What is the altitude limit for ULs in the US?

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1Bad88

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The highest that you can go is dependent on airspace, but the class E limit would be 17,999 MSL
 

Topaz

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Thnx. That pretty much says there is no limit.
On a practical note, no, since it's doubtful many powered Part 103 UL's can get to 17,999'MSL. But UL sailplanes most certainly could, and 17,999'MSL would be the top limit on legal altitude for any legal UL operations in US airspace.
 

goldrush

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Remember that in practice, although the Ultralight might make, (although unlikely the engine wood have enough "puff" to get you there) 17,999 feet and survive, it is very unlikely you, yourself would survive the rather slow final accent much above 12-15,000 feet, unless you have an oxygen supply:-(
 

addaon

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You can also get written exceptions to airspace limitations... there used to be an annual paragliding event at Telluride where the ceiling was lifted to (I seem to recall) 22k to give a bit of headroom for chasing thermals to the top.
 

BBerson

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A transponder is required above 10,000 MSL (48 states) for most* aircraft. Not sure if this applies to ultralight "vehicles". Sport pilots are limited to 10,000 feet. I suspect the FAA intends that ultralights stay below 10,000 feet even if the law is not explicit.
Please don't fly higher than 10,000 without a transponder and make the FAA change the ultralight rules.

*excluding, gliders, balloons and aircraft without engine driven electric system.
 

Aviator168

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Remember that in practice, although the Ultralight might make, (although unlikely the engine wood have enough "puff" to get you there) 17,999 feet and survive, it is very unlikely you, yourself would survive the rather slow final accent much above 12-15,000 feet, unless you have an oxygen supply:-(
Sure. I thought there was an altitude limit like a few thousand feet; some thing lower than the LSA limit.

A transponder is required above 10,000 MSL (48 states) for most* aircraft. Not sure if this applies to ultralight "vehicles".

*excluding, gliders, balloons and aircraft without engine driven electric system.

Once I put those equipment in, I am probably be over the empty weight limit.
 

Topaz

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Sure. I thought there was an altitude limit like a few thousand feet; some thing lower than the LSA limit.
That's the beauty of Part 103. So long as you don't put other people in danger, you're free to be as stupid and reckless as you want. And flying an already marginal ultralight to 17,999'MSL surely qualifies... ;)
 

JamesG

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I thought there was an altitude limit like a few thousand feet; some thing lower than the LSA limit.
SHUUSHHHH!!! Don't let the FAA know they overlooked another restriction for Part 103!

Once I put those equipment in, I am probably be over the empty weight limit.
Put bungie hooks or dzus fasteners on them and call them "luggage". ;)
 

Aviator168

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SHUUSHHHH!!! Don't let the FAA know they overlooked another restriction for Part 103!
Yeah, right!



Put bungie hooks or dzus fasteners on them and call them "luggage". ;)
Hahaha. I rather install a BRS.

you're free to be as stupid and reckless as you want. And flying an already marginal ultralight to 17,999'MSL surely qualifies...

Not really.
<span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); background-color: rgb(250, 250, 250);">[video=youtube;Js2QSRJSn4E]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Js2QSRJSn4E[/video]
 
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Dana

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I always thought the limit was 17,999 but I just looked and there are no altitude restrictions of any kind in Part 103. It does say:
§103.17 Operations in certain airspace.

No person may operate an ultralight vehicle within Class A, Class B, Class C, or Class D airspace or within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport unless that person has prior authorization from the ATC facility having jurisdiction over that airspace.
Realistically, this is effectively a requirement to stay below 18,000', but if one could get permission from ATC (unlikely), one could legally fly an ultralight much higher, but legally it's no different from obtaining permission to operate in class B (rare), C (almost as rare), or D (often allowed) airspace.

Re transponders, there is no requirement for an ultralight to have a transponder over 10,000' since that's a Part 91 requirement and ultralights aren't subject to the rules in Part 91. However, ATC could (likely would) require one as a condition to operate in class A airspace. An IFR flight plan is normally required to operate in class A airspace.

Dana

Beware of strange faces and dark dingy places, be careful while bending the law...
 

addaon

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And of course if you can get permission to transit class A, you can spend as long as you'd like VFR in overlying Echo... might be a bit chilly, bring a pressure suit.
 

JamesG

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Next hypothetical in this vein... you use a booster of some sort to get up to high altitude. Doesn't have to be a conventional rocket either, could be another UL that is optimized for low alt.
 

Aviator168

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All these tricks are cool. But still, there is a speed limit, which make an UL can't be used for serious traveling.
 
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