The BHPA is a member of the European Hang Gliding & Paragliding Union

Purchase the BHPA Pilot Handbook


The BHPA Elementary Pilot Training Guide - 8.43mb