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SSDR microlight for IFR?

I’ve got a crazy idea about mod a SSDR (single-seat deregulated) microlight for instrument flying.

As per my reading to ANO, it is owner’s responsibility to determine airworthiness and opreation limits for a SSDR. So I should be able to give my SSDR a IFR clearance given that legal minimum equipments are fitted. I didn’t find and article on ANO limiting mircrolights from IFR. Though Article 42 (B) limited permit to fly aircrafts from IFR without CAA permission but in legal terms SSDR is not classified as permit to fly.

For equipments, ANO schedule 5 only required


(a) measuring and displaying the—
(i) magnetic heading;
(ii) time in hours, minutes and seconds;
(iii) pressure altitude;
(iv) indicated airspeed;
(v) vertical speed;
(vi) turn and slip;
(vii) attitude;
(viii) stabilised heading;
(ix) outside air temperature; and
(x) Mach number, whenever speed limitations are expressed in terms of Mach number;
(b) where gyroscopic instruments are installed, indicating when the supply of power to those
instruments is not adequate; and
(c) preventing malfunction of the airspeed indicating system required in paragraph (a)(iv)
due to condensation or icing.

It can be easily satisfied by a EFIS panel.
Schedule 5 (1), states that those instruments needs to be certified. In my opinion as long as the EFIS holds a CAA TSO then they are certified.

In practice a Mode S tranponder and 8.33kHz radio should be fitted as well to fly in Class D airspace. Note that a hand held radio can’t be used in IFR as per CAA LA3 permit limitations, but I’d love to have one cuz some of them have VOR and ILS functionality.

It is very tempting for me that with£3k ish upgrade I would be able to do IFR with SSDR in IMC, or even landing a SSDR into some large airports with ILS.

Is there anything might block me from the plan?

Thanks.

EGPT, United Kingdom

Possible?

What is the problem with IFR gliders in IMC? there is no approval or permission required, you don’t even need medics all, licence or rating…3rd party insurance and DVLA medical for driving and off you go

Plenty of open cockpit vintage & wooden ones for under 1000£, if you have not kissed weather, terrain with mix of cumulonimbus & waves in these you have not done much instrument & weather flying, forget about “VMC IFR in Airways on auto-pilot writing ATC clearances”, when you pick ice it hurts on pilot face and skin first, the parachute & air-break comes handy !

It’s very harsh out there for “low wing loads”, you don’t get those feelings in 25lbs/ft2 FIKI aircraft with heated prop, wing, seats & carpets sitting behind marginal engineering

Last Edited by Ibra at 23 Jun 20:43
Paris/Essex, France, , United Kingdom

@flygoat I think its a great idea. Sadly under ULM regs in France you cannot fly IFR even with the equipment.
And in this one cannot blame the DGAC, it is the FFPULM committee which decided not to push for it because it would infringe on the rights of self declaration which are the baseline of ULM regs/non regs.
I would be interested in how you would get around the last section of your requirement list regarding preventing malfunction of airspeed?
That normally requires a pitot heater to do it. If you are going to install one, how would you do it.
On the DA40 a new pitot heater is exhorbitant or at least it appears to me, for the techology involved, around €5000 we were quoted.

France

@gallois there are some used pitot heat tube available on eBay ~50£.

Usually they don’t come with EASA Form 1 so they can’t be installed on CoA aircrafts but for microlights as long as they have TSO they’re airworthy.

Last Edited by flygoat at 24 Jun 07:04
EGPT, United Kingdom

Thanks for the suggestion @flygoat. I would love to do what you are talking about on a CrI Cri but so far no joy with the regulators.

France

And in this one cannot blame the DGAC, it is the FFPULM committee which decided not to push for it because it would infringe on the rights of self declaration which are the baseline of ULM regs/non regs

But you don’t have to be member of FFPULM to fly ULM in France, you may have to pay expensive

French national regs don’t allow “aerodrome IFR” in ULM (arrêté de 1992 for F-P & AD IFR et arrêté de 2001 pour équipements), there are airspaces where they are not allowed (TMA of Nice), other than that I fail to find one single reg that prohibits departure by an IR rated pilot from private grass strips to private grass strips while staying OCAS in ULM?

Again I want a legal text that prohibits it (bizzarly there is none in NCO, SERA, Legifrance…) not some “common sense” arguments or “this is what I was told by my ULM instructor”

For gliders in France, it’s prohibited to fly inside clouds and 1kft closer but not since S-FCL…

Last Edited by Ibra at 24 Jun 07:19
Paris/Essex, France, , United Kingdom

Flygoat is in the UK.

I have never heard of a UL being IFR certified. As to what regulation explicitly prohibits it, I have no idea.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

And in this one cannot blame the DGAC, it is the FFPULM committee which decided not to push for it because it would infringe on the rights of self declaration which are the baseline of ULM regs/non regs

But you don’t have to be member of FFPULM to fly ULM/SSDR in France? you may have to pay very very expensive insurance though (in UK you need to be member of BMAA to own/fly Microlights)

French national regs don’t allow “aerodrome IFR in ULM” (arrêté de 1992 for AD IFR et arrêté de 2001 pour équipements) and there are airspaces where they are not allowed (TMA/CTR of Nice), other than that I fail to find a reg that prohibits departure by an IR rated pilot from private grass strips to private grass strips while staying OCAS in ULM/SSDR?

Again; I want a legal text that prohibits it (bizzarly none in SERA, NCO, Legifrance) and not some “common sense” arguments or “this is what I was told by my ULM/SSDR instructor”…

Last Edited by Ibra at 24 Jun 07:25
Paris/Essex, France, , United Kingdom

FFPULM plays the role ( possibly) the PFA does in UK. And it tends to be the FFPULM which deals with the DGAC over the matter of regulations in France. At this year’s FFPULM AGM its president, in his opening address said that the association would not be pushing for instrument flight for the reason I mentioned in my last post. It has never therefore been forbidden by the DGAC because it has never been requested. It has never been permitted either.
You are quite right you do not have to be a member of the FFPULM to fly your ULM in France but you do have to meet certain criteria eg the 500kg MTOW rule. This criteria has basically all been negotiated between the DGAC and the FFPULM. Its basis is “self declaration at all levels” medical, airworthiness, licencing. Although of course there are certain entry requitments. Eg you can’t just turn up and say I am perfectly fit to fly without at least a note from your doctor, agreeing to that. After that initial note its down to you to decide whether you are fit to fly or not. I have not seen reports of ULMs falling out of the sky due to pilot incapacitation, but then I haven’t read every report.
There are many advantages to being a member eg insurance negotiated at a block discount level, the get you home service and tooling and advice in the building and maintenance of your own aircraft.
As Peter so often reports it is difficult to stay OCAS in France, if you want to go anywhere other than locally or without a lot of twists and turns.
These days three axis ULMs are accepted in most places. I have not seen anything forbidding a 3axis ULM in the TMA/CTR of Nice but I don’t know of anyone who has had reason to try and land one there.

France

The UK LAA programme never did UL types. That thread and this one are worth a read. I don’t know how far it got and reportedly it was moving very slowly several years ago when I last heard of it. Unfortunately most people who I knew to be connected to that UK programme have either disappeared or sold up.

As Peter so often reports it is difficult to stay OCAS in France

Not sure I ever said that but a) the issue isn’t CAS (France has plenty of Class G) but mil airspace, prohibited zones, etc, and b) it doesn’t appear applicable to this topic.

The OP is asking, AIUI, about the UK situation. A UL needs permits to fly to most countries, anyway, and getting it for IFR would be quite a stretch.

This may be relevant too.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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