paramotor flying above Great Notley

Over recent years there has been a craze around here for paramotors, which take off a couple of fields away to circle around and around the fields. With none of the grace of a floating hot air balloon or the usefulness of an aeroplane, paramotors are the wasps of the aviation world. In short, they are a pesky buzzing nuisance.

When the people flying these paramotors see a walker or horse rider, their instinct is to come across to take a closer look. Then they decide to entertain us with a few swoops before they head off across the field getting so low that their feet skim the crops and they have to rise up to clear the hedge at the end. Sometimes they come in pairs and chase each other up and down the fields, ascend above the trees and dive back down.  I think they do to it impress, but quite frankly I think they’re just twits*.

Last weekend, having endured the antics of one paramotor circling around us for ages, we watched in amazement as another appeared in the distance at too low a height to clear the high voltage electricity wires. Thankfully, before he reached them, he gracefully descended into the middle of the field. It was an odd place to come down, so we assumed he had problems with his equipment and as he appeared unscathed by his descent, we weren’t too sorry for him. Not even when we calculated that he would have to walk for at least a mile carrying his motor and paraglider wing until he reached the nearest road.


*That’s possibly not the word I use while they’re buzzing above my head.



25 thoughts on “Paramotors

  1. Thankfully we do not have those here…yet! The area of France we live in is mostly dairy farmers with no time for such things. I guess these things have taken over from mountain biking! We do get the French RAF jets flying quite low as they practice over Normandy.
    It must worry cattle to have these things appear but I guess the owners never consider that. Could you have a word with your local council?surely they must be regulated?
    I hope the fad does not last long.

    1. I think some of the horse riders have complained about being buzzed. We have the phone number of the person who runs the take off field and he’s pretty good at having a word with the fliers when they get back, though by then it’s too late. Think I’d rather have paramotors than RAF jets as the jets appear from nowhere so fast and loud that they make me jump.

  2. Another interesting post Anne. Just a thought, I am in Bishops Stortford and nothing is allowed to fly around here because of restrictions from the airport. Does this go out as far as your farm?

    1. Though we’re in the Stansted flight path the planes are pretty high by the time they get here. I should be grateful that we only get paramotors at the weekend whereas Stortford get big planes every day.

    1. You’d think they’d want to fly into the distance and explore wouldn’t you? I wouldn’t mind them doing that but the endless circling is just annoying.

  3. Haha! I love the way you describe these paramotors! We see them sometimes, coming up the coast, surveying Lindisfarne from the air, and it looks truly such an amazing way to see the world. But my goodness, they would drive me mad if they flew over our garden and came closer to have a look! B****y cheek!

  4. We sometimes get paramotors along the cliff tops, riding the thermals, which I think is slightly foolhardy. The noise is irritating and I’m sure it’s extremely irritating if they’re buzzing around your home. Nosey people!

  5. [J+D] Rising above others gives the illusion of superiority and power. The rich and powerful have always followed the instinctive clamour for elevation: castles on rocks, towers, horses, Range Rovers …

    1. An interesting point of view. Must admit that I used to stand on the third step of the stairs to remonstrate with my teenagers as I felt fairly ineffectual looking up at them.

  6. We see them in summer but they tend to stick in the area of the water theme park. Probably checking out the young girls. Some do venture along the river and when there were turkeys in the fields were a bit of a menace.The turkeys are all in barns now (bird ‘flu scare of a few years ago). Not sure how my neighbour would feel if they buzzed the horses.

  7. I would be annoyed if I was out riding and a paramotor buzzed close overhead, depending on the horse it could spook possibly putting the rider in a dangerous position. Bit irresponsible of them to do that! I’ve not seen a paramotor before but we have an air field near us and there are lot of Microlights and I must admit the buzzing noise from them is also irritating, so know how you feel!

    1. I don’t suppose the possibility of spooking a horse crosses their mind. I can only imagine that they don’t realise how close it feels to someone on the ground when one of these buzzes you. Or maybe they do. Who knows.

  8. Oh my. Strapping a motor onto yourself seems an odd thing to do, even if it does make it possible to fly. Now hang gliding is peaceful. I hope they don’t land in crops!

    1. I think they can turn the motor off so that they glide but they don’t seem to do that above us. Yes, they do land in the crops sometimes, but only in an emergency.

  9. I have NO time for people flying these contraptions, they don’t seem to have any respect towards livestock or the people working with them. I was almost literally nearly crushed by stampeding dairy cows who were terrified by a low flying hot air ballon. One of the most frightening episodes of my life!

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