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BHPA V Precision

Precision Paragliding Club

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Continuing in 2013 to ensure a safer CHOICE always remains available to UK paragliding pilots!

‘Normal’ PG training.... NB some of the following information is based on speaking to thousands of ‘normal trained’ PG pilots since the late 90’s, PG pilots should never forget that normal training will tend to result in ‘normal’ accident, injury & death rates...

BHPA Limited training is provided by BHPA Instructors, it is important for all interested in paragliding in the UK to remember there is in fact NO official Paragliding Instructor training or certification in the UK despite the claims of the BHPA to be the ‘official’ body for paragliding in the UK even they do not in fact provide ‘Instructor Training’ as such!

Precision Paragliding training is provided by Murray Hay, a self taught pilot & instructor who by rejecting almost everything that is regarded as ‘normal’ by associations like the BHPA Ltd. has safely flown over 5,000 hours since the late 90’s on ‘high’ rated paragliders as well as modified/’comp’ rated wings.

BHPA training is split into a ‘EP’ (Elementary pilot) and ‘CP’ (Novice) Pilot ratings, NOTE despite the impression that the BHPA wishes to create a ‘CP’ RATING is NOT a license and it in fact has no official statue in UK aviation!

Precision Paragliding provides full pilot training (not ‘elementary’ training) taking individuals from zero aviation experience to the standards required for safe flight without supervision, in addition a significant number (about 75%) of students are RE-training BHPA PG ‘pilots’.

Following training pilots can opt to sit the BHPC ‘Club Pilot’ exam, remain (for RE-training BHPA pilots) in the BHPA or for new pilots who wish to fly with BHPA clubs join the BHPA and typically spend on day being assessed by a BHPA instructor and get ‘signed off’ as a BHPA CP

Airtime: BHPA CP’s generally seem to manage 40 minutes to 2 hours airtime during one to two years training, I have heard of CP rated individuals with as little as 20 mins flight time and know of one BHPA school that looks for students to have five hours airtime. In theory BHPA ‘CP’ rated pilots fly with a ‘Red Ribbon’ until they have ten hours airtime, however I’ve met many BHPA pilots who have taken more than ten years to reach this number of hours...

Precision Paragliding looks to students flying 15-25 hours airtime in addition to all the other ground and theory training, this will often take three to six months, after the first few days training it is not uncommon for students to be able to fly several hours per day.

‘Parawaiting’: Speaking to other pilots it appears it is quite common, both in training and in club flying to have a lot of wasted journeys/hours spent on hills waiting to fly, this should be factored into the costs of the sport if you train with the BHPA Limited.

One day flown out of every three spent at a flying site is a common comment.

With numerous flying sites and extensive use of MET Office Aviation training/information in addition to the use of Dual Control Tandem training aircraft students fly on about 19 out of every 20 days we meet up to train. Once rated this drops slightly to about 10-15 days flown out of every 20 until the pilots builds another 20-50 hours Solo airtime (about a year is typical) rising to nearer the 19 out of 20 if the flying is with the club (Murray present to asses the conditions)

Radios: BHPA Schools, Instructors, Coaches & Pilots commonly use illegal (and unlicensed) 2m ‘Amateur Band’ radios often modified to give unauthorized channels, use of this equipment (also almost never of a ‘Type Approved’ model) renders the flight illegal under the ANO and of course invalidates any insurance the pilot may have.

Precision uses fully licensed, ‘Type Approved’ legal Air Band aviation radios, students & members using club radios are covered under the club licenses, in addition while under training if flying a ‘G-Reg’ paraglider practice calls with ATC are permited for those pilots who do do yet hold a FRTO.

NB. Remaining legal has the advantage of no loss of insurance!

Insurance: BHPA students get ‘free’ insurance included in their membership, however both illegal practices, restrictions on cover and the student ‘sign off task sheet’ mean in practice they will often have no public liability cover and will generally have no personal injury cover, for this reason (personal cover) a number of BHPA schools advise students to take out Sports Cover Direct personal insurance.

Precision advises all students, new or RE-training BHPA members to take out Sports Cover Direct insurance. At some of our sites to meet landowner requirements insurance is mandatory, NOTE: Due to the nature of many of the sites BHPA ‘CP’ cover is invalid.

Costs range from school to school but expect to pay 800 - 1400 pounds, not including your milage, nor your BHPA membership charges and also this does not cover your CP training equipment hire costs.

As BHPA training appears to involve a lot of ‘un-flown days’ milage costs could be considerable over a year or two!

Costs with Precision are a maximum of 120 pounds for a days training. based on up to two hours Dual Control Tandem instruction and a max or 5 hours solo airtime, students using their own equipment of course have no restriction on a days airtime.

NB. When we are using sites (or multiple sites) that involve significant milage additional costs will apply.

Most BHPA schools as part of their core business sell PG equipment (inc. illegal radios etc.)

Precision does not as a rule get involved in selling PG equipment but does try and stock spare ‘biners etc.

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