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.



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.



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.


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.