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December News

Paramotor speed race

Dec 0027 Spain

BHPA member Steve Brockett attended the first PXP paramotor speed race at Baza in Spain, organised over five days in October by PXP paramotor boss Jose Navarro. Competitors from all over Europe took part in a series of race tasks over spectacular desert landscapes and the stunning Lake Negratin. Overall winner was France's Mathieu Rouanet flying an Ozone Speedster/PAP Moster outfit. The final day's events included acro by Raul Rodrigez and parachuting from a trike. Steve, the only UK competitor, finished a respectable 10th. PXP intend to run the event again next year; details are at The area is said to be the location of the first human occupation of Europe; it’s interesting to think what Early Pleistocene hominids might have made of paramotoring had they been able to see a couple of million years into the future!

Big wave day in the Peaks


Derbyshire pilots need no reminding of the fantastic wave flying available from Lord’s Seat in a northerly, usually in the winter. Those pilots don’t need reminding how rare the correct conditions are, and how even on the right day a lot of people will go home disappointed, made worse by their friends going on about unbelievable height gains and coast-to-coast views. Christmas came early this year and provided just such a superb window of wave flying on Lords on November 6th. We received a number of superb pictures, not least from local regulars Gordon Rigg (Page 9, top) and John Baxby.

“Richard Carter confirmed the others were getting into the wave over near Jacob’s Ladder, an easy glide from launch,” reports Gordon. “I found a lumpy 5-up that I had to circle in before it smoothed out, and then the valley opened up above base with lift everywhere. From about 4,000ft I set off to Bradwell but turned back over the village without finding lift. On a second attempt, from much nearer 4,500ft, I contacted much weaker wave over the Shatton transmitter. After flying about in the Hope Valley at about 3,000ft, just above base, I went downwind and landed near Tideswell where I live.”


“There’s no long story,” writes John. “Just a truly amazing four-and-a-half hour flight around the Edale Valley, above the clouds, that was absolutely breathtaking. Winter flying just doesn’t get better than this. Words just cannot compare to the experience.” Having been there and done it, long ago, I can but agree. Hats off to all those who were able to enjoy the ride.

Dynamic duo return to Nova

Mario Eder and Mike Kung have both returned to their test-pilot role at Nova following spells with other manufacturers. Mario, 40, worked at Nova from 1998 to 2009 and had a major hand in the Artax, Mamboo, Mentor and Triton gliders among others before moving to Airwave to head up their test team. In recent years he has also has forged a reputation as a photographer. Mike, 42, worked at Nova from 1993 to 1998 and recently held the chief test pilot slot at Paratech. The pair will join Nova’s development team of Pipo Medicus and Toni Bender in support of designer Hannes Papesh. Nova CEO Wolfgang Lechner comments, “Mario and Mike fill the gap left by Alex Hoellwarth. With them on board our product development is well set for the future.” Hannes Papesh adds: ”We have became really good with our CFD simulations but these will never replace real test flights. We know Mike and Mario very well and their flying skills and technical expertise are excellent. It was a logical step to engage them.”



As reported last month, the Annual General Meeting of the BHPA will be held on Saturday March 3rd 2012 at the Belfry Hotel, Nottingham, starting at 11am. It is hoped that members will take the time to turn up at Nottingham to hear how the Association's officers have been working on your behalf. You will be able to quiz Exec members on their record and put forward ideas for the future direction of the Association. Topics for discussion at the members' forum, held directly after the AGM, should be notified to the BHPA Chairman by February 1st. Voting papers and details of candidates, and the BHPA Treasurer's Report, will appear in the February issue of Skywings. The British Gliding Association AGM will take place at the same location on the same date. The Belfry is adjacent to Junction 26 of the M1.

Nominations are sought for BHPA Awards of Merit. These are presented to BHPA members to acknowledge conspicuous service to a club or clubs, or to competitions. if someone in your environment has put their heart and soul into the good of the sport for many years, please consider writing a citation for them for a BHPA Merit Award. Citations should be sent to the BHPA Office by January 31st 2012; awards will be presented at the BHPA AGM or other suitable occasion.

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