Many people prefer the simple, uncomplicated and inexpensive ownership of an “Ultralight” aircraft. Ultralight airplanes (fixed wing) have been popular since the 70’s. Ultralight aircraft are referred to as “Ultralight Vehicles” by the FAA and are defined in the FAA regulations Part 103. (See Ultralights Explained)
To qualify as a legal ultralight aircraft, the airplane without fuel, oil and your portable radio and GPS must weigh no more than 254 lbs. Although this weight is not routinely checked by the FAA, an ultralight pilot should be careful about flying the obvious heavier designs that would not qualify as an ultralight to avoid stiff fines. An ultralight must have never been issued an FAA “N” number otherwise it becomes a Light Sport Aircraft which requires at least a Sport Pilot License to operate.
An ultralight aircraft must have only ONE seat and carry only one person. It may hold a maximum of 5 gallons of fuel which considerably limits the flight distance.
Most ultralight aircraft operate safely in the lighter winds of the early morning and early evening. Many aircraft will safely operate in winds of up to 10 mph.
Our instructors have experience in many of the major brand ultralight aircraft including Quicksilver, Challenger, Rans, Kolb and CGS Hawk, in both land and sea configurations. Explore www.eaa.org/ultralights for more details.
Our ultralight training program uses the Aerosports Connection (ASC) syllabus which specifies a minimum flight time of 15 hours (10-Dual, 5-Solo). You will learn the basics of flight and your flight time can be applied towards the Sport Pilot rating if entered in your pilot logbook accordingly (consult your instructor). You will be trained in our Eurofox trainer and supervised solo flights will be in your own Ultralight Aircraft. We have several clients who own ‘ultralight type aircraft’ and we will arrange a flight or two to assist you in the transition to your own aircraft.
Ultralights are slower than Light Sport Aircraft, usually powered by 2-cycle engines and typically flown over rural areas from rural and private airstrips. There are different safety considerations when flying Ultralights and they are less tolerant of wind and turbulence than the heavier LSAs.
Please discuss flying Ultralights with your instructor during your introductory flight.