Information for Hang glider and Paraglider Pilots in Kent
All flying members should be fully paid-up flying members of the BHPA, as we like to be able to assure landowners that we all have the benefit of the BHPA's public liability insurance cover.
We send a membership list to all members from time to time, and we encourage new members to ring up and get the older hands out and flying when the weather is favourable - and vice versa! Many of our members have observer or instructor status, so we can sign-off new and improving pilots for the various tasks of the pilot rating scheme.
We have two sites that are used fairly frequently,
and a number of others that see our members flying only two or three
times a year. The more heavily used sites are Crete Road, a South-West
site, and The Warren, which is a South-East site using the cliffs
between Folkestone and Dover.The Club also has two predominantly
northerly sites along the north Kent coast, flyable when Firle or
Devils Dyke are blown out, and a restricted south-westerly site
with good XC potential near Maidstone.
A Ride to Freedom
The Hang glider pilot below is one of our members who also flies paragliders (as you will see if you place the cursor on the photograph) flying over lake Annecy in the French Alps on one of our clubs annual visits there.
Flying can be breathtaking. Pilots climb for thousands of feet in thermal lift.Similar height gains, views and experiences may be had on paragliders. The scenery behind is the lake and mountain ranges near Annecy.
We also take part in inter-club competitions, and both our paragliding and hang gliding members have had some enjoyable flying on other clubs' sites as a result.
We hold regular club meetings about every six weeks or two months, usually on Friday evenings at a pub or other venue, frequently in or near Maidstone.
The Club magazine, Skybird, is published just before the meetings to keep members informed and let them know where the meeting is. Usually about 10 to 20 members attend, and the meetings give new members an excellent chance to get flying. Membership costs only 20 a year and is one of the best bargains around.
It's time For Some Fun
This shot was taken from the ground by club member Kevin Back. The glider is an Airwave Sport and was being flown from a site in Provence during the winter months. (Cursor over picture to view the boots of a Club Coach)
The BHPA are the organising body for Free Flying in the UK. They regulate and check the schools, issue pilot ratings, run the airworthiness schemes in the UK for hang gliders and paragliders, and are responsible for safety notices when they're needed.
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