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British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

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Safety Notice - Finsterwalder Quick-Out Carabiner

Finsterwalder and the BHPA have issued a safety notices regarding the Finsterwalder Quick-Out Carabiner.

When Finsterwalder set up their production of the Quick-Out release buttons in January 2015, about 20 release buttons were produced incorrectly; and at least one such faulty Quick-Out carabiner was put into circulation.

The error eliminates one of the 4 security levels: To open the carabiner, it is sufficient to press only the correct release button instead of pressing both release buttons simultaneously.

At the final inspection, every single Quick-Out carabiner undergoes a load test of 2,000 DaN. However, the error was not noticeable, since the stress test is also passed with only one release button intact. If the Quick-Out is operated in accordance with the current version of their operating instructions, downloadable from the Finsterwalder website, the error will be noticed immediately.

All Finsterwalder Quick-Out users are therefore urged to check their carabiners before they next use them.

For further information about this issue, and how to spot a faulty carabiner, please download BHPA Safety Notice 034 or the Finsterwalder Safety Notice.

Posted: 2 April 2019
By: Paul Dancey

Wanted GA Alliance Programme Manager

The General Aviation Alliance is involved in a significant and increasing amount of regulatory engagement and response activity, including that related to airspace modernization.

To provide professional support to its engagement and response activity, the GA Alliance is seeking a contracted Programme Manager.

The scope of the task includes the management of;

  • All consultations on issues launched by regulators and Govt
  • All airspace change proposals submitted under prevailing regulation
  • Liaison with GAA member representatives, GAA appointed consultants, and external stakeholders

This remunerated contractor role, that is initially likely to require the around 10 hours per week, will suit a person with a formal qualification in business administration or significant business administration experience, and who has knowledge of general aviation as well as a desire to learn more.

The closing date for applications is 29th March 2019.

Please submit a CV and application letter via email to pete@gliding.co.uk or by post to;

Pete Stratten, GA Alliance Secretary, Lower Floor, 8 Merus Court, Meridian Business Park, Leicester, LE19 1RJ

Posted: 13 March 2019
By: Paul Dancey

The BVHGR returns!

Dave Parsons and Vortex 120 at Hackpen Hill in 1997 - photo courtesy of  Justin Parsons The British Vintage Hang Gliding Rally (BVHGR) will return to Parafest for 2019 with displays of gliders and nostalgia galore. 'We had everything in place for a fantastic rally in 2018,' writes BVHGR Chairman Steve Pionk, 'but were stymied at the last minute by the weather.

'We think we've found the correct weather God to pray to this year and are planning to coax a few old hang gliders out of their bags to spread their wings. Parafest is the best flying festival in the calendar and we are looking forward to working with Mark Meadows again.

'Roll on July 11th, and see you there!' Tickets for Parafest can be found on the Parafest website, and keep an eye on the BVHGR website for the latest info. Photo by Justin Parsons shows Dave Parsons and Vortex 120 at Hackpen Hill, Wilts in 1997.

Posted: 5 March 2019
By: J. Schofield

PWC Superfinal info

The Paragliding World Cup Superfinal takes place at Baixo Guandu in Brazil from March 19th - 30th. Supporters can follow the event on the PWCA website where they will find live commentary and live tracking, plus pilot profiles, or via the PWCA app which now features photos and a 'follow' button to allow you keep up with your favourite pilots.

British pilots will include Guy Anderson (Ozone Enzo 3), Idris Birch (Gin Boomerang 11), Harry Bloxham, Martin Long, Russ Ogden (all Enzo 3), Julian Robinson (Boomerang 11), Theo Warden and Andrew Williams (both Enzo 3).

Posted: 5 March 2019
By: J. Schofield

Buttermere Bash

The legendary Buttermere BashThe legendary Buttermere Bash free flight festival, and the Lakeland Charity Open paragliding comp, will take place on Friday May 31st and Saturday June 1st at the usual location on the shores of Buttermere. Plans are being made to attract some of the world's top acro pilots to the UK's only acro display.

In addition, fantastic bands will fill the night with music. Camping will be available from Tuesday May 28th - details are available on the Air Ventures website. details of the charity paragliding competition, consisting of A and B comps and a coaching group for low-airtime pilots, can be found on the Escape website.

Posted: 5 March 2019
By: J. Schofield

Flybubble weather!

Flybubble weather - built on the RASP forecasting modelFlybubble have come up with an innovative free tool for paraglider and hang glider pilots. Built on the RASP forecasting model and using the known parameters of flyable conditions at each site, Flybubble Weather makes finding good conditions easy.

Its two-page presentation offers an overview map for spotting good days and promising areas, and a site detail page where you can scan through the next five days' weather to see the best times to fly. It includes airspace at selectable levels, Notams and a 'low cloudbase' filter, while 'amber alerts' warn of strong winds aloft.

It covers all of the UK and Ireland and over time will provide a reliable match between the forecast model and what really happens at specific sites.

If pilots flying 20 years ago had seen this they wouldn't have believed it possible - hats off to Flybubble and to team pilot Caedmon Mullin who developed and designed it. This innovative free tool is available on the Flybubble website.

Posted: 5 March 2019
By: J. Schofield

Flying Wing lecture

Jonathan Howes flying his Litespeed 2XThe annual lecture of the Royal Aeronautical Society's Human Powered Flying Group is entitled 'Aero-mechanical stabilisation of flying wing aircraft: reducing weight and drag'.

The lecture will be given by Jonathan Howes of Howes Aero-Nautics Ltd, a current hang glider pilot and one of the originators of the recent BVHG rallies. His lecture outlines an investigation into reducing an aircraft to the bare minimum using aero-mechanical servo techniques to control unstable configurations.

It's at 6pm on Wednesday February 27th at 4 Hamilton Place, London W1J 7BQ. Details and booking - free to all - is at RAeC Lecture or email conference@aerosociety.com.

Posted: 5 February 2019
By: Joe Schofield

Solar-powered flight anniversary

The world's very first solar-powered flight at Lasham in 1978December 19th 2018 marked the 40th anniversary of the world's very first solar- powered flight. Only a short hop was achieved at Lasham in 1978, but on June 13th the following year Ken Stewart covered nearly three-quarters of a mile in the same machine at 35 knots. 

Earlier, British architect Fred To had started a project to build a human-powered aircraft for the Kremer Prize. When it proved too heavy for human-powered flight Fred converted it to solar power.

Its 24-cell battery pack, weighing 30kg, powered four 36V electric motors driving a propeller at 1,100 rpm. The batteries were charged by 750 three-inch solar cells, by far the most costly part of the project. 

A later planned flight across the Channel was abandoned when it was found that the aircraft did not have the endurance. 

Last October Fred was presented with a long-overdue award when the PlanetSolar Foundation brought energy pioneers from across the world together in Switzerland. 

Fred To is still active in HPA circles and is currently working on a redesign of his successful 1982 Phoenix. 

Posted: 5 February 2019
By: Joe Schofield

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last updated: 15 April 2021

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