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Importance of tandem paraglider equipment checks
The BHPA has just been made aware of a tragic accident that occurred in France on 14th July where the pilot and passenger of a tandem paraglider were killed when the spreaders broke at the connection point with the glider, leading to the complete separation of the pilot and passenger from the wing.
The FFVL report (in French) suggests that the age of the spreaders was probably the cause of the rupture. The FFVL recommends that all tandem pilots check the condition of their spreaders, or have them inspected by a professional. They should be replaced if there is visible wear or damage, if they have had 500hrs use, or if they are more than five years old.
The BHPA FSC recommends all of its members who fly tandem paragliders to take heed of the FFVL's advice concerning spreader checks and replacement, and reminds pilots of the importance of regular condition checks on all of their tandem equipment.
As the incident occurred very recently, further safety information may be published as the investigation progresses.
Posted: 17 July 2020
No 2020 British Champs
The British Paragliding Comps Panel has decided that there will be no British Championship Open in 2020 due to ongoing uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
'We had hoped to be able to organise something later this summer' says Comps Panel Chair Guy Anderson, 'but with general concerns over renewed outbreaks, and the potential for further travel disruption, we couldn't be 100% sure of holding a fair and sporting competition.
'We are planning our next event, the British Winter Open, once again at Roldanillo, Colombia, in January 2021. It would be great to repeat last year's epic event with the legendary racing conditions of the Cauca valley.
'Local organiser Lucho Jimenez has exciting plans to take us on a mini tour of the valley to include the Piedechinche and Anselmo Nuevo launches. Obviously all will depend on the situation with regards Covid-19, so fingers crossed. We hope to have positive news for you later in the year.'
For the latest news see the British Opens web page.
Posted: 14 July 2020
CAA consults on airspace reclassification
In June the CAA launched a consultation on a new draft procedure for reviewing airspace classification.
It follows an 2019 exercise inviting stakeholders to suggest areas of airspace that should be considered for reclassification, thus altering the the flight rules that apply.
The CAA says that the new procedure will help them ensure that 'the amount of controlled airspace is the minimum required to maintain a high standard of safety, and that the needs of all airspace users are reflected on an equitable basis.'
Stakeholders will be free to submit information about access concerns for any piece of airspace. When the CAA reviews its effectiveness, normally every two years, this information will be taken into account. The new process will go live in December 2020.
The responses from last year's exercise make for interesting reading. The GA community responded well, making detailed suggestions for airspace that could be reclassified to the benefit of recreational flying. There are many areas of airspace where those excluded, or made to comply with onerous procedures, feel that change should come.
An example would be the 300 square miles of the Norwich CTA; other areas generating many responses were Doncaster Sheffield, Daventry CTA, Bristol, Brize Norton and, of course, Farnborough. The report can be downloaded from the CAA website.
It remains to be seen whether mountains will actually move. The ongoing tide of airspace acquisition, to the benefit of commercial air transport and the detriment of recreational flying, must be resisted.
Now drone operations - with substantial commercial backing - are in the mix too; a strong response is essential.
The current consultation is available on the CAA website. The deadline is 17th September 2020.
Posted: 4 July 2020
Hang gliding stalwart and Wendy Windblows inventor Rod Buck died on June 19th, aged 71.
A key figure in the Derbyshire club from the early days, Rod was among the first to build a reliable electronic weather station; certainly the first to offer a subscription service covering multiple sites.
Eventually eclipsed by internet sources, for two decades Wendy was the UK's go-to weather resource with up 25 local stations.
A man of strong views and strong constitution, Rod survived several serious accidents in his day job. His work for the DSC and the greater sport was substantial and sustained; he was twice club chairman and looked after many new pilots on Lanzarote trips.
He was recently awarded the RAeC Certificate of Merit.
Posted: 4 July 2020
You Never Know, a new documentary featuring Polish paragliding superstar Klaudia Bulgakov, premiered on June 27th.
It charts Klaudia's journey from entering paragliding 15 years ago, via becoming women's world champion in 2013, to her continued pursuit of excellence, shared joy with friends and motivating others to follow their dreams.
It's inspiring stuff, with very high production values. You Never Know is available online.
Posted: 4 July 2020
First post-Covid records
UP paraglider pilot Sebastien Kayrouz set North American straight distance and free-distance-via-three-turnpoints records at 503km on June 8th, from Camp Wood in Texas, aboard an Ozone Mantra 7.
12 days later Owen Morse reset the world hang gliding out-and-return record to 358km aboard a Wills Wing T3, exceeding Thomas Weissenberger's 2013 record by just 5km. The flight was made northabout from Bartlett in the Owens Valley. 700km in the Owens - respect is due!
Posted: 4 July 2020
BHPA Shop Re-opens
The BHPA online shop has re-opened.
And as a result, you can once again order a wide range of items, including some of the best books on paragliding, hang gliding, foot launched powered aircraft, and related topics, online 24/7.
Unfortunately, due to reduced staffing levels, we are currently only able to dispatch orders on a Friday.
Posted: 14 June 2020
CANP reporting online!
BHPA members Pete Logan and Chris Williams have developed an online app that makes filing a CANP request a work of seconds.
Previously, requesting a NOTAM via CANP (Civil Aircraft Notification Procedure) by phone or e-mail, to notify low-level military aircrew and others of our activities, could be a slow and cumbersome process.
The new app is simplicity itself. If you are planning weekday flying, go to CANP for free fliers.
Ideally do this the previous day before 20:00. Check to see if anyone has already requested a NOTAM for your site for the day. If not, fill in the online form including the site and date, add your contact details and press SUBMIT. It couldn't be easier!
Posted: 12 June 2020
last updated: 18 November 2023
Visiting Overseas Hang Gliding & Paragliding Pilots please read this...