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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 Two of the 14 main tasks have been replaced by new ones, and there is extra recognition for pilots flying gliders of EN C and below.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
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
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
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.
Posted: 7 January 2021
BHPA AGM update
The 2021 BHPA AGM runs on Saturday March 13th. Although the venue is uncertain it will be live-streamed on the BHPA Facebook page.
Posted: 31 December 2020
The BHPA Office will close for Christmas at 1pm on Wednesday 23rd December, and reopen on Monday 4th January 2021.
The BHPA online shop will continue to be available over the Christmas holidays outlined above, but we will be unable to process any orders placed until staff return on Monday 4th January 2021.
Similarly, it will be possible to submit online applications to join the BHPA or renew BHPA membership via this website during the Christmas holiday, but we will be unable to process or approve any applications submitted during that period, until the office reopens on Monday 4th January 2021.
Posted: 18 December 2020
CANP contact change
Reorganisation of the RAF's low flying coordination system has seen the Low Flying Operations Flight (LFOF) become a part of the new Military Airspace Management Cell (MAMC).
With effect from January 4th, CANP bookings will now be handled by Low Flying Coordination (LFC). The contact e-mail is now SWK-MAMC-Lowflying@mod.gov.uk and the contact phone number is 01489 443100. The Freephone number 0800 515544 remains active.
The best way to submit a CANP request remains via the online system here.
Full details of the CANP system are here.
Posted: 14 December 2020
Steve Bramfitt for X-Alps
The tenth Red Bull X-Alps event is scheduled to start at Salzburg on June 20th, 2021. 33 pilots from 17 nations will complete in paragliding's toughest event.
Entrants include six-times winner Chrigel Maurer, 2019 runner-up Maxime Pinot, and Tom Coconea who was second in 2009 and 2011. Patrick von Känel was 8th in 2019; in August he beat Maurer into second place at the DolomitiSuperFly and might have something to say about another Chrigel win.
Among a total of 14 new entrants is British Open regular Steve Bramfitt, 35, originally an accomplished acro pilot but more recently an exponent of hike-and-fly.
Red Bull publicity will ramp up as the event approaches. Behind the razzmatazz, the pilots know they will have to travel 1,000km by foot or paraglider through often-inhospitable alpine terrain. They will endure pain, fatigue and possible injury to avoid elimination and reach the finish.
Although consummate flying skill and ultra-fitness are required, in the end the high cards are strategic thinking and mental fortitude. The X-Alps 2021 route will be announced on March 16th.
Posted: 1 December 2020
last updated: 18 November 2023
Visiting Overseas Hang Gliding & Paragliding Pilots please read this...