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About The BGA

The British Gilding Association is the governing body for the sport of gliding in the UK. Our members are the 80+ clubs that provide gliding facilities for their members – clubs that are spread throughout the UK from the north of Scotland to the SW tip of England and which range from small, member-run clubs through to some of the largest gliding clubs in the world. Through these clubs we represent and provide services to some 8500 UK glider pilots.

Our roles are many and varied. We provide advice and assistance to clubs on a wide range of topics, including finance, regulation, operations, and marketing and take a leading role in the development and promotion of gliding.

We are responsible for managing training standards in the sport and are committed to safe practices with the objective of facilitating a sport gliding environment where the levels of risk are as low as reasonably practicable. As a fully CAA-accredited Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation, we manage the ongoing airworthiness of the UK glider fleet, working closely with the UK CAA.

We work in close collaboration with the Royal Aero Club (which represents all of UK airsports) and with other pan-sector bodies such as the General Aviation Safety Council and the GA Alliance. Internationally, through the European Gliding Union we partner with Europe Air Sports to protect the rights of the UK glider pilot and, in the wider arena, with the FAI International Gliding Commission.

The BGA is responsible for gliding competition in the UK and for the British Gliding Team, one of the most successful teams in international gliding competition.

For more detail on our activities, please take a look at our Annual Report.

Organisation

The BGA employs a small professional staff, based at our offices in Leicester. You can find contact details for these here.

The BGA is honoured to have HRH Prince Phillip as its President. The Vice-Presidents are:

Christopher R Simpson MA LLM
Roger Q Barrett
Ben Watson MA FCA
Bill Walker OBE,
Dick Dixon FCII
David Roberts B Comm FCA
Patrick Naegeli

The Association is led by an elected Executive Committee and much of the specialist work is carried out within volunteer committees. The committees and their chairmen are:

Airspace – John Williams
Competitions & Awards – Mark Holden
Development  - Dave Latimer
Flying Operations – Ted Norman
Instructors – Don Irving
Safety – Pete Stratten
Technical – Howard Torode

In addition, we are fortunate to have the services of specialist advisers, for example:

Child Protection – Karon Matten
Medical – Drs Peter Saundby and Frank Voeten

Contact details for all committee chairmen and specialist advisors can be obtained by contacting the BGA office.

Executive Committee

  • Pete Harvey - Chairman

    Pete flies from Bicester and York and is a British Team member. After success in international hang-gliding, he won the European Open Class Gliding Championship in 2005, 2007 and 2009 – an unprecedented achievement. He has a Nimbus 4 glider and a small share in a Robin 400.

  • Nick Bowers

    Nick has been a member of the Bath, Wilts & North Dorset GC for 25 years where he is part of the instructing team, a club committee member, tug pilot, glider inspector and, until recently, the Club Safety Officer. Recently retired from a career in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nick now has the time needed to sit on the BGA Executive Committee at this important time of transition to the EASA era and, just as importantly, more opportunity to enjoy flying his K6e.

  • Ron Bridges

    Ron, who flies at Husbands Bosworth, has over 2000 gliding hours. As well as competing regularly, he has directed championships for many years, including the World Junior Championships. He was chair of the BGA Competitions Committee for 6 years and has held many club committee positions.

  • Bill Craig

    Bill flies from Dunstable and has 5000 flying hours, of which 4000 have been gliding. A BGA Full Rated Instructor, Tug Pilot and active cross-country pilot who particularly enjoys mountain flying, Bill comes from a professional background in business management operating at board level.

  • David Fidler

    David Fidler is an RAF pilot with 39 years experience. He started gliding in 1996, holding a number of managerial positions in the RAF GSA before becoming its Chairman for three years. A keen glider pilot, David particularly enjoys cross-country and mountain flying.

  • Lisa Humphries

    Lisa has over 25 years of aviation industry experience working with airlines and running her and her husband’s own company, Capital Air Charter where she holds the post of Accountable Manager and Director. She has been gliding since 1984, holds an Ass Cat Instructors rating, flies an ASW20 from North Hill and has recently joined a syndicate in an ASH25. She is also Chairman of Devon & Somerset GC and is on the board of trustees for the Devon Air Ambulance.

  • Dave Latimer

    Dave flies his Ventus cT from Sutton Bank. He particularly enjoys cross country, wave and mountain flying. He has been gliding since 1977 and has been an active member of several clubs both small and large. Professionally, Dave has run several engineering businesses and specializes in turn-arounds and more recently start-ups.

  • George Metcalfe

    George began gliding in 1976, entered his first competition in 1979, and in 30+ years of “Nationals” has occupied almost every position in the results! He has flown extensively in Europe and flew for TeamGB at the 2009 European Championships in Lithuania. George’s past experience includes instructing and examining and he also served for 5 years as chairman of his home club, Lasham. He met his wife Jane through gliding and they have two teenage sons- one progressing well to becoming a cross-country pilot, and the other keen to start!

  • Andy Perkins - Vice-Chairman

    Andy Perkins is a BGA Regional Examiner. He has  three Diamonds, 2,500hrs gliding and is a tug pilot. He loves mountain flying and partying with glider pilots the world over.  His mission: to make gliding fun, exciting and accessible.

  • John Williams

    John flies from Portmoak where he spent 5 years as chairman and is one of a small group of Scottish based pilots who continue to explore the boundaries of “what might still be possible but hasn’t been done yet”. He has an Antares glider, 2000+hrs, a BI rating and a 2,000km diploma as well as a very understanding partner, Wendy. “What more could anyone want?”

Other Officials

  • Les Kaye - Treasurer

    Leslie is also Treasurer of Herefordshire Gliding Club (Shobdon) where he files a Pik-20E. He has 2 Diamonds, an Assistant Instructor rating and approaching 2,000 hours gliding and power. He is a Chartered Accountant and has a wide variety of interests including target shooting and computing.

  • Pete Stratten - Chief Executive

    Pete, the BGA’s Chief Executive, has worked professionally in the sport since 1990. He began gliding at 14, flies an ASW20 from Windrushers GC at Bicester and is an active instructor and inspector

  • Tony Smith (Company Secretary)

    Tony flies at Mendip and is a relative newcomer to gliding, going solo in January 2009. He holds a GPL and also an SLMG licence. Tony had a share in a Ka6e for a while and now owns a share in an SF 25C. He is a qualified accountant and runs his own practice.

Awards

The BGA has a number of awards that can be made to those who have given exceptional service to gliding, either at club or national level.

The BGA Diploma may be awarded to any individual serving a BGA club or the interests of UK gliding who has been nominated by a BGA club or by the BGA Executive Committee.

Instituted in 2004, the BGA Medal may be awarded to any individual serving the BGA or the broad interests of UK gliding who in the view of the BGA Executive Committee has rendered exceptional service to the British Gliding Association or to UK gliding. A list of recipients is here.

Past Chairmen

The BGA has benefited from the leadership of many outstanding and inspirational chairmen throughout its 85 year history.

  • 1930 EC Gordon-England
  • 1933 The Master of Semphill
  • 1934 CE Hardwick
  • 1934 Captain Latimer-Needham
  • 1935 PA Wills
  • 1935 D Brunt
  • 1946 D Hiscox
  • 1949 PA Wills
  • 1968 Sir P Scott
  • 1970 KG Wilkinson
  • 1972 C Simpson
  • 1976 RQ Barrett
  • 1980 TS Zealley
  • 1986 B Watson
  • 1990 D Spottiswood
  • 1996 R Dixon
  • 2000 D Roberts
  • 2006 P Naegeli

Philip Wills BGA Chairman 1935 and 1949-68

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