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There are 52 news items for 2018 in our database.

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Skywings News - 2018

Buttermere Bash - higher than ever!

Buttermere 2018This year's 12th anniversary event was the most successful yet as gorgeous summer weather greeted the 800 people who attended. In fantastic flying conditions the valley filled with colourful paragliders who eventually floated down to the Buttermere shore.

The Bash is primarily a charity fundraiser, donating around £3 - £4,000 to local causes each year. Beneficiaries this year include Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team, the Air Ambulance, Motor Neuron Disease Research and the community-led Fix the Old Coach Road project helping improve access to flying sites.

The Lakeland Charity Open, run by Jocky Sanderson and Al Westle, sent pilots racing from Dale Head and Skiddaw to goals many miles away. Local pilot Phil Kew was crowned champion and awarded the Tony Thompson Trophy, donated in memory of a local pilot who recently lost his fight against MND.

The event attracts some of the world's top acro pilots to perform jaw-dropping stunts. As a CAA-licenced paragliding display the Buttermere event can push the boundaries and several base jumps were conducted from tandem paragliders.

On Friday and Saturday evening flying displays were performed for the crowds. The Ospreys skydiving team dropped spectacularly from their plane at 6,000ft, carving through the evening sky to swoop along the lake and into the event base in style. They were followed by paragliding display pilots doing multiple high-G manoeuvres before bands cranked up and played the nights away.

Organiser Gordie Oliver: "Every year we feel that this was the best event yet. The fantastic weather, beautiful location and spectacular flying conditions, and some of the best bands in the north, mean that this unique event is the highlight of everyone's summer. Everyone leaves with a smile, new friends and happy memories."

Posted: 5 July 2018
By: Paul Dancey


Tour de France urgent warning

The 2018 Tour de France runs from July 7th - 29th, with 21 legs all around France. The race and its preceding advertising caravan is overflown by several fixed and rotary wing aircraft at different altitudes. These include film crews, VIP flights, etc, based at the airports nearest to where the race stops overnight.

In mountain areas Temporary Restricted Areas (TRA) have been a rule for several years. In addition, the CNFAS (Conseil National des Fédérations Aéronautiques et Sportives) of which the FFVL is a member, strongly recommends avoiding flying over the Tour de France during the stages. It is also mandatory to respect air rules and the conditions of penetration of the airspace published in Notams, AIC or AIP Supplements.

The CNFAS is asking all air sports federations to circulate this document as much as possible in European countries so that pilots stay away from the race. In mountain regions the passage of the Tour may limit the operation of aircraft and even of the VFR 'See and Avoid' principle.

If all pilots behave well and stay away from the race the event will be a success and allow the CNFAS to obtain fewer TRAs and constraints in the future.

Full details can be downloaded from the FFVL website, and further information about the tour is available on the Tour de France website.

Posted: 5 July 2018
By: Paul Dancey


Immediate Urgent Warning: Innsbruck area

To ALL pilots flying in the Tirol, Bavarian Alps and Südtirol (Northern Italy)

Due to a meeting of EU Ministers, temporary restricted airspace, radius 30 nautical miles, will be established around Innsbruck. The restriction runs from 07:00 local time on July 12th to 20:00 local time on from July 13th.

The restriction prohibits all civil aircraft operating in VFR including hang gliding paragliding and parachute jumping operations. Aircraft violating the regulations will be intercepted by military aircraft.

Ambulance flights, rescue flights, flights within disaster operations and Police UAVs are of course exempt. Further details, in English and including a map, can be found on the Austro Control website.

Posted: 5 July 2018
By: Paul Dancey


The Lakes Charity Classic

A reminder that the 2018 Lakes Charity Classic runs at the Grasmere Showground on July 14th - 15th.

As well as the competition itself, the ever-popular coaching groups will run on both days. Alternative bad-weather tasks are planned, plus plenty of free activities and lots to do for non-flying family and friends. The site includes an indoor bar, toilets and showers, plus wi-fi and good phone coverage.

On-site camping is available (fees are extra) and there's local accommodation nearby. Flying activities are also planned for the Friday and Monday. Full details are available on the Cumbria Soaring Club website. The LCC sells out quickly - don't delay!

Posted: 8 June 2018
By: Paul Dancey


Reckless paramotoring

Not for the first time, multiple reports are coming in regarding reckless paramotor flying around nature reserves, SSSIs and wetland habitats such as inland reservoirs. Many of these reports mention persistent nuisance and extremely low flying.

This time of year is particularly sensitive as most bird species are breeding and can be easily frightened into leaving their nests. Power pilots are reminded that the RSPB and other nature reserve operators are extremely well organised and their members own powerful binoculars and very good cameras. In addition, quite apart from any nuisance aspect and complaints, a bird strike over a reservoir could be awkward.

Flying in such a manner is of questionable legality; the CAA's current enthusiasm for prosecuting leisure pilots should be noted. If you are paramotoring in such a manner, please desist. If you know people who fly like this, please educate them as to the recklessness of their actions. It is a shame that paramotoring will be judged by the thoughtless actions of a few, but that is the way it works!

Posted: 8 June 2018
By: Paul Dancey


David Cook anniversary

David Cook Piloting a modified Volmer VJ 23E hang glider Copyright Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester / SSPL. Creative Commons BY-NC-SAMay 9th marked the 40th anniversary of David Cook's pioneering 1978 cross-channel flight on a modified Volmer VJ 23E hang glider.

Despite a modest 9hp engine - less than half the power used by Blériot's on his 1909 crossing - David achieved the seemingly impossible, touching down near Calais after over an hour in the air to be told by a startled local, "All English people are crazy!"
Duckhams-sponsored Volmer VJ 23E hang glider Copyright Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester / SSPL. Creative Commons BY-NC-SA
David's Duckhams-sponsored machine is displayed at Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry (well worth a visit in its own right). He went on to design the remarkable Shadow microlight - nearly 400 built - and returned briefly to foot launched flying in 2013 to test fly Andrius Rudd's home-built VJ-23E.

David was also one of the very first east coast hang glider pilots, at the core of a group who pioneered the East Anglian cliffs and dunes back in 1974. We are ever in his debt.

Posted: 8 June 2018
By: Paul Dancey


Mid-Wales sites reminder

The Mid Wales Hang Gliding and Paragliding Club would like to respectfully remind all pilots that although the area has many tantalising and attractive-looking hills, we do not have permission to fly them all.

Before flying any hill that may not appear in the site guide please contact the Club. There are many reasons why flyable-looking hills are not Open sites, including the fact that the hill may be under negotiation, or that the landowner requests that people don't fly there but has given the Club permission to fly other hills owned by them.

Just turning up and flying jeopardises any current and possible future arrangements the Club may have.

Posted: 29 April 2018
By: Paul Dancey


BVHGR raffle

British Vintage Hang Gliding Rally 20181000 tickets are available for the 2018 British Vintage Hang Gliding Rally raffle. BVHGR Chairman Steve Pionk hopes to be able to raise up to £2,000 for the Alzheimer's Society.

The many valuable prizes include a week's accommodation at FlyStAndre, taster flying experiences with four different free flight and microlight schools, flying clothing from Avian and Simon Murphy, £50 worth of Morrisons vouchers and a bumper bottle of Prosecco - the list is getting longer by the day.

Tickets cost £2 each on the British Vintage Hang Gliding Rally website or at the BVHGR, hosted by Parafest at Llanbedr on July 27th - 29th.

Posted: 27 April 2018
By: Paul Dancey


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