British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

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Skywings News - all non archived years

Gerald Williams

Paragliding pioneer Gerald Williams With great regret we report the passing of paragliding pioneer Gerald Williams, who died on March 1st aged 85. Gerald was one of the very first in the UK to realise that parachutes could be soared from a hill. By 1985 he had perfected reverse launching, using a heavily modified jump canopy rerigged with thinner lines and other ingenious modifications. Having taught legions of Derbyshire pilots to fly at Peak Paragliding, he retired from instructing in 2001. DSC pilots in particular will remember him for his unquenchable enthusiasm.

Posted: 29 March 2022
By: J. Schofield

Safety Notice Woody Valley X-R7

Woody Valley has recorded a case of low-load breakage on one of their X-Rated7 rescue handles. Test results on harnesses sold in 2016-2017-2018 show that the aging factor of the  materials is not the cause, and they think it might be the accidental sharp edge of one of the tallurit.

As a result, Woody Valley have issued a safety notice and have decided to replace the plastic-wired rescue handle on their X-R7 harness with the most recent steel-wired handle.

Owners of Woody Valley X-R7 harnesses are therefore advised to contact their local dealer or national distributor for a free replacement handle.

A copy of the full safety notice can be downloaded from the Importers & Manufacturers Safety Notices page on this website.

Posted: 21 March 2022
By: Paul Dancey

NOTAM Q-Code change


The CAA has acted on free flying attracting the potentially misleading WP code in NOTAMs, which has been taken to indicate parachute jumping instead of paragliding and hang gliding to which it refers. Our sport now falls under the WG code for gliding; the definition now being 'glider flying, paragliding or hang gliding'. The change was implemented by the UK NOTAM Office on March 1st.

Posted: 1 March 2022
By: J. Schofield

FAI Statement on the situation in Ukraine

The military conflict taking place in Ukraine is of grave international concern. The FAI are deeply saddened by the inevitable human cost of war and the humanitarian crises that will be created because of this conflict.

The FAI's fundamental aim is to maintain the integrity and support the development of air sports across all nations in line with a set of values that nurture inclusion and transcend national differences.

To maintain that aim under the circumstances created by the military conflict in the Ukraine, the FAI Executive Board has unanimously decided to implement the following extraordinary measures:

To suspend the members of Russia and Belarus with immediate effect and therefore removing all rights as listed in FAI Statutes

In making this decision, the FAI Executive Board has taken note of the considered actions being taken by the International Olympic Committee and other international sporting organisations.

In addition to the above measures, the FAI Executive Board will:

1. Engage with FAI Members, FAI Air Sport Commissions and other stakeholders to ensure that the situation is carefully, and regularly monitored and further decisions taken as to current and future measures.

2. Ensure that the organisers of all FAI sanctioned events due to take place in Europe between now and April 2023 are consulted with to consider the direct and indirect impact of the conflict in the Ukraine, any mitigation measures that might need to be considered, and what forms of assistance the FAI might be able to provide to maintain the integrity of such events.

This is a very difficult situation. Our thoughts are with those that are being most directly impacted, and we all hope for a swift resolution.

FAI Executive Board
28 February 2022

Download a copy of the FAI Statement

Posted: 28 February 2022
By: Paul Dancey

Safety Notice - NEO String 3.0 harness (sold 2021)

Following a flight incident, Neo have discovered a structural weakness in the String 3.0 harness and have asked pilots not to fly with harnesses with Serial numbers beginning with I13 (followed by 3 digits) sold in 2021.

All pilots with an affected String 3.0 are asked to return their harness to the NEO workshop (ZA des Vernays, 74210 Doussard) or to contact their dealer.

A reinforcement eliminating this risk will then be carried out. The original safety notice can be found on the manufacturers safety notices page of this website, and on the Neo Team website.

Posted: 23 February 2022
By: Paul Dancey

EC Rebate scheme is closing soon

The CAA Rebate scheme for Electronic Conspicuity devices, intended to accelerate the take-up of EC across the recreational flying spectrum, closes on March 31st. It's open to all BHPA pilots of CP level or above. In our case qualifying devices are mostly instruments with a FLARM element: Naviter, Skytraxx and XC Tracer.

Search 'CAA electronic conspicuity rebate' to find the relevant CAA page outlining the application procedure. You'll get 50% of your expenditure back, up to a limit of £250. If the CAA pages don't explain the potential gains of EC clearly enough for you, it's time to re-read Steve Uzochukwu's Electronic Conspicuity - the next stage article from October 2020 Skywings. 

Posted: 26 January 2022
By: J. Schofield

RAeC Trust bursary scheme

Final call for the Royal Aero Club Trust's 2022 bursary awards scheme for young people, which closes on March 31st. A financial leg-up early in your career can have immeasurable positive effects, and the bursary scheme represents, pretty much, free money at a time when you don't have much. 

Several young BHPA pilots have benefited from the Trust's largesse, one of whom is now the current European Paragliding Champion. Full details and application forms are available at

Posted: 26 January 2022
By: J. Schofield

Great British Aerotow Revival

Deenethorpe Airfield, CorbyWithin 72 hours of going live on Airtribune in December more than 50 pilots had registered for the Great British Aerotow Revival, scheduled for Deenethorpe near Corby in May. Recreational flying places are still available but all 50 initial places for the competition have been claimed.

The organisers are currently looking at ways to increase the number of pilots without detriment to launch efficiency and safety. The Revival is fundamentally a competition, but is intended to be much more, with training, social events and recreational flying. One thing is certain: the event will be an exciting gathering of people passionate about hang gliding! The official webpage, with further links to the Airtribune page, is here.

Posted: 26 January 2022
By: J. Schofield

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last updated: 5 June 2024

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