Sky club lobbies for smooth landing

Mark Wild takes to the sky with son Aden. He says paramotoring is no noisier than a neighbour mowing a lawn.
Mark Wild takes to the sky with son Aden. He says paramotoring is no noisier than a neighbour mowing a lawn.

Members told councillors the club could no longer use private land at Burns Beach because of complaints and an approved site in the City of Rockingham was too far for northern suburbs residents to travel.

The club has identified two possible sites north of Pinnaroo Point car park and the northern most part of Mullaloo Beach.

The council turned down the club last year because there was no suitable site and the city’s beach management plan did not recognise paramotoring (flying with a fabric wing, small engine and propeller).

The item is back before the council after the club submitted a 191-name petition from residents endorsing its request for access to suitable coastal sites.

Councillors will vote on the issue tonight.

Council officers are recommending refusal because of possible public risk and environmental concerns.

Club founder/president Mark Wild said paramotoring was a well-regulated sport, which was no noisier than a neighbour mowing a lawn.

‘It is 60 seconds from the time the motor starts until our feet leave the ground,’ he said.

‘A lot of people really think it is fantastic and incredible, and when we land we generally get a round of applause.

‘When we fly everyone waves and appreciates us flying past.’

North ward councillor Kerry Hollywood said she took residents’ calls when paramotors started up at Burns Beach.

‘As soon as they take off, dogs start barking and the people start ringing,’ she said.

Asked by Cr Philippa Taylor why the club could not fly inland such as at Whiteman Park, Mr Wild said it was unsafe for pilots.

‘The safest form of flying is up and down the coast,’ he said.

‘The air is lovely and smooth.’

In his report, corporate services director Mike Tidy said there had been 11 complaints in four years about paramotors, including use of private land, flying over houses and noise.