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British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Skywings News

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Skywings News - all non archived years

Has paragliding gone mainstream?

Many will have missed four-times British paragliding champion Adrian Thomas on BBC Radio 4's Life Scientific programme on October 31st, explaining his professional life of research into insect flight and building dragonfly-drones.

Non-radio listeners will also have missed the previous Sunday's 'slow radio' spot on the flagship morning news, in which we were treated to a whole minute of BHPA member Glyn Pollington's vario beeping hard as he climbed out somewhere in Bulgaria. Are we, all of a sudden, normal?

Posted: 20 November 2017
By: Paul Dancey

Charlie King flies Kilimanjaro

British pilot Charlie KingOn September 27th British pilot Charlie King flew from the summit of Africa's highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895m) in Tanzania, and is thought to be the first woman pilot to have achieved this feat. She flew a BGD Echo and was part of this year's Paraglide Kilimanjaro expedition.

Charlie has completed several hike-and-fly events including the Transdromoise, Airtour and Bornes to Fly, and mountain ultra-marathons like the 119km, 7200m ascent Traces des Ducs de Savoie. Charlie, who learnt to fly in a BHPA school, currently resides in southern France and works as XC magazine's news editor.

Posted: 20 November 2017
By: Paul Dancey

New PWC App

Ulric Jessop, the brains behind the first automatic paragliding XC League, has designed an app for the PWC which simplifies access to the live commentary, tracking, leaderboard, pilot lists and results. It's available now for use on all platforms on the Google website.

The new app will make it much easier to keep up with the top British pilots at the Super Final (January 9th - 21st). At the time of writing Idris Birch, Russ Ogden and Seb Ospina have achieved automatic selection by finishing in the top 15 in one of the four 2017 PWC rounds. Other British pilots - Guy Anderson, Richard Butterworth, Andrew Williams, Steve Bramfitt and Luke Nicol - may also qualify after the Ecuador PWC which finishes on November 4th.

A Google Earth feed makes live tracking a lot easier to use - it is now much easier to pick out individual pilots in the gaggle, and you can choose to view it with terrain, normal mapping or aerial photos as a background using a standard Google Maps interface. Live commentary includes news, comments and reactions from the pilots, the weather conditions, the ambience and what's really going on. It has already proved to be very popular, with 10 - 14,000 readers per competition. British Champion Guy Anderson says he's hooked on it! For further details please visit the Paragliding World Cup website.

Posted: 23 October 2017
By: Paul Dancey

Tom Hardie steps down

Tom Hardy steps downLongtime BHPA Airspace Liaison Officer Tom Hardie has resigned from almost all formal airspace connections. Tom has worked hard for the BHPA, and more recently for the GA Alliance too, to protect our freedom to fly.

The BHPA and GA Alliance roles had broadly similar aims and yet, in the face of mounting pressures on airspace on all sides, staying on top of the escalating requirements to identify and collate responses to the latest proposals, and to notify those affected by the latest encroachments, was turning into the Labours of Hercules.

Tom was also a member of innumerable committees where a BHPA presence was necessary, and in the early 1990s he was one of the architects of the smooth and equitable amalgamation of the BAPC and BHGA. "I've enjoyed working with all of you on many different things and have some really good memories," he says, "but now is the time to move on."

Posted: 23 October 2017
By: Paul Dancey

Green Dragons take over WW importership

The UK importership for Wills Wing hang gliders, previously run by Airways Airsports, has been taken over by Green Dragons. "To start with we aim to have one glider a month on order", says GD boss Andy Shaw, "which will assist with bringing in urgent spare parts. We already have a huge stock of Wills Wing uprights and second-hand Gliders. If you fly a Wills Wing glider, please let us know so we can add you to the UK Wills Wing team to receive invites to WW events and the WW UK newsletter. We are also actively looking to sponsor pilots."

Judy Leden and Chris Dawes at Airways say they will continue to be an active backup for the brand. For more details phone Green Dragons on 01883 652666, e-mail fly@greendragons.co.uk or visit the Wills Wing website.

Posted: 23 October 2017
By: Paul Dancey

A History of Hang Gliding

Hang Gliding HistoryA new electronic book on the emergence of hang gliding is now available for download to iPad and Kindle tablets.

Author Mark Woodhams, a founder member of the BHGA and the Southern Hang Gliding Club, has gathered together a number of his articles originally published in Wings! and Skywings, with other supporting texts, and assembled them into a coherent narrative outlining the birth of the sport and its development from the very first days.

The book also covers an often-missed factor - just how rapidly the sport spread around the world and how pilots organised themselves into clubs and associations to protect their right to fly.

The history of hang gliding is as much the history of a movement as a story of technical development; this book is perhaps the first to chronicle this magical development from both a local and global perspective, yet to be completely on top of the technicalities. Readers will find footage of a very early Dickenson Ski-Wing in flight, and the flight testing in 2013 of a replica 1963 Mk 1 Dickenson wing.

Search 'A History of Hang Gliding' or Mark's name in the iBook or Amazon/Kindle stores. The book costs £8.49 at either site. For further details please visit the Amazon website, or the itunes website.

Posted: 23 October 2017
By: Paul Dancey

Brett Janaway takes over Airtribune

xTc's Brett JanawayAirtribune, the GPS tracking and competition results service developed by Alex Belskiy, has been taken over by xTc's Brett Janaway.

Alex has developed Airtribune over the last five years with the help of a large team of professional developers, but Brett says there's still lots to do. Brett has long been known for his involvement in the tracking world and has worked wonders in developing competition tracking. His plans for Airtribune include expanding the device types accepted, allowing personal use, exporting features to link to SeeYou, new functions for event organisers and new ways to deliver results through iOS and Android apps, plus a new leaderboard integrating leadput points to see a task's true leader.

Airtribune is also able to supply reliable and easy-to-use Flymaster 360 trackers in sets of 20 - 150, ready to go. Costs vary but you can expect to pay around 15 euro per tracker per week, inclusive of all data. Currently they are offering 30% off rentals and half-price access to the tracking service.

Posted: 23 October 2017
By: Paul Dancey

Skyway Code (print version)

Launched online earlier this year, the CAA's new Skyway Code is now available as a hard copy. Described as a one-stop shop for safety rules and advice for GA pilots, the guide condenses the 'must know' info on recreational flying into an easy-to-navigate document.

Areas covered include pilot responsibilities, pre-flight checks and flight planning, airspace rules and regulations, risks and emergencies and links to useful safety and regulatory resources. It's still available as a free download too on the CAA website; the print version costs £12.95 from AFE online.

Posted: 3 October 2017
By: Paul Dancey

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last updated: 5 August 2022

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