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Thread: Ultralight conversion to Experimental Amatuuer Built Aircraft

  1. #1

    Ultralight conversion to Experimental Amatuuer Built Aircraft

    Following is a blog entry from Jim Field's "Honey Bee G2" Site. It has some good detailed information about what is involved if you want to take an ultralight and upgrade it to an Experimental Amatuer Built Aircraft. Thought some of you might enjoy reading it.

    Gyro Doug

    How To Convert Your Ultralight To A Light Sport Aircraft

    A follower of the HoneyBee G2™ Blog wrote a great question I thought every Ultralight enthusiast should read.

    Here is their question:
    "If I had an Ultralight, can it be upgraded? For instance, if I wanted to add fuel tanks or upgrade the engine and register it as experimental further down the road. Can it be upgraded to practically a Microlight"?

    Speaking to the capabilities of the Ultralight HoneyBee G2™ airframe, the airframe itself can carry additional fuel via an additional tank with very little effort. The original fuel sender will automatically compensate for this addition. If however the builder wants to increase the horsepower, the design limitations for the Ultralight is really 52HP. Remember, it was designed to be an Ultralight first. I do believe that an Ultralight HoneyBee G2™ that is converted to an N-Numbered aircraft later would be an absolute "gas" (no pun intended) to own and fly so I am supportive of this later conversion for those that want to go this direction.

    After speaking with those that know the regulations...
    John Golda, Grand Rapids, FAA-FSDO
    Tom Taylor, President, PRA #32, BARUC, my FAA Regulation Liaison is what they provided to me:



    By following these simple steps, an Ultralight Aircraft can be built and flown as a Part 103 Ultralight and later upgraded to a Light Sport Aircraft. This is great news for all of the Ultralight builders.

    The Ultralight can be converted to a registered “Amateur Built – Experimental”. This however is a future possibility only when and if the “Original” owner/purchaser/builder decides to exercise this option. This person herein will be referred to as the “OOPB”.

    The OOPB must have built the Ultralight as a legally compliant Part 103 Ultralight
    During the construction phase, the OOPB must create and maintain a construction log with photos detailing the process
    Upon completion of the Ultralight, the aircraft can be flown as such as long as it legally qualifies with an empty weight less than 254 #’s, does not carry more than five gallons of fuel and enjoys a max speed of not more than 63MPH
    Kit must be a “51% Rule Kit” as in any “experimental” kit
    The OOPB must apply for and receive an FAA N-Number Registration. This will require:
    An FAA Aircraft Registration Form being filled out by the OOPB
    A copy of the Bill Of Sale (for the kit): Provided by kit manufacturer
    FAA Affidavit Of Ownership: Provided by the OOPB
    NOTE: When Registration application and “b & c” are mailed by OOPB to FAA, the aircraft is temporarily grounded.

    NOTE: The additions of additional fuel, more instruments, or other construction sequences will then disqualify this Ultralight to fly under Part 103.
    All additional construction to the aircraft must be documented with photos
    A Weight & Balance must be completed and documented; it is part of the inspection later.
    The OOPB must apply all pertinent decals and labels to the aircraft
    An Aircraft Log Book must be created and available at inspection
    The OOPB must create an FAA Inspection Document Package that includes
    FAA Application for US Airworthiness Certificate
    FAA Program Letter
    FAA Eligibility Statement
    Condition Inspection Report
    Weight & Loading Report
    3 View drawings or photos
    Updated and current Construction Log with photos
    Note: When these documents are completed, then....
    Schedule Inspection with FAA or DAR
    At Inspection the OOPB will receive the following:
    Special Airworthiness Certificate
    Aircraft Operating Limitations
    Aircraft Log Book Endorsement
    After the Inspection the aircraft is now legal to fly again by the OOPB as long as they are appropriately rated as a Pilot to do so
    Other steps that the OOPM needs to be aware of:
    Get an FAA Repairman Inspection Certificate so that the OOPB you can do own Annual Inspections
    State Registration
    Be prepared to pay State Use Taxes
    In closing, great question, great answer!

    Go Ultralight!

  2. #2
    Good info to have available, Doug. But, what is it with all the hieroglyphics?!!
    Dean Dolph
    PRA #8907
    Katy, TX.
    Email -

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