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!

 

SLIEVE DONARD EVENT - 12 October 2014

This club event - walk up and fly down from N Ireland's highest mountain - was again organised by the Club Safety Officer, Steve Hill and by all accounts was very successful indeed.  As well as current club members, a number of non-members and visitors from the IHPA were able to benefit from the advance publicity and join in.

All 23 pilots had good flights and landed safely at Newcastle. Superfit Jaro Gal even managed two flights when others were knackered climbing up once! Steve's safety briefing beforehand was well received and the advice and assistance from the Club Chief Coach, Tony Conway, was appreciated at takeoff. Everyone is lookiing forward to next time.

IMPORTANT - TIME'S RUN OUT!

All members

Due to under-par flying conditions at the 2014 Ulster Open competition the top prize of a free FlySpain fly-guide holiday was deferred. The committee had gone to great lengths on your behalf to ensure the free FlySpain holiday would be awarded. Sponsor, FlySpain had generously allowed the prize to go to the best qualifying XC flight by a UHPC member up to 1st October 2014 as measured and assessed by the club XC rules.

It was the wish of FlySpain that only 'A' or 'B' certified wings will be eligible.

A few people went for it!  The lucky (or was it most skilful?) pilot winner is Maurice McBride who will be claiming his prize shortly.

SITES UPDATE January 2014

BIG COLLIN: Maintenance works have taken place along the laneway resulting in a number of new hazards to avoid - email has been sent to members with details.

SHANE'S HILL: The new landowner has given permission for flying to continue provided, as for all club sites, that every pilot is insured. The new owners have placed locks on the two top gates. Please contact the sites officer if you need access. In the meantime pilots should use the gate in the layby at the bottom of the hill. Please do not climb over any gates or the new fences that have been put up. More information in the sites guide in the members' area of the website.

Magilligan NW & Hell's Hole: A very large wind farm is proposed for the area downwind of these two sites. We are currently in discussions with the developers about this.

Dungiven West and Boviel: A large wind farm is to be built immediately downwind of these two sites. The chairman and sites officer are currently in discussions with the developer. Further update is in the latest club magazine Flypaper sent to members (colour version of the magazine  and previous editions are in the members area of the website).

KNOCKAGH: There is a new barbed wire fence blocking usual pedestrian access. Do not attempt to cross this fence. For alternative access approved by the landowner see update on the website Sites Guide.

SLIEVE CROOB: Be aware of microlight activity from the nearby Slieve Croob Flying Club.

DUNGIVEN WEST: Stiles are now in place at the bottom landing area and by the top gate, courtesy of Limavady Borough Council (see photos in sites guide in the members' area).

SLIEVE GALLION: Sperrins Gateway have constructed a stile below the cairn. Further details, including photo, are in the Sites Guide in the members' area of this website. Landowner advises that lambing is expected in April and early May 2014 so the site is likely to be closed then. Update will be provided nearer the time.

 Just a reminder that the following rules have been agreed with the Sl Gallion landowner:

  • You may drive to the mast but under no circumstances must vehicles be driven any further than the car park. Parking should be sensible and not cause obstruction.
  • Pilots must carry proof if insurance and be prepared to show this to the landowner if requested. For BHPA members your membership card or helmet sticker will suffice, this applies to visiting BHPA pilots. Non BHPA pilots will need to have proof of 3rd party liability insurance to minimum of £2,000,000. If challenged by the landowner please be polite and cooperative.
  • Try to avoid landing near livestock at any time. The landowner lives in a bungalow at the bottom left of the north takeoff and has a clear view of this site. If you happen to land at the bottom near his house and there are animals around it may be helpful to call to the house and explain why you had to land there.

WHITEPARK BAY: Until further notice, before flying this site, please contact Willie Kane (tel: 07885157731) for updated information.

AGNEW'S HILL: East face - landowner requests us to use the stile on the fence that runs over the top (photo in sites guide). West and Southwest faces - access is by locked gate off the main Larne/Ballymena road leading to a two-mile long lane. Contact the Sites Officer for access. Negotiations are currently in progress with a wind farm developer re proposed siting of turbines upwind of the landing area and part of the soaring face of the site.

 GENERAL: Sites Officer has met NI Sports Forum, SportNI and Countryside Recreation NI who are keen to support UHPC to protect and secure access to sites. Further negotiations are also ongoing involving the Chairman with windfarm developers NIE and with the National Trust. Details will be posted in the Members' Area of the UHPC website in due course. All but a very few of the site owners have been visited around Christmas with presents from the club and all have been very appreciative and content for us to continue using their land as long as we are insured.

Club Annual 'Christmas' Dinner

This very successful and enjoyable event took place at the Curran Court Hotel, Larne on Friday 28 March 2014 from 7:30pm.

Whilst only two attendees got fully into the Christmas spirit and dressed for the recently past festive celebrations - well done Bronagh and Michael, an excellent evening with super food and good craic was had by all.  A chance to catch up with those who aren't able to get out as often as they'd like and an opportunity for spouses to see and meet some of the characters in the club - where were you Danny? It was good to see lady pilots Deri, Caroline and Kirsty.

Michael also happened to have his recently completed Kobo Mini / XC Soar.  A different approach to packaging with an eye for future additions and Michaels usual attention to detail had many admirers, can we pursuade you to take orders for the case extension?

We know it's impossible to pick a venue to suit everyone, but the food at the Curran Court was beautifully presented and the portions were generous to say the least.  I think we will be back.

Thank you Eveleen and Alastair -  a success!

Maurice was crowned king of the Ulster XC League with a record aggregate distance, closely followed by Mark Piggott and Dave Tweedie.  Jim Rainey was unable to attend, but in has absence was awarded Best Newcomer.  Well done.

To close out the evening Maurice was able to distribute the 'fresh off the press' April edition of Flypaper  - another excellent read.