Minimal powered aircraft regulations - comparison by country

Homebuilt Aircraft & Kit Plane Forum

Help Support Homebuilt Aircraft & Kit Plane Forum:

haiqu

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2011
Messages
274
Location
Australia & New Zealand
The original document for your country should be consulted for full details of the regulations.
Below is a comparison of the basic regulations for a single seat aircraft.
#include <disclaimer.std>


USA - FAR Part 103 (6 Aug 2014)
Further suggestions may be made by EAA

No airworthiness certificate, type approval or flight permit
Empty weight 254 lb (115 kg) (plus floats or chute)
Fuel capacity 5 US gallons (18.9 litres)
55 kn CAS maximum
24 kn CAS engine off stall
Day VFR outside controlled airspace, etc
Pilot only
No licence, registration, inspections or medical required
Additional noteworthy limitations:
Comment:

Contact EAA - http://www.eaa.org/eaa


Australia - CAO 95.10 (12 June 2014)
Additional limitations may be set by RAA

Must be type approved by RAA
Gross weight 300 kg (660 lb) (plus floats or chute)
Fuel capacity not regulated
No maximum speed
No maximum stall
Day VFR outside controlled airspace, etc
Pilot only
RAA pilot certificate, RAA registration, medical declaration only
Additional noteworthy limitations: Privately built, wing loading < 30 kg/sq m (6.14 lb/sq ft), placards, aircraft type ratings, biennial flight review
Comment: Multi-engine permitted, but acquiring a rating would be impossible without a CPL

Contact RAA - https://www.raa.asn.au/


New Zealand - Part 103 Consolidated (10 Nov 2011)
Additional limitations may be set by Part 149 organizations

Must be type approved by Part 149 organization (RAANZ or SAC). No flight permit needed.
Gross weight 300 kg (660 lb) (plus floats or chute)
Fuel capacity not regulated
80 kn CAS cruise @ 75% power
45 kn CAS engine off stall
Day VFR outside controlled airspace, etc
Pilot only
Pilot certificate and low performance rating, CAANZ registration, annual inspection and biennial medical required
Additional noteworthy limitations: Aircraft type ratings for high performance, biennial flight review
Comment: Multi-engine permitted, but acquiring a rating would be impossible without a CPL. SAC and RAANZ each have different requirements for low performance microlights, both exceed CAANZ minima

Contact SAC - http://sportflyingnz.weebly.com/
Contact RAANZ - http://raanz.org.nz/wiki/pmwiki.php


United Kingdom - IN-2014/091 (28 May 2014)
Additional limitations may be set by BMAA or LAA

No airworthiness certificate once exemption granted
Gross weight ** 300 kg (660 lb) (plus floats or chute)
Fuel capacity not regulated
No maximum speed
35 kn CAS engine off stall
Day VFR outside controlled airspace, etc
Pilot only
Pilot licence, registration and medical required. No aircraft inspection.
Additional noteworthy limitations: Insurance required
Comment: New regulations are jolly good

** Gross weight 390 kg for 51% amateur built

Contact BMAA - http://www.bmaa.org/
Contact LAA - http://www.lightaircraftassociation.co.uk/
 
Last edited:

haiqu

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2011
Messages
274
Location
Australia & New Zealand
Canada

Transport Canada website
Further suggestions may be made by UPAC

Type approval, statement of conformity. No flight authority needed
Gross weight 165 kg (363 lb)
Fuel capacity not regulated
No maximum speed
No minimum stall
Day VFR outside controlled airspace, etc
Pilot only
Transport Canada pilot permit - ultralight, registration. Inspection? Class 4 medical - declared.
Additional noteworthy limitations: Owner constructed, wing size 15 sq m (162 sq ft) at maximum weight, insurance required
Comment: I found the Transport Canada regulations hard to follow, but I believe they are in transition. Maybe a local could fill this one in more completely, eh.

Contact UPAC - http://upac.ca/
 
Last edited:

haiqu

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2011
Messages
274
Location
Australia & New Zealand
South Africa

SACAA - LS1
Further suggestions may be made by MISASA

Type approval, authority to fly
Empty weight 330 lb (150 kg) and MTOW 638 lb (290 kg)
Fuel capacity not regulated
No maximum speed
No maximum stall
Day VFR outside controlled airspace, etc
Pilot only
MISASA MPL and Telkom radio operator's licence, registration, annual inspection and full flight crew medical required
Additional noteworthy limitations: First of type approval is complex and includes a 40 hour test period
Comment: Howzit. You guys really do have Tiger Country ...

SACAA site doesn't allow searches so not much else I can add here without ploughing through their laws. I couldn't find a copy of the LS1 document online.

Contact MISASA - http://www.weboonline.com/misasa/home.php?Store=misasa
 
Last edited:

oriol

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Messages
773
Location
Barcelona, Spain.
Thanks for doing this list!


I guess it is worth to include in it foot launched airpanes (like the swift or many paramotors). At least in UE countries, they are the closest thing to US PART 103. Although a parafan pilot or similar license is required everything is much more easy than if compared with ULMs or PPLs.


As from what I understand specific laws are going to be set for the new rising categories (microlights, parafans) to dissociate them from both hangliders/paragliders and ultralights. Of course this is going to take some time and perhaps this new rules will be the same for all the UE territory.


Worth to mention too that many UE citizen go fly parafans and the like in many north african countries (Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal...) without being required to fulfill legal paperwork, of course they do so in very remote locations not in the city centers.
On the other hand flying with conventional airplanes in there is permitted but is much more complex because of illicit traffic and the political situation between some countries etc.



Oriol
 
Last edited:

skier

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2008
Messages
1,079
Location
CT
I know it isn't what this thread is about, but it's worth pointing out that the Quickie Q-1 was designed to fly on 18 hp and the Mooney M-18 Mite was designed around 25 hp. I would consider these "Minimally powered aircraft", though neither fall under Part 103.
 

haiqu

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2011
Messages
274
Location
Australia & New Zealand
I know it isn't what this thread is about, but it's worth pointing out that the Quickie Q-1 was designed to fly on 18 hp and the Mooney M-18 Mite was designed around 25 hp. I would consider these "Minimally powered aircraft", though neither fall under Part 103.
The topic is about the minimal or lowest regulation requirements in each country for powered aircraft, not minimally power aircraft. But I can see how you made that leap.

I don't know much about the Mooney M-18 Mite at all, but having now read Wikipedia on the subject I doubt I'll ever see one. They're fairly old and very few were made with the Crosley 25hp engine. The certified versions with later engines would require the new RPL as a minimum to fly one, and would need to be maintained by a LAME. There is no path to take a certified aircraft into the microlight category in Aus/NZ judging by the manufacturing requirements. These categories are for homebuilts, kits and experimental airplanes mainly, althought there are crossover aircraft like the Jabiru that fit higher categories too.

Quickies are on the ultralight registers of both Australia and New Zealand. They usually fit the lowest category above, with a special exclusion for their slightly higher stall speed (NZ) or higher wing loading (Australia) on the basis that they're essentially a safe design and substantially meet the requirements.

It may be minimally powered but certainly isn't something you should try to fly without significant training. The owner would need a type rating as it qualifies as a high performance microlight. These slippery little guys have an 18:1 glide ratio and can float all the way down a 3000 ft runway in the ground effect. More than one experienced pilot has come away sweating after the first forced go-around and landing. :)

In any case, they really don't fit the spirit of FAR 103 since you do need a long tarred airfield to fly one. Even well mown grass strips are a challenge to them, especially with the original canard.
 
Last edited:

haiqu

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2011
Messages
274
Location
Australia & New Zealand
Thanks for doing this list!
You're welcome, Oriol.

I guess it is worth to include in it foot launched airpanes (like the swift or many paramotors). At least in UE countries, they are the closest thing to US PART 103. Although a parafan pilot or similar license is required everything is much more easy than if compared with ULMs or PPLs.
I know nothing about 'em, but this list is about 3-axis powered airplanes so it would probably require a separate topic. As far as I know they're covered by hang gliding associations in Aus/NZ, along with 2-axis aircraft and so on. And it gets even more complex now that there is a certified JetPack under test in New Zealand ...

As from what I understand specific laws are going to be set for the new rising categories (microlights, parafans) to dissociate them from both hangliders/paragliders and ultralights. Of course this is going to take some time and perhaps this new rules will be the same for all the UE territory.
Yes, anything new takes time. Or as I like to say, "Incremental change is acceptable to governments, but large change is regarded as excremental."

Worth to mention too that many UE citizen go fly parafans and the like in many north african countries (Morocco, tunisia, Senegal...) without being required to fulfill legal paperwork, of course they do so in very remote locations not in the city centers. On the other hand flying with conventional airplanes in there is permitted but is much more complex because of illicit traffic and the political situation between some countries etc.
I noticed earlier today that even Mount Everest has been conquered by Parafan. Amazing stuff.
 

bmcj

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Messages
13,827
Location
Fresno, California
I know it isn't what this thread is about, but it's worth pointing out that the Quickie Q-1 was designed to fly on 18 hp and the Mooney M-18 Mite was designed around 25 hp. I would consider these "Minimally powered aircraft", though neither fall under Part 103.
And don't forget Leonn Davis's planes.
 

haiqu

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2011
Messages
274
Location
Australia & New Zealand
And don't forget Leonn Davis's planes.
Another obscure reference. Leeon only released plans for the DA-2 which was a two place airplane, thus it wouldn't fit any of the above categories. The single place DA-11 was a beautiful design, though a 100% metal build would probably be silly these days. Very 1950s thinking, like the Thorp designs.

Edit: Just discovered the DA-5 single seater. Still, a 65hp Continental isn't common or cheap here.
 
Last edited:

haiqu

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2011
Messages
274
Location
Australia & New Zealand
You might want to combine the info from this topic with this one?

http://www.homebuiltairplanes.com/forums/rules-regulations-flight-safety-better-pilots/8904-regulations-aircraft-certification.html

Then everything is put together.
This is pretty much a summary of the basics for the lowest category of single place airplanes. Not really trying to provide a link to all the regulations, the national recreational aviation bodies do that job fairly well, especially with regard to flight training. The cross link is appreciated, but it seems to only cover Europe and USA before waffling off into a conversation about motorcycles.

A summary of the basics for the EU region would be greatly appreciated if it doesn't vary too much from one country to another. I suspect it's complex though, and the language issues preclude me from doing it. As for Asian countries, who knows?
 

autoreply

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2009
Messages
10,765
Location
Rotterdam, Netherlands
This is pretty much a summary of the basics for the lowest category of single place airplanes. Not really trying to provide a link to all the regulations, the national recreational aviation bodies do that job fairly well, especially with regard to flight training. The cross link is appreciated, but it seems to only cover Europe and USA before waffling off into a conversation about motorcycles.
Hence the idea to combine it. 90% of the regulations concerns the smallest categories, above that it's plain simple EASA, only 3 categories.

One of my moderator privileges is to cut up thread and posts. If it makes for a single, topic with all the info combined, I could do that.
A summary of the basics for the EU region would be greatly appreciated if it doesn't vary too much from one country to another. I suspect it's complex though, and the language issues preclude me from doing it. As for Asian countries, who knows?
Much is in that topic already.
 

haiqu

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2011
Messages
274
Location
Australia & New Zealand
Hence the idea to combine it. 90% of the regulations concerns the smallest categories, above that it's plain simple EASA, only 3 categories.
You may be missing the point of this post. In Australia alone there are several other pieces of legislation covering alternate categories, including homebuilts (e.g. 95.32 & 95.55). None of that is relevant to someone who simply wants to know the minimal legal requirement to get airborne solo, and wading through it all is pretty tedious. My rationale when this began was to discover the closest thing to FAR 103 in every country that I could easily decipher, hoping that others would continue it with local knowledge in non-English speaking countries.

Each country has its own style of legislation and often you need to re-read the whole lot multiple times and cross-reference it to other laws to finally get an idea of what is and isn't allowed. On top of that, certain parts of the administration of recreational aviation may have been "farmed out" to non-government organisations whose operating rules can be quite difficult to comprehend. As an example, Australia's CAO 95.10 - on which the entry for Australia is based - covers some basic requirements then gives a list of exemptions from other laws, which all need to be read to understand the full meaning. Registration and training both fall under the Recreational Aviation Australia organization. Both Australian and New Zealand legislation is very much like this, to the extent that the peak bodies and government aviation employees often given out wrong answers to enquiries, and are surprised to be corrected.

Example: I was told by one NZ microlight organization that my prototype homebuilt needed a test pilot. The law doesn't say that at all for the case of low performance microlights, which fall into a specific subset defined by only one of the Part 149 bodies [Part 149 in NZ defines organizations that control microlight aviation under licence to the government, represented by CAA NZ]. They also insisted I need a type rating to fly it, which is again somewhat incorrect according to NZ law in that it can be circumvented for a unique design.

One of my moderator privileges is to cut up thread and posts. If it makes for a single, topic with all the info combined, I could do that.
Well you could, but I feel it would be better adding more linked entries for the missing countries in the other thread and leaving this one as is. They serve different purposes.

Much is in that topic already.
Not really, except as a quick reference to find the relevant legislation. The data still has to be looked up, read, evaluated and condensed by the interested party, which is a big ask for a beginner. Simply providing links doesn't give them any more data than can be had from any aviation organization. I think you'll also find that the UK data is out of date, as of May 2014 they relaxed the whole game.
 
Last edited:

BBerson

Light Plane Philosopher
HBA Supporter
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
15,069
Location
Port Townsend WA
Glad to see the rules posted here.
A summary of the logic used by all the countries would be interesting.
Everybody seems to think the U.S. Part 103 is the least restrictive. Yes, it is the least restrictive with regard to pilot registration. But the "vehicle" as defined in 103 is very restrictive. The other countries allow much more aircraft weight and performance.
I wish we had the option to use or apply for a permit to substitute another countries rules. For me, since I have a pilot certificate, the rules in other countries suit me better.
 

haiqu

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2011
Messages
274
Location
Australia & New Zealand
Glad to see the rules posted here.
A summary of the logic used by all the countries would be interesting.
Everybody seems to think the U.S. Part 103 is the least restrictive. Yes, it is the least restrictive with regard to pilot registration. But the "vehicle" as defined in 103 is very restrictive. The other countries allow much more aircraft weight and performance.
I wish we had the option to use or apply for a permit to substitute another countries rules. For me, since I have a pilot certificate, the rules in other countries suit me better.
I'm fairly sure you have similar rights but that they're in a different format. For instance in Australia, for the case of a low performance ultralight, or one which has been homebuilt (51% rule), we can do our own maintenance. In the US you simply need to do some kind of EAA maintanance course. There are also provisions for people who can't make the full medical requirements, and so on.

I haven't been right through the FAA rules but the main complaint I hear is from people wanting to fly something heavier than 254lb with no licence or registration at all, which IMHO would be a Bad Idea(tm) due to the damage that could be caused by the momentum of such an aircraft in an accident, and the inability to hold anyone responsible for that damage.

The logic used down here is meshed with the history of minimal aviation, and came about due to extended negotiations and compromises reached between the Australian Ultralight Federation (now RAA) and the Department of Aviation (now CASA). It's a mess but it seems to work in most cases.

But believe me you really don't want to be forced to have type approvals, pilot certificate, RAA membership, registration, medicals, wing loading limits, warning placards, instruments, type ratings and flight reviews just to be allowed fly a minimal ultralight. On top of owning and storing and fuelling and maintaining an aircraft, it just gets too darned expensive and drags on long enough to disuade most people eventually.

Hell, I can't even fly a hang-glider any more without a licence.
 
Last edited:
Top