British Parachute Association

The British Parachute Association was founded in 1961 to organise, govern and further the advancement of sport parachuting within the UK. Its success is such that today there are around 30 affiliated parachute centres throughout the country and an active membership of over 5000
experienced skydivers. In the UK, 45,000 people make their first parachute jump annually and become student members. A quarter of a million skydives are made over Great Britain each year
.


The BPA has responsibility delegated from the CAA to manage sport parachuting. The governing Council of the BPA is elected annually by the membership. BPA committees cover safety and training, competitions, communications and development. The Council employs full-time officials
including technical specialists, for the day-to-day management of the Association. It is represented on the Council of the RAeC and the International Parachuting Commission.
 

Parachutists from the earliest days, along with balloonists and early aviators, formed part of aerial circuses. These early sport parachutists used ex-military parachute equipment. As competition became fiercer, parachutes were gradually developed for sport use. Today each parachute, whether used by a first-time student or a top competitor, will have been specifically designed for that purpose. Parachuting became officially recognised by the FAI as an aeronautical sort in the 1950s and the first World Championships were held in 1951.
Today, parachuting forms the largest aeronautic al sport within the FAI. Competitions take place at club, regional and international level. Several competitive disciplines have evolved including: accuracy landings, freefall style, team formation skydiving, canopy formation, canopy piloting, freestyle, freeflying and now vertical formation skydiving. UK competitors regularly achieve success at the highest levels. The British Open National Championships is an annual event involving these disciplines, at which the national teams for the following year’s international competitors are selected.
 

Previous champions run a series of BPA coaching roadshows at clubs and centres throughout the UK each season. These have proven to be extremely popular and have increased the number of entries in the UK Skydiving League, Grand Prix events and British Nationals. So much in fact
that the UK is proud to boast that our Formation Skydiving Nationals are second in size only to the US. In 2011, the BPA celebrated its 50th anniversary, 1961-2011. The BPA Archive Project was established to capture the history of sport parachuting in the UK and our contribution internationally.
 

www.bpa.org.uk

www.skydivethemag.com

 

     
     

 

 

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