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Saving Ultralights From Being Banned


Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2015
Not certain if this is the correct forum or if the disscussion is actually limited to ultralights but here goes.

One of my favorite grass airports is town owned. After a recent accident the mayor & town council presented a first reading tonight (8/28/2023) of an ordinance to ban all aircraft <254 lbs. from the field. There was another accident 1-1/2 years ago that was also mentioned. The concerns were many not only with some that stood up to speak being a bit adversarial towards the town mayor & the council, but also that the propsed ordinance was not correctly written in order to ban ultralights, and even if it were correctly written and in force at the time of these two accidents it would have made no difference as both accident aircraft were properly N numbered and flown by certificated pilots. I pointed this out in my remarks to them.

Nevertheless the mayor made the point that unlicensed & uninsured aircraft posed a great liability for the town if an accident caused a lawsuit. He is correct and I cannot argue against that fact. I did approach the situtation thanking them for the airport and pointing out the asset it is to the town, how we as pilots wanted it to become a great asset through EAA and programs that we could offer, but mostly that the pilots that were there did not want accidents to happen and that we could better fix the problem by addressing the pilots as the cause of accidents and not the planes.

The mayor drives a hard bargin but held out an olive branch to say if we can come up with a program where we are properly policing ourselves and get the liability off the town they would be more than willing to look at the options we present and possibly reconsider.

The back story to the latest crash is here: Crashes in the News - Thread

In talking to the airplane owner of this last crash he tells me that the pilot was suppossed to do high speed taxis and the plane got light. I'm guessing when he pulled the power on the PUSHER aircraft he had never flown at a high rate of taxi speed the nose came up and it stalled and then turned into the hangar. Oddly enough the student pilot that let this man fly his plane was whining to me about how tough the investigation is and how he can't believe the blame he's getting for this accident. I think he was likely watching the Facebook live link when I and others stated that this accident was totally preventable and should not have happenned.

Anyway ... the point of this (too) long post is to ask for insight as to how to move forward and what to propose. There are some really good ultralight pilots on the field that I'd hate to see lose thier privileges because two guys made some poor decisions.

Should it be proposed that ultralights carry insurance like the N numbered planes do? Here is one carrier: Contact Us - O2 Sports Insurance

Would having signed waivers for the town relieving them of liability by the pilots themselves be worth the paper they are written on seeing as how no pilot could waiver away the rights of family members?

The airport has never taken federal funding but has taken state funding albeit 20 years ago.

Any ideas out there in Homebuilt Brainland?