The British Acrobatic Paragliding Academy (BAPA) is an informal group of experienced paraglider pilots who actively train and display in aerobatic paragliding.
The group formed to create a safe, inclusive approach to mentoring and supporting British pilots who wish to focus on the discipline of acro flying. Nothing like this was known to exist in the UK when the group was formed, but it was recognised that more pilots were wishing to start or progress further in acro flying.
Promote the sport of paragliding to the general public
Promote the discipline of acrobatic paragliding to the UK paragliding community
Nurture and support new/inexperienced British acrobatic paraglider pilots
Represent the UK within the world acrobatic paragliding community
Support experienced British acrobatic paraglider pilots to represent the UK in competitions worldwide.
The BAPA team has a number of costs associated with its pilots training in acrobatic flying. This type of flying is both technical and challenging so it’s imperative that pilots stay current and proficient at performing an array of manoeuvres, as well as developing and learning new ones.
Training in acro flying is a gruelling routine that tests a pilot both mentally and physically. It is this element of the discipline that doesn’t make it into the polished flying videos you see on social media.
All the pilots on the team undertake a number of expensive training trips every year, spending a large amount of time in the air, regularly 3 to 6 hours per day depending on the location. This is followed by video analysis and knowledge sharing late into the evenings, ready to do it all again the following day.
Typically on each training trip each pilot has to pay for:
Flights to/from the location
Airport transfers/car hire
Food & subsistence
Transport to/from launch
Local site fees
Equipment maintenance and replacement
The team also has significant expenses from travelling across the UK to attend various meetings with governing bodies like the BHPA and CAA.
The team can continue their training so that they can further develop their flying skills and represent the sport of paragliding and the discipline of acro.
They will also continue to forge relationships with relevant bodies, sort out paperwork, regulations and insurance issues.
Every donation will make a huge difference by providing a little financial comfort in what is a hugely expensive undertaking.