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Merthyr Common site update
As part of a wider plan to reduce fly-tipping and manage the area, access to Merthyr Common is now restricted. The site can only be accessed through a locked barrier to the south. A restricted number of keys for the lock are being issued to members of the South East Wales Hang Gliding and Paragliding Club. Visiting pilots are advised to contact the Club or its members for further information.
Posted: 1 April 2021
Back in the Air: Paragliding Safety Tips
With the UK and other countries opening their flying sites, after a long lockdown, Jocky Sanderson has posted a video on Utube, sharing some simple safety reminders to help you keep safe while also protecting your gear.
Posted: 18 March 2021
The BHPA guidance on applications for inclusions in the AIP (e.g. permanent permit to tow at a particular site to above 60m agl) has been revised.
Posted: 17 March 2021
BHPA 2021 AGM
An updated copy of the 2021 AGM Reports document (AGM Pack) is now available on the Members AGM Minutes page of this website.
This includes two additional reports and a clickable index to aid navigation.
Please use the following link to join and participate in the BHPA AGM from your computer, tablet or smartphone at 11.00am on Saturday March 13:
You can also dial in using your phone. United Kingdom: +44 20 3713 5028
The AGM will also be live streamed on our Facebook page
Posted: 12 March 2021
Covid-19 Guidance for Schools
We are pleased to report that as a result of our lobbying, the Department for Transport has amended its guidance on flight training such that the vast majority of our schools in England can commence training two weeks earlier than previously stated, i.e. from 29 March 2021. The Guidance for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland can be found on their websites.
Please note the requirement to remain socially distanced. This change only permits students to engage in solo flight. We would remind schools of the guidance that we issued when training resumed after the first lockdown:
"The BHPA Flying and Safety Committee (FSC) sees there are two main issues with solo beginner training. Firstly, there is the issue of handing out flying equipment to students, and the risk of transmission of COVID 19 from handling gear touched by an infected person. We think this can be reduced by sensible precautions - ones that your students would expect, such as cleaning of helmets between use, asking students to inform you if they develop symptoms, and following government guidance for disinfecting in the case of contact with a person suspected or confirmed to be infected.
Secondly, there is the issue of adhering to the social distancing advice whilst conducting your activity. This will require careful thought and some pre-planning. If you normally have a 'hands-on' approach to teaching (e.g. putting controls and paraglider risers in your students' hands) you will have to change your technique to avoid the close contact. It can be done from two metres away - the process takes longer and requires an additional degree of care and prudent selection of conditions. You will probably find yourself having to perform more demos. The FSC acknowledges that commercial pressures may push you or your instructors towards taking the maximum size group allowed. You are advised to resist this - at least until familiarity has been gained in the necessary adaptions to instructional technique to accommodate these exceptional circumstances.
There may be some situations where it is necessary to break the 2m distancing 'bubble'. This could be an emergency intervention to prevent a student being dragged on a paraglider. It could be to double check a student's pre-flight check or to perform an emergency shutdown of a power unit. During the initial phases (including first hops), the student and instructor should wear a disposable mask or covering over the nose and mouth during periods in the training when there is a risk of possibly needing closer proximity than two metres. At all times, being closer than two metres to another person must be kept to a minimum amount of time.
There may well be some situations where it is impossible to adhere to the two-metre distancing principle, for example to provide HG hang checks, nose wire control and launch assistance. In these circumstances the instructor and student must wear a disposable mask or covering over the nose and mouth. Please perform tasks with the usual diligence but endeavour to minimise time within the two metre 'bubble'."
Posted: 12 March 2021
Icaro Gravis 1 paraglider Safety Notice
It has been found that older Gravis 1 wings can suffer from a shortening of C and D lines, adversely changing take-off and flight characteristics including entering deep stall when using big ears.
As a precautionary measure, Icaro is ordering a check on all Gravis 1 gliders last inspected more than 12 months ago, or that have been flown for more than 75 hours, or displaying unusual behaviour such as deep stall and/or hanging back on launching.
These gliders must be subjected to a check by the manufacturer, and possible line replacement, before being flown again. Ascent Paragliding will be dealing with all contact and corrections within the UK. The Icaro Safety Notice can be downloaded from our Importers & Manufacturers Safety Notices page.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: 07921811800.
Icaro Paragliders, March 9th 2021
Posted: 10 March 2021
BHPA 2021 AGM
The 2021 Annual General Meeting of the British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association will be held at the BHPA offices, 8 Merus Court, Meridian Business Park Leicester, LE19 1RS on Saturday 13 March 2021 at 11.00am.
Although a small number of Exec members will gather at the office, suitably socially distanced, the meeting will be live-streamed on the BHPA Facebook page and on a meeting platform.
The Login for the meeting platform will be posted on this website and on our Facebook page when arrangements have been confirmed.
The 2021 AGM Reports document (AGM Pack) can be downloaded from the Members AGM Minutes page on this website, and includes details of candidates standing for election at this year's AGM.
Posted: 8 March 2021
Coronavirus – Covid-19 Update
Yesterday, Friday 5 March 2021, the Government published the new Regulations which will come into force on Monday 8 March 2021. These are The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place and Restrictions: All Tiers) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2021:
These Regulations amend The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (All Tiers) (England) Regulations 2020:
All these Regulations apply to England only. Wales is due for a review of its lockdown next week. The position in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland can be found here (Scroll down to the very bottom of the page):
From our point of view, the most important amendment is the re-insertion into Schedule 3A as a legal reason for leaving home of Regulation 2(2)(d):
Previously, we took the view that this exception would appear to allow solo hang gliding and solo paragliding to take place and we continue to hold that view. We continue to be of the view that XC flying is not appropriate for the time being.
We are aware that the DfT/CAA guidance asks us to refrain from flying until 29 March 2021 but it would appear that the Guidance was drafted prior to the publication of the Regulations. Further, College of Policing guidance issued to Police Officers states that:
Therefore, consistent with our previous position in November, the BHPA takes the view that hang gliding and paragliding are legal forms of outdoor open air recreation and where there is no landowner objection, flying in England can resume from 8 March 2021.
There is no requirement to stay local in the Regulations, but that would appear to be very much in the spirit of all the restrictions. Pilots should be particularly careful if they are visiting another club's sites to ensure that the site is open and that they are welcome. Making contact ahead of travelling would appear to be the least requirement.
We continue to liaise with the DfT over the re-opening of schools which is currently scheduled for 12 April 2021 and in which we appear to have been included as if training in our sport takes place inside a 2 seater, cockpit aircraft.
The return to flying is taking place at a higher risk time of year. We will soon see the return of spring thermals, and rusty pilots flying in such conditions is a recipe for accidents. Please ease yourself back into flying, consider the conditions with Club Coaches and other pilots. Fly early or later in the day to start with. Don't launch in marginal conditions. We would not want to see a spike in accidents as we did at the end of the first lockdown.
Fly safe !
Posted: 6 March 2021
last updated: 5 October 2021
Visiting Overseas Hang Gliding & Paragliding Pilots please read this...