British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Skywings News

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Skywings News - all non archived years

Pandemic reactions

In the light of the coronavirus pandemic the DHV have recommended that their members reduce their flying activities and follow all national and local government advice; German towing and tandem operations have been suspended along with buses to take-off areas.

The FFVL have recommended that French clubs interrupt all activities and cancel or postpone scheduled events or competitions.

The Norwegian CAA have suspended all unnecessary VFR flights in controlled or uncontrolled airspace.

Considered advice would be to abandon plans to travel to these countries or anywhere else until the situation improves. It's almost certain that BHPA pilots have already drawn this conclusion without this information.

Posted: 17 March 2020
By: Paul Dancey

Flying in Greece

The Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority advise us that BHPA members wishing to fly in Greece must contact them ( in advance, and the Hellenic Aeronautical & Airsports Federation (, in order to be updated about the National Regulations and the locations where flying can take place.

Posted: 17 March 2020
By: Paul Dancey

2019 RAeC Medals and Awards Ceremony Postponed

Royal Aero ClubIn light of the developing situation with the Covid-19 pandemic, and in conjunction with the RAF Club, the RAeC have taken the decision to postpone the presentation of the 2019 RAeC Medals and Awards which was due to take place on the 19th May 2020.

The RAeC have agreed that the ceremony will now be held on Tuesday 29th September, subject of course to the advice and/or measures in place at that time.

They will be writing to all Award recipients in the next couple of days to notify them. Any additional ticket bookings will be carried forward to the new date unless refunds are requested.

The RAeC have apologised for any inconvenience caused by this change, but they were unfortunately faced with no alternative, with the health and well-being of those attending their primary concern.

Posted: 16 March 2020
By: Paul Dancey

Hi-viz for hang gliders!

Paul Leary showing his hang glider's hi-viz leading edgeElectronic conspicuity is the current buzz phrase for pilots of all types of aircraft with electronic collision avoidance systems.

Suffolk flier Paul Leary has gone one better to help avoid conflict in the air. Paul took a striking image to his local sticker shop and got several made up in vinyl.

Many modern hang gliders are built of grey sail material, similar to the colour of a stealth bomber. White shiny leading edges are a little easier to see, but adding bright vinyl stickers as Paul has done to his Moyes Litesport - seen here in Lanzarote - really makes a difference.

Is this the start of a new trend?

Posted: 6 March 2020
By: J. Schofield

Len Gabriels

It is with great sadness that we report the death of Len Gabriels, who, following a long illness, died at his home in Hollinwood, Oldham on Monday evening aged 93.

Len Gabriels flying a mk1 Skyhook at Lobden Moor He will be remembered by many as one of the pioneers of hang gliding in the UK.

As proprietor of Skyhook Sailwings, Len designed, built and flew a range of Skyhook hang gliders. He can be seen here flying a mk1 Skyhook at Lobden Moor in February 1973.

This initial design led in steps to the successful Skyhook mk3a, plans of which were advertised in Aeromodeller magazines. In all 2,500 copies of the plans were sold, which generated a huge number of enquiries about where to get the tube, fabric, etc, so Len decided to start selling kits, and eventually complete hang gliders.

Len also took an interest in powered hang gliders, and in 1979 flew one across the channel. Len finally stopped flying at the age of 65, and took up sailing instead.

Len Gabriels' funeral will take place on Thursday 20th February at 12.00 o'clock at Oldham Crematorium, Hollinwood Cemetery, Roman Road, Oldham, OL8 3LU.

Posted: 14 February 2020
By: Paul Dancey

World Air Games cancelled

The 2022 World Air Games, to have been hosted by the Turkish Aeronautical Association (THK), have been cancelled. THK had asked the FAI to postpone the event until 2025 due to Turkey's current difficult economic situation.

After consultation, the FAI Executive took the decision to cancel rather than postpone, and to undertake a review of the WAG concept and format before deciding on any future iterations.

FAI President Bob Henderson said, 'The World Air Games is the FAI's flagship event and we must make sure it is held in optimal conditions. We will take this opportunity to discuss the future of the Games, taking FAI stakeholders' best interests into consideration.'

Posted: 11 February 2020
By: J. Schofield

Almunecar and Costa Tropical Airspace Update

Click for full size map of Almiunecar R111 Airspace Restricted airspace R111 has long existed over the Almuñécar area of southern Spain, encompassing several flying sites including Otivar, Itrabo, Loma del Gato, Alfamar and Carchuna.

Please click on the map to view the full size version.

The Spanish military intend to enforce the restrictions for R111 as military helicopters exercise in the area. To comply, local operators such as Hotel California have to seek daily permission to fly within the restricted airspace. The military will then confirm whether, and at what time, they will grant access for paragliding.

If the rules are respected the military will continue to allow paragliding in the area. Hotel California appeals to all pilots who wish to fly in and around Almuñécar to inform themselves before they start flying. Information and registration is available at the new WhatsApp group Almuñécar Vuelo Libre.

Alternatively contact Dirk Bormans at

Posted: 10 February 2020
By: Paul Dancey


The 2020 BHPA AGM will be held on Saturday March 7th at 2.30pm at the National Sports Centre, Lilleshall, Shropshire. Details of the candidates standing for election were included in the February issue of Skywings Magazine, and are also included in the AGM Reports pack which can be downloaded from this website.

Posted: 4 February 2020
By: Paul Dancey

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last updated: 15 September 2021

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