Latest Safety Notices

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Skywalk brake handles

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Hang-gliding harnesses with back plates

Ref. no.: FSC.SC13 British Hang Gliding Date: 02/2016 Pages: 1 (Pink) and Paragliding Association Ltd
8 Merus Court
Meridian Business Park Leicester
LE19 1RJ
Tel: 0116 2894 316 Fax: 0116 289 8741
Issued by Angus Pinkerton - Chairman of the Flying & Safety Committee 15 February, 2016.
All Paraglider Pilots must READ, DIGEST AND TAKE ACTION on the contents of this Notice and keep it for future reference.
This notice will remain available on the BHPA website and in the Technical manual.

In 2015 a BHPA member suffered severe injuries as a result of a bad landing on his flex-wing hang-glider.

Detailed investigation of the incident found that there were several factors that contributed to the accident. The main factor was found to be the decision of the pilot to make the final approach and flare with his hands positioned on the base bar of the glider, rather than on the uprights of the control frame.

A significant factor in this decision was that the harness being used featured an articulated back –plate design, which offers significant resistance to the pilot when trying to rotate upright and change their grip. Several models of high–performance harnesses have similar characteristics.

Whilst subsequent testing confirmed that this harness was not faulty in any way, the design does require significant effort and a corresponding reduction in control during the rotation process, and for this reason several pilots have routinely preferred to perform a landing approach and flare without rotating upright.

Pilots are advised that making a landing approach, particularly in very light wind conditions, without rotating into the upright position is potentially very hazardous. It is considerably more likely to result in injury in the case of a failed landing than if the pilot were vertical and gripping the control frame uprights.

All harnesses should be set up so that rotation is easy and all pilots should adopt the upright position in good time during approach.

The use of base bar wheels is also strongly recommended; they may not look “cool” and do cause some extra drag; but they might make all the difference in a bad landing.

Steve Purdie's picture

Unsheathed upper cascade lines.

Ref. no.: FSC.SC12 British Hang Gliding Date: 02/2016 Pages: 1 (Pink) and Paragliding Association Ltd
8 Merus Court
Meridian Business Park Leicester
LE19 1RJ
Tel: 0116 2894 316 Fax: 0116 289 8741


Issued by Angus Pinkerton - Chairman of the Flying & Safety Committee 15 February, 2016.

All Paraglider Pilots must READ, DIGEST AND TAKE ACTION on the contents of this Notice and keep it for future reference.
This notice will remain available on the BHPA website and in the Technical manual.

Unsheathed upper cascade lines.

The BHPA has received a report of the unsheathed upper cascade lines on an Ozone Alpina 2 paraglider becoming knotted and tangled in flight whilst the glider was flown in big-ears mode with the speedbar being operated. This incident occurred when the lines were dry and in good condition.
Subsequent investigation has revealed that this issue has occurred several times and on more than one glider.
It is likely that the very light lines are becoming tangled when under no load (i.e. loose) in a turbulent airflow when the glider is accelerated. It is possible that this effect could also be experienced as a result of an asymmetric collapse.
Ozone is aware of this issue, and states that as any changes to the line specifications would move the glider outside the certification, there are no plans to modify the lines.
No control issues have been reported as result of this characteristic, but any change in the line configuration could have an effect on the gliders’ recovery behavior in subsequent instability situations.
Whilst the reports currently only refer to this particular model of glider, it is considered likely that a similar phenomenon is possible on any glider that uses very light unsheathed aramid upper cascade lines.
If your glider has experienced a similar problem please complete and submit a BHPA incident report form (available on the BHPA website).
Pilots are urged to be vigilant about this issue, and visually check their gliders carefully after using big ears or after recovering from a collapse, especially when in accelerated mode with the speedbar. Where possible the use of an alternative method to lose height is recommended.
Minor tangles may be possible to clear by using deep brake, but any pilot who notices that their glider has acquired knots or tangling is advised to land as soon as possible.

Steve Purdie's picture

Swing line splices not sewn properly

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Austrialpin Cobra buckles safety notice

Seems I forgot to post this here, just on wastebook:

Steve Purdie's picture

Flying in the Dolomites

If you are considering flying in the Dolomites now or in the future, please read this and digest:

TVHGC received the following from Rodolfo Saccani of the FIVL:

Hi Everybody.

We keep having serious problems in the Dolomites (expecially in Canazei – Col Rodella – Pordoi – Marmolada).

The Dolomites area is again at risk of being closed to free flight.

I ask you to please help us in informing european pilots and scools by publishing on your websites and magazines the following information (please also send me links to your websites once you published the news so that we can show to the authorities our cooperation in keeping these area safe).

The search & rescue helicopter service in the Dolomites area (Canazei, Col Rodella, Pordoi, Marmolada) is still struggling when hundreds of pilots, from all over Europe, keep flying during rescue operations not allowing the helicopter to properly operate to help fellow free flight pilots that need assistance.

The situation is so bad that the authorities will close the area if we can't manage to solve this problem.
In order to keep everybody safe and in order to keep open to free flight one of the most beautiful flight areas in the world, all pilots flying in the Dolomites area are requested to:

1) Take note: the official phone number in Italy for the rescue service is 118.

2) Starting from this year, we start experimenting with a radio channel reserved to flight safety.
Keep a radio always listening on the safety radio channel that we call "8-16" which is PMR channel 8 with CTSS subtone 16.
For the most technical pilots the frequency is 446,09375 MHz + subtone 114,8 Hz
This radio channel will be used to provide instructions during rescue operations and for any other safety-related communication.
Keep the channel free, don't use it for non-safety communications.
PMR radios are cheap and light. Getting a second radio just for this safety channel is a good choice: it will be your cheapest piece of safety equipment.
Communication during emergencies is very important.

3) When you see the helicopter (red or yellow) fly at least 2Km away from the rescue area.

4) Tell also to your friends, on your usual radio channel, to move 2Km away from the rescue area.

5) If there is no other way to communicate with them, use the "ears" with the paraglider as a way to communicate that they also have to leave the area.

6) Don't stay in front of the helicopter whent it's hovering. Even when you think that the helicopter has reached it's operation place and that it's safe to keep flying, the helicopter is probably waiting for free flight pilots (including yourself) to move away in order to proceed to the rescue area.

7) Every pilot flying in the Dolomites area must have a red and a green smoke bomb. They can be found at the Col Rodella cablecar. If you have an accidend and need medical help use the red smoke bomb. If you have an accident and don't need medical assistance use the green smoke bomb and fold the wing.
Rodolfo Saccani | Commissione Sicurezza FIVL

phil's picture

dyke new fence

Be aware all, a new temporary electric fence has been put up on the main take off field.It will be there for approx 4-6 weeks. You are still able to launch but below the fence line,and has a gate to enter.Top landinging the area will need more vigilance.

Hairy Dave's picture

DIY Pilot - please look out for him

Over the last few weeks an untrained (and therefore non BHPA, non-insured) paraglider pilot has been seen on our hills and spoken to several times.

He is a danger to himself, others and to our site agreements.

Please can everyone look out for him and explain the need for training, insurance and club membership. All those things are required to gain the land owner's permission to fly and to comply with the law.

You can put him in touch with me (Dave Lewis, Chief Coach) and I can sort out how best for him to join the BHPA and get his ratings.

He's flying a red and dark blue Apco Tetra. Name of Matt.

Steve Purdie's picture

More Tick Trouble

Dear All,

I have heard from a reliable source that there is an infestation of ticks at various locations on the South Downs close to the coast, including Rodmell, Firle and Exceat. The ticks are of a species never previously found north or west of Serbia, and carry various diseases including rickettsial fevers (one of which is Rocky Mountain spotted fever). These are potentially paralysing diseases, so you may want to warn members to be especially careful about precautions to avoid picking them up, and to check themselves carefully after a day's flying. If a tick is found, remove it with an extractor or loop of thread. Do not pull it out with tweezers or fingers, and do not use heat. Once extracted, keep the tick in a plastic tube or bottle for later identification; and if any odd symptoms are experienced, seek medical assistance immediately. I'll try to get more details on the species name, etc. and forward them.

This is not one of those Internet "jokes", but as far as I can tell genuine and worrying. Certainly Porton Down are very interested, and I believe the ESCC have advised their field workers about it as an HSE requirement.

Best wishes,