Photos: Paramotor Seen Flying Over Bermuda

May 7, 2015

[Updated] A somewhat unusual sight was spotted in the skies this morning [May 7] as a paramotor took flight, with the motorized steerable parachute making its way over Bermuda.

According to the British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association’s website, “Paramotors [also known as a Powered Paragliders] combine the easy flying characteristics of a paraglider with the autonomy and range of powered flight.

“Paramotors are relatively easy to learn to fly, and being foot launched, do not need an airfield or runway. They can take-off from an open, flat field.”

“This simplest of all powered aircraft consists of a small motor driving a propeller, worn like a backpack under a paraglider wing and providing thrust to take off, climb and maintain level flight.

“Once airborne, the paramotor can be used to motor along and watch the world go by beneath you or, if conditions permit, soared in thermal lift to make long cross-country flights.

“The motor can be stopped and restarted in the air, with many having electric starters, enabling the pilot to adapt his or her flight to the prevailing conditions.”

The Department of Civil Aviation said they are actively looking for the individual operating the paramotor, so if you know anything please contact Mr. Tariq Lynch-Wade at 299-8625 or email talynchwade@gov.bm.

Update 4.41pm: The Department of Civil Aviation told Bernews the search is over and the matter is closed as following our initial post this morning, they spoke with the gentleman who flew the paramotor and are “satisfied that he operated the unit considering safety and best practices.”

Photos of the Paramotor this morning by Kimberly Hughes

Motorised parachute (4)

Motorised parachute (3)

Motorised parachute (2)

bermuda paramotor

Motorised parachute (1)

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Comments (39)

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  1. Yes I says:

    Where did he get trained?? I want one!!

  2. Triangle Drifter says:

    It sure is a good thing Government Depeartments don’t have phones that work between them or people who can figure out that maybe, just maybe, make a call to customs can track down who brought it in.

    Other than noise these things are hardly a threat to anything but the birds. Don’t think anyone would attempt flying it close to any runway approach path.

    Wait for it. Something else for the powers that be to say “NO” to.

    • Yes I says:

      Not at all. There is some law that allows these things. I’m sure they just need to verify that this person has all his “screws”.

  3. Island Girl says:

    Great way to commute to work!

  4. Family Man says:

    This is Bermuda; there’s probably a law against that. If not, there soon will be.

  5. damn.... says:

    hah There is only one person I know on Island that would pull this off. It was only a matter of time. Can we make this legal so I can join?

  6. damn.... says:

    Why is everything fun illegal in Bermuda? Where is the skydive drop zone (prob the most picturesque jump zone in the world), where are the LONG ziplines down south shore (build out of telephone poles so it blends in and can be removed without damage to land), where is the bungee jumping (use a crane, again so it is temporary) Where is the flight school to learn how to fly airplanes?….Why does Bermuda Have to be sooo lame when it comes to this stuff? Maybe if there were some more adrenaline pumping activities out there, kids would be less inclined to do drugs when looking for a high. Anyways, back to work…yawn.

    • Good point says:

      Good point!

    • Toodle-oo says:

      I would be the last to argue that these are a load of fun but let’s be realistic here . (That’s a diplomatic way of saying ‘please use your brains’)
      Have you seen the restrictions and regulations for the use of the newfangled drones ? They’re barely the size of the propeller on this thing . Why ?
      Because of the concerns to commercial aviation .
      We’re a tiny speck with one airport so these things are never going to be far from flight paths no matter which way you look at it . Anywhere else in the world they can be freely used in the country side and be 100 miles away from the nearest airport .

      Do you remember when there was a guy who did helicopter charters about 23 years ago ? As soon as he started there was an uproar about the constant noise and threats to people’s privacy as they lounged in their back yards or around the pool.
      A couple of these things are going to quickly raise the same ire.

      And all of those wonderful things that you suggested ought to be done require people with money willing to take a chance , where are they ?
      Or are you suggesting that government does it ?

      • damn.... says:

        If we can parasail and fly kites then it should work fine…It just needs to be regulated with altitude restrictions, no fly zones near airport (radius TBD), certain fly times (no night flights), must stay above xxxft while over land etc… Bermudas airport is really not that busy compared to most. This guy above did it with no communication with ATC and i’m sure did not encounter any close calls. Imagine if regulations were in place, it will be fine.

        • Toodle-oo says:

          Like all those ‘regulations’ we have on the road . They work out really well too , don’t they ?

          • damn.... says:

            for the ones that abide by them, Yes. Typically someone who is operating something that flies has a bit more common sense.

            • Toodle-oo says:

              There was a recent Germanair crash that unfortunately lays that theory to rest . Not to mention about 6 others that come to mind .

              • question says:

                Bernews: can you follow up with civil aviation as to what exactly the rules are on this? I want to buy one. How do you go about doing this?

              • uhh says:

                There were 12 commercial aviation crashes in 2014 killing 761 people out of the approx 30,000,000 commercial aviation flights. Out of those 12 only one of them (as far as we know) was deliberate. Assuming all 12 were pilot error or “lack of common sense” (even though 1 is confirmed engine failure) the percentages of pilots that lack common sense is 0.0000004%. I say its pretty safe and you are just arguing because this isnt something you would ever do….shhhh go rain on someone elses parade

                • Toodle-oo says:

                  You have to dig a bit further back than 2014 .
                  This is in fact something I would like to do.
                  I’m not a hater. You sound like all those people who believe that anyone who says anything negative about Bermuda , no matter how factual , is a non Bermudian .

                  • damn.... says:

                    basically your germanwings comment is irrelevant

    • inna says:

      Dont wait! Do it!!

    • That's not fun says:

      You sound very….vanilla.

      • damn.... says:

        yes, you are correct…but more importantly I have huge cojones

    • DC says:

      Guess what? We do have a flight school here – Ground Aviation run by Pete Wilson!!! So that’s one down!!

      • Heads up says:

        You are correct… “Ground” aviation.

  7. JohnBoy says:

    Don’t try to land on the Cabinet grounds. You may get shot down!

    • PBanks says:

      Doubt it, considering people are able to write graffiti across the buildings without consequence

  8. Paraglider Pilot says:

    Bon vol mon ami!

  9. umjussayin says:

    I saw one of these for the first time last year while vacationing in the Azores. I think they’re pretty cool, but if your going to do it do it right, get permission don’t ruin it for others.

  10. concerned ambassador says:

    He was a passenger off one of the visiting yachts.

  11. tom says:

    A visitor by boat. Probably missing a few screws and didn’t know that it was illegal.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Which just goes to show you that because you can operate one doesn’t mean you have a lot of common sense.

      I bet that a lot of commercial pilots regard them as the cockroaches of the sky when in the wrong hands. Just like knowledgeable boaters regard jet skis .

  12. curious says:

    That would be awesome to watch the Americas Cup

    • Toodle-oo says:

      2 different wind parameters required .
      The one to comfortably and safely operate a paramotor means that the AC boats will be doing about 10 knots .

      • uhh says:

        Toodle-oo, where are you getting your facts? Sounds like opinions…

        Paramotors takeoff wind speed limit is 25KPH…AC45′s are capable of traveling approx twice the wind speed which would let them travel 50KPH at safe operating speeds for Paramotors…GO HOME Toodle-oo, you’re a hater.

  13. Buck-a-Roo says:

    In relation to airspace regulation and management, were one of these to breach the safe operating radius around the airport, how exactly do you suggest the aviation authority gets the ‘pilot’ clear of the vicinity quickly and safely?

    Operators of these Paramotors don’t generally carry any form of civil aviation comms or nav equipment (radios or transponders). How would you suggest communicating with them when they’re in breach of controlled airspace? Flags? Semaphores?

    Bermuda is currently a Class D airspace – meaning there is a cleared radius of 5 nautical miles around the centre of the operational airfield. Changes to this are being considered according to this:

    “2015. February 13. Bermuda’s modernization of its air traffic management will allow the Island to become a certified air navigation service provider, Transport Minister Shawn Crockwell told Members of Parliament this morning upon resumption at the House of Assembly. “Significant costs” involved in the process will be recouped in user charges, Mr Crockwell added. The Island’s certification as a provider would allow Bermuda to expand its area of airspace for air traffic management from the existing five-mile radius, out to as much as 50 miles — and potentially farther “at a much later stage”, Mr Crockwell said. Expanded operations should be in place to support “the anticipated increase in flight operations surrounding the upcoming America’s Cup”. The updates came as the Transport Minister rose to inform the House of his London visit in December, accompanied by local aviation officials, to present the findings of the Bermuda Approach Control and Airspace Modernization Feasibility Survey.”
    Flight is a serious matter. These are not toys. There are a host of safety considerations that need to be taken into account before making a decision on legalisation of this ‘activity’.

    Have a bit of cop-on here. Just because you have the means to indulge doesn’t automatically give you the right to.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Be careful there … you’ll be branded as a stodgy old kill joy by everyone who wants everything they see without thinking of the existing and potential ramifications.

      • Buck-a-Roo says:

        Not bothered. Been called worse by worse. :-)

  14. Christopher Notorius says:

    Way too much fun for stodgy old Bermuda. It will be made illegal very just like most things that could be regarded as e citing. Bermuda as usual will legislate itself back to Victorian times.

  15. just say no says:

    Good idea in america where there are huge tracts of land to glide over, but in bermuda which is tiny and almost entirely private housing it is a stupid idea and invasion of privacy.

    people flying around with gliders, copter cameras etc are a violation of our rights to privacy, but the people using them get away with it because our lawmakers have no gonads or brains to pair with them.

    some people who use all these flying apparatus snicker to themselves how they get to peep at everyone and girls and women.

    stupid!

    wanna go do it, do it im america

    and i have seen a documentary on how lethal and dangerous such flying manned devices are, and watched one with a family crash into the ocean and almost drown on it while strapped in.