Flight Skills

Get the Edge: Prepare For Your First Paragliding Competition

Many paraglider pilots are interested in cross country flying, from those who have just received their XC licence (in the UK, the BHPA Pilot Rating) to experienced pilots with a desire to explore. After some time doing XC, pilots often decide to enter a competition to test themselves, to fly a new site with support or just to try something new. This article aims to helps you get the edge in your first competition, based on my experience.

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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.

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Paragliding Cross Country: The Longest Line from Leckhampton by Paraglider

On 18th April 2014 Carlo Borsattino, Chief Flying Instructor (CFI) of Flybubble Paragliding set a new UK paragliding record for distance on an EN B paraglider, flying 182 km straight-line from Leckhampton, a challenging site near Cheltenham on his Gin Carrera. In this article Carlo describes the flight and gives unique insights on how he achieved it.

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All around The South Downs hills with a Paraglider

Greg Hamerton went to Devils Dyke for a training flight. "For two years, the Foot or Fly course (linking all the Southern sites) has been a wind-up. I'd flown bits and pieces, walked all of it, and tried different start points, but never closed it. Only James Hope-Lang and his jammy legs had done it in a day, and there's no way I was going to run that far with that bag. But at last, I have solved the puzzle!" Here's how to do it >

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Flying Story: Winter At Cloudbase

I like to be prepared. When I got my heated gloves as a prize from Flybubble last August I stashed them in the glovebox of my car, so they were there, ready for a cold snap. I mean, if they are in the car, I can’t forget them, right?

I get to Crete Road (DFHGC) to find pilots in the air with good height; it looks a bit ‘up & down’ but hey!

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XC Secrets: Progressing Beyond Ridge Lift

The transition from ridge soaring to thermaling is often led by the experienced pilots, who somehow seem to 'know' when to glide out into the big unknown void of Beyond The Ridge Lift. Whenever you try to follow them, you seem to go down. What do they know? And how do you develop this skill? Making the transition from ridge soaring to thermaling can seem complicated until you learn this simple trick.

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BHPA Pilot Rating Tasks & Exam

Useful info and resources relating to the British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association (BHPA) Pilot rating and exam:

BHPA Pilot Rating Tasks & Exam Syllabus

BHPA Pilot Rating Tasks
Tasks for “Pilot” Rating – for information only. BHPA members wishing to take their “Pilot” exam are advised to consult the Pilot Task Book (available from the BHPA Office).

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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.

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XC Secrets: Catching thermals (with both hands)

In this article and accompanying video we demonstrate and discuss how to catch thermals and control your thermaling turn focusing on four key concepts: thermal searching, using weightshift, tightening on the core and optimising brake input. Using the correct timing, weightshift and outer brake inputs can dramatically improve your climb rate and get you to the top of the stack.

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