View Full Version : License Requirements for Gyros
03-05-2004, 12:35 PM
Several weeks ago we had a good discussion on the loophole in the FAR's that allows PPL's with a single engine land rating to fly gyros because they are category experimental with no further distinction as rotorcraft.
I am now in Phoenix training at AAI and Terry Brandt and I reviewed the documents on 3 of the gyros they have here. The airworthiness certificates on two of them said "must be flown by a pilot with the appropriate category and class rating". We both interpreted this to mean category rotorcraft and class gyro plane. Clearly that was the intent of the way it was worded. The third gyro did not have that specific of a statement.
So it would appear that the airworthiness certificate issued for your individual gyro by the individual DAR who certifies it may or may not specifiy that you need a rotorcraft - gyro license.
03-05-2004, 02:42 PM
No, you interpreted it worng!
The important word is "appropriate". This has been discussed and researched over and over again as well as clarified with the FAA.
You do not need a catergory and class rating, as it is not possible with an "experimental" aircraft.
I believe all the information is on Dave DeWinters web site:
03-05-2004, 07:55 PM
I read the section you mentioned-- It is deffinately clear as mud. I guess the FAA left hand does not know what the right hand is doing.
The intent of the certificates we read was fairly clear but anyone could no doubt fly with a PPL- SEL and have a good case to argue if busted.
03-06-2004, 03:26 PM
Following is a post discussing this:
Date: August 22, 2002 12:30 AM
Author: David L. DeWinter (email@example.com)
Subject: Operating Limitations
Hopefully this is enough to convice the skeptics once and for all on this Cat and Class topic.
A few months ago, Greg Gremminger did some serious research with the FAA on this subject. I sure hope Greg doesn't mind me passing it on, as it really is thorough. This research was initiated due to some inaccurate information given by an FAA Rep. at the last Convention in Mentone.
Here it is.
FYI - Operating Limitations category / class rating requirement: I have received confirmation from the FAA responsible authorities for FAA Order 8130.2D Change 2 that the Category/Class requirement DOES NOT apply to Experimenatal Gyroplanes (or Experimenatal aircraft at all!):
As you know, we were told at Mentone that the new version of 8130.2D now required that we must have a gyroplane rating to fly an Experimental gyroplane. This is not true! The new 8130.2D has two requirements refering to "caterory/class rating" to fly an Experimental gyroplane. 8130.2D, Section 7 provides direction to the DARs in preparation for the Operating Limitations for Experimental aircraft:
1) Paragraph 134(17) is strictly for Experimental aircraft over 12,500 lbs and/or turboprop/turbofan aircraft. This does not apply to our aircraft: This requirement uses the language "PIC shall hold AN APPROPRIATE category / class rating". This does mean a specific rating, but this paragraph does not apply to us.
2) Paragraph 134(18) does apply to smaller Experimental Aircraft, such as gyroplanes. Althought he directions say this language applies to "MOST" amateur-built aircraft, this paragraph even allows that the DAR may elect to leave this language out of the Operating Limitations on any particular aircraft. But, even if the language is included in the Operating Limitations, the language clearly provides that a specific rating is not required: "PIC shall hold A ctegory / class rating". The language refering ro "A" category / c;ass rating means ANY category class rating.
So, a person holding ANY category / class rating may fly an Experimental aircraft (including gyroplane) on that other rating. That person may even carry a passenger (for now) with that other rating.
I received confirmation of this from Bob O'Haver, AFS-820, Aircraft Certification in Washington. Mr. O'Haver was the author of both these provisions in 3130.2D and of the PRA 5209 Exemption. After receiving this confirmation, I discussed this with Earl Lawrence, the EAA interface with the FAA on regulatory matters. Mr. Lawrence advised me to also contact the responsible FAA "owner" of 8130.2D.
I talked with Loyle Woodworth, AIR-200. AIR-200 owns the 8130.2D document. Loyle Woodworth is the AIR-200 author of the latest revision to 8130.2D. Loyl Woodworth confirmed to me that Bob O'Haver IS the definitive source for the Section 7, Aircraft Certification section of 8130.2D. Loyle Woodward receives his input on this section from Bob O'Haver.
Bob O'Haver told me specifically that the ability of a pilot with either an Airplane or helicopter rating is allowed to fly and carry a passenger in an Experimental gyroplane. Bob said this is the intention of Experimenatal aircraft, becasue there is no specific rating for an Experimental aircraft. Bob said the ability to carry a passenger is proposed to be changed in a Parts 61/91 NPRM currently in preparation. The NPRM will propose that a specific rating will be required to carry a passenger in an Experimental aircraft. But, other than carrying a passenger, the new NPRM will not propose to require a specific rating to fly an Experimental aircraft solo. We need to watch for and respond to this NPRM also!
Now, who wants to argue with THAT!!!
03-07-2004, 04:58 PM
On behalf of lots of gyro pilots thanks to you and Greg for putting in the time to get a definative answer.
03-07-2004, 06:31 PM
I think it's important to note that this is intentional, not a "loophole." Aviation is a rare circumstance in which the feds leave us really free to experiment, and that experimentation could result in new crossbreeds which don't fit any existing category. In fact, the early winged gyros with airplane-style control surfaces were just that.
I worry that the paranoid post-911 atmosphere will provide an excuse for more and more regulation. Only the threat of America's loss of its traditional commercial and military aviation advantage seems to be holding back the meddlers right now. It's certainly not a concern for freedom keeping them at bay.
Off the soapbox for a monent, there are two things to watch for in this licensing controversy. One, the very people who wrote the policies above have hinted at changes to require a rotorcraft certificate to fly passengers. Second, the only insurer I know of offering liability coverage for gyros requires three things: (1) Training "in-type," in this case meaning training in a finished example of the kit by a manufacturer-approved CFI, (2) approval of the specific kit design, for which the kitmaker has to satisfy underwriters, and (3) you guessed it...a Private rating in Rotorcraft / Gyroplane.
As more and more airports require liability insurance for based aircraft, the real limits of our behavior will be set by the insurance underwriters, not the FAA. Many will disagree with me, but I thinks that's a good thing.
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