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British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Skywings News

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New approach to airspace consultation

In late March the CAA asked for views on its draft guidance that sets out how their redesigned airspace change process will work. The new process was developed following consultation with the aviation industry, local communities and airspace users.

All parties are now urged to have their say on the draft guidance. It outlines seven stages of the new process for permanent changes to UK airspace, from initial objectives to post-implementation review. It explains what a sponsor of an airspace change (the airport or other body requesting it) must complete at each stage; the stakeholders they must engage at each stage and the CAA's expectations of that engagement.

It also explains how the CAA will assess any proposed change before making a decision. The new approach is designed to make sure future decisions about airspace changes are fair, transparent, evidence-based and proportionate. You can view - and comment - on the proposed guidance on the CAA website. The deadline for responses is June 30th.

Posted: 9 May 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Paramotor incursion delays Royal Flight

ParamotorOn Thursday March 9th, two paramotors were identified crossing the Air Traffic Zone at Cotswold Airport (Kemble), half a mile from the airfield. Undetected by radar, the paramotors had entered the Kemble Air Traffic Zone and temporary Class D Airspace. Nearby RAF Brize Norton were notified and a Royal Flight was delayed. A Mandatory Occurrence Report (MOR) was submitted to the CAA and a report made to Gloucestershire Police.

All pilots, powered or otherwise, are reminded of the need to check for permanent controlled airspace and NOTAMed temporary airspace when planning flights. Kemble may not be a commercial transport hub but it is a busy airport handling diverse air traffic from 450kg microlights to Boeing 747s, etc, protected by an ATZ four miles in diameter extending to 2000ft agl.

Advance warning of temporary airspace restrictions across the UK is provided by the NOTAM system. Whether you load the correct up-to-date chart into your navigation instrument or access the very useful and accurate http://notaminfo.com, it is imperative that all pilots are aware of all permanent and temporary airspace restrictions and prohibitions on their likely route or routes. Advance warning of Red Arrows routes and displays, and of impending Royal Flights, can also be accessed by phoning 0500 354802 or 020 8750 3939.

Posted: 9 May 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Paratrikes

We are pleased to announce that in respect of wheeled undercarriage for paramotors (paratrikes), our work with the CAA has borne fruit.

On 26th April 2017 the CAA published an exemption which allows paratrikes to fly without the need for a pilot's licence. This applies to aircraft which weigh less than 70kg (or 75kg if the aircraft is equipped with an emergency parachute recovery system) and have a stall speed below 20kts. The exemption only applies to aircraft flown solo.

For the full wording of the exemption please visit the CAA website.

In response to this and as a temporary measure, BHPA Exec has decided that any BHPA member who holds a power rating can now fly a paratrike and is insured under the BHPA master policy.

Over the summer, FSC will be considering whether further training will be required to fly a paratrike and may, at some date in the future, require pilots to undertake training, or demonstrate experience, in flying with an undercarriage.

FSC are rapidly working with the few schools that could already legally teach pilots to fly a paratrike to generate a syllabus for teaching this discipline. Until this work has been completed and published, instructors who could not previously teach pilots to fly paratrikes are not yet authorised or covered by the insurance to give such instruction. This is something that we hope to have in place very quickly.

Posted: 29 April 2017
By: Paul Dancey


100km+ in February

The 2017 XC season started with a bang on February 24th with a 100km+ Ozone Zeno flight by Graham Steel. Graham left Selsley Common near Stroud at 11.30, and landed nearly four hours later at Wokingham after 114.5km.

The same day saw Richard Osborne (Zeno) fly 92.5km from Woolacombe and Remi Pickett (Icepeak 7) make 70.8km from Selsley in company with Graham.

Posted: 9 April 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Bordairrace!

Billed as a 'semi-official' European Hike-and-fly championship, the Bordairrace series has run in Germany, Austria, Italy and Slovenia since 2008. From a common starting point pilots choose a distant personal turnpoint and attempt to make it back to the start within 33 hours.

A ground crew of one or two supporters is allowed but not obligatory. Several successful X-Alps pilots cut their teeth on the Bordairrace, not least Paul Guschlbauer, Thomas Hofbauer, Sebastian Huber, Chrigel Maurer and the late, great Steve Nash.

This year's series starts at Aschau (Chiemgau, Germany) on May 5th-7th and takes in Austria's Ramsau am Dachstein (June 22nd - 24th) and Kössen (September 1st - 3rd). For details please visit the Bordairrace website or the Bordairrace facebook page.

Posted: 9 April 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Magical Hang Gliding talk

Tom WeissenbergerTom Weissenberger's Magical Hang Gliding show in Sheffield in March was a real treat. His series of very well shot and edited XC videos, backed with superb music, covered the entire hang gliding spectrum from low-level dune flying to astonishing ten-hour triangle flights.

Additional examples of sheer devilry included a half-kilometre 'swoop' about ten feet off a mountain lake ('500m is exactly the distance a hang glider takes to stop!'), and diving between two tower blocks just 30m apart at Iquique. Tom's presentation starts with a 15km overwater glide and ends with him gliding with golden eagles. In between you begin to understand his belief in hang gliding as the Last Adventure.

The man is hugely experienced and very determined; his 353km and 340km out-and-return records were gained in Chile in 2013 after four years of trying, during which he flew 80 hours and 3,000km. Tom is currently raising money for the forthcoming World Championships at Brasilia. ";Red Bull don't sponsor me for comps," he says, "only the crazy stuff!"

Posted: 9 April 2017
By: Paul Dancey


A secure future for Avian

AvianLast June Steve Elkins announced that he was putting Avian up for sale after running the business for nearly 30 years. It is now clear that engineer, hang glider pilot and Hang Points columnist Tim Swait will be taking Avian on.

Tim will be taking over all aspects of the business but Steve will remain involved as a consultant, training Tim and providing assistance with new designs. Avian will continue to manufacture and sell Avian gliders, provide factory support, servicing and repairs for all models of hang glider, and act as agent for AIR rigid wings, High Energy Sports parachutes and Icaro gliders, helmets and other accessories.

Tim's first priority is to maintain continuity in all Avian's services; in the longer term he plans to implement further innovations. To raise capital for this he is launching a crowd-funding campaign offering rewards such as substantial incentives on gliders and servicing. For further details please visit the Avian website.

Posted: 9 April 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Kenya o/r record falls

Brit Hunter Marriam's world tandem paragliding out-and-return distance record, set two years ago at Nyaru, Kenya, has been broken by Slovakian pilot Miroslav Matovič.

Miroslav flew his Axis Vega XCT 219.2km from the same site in January, exceeding Hunter's record by 4km.

Posted: 6 March 2017
By: Paul Dancey


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last updated: 12 July 2021

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