Bulletin May 2012

Club Meeting

The next club meeting will be on the 14th June at St Rumon’s

Minutes of the Last Meeting

See the minutes here

Photo Competition

This month’s winning picture was submitted by Alan Knight. View  the entries for June’s competition and submit your own here

Hayle Towans

Quotation of the Month

Another dig at the way things are run

“let’s vote to end democracy” Homer Simpson


Logo Competition

Please look at the remaing entries in the logo comp and let us know your favourite. View here.

Steve Penaluna Trophy

There were five nominees for the Steve Penaluna Trophy.

Graham Austin nominated by Paul Howse

I have been impressed with the speed at which Graham Austin has gone from 0 to topless with the finesse of a thinking pilot. In his second year he took on the Boss Club Class and St Andre showing his drive and determination. He is always out on the hill flying one wing or another honing his skills.

Adie Chirgwin nominated by Andy R

The description of Steve Penaluna is that he was always willing to push the boundaries, try out new things and help others. Adie embodies all of these qualities. His enthusiasm for, and love of, flying since gaining his CP is infectious.
On days when the forecast is predicting conditions that most people would read and go back to bed he is on site in the hope of a few moments in the air. Naturally this means that he has spent quite a bit of time on site when it hasn’t been flyable but he uses this time to help others, chat to other pilots and improve his own knowledge of the sport. There has been many occasions when he has stayed on site after everyone else has left to ensure that other pilots (yes, even Hang Glider pilots) have landed safely. In addition, he is invariably one of the first people on site and invites club members to phone him to check conditions before they travel. I have even see him interrupt his preparations to take a call from a club member wanting to knowwhether it was flyable or not.
Adie is passionate about our sport and wants to be the best that he can be. To this end he is keen to learn from anyone and so avidly listens and absorbs advice and knowledge from a wide range of sources. He is also happy to share his experiences with less-experienced pilots, which is particularly useful since he has only relatively recently gained his CP and so has an empathy towards recent graduates. An example of his dedication to the sport and his drive to expand his knowledge and understanding of the sport is that he took the Pilot Exam recently even though he knows that he won’t be able to complete
his pilot tasks for a while. His attitude to this; ‘it doesn’t matter if I have to sit the exam twice as it means I’ll understand the
subject better in the end’.
In a very short time Adie has become a club stalwart and I believe that in time Adie will become an excellent club coach (should he decide to follow this path).
To summarise, Adie is friendly, approachable, passionate about flying,
embodies the qualities that the club should be promoting and is a
worthy recipient of the Steve Penaluna Trophy.

Mike Clelford nominated by  Steve Dredge

Grumpy, stubborn, anti social old sod!!! and that’s how he describes himself!! no honestly, Mike would be the first to tell you that. In fact Mike would be the first to tell you lots of things. Next to Adie I think Mike is one of the most engaging members we have on the hill, always willing to have a chat and share details of his latest exploits or travel adventures. If the weather is good, and to be fair quite often when its bad, Mike is one of the first in the air and one of the last down. This has, in the past resulted in some ‘unorthodox landing choices. It was as a result of one these ‘unplanned landings’ or ‘bloody stupid mistake’ (Mikes words), as he describes it, that last year Mike Broke his back in Spain. Mike being Mike Didn’t let the small matter of being told NOT to get out of bed, NOT to walk, and NOT to Drive, got out of bed, walked out of the Hospital and Drove back home, after first enjoying the rest of his Holiday. There is long list of Mikes ‘adventure’s and to list them all would take the next 3 editions of the Bulletin, but for those of you who don’t know here is a small flavour….some are specifically vague to protect the innocent. Mike attempts selection for lifeboat crew at Chapel Porth, successfully passing the water rescue stage!! Mike attempts to be the first Britain to ground loop a camper van form a French mountain pass, and kind of succeeds. Mike sucks a paraglider pilot of a hill in Wales….well that’s what the other guy said. Mike Breaks his back (the first time) at Perran. And it goes on…and on…and on. So why does any of this make Mike worthy of nomination for Steve’s Trophy??

Its Mikes approach to flying, he does push himself, he does have a ‘get up and go attitude’, that ‘why not’ approach, and ‘lets give it a go’ mentality. Now that may not always get the result Mike was expecting, but he still carries on.

He has come back from several incidents, incidents that many of us would have taken as good reason to pack up flying for good, but Mike carries on…..told you he was Stubborn, that’s why I nominated Mike.

He has, however mellowed a bit and has even been known to land when Flat topped Anvil clouds start rolling in, and he doesn’t push quite as far out to sea as he used to. Don’t think for one minute that he has totally mellowed out though…he will still tell you what he thinks of you, whether you like it or not.


Michel Kerhoas nominated by Graham Phipps

I would like to nominate Michel K for this year and not because of his state of health but because of what he has achieved despite it.

We all know Michel well and his paragliding exploits are also well known.  But in March of 2011 it is less well known that after a hankering for speed Michel decided to have a go at Hang Gliding. Whilst it is fair to say that Michel was not the easiest of students despite English not being his first language and being partially deaf and having the memory span of a Goldfish by May 16 he had qualified as CPC both on the tow and the hill, quite a feat for anybody. Add to that his desire to try anything he was one of the first in the club to try the ASKA despite knowing his heart condition showing me just what it could do and fortunately not what it couldn’t! His enthusiasm for flying and life in general is unquestionable and whilst he has suffered with his health since child hood he has never let it get in his way and even more so over the last year with him upping the bar even further in his achievements.

Steve would be proud to see someone like this receive his trophy and I believe Michel has indeed made huge personal achievement in both his flying and life.

Raymond Mickelburgh  nominated by Steve M & Bill N

At Ray’s time of life most people would be doing some serious dribbling into their liquidised Sunday Lunch. We all know Ray is one of a small but increasing group of elderly people who take on the challenge of ageing by trying to ignore it. He is incredibly fit and supple , and even a spritely young wife hasn’t slowed him down. Thankfully to go with his active body is an active mind. We all probably worry too much about him when he’s flying, but Ray himself doesn’t seem to be in any doubt at all about his abilities. I (Steve M ) have flown a lot with Ray, and I can tell you , when he gets it right, he’s as good a pilot as any of us. If exceeding people’s expectations of you is what this trophy is about, the Ray does it everyday.

Result and photos next edition.


Good Relations

Below is a selection of a series of emails that passed between chairman Steve and  a group of visiting pilots. It shows exactly the proceedure we need to follow to encourage visitors to contact us, the advice we should give them, and finally the appreciation the visitors feel after they have left.

I am writing on behalf of the Army Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association and would like to kindly request permission to fly your sites between the 14th -18th May 2012. I am serving with 104 FS Bn REME who have had a mixture of soldiers recently returned from Operations and training serials who are undertaking adventure training in Newquay. I am the Army Association Secretary and have been approached to give some of the soldiers a Tandem flight experience during this week. I am fully qualified dual pilot and registered with the BHPA. Your assistance is greatly appreciated. Kind Regards WO2 Paul Bingham Sec AHPA

Hi Paul, No problem at all, in fact it would be great to see you guys down this way. Give me a shout when you are down and I’ll give you the s.p. on the sites, and which ones should be best given the conditions. A few of us are tandem pilots also, and may be able to help out work permitting. Steve D

Wonderful!! Thanks for your support. I just need some decent weather! I’ll be in touch .Rgds Paul

Morning Paul,  if you are flying Perranporth when you are down and you can’t get hold of any club members, can you make sure you phone Perranporth Airfield just to let them know you will be flying, they are really pro and just like to be made aware, its only light aircraft and a jump school that run out of there, but we like to keep them onside.Steve D

I believe Perramporth is perfect for Tandem but wouldn’t want to risk being at the wrong site as I’ll only have a day!! Thanks for all your help. Paul Bingham

If the forecast stays as predicted then yes Perran is the place to be, I’ll be heading that way about 15.00 ish but the lads will be on site form early doors if its good. Access the site through Perran Sands Holiday park…….AND MAKE SURE YOU GET A PARKING TICKET……..the security guys are clamping already..£85.00 release fee, and they are non negotionable. day tickets from reception £4.00. Give me a call if you have any problems finding it, all the guys on the hill are friendly…both members and non members so ask anyone re conditions ect. Hopefully see you tomorrow  Steve D

Great to meet you today and thanks for all the advice. If only there were more clubs with the attitude that yours portray,then the flying community would be a better place. Paul


The BHPA latest news release is here. the BHPA Bulletin is here. The events calendar is here, and the BHPA homepage is here.

Safety Issues

IMPORTANT  St Agnes Head Flying


The CFI at Perranporth Airfield contacted us regarding problems that occurred on Saturday with Hang Gliders flying at St Agnes Head.

His concern was over gliders flying high 800’ in murky conditions near to Trevaunance Cove (St Agnes end) inside the ATZ of the Airfield.  The aerodrome was  carrying out parachute drops at the time and apparently the parachute drop plane had to take avoiding action.

The CFI was also concerned that he was unaware of the gliders activity until seen in the air.

A few phone calls have established that the airfield was notified of flying at St Agnes that day (thanks Mike C) so it looks like there is an issue with information getting passed on at the airfield.

However …… initial “discussion” revolved around Hang Gliders and Paragliders entering the airspace and the possibility of action being taken over that. The airspace extends to a point not far to the right of our normal launch and such a restriction would severely restrict flying and increase pressure with the modellers.

We have a loose agreement to fly as far as the cove and this is something that we need to be agreed whenever we contact them to let them know we are flying.

A meeting is being arranged to discuss the matters with the users of the airfield in the meantime we would ask pilots flying the site to restrict their height to less than 500’ when flying beyond where the cliffs cut back to the right of launch. See the image below to familiarise yourself with the ( hopefully temporary) restriction.

We will update as soon as any further details / agreement are available in the meantime please respect the above.


Near Miss

A recent near miss between two  KHPA paraglider pilots has been investigated and resolved. Advice has been given to the two pilots involved. The main points to be learned from the incident.

Delays in reporting the incident was not good practice or proceedure.

This delay in resolving  the issue was not helpful to the pilots involved nor to the general safe flying environment the club needs to maintain. Future incidents will be dealt with by an incident panel as soon as practicable.

Chief Coach Pete Coad, Hang Gliding Safety Officer and Steve McIlduff Paragliding Safety Officer are issuing the following advice to all pilots.

Be aware of all other aircraft in the air at all times.  Be especially aware of other aircraft in the immediate vicinity to yourself. Make careful and proper observations before changing direction. Fly defensively, do not put yourself in a position where you cannot take evasive action to avoid a collision, a  mid air collision occours when TWO aicraft are in the same space at the same time. Always be prepared concede your right of way in order to maintain safe separation, the first two rules of the air are the most important:~

(1)It shall remain the duty of the commander of an aircraft to take all possible measures to ensure that his aircraft does not collide with any other aircraft.

(2) An aircraft shall not be flown in such proximity to other aircraft as to create a danger of collision.

Finally, remember, the sites we fly are generally accessible to the general public which obviously includes children. Please be mindful of how you, as club members, conduct youself on the hill and in the air with regards to your words and actions.


First Aid

I’m hoping to find the time to do a small item on first aid every month. If anyone would like to help with these articles, please let me know. But first. Nigel Waller produced a handy card that is meant to be carried in your glider bag. It details what you should do in the event of an accident on the hill and has the map references of all the sites. If you want one of these cards please let me know and I will get one for you. Below is what  is basically contained on the cards.

In the event of an accident try to follow the following proceedures.

Nominate someone to take charge, or take charge yourself.

Dial 999 and ask for an ambulance or helicopter depending on the injury and/or the  position of the casualty. Give information of the nature of the injury e.g. person fallen from height and whether there is serious injuries or possible serious injury. Give the name of the site and  the map reference. Say where the casualty is and whether easily reached. Confirm whether a ground unit or air unit is attending.

Make the casualty comfortable and administer first aid if there is someone competent.

If a helicopter is being dispatched, clear the airspace of all gliders, clear a landing area and, if possible use your gear to lay out a letter H adjacent to the proposed landing area. If an ambulance is to attend, send out people to the road junctions to direct it straight to the site.

Try to establish the cause of the incident by talking to witnesses.

It is a legal requirement and your duty as a BHPA member to report air incidents. Fatal or potentially fatal incidents must be reported to the BHPA, Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) and Police imediately. Serious incidents should be reported to the BHPA as soon as possible and in all cases an incident report should be submitted to the BHPA within 48 hours

 Please report an incident you have witnessed or been involved in if it:

  • Involves injury, whether to participants or others
  • Involves damage to property, third party or not
  • May give rise to an insurance or legal claim
  • Involves non-standard equipment or techniques
  • Involves failed or malfunctioned equipment
  • Highlights safety points or was unusual
  • Is something you feel the sport may learn from


Recently some club members attended an XC Workshop run by Pat Dower. Pat has allowed the club to use the following article, which condenses the basic methods of thermalling into five short paragraphs. We’d like to thank Pat for letting us reproduce the article. Contact details for Pat are at the end of the article.

Guide to thermalling. By Pat Dower.

The 5 methods for great thermalling

The key to being a really great thermaller in all situations is to be adaptable. I like to think of 5 distinct methods for thermalling and choosing the right one will help you climb efficiently. Early in your flying career you will need to be very conscious of selecting the right method, but as you gain experience it becomes more and more automatic. That said, I know some really good XC pilots who seem to lose their edge in certain conditions; perhaps they need to look again at the five methods! The basic principal is to aim to do 360s which keep you in the best lift, as much as possible. Sounds simple doesn’t it?

Method 1 – Count And Turn 

Fly into the lift, count for about 4 seconds, commence 360 degree turns. This is a straight forward basic technique; a great way to start your thermal career and always useful in strong narrow cores.


Method 2 – Shifting Circles

Gets you centred on the best lift, by building on method 1. If you notice that half of your 360 is in poorer lift, you shift the 360 towards the better lift. As you turn back into the stronger lift, straighten up for a second or two and recommence 360s.


Method 3– The Step Climb

 A really good for gaining height whilst staying over a major trigger such as ridge, even when the wind is blowing you away. A vital method for getting high in readiness for a big into wind transition. Instead of doing regular 360s, extend the into wind part of the 360 briefly before completing the next 360. The true step climb actually involves drifting for a few 360s before making a longer into-wind glide to hopefully connect with the next thermal pulse from your chosen trigger. Big steps for light wind, small steps in strong wind…


Method 4 – The Flat Land Genius

 A miracle method for finding the cores in large thermals, which helps to stop you over-banking and losing efficiency. As you  fly into lift, keep flying straight. As the lift strengthens keep straight, so long as the lift is even on both sides. If the lift is stronger to one side, gently turn towards it. As you reach the peak of the lift, get ready to turn or tighten up if you are already turning. Once the lift starts to lessen, tighten the turn; this has the effect of turning you back to the better lift. You should now be flying into better lift so open out the turn. This stops you turning back out of the best lift.


Method 5- Grim Determination

 The fall back method to try in really broken thermals,where you just can’t do 360s in lift without falling out. The vital element is that you turn tightly on the best lumps of lift, even if it’s only a quarter of a turn. Straighten up in the sink; turn again in the lift. Constantly evaluate your climb using your altimeter or averager. Sometimes method 1 or 2 will beat it, sometimes not!


Turning your glider efficiently.

Staying in the best lift is paramount. So much so, it is nearly always worth sacrificing smooth flat turns, so long as you stay in the core. It is only in larger areas of lift, that efficiency becomes really important.The ideal technique will depend on your glider as well as the conditions, but as a starting point:

Fly your turns a bit slower than trim, but wll above min sink. This will give reasonable manoeuvrability and keep you well away from the spin/stall point.

Once you are turning nicely, ease on a little outside brake. Not too much, just enough totake up the slack in the brake line plus a few cm extra. This will help reduce dive in the turn and keep you in touch with the outer half of the wing. If you want to tighten your turn, the easiest way is let up on the outside brake.

Use alittle weightshift into the turn, especially when you initiate the turn. Beware, though,some gliders actually lose less height when you don’t weight shift.

Good luck; see you at cloud base!

Pat Dower (2012)

Pat runs pilot development days and courses, talks, workshops and coaching for pilots of all levels (CP to elite).Whether you are interested in your individual development or doing something with a club/group; we will be able to design aprogramme for your needs.  He will be running a Pilot Development week in Annecy Monday July 16th – Monday July 23rd 2012.

Pat’s website is here.


Forthcoming Events

BOS   June 4th to 8th,

KHPA XC league 2012 as of 26/04/12

Coming Soon

Hang gliding XC League

Paragliding XC League

Pilot Profile

Steve M







Age ?

54 ¾

Marital Status?

Until 2001 young, free and single. Now old, burdened and two dependents (wife and child)


Yes, I was.

Actually, in Grimsby, Lincolnshire. One time greatest fishing port in the world, home of Eskimo Frozen Foods, Birds Eye & Findus, Freddie Frinton( comedian), Patrick Wymark(actor), Freddie Frith( World Motorcycle Champion 1949), Ian Huntley ( child murderer ) David Ross(Carphone wharehouse Owner)and me.


Builder (part time)

Previous occupations?

I did intend to join the RAF as a pilot, I got my O levels at school and was doing A levels. All my mates had got motorbikes, and I wanted one too. So I left school, asked my Dad (who was a joiner) to get me a job. I went with him to the site where he was working, and I got a job that morning. When I was about 20, I left  ( actually sacked) the firm I was working for, and got a job on the docks as a ‘ships’ husband’ which involved looking after fishing boats in preparation for their return to sea after landing their catch. In 1982 I went on a college course ‘Start Your Own Business’. I did that and was in the building business since then, with a small period of time at an Estate Agents managing rented property for them.

How and when did you start flying?

I first flew aircraft in the Air Training Corps in preparation for joining the RAF. We flew Chipmunks and old wood and fabric gliders. Later I did some PPL flying, but found it too expensive. The thought of flying paragliders came when we were in France at Le Puy De Dome. It is an extinct volcano, and they fly from the top, mostly tandem flights for tourists. When I came back I contacted Phippsy. He took my money and made me run up and down the tow field all day. I was so exhausted, I could barely walk the next day, and had to cancel training until I recovered. But I went back, and here I am today.

What Pilots most influenced you?

All of us who fly under string, wire and fabric have to be admired. I am impressed by little things each of us do, and I am influenced by what we all do as a group of pilots. Everyone is good at something and even the most unnatural pilot can have some really good attributes.

Where and when was your most memorable flying experience?

I suppose flying in Algo, thermalling on my own at the little place I found at the end of a small ridge. What made it good, was that I looked at the way the wind was blowing, the face on which the sun was shining and I worked out there should be good lift there. And there was.

What is your favourite flying site in Britain?

I haven’t really been anywhere. But I can tell you It’s not Brown Willy, and probably is Carbis Bay, now I’ve managed to get round to St Ives, with the chance of getting a bit further. But once i get as far as i can on our ridges, then I’ll have to go XC.

Who do you most admire in the sport ?

Not the pilots who are naturally gifted. For me It’s the people who struggle at the beginning gradually get to grips with it. They will never be really good pilots, but they have had to try a lot harder than some of the best just to be competent.

What trait do most deplore in yourself?


What trait do you most deplore in other people?


What’s your favourite piece of music?

Depends on my mood. Today I am mostly listening to ‘Frame by Frame’ by King Crimson. The members of the group at that time was perfect.

What is your favourite book?

Any factual First World War book. They just put all your problems into perspective.

What is your favourite film?

I have lots of old comedy films, Jacques Tati, Will Hay, Norman Wisdom, and other old British comedies, but you can’t beat the Ealing comedies, and for me ‘The Maggie’ is my favourite. My Dad is Scottish, and this film is about an old Clyde ‘puffer’ cargo ship travelling through Scotland.

What’s your greatest fear?

Doing something stupid and leaving my daughter without her dad.

What is your perfect idea of happiness?

On my MP3 Listening to music, it’s escapism.

What would your motto be ?

Just get on with it.

How would you like to be remembered?

As the man who assassinated Kerry Katona or any one of those waste of space ’Celebrities’.


Site Reports

Beesands by Bill Northcott

Friday 4th May. With the wind forecast to be Easterly, I made the trip to Beesands

I arrived about 10ish and conditions were just about right but with the wind off to NE. The hill at Beesands is curved at its North side but is a very small ridge with only enough room for 2 or 3 in the air at once. Only one other pilot there at this time so we had fun beating to and fro.

In about an hour it went more Easterly with a tad of North in it. This is the ideal wind for jumping the gap at Hallsands and getting onto the big cliffs towards Start Point. The gap is similar to the one at Chapelporth to Porthtowan but it is bigger and requires the conditions to be favourable. Mick was first over with me in hot pursuit and I made it onto the big cliff and big lift to go with it.

I had flown there before with the wind a true Easterly and I had not flown out to the lighthouse. If you look at a map you will see that the spine of the promontory that goes out to the lighthouse would be parallel to the wind and therefore no lift. Because we had a tad of North on the Easterly wind I thought I would give it a go and see how far I could get. The first run out I chickened out just short and returned to the cliffs to top up altitude then back towards the lighthouse. We made it and Mick and myself circled and returned to the take off field back across the Hallsands gap. By this time it was ENE so we struggled a bit but we did get back to base !!

I had 5 flights during the day with total air time of 1hour 45 mins. The flight to the lighthouse and back was 52 mins.

The next time we have Easterlies I can recommend a trip to Beesands— only snag is the travel time. It is 50 miles from Liskeard and the last 10 miles or so around Kingsbridge is a little like the arrival at Vault— but at least you get to fly when we are grounded in Cornwall.

PS I am known as Kernow Bill in the South Devon club as there is another member called Bill !!

Here is Mick’s report on the flight

Arrived at Beesands about 11 this morning, wind on the NNE corner.Kernow Bill flying, Darren and David have had a flight. I Took off, after twenty minutes flying on that corner found I could get into the bowl with lift. Two minutes later across Hallsands. Flew to the spine and back. Coming back across Hallsands Bill is below me but coming across Hallsands.Get back to take off,get some height and think I’m going back across . Got back across up to car park Bill now heading for lighthouse, so I am following him. We both circle lighthouse, come back for lift, circle lighthouse again.(All Hail Bill). Probably wouldn’t have pushed out to lighthouse if big balls Bill hadn’t gone for it. Went back stopped for lunch. Gopro captured some film but not over lighthouse. So after lunch thought I have got to get this on film so repeated lowest crossing of Hallsands ever. Back round the lighthouse, hoping have got on film, but when landed camera was off, believe batteries flat. All the day needed was the sun to shine and it would have been the perfect day. Darren, David, Richard and Jim Mcdonald also got some nice flights and time in the air. (BILL IS AGAIN THE HERO OF THE DAY). Mick

There is a video on you tube taken on the day, see it here. There may be others on YouTube, search ‘paragliding devon’

View Larger Map

Our Sites

St Agnes again. The harbour, before it was washed away. If you fly over the area you can see the remains of the large blocks that was used in the construction of the piers.

Another view of the camp that was between the coastguards hut and Chapel Porth

More pictures at St Agnes Forum here , Cornwall Council here , and search Google Images

The End