Australian Ultralight Regulations
(Courtesy of the Australian Ultralight Federation)
What is an Ultralight Aircraft?
An ultralight aircraft is a fixed wing powered aeroplane that weighs no
more than 480 kg, fully loaded for take off including the pilot, fuel and
passenger (if permitted). Within that broad description, there are five
main subgroups, commonly referred to by their Civil Aviation Order
This is the category for the true enthusiast, and the experimenter. Single
seat home built non-certificated aircraft, limited to a Maximum Take
Off Weight (MTOW) of 300 kg. These uncertified aircraft come in a
wide range of designs and technology. In the early days both kit and
fully built aircraft were accepted for registration, but the Order
currently states that aircraft must be owner designed and built to be
acceptable. Amendments to the rules are being proposed which will
allow the use of commercial kits and plans.
This category of aircraft has been superseded by 101.55, but aircraft to
the specifications can still be obtained. It was initially intended to
provide two seat training aircraft with similar flight characteristics to
the single seat 95.10 aircraft, but also permitted fully built single seat
aircraft. Examples are the Drifter, Thruster and Lightwing (two seat),
and Sapphire and Vampire (single seat).
Single or two seat fully manufactured and certificated powered hang
gliders (trikes), or Powered Parachutes.
Single or two seat fully manufactured and certificated aircraft, with a
MTOW of 480 kg, such as the Jabiru and Skyfox.
Single or two seat aircraft, home built to a certificated design. MTOW
480 kg. Examples are the Evans Volksplane, Corby Starlet, Avid Flyer,
Renegade Spirit, RANS and Quicksilver GT500.
Who can fly an ultralight ?
Almost anyone. You must be over 15, be medically fit to drive a motor
vehicle and hold an AUF Pilot Certificate. Ground and flight training
from an approved facility could see you passing the test for the Pilot
Certificate in as little as 20 hours of flying. If you already have flying
experience, some of this can be counted towards your pilot certificate.
Where can I fly it ?
Generally anywhere outside controlled airspace, between 500 and 5,000
feet. Under special conditions it is possible to enter controlled airspace,
and use controlled aerodromes. There are, of course, certain rules
regarding public safety and nuisance that must be observed.
What other rules are there ?
Since ultralight aircraft share the sky with other aircraft, you must
conform to all the normal rules of the air. These will be taught to you
when you train for your ultralight pilot certificate. You may carry a
passenger in certain categories of ultralight, but you will need to pass a
more stringent medical standard and undergo further flight training. A
significant advantage over "conventional" aircraft is that as an
owner/pilot, you may perform all the maintenance to your own aircraft.
How do I get started ?
Contact the Australian Ultralight Federation for the name of the club or
school nearest to you, or just to get further information. An introduction
kit is available, containing the latest magazine, a list of all schools, the
current product price list and a membership application form.
Australian Ultralight Federation
PO Box 1265
Fyshwick ACT 2609
Ph. 06 280 4700
Fax 06 280 4775
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Jon N. Steiger / email@example.com