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Question 1: Is it illegal to parachute from a paraglider in the UK?

The jumper and pilot would know and understand what they are doing. Jump would (ideally) take place over an unpopulated body of water. There would be a briefed person on the ground to react in case of an accident. Equipment would involve BASE parachute and an unpowered tandem paraglider.

I am aware that 'normally' skydiving takes place in designated areas, with all manner of controls and regulations. This activity would take place outside of these controls, regulations, British Parachute Association etc.

Question 2: If this is illegal, is there a way that it could be made legal - as a 'stunt' or similar...?

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  • Welcome to Law! I suspect this question might also be answerable over on Aviation; if you don't get an answer here after a few days, you might want to flag the post and ask a moderator whether it can be migrated there. Sep 29 at 13:51
  • Re Q2: try asking the BHPA. I've done a few jumps myself but never dropped in water, but it sounds like fun!
    – Rick
    Sep 29 at 15:23
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    @RockApe - thank you very much for the information you have shared. It's a difficult case of not trying to bring too much attention to myself and this idea, but equally trying to be aware of the legal risks. The next mission is to recruit a willing paraglider pilot ;) Sep 29 at 15:26
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Is it illegal to parachute from a paraglider in the UK? ... This activity would take place outside of ... regulations...

YES

See Article 90(1) of the Air Navigation Order 2016:

Subject to paragraphs (9), (10) and (11), a person must not drop, be dropped or be permitted to drop to the surface or jump from an aircraft flying over the United Kingdom except under and in accordance with the terms of either a police air operator's certificate or a parachuting permission granted by the CAA under this article.

The penalty, found via Schedule 13, is at Article 265(6):

Any person who contravenes any provision specified in Part 2 of Schedule 13 is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale.

"Aircraft" is not expressly defined within the Order or in its parent - the Civil Aviation Act 1982 - but an unpowered paraglider is (in my opinion) insinuated by paragraph 3(b):

An aircraft is deemed to be in flight —

...

(b) in the case of a pilotless flying machine, or a glider, from the moment when it first moves for the purpose of taking off, until the moment when it next comes to rest after landing ...

But it would ultimately be a decision for the court to make whether it is an aircraft or not.

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    Perfect, thanks for this. However...is a paraglider classified as an aircraft? The idea is an unpowered paraglider... Sep 29 at 14:09
  • From the line, "parachuting permission granted by the CAA under this article," it appears that one could petition for permission. I suspect that with the right parameters, permission might be allowed.
    – fred_dot_u
    Sep 29 at 14:24
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    I'm most interested in if there is a loophole for using an unpowered paraglider for parachuting and if this is legal/illegal or gray. Sep 29 at 14:36
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    @Caairan I've added a bit about definition of an aircraft, and I strongly suspect that the loophole you're looking for may not be there.
    – Rick
    Sep 29 at 15:20

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