BHPA News

Occasional mailings about BHPA events and competitions, general flight and safety issues, and initiatives by statutory bodies that are likely to impact upon hang gliding, paragliding and FLPA within the UK.
  1. Skywings E-news Update

    AustrialAlpin buckle warning 

    A safety warning has been released regarding the AustrialAlpin Cobra harness buckle that is widely used on hang glider, paraglider and paramotor harness types from many different manufacturers.

    Some buckles have been identified in which the the rivets have not been closed; the release clips may detach with potentially very serious consequences. All pilots should examine the buckles on their harnesses at the first opportunity.

    If these are of the of the AustrialAlpin Cobra type please download the safety notice issued by AustriAlpin for further information. 


    BHPA AGM & Proxy Voting

    Just a reminder that the 2016 BHPA AGM will take place at the Belfry Hotel, Nottingham NG8 6PY (adjacent to Junction 26 of the M1) on Saturday February 27th 2016 in tandem with the BGA's AGM and trade exhibition.

    The AGM will start at 11.00am and will include the presentation of BHPA awards and trophies, the Election of Officers and Officers' reports to the membership. It is hoped that members with an interest in the running of the BHPA will attend the meeting and bring any ideas for the future or present that they may have.

    For further information about the candidates standing for election to Exec, and the proposed amendments to the BHPA's Articles of Association, together with a Proxy Voting Form can be found in the BHPA AGM 2016 on-line pack which can be downloaded from the member documents area of this website. If you are unable to attend the AGM in person you can still cast your vote by completing the Proxy Voting Form and emailing it to the BHPA Office to arrive not less than 48 hours before the AGM is due to take place.

     

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  2. BHPA

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    Safety Advisory 04/2015 - Speed systems and risers

    The BHPA have had reports of two cases where the speed system has failed in flight. Both gliders (A Gin Carrera and a UTurn Lightning) have suffered from one of the speed system pulleys coming away from the riser. The integrity of the riser itself is not affected.

    Like many other models, both these wings use 'skinny' risers which means there is relatively small area of stitching where the speed system pulleys are attached. This area is put under considerable stress when the speed bar is applied and requires regular checking.

    A contributory factor is that the pulleys and stitching on many gliders is concealed beneath a neoprene sheath or cover. Both Gin and U-turn have taken steps to reinforce this area, but it is very likely that other models may also be liable to similar stresses and the BHPA strongly recommend that all pilots inspect their speed systems regularly; including peeling back any protective covers, carefully inspecting the stitching and checking the webbing tabs for wear.

    The full Safety Advisory notice can be downloaded from the Safety Documents area on the BHPA website.

     

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  3. Airspace News

    Farnborough - consultation on new class D airspace proposal

    click to view hi res pdf map (929kb) Farnborough have launched a consultation on their proposal for substantial Class D airspace. For insomniacs and/or those who can admire smoke 'n mirrors, their consultation document is available on the TAG Farnborough Airport website.

    The potential effects of this upon all forms of GA are significant, needless to say the potential effects are not good ones... unless you happen to being whisked to or from Farnborough in one of business jets that it now specialises in.

    The BHPA is working with the GA Alliance on preparing a response that will object to the proposal in the strongest, but completely verifiable, terms. Because they probably stand to loose most the BGA are leading this work.

    Lasham are holding an information meeting about the airspace change proposal for ALL aviators at 1pm on 23 March 2014. For full details including for those planning to fly in please visit the BGA website.

    As they say, please pass this invitation on to all your air sport and GA flying friends.

    For further information here you can download an article that will be appearing in the BGA's Sailplane & Gliding magazine using the following link:
    S&G Extract

    As anymore information becomes available it will be posted on the BHPA website.

     

     

     

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  4.  

    Skywings News Update - January 2013


    Brits take Bronze at Forbes Worlds!

    Team GBAfter ten tasks ranging from 127 to 240km, brilliant teamwork by Team GB secured third place and a Bronze medal in the hang gliding World Championships at Forbes, New South Wales in January.

    A re-energised Manfred Ruhmer took the individual title for the fourth time ahead of Alex Ploner and Filippo Oppici. Italy took the Gold medal and the USA Silver, led by ex-pat Brit Robin Hamilton. Grant Crossingham finished 6th overall, an individual British pilot‘s highest placing since Gordon Rigg finished 5th at Monte Cucco in 1999.

    Kathleen Rigg secured second ladies place behind Corinna Schweigershausen; Gordon Rigg was 15th overall, Gary Wirdnam 17th and Carl Wallbank 19th. These stupendous results were made possible by exceptional team flying and superb backup on the ground from team manager Ben Philpott and Steve Gale.

    Full story and results are at www.pressbhgc.blogspot.co.uk/.


    The Wide Open

    Launching this year in Meduno, Italy on May 18th, the Wide Open is a new fun competition aimed at pilots to whom an enjoyable week‘s flying means more than FAI points.

    "Less bravado and more friendly achievable tasks", say organisers Brett Janaway and Toby Colombé. The Wide Open is for those new to competitions, or who simply want to fly with friends, meet fellow XC pilots and improve their skills in a relaxed atmosphere. The one-week event will include briefings and debriefs, lectures by experienced pilots and many prizes including a brand-new wing and two paragliding holidays.

    With numerous barbecues and parties planned, event also promises to be a social experience to remember. Meduno has been chosen for its huge, grassy launch, plentiful land-out options and reliable conditions.

    For full details and to reserve your place see the Wide Open website at www.flywideopen.org. Expect places to fill fast.


    UK takes 7th place in the Paragliding Super Final

    The UK has taken seventh place at the Paragliding World Cup Superfinal at Roldanillo, Colombia, ahead of Germany and the US.

    Russel Ogdon took third place overall, after a brilliant comeback from a bombed first task, and Guy Anderson was second amongst the Brits and 27th overall.

    Full results are avaiable at http://pwca.org/results/results/.


    BHPA subs increase

    A rise in BHPA membership fees of approximately the same rate as current inflation has been agreed by the BHPA Exec.

    Annual Flying membership increases by £3 to £95 (the £7 discount for Direct Debit payers remains unchanged). Family membership increases by £3 to £85, and Under 21/Over 60s membership increases by £3 to £75; most other membership types increase in proportion.

    In order to help the schools, who have suffered a very difficult year with the weather, schools registration and instructor supplement fees remain unchanged. The new rates will come into force on 1 April 2013.


    Leavesley goes para-hawking

    In January Mark Leavesley spent a day parahawking at the Long Mynd with Freddy, a Peregrine Falcon. The bird is owned by Nigel Hawkins of Hawkins Falconry, who has been working closely with Mark to develop the UK‘s first tandem parahawking team; together they plan to offer tandem parahawking flights this summer.

    Nigel has been flying with his hawks for the past two years and has now formed a partnership with Mark to bring tandem parahawking flight to a wider audience. The pair have already created a stir in local circles with both press and TV taking an interest.

    Details are at www.leavesleyaviation.com and at www.hawkinsfalconry.co.uk.


    BHPA facebook page

    The BHPA‘s Facebook page has had a makeover and is building interest. It‘s a useful point of contact for those outside the Association as well as those within. It is planned to make this more rapid-moving and relevant. Take a look at http://tinyurl.com/bk9q6jo.


    Flylight sell 100th sub-115kg trike!

    Shortly after dropping in at the Flylight stand at the NEC in December, John Kendall visited their Sywell premises to order a new DragonLite sub-115kg single-seat microlight.

    John‘s machine is a fixed-undercarriage trike with a 30hp Simonini Mini 2 Evo engine, married to a Fox16T wing. This represents Flylight‘s 100th order since they embarked on the sub-115kg route four years ago, a considerable milestone.


    BHPA AGM

    The Annual General Meeting of the BHPA will be held on Saturday March 2rd 2013 at the Belfry Hotel, Nottingham, NG8 6PY, starting at 11am.

    Last year‘s event, co-located with the BGA AGM, seemed to work well and the same format is to be repeated this year. It is hoped that members will take the time to turn up to hear how the BHPA Exec has been working on their behalf, to quiz Exec members on their record and put forward ideas for the future direction of the Association. Voting papers and details of candidates will appear in the February issue of Skywings.

    Topics for discussion at the members‘ forum, held directly after the AGM, should be notified to the BHPA Chairman by February 1st. Voting papers and details of candidates, and the BHPA Treasurer‘s Report, will appear in the February issue of Skywings. The Belfry is adjacent to Junction 26 of the M1.

    The AGM will include the election of the Association's Executive Committee (Exec), from which three current members (Marc Asquith, John Nash and John Welch) will be standing down and seeking re-election. A fourth member, Sites Officer Steve Walsh, has resigned.

    Nominations are sought for BHPA Awards of Merit. These are presented to BHPA members to acknowledge conspicuous service to a club or clubs, or to competitions. If someone in your environment has put their heart and soul into the good of the sport for many years, please consider writing a citation for them for a BHPA Merit Award. Citations should be sent to the BHPA Office by January 31st 2012; awards will be presented at the BHPA AGM or other suitable occasion.

     

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  5. Skywings News Update - Christmas 2012


    BHPA Liability Insurance & Club Officers

    The settlement of a high profile case against a BHPA Recreational club has apparently given rise to concerns amongst Club Committee members in a number of other Recreational Clubs in respect of their personal liability for such claims, such that a number of people have resigned as Club Committee members or Officials.

    The first point to make is that because most Recreational Clubs are not registered companies, any claim is brought against all the Club members at the time of the accident. It makes no difference whether you are a Committee Member or an Official. Usually, the Chairman and Secretary will be named in the litigation, but they are only named in a representative capacity on behalf of every Club member. The legal reality is that everyone who was a club member at the time of the accident is a Defendant in the action.

    Secondly, this is exactly the reason we have liability insurance. In the high profile case all aspects of the claim were dealt with by insurers and solicitors appointed to act on the Recreational Club‘s behalf. The settlement has not cost any BHPA member a single penny of their personal money. This total cover is the very reason why BHPA Exec regularly remind Recreational Clubs that all Club members must be BHPA members. Our insurance is there to protect, not just members who fly hang gliders or paragliders, but also others, be they marshals, tug pilots, competition organisers or any other role undertaken under the auspices of the BHPA and that includes being on Club committees and yes, even being on Exec!

    We can always potentially get something wrong that needs insurance. Such widely-based insurance is deliberately pitched thus because it is important to the functioning of the BHPA and the sport in general in the UK that people are not scared off from offering their services as Club Officials or other non-flying volunteers because of unfounded concerns about losing their house in the event of a claim.

    The terms of the settlement of the high profile claim are confidential and the court order only permits them being them as being described as "confidential and mutually satisfactory". Anyone who engages in discussion of the terms of the settlement risks being in breach of the court order and subject to the laws of contempt.

    Recently, it has become more widely realised that a jokey threat to bomb Robin Hood Airport can suddenly result in your emails and social networking messages becoming open to scrutiny by the police, the court or anyone who wants to bring a claim. Speculation about any incident on email or social networking sites may well cause difficulties if the incident becomes subject to an action and your messages are later examined as part of the case. In essence, the old rule that after an accident you must not admit fault, in the new electronic era now extends to all discussions on social networking sites by those who are witnesses or potential witnesses.

    If there is anything to learn from this case, it is not that your insurance cover has in any way changed or that your house is at risk, but instead that opinions and speculations should not lead to a case being subjected to a "trial by internet" until that case has been concluded in the more time-honoured and proper manner by a Judge.

    If any member has any questions they should feel free to contact Marc Asquith (BHPA Chairman) 07802 525099 or Martin Heywood (BHPA Insurance Officer).


    BHPA AGM

    The Annual General Meeting of the BHPA will be held on Saturday March 2rd 2013 at the Belfry Hotel, Nottingham, NG8 6PY,starting at 11am.

    Last year‘s event, co-located with the BGA AGM, seemed to work well and the same format is to be repeated this year. It is hoped that members will take the time to turn up to hear how the BHPA Exec has been working on their behalf, to quiz Exec members on their record and put forward ideas for the future direction of the Association. Voting papers and details of candidates will appear in the February issue of Skywings.

    Topics for discussion at the members‘ forum, held directly after the AGM, should be notified to the BHPA Chairman by February 1st. Voting papers and details of candidates, and the BHPA Treasurer‘s Report, will appear in the February issue of Skywings. The Belfry is adjacent to Junction 26 of the M1.

    The AGM will include the election of the Association's Executive Committee (Exec), from which three current members (Marc Asquith, John Nash and John Welch) will be standing down and seeking re-election. A fourth member, Sites Officer Steve Walsh, has resigned. Any BHPA member considering seeking nomination for election should contact Chairman Marc Asquith or another Exec member to find out what‘s involved, and contact the Office for the appropriate form as soon as possible. Completed nominations should arrive at the BHPA Office no later than Friday January 18th.

    Nominations are sought for BHPA Awards of Merit. These are presented to BHPA members to acknowledge conspicuous service to a club or clubs, or to competitions. If someone in your environment has put their heart and soul into the good of the sport for many years, please consider writing a citation for them for a BHPA Merit Award. Citations should be sent to the BHPA Office by January 31st 2012; awards will be presented at the BHPA AGM or other suitable occasion.


    Steve Cook to fly Atos VR

    Steve Cook, one of the south coast‘s most accomplished hang glider pilots, will be flying a brand-new Atos VR rigid this season.

    Steve won the hang gliding XC League in 2007 having logged out-and-returns of up to 180km aboard an Aeros Phantom rigid. He had flown 124 and 146km out-and-returns the previous year and went on to make a 138km out-and-return flight in 2010.

    Steve was British hang gliding champion in 1999 aboard a La Mouette Topless, and Class 5 champion in 2002 on a Top Secret. A former disciple of last year‘s XC League winner, Johnny "age-is-no-barrier" Carr, with a VR in his hands Steve will be a force to be reckoned with this year and might cause rigid-wing hard men Neville Almond and Tim King an anxious glance over their shoulders. However Steve should note that Nev‘s last record (278km) involved dropping a turnpoint a mile out to sea, just to make life harder for the next pilot.

    If you are thinking of following Steve Cook‘s lead don‘t leave it too late - we are informed that quoted VR delivery dates are already well into the spring.


    John Aldridge appointed FAI Companion of Honour

    At the FAI‘s 106th General Conference in Turkey in October, longtime BHPA comps officer, hang gliding comps organiser and meet director, CIVL delegate and latterly CIVL President John Aldridge was appointed an FAI Companion of Honour.

    There are only 63 Companions in the history of the FAI, but no Brits except former RAeC Chairman Fred Marsh and former BGA medical adviser, FAI Medico-Physiological Commission President and CIMP Secretary Peter Saundby, who was also honoured at the October conference.

    John‘s award reflects his years working with current FAI President John Grubbström on CASI, the Airsport General Commission, where he was a Vice-President. He is the only Companion past or present with a hang gliding or paragliding background!


    Big Fat Repack

    The Thames Valley club‘s Big Fat Repack will run on Sunday February 24th at the Rivermead Leisure Complex, Reading.

    There will be a zip slide to practice reserve deployment, and the BHPA‘s repacking team will give presentations on how to deploy and repack your ‘chute. Qualified packers will be on on hand with help and advice to ensure that everyone leaves with their ‘chute repacked.

    There will also be first-aid lectures. The BFR costs £27.50 per person - less than a commercial repack! Please book online at www.tvhgc.co.uk, or download a booking form and send it, with a cheque and stamped, addressed envelope, to BFR, The Gables, 1 Henwick Lane, Thatcham, Berkshire RG18 3BJ.


    John Chambers talk at CSC

    The Cumbria Soaring Club is to host a talk by X-Alps athlete Jon Chambers, recently in the news as the first Brit to top-land Mt Blanc.

    John is a regular on the lecture circuit and has previously headlined at the Kendal Mountain Festival. The date for your diaries is February 23rd; further information including booking details will be posted in due course on the Cumbria Soaring Club website.


     

    As this is the last Skywings News update for 2012, on behalf of everyone at the BHPA I'd just like to thank you all for your support over the past 12 months, and wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    Paul

     

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