British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Skywings Archived News

Skywings Archived News - Mar 2015

Southend gets Class D airspace

The CAA has agreed to the imposition of Class D airspace around London Southend Airport (LSA) with effect from April 2nd 2015.
click for a higher res version showing the extent of the airspace that will become live on 1st April 2015
The new airspace features a control zone (CTR) around the airport itself from the surface up to 3,500ft, and a larger control area (CTA) from 1,500ft to 3,500ft. LSA has seen a significant increase in commercial air transport movements in the last three years, and the CAA agreed with the LSA view that the new airspace was necessary to enhance the protection given to these flights. The new airspace will be reviewed six months after implementation to ensure that it is working as anticipated.

Note that a further tranche of Class D airspace could be implemented before April 2nd 2017 without further consultation, following the submission of a separate Airspace Change Proposal from LSA.

The full text of the CAA's decision can be found on the CAA website.

Posted: 11 February 2015


This summer will see a new three-day free-flying event, the biggest of its kind in the UK. Parafest 2015, dedicated to paramotors and paragliding, will take place on June 12th - 14th at Llangollen, North Wales.

Hang gliders and powered hang gliders will also be welcome. Attractios will include a dedicated traders' area, displays and demonstrations, a 120ft zipline for practice reserve and a kids' zone, plus mountain bikes, chainsaw carving, hovercraft and qualified parachute-packing support.

Championship downhill mountain bike tracks run down the hill and finish in the same fields; these will be open for use during the weekend and pilots and riders will be able to get lifts to the top of the hill from the track operators. There will be a marquee bar, live music both nights, open mic sessions, a DJ and other events, plus a campsite, adjacent to the Llangollen bottom-landing fields.

Organiser Mark Meadows has been flying paragliders and paramotors since 2006. He has run several paramotor fly-ins and the paramotor flying at last year's Green Dragons' London Air Show.

He decided to organise the event that they feel UK pilots and traders are crying out for. He said, "It's not just a fly-in with some traders present - there'll be a strong festival vibe more like St Hilaire. The event coincides with the mountain bikers' uplift weekend - perfectly targeted for schools and suppliers to find new students and customers. During a recent site visit the bikers showed great interest in paragliding and paramotors. If it's successful we plan to make it an annual event".

Pilot entry costs £30 including all flying fees and permissions, all-weekend camping and entertainment; mountain biker/spectator entry is £15. A £1.50 booking fee covers PayPal and site admin fees. Accompanied under-16s go free.

Further details and online ticket sales can be found on the Parafest website, or you can visit the Parafest Facebook page.

Posted: 2 March 2015

BHPA secures microlight insurance

The BHPA insurers have agreed to insure members flying microlights of all classes, providing £5m liability cover and £100k passenger cover. Any legally-operated microlight, single seat or two seat, can now be flown by any properly-licensed BHPA member.

Any member wishing to take advantage of this facility should send a scan of his or her licence to the BHPA office along with a simple declaration: 'I intend to fly a microlight aircraft (that is not a tug aircraft) using BHPA insurance.' (Tug pilots are already insured to operate tug aircraft under BHPA insurance; they do not need to take the above steps unless wishing to extend their microlight activities beyond only tugging.)

This insurance only applies to qualified microlight pilots and does not cover pilots under training. All CAA requirements for flying with a passenger must be complied with. Further information for SSDR microlight pilots can be downloaded from this website.

Posted: 2 March 2015

BHPA subs to rise

The BHPA Exec has agreed an increase in membership fees. Subs levels have been held very steady over the last few years with only occasional small rises; the current increase is around 4%.

Annual Flying membership will increase by £4 to £99 (the £7 discount for Direct Debit payers remains unchanged). Family membership increases by £3 to £88, and Two-year membership by £7 to £167. Concessionary membership rises £4 to £79 and Trial membership by £2 to £53; Non-flying membership is substantially reduced by £18 to £39. The Joining Fee of £22 remains unchanged, as do Day rates at £15 (£5 for under 18s).

The new rates will come into force on April 1st.

Members are reminded that they can now renew their membership using PayPal. Send the relevant amount to PayPal using '' and include your BHPA membership number in the comments box. Licence holders who need their membership forms countersigned will need to send this in separately; a Licence will not be renewed without this.

Posted: 2 March 2015

Result sponsors Worlds team

The British Hang Gliding team at the World Hang Gliding Championships in Mexico this month are being sponsored by Result Clothing, Europe's leading independent supplier of high-quality clothing to the outdoor, corporate and promotional markets.

The six-man Worlds team consists of current National Champion Grant Crossingham, second and third placed Gordon Rigg and Carl Wallbank, and Graham Phipps Wayne Thompson and Steve Blackler. Grant, Gordon and Carl are all Worlds veterans and Gordon recently finished third in the Forbes Flatlands comp; Steve, Graham and Wayne are new to the Worlds but will also be fighting to help bring home a medal.

Graham Phipps has also agreed to sponsor the team with Cloud 9 T-shirts.

Posted: 2 March 2015

Lakes Charity Classic

This year's Lakes Charity Classic - the UK's longest-running paragliding competition - runs at Buttermere on 29th - 31st May, followed as ever by the fabled Buttermere Bash.

The 2014 event was a huge success and raised £4,000 for different charities. There will be both A and B classes again this year. The LCC fills up fast and registration is open now.

To secure a place please visit the Cumbrian Soaring Club website

Posted: 2 March 2015


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