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The Club

Welcome to the Dales Hang Gliding & Paragliding Club

May your flying career with us be happy and successful. The Club was founded in 1974 after a few enthusiasts felt the need to organise themselves, in order to control the activities of the flyers and to retain the goodwill of the land owners. We were made official by affiliation to the British Hang Gliding Association at its inception in 1975. Since those early days the Club has grown in strength and today it is one of the most successful and well supported in the country. We hope that you continue the Club spirit which has always been encouraged, and that you will want to take part in our activities, and maybe even in the management of the Club at some future time.

If you are fresh out of a flying school, with little experience, you will find that if you make yourself known to coaches, and more experienced members within the Club, on or off the hills, they will be glad to help you manage your new sport safely. Please do not be afraid to ask, the Club's good safety record has been mainly due to the awareness of each others capabilities and shortcomings, and the willingness on both sides of the experience scale to communicate. The pilot who keeps himself to himself in this respect is very often like an accident waiting to happen. If it has not already been done for you, you should refer to the list of coaches published in every club newsletter. This is a method of making contact with an experienced flyer that can help you. In this way, one person can monitor your progress, and perhaps help you with any weak points, which may only be obvious to those who see you fly regularly.

Some sites are only for pilots who can soar competently, perhaps because bottom landings are not easy. Sites with clear bottom landings are Nont Sarahs, Semer Water, Tailbridge, Whernside and Windbank. Baildon Moor is used for training and social flying. IIkley Moor is used by some in NE winds but is not recommended for inexperienced pilots, especially on modern gliders, as the bottom landing area is by a busy road and an alarming cross wind landing is often required. New flyers usually develop their soaring and manoeuvring skills pretty quickly in the Dales given good weather, as sites are generally quite large and help from experienced fellow members and coaches is abundant. Before long, you will be up on the big hills with the rest of us, preparing to venture off cross country. Dales' sites produce some good thermalling and cross country conditions in the spring and summer, but winter is not without its good times.

All this may be looking some time into the future for you, so remember that if you have just qualified as a Club Pilot, you still have a long way to go, although you now have a sound base on which to start. Many new skills must be developed before you reach your potential in the open sky - flying cross country.

Events and activities in the Club are detailed in the monthly magazine; Skywords and on the website. Monthly meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month from September to April at The Horse & Farrier (7 Bridge St, Otley, LS21 1BQ). Club nights often feature presentations on relevant subjects.

We hope that you will enjoy your flying with us. This is your Club and, like your flying, it can only be what YOU make of it.

Happy landings,

The Committee of the Dales Hang Gliding and Paragliding Club.

Download the club constitution (PDF)