ESP club Blog WordPress weblog for members & friends of East Scotland Paragliding club


2017 flying year off to a great start!

Filed under: East Scotland,Uncategorised — Murray Hay @ 05:26 pm

While we have only had a single day this year with flying on snow covered hills due to the fairly mild conditions….

January has already given over a dozen days flying at club sites (so far!) and with luck both days this weekend have a good chance of ‘upping the count’ before high winds are forecast to arrive on Monday!

Today (Friday 27th) was a typical east coast ‘drive a few miles’ day with waves crashing over the sea wall at Arbroath yet light soarable conditions at Carnoustie and near calm (with fog returning towards sunset) in Dundee!


Flying at St Cyrus

Hi and (not that the weather this week was looking to be ‘on’ for St Cyrus!) thanks to Bill for the phone call tonight (11th April) to confirm that the situation is fully resolved regarding flying at St Cyrus.

So as usual for the summer flying the ridge AT the car park and to the north is fine, as per the long established gentleman’s agreement pilots are requested NOT to fly (beyond the 1st spur) to the south of the ridge during the raptors nesting season.

Murray Hay

The above was in reference to the previous (below) request to ESP members

Hi all, a request has been passed to ESP pilots via Bill (who lives there) from the Aberdeen club that while talks are about to start with the new senior warden at the Nature Reserve (at St Cyrus) that pilots “please don’t fly at any part of St Cyrus”.

St Cyrus has been flown by ESP club pilots (we in fact had exclusive permission to park the 4×4 in one of the landowners private car park) for almost 19 years and like the other club there, AHPC we had a voluntary gentleman’s agreement to limit flying to the north end of the site during the raptor nesting season, just to be clear, for now, the arrangement is to NOT fly even this area while talks are on going.

Murray Hay


World First for Nova… just a decade B4 they knew it!

Filed under: PG News!,Uncategorised — Murray Hay @ 07:37 pm

The following was posted to Nova’s Facebook page and emailed to them today 🙂

Having just got your newsletter this morning on “NOVA Speedbrake Riser” and as reading the article gave me a very strong sense of Deja Vu 🙂


I just had to grab a few quick camera phone shots of the risers of one of the two Vertex PG’s that I’ve been using to ‘test bed’ paragliding Physics since the mid 90’s when I took up the sport (one of my first two gliders was a ‘second hand’ TWO flight time ‘old’ Vertex 22 (i.e. uncertified rather than a ‘2/3’) which I after I registered it has the first ever issued UK (CAA) aircraft registration, ‘G-BYLI’ (ICAO callsign ‘Fotoglider Lima India’)….!


The photographs show the ‘Rear Riser System’, which permits the pilot either by hand and/or by use of the normal speed bar system. BUT attached to the ‘RR System’ rather than to the standard system on the A riser, to alter in flight, indirectly the pitch of the wing, either ‘asymmetrically’ (One on a A riser’ One on a C Riser) to directly enter a flat spin from forward flight with little/no noticeable stall drop…. Or when both sides (if using the foot bar) are attached to the two C risers, letting the pilot (passing smoothly/quickly through the parachutal stall) fly the wing backwards i.e. moving the pilots mass ‘backwards’ in flight so as the secondary & further effects take place the trailing edge becomes lower then the leading edge hence the direction of ‘forward’ flight changes by 180* 🙂

Note: when in use the Rear Riser System is generally used with OR matched with use of the brakes (in the pilots hands), this is easiest when hand operated (takes reasonable strength) as the ‘new leading edge’ coming down with the brake handles, AND the hand operated RRS directly avoiding any kinking in the wing material between the brake fan attachments and the C riser attachment points 🙂

So in conclusion this was a world first for Nova…. it’s just that it was a first for my two Nova Vertex 24 gliders in Scotland well over a decade ago 🙂

Yours Murray ‘Fotoglider’ Hay


Robbie, retraining CP gets his first (Two!) hour+ long flights

Filed under: East Scotland,Re-training,Scottish Training — Murray Hay @ 12:12 pm

Robbie was out to The Knock of Formal, near Alyth, on the 12th of Feb, having forgot the radio his first flight was short landing next the parking, with Rob bringing up his harness and the radio, Murray flyJog then Flying to top land his wing it was not long before Robbie was in the air again, this time managing a side slope/shoulder (mid land option) landing with again Murray flying the PG back to main launch. His third (and last) flight of the day started with some precision scratching (radio instruction on every  ‘trick’) in the lift ‘Waiting Room’ of the west face of the hill, ‘shooting’ the gap of trees/slope till gaining enough lift to start exploring the sky, when at times dropping lift getting back just below ridge top to scratch the ‘waiting room’ once again!

After filming (battery getting low on phone!) a full hour of flying Murray flew to the landing while Rob was still soaring (plenty spare height above the hill) to try and film the landing, just missing the chance to capture a ‘Fly By’ of a couple of fast jets on low level exercise a few 100ft south of the hill and well below our level 🙂 but bummer the last of the battery ‘crashed’ with out saving the couple of mins of video shot from the L/Z 🙁

Robbie’s (estimated)  total flight time from that single last flight was around 80ish mins 🙂

A few days later, on the with forcast winds due to Blow Out (something that did NOT happen, despite the F214 forecast on our visit to Lunan Bay, Robbie doing a single dune top to beach flight) we went to the Sea Cliff ridge near Ellie Golf Course.


This time with the radio remembered, Robbie again with a mix of ‘Waiting Room’ scratching/recovery and GOOD lift seeing him at times flying ‘Feet Wet’ a couple of 100ft above the North Sea.


In total with a single flight Robbie flew 75mins before choosing to land for food & coffee 🙂

Taking a chance (in view of forecast later winds) we explored east along the coast to visit some of our other sites, but as expected, cutting across Fife to kitesurf at St Andrews proved to be the only viable option 🙂


A total of three part days, 5 flights, and just under three ours airtime for Robbie!

Film (both the full first hour of the flights) from the inland & the coastal re-training flights are now live on my main YouTube account ‘MurrayHay’


THANKS to Ben for PG ‘comp’ wing

Filed under: Central Scotland,THANKS Posts! — Murray Hay @ 11:36 am

Hi ALL, a personal THANKS to one of my ex-students Ben (Edinburgh) are for sending me (with the current work load/weather/busy training… I’ve not yet flown it!) a Gin Comp wing he got from abroad before deciding it was not (he’s underweight for it) suitable for the flying he was intending 🙂 I’m planning on having a BLAST of a time on it this summer… B4 I wear it out by the end of the year!


TA! Ben, yours Murray Hay

Change of Farm Managers/Site Contacts

Filed under: Club days in Angus,Fife Sites — Murray Hay @ 11:31 am

A few of the clubs long standing Fife (inland) and Angus (1 inland & 2coastal Angus sites) have recently seen retirals/moving on to new pastures, changes in the contact / contact arangments regarding informing the Farm Owners Representive, during the transition it helps in building trust if members and especially visiting PGers if I’m phoned PRIOR to going to sites, minor changes in the club PARKING being a major factor in the case of one site (in that site parking has increased PROVIDED that Murry phones in BEFORE pilots arrive!

Murray Hay (Site Officer ‘Hat’ on)

PG Insurance provider

Filed under: Uncategorised — Murray Hay @ 11:18 am

As Sports Cover Direct are no longer providing cover, probably due to the amount of ‘Personal Injury’ claims making it no longer profitable!!!!! Here is an alternative provider 🙂

We recently had an enquiry for people living in Southern Ireland who needed Third Party Liability Cover and as non UK residents we were unable to help.

We do try and help and can now offer such cover so feel free to call us on 02380 268351.

Incidentally, we can also cover UK residents paragliding/hang gliding etc who need only liability cover too.

Many thanks

Darren Nangle
AIB Insurance
02380 268351

Comments ref LLSC ‘non-bhpa’ posts!

Filed under: Legal & Insurance issues — Murray Hay @ 11:05 am

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


Club members flying at Nigg, Class D – NOTAM/Weather Limits Etc.

Filed under: Club days in Aberdeenshire,Club East Coast Days,Site Restrictions — Murray Hay @ 10:48 pm

ESP club members can fly at Nigg (and some of our other sites within the Aberdeen CTR which is Class D Airspace down to ground level, with clearance generally up to 200ft PROVIDED that the conditions at Dyce are good enough to allow ATC to issue a SVFR (Special Visual Flight Rules) clearance, which in essence lets our PG pilots fly without needing to maintain radio contact with the control tower.

Nigg Class D

In the case of flying at Brimmond Hill, which is within the ATZ (Class D) at least one pilot MUST be in direct contact with ATC i.e that pilot MUST hold a FRTO and be carrying a Type Approved, Licenced Airband Radio, if flying with other (non-radio) member the pilot in contact with ATC MUST be able to instruct all other paraglider to land promptly when instructed by ATC (I.e. using ‘box two’ R/T on 118.675mHz, the club Freq, or by use of an audio ‘land’ warning like say an AirHorn)

For new members the basic procedure is to phone/text Murray on 0783-11-22-480 (you can also Email giving the requested OPENING (& CLOSING) time

 NOTE you MUST state as to if times you are requesting ‘Zulu’ OR if times you give are ‘Local’, as in the summer the error in giving the wrong reference is one hour! Closing time can also be given as end of Aviation Daylight (30 mins after official sun down aat the Airfield)

ATC also requires to know how many gliders the clearance is for, if this includes non-members they MUST be flying legally i.e NO USE OF ILLEGAL 2m RADIOS Etc! As Class D clearance can NOT be given for illegal flying!

Due to the limits imposed on a SVFR, ATC MUST be able to use a single point of contact to close the clearance at short notice FOR ALL PARAGLIDERS FLYING, this happens a few times per year when the weather (normally cloud base heights) drops below certain limits.


This week we also had a rare case of the change in the classification of the ‘Class D’! Alan Coffin had sent a request text to Murray requesting that Nigg be activated for two hours, till 1900 (local) and was able to start flying as soon as the request had been approved by ATC, with the conditions changing towards the end of the SVFR in fact this day flying ended (text sent) and Murray phoned ATC to close the Class D, as on checking earlier the METAR/TAF on SkyBookGA (BlackBerry access) Murray had noted that Aberdeen CTR was ‘NOTAMED’ for one hour (from 2000 to 2100) to CHANGE TO CLASS A AIRSPACE….. The change to Class A (NO VFR permitted) was due to a Royal Flight, so it is not just weather conditions which can result in ATC requiring us to not/stop paragliding, and on occasions this can be at short notice! One other occasion I experienced was when flying in the Leuchars MATZ, on ‘7/11’ when the whole of the UK Airspace was shut down

 Murray Hay

PS If other (NON-members) pilots are added to the Class D clearance, the clearance CAN ONLY REMAIN ACTIVE WHILE at least one ESPclub member is present.


Glenshee Chairlift (7 days/week) opens for Mtn Bikes

Filed under: Club days in the Scottish Glens,Scottish Training — Murray Hay @ 07:03 pm

Based on press reports (I’ve not yet visited/spoken with them) Glenshee are now, subject to the weather (wind limits I guess) open 7 days a week with the Cairnwell Chair for Mountain Biking. 

The ski centers website currently has limited info. but as of the end of July 2010, quotes a full day (up to 4:30) adult up-lift (with bike) of £15.

 In the past the center has opened on one off’s like the 1997(or perhaps ‘98?) HG event I took photographs of, and more recently Glenshee has started limited summer opening for walkers (and of course paragliding), so the development of Mtn. Biking looks to give a boost to mountain thermal training and mountain XC flying in Scotland.

 This last couple of years a number of the pilots who have/currently fly with ESP club have done (or come close to!) record distance flights and I can see use of the up-lift at Glenshee increasing this type of flying, with car sharing giving the chance of a couple of ‘bites at the cherry’ in the same day!

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