British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Skywings News

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The Lakes Charity Classic

The 2018 Lakes Charity Classic runs at the Grasmere Showground on July 14th - 15th. The venue includes an indoor bar, toilets, showers, plus wi-fi and good phone signal. As well as the competition itself, the popular coaching groups will run on both days.

Alternative bad-weather tasks are planned, plus plenty of free activities, and lots to do for non-flying family and friends. On-site camping is available (fees are extra) and there's local accommodation nearby. Flying activities are also planned for the Friday and Monday.

Full details can be found on the Cumbria Soaring Club website. Registration for CSC members opens on January 21st and for non-members on February 4th. The LCC sells out quickly - don't delay!

Posted: 4 January 2018
By: Paul Dancey

The Northern Challenge Trophy

The Northern Challenge Trophy is a new collaborative effort from the six BHPA clubs north of the M62 and south of Hadrian's Wall. It's a response to the difficulty of getting enough pilots - and the weather - to coalesce around fixed-date paragliding events. Pilots either don't sign up to formal comps, or don't turn up if the forecast is doubtful.

The NCT will provide a series of 12 main tasks (eight scoring, to allow task dropping) and two subsidiary hike-and-fly tasks to be flown between March 1st and September 30th; the aim is convenience and flexibility for those involved. Its emphasis on instrument use, navigation, decision-making and exploring what's possible will also make it a useful vehicle for pilot development and coaching activities.

Tasks are hosted on which provides easy downloads of task maps and cylinders, and straightforward uploads with integral scoring. Downloads cover the NCT's aims and rules, a task list with links into xcmap and task guidance notes. A growing prize fund is being supported by the clubs and by personal donations. The main tasks are limited to members of the six northern clubs, but the Hike and Fly is open to all BHPA members. Details can be found on the xcflight website.

Posted: 4 January 2018
By: Paul Dancey

Christmas Holidays

The BHPA office will be closed for the Christmas holiday from Friday 22 December 2017 - Tuesday 2 January 2018. Our on-line shop will continue to be available during that time, but any orders placed will not be processed until the office re-opens.

Posted: 21 December 2017
By: Paul Dancey

Users of Airband radios

The radio airways have become very congested and additional capacity is being created by changing from 25 kHz to 8.33 kHz spacing.

What this means to you is that from 1st January 2018, if you need to communicate on an 8.33 kHz channel you will need to use an 8.33 kHz capable radio. Further ahead, from 1st January 2019, if your flight mandates carriage of a radio, then it must be 8.33 kHz capable.

Ground services will be changing over to 8.33 kHz channels during 2018 so you are advised to check regularly with any you communicate with.

The emergency frequency 121.500 will remain permanently on the 25kHz spacing. The frequency 118.675, assigned to hang gliding and paragliding, falls under a temporary exemption, valid until the end of 2018. The CAA has put some temporary exemptions in place for 2018 that relate predominately to air-to-air communication on sporting frequencies. These and other information can be found on the 8.33kHz radios page on the CAA website.

BHPA members that have a radio licence issued by the CAA may apply for some EU funding to assist in the purchase of new 8.33kHz compatible equipment. The funding covers not just communication equipment, but headsets, intercoms, mics and speakers.

Funding is available either for fixed equipment in aircraft registered on the G-Reg register of civil aircraft, or for handheld equipment for holders of a UK Aeronautical Transportable Radio Licence. Twenty percent of the cost of new equipment can be claimed by way of a refund after a purchase has been initiated. The invoice or order must show that the purchase was initiated on or before 31 December 2017, so that the funding can be deemed to have influenced the purchase. The deadline for submitting claim forms is 28 Feb 2018, but this may be change. If you are considering making a purchase and a claim, the CAA have plenty of funding available, but the clock is ticking... we suggest you check the eligibility criteria and act soon!

For more details on the funding and eligibility criteria please visit the 8.33kHz funding application page on the CAA website.

Posted: 7 December 2017
By: Paul Dancey

Ben Philpott receives Pepe Lopes Medal

Ben Philpott awarded the Pepe Lopes MedalThe start of the 111th FAI General Conference at Lausanne in October was marked by the presentation of medals and awards to outstanding pilots and air sports supporters from around the world.

Among those presented, by FAI President Frits Brink, was Ben Philpott's Pepe Lopes Medal, awarded for 'the exceptional character and sportsmanship shown by his actions in assisting a fellow pilot in critical circumstances, despite having suffered a traumatic experience'.

This was in recognition of the care and support Ben provided to the injured Rob Gregg following a mid-air collision at the British Hang Gliding Championship at Laragne in 2016.

Posted: 20 November 2017
By: Paul Dancey

North Wales Repack

The North Wales Hang-Gliding and Paragliding Club will be running its annual parachute repack at the Airbus Social Club at Broughton, near Chester, starting at 10.00 on Saturday 20th January 2018.

Bill Morris and his team of BHPA parachute packers will provide instruction and supervision. The event is open to any BHPA member at a cost of £15; advance booking by January 15th is essential. Book online on the club website, or contact Jerry Hazzard at 01948 780378, email:

Posted: 20 November 2017
By: Paul Dancey

January date for BFR

The Thames Valley Club's Big Fat Repack will take place earlier than usual this year, on Sunday January 14th at the Rivermead Leisure Centre in Reading.

Two custom-built zip wires (thank you Go Ape!) will be in operation for practice deployments. Air Ambulance personnel will give talks on incident management and first-aid essentials, and Bill Morris's team will demonstrate the crucial points of repacking your reserve. The event, expected to attract up to 140 pilots, is open to TVHGC members and non-members alike; registration is online on the Big Fat Repack website.

Please note: the BFR is not intended as a cheap repack service, but for pilots to learn how to repack their own parachutes, usually done in pairs, but with qualified packers immediately on hand to guide you through the process.

Posted: 20 November 2017
By: Paul Dancey

Suffolk Club renames itself

The Suffolk Coastal Floaters Hang Gliding Club has renamed itself Suffolk Hang Gliding. The original club was formed in 1979 and most flying was indeed done on a range of coastal sites all round the East Anglian coastline.

With the lifting of the BHGA ban on towing the club acquired runway access and storage at Mendlesham in Suffolk and commenced towing. Although club pilots still fly the Suffolk and Norfolk sea cliffs, towing has remained the club's centre of gravity; renaming the club simply acknowledges that fact. It's still probably the best and friendliest small club in the country. Contact them through the Suffolk Hang Gliding Club website.

Posted: 20 November 2017
By: Paul Dancey

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last updated: 5 August 2022

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