Part103 in every way but does not meet stall speed? Thoughts?

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Bigshu

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Recent, no, and I'm not going to keep digging. Things may have changed since the '70s and early '80s.
Well, since your examples would have been from the 70s and 80s, and you don't have recent gripes with the FAA, it sounds like hearsay. Seriously, if you've got a bone to pick with the FAA from 40 or 50 years ago, that's a long time to hold a grudge, especially since any FAA enforcement folks from back then are probably long retired or dead...
 

Regdor

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This is probably an extremely dumb question, but how does the build of an UL get deemed compliant by the FAA? Does the builder have to keep a log and get checked on by an examiner like an EAB build? Is there an airworthiness certificate issued? Is there a mandatory flight time number to hit before you can fly XC, or a test area assigned? I'm missing how the FAA is involved since they kind of seem to want to ignore ULs.
FAA Advisory Circular 103-7 & 103-6
 

J.L. Frusha

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Well, since your examples would have been from the 70s and 80s, and you don't have recent gripes with the FAA, it sounds like hearsay. Seriously, if you've got a bone to pick with the FAA from 40 or 50 years ago, that's a long time to hold a grudge, especially since any FAA enforcement folks from back then are probably long retired or dead...

I do not have a bone to pick with the FAA. It was happening, at a time when the ultralight crowd was very active and not well educated on what they can do, where they can fly, etc. It can still happen. Heck, some part 103 airplanes are one heavy coat of paint away from becoming Experimental Airplanes. It has happened and is something to be aware of, just as there are "AN" parts that are sub-standard, yet sold as if they were acceptable.
 
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TFF

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When the FAA issues an AD, who does the leg work? The manufacturer. See many ADs on vintage airplanes? No. No support. When the FAA issued the strut ADs for Piper, Taylorcraft, and Aeronca, the FAA had to. X-ray machine to inspect a Cub is over the top. The Aeromatic could be the hot new thing and 10,000 sold. That is what the FAA is scared about. They don’t know how many till too late. They had to reword LSA rules because it loopholed the first version. While I’m sure there was issues at Aeromatic, once the FAA had the sights on it, it was over.

I would disagree on past times being less knowledgeable. I would say more than today. There were two types originally. The anarchist hippy of the air and the tweed jacketed professor type. One was into it because it was beating the system. Beating the man. The other was for the intellectual challenge of 254 lbs. Then came the regular pilots. The loophole for instruction in a two seater became the unofficial LSA before LSA. They could fly the wife and call it instruction. Pushing the legal envelope is what got the whole mess twisted up.
 

radfordc

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I do not have a bone to pick with the FAA. It was happening, at a time when the ultralight crowd was very active and not well educated on what they can do, where they can fly, etc. It can still happen.

I'm going to call BS unless you can give an actual incident. I have heard so many scare stories of the FAA coming down on ultralights with no evidence at all. Just tell us what happened.
 

Chopndrag

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As long as the paperwork matches the plane I seriously doubt the FAA is going to come out with scales and weigh a ultralight. There are plenty of so called fat ultralight airplanes out there flying . Don't break any flight rules and you don't have anything to worry about.
 

Chopndrag

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Oh and BTW even though a sonerai 2 is listed as experimental it barely falls under the lsa guidelines so the faa has those numbers classes. If you build it heavier faster or whatever they don't really care at all they go by published numbers by the manufacturer period so all the bickering over weight, stall speed etc is pointless. The guidelines are there for classes and that's it. If your plane weighs a few pounds over to be a ultralight they don't care because they aren't going to inspect it anyway unless you corkscrew it into the ground. On another note how many people have been pulled over in the sky to check their cruise speed for lsa ? None. Keep to flight rules and don't worry about petty crap just build and fly plain and simple
 

Dana

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As long as the paperwork matches the plane I seriously doubt the FAA is going to come out with scales and weigh a ultralight.

But there is no paperwork for an ultralight.

I'm going to call BS unless you can give an actual incident. I have heard so many scare stories of the FAA coming down on ultralights with no evidence at all. Just tell us what happened.

It has happened, but it's rare. There was a well documented case of a rogue FAA inspector harassing ultralight pilots some years back. I forget the details, as I recall the FAA had other issues with him and he was assigned to other duties.
 

Chopndrag

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Papa
But there is no paperwork for an ultralight.



It has happened, but it's rare. There was a well documented case of a rogue FAA inspector harassing ultralight pilots some years back. I forget the details, as I recall the FAA had other issues with him and he was assigned to other duties.


[/QUOTE
Paperwork I was referring to was the published numbers the manufacturer has. And the rogue inspector is out there but rarely around any airports a ultralight would fly out of. I heard the ramp check horror stories but in my 20 plus years of flying never heard of one happening.
 

J.L. Frusha

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The last case I know of was one that chased an ultralight down a beach and issued a citation for flying within a mile of a house.

 

Aeroboi

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When was the last time you saw an FAA inspector sitting on the side of a runway with a radar gun?
 

emotodude

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Let's be clear. Ultralights Vehicles are not "aircraft". Go read part 103. The FAA says these are not aircraft, and therefore they want nothing to do with them. This is literally the point of p103, it absolves the FAA of any responsibility, they don't want it.
 

J.L. Frusha

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When was the last time you saw an FAA inspector sitting on the side of a runway with a radar gun?

Why would one be beside a runway, with a radar gun? Take-off and landing speeds are irrelevant. Not everyone stalls into landing and take-off speed has no relevance to maximum air speed in straight and level flight, not to mention there no way to account for ground effect for every airplane.
 

J.L. Frusha

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Let's be clear. Ultralights Vehicles are not "aircraft". Go read part 103. The FAA says these are not aircraft, and therefore they want nothing to do with them. This is literally the point of p103, it absolves the FAA of any responsibility, they don't want it.

Aircraft means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air.

.

 

Regdor

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Since Marc was talking about offering an ultralight for sale, I think common sense dictates that the manufacturer or distributor make a good faith effort to verify that the plane meets Part 103 regs if they are going to advertise it as such. Otherwise they are just opening themselves up to liability for false advertising in the lawsuit-obsessed USA. IMHO, if the designer does not want to follow through with the longer-wing, flapped version, then I would offer the MG-21 as "experimental" as is (and register your demonstrator as such) and as "Part 103" with full-span vortex generators (available for $150 delivered from AS&S) (and include them if you want your demonstrator to be Part 103).


In actual practice, VGs will make little difference if the landing gear is already set up for 3-point landings at the current speeds because landing any slower would mean hitting tail first. Still, the VGs would reduce the actual minimum speed somewhat and would allow a little more safety margin before the stall if nothing else. To my mind, that would represent a good-faith effort to ensure compliance with Part 103 especially considering that the FAA's own worksheet predicted a stall speed of 26 knots without them.

None of this prevents builders from flying an "experimental" model under Part 103, any more than it prevents them from modifying an ultralight with fairings and wheelpants and clipped wings to go faster, but none of that would be on the manufacturer or distributor.
That Ultralight 24 Knott is the Stall speed (if you can find the FAA definitive definition) it is not the landing speed !!
 
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