SIV etc.

By Brian Stewart on  May 23, 2019 19:52

PSC Safety Bulletin

May 2019 Some thoughts from my recent SIV course. And other thoughts


This was my third SIV course; I still learned loads, and discovered how much more I don’t know. Top tip: buy a cheap Chinese radio and headset (other Nationalities are available)that you won’t care too much about getting wet. Trying to listen to a radio speaker, inside a waterproof case, while the world is going nuts around you is almost impossible. The wind noise from some of the manoeuvres wipes out everything.

Wingovers. These are more complex than they look – done well they are a delight: that feeling of body and glider in perfect harmony carving accurate, graceful arcs through the sky. Done badly, they have the potential to bite hard, and are more difficult than they look. So, please take care trying them out over land or near the terrain. We’ve had members seriously hurt doing wingovers and SATs close to the hill – you need loads of clearance horizontally and vertically, to give enough time to sort thigs out if you get it wrong. This is not the place to talk about how they’re done (and I’m not the person to do that, either), but make sure you learn progressively, in the right environment, with sound guidance.

The guidance and supervision are so important. Someone trying tumbles in Olu Deniz fell into his wing and hit the water. While there will have been some drag from the trailing fabric, he must have reached a big percentage of human terminal velocity. Sadly, he did not survive. I never found out if he was under any form of instruction but given the poor entry into his manoeuvre, I doubt it – any instructor would have been screaming at him to stop after the first loop, which clearly lacked enough energy. Water does not guarantee a soft landing.

In the papers, there are reports of a paraglider pilot airlifted to hospital from Pendle last Sunday (19th May). The Air Accident Investigation Bureau have informed the BHPA; so far the victim is unidentified, and there are conflicting reports about the severity of his (her?) injuries. Perhaps it wasn’t one of our members, but if he/she was BHPA there is a legal duty to submit an incident report. If you have any knowledge of the incident, then please complete the online report form ( Every bit of data regarding flight incidents helps to build a fuller picture of the hazards we all face.

NOTAMs. Are we all checking these carefully before picking our site and/or route? is easy to use and you can set your own preferences for which areas of the country and type of NOTAM you want to see displayed. If, like me, you see very few NOTAMs on the map, have a look at your local settings – mine had somehow changed to exclude the western half of the country.

CANP. Midweek flying is likely to bring you into conflict with the military, especially in training hotspots like the Dales, Lake District and Yorkshire. It’s far from perfect, as there is little scope for XC flying, but it’s easy to use and could be a life-saver.


5 Tips for Beginners

By Jack Pimblett  on  April 24, 2019 10:44

Jack Pimblett shares some of the tips which have helped him progress as a pilot.



Free Flight and Spectators

By Brian Stewart on  April 21, 2019 08:46

PSC Safety Bulletin

April 2019 - Supplement


An incident with potentially serious consequences in Derbyshire reminds us of the need to take extra care when there are spectators watching. On holiday weekends with loads of pilots and members of the public around, there is a real risk of serious injury.

Without going into detail, a small boy was injured by a landing paraglider and taken to hospital – fortunately it seems the line burns were not serious.

Please take care around spectators; because they see no spinning props, no hot exhaust, no hard metal tubes, it all seems a safe as a bag of washing. We know the hazards: please ensure that members of the public are not put in danger. Suggest where they could get a better view and be safer. The consequences of a serious injury to a bystander don’t bear thinking about and would be awful for all concerned.

A Grand Day Out

By Brian Stewart on  April 13, 2019 11:37

Doarama has changed name to Ayvri, and seems to have raised its game. Have a look at the track here:

Thanks Jim Ashley for the choice of site, I thought the wind was was too far South. Driving through Ingleton we nearly turned back under the uniform grey blanket, but we put our faith in the weather forecast which turned out to be spot on. A triangle around the 3 peaks was set, but after an hour of vainly pushing upwind, Ingleborough wasn't getting any closer, the thermals were rough and spring like and the southerly wind was making life near the hill very unpleasant. Poor Jim, after persuading Graham and I to join him, landed early and had to console himself with a pint and a nice view of Ribblehead viaduct.

Graham and I decided we'd go over the back, and found that the clouds were behaving just like the textbooks say they should. With hindsight we could probably have pushed faster but lacked the confidence to leave the climbs early. Arriving at the M6 we debated pushing on towards the Lakes, but the clouds drew us along the motorway instead. Both of us had low saves at Tebay, and I was privileged to share a 2000' climb with a true king of the sky - a buzzard that stayed just in front of my leading edge all the way to base.

Landing at Langwathby I set up for an empty field but got it wrong and had to stall it into the field downwind as I wouldn't clear the fence. Then bundle up my glider and run for the gate as a herd of frisky cows galloped towards me. I swear one of them was trying to head me off, but I made the gate, throwing myself, still in the harness, and the glider over it in an ungainly heap. Note to self: must stop crashing on landing.

Big thanks to Jim Ashley for following us in Graham's car and a speedy pickup.