British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Skywings Archived News

Skywings Archived News - Nov & Dec 2011

Website Maintenance

The BHPA web server has moved to the Centro datacentre in Hemel Hempstead.

The physical move took place after 10pm on Saturday 26th November 2011, and the server was powered back up in the new datacentre just under 4 hours later, so disruption to services was fairly minimal.

Big wave day in the Peaks

Derbyshire pilots need no reminding of the fantastic wave flying available from Lord's Seat in a northerly, usually in the winter. Those pilots don't need reminding how rare the correct conditions are, and how even on the right day a lot of people will go home disappointed, made worse by their friends going on about unbelievable height gains and coast-to-coast views.

Christmas came early this year and provided just such a superb window of wave flying on Lords on November 6th. We received a number of superb pictures, not least from local regulars Gordon Rigg and John Baxby.

"Richard Carter confirmed the others were getting into the wave over near Jacob's Ladder, an easy glide from launch," reports Gordon. "I found a lumpy 5-up that I had to circle in before it smoothed out, and then the valley opened up above base with lift everywhere."

"There’s no long story," writes John. "Just a truly amazing four-and-a-half hour flight around the Edale Valley, above the clouds, that was absolutely breathtaking. Winter flying just doesn't get better than this. Words just cannot compare to the experience." Having been there and done it, long ago, I can but agree. Hats off to all those who were able to enjoy the ride.

Paramotor speed race

BHPA member Steve Brockett attended the first PXP paramotor speed race at Baza in Spain, organised over five days in October by PXP paramotor boss Jose Navarro.

Competitors from all over Europe took part in a series of race tasks over spectacular desert landscapes and the stunning lake Negratin. Overall winner was France's Mathieu Rouanet flying an Ozone Speedster/PAP Moster outfit.

The final day's events included acro by Raul Rodrigez and parachuting from a trike. Steve, the only UK competitor, finished a respectable 10th. PXP intend to run the event again next year; details are at

North Wales/North West Repack

The North Wales Hang Gliding and Paragliding Club will be running its annual Parachute Repack on Saturday 28th January at the Airbus UK Sports and Social Club at Broughton, near Chester.

Bill Morris and his team of BHPA Parachute Packers will provide instruction and supervision. The repack is open to any BHPA member at a cost of £10 per applicant. Advance booking by 20th January is essential.

An application form can be downloaded from or requested from organiser Jerry Hazzard on 01948 780378, e-mail:

SHPF repack

The SHPF's annual dynamic reserve deployment and repack event runs on Saturday 4th February at the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena, Ratho. All pilots (and families) are cordially invited.

This year reserve parachute deployments and repacks will run simultaneously with the workshops, which include Steve Nash and Richard Bungay providing insight and images of the X-Scotia and X-Alps; Gordie Oliver's workshop on speed wings; Advance XC Serial teamster Triantafyllos Gkikopoulos' XC workshop; and Brendan Reid, top Scot at the British Open, talking about his R10 exploits.

Facilities available for family members can be found at Details and entry forms are at

Carnet takes world paramotor speed records

Michel Carnet took advantage of strong winds at altitude at West Wittering on October 2nd secure the world paramotor speed-over-a-50km circuit record.

Michel took advantage of a strong tailwind on the outward leg, returning at low level to clock 72.8km/h overall. His flight eclipses European Champion Juan Garcia De Abajo's 2007 record of 65.4 km/h. The same flight also secured the speed-over-a-straight-15/25km-course record at 75.0km/h, exceeding Italian Raffaele Benetti's 2009 record of 64.85km/h and Dean Eldridge's pending claim of 73.84km/h submitted in February.

The machine used was a Nirvana Instinct under a Dudek Nucleon 25 wing. Both record claims are subject to FAI for ratification. Our congratulations to Michel on his achievement.


The Annual General Meeting of the BHPA will be held on Saturday March 3rd 2012 at the Belfry Hotel, Nottingham, starting at 11am.

The AGM will include the election of the Association's Executive Committee (Exec). Any BHPA member considering seeking nomination for election should contact Chairman Martin Heywood to find out what's involved, and contact the Office for the appropriate form. Completed nominations should arrive at the BHPA Office no later than Friday December 2nd.

It is hoped that members will take the time to turn up at Nottingham to hear how the Association's officers have been working on your behalf. You will be able to quiz Exec members on their record and put forward ideas for the future direction of the Association.

Topics for discussion at the members' forum, held directly after the AGM, should be notified to the BHPA Chairman by February 1st. Voting papers and details of candidates, and the BHPA Treasurer's Report, will appear in the February issue of Skywings.

The BGA AGM will take place at the same location on the same date.

Idris flies well in Slovenia

Young Welsh pilot Idris Birch finished second in the Sports Class at Slovenia's Serial Cup in September.

The top three pilots in the class all flew Nova's Factor 2. The Serial Cup is an interesting departure in which three top-level competition pilots compete alongside the event on EN-B wings.

Aljaz Valic, Michael Sigel and Tomas Brauner functioned as mentors at the event, each making a presentation on an aspect of XC flying. Thus competitors have unique opportunity to learn from their vast experience.

Overall winners were Jurij Vidic (1, Niviuk Peak), Przemek Licznerski (2, Ozone Mantra M4) and Piotr Pawlowski (2, Ozone Mantra M4). The comp was a huge success with over 80 pilots competing. Full results are at

Dolomites warning

Pilots visiting Italy and flying in the Dolomites (in particular Canazei, Val di Fassa and Molveno, Brenta Dolomites) please 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 paragliders remaining airborne in the area has seriously hampered helicopter rescue services. These 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; we hope you will co-operate so that the sites can be preserved for all.


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