British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Skywings News

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Skywings News - all non archived years

Green Dragons' Learn to Fly Zoom meetings

Andy Shaw, CFI at the Green Dragons training school, will be dedicating an evening each week to a public-facing Zoom meeting for would-be free fliers.

He plans to cover all disciplines - learn to paraglide, hang glide, paramotor, hang glide with power and fly accuracy - and may invite other schools and clubs to join in.

A trial meeting on January 13th saw 26 would-be fliers from across the UK supported by 14 BHPA coaches and instructors. The feedback from those present was very positive.

Search for:Green Dragons' Facebook page and go from there.

Posted: 14 January 2021
By: J. Schofield

BHPA statement – Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As we know, from 5 January 2021 the UK government has imposed a further lockdown in England.

The other home nations have their own lockdowns in place.

Unfortunately, the Parliamentary draftsman has chosen an extremely complex way of producing legislation for this lockdown in England. It has been done by amending the Regulations that came into effect in November 2020.

In Tier 4 locations, the basic law is that you must stay at home. There are then exceptions to this, such as going shopping for essentials etc. There were two exceptions that were important to our sports.

Firstly, to take exercise outside, and secondly, to visit a public outdoor place for the purposes of open-air recreation.

The new Regulations have deleted that second exception. When considered alongside the Government's Guidelines, this means that:

You can only leave your home to exercise, and not for the purpose of recreation or leisure (e.g. a picnic or a social meeting).

You may exercise in a public outdoor place on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble.

Public outdoor places relevant to flying include local beaches, countryside accessible to the public and forests.

Outdoor exercise should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area, defined as "the village, town, or part of the city where you live".

Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household.

The CAA have also revised their Guidelines to say that no leisure flying is permitted.

The police can take action against you if you leave home without a 'reasonable excuse' or break other rules. Fixed Penalty Notices can be issued starting at £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400.

We had hoped that we might be able to advise that flying locally was permitted, and legally it is. But taken in conjunction with the pressures we are seeing on A&E and ITU Departments, it does seem that BHPA advice to all our pilots, powered and unpowered must be that for the duration of this lockdown, members must refrain from flying.

Marc Asquith
BHPA Chairman

Posted: 7 January 2021
By: Paul Dancey

BHPA AGM update

The 2021 BHPA AGM runs on Saturday March 13th. Although the venue is uncertain it will be live-streamed on the BHPA Facebook page.

Posted: 31 December 2020
By: J. Schofield

Christmas Holidays

The BHPA Office will close for Christmas at 1pm on Wednesday 23rd December, and reopen on Monday 4th January 2021.

The BHPA online shop will continue to be available over the Christmas holidays outlined above, but we will be unable to process any orders placed until staff return on Monday 4th January 2021.

Similarly, it will be possible to submit online applications to join the BHPA or renew BHPA membership via this website during the Christmas holiday, but we will be unable to process or approve any applications submitted during that period, until the office reopens on Monday 4th January 2021.

Posted: 18 December 2020
By: Paul Dancey

CANP contact change

Reorganisation of the RAF's low flying coordination system has seen the Low Flying Operations Flight (LFOF) become a part of the new Military Airspace Management Cell (MAMC).

With effect from January 4th, CANP bookings will now be handled by Low Flying Coordination (LFC). The contact e-mail is now and the contact phone number is 01489 443100. The Freephone number 0800 515544 remains active.

The best way to submit a CANP request remains via the online system here.

Full details of the CANP system are here.

Posted: 14 December 2020
By: J. Schofield

Steve Bramfitt for X-Alps

Steve Bramfitt The tenth Red Bull X-Alps event is scheduled to start at Salzburg on June 20th, 2021. 33 pilots from 17 nations will complete in paragliding's toughest event.

Entrants include six-times winner Chrigel Maurer, 2019 runner-up Maxime Pinot, and Tom Coconea who was second in 2009 and 2011. Patrick von Känel was 8th in 2019; in August he beat Maurer into second place at the DolomitiSuperFly and might have something to say about another Chrigel win.

Among a total of 14 new entrants is British Open regular Steve Bramfitt, 35, originally an accomplished acro pilot but more recently an exponent of hike-and-fly.

Red Bull publicity will ramp up as the event approaches. Behind the razzmatazz, the pilots know they will have to travel 1,000km by foot or paraglider through often-inhospitable alpine terrain. They will endure pain, fatigue and possible injury to avoid elimination and reach the finish.

Although consummate flying skill and ultra-fitness are required, in the end the high cards are strategic thinking and mental fortitude. The X-Alps 2021 route will be announced on March 16th.

Posted: 1 December 2020
By: J. Schofield

Charity paramotor flight

Ric Womersley (top) and Richard Shaw (bottom)Yorkshire pilots Ric Womersley (top) and Richard Shaw (bottom), both BHPA paramotor instructors, are planning to set off on a long distance charity flight on the first possible day after Christmas - covid restrictions and weather permitting.

The 'Ric's Coast to Coast For Cancer Research' route will be between Withernsea on the east coast near Hull, and Southport, on the west coast north of Liverpool. Whether the flight is east-west or west-east will depend on the weather.

Ric will be flying a Parajet Polini 250 kept aloft by an Ozone Speedster 3. Richard, former British team leader, will be aboard a Fly Products Eclipse Atom 80/BGD Luna 2 outfit.

Their 200km route will roughly follow the Humber estuary and M62 motorway, with waypoints at the Humber Bridge and the Emley Moor, Pole Moor and Winter Hill communication masts.

To contribute via JustGiving click here.

Posted: 30 November 2020
By: J. Schofield

Model Ridge closure threat

The Model Ridge, main site of the North Yorks Sailwing Club, is under threat of closure.

The owners, the Urra Estate, have invested heavily in upgrading facilities at the site. After several meetings between the NYSC committee and the Estate it was agreed that if the club policed flying at the site they could continue to fly there.

The owners requested that anyone who flew the site must be registered with the club and also carry BHPA insurance, and that pilots would use the café.

Recently a group of hang glider pilots are said to have caused obstruction to members of the public, been rude to Estate staff and avoided using the café. The committee was given time to educate the miscreants - it turns out most of them were not NYSC members.

The threat of closure was raised. Following further discussion the club is still able fly there, subject to these reasonable demands:

Pilots must be members of both NYSC and BHPA, be polite and courteous to both staff and general public, only use available parking (not grass verges with double yellow lines), and use (and be seen using) the cafe. If these rules aren't respected the club, and the BHPA, face losing one of the finest sites in the north of England. 

If you are not a NYSC member and choose to fly the Model Ridge, Carlton Bank or Cringle Moor, please go to the club website and visit the Join-Us link. Please fill in and return the application form - the club allows payment by Standing Order.

NYSC members are asked not to let their membership lapse unless they no longer wish to fly these sites. Pilots may be asked to confirm their ID.


Posted: 16 November 2020
By: J. Schofield

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last updated: 12 July 2021

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