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Microlight up to 600 kg MTOW

Hello all,

Just found this post and would like to be clarified about the title.

This is section of the forum is for non-certified.

Title is “Microlight up to 600 kg MTOW” but it seems to me that whats it’s meant to say is “non EASA Microlight up to 600 kg MTOW”.

Im I right?


ULMs are not EASA cetified here. MTOW now 500kg 525.5kg with parachute, and @Peter is right about there being a max stall speed, IIRC there is also a max engine size 100ch, I think.
Day, VFR only.
DGAC don’t get involved much either. An initial doctor’s note is sufficient. An initial airworthiness check suffices. Owner can do all the maintenance. No annuals. New engine costs less than €20,000 although you can get a hand me down from a certified aircraft (Rotax or Jabiru mainly) for a lot less on Ebay.
Hundreds of small no landing fee airfields in France. Spain and Italy also have many small, friendly ULM fields, which if not free are certainly very cheap. All up they work out at somewhere between €50 and €70 an hour to operate.
The more expensive 3 axis versions like the MCR01, CTL and W9 Dynamic would give most certified aircraft a run for their money in terms of performance.


gallois wrote:

IIRC there is also a max engine size 100ch, I think.
Day, VFR only.

It’s all country dependent. Poland allows some ULs to fly Night VFR, depending on their equipment. Germany will also accept ULs with (e.g.) Rotax 915 engines → 140ch….

Last Edited by Steve6443 at 07 Nov 09:32
EDL*, Germany

Indeed very country dependent in terms of aircraft characteristics and operational restrictions. Just an example out of many: Germany does not allow ULM’s to have an autopilot.

@rjafonso, in which country are you located? Knowing that would help to get some specific info here..

Private field, Mallorca, Spain

@aart, Hello aart. Im located in Portugal. I joined this forum to read and know whats happening in other countries that have non EASA ULMs. Thanks

gallois wrote:

ULMs are not EASA cetified here.

ULMs are nowhere EASA certified. They are Annex I aircraft and not regulated by the EU.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Non Certified is a general heading for the forum section.

There are broadly speaking two categories of aircraft:

  • ICAO certificate of airworthiness (can generally fly worldwide, noncommercial, subject to pilot papers matching the State of Registry)
  • All the others (have various flying/basing limitations e.g. homebuilt privileges ultralight privileges)

Of course there are many sub-categories (see e.g. “Threads possibly related to this one” below) but this section was setup some years ago following requests to do so.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Finally Norway CAA has come with a (suggested) regulation for 600 kg ULM/microlight/sport aircraft, and there are some huge changes indeed !

First they make a division between “microlight aircraft” and “sport aircraft”.
A “microlight aircraft” is an aircraft according to 2018/1139 Annex I, letter e or f.
A “sport aircraft” is an aircraft according to 2018/1139 Article 2 number 8, and which is not a “microlight aircraft”.
Neither of the two can be certified according to 216/2008 or 2018/1139 or be in a state where certification has started.

Then they make another definition: “Sportsplanes” (Sportsfly in Norwegian) which includes both “microlight aircraft” and “sport aircraft”

Microlight aircraft can only be used according to these (new) regulations. Sport aircraft can be used according to this (new) regulation if they are registered in the registry for “Sportplanes” (they can also technically be EASA LSA)

Only VFR. but:

  • VFR night is allowed if a BRS is mounted and the PIC has a night rating (it seems this is a PPL rating?)
  • VFR “on top” is allowed during daylight and if a BRS is mounted. Special training required, unless PPL.

Nothing about acro No restrictions by the looks of it.

An aircraft used for training, and registered after this regulation is in force, shall have BRS and a stall warning system.

Radio telephony and English proficiency is required. The same as PPL can be used, or a special course can be taken.

Anyone with PPL can fly, but has to follow all restrictions with difference training and type check ((much) stricter for “sport” than PPL)

600 kg for single seat or two seat plane, gyrocopter or helicopter
650 kg for as above with sea or amphibious ability.
PPG : as before by the looks of it.

Maximum payload shall be documented.

Min 35 knots CAS for aircraft with MTOW up to 475 kg
Min 45 knots CAS for aircraft with MTOW over 475 kg.

Foreign citizens from EU or EEC can stay for 30 days without explicit permission (must have radio certificate and English proficiency of min level 4). For longer stay etc an explicit permission is required. Today all ULMs must have explicit permission regardless.

It still has to be reviewed and taken into force, but overall rather OK IMO. VFR Night, on top and (possibly) acro. All good What I don’t like is legal requirement for radio and EP, but that is perhaps unavoidable today in any case.

The elephant is the circulation

This has many similarities with the Swedish regulations which makes traditional and 600 kg ULs separate classes with separate ratings etc. Everyone outside the Swedish CAA thinks this is massively overcomplicating things. You can fly them on a PPL, but you need a special rating.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Airborne_Again wrote:

Everyone outside the Swedish CAA thinks this is massively overcomplicating things

That’s a danger here of course. In Norway the CAA has little to do about ULs in general. What they do is to set up a frame work, then it is up to an organization to create the content inside this framework, which the CAA then approves (or not). A bit similar to the LAA in the UK I guess, only it also includes training, licenses, aircraft maintenance etc. It’s the UL “division” of NLF. that has a frame work today. In general anyone can organize themselves and set up competing content for that frame work though.

For instance, with VFR-N and possibly aerobatics, NLF has to include training, ratings and so on for the CAA to approve before this becomes a reality. They do however explicitly say that PPL license and ratings are adequate in general, as long as differences training and type checks are in accordance with the content of the framework (which they have to approve in any case). I can’t for the life of me see a development where acro and night rating from PPL would not be adequate also for ULs. With a PPL (only), some training or knowledge about using a BRS might be a thing here though? and certainly differences training and type rating.

Due to an over representation of accidents by ULs, the CAA has been on the neck of NLF to improve things the last years. This is also why it has taken so long to prepare this regulation.

The CAA doesn’t differentiate between “microlight aircraft” and “sport aircraft”. The explicitly say they are all “sport planes”, and all of them has to follow this (new) frame work. In that respect, the only thing that has changed is:

  • 600 kg MTOW
  • VFR-N, on top, acro (possibly)
  • Requirement for radio training and EP.

In the community however, there are lots of people who want simpler stuff. They want to be able to tinker with their garden chair variety UL on a Sunday morning, perhaps mount some new gadget. Then take it up for a spin or two around the barn in the afternoon without any fuzz from anyone or anything. This could be all the flying they are interested in. Lots of people want this, but lots of people also want (could be the same people) a 600 kg MTOW to be able to do some legal travelling at an adequate TAS in controlled airspace, with two person and luggage on board. They want retract, CS prop, turbo, perhaps a turbine. They want to be able to fly home at night, in the dark, while the weather is nice, and not wait until the next morning when the ocean fog has set in.

NLF will prob 100 create a much simpler training/education for “microlight aircraft”, and then build on that for “sport planes” (larger than 450 kg MTOW). The problem with this is that this larger than 450 kg license will essentially (at least seemingly) be LAPL, as more or less is the case already today (because the CAA has been on the neck of NLF the last years).

Also, because the CAA and the neck, LAPL/PPL isn’t today, by itself, adequate for any kind of “Sport Plane”. To fly a sport plane you also need today:

  • Theory of regulations applicable for sport planes (the content created by NLF inside this frame work of the CAA)
  • A theoretical course in maintenance and aircraft design/construction for anyone owning or maintaining a sport plane.

PPL/LAPL has lots of stuff that is pretty much irrelevant for sport planes, but none of the essential stuff above. In addition (again due to the CAA and the neck), differences training, and in particular type ratings, are much stricter for sport planes. This is of main importance IMO, because people used to the certified GA world in particular are literally clueless about “non-standard” solutions. Everything about a non certified aircraft is “non standard”, and this includes performance aspect, handling and cockpit layout.

Will it be more complex? I don’t know.

  • For “microlight aircraft”, and certainly for “non complex” varieties, things are likely to become much simpler than today, with the exception of mandatory radio knowledge (there still is no mandatory radio usage in G).
  • For “sport aircraft” things will pretty much be as they are today, but with added benefits of 600 kg, VFR-N, on top, acro.
  • It will become simpler for PPL/LAPL to fly both kinds of “sport planes” than how things are today. No extra license or anything is needed, but they need proper knowledge and training. They need to know what they are doing, and how the aircraft behaves (they need to know that a choke is not the same as mixture )

IMO the CAA has done a good job here. How complex it eventually becomes is mostly up to NLF, that is us.

Last Edited by LeSving at 21 Dec 13:48
The elephant is the circulation
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