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December News

Printed edition Elementary Pilot Training Guide now available

The long awaited printed version of the BHPA’s EP Training Guide has been published and is freely available to pilots under training with BHPA schools. Not got your copy? Contact your BHPA flying school or the BHPA office on 0116 289 4316. The electronic version is also available as a downloadable PDF by clicking on the linked cover image below.


World XContest

The 2010 World XContest online cross-country league has been won by Swiss pilot Thomas Koster flying an Advance Omega. Thomas finished third last year, but in April he logged three 200km triangles and three more in the succeeding months. Thomas started flying in 2002 and is said to spend 250 hours a year in the air. Details of his flights are at


Superb why-I-fly video!

In response to a competition set up by Skywalk, Portuguese paraglider pilot Déciu Abreu has made a short film about why he flies. It’s really a kind of prose poem to flying, nicely shot and with a great soundtrack from Aaron Parks and Kurt Rosenwinkel. “The more I fly the more I realise I can’t get enough of it… I fly because I can.” It’s viral marketing and slightly clichéd too, but it also captures the very essence of why we all fly. It’s at


The Annual General Meeting of the BHPA will be held at Bisham Abbey on Saturday February 12 2011. The AGM will include the election of BHPA Officers, members of the Association’s Executive Committee (Exec). If you want to put something back into the Association, or if you feel that the BHPA should be doing something that it isn’t, consider putting yourself forward for an Exec position. Talk to any Exec member or to Chairman Martin Heywood to find out what’s involved. Any member seeking nomination should contact the Office for the appropriate form; completed nominations should arrive at the BHPA Office no later than Tuesday November 30th. Bisham, near Marlow, Bucks (SL7 1RR) has very good road access via the M4.


Condor has superb L/D!

Research into the aerodynamic attributes of flying fish has revealed that they are far more efficient than hitherto believed, reports The Economist. Drs Choi and Park of Seoul National University in Korea wind-tunnel tested stuffed flying fish in different configurations and discovered that they could achieve a lift/drag ratio of 4.4:1, increasing to 5.5:1 in ground (i.e. water) effect. The original article, in the Journal of Experimental Biology, cites L/D ratios for other flying creatures including the Black Vulture which is said to have a remarkable best glide of 17:1!


Blue-sky thinking on airspace

A new document released by the CAA outlines work being done on its Future Airspace Strategy (FAS). The future needs of airspace users, they say, will require the provision of flexible airspace capacity to respond to developments, at acceptable cost yet minimising aviation’s environmental impact. The document is aimed largely at users of controlled airspace but it does reveal that the CAA is to carry out “stakeholder consultation” to develop its draft FAS between now and February 2011! There’s little mention of General Aviation in the document except to say, “…factors may be in conflict; for example, expanding controlled airspace to increase capacity could restrict the access to some in the General Aviation community.” The key words are flexibility and integration; no doubt we will soon learn exactly what these mean in CAA hands. The Airspace for Tomorrow 2 document can be found at AirspaceForTomorrow2.pdf.
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