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British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Skywings Archived News

Skywings Archived News - Aug 2013

Jon Chambers 4th in X-Alps!

Jon Chambers, sole British contender in this year's gruelling X-Alps contest, arrived at the finish in Monaco on July 17th in 4th place. Jon, 38, was supported by his dad Richard and by Tom Payne, veteran of the 2009 X-Alps.

Jon first competed in the X-Alps in 2011 and finished a very creditable 5th. On that occasion he was 113km short of the finish line, but this year he joined the elite group who actually flew into the last turnpoint and on to Monaco the following day, having completed the route in nine days and five hours.

The X-Alps 2013 was won - for the third time! - by Chrigel Maurer ahead of Clement Latour and Antoine Girard of France. Last man of ten to actually reach Monaco was crowd favourite Tom Coconea of Hungary, competing for the sixth time.

All five leading pilots were flying Ozone's super-light LM5. From official commentator Hugh Miller: "I cannot get my head around just how seriously athletes take this race, and how much energy they put into it. Regardless of their rankings, each and every one has my utmost respect."

Posted: 22 July 2013


On June 20th Ukrainian pilot Mike Goncharov-Goryanskiy made the longest paraglider flight ever recorded in Europe. Mike had already flown 325km in 2011, aiming to reach the Sea of Avov from the northern Ukraine; this year he launched from Dovjik near the Russian border and headed south again, touching down on the northern shore of the Sea of Avov after eight and a half hours in the air.

With a maximum altitude of over 10,500ft he was able to average nearly 52km/h. Both flights were made on a Gin Tribe.

Posted: 22 July 2013

Atos VRS: 100km/h!

In achieving its DHV certification recently, the latest Atos VRS rigid wing became the first hang glider to have achieved a maximum safe tested airspeed (VNE) of 100km/h.

The VRS is a smaller version of the popular VR for lighter pilots, offering similar performance but weighing just 35kg. The pilot hook-in weight range is around 52 - 137kg. The first UK example is owned by long-time hangie Stuart Prosser who traded in his VQ model for the new lightweight version.

Stuart's brief report on his first flight was: "It feels as nice to fly as the VQ, but more nimble and very solid - I'm well pleased!" UK importer Steve Elkins says, "I have flown one and was impressed with how much the flaps changed the trim speed, allowing a large trim range; also the very solid feel in the air with great directional stability".

Details from Avian on 01433 621753, e-mail info@avianonline.co.uk, or go to www.avianonline.co.uk.

Posted: 22 July 2013

Martin Baxter joins BHPA Exec

Dales Club Chairman Martin Baxter has been co-opted onto the BHPA Exec to take over the vacant Sites Officer position formerly held by Steve Walsh.

Martin is a former Army helicopter pilot with a background in Flight Safety. Prior to taking over as Chairman he was one of the Dales club's sites officers and thus has some experience of the sensitivities involved in site negotiation and deconfliction.

He is also familiar with the BHPA's somewhat out-of-date, sites' database; his first job will be to bring it up to date!

Martin will be providing an update in Skywings in due course, but in the meantime if you have any concerns, ideas or questions he'd be delighted to hear from you at martin-baxter@bhpa.co.uk.

Posted: 22 July 2013

New Advance dealer

Former school proprietor Mark Shaw has set up Advanced Flightgear to distribute Advance paragliders and harnesses in the Peak District.

Since retiring from running a school Mark has spent his time trekking to inaccessible sites using lightweight equipment.

"I've discovered a sub-culture quietly making pioneering flights away from the UK's busy flying areas," he says. "Advance have supported this sub-culture with their Pi glider, and the new Epsilon 7 has significant weight and pack-size advantages for walking further than the nearest site too."

Advanced Flightgear is at www.advancedflightgear.co.uk.

Posted: 22 July 2013


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