Paraglider Facing Charges

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An outspoken Utah businessman is facing charges after allegedly flying his powered paraglider beside and over a busy interstate. And the FAA is also considering action against "Super" Dell Schanze for the incident about 10 days ago. As AVweb told you last week, motorists doing the morning commute on I-15 on May 24 complained of a low-flying paraglider and police responded. He's charged with creating a public nuisance, a class B misdemeanor, and disorderly conduct, an infraction, according to the Deseret News. The FAA charges will likely hang on the definition of a "congested area." FAA regs prohibit operation of paragliders and other ultralights over congested areas. At the time of his arrest, Schanze claimed he flew over an open field and was more than 500 feet above the freeway, which he said was legal. Others have a different interpretation. Whatever the decision of the courts and FAA, Schanze apparently will not meekly accept their judgment. He called the Draper, Utah, police, which laid the charges, "a bunch of monkeys that don't even use their heads" and suggested the charges were laid out of personal animosity toward him. Draper Police Sgt. Jerry Allred said personalities have nothing to do with it. "I want to make it clear this has nothing to do with Dell Schanze. This is about keeping the community safe," Allred said. Some lucky judge gets to sort this out starting June 13.