British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Skywings News

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Skywings news items published in 2016 are displayed below.

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There are 61 news items for 2016 in our database.

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Skywings News - 2016

Glastonbury paramotor pilot in court

Some may recall the story of a paramotor pilot who ignored Temporary Restricted Airspace to land at the Glastonbury Festival.

On January 27th at Weston-Super-Mare Magistrates Court, David Hoare, 59, was convicted of breaching the TRA, fined £400 and ordered to pay costs of £160. Mr Hoare, of Somerton in Somerset, flew over the festival's Healing Fields before landing at the site: he was apprehended by security personnel.

He had been convicted of an identical offence in 2011 and fined £250 with costs of £100; he is said to be well known in the Wessex area for attention-seeking flying. David Hoare is not a BHPA member.

Posted: 13 March 2016
By: Paul Dancey

USHPA achieves $2m target!

Faced with savage rises in insurance premiums and eventually the loss of all insurance cover, late last year the USHPA concluded that self-insurance was the only viable way to continue flying.

To cover the projected costs of their proposed Risk Retention Group the Association needed to raise $2m by March 1st. On February 1st we learnt that they had attained that goal ahead of time. This was achieved by some astonishing individual and collective actions: donations from members, individual members auctioning stuff, an anonymous $25k matching grant, over $70k raised by Wyoming's Jackson Hole club, many fund-matching challenges from other clubs and an anonymous $100k challenge grant donation right at the start of the campaign.

The $2 million target was the minimum necessary; fundraising is to continue to make the RRG stronger. Congratulations to the USHPA, its clubs and individual members; US free fliers are about to create a more sustainable future for those who come after - it's an historic moment! To learn more or to contribute go to the USHPA website.

Posted: 13 March 2016
By: Paul Dancey

Evaluation of Sport England's Club Matters

Sport England has commissioned Brightpurpose Consulting to carry out an independent evaluation of Club Matters, their 'one stop-shop' for support for sports clubs in England. Sport in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales come under Sport Norther Ireland, Sportscotland, and Sport Wales respectively.

The overall purpose of the Sport England evaluation is to understand the impact of Club Matters on the development and sustainability of English sports clubs, and to gather learning that will help inform its future development.

Brightpurpose have designed an online survey for sports clubs to find out what types of clubs are using Club Matters, why and how. They also want to know whether club volunteers have heard of Club Matters and more generally what support they need for their club.

Sport England are anxious to reach as many English sports clubs as possible and have therefore asked the BHPA to help publicise this survey. The suvey is straightforward and will take less than 10 minutes to complete on-line using the following link:

For further information about this survey, or about Club Matters more generally, then please contact Richard Davis-Boreham at Sport England.

Posted: 9 March 2016
By: Paul Dancey

AustrialAlpin buckle warning

A safety warning has been released regarding the AustrialAlpin Cobra harness buckle that is widely used on hang glider, paraglider and paramotor harness types from many different manufacturers.

Some buckles have been identified in which the the rivets have not been closed; the release clips may detach with potentially very serious consequences. All pilots should examine the buckles on their harnesses at the first opportunity.

If these are of the of the AustrialAlpin Cobra type please download the safety notice issued by AustriAlpin for further details.

Posted: 14 February 2016
By: Paul Dancey

Skywings online!

The launch of January's online version of Skywings magazine appears to have gone well. We've received a number of likes on Facebook and, once issues with members using older unsupported software were ironed out, no negative feedback. If the online version proves to be a popular option it will eventually reflect the online media world in appearance and functionality. But that's a long-term goal; for the present we are simply providing an online version of the printed magazine.

The February 2016 issue of Skywings is available to view online or download on the Skywings Magazine page of this website. Please enter the username and password published in the printed version of the February issue when requested. After six months this issue will be freely available with no password required.

The printed version of Skywings remains unchanged. Publishing an online version simply represents a modest experiment to evaluate the demand for an electronic version, and should also help us to get a better idea of the difficulties in delivering that.

On some devices, you may find that the best option is to either select single page spread when viewing online, or download the pdf file for viewing offline. This will enable you to make best use of your device's available screen width, and may help reduce the need to zoom in and out to increase text size.

Posted: 2 February 2016
By: Paul Dancey

Record conditions in NSW

At a French record camp at Deniliquin Seiko Fukuoka Naville reset the female free distance (using up to three turnpoints) to 378km aboard an Enzo 2 on December 14th, handsomely exceeding Nicole Fedele's 2010 record of 255.7km.

Early in January we heard that Japan's Yoko Isomoto had broken Kari Castle's longstanding 353.4km ladies straight-distance-to-goal record with a flight of 367.6km from Forbes aboard a Wills Wing T2C.

Posted: 2 February 2016
By: Paul Dancey

Old hang gliding film

Francis Freedland's 1978 film Pico Peak International Hang Gliding Meet documents one of the earliest hang gliding competitions, held in Vermont, USA with a remarkable $10,000 purse. Notable appearances include Jean-Michel Bernasconi, (went on to found Pacific Windcraft) and Dennis Pagen (soon-to-be-prolific author) among many others.

The 48-minute film is available online on YouTube. Everard Cunion report, "Hang glider pilots are restoring old film of the early days while it is still there to be rescued; 1978 Pico Peak is about the best I have seen."

Posted: 2 February 2016
By: Paul Dancey

Pierre Bouilloux

Our world is the poorer for the passing of pioneer pilot, instructor, manufacturer and vol-biv exponent Pierre Bouilloux on December 22nd. Originally a great climber who would go on to put up some great routes in the western Alps, in 1979 Pierre started a hang gliding school at Annecy.

In 1985 he took up paragliding and rapidly became one of the sport's early pioneers. He was one of the first pilots to start breaking records and went on to set many world triangle and out-and-return records; his 237.1km triangle around the Tête du Parmelan remains unbeaten after 12 years.

Pierre was also a pioneer of vol-bivouac flying, sometimes disappearing into the mountains for weeks and once achieving 385km in 12 days. Earlier, in 1982, he had set up Sup'Air to develop and manufacture hang gliding harnesses; when the company turned towards paragliding it soon became a world leader in harness design. Pierre led the company for over 30 years, relinquishing his controlling role only recently.

Although skilled in other flying disciplines including gliding, microlighting and flying small helicopters, at which he had recently set up a school, Pierre was most at home in the air with a lightweight paraglider, a string harness and no helmet or reserve parachute. To many who encountered him he became a kind of spiritual father.

Posted: 2 February 2016
By: Paul Dancey

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last updated: 5 June 2024

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