PSC Social Night 12th November 2018 - Richard Carter's 300Km Flight

By Brian Stewart on  November 13, 2018 21:07
PSC Social Night 12th November 2018 - Richard Carter's 300Km Flight

The Winter social season got into its stride with a bang this month when Richard Carter came to talk us through his amazing record-breaking 300+km flight this summer. Richard needs no introduction to any pilot who has been around in the last 30 years; right from the beginnings of the sport in the UK, he stood out as having something a bit special. Regularly featuring near the top of the table, he was the first to do 100km, then 200km and finally 300 km in the UK, as well as holding the distance record several times in between.

The planning and preparation for this flight were meticulous – Richard revealed that he had been scouting out the Elan Valley as a launch point for such a flight for years. On the weekend that all the forecasts came together he was there early, fully stoked with a big breakfast with only one other pilot on the hill. After a tentative start in light morning conditions, the sky got better and better. Passing Doncaster, his major problem was staying low to squeak under the airspace there, but once passed he had the freedom to climb to over 7000’ and even to squeeze in a few extra km past his goal cylinder.

8 ½ hours, 306 km and stuck in a field on a Sunday night! Fortunately Scarborough was down the road and a hot, sticky hotel room awaited.

Thank you Richard for such an entertaining evening, giving us fascinating insights into what it takes to achieve such amazing flights

AGM 2017

By Carl Fairhurst on  February 15, 2017 19:07

Pennine Soaring Club

AGM and Committee Meeting 13 February 2017, Sea View, Chorley.

Committee Members present: Graham Jones, Brian Stewart, Jim Ashley, Simon Blake, Richard Chadwick, Andy Archer, Carl Fairhurst, John Murphy, Andy Mcloughlin. Apologies received from Phil Wallbank and Tony Colombat.

Brief discussion of proposal to waive membership fees for children of members under the age of 18.

Agreed unanimously.

Brief discussion of proposal to award honorary membership with full voting rights to Lynda Baillie as a loyal supporter of the club.

Agreed unanimously.

End of Business.

AGM Report

Chairman’s review (incorporating Social Sec)

The club has enjoyed a successful year - social nights have centred around Chipping with curry and pizza nights at the Sun. The Penninefest was rained off, but we still had a good turnout and an entertaining and educational talk from Ed Cleasby. The winter club nights have been well-attended, with plenty of new faces on show. Difficulties obtaining suitable venue still exist.

The club continues to function well and seems to be serving the needs of its members. The membership secretary was praised for his work identifying those pilots who are not BHPA members or not paying PSC correct fees. Phil Colbert was thanked for his work on the AirWhere project which should prove to be a great benefit to all members and the wider paragliding community.

Other prominent members include Jack Pimblett who is making amazing progress in the world of Acro; Simon Scott for his achievements as part of the British Paramotor Team; Simon Blake who has a new book out; Simon Baillie for his continued recovery to full fitness; Barney Woodhead for his XC performances and Richard Chadwick for his sterling work over the years as Treasurer.

Looking forward to 2017, highlights should be a proposed Club Coach weekend; development of the AirWhere network; more Club Nights; Penninefest etc. To achieve these aims, the support of the members is essential, and the club will be exploring ways to expand participation beyond the 1/3 of the membership who regularly get involved. Communication with members needs work, but this is a 2-way progress and it is important the people make contact with the club if they want information, coaching etc.

The Pendle webcam is still on course but has run into a siting obstacle.

Treasurer’s report:

Subscription receipts are significantly up, thanks in great part to the Membership Sec’s hard work in chasing up non-payers or those still paying £19; still some way to go to reel them all in, but the list is shrinking. Accounts accepted by the meeting. Richard is stepping down after 6 years in post, and we thank him for his hard work and diligence.

Membership Secretary’s Report

We currently have around 175 members, of whom 36 are still paying only £19 - a list is available so that members can encourage these remaining few to amend their standing order. Problems remain with contacting members when emails, phone calls, text messages and postal letters go unanswered. BHPA checks on current membership status can meet with resistance if requested too frequently. Helmet stickers will continue to be sent out to those requesting them.

Competition Secretary’s Report

Most competitions were washed out by bad weather this year, including all 5 rounds of the BP Cup, and the Advance BCC challenge suffered a similar fate in our area. The LCC and Buttermere Bash were surprisingly successful despite poor forecasts. PSC performance in the National XC League was a little short of previous glory years as the Southern Clubs enjoyed the good conditions down there.

Secretary’s Report

Little outside communication beyond the routine. Main focus was the liaison with NWRAUG over the developments at LBIA. This has led to the creation of a new committee post - Airspace Officer - for which Phil Colbert has volunteered. The Secretary is standing down after 5 years, and thanks all the members for their support. Paul Hester has volunteered to stand for this position.

Safety Officer’s Report (delivered by the Secretary)

There have been no accidents or incidents involving members reported to the Safety Officer this year, although this does not mean that there were no reportable incidents. It is worth noting that one member was involved in an incident (reported correctly to the BHPA) involving a car being written off. It is comforting to note that the process of dealing with the expense of compensating the car owner was dealt with very efficiently by the BHPA insurers - a very good reason to be a member.

The Safety Officer is standing down this year, and the club is very grateful for the important contribution made over the years. Brian Stewart has put himself forward for this post.

Editor’s Report (delivered by the Secretary)

The newsletter has been absent for a few months - initially due to a lack of material, and then as an experiment to judge the reaction of the members. The feeling of the meeting was that the newsletter is an important communication tool, and so will be re-started this year. Members were urged to contribute to this as much as possible. Improvements to the database of members’ addresses should make it possible to ensure that it is delivered effectively.

Chief Coach’s Report

This has been a quiet year on the coaching scene. We have moved to a bi-annual cycle of Pilot Theory lectures to fit more closely with demand. Coaches can now receive their annual endorsement by email, which makes it much easier to remain current. New BHPA resources to support new pilots and their coaches will make the process of progressing from CP much clearer to all. Some discussion centred around the possibility of winter coaching sessions in the village hall, and competition preparation.

Power Officer’s Report

While there are few Power pilots in the club, the Power Sec’s role is to act as a contact point to anyone wishing to fly paramotors or powered hang gliders to go about this the correct way, in safety. The site at Eddisford Bridge is available to all, by contacting the PO. While the pilot fatally injured last year was not a PSC member, he was known to many and our condolences go out to his family and friends. BHPA are investigating, despite his not being a member.

Sub-20 Officer’s Report

There have been no issues involving sub-20 wings this year. Members are encouraged to report any instances of unqualified or non-BHPA persons flying any kind of aircraft on our sites to report those to relevant club officers.

Election of Committee:

All positions were offered to the membership. Apart from those mentioned above volunteering to fill vacancies, no nominations were received. Consequently all posts were filled unopposed and carried unanimously.

Chairman                             Graham Jones
Social Sec                             Graham Jones
Secretary                             Paul Hester
Membership Sec              Jim Ashley
Treasurer                            Jim Ashley (combined post)
Safety Officer                    Brian Stewart
Sites Officer                       Andy Archer
Webmaster                        Carl Fairhurst
Editor                                    Tony Colombat
Competition Sec               Simon Blake
Chief Coach                        John Murphy
Sub-20 Officer                   Andy McLoughlin
Airspace Officer                                Phil Colbert (new post).

Presentation of Awards

The Competition Secretary presided over an entertaining award ceremony in which not only the winners were acknowledged, but also the ‘honourable mentions’ and the ‘nearly theres’.

Best Fun Class                                                                   John Baxby
Best Sports Class                                                              Simon Blake
Best XC from Pennine Site                                           Phil Colbert
PSC League Winner                                                         Phil Colbert       
Grid Challenge                                                                  Simon Baillie
Most Improved Pilot                                                      John Oliver
Club Award                                                                         Jack Pimblett                                                   
Representing the Club                                                                   Simon Scott
William Marshall Trophy                                                Andy Archer
Main Welding Award (Bent Upright)                       Simon Blake
PSC Loop League winner                                              Paul Winterbottom.

A big ‘thank you’ to everyone who attended to make a memorable night. Now let’s go flying . . .

2017 AGM

By Carl Fairhurst on  January 10, 2017 19:06
Date: 13th February 2017
Venue: Sea View Inn, 2 Preston Rd, Whittle-le-Woods, Chorley PR6 7HH

It’s that time of year when the AGM is upon us once again, yes, of course you’ve got more interesting stuff to do like change the cat litter, but have a think about what this means:

We live in an increasingly surveilled and officially-controlled world, so continuing to enjoy the freedom of our form of flight means being self-regulating within a recognised structure. Love 'em or hate 'em, the BHPA is our structure and PSC is an important component of that, and membership gives you access to that framework. To remain a functioning part of this whole, there are endless background tasks to fulfil: maintaining records of members and their qualification levels, administering the cash that flows in and out, keeping track of safety issues, liaising with relevant bodies over site access and dealing with complaints . . . you get the picture.

A looming threat on the horizon is the proposed expansion of the Leeds Bradford International Airport controlled airspace. The initial plans could severely curtail our options for XC flights towards the east coast, and are a threat to our fellow pilots in the Dales, Cumbria and Derbyshire. To this end we are going to create a new committee post of Airspace Officer to monitor developments and liaise with BHPA, CAA, the General Aviation and Gliding community and our neighbour clubs. This is the kind of background work that is essential to maintain our ability to enjoy our most unique and wonderful sport(s).

To carry out this work needs willing volunteers from the membership; we call this group 'the committee' but really they are simply members who are putting a bit back into our sport - sometimes remaining in post year after year because no-one else is daft enough to do it. Every year, all members of the club are offered the opportunity to offer their services; the following list shows the present members of the committee in case you don't know who they are, together with an indication of their intention to stand for re-election, nominations received to date, and a brief summary of what they do, in their own words, in addition to what it says in the constitution and BHPA documents:



Standing again?




Carl Fairhurst


Responsible for managing the hosting, application and content of the Pennine Soaring Club website and the domain registration. Working with the other member of the committee to ensure that content and events are posted promptly and available to be linked from emails or Facebook.


Brian Stewart


Paul Hester

Maintaining a written record of meetings, correspondence with third parties, legal documents and proceedings. Being the focal point for external bodies communicating with PSC.


Graham Jones


Coordinating and chairing committee meetings,

Sites Officer

Andy Archer


Building and maintaining relationships with our site owners, tenant farmers, statutory bodies; in fact anybody who has an interest in the land we launch from, fly above or land on.  Quickly dealing with issues that could escalate into the potential for losing a site and being a single point of contact for site issues for those interested parties and club members alike.


Jim Ashley


Keep and update membership data base using information from treasurer / online bank. Contact members when subs due or overdue / incorrect. Check members BHPA membership up to date. Contact / welcome new members - distribute helmet stickers.

Social Sec

Graham Jones

Arranger of club and social nights.

Chief Coach

John Murphy


a) Organise and co-ordinate coaching within their club.

b) Provide information, guidance and help in a safe, proven manner to club pilots qualified for the activity undertaken.

c) Encourage pilots to use the club coaching facility through promotion and education.

d) Establish and maintain an effective coaching team within the club.

e) Establish and maintain an effective liaison with the Club Safety Officer

f) Supervise and monitor the development of potential coaches, and select and appoint

Club Coaches and Senior Coaches.

g) Operate safely within their known skills and personal environments in accordance

with the recognised procedures and regulations contained in the TM.

h) Improving their own flying and coaching skills and knowledge in various ways, including studying the TM, handbooks, articles in Skywings (especially the Safety Matters Page) and Incident Summaries and Safety Notices.

i) Promote the use of the Incident  reporting scheme within the club.

j) Maintain and promote a positive attitude to the sport, the FSC and the BHPA. 

k) Maintain an effective liaison with the FSC. Chief Coaches should have regular contact with the FSC, and in particular they should keep the FSC fully informed of new ideas or any difficulties occurring in their clubs.

l) Organise and supervise pilot exams and lectures.

In addition, to become a chief coach the BHPA advise that the candidate should be:

a) Hold a Senior Coach or Club Coach Licence.

b) Possess P rating with good active experience.

c) Be recommended by his/her club. (Chairman’s signature required.) 


Richard Chadwick


Bank and keep a spreadsheet record of all receipts paid to the club (income) and pay and record all the bills (expenses like site fees, comp fees, website fees and trophies etc.).
Produce a set of annual accounts to present to members at the AGM.
Organise and deliver the Christmas bottle run to the farmers and residents most affected by our sites.

Safety Officer

Phil Wallbank


Brian Stewart

Act as the local technical officer. Disseminate Safety Notices and information within the club. Act as a technical reference source within the club. Support the coaching team in their efforts to ensure that accidents and incidents within the club are reported to the FSC. Maintain, through a programme of continuous education and encouragement, an awareness of flying and technical safety standards within the club.

Competition Sec

Simon Blake


Coordinating all aspects of local and UK competition, supporting and encouraging Pennine pilots to push their flying to the next level by setting targets and flying competitively: scoring the Parlick Grid Challenge, setting and scoring competition tasks at, liaising with the organisers of the BP Cup, liaising with neighbouring club Comps Secs to arrange rounds of the Advance BCC when possible, promoting XC league flying and especially declared flights by helping pilots plan, fly and submit their tracklogs to the league.


Tony Colombat


Current: Produce the monthly newsletter, coordinating input from members, BHPA, advertisers etc.

Proposed: Disseminate this information across PSC webpage and Social Media.

Power Sec

Simon Scott


Provide a PSC point of contact for Paramotor and Powered HG pilots who fly within the Pennine Club area or are PSC members who wish to also fly PPG/PHG.  Liaise with pilots in local groups/clubs to attempt to mutually promote powered and free flight foot launched aviation, the PSC and the BHPA.  Promote the PSC as an inclusive club that power pilots can be part of.

Airspace Officer

New post

Phil Colbert

Liaise with BHPA, CAA, neighbouring clubs, General Aviation and Gliding community etc. regarding all airspace matters affecting our members.

Just because there's a name against a post doesn't mean you can't volunteer for it - most of us will be happy to step aside to allow in fresh blood. No matter whether you've amassed hundreds of hours or are still counting your airtime in minutes, if you want to get involved and give something back to our fabulous sport, just put yourself forward. So if you think this is for you then to nominate yourself for any post please send an email to before 31st January 2017. Voting to decide any contested positions will take place at the AGM.

Extract from Club Constitution:

3.1 The AGM shall be held between February and May

3.2 Reasonable notice of the AGM shall be given to members and the following business shall be discussed.           

  1. Election of Officers
  2. Report from the Treasurer and any other members of The Committee
  3. Revision and amendment of rules and regulations where necessary.
  4. Other items of which due notice will be given.
  5. Any other business (no voting allowed).

Re Item 3.2, any member wishing to propose an item for discussion must submit it to the secretary ( by 31st January 2017.

So, the AGM is an important instrument in the operation of the PSC and, by extension, free flight in the UK. Thus it is your chance to question the committee members on past actions and propose ways in which you feel the club could progress,

Be there.

Brian Stewart


Kobo instrument night with Phil Colbert

By Carl Fairhurst on  September 2, 2015 19:04

Wednesday, September 23 at 7:30pm

The Boaryard Inn. Bolton Road. Riley Green. PR5 0SP.

Phil Colbert will host a Pennine Soaring Club instrument night focusing on the use of a Kobo tablet and the use of LK 8000 and XC Soar. Points to be covered : GPS connection , sounds/warnings , screen profiles , maps , waypoints and tasks using XC Planner . Illustrations by way of computer projection so we can all see the instrument manipulation.
Phil Colbert will welcome input from members already using Kobo. Please bring your Kobo to the instrument evening.