Club Committee

Martin Baxter


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Mark Morrison (Tam)


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Dave Bradwell


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Tim Rogers

Membership Secretary

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David May

Safety Officer

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Pete Balmforth

Chief Coach

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Simon Tomlinson

Sites Officer North

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Shaun Pickard

Sites Officer South

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Alex Colbeck


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Rosie Ireland

Social Secretary

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Pete Darwood

PG Comps

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Carl Maughan


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Richard Meek


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Joseph Edmonds


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Trevor Birkbeck

Hang Gliding

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The Club

How to join our club

Club communication

Historic club video

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.

Club communication

In the early days of flying in the Dales a note stuffed in the dry stone wall at the bottom of Windbank was used to tell people “where it was at” for the day.  More recently, a shoutbox on the home page of the website was used to post quick messages on where you were going.  This was removed in May 2020 as more functional and mobile apps took over.

1. Routine Communication

With the plethora of potential communication channels available now, unless it is tightly managed, key club information could easily become fragmented and difficult for members to keep track of.  We therefore take the approach below.

“Formal” club communication

The website is the authoritative source of information about the club. All club announcements, significant news stories and updates, releases of the club magazine Skywords etc will be on the website.  Accurate site status, club contact details, instructions for visiting pilots and other potentially useful public information are on the publicly accessible area of the website.  Members also have access to the forum, where they can share flying reports, photos/videos, detailed chat about flying plans, and general information.  This area also includes safety reports, details of club meetings etc.

Keeping up to date with what is going on can be made easy by subscribing to notifications of new posts in the forum. To do this, go to the forum, click on the area you are interested in (eg General Discussions / Site Issues, etc) scroll to the bottom of the first page, and UNTICK Subscribe forum – the button will change to say “unsubscribe forum”. You can check which tabs you are subscribed to by checking your user control panel, accessed by clicking your username at the top right of the forum screen.  Once subscribed you will receive e-mail notifications of new posts for that area of the forum.

We are investigating adding "push notification" functionality to the public area of the website, so that you can subscribe to news updates, or any other of the public tabs.  Until this is available, you could use a website monitoring tool such as, or follow that  These can be configured to notifiy you by email of changes to specific web pages - such as

DHPC Flying Plans WhatsApp Group

What is it for?
“DHPC Flying Plans” is a place for DHPC members and visiting pilots to help decide where and when to fly in the Dales and beyond. It is intended as a place to share your thoughts, plans and site reports in order to help meet up with other pilots and get the best out of any free flying opportunities that arise.

Who is it for?
The group is intended for people who have attained at least a Club Pilot or equivalent rating, for either paragliding or hang gliding. All DHPC members are invited to join and contribute. Our club welcomes visiting pilots and the group is also open to pilots from neighbouring clubs and other BHPA members, as well as suitably-qualified visiting pilots from overseas.

Joining and leaving
If you’d like to join the group please email your request to the DHPC Membership Secretary at Turn on JavaScript! . As it’s a WhatsApp group you’ll need to be a WhatsApp user and provide your mobile number. If you’re not a DHPC member please also tell us your BHPA membership number and which club you are from. For overseas pilots we’ll ask for your qualification – we are a BHPA recreational club and you may find the information provided at useful.

Bear in mind that joining the WhatsApp group does not necessarily give you permission to fly at all DHPC sites. Please respect our site rules. All pilots should have third party insurance cover (included as part of BHPA membership) to fly at any or our sites. Landowners and your fellow pilots expect you to hold suitable (£5M) third party liability cover. Also as part of our negotiations with landowners a small number of our sites are designated as members-only. The latest information about our sites can always be found at .

It’s a fairly large group and can be quite active on and around good flying days. If the number of notifications bothers you remember that you can temporarily or permanently mute them in WhatsApp if you like. But if you decide to leave the group you can do so at any time – we’ll be sorry to see you go!

Posting and content
Experienced and novice pilots alike use this group to share thoughts and opinions about weather conditions and suitable flying sites, and to post site reports in “real-time”. Low airtime pilots and those new to the area may find the group useful to help with the process of meeting other pilots and choosing where to go flying. We aim to provide a friendly and supportive environment and encourage everyone to “have a go” and offer your own thoughts and suggestions rather than wait for someone else to tell you – it’ll help build your experience much more quickly, and you’ll find others more inclined to offer their advice and opinion if you do so.

It's quite a large group so it’s important not to stray off topic. For DHPC members the forum on our website is more suitable for in-depth discussion and analysis before and after flying, and other topics not directly related to going flying. Photos or screen-shots can be useful, for example to illustrate weather forecasts or site reports but people won’t necessarily thank you for posting lots of hi-resolution images, or video clips.

We do moderate the group and while we like to cut people a bit of slack please keep the banter to a minimum, it can easily get out of hand! However abusive or offensive posts will not be tolerated and moderators reserve the right to remove offenders from the group without notice.

It is possible that some important club announcements on the website will sometimes be linked from this group – but it should not be used as your source of all important information, as this is not its function.

DHPC Telegram XC Retrieve group.

For pilots going XC we have a Telegram group set up within the national XC retrieve system (  This enables you to drop a pin with your location when you land out and say where you are trying to get back to.  Again, this is open to non members.  A key aspect of the system is that, if used properly, all pins will appear on the same map, making multiple retrieves easier.  Instructions, and access to the group can be found through Again, important club announcements on the website will sometimes be linked from this group – but it should not be used as your source of all important information, as this is not its function.

DHPC Facebook page

You can follow us at .  This page is a social media presence for the club and is primarily used to signpost important announcements on the club’s website. Again though, it will NOT signpost ALL the information on the website.

Informal groups

In addition to these “formal” club groups, there are a number of smaller “flying buddy” groups set up by members that use telegram or WA. As you develop your own networks and buddies within the club and outside you may naturally join these groups, or indeed may form your own.  The club has no control over these groups, and the channels detailed above will remain the sources of all club information.

Phone/Wifi/Radio communication

Mobile phone coverage once you are out and about can still patchy in the Dales. will give you some comparative information on coverage and reliability of the network providers. Our southern sites generally have good coverage on most networks. There are free-to-use WiFi hotspots available for customers at pubs and cafés throughout the Dales. For the price of a pint of beer (after flying!)  or a cup of tea and a cake you can browse all you like.

Pilots with 2m band radios are encouraged to use 143.850MHz when flying in the Dales.


The Club also produces a monthly magazine - "Skywords", which is available in the library on the website. As a member you should receive an email notifying you with a link to each new edition. You are encouraged to provide articles to the magazine if you have had a particularly good trip somewhere – home or abroad, or if you have photos, anecdotes etc that you think the paragliding community would enjoy.  You can contact the editor at Turn on JavaScript!

2. Emergency Communication

The Emergency SMS service is designed to allow deaf people to text 999, but it could be very useful to us where mobile reception is patchy. You have to register first but it’s very easy - just text 'register' to 999 and wait for the text reply.

In a wider sense, you should also familiarise yourself with the Europe wide emergency 112 service ( .   As ever, beware of misinformation, even if it is well intended:

How to join our club

Download the constitution (PDF)


The historic club video