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British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

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CAA gets tough on airspace infringers

In May the CAA announced that pilots who infringe controlled airspace could have their licences suspended while the incident is assessed. The decision is the latest attempt to try and reduce the number of infringements occurring in UK airspace - over 1,000 were reported in 2015.

If an incident is deemed serious enough the licence of the pilot involved will be provisionally suspended. Depending on the outcome of the subsequent follow-up action, a decision will be made about lifting the suspension.

While few BHPA pilots possess licences of the type the CAA can suspend, the move reveals the seriousness with which they view such incursions.

"We hope this decision will bring home the gravity of the situation... we need to see the numbers decline urgently," writes the CAA's Rob Grattan. Recently a Red Arrows display was disrupted by an infringement; the licence of the GA pilot involved was suspended as a result. XC free-fliers should check and double-check their potential routes for possible incursions... and land if they don't know where they are.

Posted: 7 July 2016
By: Paul Dancey


HPA contest at Sywell

2016 BHPFC Competition at Sywell AerodromeThe aim of the British Human Powered Flying Club - affiliated to the BHPA - is to encourage the building and flying of Human Powered Aircraft in Britain and around the world.

The club's annual competition runs at Sywell Aerodrome from July 16th - 24th. At present seven aircraft have been entered including four from university teams. Researchers from several other universities will visit to witness the flying and attend lectures. There are unconfirmed rumours of teams visiting from Lithuania, France, Germany, USA, Hong Kong and China.

Human-powered aircraft are highly efficient in design and construction, weighing 30 - 45kg with major structural elements in carbon fibre and needing as little as 0.3hp to fly. Details of the event are available on the British Human Powered Flying Club website; for more information contact BHPFC President Roger Warren on 07935 901093, e-mail: roger.warren@triteq.com. Or visit the British Human Powered Flying Club's Facebook page.

Posted: 7 July 2016
By: Paul Dancey


Vintage hang glider rally!

Vintage Hang Glider - photo courtesy Mark WoodhamsThe inaugural British Vintage Hang Gliding Rally will be held at Keswick Flight Park on September 17th - 18th. The event features milestone gliders such as Judy Leden's Royal Jordanian Airwave K4, John Pendry's Planter's Magic 3, plus examples of the Wasp Gryphon, Flight Sails Shark and many others.

The event is the brainchild of veteran hangies Steve Pionk and Jonathan Howes, aided and abetted by 80s returnee Pete Sonderskov, former Airwave worker Jon Sacre and new convert Christo Tracey. They are aiming for an informal get-together of vintage equipment and pilots to celebrate the early days of UK hang gliding.

"It's amazing how fast the sport evolved from the early Rogallo-style wings," says Christo, "and it's remarkable how many of these old designs are still around. How better to celebrate this than with an end-of-season party with as many old wings on display as possible?"

Everyone is welcome, particularly if they have an old glider to rig. Prizes will include best in Show and Best Team; amenities include the usual Keswick Flight Park hospitality, plus evening entertainment and a bar. The rally will raise funds for the Alzheimer's Society.

For more information and details on how to book, please visit the British Vintage Hang Gliding Rally website.

Posted: 7 July 2016
By: Paul Dancey


PSC Penninefest

The Pennine Soaring Club's annual Penninefest takes place at the Chipping Showground, just north of Preston, on September 2nd - 4th. The venue is in the shadow of Parlick; it takes all winds except northerlies, in which case a five-minute drive will take you to Longridge Fell. In stronger north-westerlies Pendle Hill is a 15-minute drive away.

The event will be centered around a marquee serving local beers, and Eric Innes's famous barbecue. Camping at the showground is £7.50 per unit per night (electric hook up: £2 per night extra). All pilots taking part must be BHPA or BMAA members and carry a membership card. For further updates go to the PSC's Facebook page or the club website.

Simon Blake will be running flying competitions including a fun event featuring Cumbria, Dales and Pennine clubs; briefings and talks by guest speakers will be in the village hall. The showground is two-minute walk from Chipping's pubs and cafes; for steaks and sausages the town of Longridge is close by. A curry night has been arranged for the Saturday night at Chipping's famous Sun Inn; booking will be essential.

Posted: 7 June 2016
By: Paul Dancey


Avian Ltd is for sale

The Evo 3 high-performerUK hang glider manufacturer Avian is for sale. The Peak District-based company includes Avian Ltd, Avian Online and the busy AIR importership and overhaul business. "We are looking for somebody with engineering know-how and a desire to do something totally different," says Steve Elkins, Avian MD and designer. "To be able to design, test and fly your own aircraft is the privilege of a very few."

The Rio 2 intermediate Avian have recently moved to an integrated fully-digital sail design and laser-cutting process that allows far greater production accuracy and supports the evolution of new designs, a changeover that is already beginning to reap rewards. Steve, who started Avian over 25 years ago in 1989, wants to be able to devote time to other business ideas, but won't be leaving the company without regrets.

"I have enjoyed my time at Avian and have appreciated meeting and having the support of some very loyal customers. I will be passing Avian on in a strong position with its best and most extensive range of gliders, including the Evo 3, Puma, Rio 2 and Fly. There are several other projects in the pipeline such as a prototype SSDR trike and wing."

In the meantime Avian and Avian Online will continue to trade as usual. All enquires to info@avianonline.co.uk or by post to Avian Ltd, S33 9JT.

Posted: 7 June 2016
By: Paul Dancey


Sponsored SIV

Passion Paragliding are offering up to ten sponsored places on their renowned SIV and Wing Control courses later this year. "We wanted to reward the hard-working BHPA Club Coaches,' says top SIV instructor Toby Colombé. "Many of them regularly give up their own flying time to help other pilots, and we decided to help them!"

To access one of these half-price, one-week courses, contact them through the Passion Paragliding website.

Posted: 7 June 2016
By: Paul Dancey


Stolen paraglider

Stolen from a car in Clapham Junction, London in late May, a Blue Ozone Mojo 4 (L).

If anyone is offered this canopy or has any knowledge of its whereabouts, please contact Dominic Meredith-Hardy on 07818 403524.

Posted: 28 May 2016
By: Paul Dancey


A legend returns

Colin Rider A giant of the golden age of hang gliding returned to the skies again in March.

Back In 1987 Colin Rider, once one of Dales club's best pilots and prominent in the XC league, achieved a height of 13,600ft in wave from Wether Fell. Colin had not been seen in flying circles for some years but turned up at a recent Dales Club meeting, and within a very short time his return to the air was agreed.

On March 25th Colin was sent aloft from Tailbridge Hill on a borrowed Wills Wing Eagle by a team of well-wishers. His first flight for nearly 30 years was followed by a perfect landing. Colin is reported to be planning to upgrade to an Airwave K4 and get his lapsed flying credentials in order. A number of Dales pilots (Andy Lumb and Tony Fillingham for example) have recently returned to the one true religion and there are others in the pipeline.

Colin's 1987 flight, on a Solar Wings Ace RX and recorded on a Diplex altimeter, was accepted as a UK record; it has never been exceeded by any free flier in this country - not even Judy Leden on her 1989 cross-channel balloon drop!

Posted: 11 May 2016
By: Paul Dancey


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last updated: 5 October 2021

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