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British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

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Marathon Man sees the light

Marathon Man 2017Some readers may remember the YouTube footage of a paramotor pilot, flying at extremely low altitude, along the Brighton shoreline on the day of the Brighton Marathon in April.

The CAA had been already been alerted as it appeared he had taken off from within the Shoreham ATZ. The pilot in question (not a BHPA member) was later tracked down by the BHPA and local paramotor pilots and interviewed under caution by the CAA's Enforcement Branch.

Taken aback by the volume of evidence presented, the pilot is said to have apologised to all concerned and, with a view to furthering his airmanship, has since requested further training. Respect is due to all in the paramotor community involved in engineering this positive outcome from a potential PR disaster.

Posted: 7 September 2017
By: Paul Dancey


2017 British Paramotor Open

2017 British Paramotor Open The 2017 British Open took place in the very scenic Surrey Hills, at the Green Dragons Flying Centre.

It was a small turnout, probably due to the pessimistic weather forecast, but we enjoyed guests from Poland, Turkey and Sweden.

Despite the prevailing strong wind, rain and low cloud over the 4-day event, Barney Townsend, the excellent Meet Director, managed to run 7 excellent tasks to validate the Championship.

Dylan Marsh won the fuel economy task and Mark Morgan won the navigation task but it was the landing accuracy tasks that ultimately provided the tie break, with Michel Carnet winning the British Paramotor Champion Trophy for a record 13th time!

Michel was flying with the same equipment that he had been flying for the last 6 years, a Nirvana Instinct 200 and a Nirvana Nucleon WRC31, and he was hoping that reliable and proven equipment would prevail over untested or unsafe gear.

Sadly, the air ambulance was called to rescue the young Dylan Marsh, who stalled his wing on a target landing approach. A disappointing way to end the competition for the promising young pilot who is now back home recovering from his injuries.

Many thanks to Andy Shaw from Green Dragons, and to all the marshals and volunteers.

Posted: 21 August 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Opportunity: Airspace Support Consultant

The GA Alliance (GAA) are seeking an Airspace Support Consultant to provide contracted, paid project support to member organisations through the GAA airspace team.

The job involves proactive awareness, research and analysis of strategic and local airspace issues, and developing, with others, potential solutions and guidance to member organisations. The successful applicant will have a well-developed understanding of UK airspace operations, and good knowledge of airspace developments and the relevant legislative framework.

They must be flexible and committed, with strong verbal and written communication skills and able to prepare high-quality submissions. Applications, marked 'GAA Airspace Contractor' should be submitted to Pete Stratten, Secretary, GA Alliance, 8 Merus Court, Leicester LE19 1RJ by September 9th 2017. For details please visit the BGA website.

Posted: 1 August 2017
By: Paul Dancey


BHPA AGM 2018

The BHPA's 2018 Annual General Meeting will be held at Nottingham's Belfry Hotel (adjacent to Junction 26 of the M1) on Saturday February 17th, in tandem with the BGA AGM and trade exhibition.

The meeting will include the election of officers to the BHPA Executive Committee, officers' reports and a members' discussion forum. At this early stage, any BHPA member considering seeking nomination for election should contact Chairman Marc Asquith or another Exec member to find out what's involved.

Posted: 1 August 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Paragliding Worlds - Brits 4th!

Paragliding WorldsBritain's four-man team finished a remarkable fourth at the 15th FAI World Paragliding Championships at Monte Avena in Italy, July 1st - 15th, (Photo by Martin Scheel).

Guy Anderson finished second, just five points shy of winner Pierre Remy. Fellow Frenchman and 2015 World Champion Honorin Hamard was third. The Brits continually improved their game over ten tasks ranging from 45 to 117km, rising from 13th place after five tasks to 7th on the penultimate day after an earlier fifth-place finish by Guy. He then won the final task to lift himself to within a sniff of the overall win and the Brits to 4th place.

The other members of the British team were Seb Ospina (14th), Julian Robinson (20th) and Idris Birch (75th). France took the team title for the third time, ahead of Slovenia and Switzerland. The top ten pilots all flew Ozone's Enzo 3 as did Sebastian; Julian and Idris were aboard Gin's Boomerang 11. The top three women pilots were France's 2015 World and 2014 European Champion Seiko Fukuoka, Australia's Kari Ellis and Silvia Buzzi Ferraris of Italy, all flying Ozone wings. We offer our congratulations to all concerned.. The Brits continually improved their game over ten tasks ranging from 45 to 117km, rising from 13th place after five tasks to 7th on the penultimate day after an earlier fifth-place finish by Guy. He then won the final task to lift himself to within a sniff of the overall win and the Brits to 4th place.

The other members of the British team were Seb Ospina (14th), Julian Robinson (20th) and Idris Birch (75th). France took the team title for the third time, ahead of Slovenia and Switzerland. The top ten pilots all flew Ozone's Enzo 3 as did Sebastian; Julian and Idris were aboard Gin's Boomerang 11. The top three women pilots were France's 2015 World and 2014 European Champion Seiko Fukuoka, Australia's Kari Ellis and Silvia Buzzi Ferraris of Italy, all flying Ozone wings. We offer our congratulations to all concerned.

Posted: 1 August 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Parafest: from strength to strength!

Parafest 2017This year's Parafest was held at the same site as last year. By the weekend of the event the campsite was rammed even fuller than last year (Photo by Clive Mason).

There were many more traders' stands than in previous years and the event field, immediately adjacent to the camping field, was well filled. Stands ranged from paramotor manufacturers selling their wares to wood carvings and general clothing. A range of food outlets provided varied fare, from the standard burger bar to a veggie street-food outlet, and there was of course a bar!

BHPA Technical Officers Mark Shaw and Ian Currer put up a small marquee to provide revision lectures and examinations to help experienced paramotor pilots obtain their BHPA Power rating. 15 existing BHPA pilots obtained their Power Pilot or Club Pilot rating, four members who would not otherwise have renewed did so and also obtained their Power Rating, and three pilots joined for the first time and obtained their Power Rating.

A total of 27 exams were taken and the proprietors of three schools currently outside the BHPA expressed interest in becoming BHPA Registered. Since the work on paratrikes and the obtaining of the exemption making it legal for them to fly, the BHPA is seen in a much more positive way by the power community.

Being thoroughly rained off, Friday was a good day to sit an exam. Saturday and Sunday made up for Friday's loss with decreasing winds and bright sunshine. Organiser Mark Meadows gets an unreserved thumbs-up for his event, apparently conceived and executed almost single handedly.

Posted: 1 August 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Avian changes hands

Parafest 2017Tim Swait is now confirmed as the new owner of Avian, a contract having been signed on July 5th.

Steve Elkins will continue to provide assistance and support. The handover marks the end of Steve's 28 years at the helm of what has become the UK's last hang glider manufacturer, during which time he saw off the two former giants of the British industry. With a Master's degree and a PhD in Aerospace Engineering, Tim is eminently qualified to take over.

His years specialising in carbon-fibre composites at world-leading research institute provide the background to introduce advanced manufacturing innovations at Avian. We look forward to Avian becoming a major force in hang gliding.

"I'm looking forward to the hard work of actually building gliders," says Tim. "Thanks to everyone who provided support throughout this process. Let the next chapter of Avian begin!"

Posted: 1 August 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Ollie tries wingwalking!

Ollie ChittyAt Sywell in early May, Ollie Chitty got towed up to 5,000ft by the Flylight's prototype FoxTug trike. After releasing and making a few practice passes, Ollie successfully managed to land on the wing of the FoxTug for a quick touch and go.

Tug pilot Ben Ashman: "I could see Ollie getting into position through the sail of the FoxTug. Being translucent, it was like looking through a shower screen - quite a blurred image. Suddenly, two feet appeared in sharp clarity followed by quite a physical thump."

For reasons unknown, both pilots are reported to have been overcome by a fit of the giggles immediately afterwards. We recommend, of course, that BHPA members do not try this at home!

Posted: 28 June 2017
By: Paul Dancey


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last updated: 12 July 2021

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