Flying Safety

  1. It’s exciting being on launch, especially if your friends are flying! The wind is increasing – you’ve got to get in the air! You’ve got to get in the air! You hurry it all out of the bag, throw on...
  2. Traffic Rules: Thermalers vs Soarers

    Traffic Rules: Thermalers vs Soarers

    What happens when you're ridge soaring, and someone thermals into you? Who has right of way? And what should you do? We analyse a common traffic problem and offer a strategy to solve it here >

  3. A Glider Too Far

    A Glider Too Far

    By virtue of his role, Joe Schofield, the editor of BHPA Skywings Magazine, gets to hear many freeflight pilots' stories. Unfortunately too many of these involve low-airtime paraglider, paramotor and hang glider pilots flying unsuitable equipment, too advanced for them, often with a bad outcome. Even if, by pure dumb luck, the pilot doesn't actually crash, or by chance isn't injured, their confidence takes a knock. They can become disillusioned, afraid of flying and even lose all interest in the sport. In this article Joe shares his thoughts from many years in freeflight and offers some wise words of advice on how to avoid the pitfalls and continue having a great, safe and above all FUN time freeflying for many years to come. Greg from Flybubble adds a few words too.

  4. Paragliding Safety: Launch & Landing Stance

    Paragliding Safety: Launch & Landing Stance

    It looks cool, to just step gently off the hill, tip back into your pod, and swoop off, inches from the grass. There is a hidden danger in this bad habit, one which will show its teeth when launching into unexpected turbulence or striking a hidden object.

  5. XC Secrets: How to thermal with pilots

    XC Secrets: How to thermal with pilots

    A simple guide to joining thermals filled with circling traffic.

  6. Paraglider Control: Finding Your Stall Point

    Paraglider Control: Finding Your Stall Point

    Learning to fly slowly to extend your safety margin and improve your sensitivity to the stall point.

  7. Turning back at the ridge? Don't get caught by the Downwind Devil!

    When soaring, it's safest to keep all turns away from the hill. But for XC you need to thermal, and effective thermaling requires circling. When you're close to the terrain, you can be caught by the 'downwind devil', especially in strong wind. This has caught out many pilots over the years, pilots who knew the theory and yet still made the mistake. It might not be as simple as it seems. Don't let it catch you!

  8. When soaring, it's safest to keep all turns away from the hill. But for XC you need to thermal, and effective thermaling requires circling. When you're close to the terrain, you can be caught by the 'downwind devil', especially in strong wind. This has caught out many pilots over the years, pilots who knew the theory and yet still made the mistake. It might not be as simple as it seems. Don't let it catch you!

  9. Reducing Risk for Free-Flyers (series)

    Reducing Risk for Free-Flyers (series)

    Free-flyers are exposed to many risks. By identifying the greatest danger, you can make an effort to increase your safety margins in other areas. By examining each element of risk in turn—Weather, Wing, Gear, Sites, Ability, Knowledge—in a series of articles, we hope to provide some insight into reducing your risk.

  10. Attitude: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Attitude: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Hang glider and paraglider pilots are a very small minority and most non-flying people will only ever meet one or two of us. Their opinion of our sport will be based, for good or ill, on such brief encounters...

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