British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

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Skywings News - all non archived years

Glastonbury paramotor pilot in court

Some may recall the story of a paramotor pilot who ignored Temporary Restricted Airspace to land at the Glastonbury Festival.

On January 27th at Weston-Super-Mare Magistrates Court, David Hoare, 59, was convicted of breaching the TRA, fined £400 and ordered to pay costs of £160. Mr Hoare, of Somerton in Somerset, flew over the festival's Healing Fields before landing at the site: he was apprehended by security personnel.

He had been convicted of an identical offence in 2011 and fined £250 with costs of £100; he is said to be well known in the Wessex area for attention-seeking flying. David Hoare is not a BHPA member.

Posted: 13 March 2016
By: Paul Dancey

New Class 5 record

On January 3rd Austria's Anton Raumauf claimed a new world height gain record of 4,359m aboard an Atos at Burgsdorf, Namibia, outstripping Rainer Scholl's 1985 mark of 3,820m.

For comparison, note that the current Class 1 world record of 4,343m, was set by Larry Tudor in the Owens Valley in 1985. The daddy is still Robbie Whittall's 4,526m by paraglider, also set in Namibia, in 1993!

Posted: 13 March 2016
By: Paul Dancey

John Ashman joins Nova team

New recruit to the Nova Junior Pilots team is Mentor 4 pilot John Ashman, 15-year old son of three-times hang gliding XC League winner Chris Ashman.

John, flying since 2014, trained with Steve Hudson's Derbyshire Flying Centre and won the Derbyshire club's Best Newcomer award last year in his first post-CP season. Nine years after he last flew a hang glider, Chris Ashman was also signed off last year as a paragliding CP; John's big brother Joe is also paragliding.

Posted: 13 March 2016
By: Paul Dancey

Evaluation of Sport England's Club Matters

Sport England has commissioned Brightpurpose Consulting to carry out an independent evaluation of Club Matters, their 'one stop-shop' for support for sports clubs in England. Sport in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales come under Sport Norther Ireland, Sportscotland, and Sport Wales respectively.

The overall purpose of the Sport England evaluation is to understand the impact of Club Matters on the development and sustainability of English sports clubs, and to gather learning that will help inform its future development.

Brightpurpose have designed an online survey for sports clubs to find out what types of clubs are using Club Matters, why and how. They also want to know whether club volunteers have heard of Club Matters and more generally what support they need for their club.

Sport England are anxious to reach as many English sports clubs as possible and have therefore asked the BHPA to help publicise this survey. The suvey is straightforward and will take less than 10 minutes to complete on-line using the following link:

For further information about this survey, or about Club Matters more generally, then please contact Richard Davis-Boreham at Sport England.

Posted: 9 March 2016
By: Paul Dancey

AustrialAlpin buckle warning

A safety warning has been released regarding the AustrialAlpin Cobra harness buckle that is widely used on hang glider, paraglider and paramotor harness types from many different manufacturers.

Some buckles have been identified in which the the rivets have not been closed; the release clips may detach with potentially very serious consequences. All pilots should examine the buckles on their harnesses at the first opportunity.

If these are of the of the AustrialAlpin Cobra type please download the safety notice issued by AustriAlpin for further details.

Posted: 14 February 2016
By: Paul Dancey

Pierre Bouilloux

Our world is the poorer for the passing of pioneer pilot, instructor, manufacturer and vol-biv exponent Pierre Bouilloux on December 22nd. Originally a great climber who would go on to put up some great routes in the western Alps, in 1979 Pierre started a hang gliding school at Annecy.

In 1985 he took up paragliding and rapidly became one of the sport's early pioneers. He was one of the first pilots to start breaking records and went on to set many world triangle and out-and-return records; his 237.1km triangle around the Tête du Parmelan remains unbeaten after 12 years.

Pierre was also a pioneer of vol-bivouac flying, sometimes disappearing into the mountains for weeks and once achieving 385km in 12 days. Earlier, in 1982, he had set up Sup'Air to develop and manufacture hang gliding harnesses; when the company turned towards paragliding it soon became a world leader in harness design. Pierre led the company for over 30 years, relinquishing his controlling role only recently.

Although skilled in other flying disciplines including gliding, microlighting and flying small helicopters, at which he had recently set up a school, Pierre was most at home in the air with a lightweight paraglider, a string harness and no helmet or reserve parachute. To many who encountered him he became a kind of spiritual father.

Posted: 2 February 2016
By: Paul Dancey

Old hang gliding film

Francis Freedland's 1978 film Pico Peak International Hang Gliding Meet documents one of the earliest hang gliding competitions, held in Vermont, USA with a remarkable $10,000 purse. Notable appearances include Jean-Michel Bernasconi, (went on to found Pacific Windcraft) and Dennis Pagen (soon-to-be-prolific author) among many others.

The 48-minute film is available online on YouTube. Everard Cunion report, "Hang glider pilots are restoring old film of the early days while it is still there to be rescued; 1978 Pico Peak is about the best I have seen."

Posted: 2 February 2016
By: Paul Dancey

Record conditions in NSW

At a French record camp at Deniliquin Seiko Fukuoka Naville reset the female free distance (using up to three turnpoints) to 378km aboard an Enzo 2 on December 14th, handsomely exceeding Nicole Fedele's 2010 record of 255.7km.

Early in January we heard that Japan's Yoko Isomoto had broken Kari Castle's longstanding 353.4km ladies straight-distance-to-goal record with a flight of 367.6km from Forbes aboard a Wills Wing T2C.

Posted: 2 February 2016
By: Paul Dancey

Skywings news last updated: 27 August 2019 at 02:43:55 PM

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