British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Skywings News

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Farewell Jennie … and thanks!

Jennie Burdett, who retired on the 28 September 2018

On Friday September 28th Jennie Burdett, BAPC administrator since 1980 and BHPA administrator from 1992 - 2015, finally put aside her pencils, shorthand pad, keyboard, phone, database, and extensive knowledge of how the Association works to fully enjoy her retirement - since 2015 she had been working part-time at the Association's Leicester office.

Jennie began work as the BAPC's sole secretary, then based in a tiny office below a massage parlour, in 1980. As the BAPC acquired more staff it moved to larger premises in Talbot Lane, Leicester, and moved again to the Old Schoolhouse in 1991; both moves were overseen by Jennie.

The BHGA moved into Old Schoolhouse in 1992, shortly before the formal amalgamation of the two Associations. Jennie also supervised the most recent - and final! - move to the Association's new, jointly-owned premises at Merus Court in 2010.

Throughout this time she managed to keep abreast of every development and to keep the administration of a rapidly-growing organisation running smoothly. Always on top of things, always quietly efficient, often working in the evening and at weekends, Jennie was able to keep the show on the road through thick and thin.

Jennie's years at the helm never seemed to weary her and gained her many lifelong friends. Her quiet competence will be sorely missed. Her leaving was marked by an informal lunch attended by BHPA staffers and Chairman Marc Asquith, and by Andrew Wakelin - who first spotted her talents 38 years ago! 

Posted: 7 November 2018
By: Paul Dancey

BHPA club night presentation

The BHPA has long been able to visit clubs with a presentation designed to explain to members how the Association works, what it can do what it can't, and where your money goes.

The presentation - in the form of an informal talk with Powerpoint support - explains who is on Exec and the FSC, what those bodies are about, who ­the various staff members are and what they do. It also covers the problems currently facing the sport, and the Association's notable successes, which are legion.

It's delivered by a locally-based member of the BHPA Executive and would be an ideal distraction for a winter club night. Several clubs have already availed themselves of this opportunity; if you think you club could benefit from learning a little more about how the Association supports its members, email or call 07802 525099.

Posted: 7 November 2018
By: Paul Dancey

The Solent submits!

Richard Perkes leaving Ryde Harbour

After about five years with no reported Solent crossings, there have been three this year.

In June Jim Mallinson crossed from Portsmouth to near Ryde, having launched at Coombe Gibbett; on August 1st Richard Perkes crossed from Ryde to Gosport and on September 25th made another crossing from Yarmouth to Lymington; and on September 29th John Rudge crossed from Freshwater to Hurst. John finally landed on the Lymington seafront, from where he was given a retrieve back to Yarmouth by a local powerboat owner!

The photo, taken by Richard Perkes, shows him leaving Ryde Harbour in August.

Posted: 7 November 2018
By: Paul Dancey

Indonesia appeal

The earthquake and tsunami that devastated Palu in Indonesia

The 28th September earthquake and tsunami that devastated Palu in Indonesia had dropped from the headlines before it became clear that seven paraglider pilots had been killed there in a hotel collapse.

32 pilots were staying in Palu for the Nomoni XC Competition, intended to celebrate the opening of a new launch in an area where paragliding has been strongly supported by the local authorities. Most of the pilots, of whom 20 were staying at the eight-story Roa Roa hotel which was completely destroyed, were from Indonesia, as were all of those killed, except for former South Korean team pilot Lee Dongjin, a DaVinci Gliders pilot. More than 2,000 people died as a result of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami; tens of thousands remain homeless and thousands are still missing.

On October 11th the Cloudbase Foundation launched an appeal, led by Brett Janaway, to raise $60,000 for the families of the seven pilots. Ozone were very quick to respond by immediately donating $15,000. At the time of writing over 140 donations have been made to take the fund at least a third of the way to its target. Funds raised will go directly to the families of the deceased pilots to help them through the difficult months ahead, and to assist injured and otherwise affected pilots in their recovery. A minimum of $7500 from the fund will be reserved to help the wider local community.

The Cloudbase Foundation assists free fliers to engage with their local community and accomplish altruistic goals though one-off events and longer term missions. By means of projects and grants, pilots integrate into communities in which they fly to develop strong relationships and stay connected to local needs. Pilots and supporters donate resources, time and talent to impact the communities in which they fly.

For more information, and details of how to support the Earthquake Support Fund, please visit The Cloudbase Foundation website.

Posted: 7 November 2018
By: Paul Dancey

RAeC Trust bursaries

The Royal Aero Club Trust has announced the start of the 2019 bursary awards scheme for young persons.

The Trust awarded 50 bursaries 2017 and 48 this year 2018. Young people from paragliding hang gliding and paramotoring, as well as those from gliding, ballooning, parachuting, light aircraft and microlight flying, and model aircraft fliers can benefit from bursary funds of up to £1,000 to develop their proficiency. Applicants need to be aged between 14 and 21, or up to 24 for follow-on bursaries.

Full details of the rules of the scheme and application forms can be found on the Royal Aero Club Trust website. Applications must be submitted through a sponsoring organisation (eg the BHPA).

Posted: 4 October 2018
By: Joe Schofield

Stonehenge paramotor pilot fined

In August a Wiltshire paramotor pilot was fined £600 and ordered to pay court costs of £400 and a victim surcharge of £60 for flying low over Stonehenge and a nearby campsite.

Timothy Dunham, 26, of nearby Mere, was prosecuted by the CAA on two charges of contravening the Rules of the Air, specifically the 500ft rule and infringing the Larkhill Danger Area which covers the site. The Court heard that there were 176 visitors at the site when Dunham's Union Flag canopy circled the ancient monument two or three times, getting lower each time.

The Police apprehended him in a nearby field. Dunham described himself as an experienced paramotor pilot, but also told the Court, 'I was not aware I was doing anything in infringement of the law on the day … if I'd known what I was doing was wrong I wouldn't have done it'.

Posted: 4 October 2018
By: Joe Schofield

Hang gliding - 55 years!

55th anniversary of the first successful flight of the modern hang gliderThe 55th anniversary of the first successful flight of the modern hang glider was celebrated on September 8th at Grafton, New South Wales.

An FAI Hang Gliding and Paragliding Diploma was presented to Pat Crowe, driver of the boat that first towed John Dickenson's remarkable design aloft back in 1963. At Grafton's old water-ski club, scene of the original flight, a small group of pilots flew vintage gliders including an original Dickenson Ski-Plane.

John Dickenson himself was scheduled to appear as special guest. Media photographs of the first successful flight circulated in October 1963. With John's Ski-Plane the leading edges, keel, cross-boom and triangular A-frame in aluminium tube, the control by means of weight shift via a pendular harness, and the ability to be folded down and transported on top of a car, all came together to form the template from which pretty much all subsequent hang gliders are descended.

John Dickenson was awarded the FAI Gold Medal in 2012; he had been awarded an FAI Diploma in 2007 and the same honour was conferred on the Ski-Plane's inaugural pilot Rod Fuller in 2012.

Posted: 4 October 2018
By: Joe Schofield

RAeS design conference

RAeS Conference 2018This year's annual Royal Aeronautical Society Design Conference focuses on the lighter end of the GA world.

A fascinating programme of talks includes Dr Bill Brooks outlining the design and development
 of his recumbent/SSDR Flycycle; instructor Oliver Gibbs discussing wingsuit flying and technology; Mike Whitaker talking about his series of microlight designs;Norman Wijker of Samad Aerospace on developing a VTOL hybrid electric biz-jet; Guy Grattan on the challenges of electric vs. IC-engine power; and Ian Currer's presentation on foot-launched flight.

Martyn Ingleton, Chief Mechanical Engineer at BAE Systems, will also introduce his scaled-down WW2 Hurricane SSDR project. The conference will also examine the winning submissions in the RAeS's annual design competition; there will be panel discussions and plenty of opportunities for networking too. The event aims to examine the current resurgence of grassroots aviation, driven in part by new materials and electronics, and where it might lead. It takes place at Hamilton Place in London W1 on November 19th.

Full information and booking details are available on the Royal Aeronautical Society website.

Posted: 4 October 2018
By: Joe Schofield

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last updated: 12 July 2021

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