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British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Skywings Archived News

Skywings Archived News - Sep 2015

Welsh Government Consultation - Improving opportunities to access the outdoors for responsible recreation

Access to the countryside in Wales is currently subject to the same rules as it is in England: hang gliding and paragliding are specifically excluded from the Countryside Rights of Way (CRoW) Act. But the Welsh Government is running a consultation on "improving opportunities to access the outdoors for responsible recreation", and this is our opportunity to influence a change.

Paul Dancey will be responding on behalf of the Welsh Free Flight Federation (WFFF), and all Welsh clubs have been invited to do the same. Martin Baxter will be supporting the WFFF position from a BHPA perspective. But clubs and individuals from outside Wales are also welcome to contribute to the debate. Whilst this won't change things in England in the short term, it may help to influence those in Westminster in the longer term.

We don't want to give you a 'copy and paste' solution because individual views are so much more credible, but we believe that there are 2 options that could make a big difference to negotiating and maintaining access to flying sites:

Adopting a model similar to that currently in enjoyed by pilots in Scotland, where there is a right of responsible access to all land, with some exclusions.
Removing hang gliding and paragliding from Schedule 2 of the CRoW Act - at the moment this specifically excludes us from gaining access.

The consultation can be found on the Welsh Government website and the closing date is 2 Oct 2015. Whilst they ask you to fill in a rather lengthy form there is also an email address, AccessandOutdoorRecreation@wales.gsi.gov.uk, which might be better for shorter messages.

Posted: 11 September 2015

200k fever!

Saturday July 18th was another 'banging' day down south and some huge flights were made from Milk Hill White Horse. Congratulations to Phil Wallbank (310km), Alex Coltman (227km), Alistair Andrews (222km), Graham Steel (215km) and Theo Warden (206km) on joining the 200 Club.

Theo Warden gained his CP in August 2013 and is, er, 16! The day saw a record total of 2819 points secured by 28 paraglider pilots, the average distance flown being over 100km! Meanwhile, on the same day Andy Hollidge flew from Dunstable to Cromer, landing on a golf course after five hours for 205km undeclared.

More was to come, for on July 30th Carlo Borsattino made his third 200km flight of the year, from Selsley Common to Herstmonceux in East Sussex for 203km, and on the following day knocked off yet another – 238km from Milk to Spilsby in Lincs!

Posted: 18 August 2015

CAA campaign to reduce airspace infringements

The CAA has announced that serious airspace infringements at six of the highest-risk controlled airspace (CAS) locations in the UK should be cut by 50 percent over the next 12 months.

The hot-spots identified are Birmingham, Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton, Southampton and Stansted. Working Teams at each location have agreed the targets and are committed to delivering the reductions, by improving existing procedures, by December 2015.

Should any of these targets 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 hot-spot.

This could mandate the use of radios and/or transponders within that area and thus render it effectively closed to free fliers. Other potential solutions include rationalising airspace boundaries.

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: 18 August 2015

Paragliding Accuracy Nationals

The re-run of the FAI Category 2 Paragliding Accuracy National Championship will be held in the Shropshire/Wales area on October 24th - 25th, with a weather fallback to the following weekend (with League status), subject to confirmation.

The Championship is open to all CP(H) and above rated pilots. As well as individual and team honours there are trophies for best CP, best newcomer, most-improved pilot and best veteran, and a Novice competition for non CP-rated pilots (who must be supervised by their own instructor).

Transport to take-off and pack lunches will be provided. Camping and headquarters will be at the Royal Hill at Edgerley, ten miles west of Shrewsbury (SY10 8ES/grid SJ 351174). To book a pitch contact Ruth on 07968 656724 quoting 'Paragliding Nationals'. Numbers are limited to 60. Paid-up entrants to the cancelled June event will need to sign up-to-date Affidavit and Waiver forms.

Posted: 18 August 2015

RAeC Trust bursaries

The Royal Aero Club Trust recently awarded a total of 44 bursaries to young people to advance their existing air sport qualifications.

This year saw a significant increase in applications and awards; the Trust had widened the age range for eligibility and introduced follow-on awards to allow previous winners to make further progress. The bursaries are made possible by the generosity of the RAeC, the Peter Cruddas Foundation, the MacRobert Trust and the aviation-specific Bramson and Breitling sources.

The BHPA's own Theo Warden was awarded one to enable him to pursue SIV training. The awards, of up to £1,000, are made annually to help younger pilots reach the next level in their chosen air sport. If you are between 14 and 21 and financial assistance would help you progress, go to the Royal Aero Club website; applications usually close at the end of March. Every young BHPA pilot should apply!

Posted: 18 August 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: 18 August 2015

15 years in Algo!

Baz and Sam Rhodes of Andalucian-Experience would like to thank all of their clients who have made the last 15 years so brilliant for them.

"We have enjoyed all of your company and made some great friends along the way," says Sam. "Here's hoping the next 15 are just as good!" Baz and Sam are currently travelling round Portugal; Andalucian-Experience reopens at the beginning of this month.

Posted: 18 August 2015

Indoor skydiving

The BHPA has teamed up with Airkix Indoor Skydiving to offer a fantastic deal to its members. Using state-of-the art wind tunnel technology, Airkix totally reproduces the feeling of free-fall without the need to jump out of an aeroplane.

You'll experience exactly what it feels like to free-fall as your body is suspended in wind speeds of up to 150mph. Indoor skydiving is so realistic that all top skydiving teams use wind tunnels in their training. With locations in Basingstoke, Manchester and Milton Keynes, Airkix is for everyone.

It's not weather dependent and it's totally safe, so anyone aged from 4 to 104 can try it! What's more, you can now save 25% off all first time flyer experiences using the code BHPA25; to take advantage visit the Airkix website.

[The promo code – enter when prompted during online purchase – is valid for first time flyer experience bookings made in person, over the phone or online, between 11th and 25th November. Flights can be taken at anytime thereafter. You can also use the code to purchase a voucher for a first time flyer experience, valid for nine months. On the day the booker must show their BHPA membership card. This deal cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.]

Posted: 11 September 2015


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