Posted: 8/16/2010 11:09:09
Is there an avenue to register an amateur built ultralight that is purchased from an individual? I am looking at purchasing a used ultralight and would like to know if/how to get it N# . I know there are a lot of “FAT” ULs out there, but are they truly worthless with no way to make them legal? And if this is the case how can these companies still sell these products if they are essentially illegal to fly? I desire to Fly one of these nicer UL’s , but I will not risk being Illegal and losing my ticket.
Posted: 8/17/2010 14:21:28
Hey Bobby, the truth is there never were many true, part 103 compliant, ultralights. The manufactures knew it. The homebuilders knew it and I'm sure the FAA knew it. If it had a 2 stroke engine and looked like an ultralight no one seemed to care. My personal opinion was that the FAA had neither the will nor the manpower to pursue possible violations. One FAA official told me that his office didn't own a set of scales. They seemed to have no interest in ultralights unless someone made waves. So most of us tried to stay out of trouble and not draw attention to ourselves. I'm not sure much has changed since Sport Pilot. A lot of fat ultralights were registered but many were not. There are still people out there preferring the fat unregistered types and refusing to do Sport Pilot. I guess some think it's more fun being an outlaw. Rather than trying to register an already flying plane, ( which is going to be a pain if it can be done) I would limit my search to one already registered with a current annual. Airplanes like everything else seem to be a little slow selling right now so make an offer on a nice Hawk or Challenger (or other "high end" ultralight style plane) and see what happens. I'm sure there are some good deals to be had. James Thomas
Posted: 8/17/2010 15:09:27
Thanks James, That is what I see as well, i just would like to know itf there is a pathway in the event that i purchase one of these "outlaw" planes. I currently live in Class C airspace, so I will have to travel to fly an UL anyway. what is the possible fine/penalty for flying and outloaw aircraft? I am a ticketed pilot, and would really hate to affect that in any way. my other question is what is te real value of some of these heavy ultralights. say a Challenger 1 or similar if they are not 103 and are not registered. I am looking and all types but there seems to be a wide range in prices for very similar aircraft. What if painted a phantom N# on the plane an played dumb if questioned about it ? not that I would ever do anything like that.....
Posted: 8/17/2010 17:13:08
Hey again, I believe I'd rather take my chances flying a heavy, unregistered ultralight than getting caught flying with fake N numbers. I only know what I hear from others. My buddy, who usually knows what he's talking about in these matters says it's easy register an already built airplane but I don't see how because the people who do my inspections want construction pictures (with me in some) and paperwork. You would have to do some pretty big fibbing. I had a friend who faked the N numbers on a Rans S-6 and got away with for several years. I think he got tired of running scared and sold it. I fly to a grass strip that lies inside class C. I just fly under their airspace that begins at 1700 msl. Back to registration, I'd call one of the people that do these inspections. All I have delt with have been extremely helpful. I've been "up front" with them and they've offered good advice to me. James Thomas
Posted: 8/17/2010 19:49:44
And one more thing, that "51%" rule. It would be impossible to meet without some serious fudging. Jame Thomas again
Posted: 8/18/2010 01:38:12
Maybe not. To meet the 51% rule 51% of the plane must be built by an amature builder. That doesn't necessarily mean you had to build it. If the previous owner built it and was an amature and met the 51% rule it can be registered as a EAB. You would not be able to get a repairmans certificate for yourself but it can be registered. Roger P
Posted: 8/19/2010 18:50:10
Bobby, If your question is "Can I get an airworthiness certificate for a true ultralight?" the answer is NO. An aircraft that fully meets the definition of ultralight FAR Part 103 CANNOT be issued an airworthiness certificate/N-number. It would be easy not to meet the definition.....simply put a 6 gallon fuel tank on it. Otherwise ALL of the requirements for an Amateur-built aircraft apply.
Posted: 8/19/2010 20:18:45
Check with your local DARs about Experimental Exhibition.
I have a Hawk and talked to 2 area DARs and they would inspect and issue the above.
The difference is that you have to send one letter to the FAA indicating which airports you will be flying to in the coming year.
If during the year you want to go to another airport you did not list, just send them a letter on that one airport.
In an ultralight, you will have limited number of airports you want to visit because of speed and 5 gal fuel.
Posted: 8/24/2010 16:53:58
Bobby, I talked to the DAR yesterday who is the most knowledgable about anything that pertains to aviation as anyone I know. When I have a question he's the man I ask. I asked him about registering already built, heavy ultralights. He said the intstruction that came down from the top to the DAR's is "don't do it." Heavy, unregistered ultralights types were referred to by his FAA higher ups as "expensive lawn darts." I asked about "exibition". He said they're not supposed to register these planes as such, and that the owners of these had plenty of opportunity to make theme legal according to the FAA. He said any DAR who registers one is putting his head on the chopping block. James Thomas