Banning Paramotors at Marion Airport?
Apr 13, 2014 Story of possible Ultralight
discrimination | by Jeff Goin
See also Ultralights
In 1975 I flew my first aircraft, a glider, at Marion, Ohio.
Malcom Green took me up in a Schweizzer 2-33 sailplane and soon after
releasing from tow, said the magic words "you've got it." That was it, I
was hooked for life.
In about 2003 or so, having come full circle in the career, I came
back to Marion to visit friends at the glider club and fly my paramotor.
It was cool to see my old stomping grounds from this new perspective.
Today, I was saddened to learn that a paramotor friend of mine, James
Hall, who had been flying periodically for years, was told that he was
no long allowed. How terribly sad.
For one, the paramotor can be flown with the same safety as any other
craft with appropriate patterns. And apparently there was no discussion
about patterns, launch areas and so forth, he was told this was a new
Two, the airport accepts federal funds and therefore has agreed to a
number of "Grant Assurances" including #22 which requires the airport
support all kinds of aeronautical activities that it is physically able
to. Given the size and location, MNN easily falls within this ability.
I'm helping the ultralight orgs see if we can find out more. Jim
Sayers, the airport manager, has been at the airport for many years and,
in fact, towed me up in the glider several times! It's entirely possible
that the city has directed this policy and he's just the messenger.
Either way it's clearly not right and hopefully can be resolved
2014 May 15 Update The USPPA contacted Marion Airport's
management and they said that paramotors were not banned nor were
ultralights banned. As best they can tell it's something that management
and the pilot must work out.
I hope to fly at Marion airport when we
take the Enterprise back to Ohio this summer.