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British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Skywings News

Skywings news items are available for the following publication years:

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There are 290 news items for all non archived years in our database.

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Skywings News - all non archived years

AustrialAlpin buckle warning

A safety warning has been released regarding the AustrialAlpin Cobra harness buckle that is widely used on hang glider, paraglider and paramotor harness types from many different manufacturers.

Some buckles have been identified in which the the rivets have not been closed; the release clips may detach with potentially very serious consequences. All pilots should examine the buckles on their harnesses at the first opportunity.

If these are of the of the AustrialAlpin Cobra type please download the safety notice issued by AustriAlpin for further details.

Posted: 14 February 2016
By: Paul Dancey


Skywings online!

The launch of January's online version of Skywings magazine appears to have gone well. We've received a number of likes on Facebook and, once issues with members using older unsupported software were ironed out, no negative feedback. If the online version proves to be a popular option it will eventually reflect the online media world in appearance and functionality. But that's a long-term goal; for the present we are simply providing an online version of the printed magazine.

The February 2016 issue of Skywings is available to view online or download on the Skywings Magazine page of this website. Please enter the username and password published in the printed version of the February issue when requested. After six months this issue will be freely available with no password required.

The printed version of Skywings remains unchanged. Publishing an online version simply represents a modest experiment to evaluate the demand for an electronic version, and should also help us to get a better idea of the difficulties in delivering that.

On some devices, you may find that the best option is to either select single page spread when viewing online, or download the pdf file for viewing offline. This will enable you to make best use of your device's available screen width, and may help reduce the need to zoom in and out to increase text size.

Posted: 2 February 2016
By: Paul Dancey


Record conditions in NSW

At a French record camp at Deniliquin Seiko Fukuoka Naville reset the female free distance (using up to three turnpoints) to 378km aboard an Enzo 2 on December 14th, handsomely exceeding Nicole Fedele's 2010 record of 255.7km.

Early in January we heard that Japan's Yoko Isomoto had broken Kari Castle's longstanding 353.4km ladies straight-distance-to-goal record with a flight of 367.6km from Forbes aboard a Wills Wing T2C.

Posted: 2 February 2016
By: Paul Dancey


Old hang gliding film

Francis Freedland's 1978 film Pico Peak International Hang Gliding Meet documents one of the earliest hang gliding competitions, held in Vermont, USA with a remarkable $10,000 purse. Notable appearances include Jean-Michel Bernasconi, (went on to found Pacific Windcraft) and Dennis Pagen (soon-to-be-prolific author) among many others.

The 48-minute film is available online on YouTube. Everard Cunion report, "Hang glider pilots are restoring old film of the early days while it is still there to be rescued; 1978 Pico Peak is about the best I have seen."

Posted: 2 February 2016
By: Paul Dancey


Pierre Bouilloux

Our world is the poorer for the passing of pioneer pilot, instructor, manufacturer and vol-biv exponent Pierre Bouilloux on December 22nd. Originally a great climber who would go on to put up some great routes in the western Alps, in 1979 Pierre started a hang gliding school at Annecy.

In 1985 he took up paragliding and rapidly became one of the sport's early pioneers. He was one of the first pilots to start breaking records and went on to set many world triangle and out-and-return records; his 237.1km triangle around the Tête du Parmelan remains unbeaten after 12 years.

Pierre was also a pioneer of vol-bivouac flying, sometimes disappearing into the mountains for weeks and once achieving 385km in 12 days. Earlier, in 1982, he had set up Sup'Air to develop and manufacture hang gliding harnesses; when the company turned towards paragliding it soon became a world leader in harness design. Pierre led the company for over 30 years, relinquishing his controlling role only recently.

Although skilled in other flying disciplines including gliding, microlighting and flying small helicopters, at which he had recently set up a school, Pierre was most at home in the air with a lightweight paraglider, a string harness and no helmet or reserve parachute. To many who encountered him he became a kind of spiritual father.

Posted: 2 February 2016
By: Paul Dancey


Dave Shields appeal

Bob Little has set up a Just Giving site to enable people to contribute to building a positive future for Dave Shields. Members will know that Dave suffered life-changing injuries at a flying competition in August. He expects to be living in a recently-secured house near Chester, but essential adaptions are needed to allow him to follow an independent life. To help, go to Bob's Just Giving webpage.

Bob adds, "We love a sport where the risks are low but the consequences are high. If you can help with time, money or materials contact me at boblittle@wirral.gov.uk. Dave needs a home when he leaves hospital; if anyone can do it, we can."

Posted: 5 January 2016
By: Paul Dancey


On trial - Skywings online!

Beginning this month the BHPA is trialling an online version of Skywings in addition to the printed version. This is available on the Skywings Magazine page of this website, for download as a pdf file or viewing online as a 'page-turning' electronic magazine.

A username and password published in the printed version of the magazine is required to view or download the electronic version. After six months each issue will be freely available with no password required. The printed version of Skywings will remain unchanged.

This departure represents a modest experiment to see evaluate the demand and get a better idea of any potential difficulties. Members should note that this is an add-on to the printed version, which currently costs just £15 of the annual subscription fee.

Posted: 5 January 2016
By: Paul Dancey


World Air Games

Romania's George Cotet took the top spot in paragliding accuracy after 12 rounds at the WAG in Dubai in December; Thailand's Nunnapat Phuchong secured the women's gold medal.

Other free flight events included were solo and synchro paragliding acro, won by France's Tim Alongi and the Twisted boys (France's Théo de Blic and Spaniard Horacio Llorens); and paramotoring led by joint winners Alex Mateos (France) and Piotr Ficek (Poland).

The only British pilots to compete in these events were paramotorists Phil Jennings and Mark Morgan who finished 14th and 22nd. The top four microlighting places were taken by Team GB to whom we extend our congratulations.

Posted: 5 January 2016
By: Paul Dancey


last updated: 15 April 2021

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