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 (CAO) definition.

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This category of aircraft has been superseded by 101.55, but aircraft to the specifications can still be obtained.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 / jon@ultralighthomepage.com