View Full Version : Basic Ultralights and US Airports
03-26-2011, 10:26 PM
I have been considering using a Canadian Basic ultralight for X-country flight and was wondering if it is possible and if it is likely to get permission to land at a major airport in the US or at least one that has Customs?
03-27-2011, 09:55 AM
I don't think there is any issue with it, as long as you have a licesnse that requires minimum of 25 hours flight training, example being the Ultralight with passenger endorsement.
03-27-2011, 08:19 PM
i am presently training for instructor rating for just this purpose, to fly in usa and i also read in faa that the plane must be a aula not a bula, so to land in usa you would need both, passenger or instructor rating and an advanced ultralight
03-30-2011, 01:27 AM
ticketyboo, could you please site your source please on the BULA restriction?
On November 17, 2010 I wrote to the FAA in Washington for some clarification on the meaning of "passenger" when it comes to flight in BULAs. Remember that if you plan to fly a BULA or AULA into the United States you must first complete and retain on the aircraft a Special Flight Authorization for Canadian Basic and Advanced Ultralight Aeroplanes Operating in the United States form which can be downloaded here:
Canadian regulations do not allow for the carriage of passengers in a BULA, however, they do allow for two pilots holding a valid licence or permit to fly together in a BULA. My question to the FAA was whether this was also permitted by Canadian BULAs in US Airspace. I have sent a copy of the response, dated February 9, 2011, to Kathy if you wish to ask her about it, however the response is that "the special flight authorization provisions allow a flight instructor, who meets the conditions of the authorization, to provide flight training to another person in the aircraft. In these cir***stances neither the flight instructor nor the person receiving instruction would be considered a passenger. However, if flight training is not being provided, the second pilot would be considered a passenger since that person is not required for the operation being conducted."
So the real question is whether you are flying solo on your BULA or giving/receiving flight instruction as/from a properly qualified instructor, in which case and according to my research you are permitted to operate into the United States (assuming you have completed and retain the aforementioned form).
As for the question on operations into towered airports, here again I cannot find any specific prohibition but I am hoping ticketyboo can refer me to one if he found something. The airspace around certain busy airports require a functioning Mode C Transponder (near US Class B and Class C airspace) on board the aircraft and I have seen one airport (Kissimee, Florida) which has published a restriction on "ultralight" type of aircraft into their airport (although there are some questions on the legality of this). Additionally, Condition #14 of the Authorization states that "Except when otherwise directed by Air Traffic Control, or in the event of an emergency, all flights shall be conducted to avoid areas having heavy air traffic and to avoid flight over cities, towns, villages, and congested areas, or any other area where the flights might create hazardous exposure to persons or property."
Having said that, if you are planning on operating a BULA into Chicago O'Hare, JFK or LAX you might find that you are not very welcome due to congestion issues there and the fact that it is difficult to mix up aircraft flying at 50 knots with those flying at 150 knots. Being a "good neighbor" means sometimes not doing something just because it is "legal."
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