Low-Flying Paragliders Irk Some Homeowners

FAA Laws On Paragliders Ambiguous

Some homeowners in Franklin Township are fed up with motorized paragliders that they claim fly too close to their properties, disrupting their peace and quiet.

Joe and Virginia Harris have complained for years about the noise the low-flying aircraft create, 6News' Joanna Massee reported.

"It gets very annoying and stuff when you're trying to do yard work or anything like that and these things come in. They're very loud," Virginia Harris said. "They will descend and more or less kind of buzz you in a way."

"It's kind of like an invasion of privacy. You want to feel safe and secure in your own property," Joe Harris said.

Neighbors Harold and Cora Beasley echoed the Harrises' concerns.

"You're afraid to go out in your back yard. I was out there with my grand kids and here they come. You never know when they're going to come over," Cora Beasley said. "It's irritating."

Federal aviation rules ban paragliders from flying over congested areas, but the definition of the term is determined on an individual basis, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Tony Molinaro told 6News via email.

"The determination must take into consideration all circumstances, not only the size of an area and the number of homes or structures, but for example, whether the buildings are occupied or people are otherwise present, such as on roads," Molinaro wrote.

State Rep. Mike Speedy, R-Indianapolis, said he has now been researching the law governing gliders in response to the concerns.

"Constituents have made several calls to me and then followed up with emails," Speedy said.

Speedy said he is sensitive to the property owners' right to enjoy their own back yard.

But other neighbors said they don’t mind the paragliders. Michael Karpinski said he and his children enjoy watching them fly over their house.

"We see them every day and it's kind of neat,” he said. “My kids have grown up with them flying overhead.”