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British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Skywings News

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Skywings news items published in 2021 are displayed below.

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There are 24 news items for 2021 in our database.

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Skywings News - 2021

Covid-19 BHPA Advice

To all BHPA licenced Instructors (including Air Experience Instructors).

The CAA have issued the statement below to provide clarity on the Government's position on General Aviation flying for the purposes of Instructor Currency.

"The current GA guidance in relation to Covid restrictions permits GA flying for the purposes of work, and the CAA has confirmed with the DfT that this includes any activity that is "reasonably necessary" for an individual's work, where there are no alternative options available. This would include pilots who need to keep up with required training or currency flights for their work; for example, a professional pilot or any pilot in possession of a current instructional qualification. Therefore, instructors are permitted to fly to maintain required training or currency. Instructors are not permitted to fly with students, with the exception of professional training as detailed above."

Coronavirus - Covid 19 General Aviation

As a result of this clarification, the BHPA is now able to issue advice for its members who hold Instructor licences.

All BHPA Instructor licences (including Development Instructors and Air Experience Instructors) require annual renewal. This renewal is dependent on evidence of personal flight currency and instructional/operational currency in accordance with Section 4.1.5 of the BHPA Technical Manual.

Current members who hold any type of BHPA Instructor licence may resume solo personal flying in accordance with the CAA's guidance, strictly for the purposes of maintaining personal flight currency to support renewal of their licence. Flights are limited to the local flying area. Cross country flights are not permitted.

This permission is limited to those who are licensed to undertake instruction, other members who are required to provide a means for these flights to take place (launch marshalls, winch operators and tug pilots) may undertake these duties.

Lockdown rules applicable to the country in which you live and work must be adhered to, and can be found by following the link in the quoted statement above. It is intended that instructors who need to travel to sites to fly should remain as local to their home as possible. The reference in the CAA Guidance to "professional training as detailed above" does not apply to our sports but is intended to allow courses for the training of prospective airline pilots and the like to continue.

Our advice to all BHPA members who fly for leisure has not changed. Even though flying locally may be legally permitted, pressures on the National Health Service remain high and with the potential impact of an accident on Mountain Rescue Teams in some areas, you must refrain from flying for the duration of this lockdown.

Further advice on currency issues will follow in the Instructor & Coach Newsletter which will be issued shortly.

Posted: 9 February 2021
By: Paul Dancey

Gin Genie Lite 3 Safety Notice

Some models of the Genie Lite 3 harness have been found to have critical issues with the emergency parachute handle that may cause difficulty in extracting it.

Rectification can be easily performed by the end-user by following the instructions in Gin's Safety Notice here.

If you own a Genie Lite 3 purchased before February 2021, download this document. The recommended action must be taken before your next flight. If in any doubt, or not confident for any reason, contact your GIN dealer.

Gin Gliders, February 2nd 2021

Posted: 8 February 2021
By: J. Schofield

Buttermere Bash

Buttermere 2021 Bash Plans are underway for the 14th Buttermere Bash on June 4th and 5th, with camping available from the June 1st.

Organiser Gordie Oliver reports, 'Fingers crossed, we will be emerging from the pandemic and restrictions in time to gather and celebrate on the shores of beautiful Buttermere again. Further details will be listed nearer the time; for now get the essential summer kick-start in your diary.'

The Bash gathers free flyers and and like-minded souls to raise funds for local charities. It showcases some of the world's top acro stars alongside a paragliding comp and sensational bands each evening.

For details contact gordon_oliver@hotmail.com

Posted: 8 February 2021
By: Joe Schofield

New British sports-paragliding event

The BHPA Paragliding Comps Panel has launched a brand-new initiative for Sports wings only (EN A-C) at Gemona in northern Italy. The event is scheduled for August 1st - 7th (in the area's dry period). It's a serious competition, not a low-level or training comp; top British pilots won't be excluded as long as they fly a Sports class wing.

Entrants to the British Paragliding Sports Class Championships must be BHPA Pilot rated and have competed in at least one other competition. It is also recommended that pilots have Alpine experience and have done an SIV course.

Registration (£240) is already open and there is a 25% BHPA subsidy for members who sign up and pay early. Up to a maximum of 75 pilots entry will be restricted to BHPA members; thereafter it will be open to all nationalities. Registration is here.

Posted: 8 February 2021
By: J. Schofield

Northern Challenge Series

The 2020 NCS, sponsored by Ozone was a useful antidote to last year's difficulties. Although closed during the Spring lockdown, its flexibility still provided two clear winners.

Main Series winner Geoff Crossley (Omega X-Alps 3) attempted nine tasks, making goal on four with some very fast times to recapture the trophy he won in 2018.

Serious Hike and Fly pilot John Westall (Zeolite/Sigma 10), using the tasks to prepare for the X-Lakes and Dragon events, was H&F Series winner.

The four separate NCS Challenges are also tough, not least Bob Graham's 67k circumnavigation of the Lakes, and John Westall completing the Dales Three Peaks twice - once on foot!

The 2021 Series opens on March 1st. Two of the 14 main tasks have been replaced by new ones, and there is extra recognition for pilots flying gliders of EN C and below. Rules, guidance and information can be found via the 'NCT information' link here.

Posted: 8 February 2021
By: J. Schofield

Learn to Fly Zoom meetings - update

We may not be able to fly at the moment due to the lockdown restrictions, but there's lots of exciting preparation going on behind the scenes at Green Dragons Airsports.

So, why not grab the opportunity to find out more about learning to paraglide, hang glide, paramotor, hang glide with power, or fly accuracy by registering for one of the following Zoom meetings for would-be free fliers:

The sessions will also help you to understand some of the Psychology behind Learning to Fly, and Green Dragons' instructor and coach teams will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Please use the following links to register for these zoom meetings:

Learn to Fly - Paragliding on the 21st January at 8.00pm

Learn to Fly - Paramotor on the 24th January at 8.00pm

Learn to Fly - Hang gliding & Self-propelled Hang gliding on the 26th January at 8.00pm

Learn to Fly - Parascending on the 28th January at 8.00pm

Learn to Fly - Psychology of Learning to Fly on the 31st January at 8.00pm

Posted: 19 January 2021
By: Paul Dancey

Green Dragons' Learn to Fly Zoom meetings

Andy Shaw, CFI at the Green Dragons training school, will be dedicating an evening each week to a public-facing Zoom meeting for would-be free fliers.

He plans to cover all disciplines - learn to paraglide, hang glide, paramotor, hang glide with power and fly accuracy - and may invite other schools and clubs to join in.

A trial meeting on January 13th saw 26 would-be fliers from across the UK supported by 14 BHPA coaches and instructors. The feedback from those present was very positive.

Search for:Green Dragons' Facebook page and go from there.

Posted: 14 January 2021
By: J. Schofield

BHPA statement – Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As we know, from 5 January 2021 the UK government has imposed a further lockdown in England.

The other home nations have their own lockdowns in place.

Unfortunately, the Parliamentary draftsman has chosen an extremely complex way of producing legislation for this lockdown in England. It has been done by amending the Regulations that came into effect in November 2020.

In Tier 4 locations, the basic law is that you must stay at home. There are then exceptions to this, such as going shopping for essentials etc. There were two exceptions that were important to our sports.

Firstly, to take exercise outside, and secondly, to visit a public outdoor place for the purposes of open-air recreation.

The new Regulations have deleted that second exception. When considered alongside the Government's Guidelines, this means that:

You can only leave your home to exercise, and not for the purpose of recreation or leisure (e.g. a picnic or a social meeting).

You may exercise in a public outdoor place on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble.

Public outdoor places relevant to flying include local beaches, countryside accessible to the public and forests.

Outdoor exercise should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area, defined as "the village, town, or part of the city where you live".

Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household.

The CAA have also revised their Guidelines to say that no leisure flying is permitted.

The police can take action against you if you leave home without a 'reasonable excuse' or break other rules. Fixed Penalty Notices can be issued starting at £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400.

We had hoped that we might be able to advise that flying locally was permitted, and legally it is. But taken in conjunction with the pressures we are seeing on A&E and ITU Departments, it does seem that BHPA advice to all our pilots, powered and unpowered must be that for the duration of this lockdown, members must refrain from flying.

Marc Asquith
BHPA Chairman

Posted: 7 January 2021
By: Paul Dancey

last updated: 15 April 2021

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