Hang Glider

British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Skywings Archived News

Skywings Archived News - Aug 2015

More space in Scotland

Following a few years nibbling by the BHPA and its GA Alliance colleagues at what was actually required for military training, the Highlands Restricted Area is now effectively no more.

Its effects were limited to the midweek but severely curtailed access to what some argue is the best wilderness flying in the country. Although the current Notam is for a short period of time this is a permanent change that the CAA have made.

Posted: 8 August 2015

CAA campaign to reduce airspace infringements

The CAA has announced that the number of serious airspace infringements at six of the highest-risk pieces of controlled airspace (CAS) in the UK should be cut by much as 50 percent over the next 12 months. The six locations are Birmingham, Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton, Southampton and Stansted. Working Teams (local pilots, airport operators, ATC and CAA representatives) at each of the hotspots have agreed the targets and committed to delivering the reductions by improving existing procedures by December 2015.

Should the target for a particular hotspot not be met, options under consideration include the deployment of bespoke Surveillance Mandatory Zones (SMZ) to provide a conspicuity buffer around the Class D airspace of a hotspot. This could mandate the use of radios and/or transponders within that area and thus render it effectively closed to free liers. Other potential solutions include rationalising airspace boundaries.

The BHPA is very concerned to have only heard about this via a Press Release from the CAA; there has been no contact from any of the Working Teams.

Without effective engagement with all airspace user groups, and careful analysis of infringement data, this initiative may simply result in pilots being faced with further unnecessary airspace restrictions.

Through our self-policing inherent in the XC Leagues we, and the BGA, are the lowest source of infringements. Nevertheless it would be disastrous if one of our pilots were to be the tipping point that resulted in fresh CAS, particularly as we would be the ones most impacted by it.

Posted: 22 July 2015

Wonderful Wednesday I

Soaring forecasts were looking very good for Wednesday 24th June. Keen to break his own 266km UK record set in 2013, Carl Wallbank left Merthyr at 10:20, to land his Moyes RX3.5 just west of Cromer in Norfolk at 6pm for 338km.

This becomes the UK absolute hang gliding distance record, exceeding Nev Almond's 2014 rigid-wing mark of 307km. Carl also set a new UK declared goal record of 255km. A radio interview with the BBC's Mark Forrest was widely syndicated on local radio, and the Norfolk press had a field day.

Carl is a natural media performer and a brilliant advocate of hang gliding; he makes it all sound very simple yet carefully explains how it's done: "You've got to be in the right frame of mind and have the winds going in the right direction… it's very difficult and rare for everything to come together… only up to four times a year at best that everything combines and you can do this."

Posted: 22 July 2015

Wonderful Wednesday II

On the same day Carlo Borsattino and Nancy Elliott went to Milk Hill and met up with Richard Osborne and Annee Breckenridge at around 10am. The sky was looking epic and Carlo set an ambitious declared goal of 200km near Northwold in Norfolk.

They launched just after 11am and Carlo got away first at around 11:30, followed by Richard, Nancy and Graham Steel. He soon picked up Carl Wallbank on the radio – on his way to a new hang gliding record from Merthyr.

Conditions became tricky around Oxford and Graham and Nancy landed; Richard was low several times but got back up as did Carlo. "I eventually got lucky and managed to find a much better climb to around 4500ft near the A41," he reports. "We heard from a few other paraglider pilots who were chasing us from Milk: Ali Andrews, Simon Green, Mike Coupe and Tim Pentreath".

Carlo landed 213 km from launch after 5 hours 40 in the air. Ali, Simon, Mike and Tim flew as a gaggle to reach Thetford at 220km.

Posted: 22 July 2015

Sensational Saturday!

Another 'banging' day down south. Congratulations to paraglider pilots Graham Steel and Theo Warden for joining the 200k club.

Theo Warden gained his CP in August 2013 and is, er, 16! Some flier! On the same day hangie Andy Hollidge took off at Dunstable and landed on Cromer golf course five hours later for fish and chips and the Dunstable site record at 205km.

Posted: 22 July 2015

Kathleen Rigg sets World and European records

After Kathleen Rigg narrowly missed out on the hang gliding triangle distance record in Australia last December, world out-and-return record holder Tom Weissenberger contacted her to suggest she try setting records in the Austrian Alps.

The call came at the end of June, and on her very first flight, from Bavaria's Hochfelln on July 1st, she was able to claim both Word and European records for longest FAI triangle (200.8km) and speed round 200km triangle (27.08km/h).

Four days later, launching from Bischling in Austria, Kathleen flew east above the Dachstein glacier to a turnpoint in the Gesäuse National Park for a women's World and European out-and-return record distance of 229.8km, eclipsing Françoise Dieuzeide-Banet's 2012 record of 202.5km.

The female triangle distance world record has been held by UK women exclusively: Jenny Ganderton at 69km in 1989 and 107km in 1990, Judy Leden at 114km in 1991, and Nikki Seilern (nee Hamilton) at 167km in 2002.

Posted: 22 July 2015

BHPA club presentation

Sites Officer Martin Baxter has put together a PowerPoint presentation to explain how the BHPA actually works. It answers fundamental questions such as who is on Exec, what is the FSC, who gets paid and where does the money from members' subscriptions go?

As few BHPA members ever attend the AGM in March, Martin's initiative is to bring the presentation to clubs up and down the country, to be delivered at winter meeting nights. It will offer members the chance to ask questions and discover more about what the Association actually does.

The presentation is ready to be delivered by Chairman Marc Asquith or another more local member of Exec. Some clubs might see the occasion as an opportunity to present their trophies and prizes.

If you know an Exec member who is local to your club please get in touch with them - contacts are in the back of this magazine. If in doubt, contact Office Manager Michelle Lanman on 01162 894316, e-mail: michelle-lanman@bhpa.co.uk.

Posted: 22 July 2015


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