Video: aerial footage above Exmouth by powered paraglider Gareth Jones

PUBLISHED: 16:57 05 August 2020

Gareth Jones pictured with his powered paraglider.

Gareth Jones pictured with his powered paraglider.

Picture: Gareth Jones

‘Love at first flight’ for Exmouth-based electrician Gareth Jones who shares his unusual hobby with the Journal.

In training.In training.

Gareth Jones, 48, is an Exmouth-based electrician with a high-flying passion for the thrilling sport of powered paragliding.

He explains: “Powered paragliding, or paramotoring as it is also known, is a form of ultralight aviation. I wear a back-mounted 185cc two-stroke engine with a propeller that provides enough thrust for me to take off and to climb using a paraglider.”

Getting ready for takeoff.Getting ready for takeoff.

With a full tank of fuel it’s possible for Gareth to fly for up to three hours and cover 100 miles, or climb to heights of 10,000 feet and more.

“Ever since I watched a YouTube video about this fantastic adventure sport,” he explains, “I wanted to learn to do it for myself.

Filling the sail with air.Filling the sail with air.

“In November 2019, while training with SkySchool at Lake Bornos in Spain, I took to the skies for the first time by myself and it was ‘love at first flight’.

“I’ll never forget my feet leaving the bonds of the Earth as I climbed into the sky under a fabric wing.

In training.In training.

“Eight months on and I have now flown in Oxfordshire, Somerset and Devon and logged over 20 flights, which as a rule take place in the early hours or in the evening to avoid solar thermals and strong winds.”

Gareth advises anyone wanting to get into this sport to seek out training with one of the many schools operating in the UK.

Flying over World of Country Life.Flying over World of Country Life.

See more of Gareth’s flight videos on YouTube @SwoopAdventure

Aerial view of the Exe estuary.Aerial view of the Exe estuary.

In flight near Wellington.In flight near Wellington.

In flight near Wellington.In flight near Wellington.

In training.In training.

In training with Sky School.In training with Sky School.

Approach to Exmouth Emouth Marina.Approach to Exmouth Emouth Marina.

A golden view.A golden view.

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