British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Skywings Archived News

Skywings Archived News - Jun 2008

Stolen Tandem

Stolen in Acton, West London on 23rd June: an Ozone Magnum tandem (# MAG-H-220-001), mainly yellow with orange, white and grey flashes. Also a lightweight silver full face helmet, Sky Systems SAS2 harness and an old (c. 1990) harness in day-glo pink, yellow and purple. Any information to Ian Merrylees on 07929 710964, e-mail:

Brits win Pre-World Championships!

Following their World Championships win in Texas last August, the British Hang Gliding Team took Gold again at the Pre-World Championships – a preview of the next 2009 World Championships – at Laragne in France on July 4th. Substantially the same team led on Day 1 of the nine day-event and were able to maintain their lead over the Germans and then the French over four tasks. The individual event was won by Australia's Scott Barrett, with Britain's Carl Wallbank in fourth place. Congratulations to team pilots Carl Wallbank, Gary Wirdnam, Dave Matthews, Bruce Kavanagh, Richard Lovelace, Robin Hamilton and Malcolm Brown.

CAA Mode S Phase 2 Transponder Consultation - June 2008

The CAA Mode S Phase 2 Transponder Consultation has now closed, and the final response of the BHPA Airspace Panel can be downloaded here.

For the moment all we can do is hope that our continuing input has a positive influence on the final outcome of this consultation process. Further information will be posted as and when it becomes available.

The CAA Mode S Transponder story so far.....

Temporary Airspace Restrictions 7 - 14 July 2008

RAF Fairford will once again be hosting the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIATT) from the 7 - 14 July. With some 400 aircraft attending, temporary airspace restrictions will be in place for the duration of the event.

Full details of the airspace restrictions that will be in force during this event are available for download as a pdf file (2.4mb approx).

Homegrown Festival Cancelled

The following Press Release from Hugh confirms that this event has sadly been cancelled:

"In 2006, pilots were chomping at the bit for a UK flying festival, and the Homegrown Festival seemed to hit the spot with over 800 pilots coming along. But this year there just isn’t anywhere near the same level of enthusiasm for a second Homegrown Festival. Ticket sales and trade bookings are far from the number we'd expect three months away from the event, and I just don’t get the same feeling of support and energy.

So, despite the piece in this month's Skywings, and the ads in Cross Country and Skywings, its with regret that we’ve decided to cancel the 2008 Homegrown Festival. Maybe I was being optimistic thinking the UK could hold two big festivals in one year – it seems the UK flying community just isn’t big enough to do so. All proceeds were set to go to Flyability but I don't want to risk making a loss again like I did in 2006 so that's that - I'm pulling the plug and quite happy about the fact I'll get to do a lot more flying instead of organising this summer!

I'm really sorry for any disappointment caused to pilots who've already booked their tickets. We'll be making full refunds to all ticket-holders. Thanks very much also to Northern, Axis, UK Airsports, Passion Paragliding, Custom, the BHPA, Madjester, The Loft and Sky Paragliding for booking space - we'll be refunding you too of course.

I wish Mark Leavesley all the best with the Triple-X Festival coming up on 20 June. Maybe another year we'll think about putting on Homegrown again but we'd need a lot more commitment - and perhaps that's only possible when there's only one big festival each year."

Kung arrives in style

Mike Kung's scheduled Zeppelin drop over Lake Constance in May went off well despite early delays. More than 10,000 people witnessed Mike leap from a latter-day Zeppelin, deploy his U-Turn Emotion and land in a half-million-euro rag-top Ferrari parked on a raft in the Lindau island dock.

Mike's stunt was initially delayed by engine problems with the Zeppelin, and then by Foehn downdrafts that threatened to cancel the attempt. Mike did a lap of honour in the dock, after which Arnold Gardemann, president of the German Ferrari Club who had provided the vehicle, was finally able to breathe again. "Mad" Mike's stunts get ever stranger and we look forward to the next adventure with great interest!

Maurer is tumbling mad

Not content with his 155 tumblings in March, Advance's Chrigel Maurer dropped out of a helicopter at 3,500m over Grindelwald on May 25th and knocked off 198 further tumbles in less than six minutes… just before the start of the first task of the local PWC round.

This infinity tumbling is obviously addictive! Chrigel finished 4th on that task and went on to win the PWC event outright.

Conflict claims paramotor pilot

Jimmy Kedoshim, veteran paramotor pilot and many times Israeli paramotor champion, died on May 9th while tending his garden near the southern city of Ashkelonnot, killed outright by a Hamas mortar shell fired from across the border.

Jimmy had been instrumental in the development of Apco's Thrust, Thrust HP and Karma paramotor wings. Israeli villages close to the border have been under attack from mortar and rocket fire for the last seven years; Jimmy happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The day before he and several other paramotor pilots had flown over a giant Israeli flag laid out to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel. Apco's Anatoly Cohn described Jimmy as "a great pilot, a good friend and life-loving, freedom seeking family man with a huge passion for flying."


The Annual General Meeting of the BHPA will take place at the Sport and Leisure Aviation Show at the NEC on Saturday November 29th.

Members seeking nomination to the BHPA Exec should contact the Office for the appropriate form; completed nominations should arrive at the BHPA Office no later than Tuesday September 30th. There is always room for able and dedicated volunteers on the BHPA Exec. If you feel it's time for you to put something back into the Association, have a particular talent or interest that you feel could be of advantage to free flying in the UK, or feel that the BHPA should be doing something that it isn't already, talk to any Exec member or to Chairman Martin Heywood to find out what's involved.

Subjects for discussion at the members' forum, held directly after the AGM, should be presented at the BHPA office by the same date. Discussion topics must be seconded by a BHPA Club (contact Chairman Martin Heywood for details). The BHPA/BMAA Sport and Light Aviation Show runs at the NEC on November 29th and 30th. For exhibitor details contact

Mont Blanc booklet

Visitors to the Mont Blanc region of France can obtain a free up-to-date booklet - in English - outlining site rules, rules of the air, airspace restrictions, emergency procedures and much more.

The guide covers Chamonix, St Gervais, Passy, Megeve, Les Contamines and the high mountain launches, and includes speed riding advice and locations. Put out by the local clubs with backing from the FFVL and the local authority, Vol Libre au pays de Mont Blanc is available at tourist offices, ski-lifts, flying schools and from the clubs themselves.


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