Paraglider labelled ‘abusive and hostile’ brands complaints ‘lies’ and insists he is a ‘free-flying spirit’ who did not fly low to intimidate people on Sussex seafront
- Flier is accused of ruining peaceful atmosphere of Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex
- ‘He is evil and his language is obscene,’ said one resident
- Man identifying himself as the paraglider told London-based broadcaster LBC that the claims he abused people were ‘lies’
- ‘I’m a free-flying spirit,’ he told radio host James O’Brien, who addressed caller as Paul
A paraglider pilot has been accused of wrecking the tranquil atmosphere of Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, by flying dangerously close to the ground and hurling abuse at beachgoers. (Stock image)
A trip to Bexhill-on-Sea used to be a relaxing experience. But a paraglider pilot has been accused of wrecking the tranquil atmosphere by flying dangerously close to the ground and hurling abuse at beachgoers.
Police in East Sussex began investigating the rogue flier after receiving reports that he had caused criminal damage and behaved in an ‘anti-social manner’.
‘He is evil and his language is obscene,’ resident Richard Porter told The Times: ‘We fell foul of him on more than one occasion. My wife will no longer go up there in case he is there.’
Samantha Small said: ‘He flies really low. He’s a social nuisance.’
But a man identifying himself as the paraglider, speaking to London-based broadcaster LBC yesterday, said the claims he abused people were ‘lies’.
‘I’m a free-flying spirit and I live to fly and fly to live,’ he told radio host James O’Brien, who addressed the caller as Paul.
Asked if he was intimidating people on the seafront, he said: ‘No. I’m just there to fly. I fly low because I’m a paraglider pilot flying a hill which is exempt from the 500ft rule. Hill-soaring is hill-soaring.’
A man identifying himself as the paraglider, speaking to London-based broadcaster LBC yesterday, said the claims he abused people were ‘lies’. Above, Bexhill-on-Sea
Hill-soaring is a practice where a glider generates lift using wind currents as they are pushed upwards by features of the land such as ridges. It is exempt from the 500ft rule, which states all aircraft must be that far off the ground except when taking off and landing.
The man uses Galley Hill in Bexhill-on-Sea as a launch site.
Sussex Police said it had received complaints about the paraglider over the past two years. Sergeant Simon Barden said: ‘We’d like to hear from anyone who has seen or experienced aggressive or disturbing approaches from this man.’
A spokesman for Rother district council said the authority had ‘numerous interactions’ with the glider over the years and that its employees had seen him flying low along the Bexhill seafront.
He went on: ‘Most recently we received a complaint in July from a member of the public who felt endangered when he was taking off from Galley Hill.’