Thames Valley Hang Gliding Club

A BHPA Hang Gliding and Paragliding Club

TVHGC Sites

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The club offers a good range of safe ridge soaring sites for novices and some of the best XC sites in the south of England. However, almost all the sites are sensitive and have particular rules associated with them that must be observed by pilots visiting. Whether you are a new CP (hill) pilot just starting out or an experienced XC hound please respect the site rules.

 

We welcome new members, please join the club, it costs £20 per year and if you are a new member and join after September your membership subscription will last for a year to the following March. If you have any questions, queries or concerns contact the committee or post a message in our club forum where you will find members happy to help.

 

Insurance

Insurance

 

Milk Hill and Milk Hill White Horse are owned by Natural England. Natural England requires £5 Million third party insurance cover to access these sites.  A list of BHPA members with appropriate insurance cover is available on the TVHGC website. If you DO NOT have this level of insurance cover YOU are not allowed to fly on either of these sites.  As a member of the BHPA you should have the appropriate cover however it's your responsibility to check.

 

For visiting pilots flying with a IPPI card must also have third Party Liability Insurance up to £5 Million.  You can also find details here: http://www.bhpa.co.uk/sport/bhpa/visiting_pilots.php

Visiting Pilots

Due to the sensitive nature of the sites TVHGC does not have any open sites.  To fly our sites you must be a current BHPA member and either a full member of the club or hold 7 day flying membership.  To procure a 7 day flying membership  click here.

 

Visiting foreign pilots (i.e. pilots that are not members of the BHPA) who are staying for up to one month are required to have an IPPI card with at least a stage 3 for paragliding or stage 2 for hang gliding and confirmation of not less than two million pounds third party liability insurance. For visits longer than one month foreign pilots are required to join the BHPA. A member of the committee must verify the required documentation before agreeing to the visiting foreign pilot flying at a TVHGC site. This needs to be done in advance and contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details. 

Membership

To join the Thames Valley Hang Gliding Club (TVHGC) Contact the membership secretary using: Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Phone: 0750 2269 117.

 

To join now as a full member click here.

 

You can join as a temporary member for 7 days and fly the club sites if your have the required insurance and qualifications.

BHPA Rules

BHPA Rules for Individual Flying Members

1. Pilots must comply with Air Law.

2. All accidents and incidents must be reported to the BHPA using the Incident Report Form within 48 hours. Any fatal or potentially fatal accident must also be reported to the police and the Air Accident Investigation Branch immediately.

3. Pilots involved in any type of incident that could lead to an insurance claim must not admit fault or liability.

4. A well fitting helmet must be worn on all flights. The helmet should be CE marked EN 966 in the HPG category.

5. Members who wish to be involved in any activity that involves others (e.g. Coaching, Instructing, Dual Flying, Towing, Aerotowing) must be appropriately licensed and must adhere to the requirements set out in the Technical Manual

6. BHPA members must fly acceptably certificated aircraft, or aircraft that have been entered on the BHPA registration database.

7. When flying from club sites pilots must familiarise themselves, and comply with the club site rules.

8. Members must only fly when fit to do so.

9. Members must restrict their activities to those that they are qualified to undertake.

10. Members must not act in a manner which brings or may bring the BHPA or the sport in general into disrepute.

Nb. Aircraft means hang gliders, paragliders, parascending canopies and variants thereof (e.g. SPHG) that have been encompassed by the BHPA. Recommendations

The BHPA Pilot Handbook sets out recommended practice.

Livestock, fences and neighbourliness

Livestock, fences and neighbourliness

 

All the farmers on whose land we fly have different concerns – what scarcely worries one may trouble another greatly. These are generally spelled out on the individual site pages, but:

 

• Horses are easily spooked; try to avoid flying low over them especially at Milk Hill, Tan Hill, Golden Ball, Rybury and Uffington.

• Sheep can be nervous too; they need time to get to know you. If there is plenty of room they will wander away , but if penned into a small space they can panic and hurt themselves on the barbed wire – especially at Liddington Castle.

• Sheep with unborn or young lambs are more at risk. If the mother gets separated from the lamb they some times fail to find each other again especially at Tan Hill and Rybury, which are sometimes closed for lambing during April and May.

• Do not climb any fences. It may be a bit of a walk, but it was your choice to fly. If agreed access is over a lock ed gate e.g. Liddington, then climb on the hinged side only

• Don't park in front of bales as they need to be accessible by the farmers.

 

• Natural England makes no unaccompanied flying a condition of the licence at Milk Hill. The farmer of Rybury and Tan Hill is equally concerned. Both impose a penalty of £50 payable to charity, on anyone caught flying unaccompanied.

 

Be a good neighbour

Our continuing access to these sites depends upon our continuing to be a good neighbour, so stick to the site rules, and be polite and friendly if challenged. Bring home any litter; even if other people have left it. Leave the sites cleaner than you find them.

Before Flying Check

Before Flying on Weekdays

If you're lucky enough to be able to fly on weekdays then you should be aware that you may well be sharing the air with low-flying military traffic e.g. Hercules from Brize Norton or helicopters various from Middle Wallop or Odiham.  There is also the occasional fast-jet from Boscombe Down or Salisbury Plain.  You would therefore be wise to notify the military via CANP (Civil Aircraft Notification Procedure) .

The details on how to do this are on the BHPA website https://www.bhpa.co.uk/documents/safety/canp/

Here's a form I made that takes all the thinking out of this process!
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1fwa8wvZ4V4mw1MzgAD4ghkhccExJUbvTnvzuDelpCt8/edit?usp=sharing
Chris

 

Before Flying Every Day

It is each pilot’s responsibility to check the NOTAMS provided by the National Air Traffic Service Ltd. This applies to both local site flying and XC.

They are available at www.nats-uk.ead-it.com/public/index.php.html. This site requires free registration, but it is possible with the Narrow Route briefing facility to restrict the list to only those NOTAMS relevant to where you intend to fly. Alternatively you could use www.nats.co.uk/operational/pibs/index.shtml. This site does not require registration, but provides just a plain listing of all NOTAMS. There are many programs available to us now that will plots NOTAMs over a map of the UK, this makes it easier to see which are relevant to the area we are intending flying in.

If you are unable to use the web based services then use the AIS (Aeronautical Information Service) Information Line: 0500 354802.
This telephone information line provides pre-recorded information on UK Airspace Upgrades and Temporary Restricted Areas notified within the UK. It is regularly updated and only contains information on activities taking place for that day.

A great alternative and simple tool is http://notaminfo.com/.  It's free and once registered you can obtain graphical representations of the NOTAMs.

Also check the club website for latest site news. If you are not able to do this call the Sites Officer. If you are unable to contact the Sites Officer then contact another member of the committee.

New Sites

THERE IS A SITE NEAR YOU.

The first thing to do is go to your local library and get some Ordianece Survey maps out. There is a new Explorer series available now, which is great, covering two and a half inches to the mile, or the old Pathfinder series at the same scale. These are perfect for our purposes. Open the map lay it out on your floor and start looking for closely packed contour lines. Don't be put off by indications of trees! Chinnor ridge (a Dunstable Hang Gliding Club site) in the Chilterns is long and covered in trees but there is a take off area half way along it!

Once you have found a few likely looking places on the map get in your car and go check them out. Is there good access? Is there a good take off area? Bottom landing area? If the answer to these questions is positive and the ridge is free of cables find out who owns the land. Here lunch in the local pub and you will find out who you need to approach for permission.

Go along to see the landowner or tenant farmer with a positive attitude. Make it clear that you only wish to try one flight from his hill and that you fully respect his wishes, if he should say no. Chances are that for a one off he will say yes.

After that initial flight, if it looks promising then thank him profusely and offer to walk his dogs, cot the grass or what ever.

All you have to do then is let the club sites office know all the details and leave it up to him. It's his job to do the negotiating on behalf of the club.

Finally if you are a fairly inexperienced pilot then ask your instructor to come along and try it out on your behalf. There may be factors about the site that you hadn't realised that could create dangers. If you are experienced, make sure you fly with a fellow pilot and enjoy the thrill of being a site pioneer.

Good hunting!

COPYRIGHT AND TERMS

 

(c) 2017 THAMES VALLEY HANG GLIDING CLUB

 

 

 

 

 

 

KEY INFORMATION

 

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Photos on the front page by: Ian Pepper, Nik Valiris, Mike Hibbit, Mark Reeves and Martin Wareham

Photos in the gallery by: Mike Hibbit and other pilots of TVHGC

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