THE DUNSTABLE HANG-GLIDING & PARAGLIDING CLUB
About the Club
The Dunstable Hang Gliding Club, as it was originally known when it was first formed in the summer of 1974, was one of the first hang gliding clubs in the country, with just 30 hang gliding members registered with the newly formed NHGA. Hang gliding continued to dominate foot-launched flying over the following years until a new sister airsport called Paragliding, started becoming popular in the UK around the mid 1980's. Our first paragliding members joined the Club about 1987-88, and pilot numbers quickly grew. Not long after, the Clubs name was altered to incorporate this new form of flying, becoming the Dunstable Hang Gliding & Paragliding Club (DHPC).
Today, we have over 250 flying members, with the vast majority now flying paragliders. We can often be seen flying at the Downs and also at our other sites around the Chiltern Hills in Bedfordshire and Bucks. We have three hill flying sites; Dunstable Downs, Sharpenhoe and Chinnor. We also have access to a local airstrip for PPG/PHG flying (paramotors and powered hang-gliders).
However, Dunstable Downs itself lies inside Luton Airport's CTR (Control Zone - Class D airspace) and the CAA has issued the club with a 'Letter of Agreement' which gives the DHPC access for flying within this normally prohibited Control Zone.
This LoA is subject to certain rules and regulations, with the main rules being that; (a) all pilots flying our sites must be members of the Club, and (b) all pilots must complete an Airspace Briefing with the Senior Coach before flying at Dunstable Downs.
Therefore, all our sites are Members only.
This is due to the agreements in place with the CAA that were negotiated to gain a right to fly these sites. Please do not jeopardize this for us!
Join the Club
To join our club, you must be a current BHPA member with a Club Pilot (CP) minimum rating. IPPI cards are not accepted, you must first contact the BHPA to convert this to a UK rating.
New Members wanting to join the Club for the first time, please read the Join the Club page, and follow the instructions carefully!
To join the Club, click the button on whichever Membership option you require. You must then join the Club 'GroupSpaces' site before you pay for your Club membership. See the two membership options here:
Full Membership (£20 per year)
This allows Full Members to fly at Dunstable Downs, Sharpenhoe, Chinnor & Holmbeck Farm (for Powered Paragliders/Hang-gliders). All pilots joining are required to pass the mandatory Airspace Brief. Click on the button below to join.
Limited Membership (£5 per year)
This allows Limited Memberships to ONLY fly at Sharpenhoe, Chinnor and Holmbeck Farm Airfield, but NOT at Dunstable Downs. Pilots joining as Limited Members do NOT require the Airspace Briefing. Click on the button below to join.
Full Members who wish to fly at Dunstable Downs, must attend the mandatory Airspace Briefing with the Senior Coach BEFORE flying at the Downs for the first time. Upon completion, pilots are issued with a lifetime Airspace Sticker that must be displayed on your flying helmet.
Airspace Briefings are organised once a month on weekend mornings (and summer evenings by individual agreement), as notified opposite. In exceptional circumstances, if you cannot make the monthly organised briefing date, you can arrange an individual weekend briefing by clicking the Registration button below.
If you're attending the Briefing, meet at the main entrance to the Chiltern Gateway Centre on Dunstable Downs (satnav: LU6 2GY). There is ample parking. Please make sure you bring your BHPA and DHPC Membership Cards with you (and a pen).
Register for the Airspace Briefing
If you would like to attend the next Briefing, click on the button below and state your full name and BHPA number by email. If we do not get any pilots registering, the Briefing will be cancelled the day before and notified on this website.
Note: Airspace Briefings are only held at weekends during the winter months.
Pilots who do not have a Airspace Sticker are NOT allowed to fly at Dunstable Downs
NO STICKER - NO FLYING - NO EXCEPTIONS!
Can members please note: If you change either your email or house address, can you make sure that you update your profile on GroupSpaces, so that important information and membership renewals go to the correct address.
Learning to fly
The DHPC cannot teach you to fly. Our club is for pilots that have already qualified from a BHPA Registered School. You can only fly with our Club once you have passed the BHPA ‘Club Pilot‘ Rating at a BHPA Registered School. You must also own your own glider and equipment before flying with us. For more in-depth information about learning to fly a hang-glider or paraglider from our Club Lead Coach, click on the button below.
Air Experience Days / Tandem flights
The DHPC does NOT provide air-experience days or tandem flights to the general public due to insurance issues. Please visit the BHPA website for more information should you wish to arrange a tandem flight at a BHPA Registered School. However, you may see tandem gliders at the Downs with our pilots flying other club or family members, as they are already covered by insurance through the BHPA, but if you are really keen and on the hill on the right day…we might make an exception!