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 name of the Club was altered to incorporate this new form of flying, becoming the Dunstable Hang Gliding & Paragliding Club (DHPC), as it remains today.
Currently, the DHPC have over 250 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 (LoA)' which gives the DHPC access for flying within this normally prohibited airspace.
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 the DHPC, you must be a current BHPA member with a Club Pilot (Hill) minimum rating. However, if you are a Powered HG/PG pilot you may fly at Holmbeck Farm as long as you have a Club Pilot (Power) rating minimum. There are three main options for joining, either Full Membership, Limited Membership and Limited Membership (Powered). Because of our Club's sensitive Airspace location (inside Luton CTR), and our Agreement with the CAA, all our sites are Members only.
Foreign pilots wishing to join the DHPC, who are not BHPA members must first contact the BHPA to convert your existing IPPI, APPI or FFVL pilot rating to a UK rating via the BHPA Alternative Entry System. This is to ensure that you have sufficient third-party liability insurance when flying at UK sites.
Full Membership (£20)
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)
This allows Limited Membership pilots to ONLY fly at Sharpenhoe and Chinnor - but NOT at Dunstable Downs. Pilots joining with Limited Membership do NOT require the Airspace Briefing. Limited Membership pilots must be BHPA Pilot (Hill) rated minimum.
Limited Membership - Powered (£5)
Allows Powered Hang-glider/Paraglider pilots to join the DHPC who wish to fly at Holmbeck Farm ONLY. These Limited Members do NOT require the Airspace Briefing. Powered Pilots must be BHPA Club Pilot (Power) rated minimum. These powered pilots cannot hill fly any of our Club sites.
Full Members who wish to fly at Dunstable Downs, must attend the mandatory Airspace Briefing with a 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 evening 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 'Register For Airspace Briefing' below and state your full name and BHPA number via email, or click this link: email@example.com. If we do not get any pilots registering, the Briefing will be cancelled the day before. If you haven't registered (you should have) always check the date box before leaving in case the Briefing has been cancelled.
Note: Airspace Briefings are only held on the scheduled monthly dates as shown. Do NOT turn up unannounced on site expecting a Briefing, you will not be allowed to fly.
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.
(1) Club AGM and Reserve Repack Event.
This will be held at Houghton Regis Leisure Centre (LU5 5PY) on Saturday, 7th March at 12pm. Tickets which are available now for £10 (all monies go to the Air Ambulance charities). More details to follow by email.
(2) Lectures & Exam for the BHPA Pilot (P) Rating.
These will be held at Tilsworth Golf Centre (LU7 9PU) on five consecutive Wednesday evenings, starting on Wednesday, 18th March 2020.These Lectures are FREE but please register your interest by clicking the button below to show you are attending.
NEW DHPC T-Shirts
For the new 2020 season the DHPC has printed a new Premium T-shirt with the Club Logo on the chest (Limited Edition of 80). Same style and high-quality shirts as last time but now available in Navy Blue. In Stock NOW!
The cost is: £10 each inc postage.
Support your Club and wear it with pride!
IMPORTANT! If you change either your email, home address or any other contact details, can you make sure that you update your profile on WebCollect, 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!