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About The BGA

The British Gliding 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 7000 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, including with young people.

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 support 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.

The BGA Vision

Our vision for gliding is an exciting, rewarding and sustainable air sport for all and associated recreational activity facilitated nationwide to a high standard by gliding clubs on airfields whose future is secured, and in partnership with others including non-gliding activity.

To achieve this vision, the BGA aims to provide the membership with leadership and support to achieve:

A gliding operation within a 1-hour drive for 95% of the UK population.

Gliding club membership above 7000 and increasing.

A demographic profile of membership that converges closely with that of the UK population.

Training and coaching for development seen as a continuum across the full spectrum of gliding activities and   experience levels.

Competition and award processes which reflect evolving glider and pilot performance, as well as changing perceptions and measures of achievement.

Healthy and stable supply of instructors, with appropriate qualifications and a balanced age distribution.

An ethos of, and appetite for, volunteering amongst club members.

Awareness that gliding is an equal and responsible aviation and airspace stakeholder.

Maximum autonomy and minimum external regulatory involvement.

Wide public perception of the appeal, the value, and the success of British Gliding.

Some BGA key facts

Formed in 1930

80 clubs

7000 pilots

2100 gliders

1100 instructors

230,000 flights pa

110,000 hours flown pa

Numerous competitions organised each year

British Gliding Team with multiple recent World and European championship medal successes

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 Philip as its President. The Vice-Presidents are:

  • Roger Q Barrett
  • Ben Watson MA FCA
  • Bill Walker OBE
  • Dick Dixon FCII
  • David Roberts B Comm FCA
  • Patrick Naegeli
  • Peter Harvey

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 – Neil Goudie
Competitions & Awards – Liz Sparrow
Development  – Dave Latimer
Flying Operations – Peter Moorehead
Instructors – Colin Sword
Safety – Tim Freegarde
Technical – Howard Torode

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

Child Protection – Karon Matten
Medical – Drs Frank Voeten and Tracy Ashton

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

Executive Committee

  • Andy Perkins - Chairman

    Andy flies from Bicester and is an active cross country pilot, instructor and regional examiner.

    He has  three Diamonds, 2,500hrs gliding and is a tug pilot. He loves mountain flying and engaging with glider pilots the world over.  His mission: to positively develop and protect the three key pillars that result in support gliding; people, airfields and airspace.

    In his spare time, Andy is a senior first officer and training pilot with British Airways.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Bill Brittain

    Bill flies from Milfield and has been an active member of Borders GC since 1992.  He is currently Vice Chairman, Data Protection Officer and a tug pilot having also been a Basic Instructor for several years. Professionally, Bill is a Business Consultant, Contractor and Project Manager specialising in Strategy Implementation and Knowledge Management for large Corporations and teaches part time at several universities in the UK and Europe.

  • 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.

  • Richard Brickwood

  • Rebecca Bryan

    Rebecca flies her ASW19B from Cambridge Gliding Centre, is an active Basic Instructor,  enjoys cross country flying and  is actively involved with the promotion of women in gliding. Rebecca is an experienced marketing and corporate relationship professional with a strong background in systems engineering.

  • George Metcalfe - Vice Chairman

    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!

  • Tony Smith - Treasurer and 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.

  • Pete Bennett

    Pete Bennett is an active cross-country pilot and basic instructor who flies predominantly from the Devon and Somerset Gliding Club as well as other gliding sites. Pete is currently studying engineering at Cardiff University.

Other Officials

  • 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

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
  • 2012 P Harvey

Philip Wills BGA Chairman 1935 and 1949-68

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