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the 500ft rule ?


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Can somebody in the know just clear something up for me please.

Can we fly below 500ft as long as we stay 500ft away from, let's just say Anything...

Or is it a min 500ft agl

Just a simple answer will do :) yes we can. No we can't. Lol

I do enjoy flying low and hope I am following the rules.

I know somebody here will know what's correct.

Many thx.


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Simple answer YES.

As long as you are 500 feet away from any person, vessel, vehicle or structure.

Here's my take:

Person - anyone not known to you and not wanting your noise.

Vessel - ships, boats, dinghies etc.

Vehicle - cars, trucks, bikes, tractors etc.

Structure - buildings, bridges, pylons. Not including (empty) roads, they are possible landing surfaces.



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Thanks Alan :)

I raised this point as i had read in the Paramotor Mag that the law in Germany, France and the UK was above 150 m.

I love flying low and anything over 1000ft doesn't really hold that much interest for me as i've seen this pleasant land many times under a parachute at these heights, that does not mean i do not like a good view every now and then ;)

Anyways thx again.

Blue skies and soft landings :)


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There is one item that is NOT in the Law, but which I add in when teaching my students, as a common sense item...

ANIMALS - Sheep (especially during Lambing season), Cows, Horses, Deer (if a privately owned herd), Pigs etc.

If you are buzzing a farmers herd of animals, you can expect they will be very p1$$ed off.

Don't do it.

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Most cow's are dumb and dont move even if your flying right at them!!!! I know a hang gliding student hit one when i was learning to fly hangies. :lol::lol: most amuuuooooozzing :roll:

But still not a good idea to fly near live stock

Not true I'm afraid. Cow's that dont live near regularly used flying sites, can be as firey as hell, if you fly near them. They might not be as dumb as they look either. For example. If the big one , with the ring in his nose, is pissed off , because you landed in his field, and he want's to use his 3/4 tonne mass to mash you and your paramotor into the ground, using his forehead.....dont assume he wont know how......run

Your first paragraph might be incorrect....the second one is correct


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  • 3 weeks later...

some bulls can be esepcially vicious for no reason, like people somedays they can be passive other days they wont hesistate to stamp on your face! when I was in hospital a guy came in the bed next to me with 4 broken ribs a broken arm and leg because a bull decided it didnt like him, he would have died had he not been able to climb back over the gate

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I once landed in a field of cows near Chesterfield somewhere....

They all very quickly ?'galloped'? towards me and I just managed to get my wing over the gate but I am sure they would have trampled it into the ground given the chance.

Last year, a dog walker in Lambourn was crushed against a gate by a small cow and ended up and A&E

They are worse that salt water crocks !!


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  • 2 weeks later...

500ft is not a stipulation of altitude. So can be 500ft laterally......

I vividly remeber climbing into a field having been swimming on a river - I got rushed by a herd of 20 odd cows and ended up sprinting the length of the field and jumping a gate just before they crashed into it!

I give them a wide berth now.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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