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Flying Ultralights

Posted By:
Michael Bond
2
Posts
0
#1 Posted: 4/29/2011 13:50:18


Just trying to clarify some things. 


So, in terms of actual usability, what are the restrictions? 

Looking at the regs, it appears that you just need approval to fly into an airspace. So if i happen to have a handheld, and call a class D tower and get their approval to fly into their airspace or to their airport, then its alright. 

For non-towered airports, just make traffic pattern calls and such? Being able to get to some flyings would be nice. 


Speaking of XCs with ultralights, what do you do about fuel? Autogas isn't available at most airports i've been too, which seems to be what those little engines are calling for. 


There aren't any regulations specifically forbidden an ultralight from landing at a public use airport? The biggest restriction concerning this that i see is that you can't fly over a populated area. 


And speaking of a populated area, I'm assuming that it is legit to cross over roads and/or highways? just have to stay away from the more densely populated areas like neighborhoods and cities and towns. 


I've looked into instruction at a couple of places. question i have is, how do these people which clearly at not CFIs, instruct at all (legall)? Specifically i've been looking at a couple powered parachute places. they seem to do a lot of ground school and then a couple simulated launches, and then a couple flights while talking to you on a radio. That seems like its skirting the edges pretty close. 

I'm thinking i can have some fun with ultralights (especially the powered parachutes, lots of places around here to foot launch one ... though, i'm still trying to find someplace to try one out in some fashion).  and its a branch of the hobby that is within my budget as well ... But I don't want to do anything that could possibly jeopardize my PPSEL cert. 



Jerry Rosie
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
482
Posts
101
#2 Posted: 4/30/2011 11:07:56

Hi Mike -

Lotsa questions. I'll try to answer them if I can remember them all.   You are correct on the airspace requirements.  a handheld into a Class D is perfectly acceptable - I've done it.  Genearally accpted courtesy, however, says that it is best to contact any airport  ahead of time to see if they have any objections to ultralights before just appearing on the scene.  We did that by phone contact prior to launch when planning to land at an unfmailiar airport. 

XC with an Ultralight.  Takes a lot of prior planning.  With work, and luck, you can find someone in the area of your planned refueling point to carry in some mogas for you in a five gallon can (ultralights are prohibited from carrying any more than five gallons).  This is getting much harder to do now that ethenol has poluted much of the available mogas.  Shorter Xcountries can be conducted by enlisting an understanding 'ground crew' (flying buddies or wives and girlfriends usually fulfill this role) to drive ahead with fuel and lunch.  Some ultralight engines will tolerate AVGAS if it is not used too often.  Check with the manufacturer of the engine.

Public use airports are just that - public use.  Ultralights are not legally restricted from using them, but, again, to keep friendly folks friendly and not make a bad name for ultralighting, best to call ahead and see if you will raise anyones 'hackles' if you land at the airport.

Populated areas have not been defined by the FAA to any extent that you can hang your hat on.  Just be rational and logical.  Fly over populated areas at an altitude that will let you glide to an open area for landing should you have an engine failure and high enough that you don't pi** off any homeowner over whose home you are flying. 

As far as legal instruction goes.  The FAA does not require ANY instruction to fly an ultralight.  Training is definately recommended by those who think living an uninjured lifestyle is important.  But, legally, anyone who has the guts to do it can provide the 'non-instruction' that is not required by the FAA.  To put it another way, without so many negatives, since the FAA does not require any insruction, and provides for no instructors since the disappearance of the waiver for fat ultralights, there is no such thing as legal ultralight training.

Just act generally sanely, remember that your actions will reflect on the entire ultralight community (such as it is these days) and the Prime Directive is -- Have Fun!

 

 

 

 



Cheers, Jerry NC22375 out of 07N
Michael Bond
2
Posts
0
#3 Posted: 5/1/2011 05:58:05
Jerry Rosie wrote:

XC with an Ultralight.  Takes a lot of prior planning.  With work, and luck, you can find someone in the area of your planned refueling point to carry in some mogas for you in a five gallon can (ultralights are prohibited from carrying any more than five gallons).  This is getting much harder to do now that ethenol has poluted much of the available mogas. 


 

Well, it should be easier since i'll have to find an engine that can safetly take ethanol. Its the only thing available around here at all. Even at the boat docks at the lakes anywhere in reasonable driving distance, that's all they have according to a couple boaters i was taking to yesterday. 




Jerry Rosie
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
482
Posts
101
#4 Posted: 5/1/2011 09:12:26

Unless you are looking to go to a four stroke engine, it would probably be easier to find an engine that would tolerate AVGAS.  The larger, more recent, ROTAXs will work with ethenol as long as the fuel lines are ethenol tolerent.  I'm not sure about the smaller ROTAXs.

 

 



Cheers, Jerry NC22375 out of 07N
Ken Reid
15
Posts
2
#5 Posted: 5/2/2011 17:58:52

"since the disappearance of the waiver for fat ultralights, there is no such thing as legal ultralight training."

 

Why again did this waiver disappear?????



Wag more bark less :-)
Jerry Rosie
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
482
Posts
101
#6 Posted: 5/3/2011 09:40:49

When the classification of Light Sport was approved and went into effect, the waiver was eliminated because - legally- there could no  longer be a 'fat ultralight' for use as a training vehicle only.  All fat ultralights had to become Light Sport and be registered as such.   The only problem was that another provision of the reg prohibited the previous fat ultralight, now a Light Sport, from being used for training.  Left a BIG hole in lthe spectrum and a lot of folks wanting training but unable to receive it....

 

 



Cheers, Jerry NC22375 out of 07N
Daniel Lanni
Homebuilder or Craftsman
1
Post
0
#7 Posted: 5/8/2011 16:05:44

I used 100LL frequently in my Quick with Rotax 447. Rotax approves it in that engine at least. I would guess the same with all thier 2cycles. It didn't seem to be much harder on the plugs than Mogas. They do not approve the use of Mogas with more than 5% ethenol.



Dan L
Grant Smith
Homebuilder or Craftsman
135
Posts
7
#8 Posted: 5/9/2011 12:10:19

Training:

True ultralight training can be accomplished as you mentioned via ground instruction and supervised flight. There are no federal government certification requirements for the instructor, however the USHGA and the Aero Sport Connections orginization do have their certification requirements. Thse instructors may have an authority to offer in flight training in a two occupant craft that meets the FAR 103 requirements with the exception of the single occupant restriction.

If more information is required contact me off list with a phone number for a return call.

True ultralights frequently operate off airports and obatain their fuel at off airport locations. The ethanol issue does need to be addressed. Your cross country planning may be similar to reviewing the area where you would be riding your bike.



Grant Smith CFI
David Lacy
5
Posts
0
#9 Posted: 6/6/2011 16:28:04

FWIW, I've been using 100LL, exclusively, in my 582 Rotax silver head. Approximately 100 hrs with no issues.  Also, why not just train in a light sport for general characteristics then jump in the ultralight and go? The instructor that I used is a regular CFI who happened to have experience and enthusiasm for light sport/ultralight.