IMPORTANT - MID WEEK FLYING

We all know from our CP courses that there is a procedure for letting the military know where we will be flying on weekdays. Here in Northern Ireland nobody has bothered much because military low flying exercises have not happened for many years. We were forewarned of the last such exercise some time ago but now it appears that this situation has changed  - see report on the latest military low level flying here. This one came as a surprise to everybody.

We are all required by law to ensure that our flights can be made safely. Using the CANP procedure (Civil Aircraft Notification Procedure) is one way of ensuring safety in areas of potential low level military aircraft activity. The notification procedure with the list of UHPC sites, their grid references and codes is here. The club committee is currently considering how best to deal with this and further information will be posted here in due course.

Pat Dower Masterclass - SUNDAY 14th December 2014!

A very successful UHPC seminar conducted by Pat Dower was held in the Town Hall, Lurgan on Sunday 14 December.   Programme details below.

 - Setting the goals – helping you achieve what you want to from the day. 

 - Thermals and thermalling.

The absolute bedrock of the XC adventure. How thermals typically behave, with an emphasis on UK flying. Learning and perfecting the 5 thermalling methods.

 - Getting away from the hill.

 How to maximise your chances of getting away. Judging the point of no return. Backup plans.

 - Decisions in flight.

Unlocking the door to freedom in the sky. Finding your next thermals. Removing the stress from decision making. Playing the % game. 360 degree decisions. Techniques for improving glide.

 - Going Big.

 Using “speed to fly.” Changing up and down the gears. Getting the best from your instruments.

 - Choosing the days and the sites.

A straight forward guide to getting the most out of your valuable flying days. Practical tips to help you set your priorities and avoid some of the common mistakes.

Having a full understanding of the weather is not just about being in the right place at the right time. It’s also about having the information that will help you during flight. This session will be loaded with practical tips from the top pilots.

The event attendance exceeded expectations, with 32 pilots of various abilities turning up, including 5 fellow pilots from the South. All took part in the discussions on the various techniques etc with Pat answering all questions from his vast experience and knowledge. He also included a brief overview of the new BHPA Pilot Development Programme that is currently being worked on.

Unfortunately due to time constraints, physical preparation and equipment and landing out could not be covered.

If you missed this session, there is some information on Pat's website.

Thanks are due in particular to Mark Piggott, Ian Cross, Tony Conway, Jim Rainey and Steve Hill for their work in arranging  and running this event.

If you want to know what it is like to leave the hill and go XC for the first time, read the excellent article "Welcome to the Gang" by new pilot Andrew Daynes, in the June 2012 club Flypaper magazine - available in the Members' Area of the UHPC website (link on the left after login). It really is worth reading.

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UHPC ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - SUNDAY 30 NOVEMBER 2014

A successful - and shorter than usual - annual general meeting was held at the Dunsilly Hotel, Antrim on Sunday 30th November 2014. It was good to see some new faces as well as the old stalwarts who still have the interests of the club at heart.

The Club Officers had produced individual reports of their year in office. Copies were circulated to all present and the huge amount of work done by these volunteers in their own time on behalf of all pilots was noted. Officers covered the main points of their reports and answered questions from those present. Some suggestions for the future were put forward for consideration by the new committee. Thanks were expressed to the outgoing committee members for the work they had done to look after members' interests during the year.

There was lively and good-humoured discussion about a number of items of club business and detailed explanation of windfarm issues affecting various sites.

A new committee was elected to take forward UHPC business for the coming year. To ensure some continuity, a number of officers were content to stand for re-election. Danny Young conducted the election of the new committee who were elected unanimously as follows:

Chairman: Ian Cross

Secretary: Ian Fraser

Treasurer: Jim Rainey

Sites Officer: Willie Kane*

Paragliding Safety Officer: Steve Hill

Hang Gliding Safety Officer: Colin Lown

Air Liaison Officer: Mark Piggott

Accounts Auditor: Maurice McBride

Chief Coach: To be appointed by the Committee from club coaches.

Maurice McBride kindly agreed to continue to produce the UHPC Newsletter and asked for contributions, particularly from newcomers.

The club is in a reasonable financial position for the moment and subscriptions remain as before.

*Subsequently, Alastair McMaster was appointed to the post of Sites Officer when Willie Kane withdrew.

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Emergency Parachute Systems Training day - Saturday 8th November

Want to learn under expert supervision how to examine and repack you own reserve parachute? Too late - if you weren't there you missed a great opportunity to pack your own reserve parachute under the expert eye of Bill Morris who trains BHPA packers.

The purpose of the event - in Bill's own words:

“Learn how to pack your own reserve and how to use it. The day will consist of a talk on reserves showing deployment examples, a full demonstration of how the reserve works followed by a detailed demonstration of how to repack. Pilots will then have the opportunity to repack their own reserve under supervision. ”

The course at the Brownlow Centre in Craigavon (BT65 5DL), which was FREE to club members, was very well attended and it was also good to see pilots from the IHPA who made the journey to Craigavon.

We were not disappointed. Bill's expert advice and information showed that packing your reserve parachute is a fairly simple procedure but there are vital elements that you must get right if it is to deploy successfully. Aside from techniques that are common to all reserve 'chutes, different makes have their own particular variations and these were all demonstrated and practiced.

Bill had lots of video of reserve deployments, including those following mid-air collisions and talked us through all of them, pointing out the important points to note in each. He emphasised that it is wrong to think that in a low level situation you are  too low for a successful deployment - modern canopies open fast and even if only partially open before arrival on the ground you will still be slowed down. You are never "too low to throw". Other myths about reserve 'chutes were similarly discussed and explained.

This was one of the best events organised by the club and thanks must go to those members of the committee who organised it and to Bill Morris and to those members and friends who attended.

Don't miss the UHPC AGM on 30th November and the next club event on Saturday 13 December.

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GREAT ESCAPES!

It looks like 2014 was the year for many more members to escape the wind and rain and go abroad to fly.

Reports are filtering back of good flying at DUNE DE PYLA and elsewhere in France, in GEMONA (Italy), PORTUGAL and SOPOT (Bulgaria). Another group of pilots is just back from AGER, Spain where they took part in the Gin Wide Open Competition. No doubt the club newsletter will carry full reports of all these trips in due course.

Meanwhile we shelter from the wind and rain here as our parawaiting logbooks fill up!