Getting an airworthiness certificate and N Numbering an Ultralight Gyroplane

shootthrees

Tom Duncan
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I may be totally wrong here, but, need clarification.

I have been told that an ultralight gyro can not be used to build hours for higher ratings and without an N Number, that is easily understood.

Based upon the following, can an experimental amateur-built gyroplane such as the Butterfly Ultralight or HoneyBee G2 Ultralight, be issued an airworthiness certificate, N Numbered and used to build hours for higher ratings?

References from www.sportpilot.org

"In addition to fixed-wing airplanes, the definition of a light-sport aircraft also includes powered parachutes, weight-shift control aircraft (i.e., Trikes), balloons, airships, gliders and gyroplanes. For more information on the definition of a light-sport aircraft, click here.

Any aircraft that meets the definition of a light-sport aircraft as called out in FAR Part 1.1 is eligible to be operated by a sport pilot. These aircraft can be certificated in any category, such as standard, experimental amateur-built, experimental exhibition, experimental light-sport aircraft (E-LSA), or special light-sport aircraft (S-LSA)."

If my assertion is correct the following definition includes maximum weights, speeds, and minimum equipment for E-LSA/ experimental amateur-built.

"Light-Sport Aircraft:

The FAA defines a light-sport aircraft as an aircraft, other than a helicopter or powered-lift that, since its original certification, has continued to meet the following:

Maximum gross takeoff weight—1,320 lbs, or 1,430 lbs for seaplanes.
Maximum stall speed—51 mph (45 knots) CAS
Maximum speed in level flight with maximum continuous power (Vh)—138 mph (120 knots) CAS
Single or two-seat aircraft only
Single, reciprocating engine (if powered), including rotary or diesel engines
Fixed or ground-adjustable propeller
Unpressurized cabin
Fixed landing gear, except for an aircraft intended for operation on water or a glider
Can be manufactured and sold ready-to-fly under a new Special Light-Sport aircraft certification category. Aircraft must meet industry consensus standards. Aircraft under this certification may be used for sport and recreation, flight training, and aircraft rental.
Can be licensed Experimental Light-Sport Aircraft (E-LSA) if kit- or plans-built. Aircraft under this certification may be used only for sport and recreation and flight instruction for the owner of the aircraft.
Can be licensed Experimental Light-Sport Aircraft (E-LSA) if the aircraft has previously been operated as an ultralight but does not meet the FAR Part 103 definition of an ultralight vehicle. These aircraft must be transitioned to E-LSA category no later than January 31, 2008.
Will have FAA registration—N-number.
Aircraft category and class includes: Airplane (Land/Sea), Gyroplane, Airship, Balloon, Weight-Shift-Control ("Trike" Land/Sea), Glider, and Powered Parachute.
U.S. or foreign manufacture of light-sport aircraft is authorized.
Aircraft with a standard airworthiness certificate that meet above specifications may be flown by sport pilots. However, the aircraft must remain in standard category and cannot be changed to light-sport aircraft category. Holders of a sport pilot certificate may fly an aircraft with a standard airworthiness certificate if it meets the definition of a light-sport aircraft.
May be operated at night if the aircraft is equipped per FAR 91.205, if such operations are allowed by the aircraft's operating limitations and the pilot holds at least a Private Pilot certificate and a minimum of a third-class medical."

Therefore, since experimental amateur-built ultralights meet and certainly exceed those limits can they be issued an airworthiness certificate, N Numbered and used to build hours for higher ratings?

To me this could be useful not only for building time, but, also for when selling the gyro at a later date as ultralight parts without the N number to someone that does need or want the sport pilot certification.
 

Chuck Roberg

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can an experimental amateur-built gyroplane such as the Butterfly Ultralight or HoneyBee G2 Ultralight, be issued an airworthiness certificate, N Numbered and used to build hours for higher ratings?

Short answer "Yes". I did it twice on two different aircraft.
 

Alan_Cheatham

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can an experimental amateur-built gyroplane such as the Butterfly Ultralight or HoneyBee G2 Ultralight, be issued an airworthiness certificate, N Numbered and used to build hours for higher ratings?

First, Experimental amateur-built, or EAB for short, is a term applied to N numbered aircraft that are experimental and amateur-built, an Ultralight is an Ultralight.

Second, even if an aircraft meets all the requirements to be an ultralight it certainly can be N numbered and flown to build time, that is IF the ultralight was 51% amateur built, some manufacturers ultralight kits may be so prefabricated or even fully factory built as to not qualify for the 51% rule. These can not be legally registered as EAB or LSA and so only flown as ultralights.

.
 

Resasi

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Can be slightly strange.

Build an XYZ that came in just under the weight limit for Ultrlight. Build the same XYZ and come in just over the weight limit, have it inspected, and N registered, on the first the hours don't count, on the second they do.

But then I guess a line has to be drawn somewhere.
 

PW_Plack

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Tom, the short answer is yes. Coming in under 254 pounds does not mean you must operate it under Part 103. It just means you may.

If you get it inspected and registered, that means you'll need to have at least a student certificate and solo sign-off to operate it, and you'll have requirements for ongoing maintenance and inspection of the machine which would not apply to an ultralight.

Provided you can document your build to be eligible for an Experimental Amateur Built, you can also build and fly the machine as an ultralight, and later get an inspection and airworthiness certificate. You cannot, however, go the other way, since any aircraft which has even been issued an airworthiness certificate loses its eligibility for Part 103.

This is under US rules, of course.
 

shootthrees

Tom Duncan
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Thank you everyone for the feedback. My take on this is number one to ensure that the build meets the 51% rule and then along with having the student pilot endorsement, have it inspected and registered in order build time.

What seems a bit fuzzy is the 51% rule and looking at the FAAs forms required, it seems open for interpretation? I was not able to find, the build log requirement for this rule on the FAA website.
 

Vance

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Tom Milton

Tom Milton

Hello Tom,

I feel your best chance for success is to contact Tom Milton before you start building and employ his services as a DAR.

It is my observation that individuals who work for the FSDOs interpret the 51% rule in different ways.

It is my observation that Tom is good at smoothing over those differences and coming away with an N numbered aircraft that is considered airworthy.

Thank you, Vance
 

Resasi

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It is my observation that individuals who work for the FSDOs interpret the 51% rule in different ways.

And since a tiny percent of those who do know anything about gyros, their interpretations are more often than not very very conservative.

This generally means lots of time and extra effort on your part to jump through the multitude of hoops they will insist upon, just to make 100% sure they have covered every single base... and then, those they might have overlooked.
 

shootthrees

Tom Duncan
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Thanks everyone! !

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I897 using Tapatalk
 

Phenix USA

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Just remember that an LSA and EAB are not the same thing and the FAA does not allow the certification of gyroplanes as LSA right now.
 
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