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Power Gliders
updated: May 10, 2014, 11:15 AM

By Dulce

Has anyone seen the small, but very loud ultra-lites or power gliders that are yellow with big wings and fly low along the coast? I am on the mesa and they come so close that they can see right into our yard.

Is someone renting them to tourists or are they private? I'm pretty easy going but this is not okay. I would like to request that they fly farther away from shore because I can't even go in our hot tub and the noise is obnoxious like a big helicopter.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 517913 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-05-10 11:39 AM

In the United States no license or training is required to fly an ultralight and they don't need to be registered. The only FAA restrictions on flying them is to do so during daylight hours over unpopulated areas (like the coastline).


 COMMENT 517948 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-05-10 03:23 PM

I did see and hear one of those fly by my Mesa home the other day. It was NOT as noisy as a big helicopter, and went by in less than a minute, so it did not bother me in the least. I only noticed it.
This reminds me of the home owner on Shoreline who complained about the noise of kites flying in the park.
And DAMN! That wind is loud today!


 COMMENT 517961 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-05-10 05:02 PM

Ultralites are essentially powered by a lawn mower engine and just off the bluffs air currents can give some exciting lift. Hence the reason paragliders like to fly the edge of the bluffs there.

But because of the engine noise and the fact it's got a 20ft wingspan against a blue sky spotting it from your perch is as easy as spotting a pimple on the tip of someone's nose. From their perspective seeing you in your hot tub is more like finding a needle in a hay field at 25-30mph.... difficult at best. Don't worry about your modesty - they won't see you and if they should they shouldn't be able to tell what it was exactly they think they saw as they wooshed by.

Please enjoy your backyard and wave at the fliers going by.... and just hope they don't wave back!! :-)


 SBFLYGIRL agree helpful negative off topic

2014-05-11 09:51 AM

My husband is a FAA certified instructor for these weight shift control trikes (WSC trikes). What you saw was not an an ultralight (it's too heavy), and therefore absolutely Do require a trained, tested and licensed pilot to fly this configuration.

961 was correct. The pilots of the weight shift trikes, hang gliders and paragliders are paying so much attention to what they are doing, they are not going to jeopardize their safety to spy into your yard. On top of that, we know our aviation sports are a privilege, so we really don't want to bother anyone.

The FAA requires these WSC trikes fly 500' away from any structures. I saw this WSC trike as he turned just past the Douglas Family Preserve, and at that time he was respecting all the applicable guidelines at that time (including being aware that flying any further north along the coast, would put him into SBA controlled airspace). Flying out much further over the ocean can be a real safety issue.

I may know this pilot, as I thought I recognized the yellow trike/wing combination. I will pass this link onto the clubs in Santa Paula and Camarillo where he flies out of, and make sure he's aware of your concerns.

To everyone else that posted, Thank You so much for your support! We fly a lot of different aircraft in the area, love our sport and hope that most people don't mind or even enjoy seeing the pretty gliders in the air.


 COMMENT 518015 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-05-11 10:29 AM

If you wish to fly a two seat weight-shift control LSA you must obtain a Sport Pilot Airman Certificate or a Private Pilot Airman Certificate. Single seat ultralight trike vehicles are less regulated and more clearly defined under Federal Aviation Regulations Part 103, where a license is not required.


 COMMENT 518124P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-05-12 07:58 AM

they are exactly like 'lawn mowers in the sky'. You can hear them coming (they are s-l-o-w) for many minutes. Seems like it takes forever for them to pass. They usually fly out of the nearest uncontrolled airfield.

thanks SBFLYGIRL for passing on concerns.


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