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ECAC Status for homebuilt / experimental (flight privileges within Europe)

Insurance should be OK because you can fly a non-CofA aircraft worldwide. The problem is that the policy will also contain a requirement that the flight must be legal, which is catch-all phrase.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

Insurance should be OK because you can fly a non-CofA aircraft worldwide

Certainly not. And this is part of the problem. The solution is to get a C of A. Microlights do not receive a C of A and so they need special permission to fly at all (in principle). Experimental homebuilt do receive a C of A by the local AA after the test period is over in most parts of the world.

It is illegal to fly to Svalbard in a microlight for instance, but perfectly legal in a homebuilt (experimental class).

Last Edited by LeSving at 21 Jul 07:44
ENVA ENOP ENMO, Norway

Of course I know one cannot fly a homebuilt worldwide. You need to get permissions, etc.

But subject to permissions, you can do it. There may be airports which ban them totally but you can probably get a permission for that if you work on it or know the right people. For example you can get a permit to fly a single engine over the centre of London (a Spitfire, on specific events) and there are other cases (called NSF – non standard flight).

So doing pan-European insurance is no problem.

The insurance cover “just” won’t be valid unless you obtained the permission…

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

The insurance cover “just” won’t be valid unless you obtained the permission…

Yes, and that ECAC recommendation assures you have that permission within Europe as it is shown in that table I presented. But it only covers experimental homebuilts, not microlights. It was made before “Annex II” and before microlights and EASA.

It would be nice if you stopped using terms such as “non-C of A”. This term makes no sense outside the UK. They UK do not even have an experimental class in the register.

ENVA ENOP ENMO, Norway

Humor me – could one take an ultralight and get it registered under a local CAA as an special / experimental plane? Does such a registration produce a CoA from the local CAA? Is that CoA useful for flying around Europe? Can’t be that simple, can it? How about all the kit planes which clearly don’t classify as a UL?

tmo
EPKP - Kraków, Poland

tmo wrote:

Humor me – could one take an ultralight and get it registered under a local CAA as an special / experimental plane? Does such a registration produce a CoA from the local CAA? Is that CoA useful for flying around Europe? Can’t be that simple, can it? How about all the kit planes which clearly don’t classify as a UL?

Two different things with separate regulations. A microlight has MTOW 450 kg, max stall speed 65 km/h and so on. Day VFR only, no acro. No requirements for lights, radio, transponder (unless flying in controlled airspace). You can build it yourself or buy it factory built, doesn’t matter. The CAA does not bother with them, everything is handled by the national microlight organisation. A special microlight license is needed, also handled by the microlight organisation.

An experimental homebuilt has a 51% requirement for (home)building. It needs to be equipped with radio, light etc. The CAA inspect (during and after building) and issue a C of A when the test period is successfully ended (min 25 h, but could be more according to how “experimental” it is, and less for restoration projects). You can build anything, from scratch, from kits, from plans or your own design, also a microlight kit as long as the basic requirements are fulfilled. A PPL is needed for flying.

The main difference is an experimental homebuilt has to show it is built properly and that it can operate safely in the airspace and therefore receives a C of A. This is a “Special C of A” with restrictions. The main restriction is non-commercial operations only and it cannot be used as a basic trainer (aerobatic training and other special things are allowed). Other restrictions can be VFR only for instance. A microlight does not need to prove to the CAA it is built properly and can operate safely, and will never receive a C of A, only a “permit to fly” restricted for one year at a time.

The (local) “CAA” could with the stroke of a pen be replaced with “EASA representative”, and experimental homebuilt could be operated just like any other aircraft throughout EASA land at least. Today the ECAC recommendation is the next best thing. Not that I would welcome EASA to regulate homebuilts in any shape or form, that would be a disaster for sure.

ENVA ENOP ENMO, Norway

Good and interesting summary, LeSving, but there are national variations. For example the UK homebuilding regulator, the LAA, does not allow a lot of stuff which could be done in the USA.

BTW what is the significance of the 650/750kg figure which I keep reading about?

As regards EASA regulating homebuilts, that would be bad for the big majority of the homebuilding community IF they imposed certification-type rules on it (which I am sure they would – regulation is what EASA stands for, regardless of the need for it). A huge % of the lower cost of operating a homebuilt of a performance similar to a certified equivalent is the ability to work on it and save a lot of money because normally the owner values his time at zero, and this would be lost. Otherwise, it would be a useful quid pro quo because it would solve the issues which this forum has covered so many times e.g. border crossing permits, ability to be based anywhere regardless of reg without having to hang out “below the radar”, etc. I am sure it will never happen because if you

  • removed the border crossing permit / overflight requirements
  • removed limits on basing in a country other than the registration country
  • allowed IFR

most of the certified scene would collapse

All you would be left with would be some rotting PA28s etc at flying schools, and AOC aircraft.

The overall GA accident rate would also go up through the roof and there would be a big backlash…

So I think many people do not want homebuilt privileges to be expanded. It would impinge on too many vested interests. It’s a bit like if it was easy to establish a “farm strip” with a hard runway and all the facilities (or even with a high quality grass runway) the GA airfield scene would collapse.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I have never heard of any 650/750 kg figure. In Norway MTOW for a homebuilt is 2000 kg as a general rule, but it’s not an absolute rule. The only rational thing is of course to have the same rules for homebuilts throughout EASA, but seeing how problematic it is for EASA to create viable and rational rules for certified aircraft, I hope it will never happen.

Peter wrote:

most of the certified scene would collapse

All you would be left with would be some rotting PA28s etc at flying schools, and AOC aircraft.

The overall GA accident rate would also go up through the roof and there would be a big backlash…

So I think many people do not want homebuilt privileges to be expanded. It would impinge on too many vested interests.

I don’t think so. Look at the ultralight scene today. More than 95% at least is factory built, even though it full freedom to build your own from scratch or kit. People in general want factory built (or professionally hand-built by skilled craftsmen), only a tiny minority want amateur built, and the majority of those want to build themselves because they find interest in building. More than 80-90% of microlights use Rotax 912, an engine costing the same as a Lycoming 320.

EASA needs to think outside the box they have created for themselves. It should be very easy too, because all the thinking has already been done and put to work for decades now with European microlights. A whole industry for light aircraft has grown up from nothing during the last 20-30 years. An non-certified Rotax 912 has proven higher reliability record than any certified Lycoming, it runs on 95 octane mogas, exist in “analog” and “digital” version, turbo and non turbo. It is the most successful civilian piston aero engine in history and it has been created and produced for the un-certified market, the microlight market (with some certified version also).

EASA has to stop with this certified organisation nonsense for light aircraft. They have to stop this quasi theoretical safety nonsense. When they do, we will see Diamonds with Austro engines everywhere, we will see Rotax engines everywhere powering European aircraft, not just microlights.

The natural state of homebuilt aircraft is a tiny minority, less than 5%. Anything more than that is caused by a much less than optimal working market for regular airplanes. EASA can fix this in an instant. Very few can afford an aircraft at 500-1000 k€ and pay 10-20k each year in maintenance. A whole lot more can afford a brand new microlight at 50-150 k€ and zero each year in maintenance, maybe a factor 50-100. The industry is already in place, but is made impossible for regular airplanes by EASA nonsense. Exactly what interests would expanded homebuilt priveleges impinge? If anything it would only increase the already existing microlight industry, but only slightly.

ENVA ENOP ENMO, Norway

Europaxs said:

ECAC-registered homebuilts (like also the dutch registered RV) have general entry-permit in Germany…

Can you back that up with a reference?

I do not think that homebuilts have the general ECAC entry permission to Germany unless they are EASA Permit… I.e. NAA permits require entry permission.

I have been thinking about the GEN1.2 section of the German AIP all week and I don’t think it leaves any scope for interpretation. You need VERY specific wording in the permit to get the general entry permission, otherwise permission is required, and will be granted for a maximum 180 days.

This could mean that I don’t have permission to fly and that my only option is to transfer registries. I have heard that the German register is the hardest register to get an imported homebuilt on to, I have no idea how that works on the D-Reg, which is why I bought G… So I guess I need to plea to you guys on the forum. Is there anyone who could help, or knows someone who can help, me find my way to setup a transfer of a Europa from G to D? Or understand the German ECAC implementation for sure.

Last Edited by italianjon at 30 Jul 03:25
EDHS, Germany

The source is AIP GEN 1-17:

For self-constructed aircraft of a European Civil
Aviation Conference (ECAC) member state, to
which an airworthiness certificate of limited va-
lidity or a comparable certification has been
issued, permission to enter the territory of the
Federal Republic of Germany is generally
granted subject to the following conditions:

That leaves no room for any interpretation. If the homebuilt is registered in an ECAC-memberstate, a general entry-permission is granted under certain conditions, e.g. VFR.

A registration in Germany is not possible unless the homebuilt was built in Germany under the supervision of OUV. A very good alternative is a PH-reg, which I did with my Europa (was also G-reg).

You can also send me a PM.

Last Edited by europaxs at 30 Jul 06:55
EDLE
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