Pilot of a Paramotor is found guilty of flying too low

Friday, 21 January, 2022

A pilot who caused concerns over public safety and noise has been found guilty by magistrates.

Following months of partnership working on a joint investigation by Havant Borough Council, Hampshire Police and the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) a paramotor pilot has been ordered to pay more than £3,000.

Residents of Hayling Island had reported the paramotor, a paraglider wing with a petrol driven propeller that can be launched by a pilot from a standing start, regularly flying low along the seafront and over premises.

Taking the case forward the CAA gathered evidence enabling the matter to be progressed.

Following a plea of not guilty, Mr Florin Olteanu, the pilot of a paramotor aircraft, was prosecuted for flying at a height less than 500 feet above the ground and water.

Mr Olteanu was found to be in contravention of SERA.5005(f)(2), and Article 256(6) of the Air Navigation Order 2016 which resulted in a fine of £1,500. He must also pay £1,500 court costs and a victim surcharge of £150.

Councillor Narinder Bains, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Lead for Community Safety, added: “I am grateful to the council officers and the Civil Aviation Authority for bringing this prosecution. I am also thankful to the local residents for giving up their time to provide the necessary evidence in this matter, which was driven by the councils desire to provide a safe environment for residents and visitors to Hayling.”

A spokesperson for the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said: "Mr Olteanu refused to heed warnings from Havant Borough Council and flew his paramotor low along the beach and seashore, close to people and buildings, repeatedly. We would like to thank the witnesses who provided the witness and photographic evidence in this case and gave up their time to come to court to give evidence at trial.

"The rules in relation to low flying are clear and exist for the safety of everyone, and the Civil Aviation Authority will prosecute those who break the rules."

All offences took place in the vicinity of south Hayling Island.