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British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

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Record day at Sutton Meadows

An exceptional day at Sutton Meadows on Sunday July 15th. After many consecutive days of pure blue, an excellent RASP prediction proved remarkably accurate. With cumulus at a good height from about 10:30am onwards, most pilots were able to release at well below 2000ft.

Kosaka Takatoshi broke his recently established (152km on June 24th) UK defined-triangle record with a six-hour, 171km flight, landing back at the field just after 18:00. Andy Keyte made a 116km triangle; Richard Hunt flew a 90km triangle; Jeremy Maddox did a good out-and-return and a duration PB at four hours; and Rob Hawkins flew upwind to the field next to his house having taken off after 15:30.

Charlie Richardson: 'I think over eight hours of flying was possible. The lift was usable from before 11:00 until after 19:00, and some climbs went to over 7000ft. If we get a repeat of such a day there's an even bigger triangle available!'

Hats off to the Cambridgeshire Aerotow Group, who currently lie second in the National Club XC League. Taka's flight accrues to the Southern club who are lying third!

Posted: 9 August 2018
By: Paul Dancey

300km for Carter!

Richard Carter cracks 300km barrierOn July 15th Richard Carter finally cracked the 300km barrier.

Launching on his Ozone Zeno from the Elan Valley at 11am, Richard threaded his way around Manchester airspace, routing via Sheffield, Pontefract, Selby and York to reach the coast at Cloughton, just north of Scarborough, well after 7pm.

301.71km secures the UK's first 300km flight and the UK record set by Alex Coltman last year at 281km. Richard has now held the UK open distance record a total of nine times!

Posted: 9 August 2018
By: Paul Dancey

Theo Warden wins European Championships!

Theo Warden wins European ChampionshipsA close-fought European Paragliding Championships at Montalegre in Portugal in July saw British star Theo Warden steal the title by just two points over eight tasks.

Theo was up against some serious opposition but saw off the likes of Germany's Torsten Siegel (2nd), Slovenia's Juri Vidic (7th) and Spain's Xevi Bonet (9th) to confirm his arrival on the world stage just five years after starting flying at the age of 14.

Overall the Brits could only manage 12th place despite strong support from Idris Birch (16th). Julian Robinson finished in 56th place, Martin Long 78th, Malin Lobb 83rd, newcomer Jess Cox 121st and Andrew Williams 139th. France's Seiko Fukuoka won the women's championship.

Posted: 9 August 2018
By: Paul Dancey

The CAA's Airspace Modernisation Strategy

On July 19th the CAA published its Draft Airspace Modernisation Strategy. In their view the design and operation of UK airspace is constraining the growth of commercial aviation and causing delays to passengers, and therefore should be 'modernised'. They say that they are concerned that other airspace users are able maintain 'appropriate access to airspace'.

The CAA described the document as 'a roadmap of changes that will be necessary for modernisation'. It is intended to cover the use of UK airspace up to 2040 and will supersede the existing Future Airspace Strategy (2011). It includes the prospect of new structural design and operational concepts, and the new technology needed to achieve these.

The Draft Strategy has been released so that interested stakeholders can offer feedback before a final version is delivered to the Secretary of State in December 2018. Details of the strategy - and the CAA's case for modernisation - can be found on the CAA Website. All air users are invited to provide feedback via an online survey.

Feedback and comments must be submitted by Monday 10th September 2018.

Posted: 19 July 2018
By: Paul Dancey

Flyability features on BBC Countryfile

In May BBC Countryfile worked with Flyability to allow TV presenter Steve Brown to experience paragliding. Steve is a wheelchair user and former captain of the 2012 GB wheelchair rugby squad.

As part of Countryfile's Spring Special, Steve met artist and BHPA member James Lynch, who uses his paragliding experiences in paintings of land and skyscapes, in his Somerset studio. The BBC contacted Flyability for help, and they in turn brought in Flying Frenzy's Andrew Pearse (www.flyingfrenzy.com) who has wide experience of paraglider buggy flying.

Filming took place on Friday May 4th at Swyre near Weymouth. Despite light winds Steve was able to experience short flights using the Sanderson buggy.

Flyability has been helping all sorts of disabled people, not just those with physical disabilities, to fly hang gliders and paragliders for over 20 years. It offers scholarships for disabled people to have tandem taster flights and train to fly within BHPA schools, loans of specialist equipment and sharing information and advice on adapting flying to make it accessible to disabled people.

To find out more please email contact@flyability.org.uk, or telephone 07973 834939.

Posted: 5 July 2018
By: Paul Dancey

BVHGR update

British Vintage Hang Gliding Rally 2018Many pilots will recall the first British Vintage Hang Gliding Rally in 2016. A brilliant way to meet old friends, eat, drink, get merry, sing, dance, laugh, reminisce and raise money for charity.

A promise made at the time was seven days free accommodation with Mark Taggart's family at Fly St André in France. This offer now tops the the prizes in the BVHGR raffle to be drawn at Parafest on Saturday July 28th.

The prize list can be found on the British Vintage Hang Gliding Rally website. Buy a ticket for £2 or a book of five for £10 - there are only a few hundred left - at the festival or by e-mailing stevepionk60@gmail.com. You and up to 14 odd mates could be swanning off to the south of France for some great flying and home cooking.

Posted: 5 July 2018
By: Paul Dancey

Parafest reminder

Parafest 2018Final call for the Parafest festival at Llanbedr, North Wales, on July 29th - 29th. The event is on target to sell out again - there are only days left to grab tickets for the best event of the summer.

Parafest has everything for pilots and families to enjoy a great weekend: trade stands, tandem flights, winching, aerotowing, an accuracy comp, vintage hang gliders, BHPA revision sessions [and exams for existing and new members who seek a BHPA CP or Pilot (Power) rating], an airfield for powered pilots, plus local hill sites just a short drive away.

Top bands Cast and the Alabama 3 headline the main stage while a second indoor stage offers an alternative space and late-night bar. There will be festival food, real ales and cocktails, a kids area and fairground, plus glamping and hot tubs.

Four nights camping on the airfield, three days of festival, two days of live music, all right on the coast and next to the beach. What's not to like? Please visit the Parafest website for details and tickets.

Posted: 5 July 2018
By: Paul Dancey

RAeC Trust awards

Despite receiving fewer applications this year, the Royal Aero Club Trust has awarded 48 bursaries to enable young air sport enthusiasts to advance their ambitions. Widening the age range and adding follow-on awards resulted in an increase in applications in 2016 and 2017, but these fell off slightly this year.

Two of the bursaries were awarded to BHPA members: Isabel Mackintosh (17) of the SE Wales club will train to CP level and John Delves (17) of Green Dragons will pursue a paramotor conversion. It turns out John is a now Green Dragons/UP/Thermal Chasers sponsored pilot and is helping to form an official Air Cadets BHPA club under the GD umbrella.

Of the remaining bursaries, 17 were awarded to glider pilots and 16 to parachutists. Next year's applications close on March 31st 2019. If you are between 14 and 21 and financial assistance would help you progress, please visit the Royal Aero Club website. Every young BHPA pilot should apply!

Posted: 5 July 2018
By: Paul Dancey

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last updated: 18 November 2023

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