Pilot Progression

Basic Soaring Skills for Low Airtime Pilots

Ridge soaring provides an essential learning environment for low airtime pilots, allowing you to build airtime without the turbulence and hit-and-miss altitude of thermic flying. But after you've gone up and down the ridge twenty times, what else can you do? Are there some things you could be exploring to improve your skills faster? Yes there are!

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Attitude: Landing Area Etiquette (by Angus Pinkerton)

There are a few pilots who consider that because the rules of the air give them priority it is always other people who have the responsibility to get out of their way. But this is not true, either in flight, on approach, or in the landing area. All pilots share the ultimate responsibility to avoid collisions; the Rules of the Air help determine priority, but if the other party isn’t aware of your presence, or is unable to manoeuvre, no rule is going to help you.

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Is Everybody OK?

Steve Empringham offers an insight into paragliding and mental health (republished with permission of Skywings Magazine).

Is it just me, or do some aspects of paragliding strike you as, well, just a bit abnormal?

If you feel like paragliding is dominating your life in a not entirely good way, read on. You are not alone. And take hope – there is another way.

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Paragliding Pod Harness Entry Tips

In this article, we share with you some tips on getting into a paragliding pod harness more easily. With practice, getting your legs and feet into your pod harness should be quick and easy. It's no good having to struggle to get in properly every time. As well as being frustrating, struggling to get into the speedbag (leg fairing) when you launch means you're not in control at a critical time, when you're near the ground, close to other pilots and possibly in need of your speedbar. Worse, you could end up accidentally activating the paraglider speed system, possibly asymmetrically, which is highly dangerous as it could result in a wing collapse at low level.

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Sports Class Paragliders: Big XC? No hotship required!

You don't have to fly a hotship to achieve great flights! Although having more performance helps, you don't have to fly a Performance Class or Competition wing to achieve your Big XC dreams. The gliding and climbing ability of the modern Sports Class (mid EN C) is now remarkable!

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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 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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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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Paragliding tips from a low-airtime paraglider pilot’s perspective

Low-airtime paraglider pilot Ked Shayer found that he made some big improvements in his flying this year. He even won some prizes! Wisely, Ked noted down some of the things he learned so he could refer back to them later. We thought his notes would also be useful for other new pilots to read so, with Ked's permission, we've published them here for your benefit with bonus expert commentary from Carlo at Flybubble.

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