Richard Dolan

Hometown: Newton Aycliffe, UK

Profession: Mechanical Engineer and Paramotor Instructor

First flight: April 2016 at 26 years old

When and how did you start to fly a paramotor?

I was the first person to get onto the “Fly to Work Scheme” while working at Parajet in 2016. I’d never even heard of a paramotor before working there and I was instantly hooked. It was my first engineering role out of University and I lucked out!

Tell us your favourite…

  • Wing: Ozone Viper
  • Motor:  FlyProducts Rider with Vittorazi Moster 185
  • Place to fly:  In the UK, flying coastal sites are unmatched but there are so many stunning places around the world. The two that stand out the most are the Pyramids of Giza and The Great Australian Bight.

What other passions do you have, or activities do you enjoy?

I enjoy videography and photography, mostly when combined with flying. When the weather doesn’t allow for flying, I still like to be outdoors doing something active like running or climbing. I’m also mechanically minded so I enjoy taking things apart or making something new.

Tell us the best advice you have on:

  • Learning to fly: Find a mentor that has good experience and who is willing to help. Not only will it keep you safe but it’s always more fun flying with others.
  • The gear:  Don’t be in a rush to progress to a more advanced wing as it could potentially set you back.
  • Progressing your skills and overcoming challenges: Be safe! Seeing talented pilots can encourage a certain drive but you might not realise how many hours of flying and training that pilot has put in. A lot of the time it simply is putting in the hours but having a plan of what you want to achieve will focus your flying and make for faster progression. The biggest thing (after safety) is to have fun with it. If you lose the passion, then your challenge will become tedious, and you’d be better moving onto something that keeps it fun. 

Please tell us more about the current … that you’re working on:

  • Mission/project: I love travelling with the paramotor, I genuinely think it’s the best way to see the world and I want to make it easier for other paramotor pilots to see these incredible places by organising paramotor tours. This way, a pilot can simply jump into an adventure without the worry of safety transport, local laws, how to get there and they’ll have an instructor to help if required.
  • Goal:  I want to travel to new countries and explore as much as I can from the air while embracing the culture wherever I am. That’s the beauty of travelling by paramotor! I also want to help pilots develop their skills and safety through guided instruction and SIV training.

Why is flying important to you, and what does flying mean to you?

As soon as I started flying, I became obsessed with it. The freedom you get and the clarity of mind when you’re in the sky is like nothing else. Whenever the weather was good, I would sneak in a lunchtime flight or go on a weekend adventure. Paramotoring became the best tool for exploring new places, I get to see beautiful scenes from the air and get up close to the people on the ground. It’s completely changed my perspective on life and what’s important which is why I do it as often as I can.

Flying accomplishments (competitions, projects, records, airshows, etc):

  • World’s First Crossing of Australia by paramotor (5100km with Andrew Twitty)
  • First UK Pilot to Rocket Loop
  • Infinity Tumble a Paramotor
  • First group of Pilots to fly the Pyramids of Giza at night
  • FlyProducts Team Pilot

Do you have any goals, dreams or plans for the next 1-2 years that you want to share?

Flying across Australia is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Since then, I’ve had several ideas running around in my head and I have some projects in the works, but I’m keeping them a secret for now until I’ve ironed out the kinks.

I also have a strong passion for acro and I’m continuously improving my skills through training. In a few years I’m hoping to fly acro display shows on the paramotor. 

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