British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Skywings Archived News

Skywings Archived News - Jul 2012

Paramotor Fly-in at Boston Aeroclub Event Poster

Boston Aeroclub are holding a paramotor fly-in on the 14th - 15th July 2012 at Boston Aerodrome at Boardsides, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE21 7NY.

The event is sponsored by Paramotor Magazine and only costs £5 per person.

The Aerodrome has an on-site cafe, and there will be music and camping on Saturday night and a selection of trade stands.

All are welcome. For further information, please visit the Boston Aeroclub website.

Posted: 5 July 2012

Kirsty Cameron: 233km in the UK!

On May 13th Kirsty Cameron flew her Ozone Mantra R11 from Milk Hill to near Dereham in Norfolk, a straight-line distance of 233km. The flight would have been second only to Richard Carter's 256km open-distance flight made last August, had not Kai Coleman flown 243km only the day before.

Nevertheless Kirsty's flight becomes the ladies' UK record, although Helen Gant had flown 166km to secure that record - held by Judy Leden since 1994 - also just the day before!

The weekend of May 12th - 13th was a big weekend for UK paragliding with more than 20 100km+ flights logged including Kai Coleman's 243km, Helen's 166km and Simon Gant's 162km.

Posted: 23 June 2012

Betterfly HPA goes the distance

David Barford, an employee of Cosworth Engineering, has taken eight years to build 'Betterfly', a 22m, carbon-fibre human-powered aircraft (HPA).

At Sywell airfield in Northamptonshire on May 23rd David saw Betterfly fully rigged for the first time, after a two-hour assembly session aided by members of his family and Ben Ashman's Flylight crew. Dr Bill Brooks was on hand to attempt the first flight. "Everyone present was amazed to see Bill rise into the air after a very short roll," reports Ben. "Amid shouts of surprise and joy I watched those enormous wings curving up into a beautiful bow as they carried their rider into the sky."

Betterfly was housed overnight in the Flylight hangar. David and Bill arrived early the next morning and Betterfly flew again, this time covering most of the 900m runway, with Bill reporting that he managed to get into the "cruise".

David has received no funding from corporate or educational bodies for the Betterfly project. Now it has been proven to fly the machine will be entered in the RAeC HPA competition timed to coincide with the London Olympics (the Icarus HPA Cup takes place at Lasham on July 14th - 22nd).

Posted: 23 June 2012

X-Pyr entrant seeks sponsorship

Alistair Andrews, a 27 year old Royal Navy Search and Rescue Pilot with 771 Naval Air Squadron, has been selected as one of 20 pilots to compete in the inaugural X-Pyr race in August.

Alistair is currently in training on the ground and the air, but needs commercial sponsorship to help him attend. Interested parties should contact him at

The X-Pyr is a new X-Alp-type competition; it starts at Hondarriba near San Sebastian on August 5th and finishes at Port de la Selva on the Mediterranean coast around ten days later. Details are at

Posted: 23 June 2012

Insurance caution

Further to recent warnings regarding adequate insurance over overseas, it is becoming apparent that a number of insurers will not cover any third-party risks resulting from “aerial activities”.

Even if 3rd-party cover is part of your agreement, you are likely to find it excluded if any aerial activities are undertaken, despite you having ticked that box on your application. Three major players in the travel insurance field have recently confirmed that this is the case.

Overseas cover from Harrison Beaumont, available direct or through Airsports Insurance Bureau, seems to be the only policy not to operate this waiver, although there may be others. As has been said before, the only way to be certain is to read the policy document very carefully and take nothing for granted; if you aren't sure about anything, contact the provider to confirm it.

It has also been said before, many times, that in insurance you get what you pay for!

Posted: 23 June 2012

BHPA Emergency Parachute advice now on website

The BHPA's advice on the selection and use of emergency parachutes can be directly downloaded as a pdf file.

The 12-page document represents the BHPA Flying and Safety Committee's considered advice garnered from professionals in the field; it includes a detailed exposition on maximum safe descent rates to avoid serious injury, and the likely parachute sizing required to achieve those descent rates.

Manufacturer's advice should also be sought; the best guide to the actual descent rate of a given parachute at your all-up weight is in the manufacturer's own documentation. Never buy an emergency parachute without knowing its descent rate at your all-up weight and comparing it with the maximum safe descent rate outlined in the BHPA document.

Always get a parachute installed in your harness by a BHPA-licenced packer/professional parachute installer.

Posted: 23 June 2012


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