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cluttonfred

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are the European Micro-lite rules the same as USA part 103? No inspection, no fee, no radio, no license?
No, they are not, and they very by country. Short answer--you still have a license but only good for microlights, plane must be registered, some regulation of aircraft sellers on par with US LSA rules, amateur-built less regulated, but all much easier and cheaper than PPL. In my experience, mostly in France and Belgium, some regular airfields allow and even welcome microlights, some don't, and there are lots of little grass and farm strips for microlights only. For example, the French microlight license involves a basic ground school and flight training and a government-sponsored multple-choice written test, your instructor can sign you off for the flight portion, I think it was after 25 hours or so. You have to keep flying solo to 40-50 hours and get a passenger-carrying sign-off before you can take anyone else up in a two-seater.
 

radfordc

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that we have this stupid 254 pound ultralight rule? It makes no sense to me... what group of morons came up with that number anyway???
Not a moron, but a greedy ultralight manufacturer. If you can believe Chuck Slusarcyzk who was part of the process; the FAA was more than willing to give the ultralight manufacturers a more generous weight allowance....maybe as much as 500 lbs. But Lyle Byrum, the owner of Quicksilver worked hard to make 254 lbs the limit. Why?...because that was the weight of his Quicksilver ultralight and he thought that he could corner the market against other manufacturers.

Greedy people twisting the rules to their own advantage....deja vu.
 

cluttonfred

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what about a medical
I don't remember ever doing a medical for my microlight license but I just checked and in France there is a requirement for a letter from your doctor (not an aviation medical exam) that says you don't have anything seriously wrong with you that would prevent you from operating a microlight safely. I don't know all the medical terms but basically they are things that would make you go unconscious/lose control (serious cardio-pulmonary problems, epilepsy, vertigo/balance problems, uncontrolled metabolic issues, severe back problems). Oddly, there is one that seems to mean stunted growth, perhaps a reference to little people unable to reach the controls, which presumable could be overcome with modifications to the aircraft.
 

rbrochey

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Not a moron, but a greedy ultralight manufacturer. If you can believe Chuck Slusarcyzk who was part of the process; the FAA was more than willing to give the ultralight manufacturers a more generous weight allowance....maybe as much as 500 lbs. But Lyle Byrum, the owner of Quicksilver worked hard to make 254 lbs the limit. Why?...because that was the weight of his Quicksilver ultralight and he thought that he could corner the market against other manufacturers.

Greedy people twisting the rules to their own advantage....deja vu.
Okay, I take it back... and that makes perfect sense given our corporate history.
 

TFF

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The US has the best system as it stands. The EU wants us to adopt EASA so they can tax our planes like theirs and hold their pilots and owners hostage and shove you into LSA to keep you out of airspace. For those who live in the Western US where they don't see the need, it's a false vision. To get what you want out there, means everyone East of Texas looses and the general aviation community looses just because they gave up what seems to be a small thing. A ppl in the US is 100% more free than any other country in the world for their LSA or ppl or commercial. The consequences are way larger than an itch that one person needs because they are having an issue. I foresee only commercial pilots in the future. If given an inch that's where business aviation wants to go. Communism and surfing and aviation are based on the same principle. There is only so much land, waves, and air to go around. Slice it up where everyone has a small worthless piece of the action i.e. forced into LSA, or you can fight so anyone can have access to it all. Right now we have it all in the US. Because all your needs are just a little bit bigger Pt 103 because you are fat or tall or you want a cooler looking plane means the system has to give up something. Commercial is not so all the PPLs would. 99% loose for .000009% need and a way to let government start a leverage game. It's not a civil rights or sexual harassment topic. Complain instead of defend makes it easy to cut the nuts. They are cutting out privilege; easy to do.
 

Himat

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are the European Micro-lite rules the same as USA part 103? No inspection, no fee, no radio, no license?
No, microlight flying is as well-regulated in Norway as GA airplane, but not by the Norwegian equivalent to the FAA.

In Norway the curriculum to the theoretical microlight airplane pilot exam just short of the PPL theory. There is no microlight pilot license as the Civil Aviation Authority Norway have delegated everything concerning microlight airplanes to the Norwegian Air Sports Association. A medical is required, but less stringent than for a PPL. There is a minimum of 25 hours before a check ride and after that the Air Sports Association will issue a certificate that allow the holder to fly microlight aircraft. Requirement for PFT then follow as with a PPL certificate.
 
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lake_harley

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My take is that it's better to be thankful for what we have with Pt. 103 than grumble about what it's not. I'd rather be able to reach into the jar and take one cookie than try to get them all out at one time and not be able to get my hand back out the narrow neck of the opening.

Lynn
 

ToddK

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Not a moron, but a greedy ultralight manufacturer. If you can believe Chuck Slusarcyzk who was part of the process; the FAA was more than willing to give the ultralight manufacturers a more generous weight allowance....maybe as much as 500 lbs. But Lyle Byrum, the owner of Quicksilver worked hard to make 254 lbs the limit. Why?...because that was the weight of his Quicksilver ultralight and he thought that he could corner the market against other manufacturers.

Greedy people twisting the rules to their own advantage....deja vu.
Wow. Lyle had something like a third of the market for a time. I guess he wanted to keep it.
 

cluttonfred

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My point earlier was that the UK adoption of their own version of Part 103 called SSDR and then expansion of that provision to include pretty much all single-seat microlights (600 lb gross, 80 hp max, 35 knots stall) is a point in favor petitioning the FAA for expansion of Part 103 in the same way, especially if other countries follow suit.
 
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rbrochey

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I started this thread after a lot of thought. And many years of observation. Awhile back I was looking at youtube videos when I came across some guy who built an ultralight and never flew anything in his life... he straps himself in and takes off, after sharing a beer with a friend... he flew around nearly clipping some power lines and managed to get back on earth without killing himself or someone else. Another video I saw from an accident report where the 'pilot' was not so lucky. Such is life, right? Well in my view and opinion I think more people could be in the sport safely in a heavier ultralight, and IT SHOULD BE MANDATORY that ANYONE who flies ANYTHING should have some relevant instruction... even five hours with a qualified ultralight instructor. So increase the safety weight requirement a little (I never liked the Quicksilver) to 300 pounds or 325 dry and require a license... bet it would be a more popular and safer sport.
 

cluttonfred

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No, microlight flying is as well-regulated in Norway as GA airplane, but not by the Norwegian equivalent to the FAA.

In Norway the curriculum to the theoretical microlight airplane pilot exam just short of the PPL theory. There is no microlight pilot license as the Civil Aviation Authority Norway have delegated everything concerning microlight airplanes to the Norwegian Air Sports Association. A medical is required, but less stringent than for a PPL. There is a minimum of 25 hours before a check ride and after that the Air Sports Association will issue a certificate that allow the holder to fly microlight aircraft. Requirement for PFT then follow as with a PPL certificate.
Yes, that sounds similar to France, a lot is delegated to the French microlight association FFPLUM, which originally stood for the "French motorized ultralight glider federation." They now subtitle it as the "French microlight federation" but kept the old acronym to reflect their roots. In France the actual licensing and registration is done by the government Direction de l'Aviation Civile.
 

pictsidhe

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I can't see extra weight making them much safer. To keep the low stall speed, they'll need to be bigger. A low stall speed makes the single biggest difference. People are unlikely to use extra weight for a roll cage. 103s like the minimax and ultra-piet seem like safer 254lb options.
 

Hot Wings

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So increase the safety weight requirement a little (I never liked the Quicksilver) to 300 pounds or 325 dry and require a license... bet it would be a more popular and safer sport.
The mandatory instruction might help but increasing the weight won't make a significant bit of difference - IMHO. Humans and marketing being what they are; given the choice between a 300 pound UL that uses the extra #50 to really increase safety and a 300 pound UL that has seat warmers, WiFi and a cup holder .................. the company making the safe UL will be bankrupt. ;)
 

cluttonfred

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I can't see extra weight making them much safer. To keep the low stall speed, they'll need to be bigger. A low stall speed makes the single biggest difference. People are unlikely to use extra weight for a roll cage. 103s like the minimax and ultra-piet seem like safer 254lb options.
Adopting the European microlight model would actually raise the minimum stall speed from 45 kph/28 mph/24 kt to 65 kph/40 mph/35 kt.
 

Aesquire

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Disagree on mandatory training. Agree you should have training.

So, find me an instructor that can give me better advice than Stick & Rudder, for my weight shift pitch, yaw/roll coupled tip rudder "airplane" that has a red line of 65 mph, not knots. Is he going to run along side like we teach hang glider pilots? Ride in a Jeep? Big megaphone?

You have to understand the history.

Hang glider guys went back to the Future by bringing back Octave Chanute performance and then taking it further.... silly folk soaring and going miles down the beach. The FAA didn't want to deal with that craziness. Then they thought "power is power" and thought about how to ruin things for the hippies. Some of us went ahead and got N-numbers, and when it was pointed out that a registered airplane has rights, and gliders have right of way.... and they imagined a line up of heavies waiting for a Hang glider to land at JFK at it's screaming top speed of 35 mph...... So they told us to stay out of the way and they'd ignore us.

Then we started putting weedwacker & go-kart engines on hang gliders. The FAA responded with "If you pick it up and run to take off, it's not an airplane, it's a powered hang glider". Soon, they dumped that to prevent idiots from cutting foot holes in Cessnas.

Yeah, 254 pounds is a challenge. Understand the idea is a "thing" that won't demolish a house when you crash into the roof. Solo, so there's no need to protect passengers.

Training led to the "ultralight trainer" which in turn led to tourist flights and commercial use under the disguise of training.

Then Light Sport, to stop all that nonsense, and keep people from flying down the Grand Canyon hauling tourists.
 

rbrochey

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The very safe HM 293 could be built inexpensively and at about 360 pounds... this, IMHO would be the perfect ultralight airplane... I envision a sky filled with 293's... and a happy, safe world it would be... again, IMHO :)


Grunberg's.jpeg
 
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cluttonfred

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Disagree on mandatory training. Agree you should have training.

So, find me an instructor that can give me better advice than Stick & Rudder, for my weight shift pitch, yaw/roll coupled tip rudder "airplane" that has a red line of 65 mph, not knots. Is he going to run along side like we teach hang glider pilots? Ride in a Jeep? Big megaphone?
I agree with the point that you want to get training on something that most closely mimics what you'll be flying, and for some designs that's hard. I would still say that some training on something is better than no training on anything and a reasonable price to pay to be able to log your hours and qualify to fly something bigger and faster if you so choose.
 

Tiger Tim

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The very safe HM 293 could be built inexpensively and at about 360 pounds... this, IMHO would be the perfect ultralight airplane... I envision a sky filled with 293's... and a happy, safe world it would be... again, IMHO :)


View attachment 69314
Install a means of starting the engine in flight and register it as a motor glider. No medical, minimal flight training.
 

pictsidhe

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The very safe HM 293 could be built inexpensively and at about 360 pounds... this, IMHO would be the perfect ultralight airplane... I envision a sky filled with 293's... and a happy, safe world it would be... again, IMHO :)


View attachment 69314
Yes, the 293 is pretty safe for its combination of weight, power, wing area. But that same combination is not so safe in other aircraft. The FAA is going to have a helluva job specifying safety, so it has specified characteristics that tend to improve safety. Low stall speed helps with the severity of impacts. Low weight combined with low speed minimises the impact crater.

I'd love an ultra-pou too, btw, but the numbers are against it. Falconar has a weight legal design, but the stall speed is far too high. C'est la vie!
 
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