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MikePousson

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I think it would be very difficult to hide a fat ultralight, especially if a 4 stroker was hung on the front. Maybe a D Motor. They’re semi light.I dont know that there better than a 2 stroke though.


We are a little restricted up here in Canada, but not enough to complain. There’s other stuff to complain about. There is no ultralight category. It’s called light plane category. Any single or 2 passenger plane has a max MTOW of 1232#
BULA (basic ultralight airman) allows you to fly any plane in that category. Training is 5 hours dual and 5 hours solo and the other usual minimums. Turn in a self declared Class 4 Medical to Transport Canada and get a ticket for 5 years.
AULA (advanced) allows you to carry a passenger. I think it’s just another 5 hrs training.
A buddy up here has a Sonex Onex flies with a BULA.
One freedom up here that not available for US fliers is to fly across the border. With advance paperwork permission from FAA, an 180 day permit can be gotten for a BULA or AULA pilot to fly into USA. A minimum single 2 hr cross country is all that’s required.
To fly into Canada, a private pilot certificate and medical is required. Sport Pilots are not recognized. Crazy, huh.
 
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Turd Ferguson

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that we have this stupid 254 pound ultralight rule? It makes no sense to me... it seems to me that taking it to three hundred pound limit, excluding a power plant, would result in a much safer and doable design that would enable far more people to participate... Look at the EMG-6 https://electricmotorglider.com/ you can build it as an a 103 platform and if you do anything to improve it wham it now has to classified as an Experimental... I think that 254 pound rule is asinine... it may be time to march on Washington... what group of morons came up with that number anyway??? Boot them out.
According to the preamble, the original 155 lb wt limit was raised to accommodate powered ultralights. During the comment period several people suggested 115 kilograms as the max weight. The FAA surveyed all powered ultralights on the market at that time and most appeared to be well within that weight limit so there you have 254 lbs. This weight does not include the weight of safety devices or floats. The "group of morons" that came up with that number were people (citizens) who took the time to participate in the rulemaking process. They essentially wrote the reg and the FAA rubber stamped it. There were also comments that suggested the wt should be 220 or 330 to meet international standards. There are no international standards so that argument was tossed (note: if you are going to make an argument, base it on fact not heresay). It would not matter if the weight were 450 lbs, someone would put on their grumpy pants and demand the weight be raised to accommodate their agenda, kinda like LSA. The line has to be drawn somewhere and 254 is where it was drawn.

One is absolutely free to petition the FAA to change the weight by following the rulemaking process in Subchapter B Part 11 located here: https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=1fdb1a22f9e5a0d7f9ca6d9b7c5cb1e5&mc=true&node=pt14.1.11&rgn=div5
The process is outlined step by step so that even a moron could follow it. The FAA is required by law to consider any petition to change a reg. Hopefully one makes a logical, fact based argument and doesn't go off on a rant.

Interesting a number of ultralight participants don't see the weight as a limitation at all. Weibe seems to look at it as a challenge.
 

TFF

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Apr 28, 2010
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Memphis, TN
Historically it was a great triumph to get the 254. Before it had to had to have an N number. Today they wish it would go away. The aircraft were meant to be aluminum tube and sail cloth. That the Mini Max guy squeezed in almost a real airplane had the FAA say Oh Stxt. LSA was supposed to be two seat Challengers not composite race planes. Oh Shxt. Because what you want does not fit the rule is a tough pill to swallow but the truth is you can't fly for free. It costs all your effort. Yesterday at the hanger we were talking about that a P-51 costs two mill. I don't begrudge that. I hate that I was such a Schmuck for not making the money. The 1957 Ferrari I want would take $40 million. Pt 103 is supposed to be for the least choosy person to fly, not the most. For the one who will take chances that its strong enough not guaranteed. That was the original ultralights. Some smart people squeezed some more from it. No one is coming for PT 103 compliance to check unless you land on the White House lawn. The rest of the world does not understand the true freedom of no one checking on you. If you crash a 103aircraft and the FAA comes out, they will get back in their car and drive off. Not their problem. They sure are not going to fill out a report. If there would be a rule change, they will come and enforce it because today there is a fee they can collect. Right now they don't have the time. New rule would fund a new department to check. Freedom just disappeared. Protect 254 no matter what it actually turns out to be. They will not check if playing in the spirit of the rules. Fly by in a 100 mph pass and the whiny airport equalizers will call you in as a non n number plane not an overweight UL. If you are more than 15 pounds over, you were really not trying to make a true UL.
 

cpd

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Jul 24, 2008
Messages
122
Well stated TFF, Ive been flying ultralights since I was 17 (11 years and over 3000hrs now) Ive owned and flown a Legal Eagle, Quicksilver MXII, Minimax 1030R, Himax 1700, Minimax 1100R, Phantom X1 and a TBird. After all that, for the last 3 years I have really gone back to basics and I have been flying a 1982 C model WeedHopper, factory stock right down to the Chotia 460. I have about 300hrs on her and it is honestly the most fun to fly ultralight I have owned to date. light weight, rugged enough construction, a very reliable if somewhat anemic engine, and pure simple flying fun.

Chris
 

BBerson

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I do wonder if an inspector would notice a 5 imperial gallon fuel capacity. If it is possible to find a plastic fuel can marked with 5 gallons England.
My fuel tank is one gallon.

FAR 103 is good as is, no need to take a risk in changes.
What would be good is to create more alternatives for climbing a regulation ladder. There needs to be several steps with higher performance and weights and with incremental training and limited airworthiness standards. FAR 103 is lowest rung. The next step is 1320 pounds (gross) Sport Pilot. There is a need for an intermediate 490 pound (empty)class with less regulation.
 

cpd

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Jul 24, 2008
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BBerson,

I Can see a need for that...... call it SSSP (single seat sport plane) 490 empty, single seat, 14 gallons gas, 33mph max stall, 93mph max level flight, 79hp max (no 912's or jabiru's). No license to fly per say but require a documented 15hrs dual with a CFI or sport pilot CFI as well as a BFR. N register the aircraft, allow owner maintenance and require a yearly condition inspection by a Light sport repairman or A&P.

that could work...........
 

Himat

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Norway
FAR 103 is good as is, no need to take a risk in changes.
What would be good is to create more alternatives for climbing a regulation ladder. There needs to be several steps with higher performance and weights and with incremental training and limited airworthiness standards. FAR 103 is lowest rung. The next step is 1320 pounds (gross) Sport Pilot. There is a need for an intermediate 490 pound (empty)class with less regulation.
Yes, much better to introduce a new class of airplanes.
Very close to the European single seat microlight, but with an empty weight and not gross weight limit. 490 pound that is 222,2kg empty weight with a 77,8kg (171) pound pilot, within the regulations for European single seat microlight. But with no restriction on pilot mass.:gig:

Do I agree that a more reasonable set of limits would make more sense? Absolutely. European single-seat microlight rules would be fine by me: 300 kg/661 lb max gross weight (+5% for a ballistic chute or +10% for floats/hull), 80 hp max, 65 kph/40 mph/35 kt landing speed (not stall speed, sustained slow flight flaps down at that speed).
 
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BBerson

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That's about right. I would skip the BFR. It should be limited sensible rules but none that require a sign off from someone.
It's hard to get others to sign stuff. Even the FAA FSDO won't sign off an EA-B anymore.
So make everything self sign off.
 

cpd

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Jul 24, 2008
Messages
122
BBerson,

Guideline aircraft for my take on you idea was the minimax Vmax or Eros. of course then you invite the debate of why not the volksplane.......kind of like the LSA debate of if you allow the aircoupe then why not the C150?

Chris
 

BBerson

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There can be many rungs on the ladder. So let a Sport Pilot fly passengers in a C-150 after 50 hours logged total and 5 hours solo in type. Still no medical required and no night flight until he gets a Private certificate, if desired.
The medical should be for four seats.
 

BJC

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Oct 7, 2013
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97FL, Florida, USA
There can be many rungs on the ladder. So let a Sport Pilot fly passengers in a C-150 after 50 hours logged total and 5 hours solo in type. Still no medical required and no night flight until he gets a Private certificate, if desired.
The medical should be for four seats.
Some of the more experienced people here may remember that, in the early days of EAA, there was considerable discussion about whether or not 4 seat experimentals should be allowed.


BJC
 

cluttonfred

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Since this thread is meandering into a discussion of whether or not and how to update Part 103, it's worth noting that the UK, which was probably initially horrified by those crazy Americans who let folks get away with anything, has now come full circle.

The new Single Seat Deregulated (SSDR) class started out in 20017 as essentially a British Part 103 for sub-115 kg empty weight ultralights, but has since been expanded to other all European-style single-seat microlights (with some special language to grandfather in "fat" microlights allowed before the UK adopted the European rules). Moving forward it now includes any single-seater with a maximum take-off mass of no more than 300 kg (landplane)/315 kg (landplane with ballistic chute)/330 kg (amphibian or floatplane) with a stall speed or minimum steady flight speed in the landing configuration not exceeding 35 knots calibrated airspeed.

Personally, I would love to see the USA adopt a three-level system with just microlight (light, slow, single-seaters including Part 103), light sport (faster, heavier, allows two seats), and E-AB/General Aviation with corresponding levels of pilot training, registration, and certification.
 

Turd Ferguson

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Personally, I would love to see the USA adopt a three-level system with just microlight (light, slow, single-seaters including Part 103), light sport (faster, heavier, allows two seats), and E-AB/General Aviation with corresponding levels of pilot training, registration, and certification.
What would be the purpose of this new system? Who would it benefit?
 

cluttonfred

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What would be the purpose of this new system? Who would it benefit?
Expand the freedoms of Part 103 to a larger lumber of aircraft while still retaining the "light, slow, one seat" guiding principles and make those aircraft accessible to more people, especially pilots who shop at the "big and tall" store who can be a challenge to accommodate safely within Part 103. I know this is heresy for some, but now that full medical is no longer needed for a student pilot, I would support a minimal training requirement for the single-seat microlight category (say 10 hours dual and instructor sign-off for solo) and I would also want to allow single-seat microlight (now including grandfathered Part 103 types) hours to be logged. Eliminate recreational pilot and have just three steps--1) single-seat microlight, 2) sport, and 3) PPL.
 

ToddK

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The Real Texas
5 gallon cans tend to hold quite a bit more anyway. Maybe 6.

And, what Tim said. Sure, it has restrictions, but it's amazing freedom in what is a pretty heavily regulated country. How many 1st world countries let you fly something with no paperwork, checks, or training?

Some US cities don't allow you to hang laundry outside to dry...
Pretty sure if your plane "looks the part (103)" so to speak, you can get whatever size gas tank you want as long as you put a big red sticker on it that says 5 gal max.
 

proppastie

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NJ
are the European Micro-lite rules the same as USA part 103? No inspection, no fee, no radio, no license?
 
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