British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Skywings Archived News

Skywings Archived News - Jun 2014

Carl Wallbank becomes Moyes UK distributor

Simon Murphy, Moyes' sole UK distributor for 20 years, has transferred the Moyes distributorship to British team pilot Carl Wallbank. Simon will retain his role as a Moyes dealer and continue to stock spares including parts for older models.

"I've had a fantastic relationship with Moyes and I'll always be a Moyes Boy, but the time is right to hand over to somebody younger with fresh ideas. Carl is the right choice," said Simon. He will continue to distribute Charly, Finsterwalder, Firebird, Renschler, Zoot, Gliderider, Von Blon and FlyMike equipment.

After 22 years in flying, 14 years of them on Moyes gliders, Carl says, "It's time for me to give a little back to the sport which has taken over my life. I fly Moyes because of the package you buy into: the backup, spares availability, service and assistance for travelling competitors really sets them apart. Taking on the UK dealership was the obvious choice; the standard set by Simon's years of dedication is a challenge but I have some innovations planned to reduce costs - it's all very exciting!"

Contact Carl at, tel: 07808 171088; Contact Simon at, email:

Posted: 23 May 2014

RAeC Awards

The Royal Aero Club awards ceremony was held at the RAF Club on London's Piccadilly on Tuesday May 13th. Amongst many awards for great achievements in sport flying, the British hang gliding team were presented with the Prince of Wales Trophy in recognition of their hard-fought Bronze medal at the 2013 World Championships in Australia.

Four other BHPA members were also honoured: eight times UK record holder Richard Carter; Ozone test pilot and PWC star Russ Ogden (RAeC Silver Medals); Dales Club Chief Coach and upland flying guru Ed Cleasby; and Welsh Hang Gliding Centre and Joint Services Instructor Paul Farley who has been instructing for over 35 years (RAeC Bronze Medals). We congratulate all the pilots on their success and their well-deserved awards.

After a difficult start at the Forbes Worlds, the Brits (Dave Matthews, Tony Stephens, Gordon Rigg, Grant Crossingham, Kathleen Rigg, Gary Wirdnam and Carl Wallbank, with Ben Philpott and Steve Gale as team and deputy managers) displayed real grit and determination to climb the rankings as the other teams flagged in an exhausting ten-task comp. Despite less support than other major teams the Brits persevered in flying 200km tasks, amid dust and dust devils and extreme temperatures and with lengthy retrieves.

Posted: 23 May 2014

Lejair's UK summer season

The Lejair BHPA hang gliding school will be back in the England shortly. Tony and Rona Webb will be in Cornwall from July 21st - 27th for soaring courses, for those who haven't flown hills before or who need a refresher. There are hotels, cabins and camping nearby.

From the beginning of August until September 10th they will be at Hill Farm in Norfolk running tow EP and CP courses and continuation/currency training from beginner to advanced level, plus introductory days, tow conversions and foot-launched power courses.

They are also hoping to get hold of a tug and run some aerotow courses, subject to demand. Tony and Rona will be back at Algodonales from September 20th for hang glider and paraglider towing and mountain soaring. Details are at or e-mail, tel: 07814 575199.

Updated: 23 May 2014

Green Dragons club support

Green Dragons have resurrected an old idea in supporting workplace and student clubs. The idea is that a University, Army Cadet unit, factory or social group forms a BHPA club, purchasing or hiring their flying equipment from Green Dragons.

They will then train club members, registering some as Trainee Instructors. The advantage is big subsidies on equipment hire, sponsorship opportunities and half-price or even free tuition. The idea is being led by the Polish Grupa 303 Club.

"They fly on our sites using their equipment, with BHPA-qualified instructors supplied by Green Dragons," says Andy Shaw. "Once their TIs are qualified the club can operate more independently, even forming their own BHPA-registered school once they have a Senior Instructor. If you're in with the right crowd you can succeed in your goals!"

If you have a workplace or college group and want to assist your colleagues in learning to fly, or would like help in setting up a BHPA school, contact Andy Shaw at

Posted: 23 May 2014

Out-and-return flights

May 14th saw Southern Club Atos VRS exponent 'Taka' Takatoshi make a remarkable 175km out-and-return flight from Steyning to Ashford in Kent and back, having taken off from Devil's Dyke.

Though well short of Steve Cook's 190km rigid record set in 2007, but exceeds Nev Almond's 129km declared-flight record from 2011. Recording and declaring problems may have precluded a formal UK record but Taka's flight it is a notable achievement.

Earlier in May Flybubble Instructor Greg Hamerton and co-pilot Vincent Talleu flew a 38.8km out-and-return from Bo Peep on a Niviuk Takoo 2 tandem paraglider to beat Tim Guildford and Lou Maurice's 36km UK tandem paragliding O/R record set in 2005.

Posted: 23 May 2014


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