The path to flying unsupervised is straightforward but can be frustrating as with most forms of adventure sports and particular aviation they are weather dependent. Nevertheless if you are committed and are prepared to make the effort you will be rewarded with the opportunity to take to the skies and see the country from a whole new perspective. You will be the envy of your friends and family when you describe your experiences and show your selection of photos.
The BHPA is a very structured methodology and each student will progress at a pace that suits them. As you progress through the elements of the syllabus your progress will be recorded in your personal task book, (STR) Student Training Record. This is very important as it allows you and your instructor keep track of your progress. Below are the two BHPA syllabuses
Elementary Pilot Syllabus
Phase 1: Ground training
1. Introduction talk
2. Site assessment briefing
3. Introduction to canopy and equipment
4. Avoiding/minimizing injury
Phase 2: Ground handling
5. Briefing: pre-flight checks
8. Directional control
Phase 3: First hops
9. Getting airborne
Phase 4: Flight exercises
10. Eventualities briefing
11. Commands and communications briefing
12. Responsibilities briefing
13. Flights (i) Maintaining course and airspeed
14. Flights (ii) Introducing turns
15. Flights (iii) Completing simple flight plans
Phase 5: Theory lessons and examination
17. Principles of flight
18. Rules of the air and air law
19. Elementary stage examination
Final assessment of Elementary Stage
20. The instructor will check that all the tasks for Elementary Pilot have been successfully completed, that the student has the right attitude to flying and has reached the standard of airmanship required.
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Club Pilot Syllabus
Phase 6 Pre Soaring
Exercise 21: Pre-soaring: Theory of soaring flight; more developed knowledge on weather assessment, site assessment, flight planning, rules of the air.
Exercise 22: 180 degree turns: The student will demonstrate competence at unassisted launches and turns up to and beyond 180 degrees.
Exercise 23: landing approaches: The student will demonstrate competence at controlled landings in different conditions and using different techniques, within a designated area.
Phase 7 Soaring
Exercise 24: Soaring flights (5) : Utilizing ridge lift to maintain and / or gain height.
Exercise 25: Top Landing Theory (and may be practical): Learning safe and controlled top landings on at least two sites in different conditions (this is now optional).
Exercise 26: Flying with others: Putting the Rules of the Air into practice in the company of other aircraft.
Phase 8 Getting Airborne
Exercise 27: Exploring the speed range: Speed to fly concept; fast and slow flight
Exercise 28: Accelerator Systems: Learning to use the speed bar and trim setting devices.
Exercise 29: Forward Launching: Further development of forward launching skills, preparation for forward launching on Alpine sites, etc.
Exercise 30: Reverse Launching: Further practice of reverse launching; honing reverse launch techniques.
Exercise 31: Weight-shift and pitch-roll co-ordination in turns: Steering the glider with weight-shift harness inputs.
Exercise 32: Cross-wind and slope landings (Theory) may be done in Practice with various landing techniques; potential hazards involved discussed.
Phase 9 Instability & Emergencies
Exercise 33: Theory: Tree and water landing procedures; PLF refresher; emergency parachute systems; alternative control systems; instability and turbulence.
Exercise 34: Active flying: Flying in turbulent air techniques.
Exercise 35: Rapid descent techniques: The use of ‘big ears’ descent technique.
Exercise 36: Dealing with an asymmetric tuck: Practicing how to deal effectively with small tucks.
Phase 10 Theory & Exam
Exercise 37: Meteorology
Exercise 38: Principles of flight
Exercise 39: Rules of the Air and Airlaw
Exercise 39: General Airmanship knowledge.
Exercise 41: You have a final brief with your instructor to prepare you for life outside the school. Don't fret we will always be around the hill on on the other end of the phone if you ever need to discuss anything flying related from flying a new site to going abroad on holiday.
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