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ECAC Status for homebuilt / experimental (flight privileges within Europe)

US Experimental travelling around Europe

Hello everybody,

I’m new to this forum. WarleyAir, who I met at the first day of the AERO in Friedrichshafen encouraged me to join here, after I was only a silent reader for some time.

I’m a part owner of a Jabiru J400 Experimental. Now I’m wondering if some of you have experience with travelling around in Europe on US Experimental plane.
The plane is based in Germany, we have it registered via a Trust and have a Permit to Fly in Germany which is free and allows operation on 180 days of the year.
My question is how the permit to fly is handled in other countries – what it costs, what the restrictions are and other specialities.

Perhaps together we can gather a small list here, which might me interesting for other experimental owners too.

Unfortunately my only contribution is:
Germany – no costs, max 180 days, more information: Link



Why would anyone use a US registered experimental in Europe? Every single operational “advantage” that local registered experimentals have (maintenance and border crossing), are lost when on the US register within Europe.

In particular the ECAC INT.S/11-1 that is a ticket to fly freely through most of Europe with experimental aircraft (European registered). Details:

The elephant is the circulation

Thx for your reply LeSving.

Perhaps we will try to switch to Swedish or Dutch registration sometime in the future,
but currently the plane will stay US registered (One of the owners only has a FAA license).
German registration will not be possible anyway, because here only Experimentals built within the boarders are allowed.


Yes, Germany is relatively easy. You just send a fax with scan of the right documents and get your authorization for 180 days in 1 year in return after 2 days.

Belgium, 30 flying days in 1 year, 94EUR, report at the end of the period. The last years, I also needed to submit a flight plan. The latest yearly authorization that I got some weeks ago doesn’t mention this requirement.

For many other countries (NL, FR, PL…), just a flight plan to overfly is enough.


As I have stated many times: don’t be too concerned about the formal rules in Belgium, and do not blindly believe those who only consult the www. The rules are more open to interpretation as one flies South, and BE is a very southerly country in this particular respect. Visit the old-timer fly-in at Schaffen EBDT in mid-August and talk to some of the pilots there. As for filing a flight plan: yes it is mandatory for certain flights but this has nothing to do with your plane being experimental or ultralight or whatever, neither with the national registry it is on. And filing a flight plan is not really a challenging exercise for the average private aviator’s intellect, so who cares?

If you are more or less happy with your current N-reg, keep it by all means. If you do consider a change of registry, the least unfortunate would be French (the célèbre Fox-Papa subreg) but I think it might be hard without mastering the local language.

EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

Why would anyone use a US registered experimental in Europe?

Because they can fly IFR, if properly equipped?

EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

@Jan, the law in BE is clear and you even see that in the links of LeSving. You need to have an authorisation to overfly BE in an experimental/homebuild plane. If it was not an issue, why would the organisers of the experimental days fly-in Link would have requested an exemption? This is typically the same for all specific event in Belgium.

Last Edited by ploucandco at 18 Apr 15:57

Yes yes, the law is the law, I never denied that.
And it is only to the credit of the organisers that they remind potential participants of the legal requirements.
BTW nice to hear of this event, it is more or less in my backyard yet I hadn’t heard a word about it. Thanks indeed!

EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

Because they can fly IFR, if properly equipped?

Yes, let’s this thread also default to an IFR thread Anyway, IFR is no problem with European experimentals either, not in the right parts of Europe.

The elephant is the circulation

IFR is no problem with European experimentals either, not in the right parts of Europe.

You mean in one or two out of 27 countries? Makes a lot of sense given that the topic is “travelling around Europe”.

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