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The law re height restrictions


poz
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Please can someone refresh me with regards to paramotor law.

I know in a fixed wing aircraft that I may fly over a small village at no lower than 500 ft or 1500ft depending on the size of the village. Normally it would be 1500ft above highest building.

However, does this rule apply to paramotors, or are we simply not allowed to fly (at any height) over a built up area, in this case a small village (2000 people)?

The reason I ask, is that yesterday I flew at approx 1000ft over my home village to take some photos for the town hall (always safe to glide to a LZ if the donkey stopped). Upon landing I was approached by the police who were not happy about me flying over the police station in the village, which is fair enough. However, I wasn't quite sure if I had broken the law.

Either way, I won't be doing it again 'cause it ain't good to piss off the local law, as they have guns and are itching for some target practice :shock:

The laws re paramotoring here, seem to reflect those in the UK.

Cheers

Dan

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7.4 Low flying rules (rule 5)

7.4.1 Flight over congested areas

A congested area in relation to a city, town or settlement means any area which is substantially

used for residential, industrial, commercial or recreational purposes.

An aircraft (other than a helicopter) must not fly over a congested area;

· below a height that would allow it to land clear of the area and without danger to people if the

engine fails; or

· less that 1500 feet above the highest fixed object within 600m of the aircraft, whichever is

higher.

from - http://www.wessexhgpg.org.uk/Info/Pilotnotes/Airlaw.pdf

WRT photography, I almost got arrested 20 years ago in Istanbul for taking photo's of interesting buildings, without realising one was a military barracks and another their police headquarters ... several machine guns in my face made me more wary for the rest of the trip.

Current anti-terrorism hysteria means extra care should be taken to avoid equipment confiscation or other hassle. :x

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7.4 Low flying rules (rule 5)

7.4.1 Flight over congested areas

A congested area in relation to a city, town or settlement means any area which is substantially

used for residential, industrial, commercial or recreational purposes.

An aircraft (other than a helicopter) must not fly over a congested area;

· below a height that would allow it to land clear of the area and without danger to people if the

engine fails; or

· less that 1500 feet above the highest fixed object within 600m of the aircraft, whichever is

higher.

from - http://www.wessexhgpg.org.uk/Info/Pilotnotes/Airlaw.pdf

WRT photography, I almost got arrested 20 years ago in Istanbul for taking photo's of interesting buildings, without realising one was a military barracks and another their police headquarters ... several machine guns in my face made me more wary for the rest of the trip.

Current anti-terrorism hysteria means extra care should be taken to avoid equipment confiscation or other hassle. :x

Thanks for that, but flying fixed wing for 15 years I already know it.

My question was one specific to paramotors. I asked if there were any special rules prohibiting paramotors from flying over a built up area (as you quite rightly defined above), at, say 1600ft above the highest point.

In other words, are footlaunched aircraft, as part of the deregulation, prohibited FULL STOP, from flying over a built up area, even if you can glide clear of that area?

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are footlaunched aircraft, as part of the deregulation, prohibited FULL STOP, from flying over a built up area, even if you can glide clear of that area?

No

:|

PS - wasn't questioning your experience, just think its always better to add extra info or a link for clarity - especially for any beginners to follow. I've studied those notes for my pilots exam and still find something I either didn't remember or know whenever I flip back through them. :?

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7.4 Low flying rules (rule 5)

7.4.1 Flight over congested areas

A congested area in relation to a city, town or settlement means any area which is substantially

used for residential, industrial, commercial or recreational purposes.

An aircraft (other than a helicopter) must not fly over a congested area;

· below a height that would allow it to land clear of the area and without danger to people if the

engine fails; or

· less that 1500 feet above the highest fixed object within 600m of the aircraft, whichever is

higher.

from - http://www.wessexhgpg.org.uk/Info/Pilotnotes/Airlaw.pdf

:x

section 2

page 6

http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP393.pdf

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The low flying prohibitions are as follows:

(a) Failure of power unit

An aircraft shall not be flown below such height as would enable it to make an

emergency landing without causing danger to persons or property on the surface

in the event of a power unit failure.

(b) The 500 feet rule

Except with the written permission of the CAA, an aircraft shall not be flown

closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle or structure.

© The 1,000 feet rule

Except with the written permission of the CAA, an aircraft flying over a congested

area of a city town or settlement shall not fly below a height of 1,000 feet above

the highest fixed obstacle within a horizontal radius of 600 metres of the aircraft.

(d) The land clear rule

An aircraft flying over a congested area of a city, town or settlement shall not fly

below such height as would permit the aircraft to land clear of the congested area

in the event of a power unit failure.

(e) Flying over open air assemblies

Except with the written permission of the CAA, an aircraft shall not fly over an

organised open-air assembly of more than 1,000 persons below the higher of the

following heights:

(i) 1,000 feet; or

(ii) such height as would permit the aircraft to land clear of the assembly in the

event of a power unit failure.

(f) Landing and taking off near open air assemblies

An aircraft shall not land or take-off within 1,000 metres of an organised, open-air

assembly of more than 1,000 persons except:

(i) at an aerodrome, in accordance with procedures notified by the CAA; or

(ii) at a landing site which is not an aerodrome, in accordance with procedures

notified by the CAA and with the written permission of the organiser of the

assembly.

Exemptions from the low flying prohibitions

6 The exemptions from the low flying prohibitions are as follows:

(a) Landing and taking off

(i) Any aircraft shall be exempt from the low flying prohibitions in so far as it is

flying in accordance with normal aviation practice for the purpose of:

(aa) taking off from, landing at or practising approaches to landing at; or

(bb) checking navigational aids or procedures at,

a Government or licensed aerodrome.

(ii) Any aircraft shall be exempt from the 500 feet rule when landing and takingoff

in accordance with normal aviation practice or air-taxiing.

(aa) Landing and taking off at a training aerodrome

(i) Any aeroplane of which the maximum total weight authorised does not

exceed 2730kg shall be exempt from the low flying prohibitions in so far as

it is flying in accordance with normal aviation practice in the circumstances

specified in sub-paragraph (iii).

(ii) Any helicopter or gyroplane of which the maximum total weight authorised

does not exceed 3175kg shall be exempt from the low flying prohibitions in

so far as it is flying in accordance with normal aviation practice in the

circumstances specified in sub-paragraph (iii).

(iii) An aeroplane or helicopter or gyroplane flies in the circumstances specified

in this sub-paragraph if:

(aa) it is flying for the purpose of taking off from, landing at or practising

approaches to landing at a training aerodrome; and

(bb) the flight is one on which instruction in flying is being given to a person

or a flying test is being performed by a person for the purpose of

becoming qualified for the grant of a pilot’s licence or the inclusion or

variation of an aircraft rating, a night rating or a night qualification in a

licence.

(iv) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (iii), a “training aerodrome” means an

aerodrome which the commander of the aircraft is satisfied on reasonable

grounds has adequate facilities for the safe conduct of flights on which

instruction in flying is being given to a person for the purpose of becoming

qualified for the grant of a pilot’s licence or the inclusion or variation of any

rating or qualification in the licence.

(b) Captive balloons and kites

None of the low flying prohibitions shall apply to any captive balloon or kite.

© Special VFR flight and notified routes

(i) Subject to paragraph (ii), any aircraft shall be exempt from the 1,000 feet

rule if:

(aa) it is flying on a special VFR flight; or

(bb) it is operating in accordance with the procedures notified for the route

being flown.

(ii) Unless the written permission of the CAA has been obtained, landings may

only be made by an aircraft flying under this exemption at a licensed or

Government aerodrome.

(d) Balloons and helicopters over congested areas

(i) A balloon shall be exempt from the 1,000 feet rule if it is landing because it

is becalmed.

(ii) Any helicopter flying over a congested area shall be exempt from the land

clear rule.

(e) Police air operator's certificate

Any aircraft flying in accordance with the terms of a police air operator's

certificate shall be exempt from the 500 feet rule, the 1,000 feet rule and the

prohibitions on flying over open air assemblies and on landing and taking off near

open air assemblies.

(f) Flying displays etc.

An aircraft taking part in a flying display, air race or contest shall be exempt from

the 500 feet rule if it is within a horizontal distance of 1,000 metres of the

gathering of persons assembled to witness the event.

(g) Glider hill-soaring

A glider shall be exempt from the 500 feet rule if it is hill-soaring.

(h) Picking up and dropping at an aerodrome

Any aircraft picking up or dropping tow ropes, banners or similar articles at an

aerodrome shall be exempt from the 500 feet rule.

(i) Manoeuvring helicopters

(i) Subject to paragraph (ii), a helicopter shall be exempt from the 500 feet rule

if it is conducting manoeuvres, in accordance with normal aviation practice,

within the boundaries of a licensed or Government aerodrome or, with the

written permission of the CAA, at other sites.

(ii) When flying in accordance with this exemption the helicopter must not be

operated closer than 60 metres to any persons, vessels, vehicles or

structures located outside the aerodrome or site.

(j) Dropping articles with CAA permission

Any aircraft shall be exempt from the 500 feet rule if it is flying in accordance

with:

(i) article 66(3)(f) of the Order (dropping of articles for the purposes of public

health or as a measure against weather conditions etcetera, with the

permission of the CAA); or

(ii) an aerial application certificate granted by the CAA under article 68(2) of the

Order.

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so the 1500ft rule has now been reduced to 1000ft? :):)

For some reason I thought that there was an exemption to the foot launch aircraft deregulation that prevents paramotors from flying over any built up areas, period :?:

I am very happy to be wrong in this case :D

Can anyone give me a link to the rules re foot launched aircraft rules?

Cheers

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It is, or was, forbidden to overfly populated areas somewhere. I saw it written. I think it's in the US. Their cities are bigger of course.

How were things left with the local police Dan. ie. Do you have to meet them for further discussion ? I guess they will be researching the rules for themselves. Did they take issue with the noise ? Or was it just the height AGL that concerned them ?

Dave

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It is, or was, forbidden to overfly populated areas somewhere. I saw it written. I think it's in the US. Their cities are bigger of course.

How were things left with the local police Dan. ie. Do you have to meet them for further discussion ? I guess they will be researching the rules for themselves. Did they take issue with the noise ? Or was it just the height AGL that concerned them ?

Dave

Hi Dave

To be honest, this was totally my fault because I was so busy taking photos of the village, (from above the legal height), that I forgot about the police accomodation/station/jail(holding cells), which is a large building elavated at the side of and way above the village. (the village is in a valley), and proabably came a bit too close to it for their liking, although no closer than 700 ft

They came to speak to me because the head honcho saw me and sent them to tell me to stay away from the station, which is fair enough.

However, they were clearly unsure of the law regarding low flying aircraft, and were under the impression that the guidelines issued by the Federation of Paramotor pilots for Andalucia is in fact the law i.e. In that a licence issued by them and insurance issued by them is actually a legal requirement.

When I told them it wasn't they said that they would look into it. I wish they would, because now I feel that I cannot fly over a place that I really like to fly over, of which I am more and more certain that I am legally entitled to. Also, from the feedback i've been getting, the people love to see a PPG fly over head.

The noise is not too much of an issue as the Spans love their 2 strokes (lawnmowers, strimmers, leaf blowers, motorbikes etc etc)

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It is, or was, forbidden to overfly populated areas somewhere. I saw it written. I think it's in the US. Their cities are bigger of course.

How were things left with the local police Dan. ie. Do you have to meet them for further discussion ? I guess they will be researching the rules for themselves. Did they take issue with the noise ? Or was it just the height AGL that concerned them ?

Dave

Hi Dave

To be honest, this was totally my fault because I was so busy taking photos of the village, (from above the legal height), that I forgot about the police accomodation/station/jail(holding cells), which is a large building elavated at the side of and way above the village. (the village is in a valley), and proabably came a bit too close to it for their liking, although no closer than 700 ft

They came to speak to me because the head honcho saw me and sent them to tell me to stay away from the station, which is fair enough.

However, they were clearly unsure of the law regarding low flying aircraft, and were under the impression that the guidelines issued by the Federation of Paramotor pilots for Andalucia is in fact the law i.e. In that a licence issued by them and insurance issued by them is actually a legal requirement.

When I told them it wasn't they said that they would look into it. I wish they would, because now I feel that I cannot fly over a place that I really like to fly over, of which I am more and more certain that I am legally entitled to. Also, from the feedback i've been getting, the people love to see a PPG fly over head.

The noise is not too much of an issue as the Spans love their 2 strokes (lawnmowers, strimmers, leaf blowers, motorbikes etc etc)

Is it possible to fly over the other side of the village away form the station

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Is it possible to fly over the other side of the village away form the station

Absolutley Pete, but I just feel that, foolishly, I've now got their attention, which I really don't want.

Maybe I'll leave it a while, then creep back at 3k ft and slowly get lower as the weeks go by :|

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Is it possible to fly over the other side of the village away form the station
Absolutley Pete, but I just feel that, foolishly, I've now got their attention, which I really don't want.

Some of us have said that for a while now Dan

Dave

"There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about" (Oscar Wilde)

Fill your boots Dave :wink:

As it happens, I bumped into one of the coppers tonight (off duty) in the village. He told me that they only came down to the field because their boss, who was fuming over some other matter that was happening as I flying around, had ordered them to. Now they want to come flying in the trike :)

Things are very different out here.....Dave,.... thank God :D

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