British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Skywings Archived News

Skywings Archived News - Mar 2012


A reminder that the Annual General Meeting of the BHPA will be held on Saturday March 3rd at the Belfry Hotel, Nottingham, NG8 6PY, starting at 11am. The Belfry is adjacent to Junction 26 of the M1.

You will be able to quiz Exec members on their record and put forward ideas for the future direction of the Association. The British Gliding Association AGM will take place at the same location on the same date. This will include trade stands and the BGA's fabled gliding simulator.

The BHPA wants your views

A project is under way to review communications across the BHPA.

To this end an online survey will be running on the BHPA website from the 1st - 31st March 2012.

The Association values the opinions and views of the membership, and it is hoped that as many members as possible will participate in this short survey.

BHPA Communications Survey has now closed.

Otto Lilienthal meeting photos unearthed

Hitherto-unseen photos of the first Otto Lilienthal hang gliding meeting, at Newport Beach, California on May 23, 1971, have recently come to light.

The images were taken by Frank Colver, father of early hang gliding pioneer Matt Colver. In January this year Frank, supported by the local Historical Society, showed the photos to the Newport Beach city council in support of a proposal towards erecting a marker to the event in a park adjacent to the original site.

The subject is now on the Parks and Recreation agenda, and it seems likely that a marker stone will be erected in due course. Other photos in the series reveal the presence of pioneering designer Taras Kiceniuk and one of the meet organisers, current hang gliding historian Joe Faust.

Hang gliding didn't begin with this meeting, but the worldwide explosion in enthusiasm for the sport stemmed directly from the widespread publicity achieved by the Newport Beach meet.

New UK Bautek importer

Cumbrian hang glider pilot and Skywings glider reviewer Garry Hume is to open a UK agency for the German-built Bautek range.

"The Kite is a glider I know and like," says Garry. "It matches topless performance up to 70km/h but with the lighter roll and easier handling of a kingposted glider. I'll be buying a demo Kite and getting the Bautek website properly translated into English. I also aim to test fly the Astir - an ultra-safe bowsprit design with excellent sink rate and very light roll - and Fizz models in Germany later this spring.

Further details are at, or contact Garry at, tel: 01539 725226.

500km UK sailplane flight

Last summer sailplane pilot Eugene Lambert cooked up an interesting plan to bag a 500km diamond flight.

On August 15th his base in the Cotswolds was forecast to succumb to a warm front early in the day. Airborne at 10:30, Eugene motored to his start point north of Cirencester, switched off and set course for Bungay in Suffolk, right across the area of central England shaded bright orange on the RASP chart. At Bungay he turned back to Gransden Lodge near St Neots, headed east again to reach Honington, north of Bury St Edmunds, before punching west again into the headwind to finish his task at Bedford, before switching on and motor-gliding the 120-odd km home.

Tramping backwards and forwards across the most active part of the country enabled him to clock 505km in six hours 20 minutes. Cloudbase reached over 6,000ft at around 2.30pm and the flight never dropped below 2000ft all the way.

Hats off for inventive flight planning. What you can do with a 50:1 sailplane that glides comfortably through sink at 100mph!

R&D shake-up at Advance

Advance use their own software tools to develop gliders and harnesses, and recently took on US aeronautical engineer Will Anderson to support chief designer Thomas Ripplinger in software development.

Austrian designer Patrick Bieri joined the team last year to work on harness development, freeing up Marcel Lamprecht to work on paraglider development.

Bruce Goldsmith, late of Airwave, Ozone and Airwave again, who only joined Advance at the beginning of 2010, is leaving Advance to embark on "a new project". Bruce's enduring legacy at Advance will be the highly-regarded Sigma 8 EN C all-rounder.

TVHGC Big Fat Repack

The Thames Valley Club's famed Big Fat Repack runs on Sunday April 1st at the Rivermead Leisure Complex, Reading.

BHPA qualified packers will be on hand with help and advice, and will give presentations on how to deploy and repack your 'chute. A zip slide will allow practice deployments. First-aid lectures have again been arranged and will cover calling the emergency services, administering basic first aid and dealing with fractures, back and head injuries.

The cost is £26.50, less than the cost of a commercial repack. Book online or download a booking form at

Airways demo weekend

A New Products Weekend will take place at Airways' Darley Moor base in Derbyshire on the weekend of March 24th - 25th. All the major UK importers and distributors will be there: paragliders and equipment from Ozone, Nova, Gin, Niviuk, Skywalk, Advance, Firebird, UP and Dudek; hang gliders and gear from Icaro, Avian, Atos, Wills Wing, Moyes, Aeros, Airborne, Aeriane and Seedwings; plus Easy Riser and Dragonfly microlights.

Equipment brands will include Woody Valley, Sup'Air, Rotor, Crispi, Fly Products, Bailey and Lazer, and instrumentation from Aircotec, Brauniger, Flymaster and Flytec. Winch, aerotow or hill demo flights with all of these can be booked directly with Airways.

To book go to and click the Demo button. There will be free camping on the airfield and an evening barbecue in their new hangars.


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