As well as flying in different types of powered aircraft, air sports
include ballooning, gliding, hang gliding, parachuting and
More details on each of these activities can be
obtained from the specialist organisations
Some air sports like gliding and hang gliding involve
unpowered flight. Parachuting and paragliding involve descending through the air.
Air sports are often done for
just pleasure, but there is also a competitive element in many of the
Aviation Aspirations www.avasp.com/world-site/chindex.shtml
British Microlight Aircraft Association www.bmaa.org/
British Association of Balloon Operators www.babo.org.uk/
British Balloon & Airship Club www.bbac.org/
Popular Flying Association www.pfa.org.uk/
Royal Aero Club of the UK 0116 253 1051
British Gliding Association www.gliding.co.uk/
British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association www.bhpa.co.uk/
Hang Gliding and Paragliding National Sites Guide nsg.intracus.com/
Hover Club of Great Britain www.hovercraft.org.uk/
British Parachute Association www.bpa.org.uk/
Gary Jacksons Paragliding Homepage home.clara.net/parapilot/homepage.htm
Find a local air sports group
or club (see organisations above).
See if there are
introductory sessions at your local club or aerodrome.
Consult books or magazines
on different types of air sports.
Check in your local library/paper
for more information.
Skills and people
Some air sports involve more physical
effort than others; hang gliding is particularly demanding.
But generally these activities, notably flying, ballooning and gliding, can be
done by people of most ages and both sexes.
Most air based activities can be done on your own, but for
parachuting, gliding and paragliding someone is needed to organise the
lifting of person or plane off the ground. Many people belong to
groups or clubs for these activities.
Except in competitive
activities, there is no need for the people taking part with you to be of the same standard,
age or sex as yourself.
Anyone doing these activities must have the
basic skills and knowledge of the air needed for the activity in question,
and varying degrees of physical fitness are needed. Formal licences are needed to take responsibility for aircraft, balloons and gliders.
Equipment or clothing
A plane or other equipment to get off the ground is essential.
Each specific activity has its own particular requirements, both in terms
of the nature of the craft and the special clothing and other gear
At least some of this, particularly planes and other larger
items, may be available for hire from clubs and groups.
A place or facilities
A land area from which the plane or other equipment can start is
Free air space is obviously also necessary, and there are
strict rules governing the access of different airborne craft to the
Clubs may have their own aerodromes, as well as planes and