1) In the UK despite the lies from bhpa limited ‘garantors’ (members) there is NO licence for paragliding, that is bhpa members can get a ‘rating’, in the case of ‘Club (Novice) Pilot’ over the years the vast majority of injured bhpa members coming to me to RE-train state they got UNDER one hours airtime during ‘training’.
2) It’s common for bhpa suporters/instructors to lie about their insurance cover, i.e. for much of their activities they do NOT have cover due to the common illegal practices (illegal = NO insurance both under bhpa member rules AND under the law!) in addition to the legal rules, the significant % of bhpa member that only hold a ‘CP’ level of rating those pilots have NO insurance cover if they can not see the landing area from where the flight starts. Two examples are: windy days launching from lower down the face/slope of the hill and top landing or laying out back from the edge of the hill and flying to a slope or bottom landing out of site from where the glider flight started!
3) As the LAW states, and as in indicated in a recent comment by a bhpa commity member, bhpa membership makes members ‘guarantors’. That comment indicated that IF a payment for an individual injured by bhpa actions had been above the insurance threshold then each individual member would be liable for their share of the compensation…. should (as is common) the injury causing flight be illegal the insurance company is perfectly in its rights to not pay out a penny, in which case ALL the costs and compensation is the responsiblity of the guarantors (individual members) hence even in a fairly modest life long injury members could easily be liable for £1,000 or more each !
4) On a practical (flying/flight safety) level as well as the laws of Slander & Liable, when a member of a club, with a known very poor safety record including deaths, states that someone who has spent 17+ years RETRAINING INJURED bhpa pilots is a ‘cowboy’ they are exposing themselves AND the rest of the club & association to the risk of legal action… so a bit like ‘throwing stones when you live in a greenhouse’, having almost a hundred broken windows (deaths) and thousands of cracked windows (injuries) SHOULD be enough of a wake up call!
5) I’ve been consulted by the then RA, now OFCOM regarding illegal bhpa practices, guarantors (members) of the bhpa would do well to remember that lying often enough does NOT changer the facts of law breaking (and the resulting insurance issues!)
5) I’ve also kept close contact with the CAA over the last 17 years, the ‘reputation’ of the bhpa is one of numerous illegal practices and an appaling accident history…. to quote one CAA contact regarding the bhpa “As long as they are only killing THEMSELVES, with our limited resourses…….”
6) On the specific question ‘do ALL PGers in the UK have freedom to fly because of the bhpa? The ANSWER FROM THE CAA IS NO…. neither the existance of the bhpa nor the publication of ‘Skywings’ has anything to do with the CAA’s position on paragliding having NO body (other than the CAA!) as an ‘authority’, the bhpa is simply a guarantor (member) owned buisness!
7) After 17+ years I’ve had a number of significant sucesses in stopping illegal practices by bhpa instructors and individual members in addition to saving a SIGNIFICANT number of pilots from injury or death, I’ve spent around £30,000 of my own money in doing so! Its noteworthy that as each year I spend a significant amount greater that bhpa membership would cost I’m clearly NOT ‘freeloading’ on the bhpa!
8) The bhpa can only keep injuring and killing guarantors (members) for as long as those (trend over the years is falling membership) enough members a) support illegal practices and b) fund the bhpa….. IF PG pilots (who are guarantors of the bhpa, risking their houses etc…) want the solution to the current injury & death rates is in their own hands!
Murray Hay, PG pilot of the UK’s only fully registered (G-REG) paragliders, fully licenced to communicate with ATC units, using legal type approved equipment and with international (ICAO) registered callsigns and of course (unlike most bhpa guarantors…) fully insured to fly solo paragliders