Exceptions to Part 103 - "Fat ultralights"

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airshowfan
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Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:04 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Exceptions to Part 103 - "Fat ultralights"

Postby airshowfan » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:23 pm

I just joined this website, so I apologize if this question has already been covered at length, or if I am asking it in an inappropriate way or in the wrong place.

On these forums, it was pointed out how one of the motivations for the FAA to create the SP/LSA rules was to regulate "fat ultralights". I'm curious about this.

I did get a tiny bit of ultralight instruction several years ago, a couple years before the SP/LSA rules were released. The instruction was done in an X-Air. It was flown under Part 103 thanks to an exemption that allowed two-seaters to operate as ultralights (i.e. no registration, flown by unlicensed pilots) if the flight was for training purposes. I understand that this kind of exception was often abused (e.g. taking a friend for a fun flight and saying "If the FAA shows up at the ramp, tell them I was teaching you to fly"), but there was no real way to avoid that.

Like I said, these forums say that the SP/LSA rules were created so that the FAA could "regulate fat ultralights". Does that mean that this exception to FAR 103 (ultralights can carry two people if flown for training) is no longer the case?

In other words: When the SP/LSA rules came out, were all ultralight instructors required to be Sport Pilots? Were all two-seat ultralights required to be registered as LSAs? Is it no longer possible to fly someone in an X-Air unless you're a certificated pilot and the airplane has an airworthiness certificate and all that?

I would be very curious to learn about what impact, if any, the SP/LSA rules had on the ultralight-training world when they came out.

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