British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Skywings News

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Skywings News - all non archived years

Otto animation

German researcher Johannes Hogebrink has been allowed access to the Otto Lilienthal Museum's archive of 145 photographs to produce a short animation of of the world's first hang glider pilot flying from his artificial hill near Berlin between 1893 and 1896.

You can also view Otto Lilienthal's First Film from Johannes Hogebrink on the Vimeo website.

Thanks to Tony Prentice for the steer.

Posted: 9 April 2016
By: Paul Dancey

The end of the pier show

Worthing Birdman picture by Jacqui Freeman No more Worthing Birdman - the local council have decided against organising any further Worthing Birdman competitions 'for the time being'.

Apparently costs have been escalating and they have no major sponsor; according to the organisers "... it's time to stop injecting money and resources into the event." A shame after Ron Freeman scooped the £10,000 jackpot in 2014 with a 159m flight and Tony Hughes following with 106m last year.

The end of the 'pier show' will disappoint a number of determined hangies and experimenters; Ron has competed at Worthing, and Bognor before that, since the early 2000s and won at least 25 events.

Posted: 9 April 2016
By: Paul Dancey

Lakes XC prizes

Lakes pilot Chris Scammell is offering two prizes of his company's HD Lake District relief map to the first paraglider pilots to complete either of the following challenges this year.

The first is to fly a closed circuit that visits all four of England's 3,000ft summits (Skiddaw, Helvellyn, Scafell and Scafell Pike); the second is to fly a route - no closed circuit necessary - taking in the same four summits on an intermediate wing of aspect ratio 5.3:1 or less. Turnpoint cylinder radii are 100m; proof should be by IGC file sent to

The Lakes HD relief map is realised in perfect detail by a blend of computer technology and old-fashioned artisan skill. It retails at £119. For further details please visit the Map Sculpture website.

Posted: 9 April 2016
By: Paul Dancey


A reminder that Parafest returns for its second year at a new easy-to-find location near Prestatyn in North Wales. Just a mile from the A55 and close to the coast, the site offers smooth sea breezes for the paramotors and the area's many paragliding sites within easy driving distance.

The UK Accuracy Squad will have a winch on site and will demonstrate how an accuracy comp works; experienced accuracy pilots will offer an introduction and coaching to any interested tow-rated pilots. A dozen bands of all genres are booked to play, and a varied selection of caterers and a bar with real ales, cocktails, etc, will be open all weekend.

For further details and online ticket sales please visit the Parafest website.

Posted: 9 April 2016
By: Paul Dancey

Consultation on increasing fines

The Department for Transport is consulting on proposals to increase the fines for pilots infringing the Rules of the Air.

For offences relating to communicating with ATC, flight plans and position-reporting the DfT seeks to increase the maximum fine in England and Wales from £2,500 to unlimited. In Scotland and Northern Ireland the maximum fines would increase to £5,000.

The consultation closes on April 22nd; for further details and how to respond please visit the UK government website.

Posted: 9 April 2016
By: Paul Dancey

John Ashman joins Nova team

New recruit to the Nova Junior Pilots team is Mentor 4 pilot John Ashman, 15-year old son of three-times hang gliding XC League winner Chris Ashman.

John, flying since 2014, trained with Steve Hudson's Derbyshire Flying Centre and won the Derbyshire club's Best Newcomer award last year in his first post-CP season. Nine years after he last flew a hang glider, Chris Ashman was also signed off last year as a paragliding CP; John's big brother Joe is also paragliding.

Posted: 13 March 2016
By: Paul Dancey

New Class 5 record

On January 3rd Austria's Anton Raumauf claimed a new world height gain record of 4,359m aboard an Atos at Burgsdorf, Namibia, outstripping Rainer Scholl's 1985 mark of 3,820m.

For comparison, note that the current Class 1 world record of 4,343m, was set by Larry Tudor in the Owens Valley in 1985. The daddy is still Robbie Whittall's 4,526m by paraglider, also set in Namibia, in 1993!

Posted: 13 March 2016
By: Paul Dancey

Glastonbury paramotor pilot in court

Some may recall the story of a paramotor pilot who ignored Temporary Restricted Airspace to land at the Glastonbury Festival.

On January 27th at Weston-Super-Mare Magistrates Court, David Hoare, 59, was convicted of breaching the TRA, fined £400 and ordered to pay costs of £160. Mr Hoare, of Somerton in Somerset, flew over the festival's Healing Fields before landing at the site: he was apprehended by security personnel.

He had been convicted of an identical offence in 2011 and fined £250 with costs of £100; he is said to be well known in the Wessex area for attention-seeking flying. David Hoare is not a BHPA member.

Posted: 13 March 2016
By: Paul Dancey

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last updated: 15 September 2021

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