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 this country, with just 30 members registered with the newly formed NHGA. Hang-gliding continued to dominate foot-launched flying over the following years until a new airsport called paragliding, started becoming popular in the UK around the mid 1980's. Our first paragliding members joined the Club around 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, the DHPC have over 200 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 (NATS) 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.
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. You may be required by the BHPA to sit the Club Pilot Exam. You can do this with our Club Senior Coach.
New Members wanting to join the Club for the first time, please read the Join the Club page, and follow the instructions carefully! Our membership year runs from the 1st April to the 31st March.
To join the Club, click the button on whichever Membership option you require. You must then join 'GroupSpaces' 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 and hang-gliders). All pilots joining are required to pass the mandatory Airspace Brief before flying at Dunstable Downs.
Limited Membership (£5 per year)
This allows Limited Membership pilots to ONLY fly at Sharpenhoe, Chinnor and Holmbeck Farm Airfield, but NOT at Dunstable Downs. Pilots joining with Limited Membership do NOT require the Airspace Briefing.
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 monthly 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 now being held in the evenings as well as the scheduled monthly dates shown.
If you want to book an evening briefing, click on the Registration Button below. These briefings are held at the main paraglider launch car park after 6.30pm any midweek night. Important - Do not expect a briefing on a flyable evening at the Downs, as you realise we would rather be flying instead, and we can't do both!
Pilots who do not have a Airspace Sticker are NOT allowed to fly at Dunstable Downs
NO STICKER - NO FLYING - NO EXCEPTIONS!
Learning to fly / Air Experience flights
Have you seen us flying and keen to learn this exciting sport. Here you will learn how to start flying, or you may just want to do a tandem (dual) flight with a Instructor.
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. For more in-depth information about learning to fly a hang/paraglider, 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 third-party insurance issues. However, you may book a dual flight with a BHPA Registered School, so click the button below to visit the FlySussex website to book a tandem flight voucher. You can book a flight at any other BHPA registered school via the BHPA website.
IMPORTANT! 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. Also, if you are not receiving regular emails from the Club, check to see if they are going to your Spam Folder by mistake!