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Homebuilt / ultralight / permit (non ICAO CofA) and IFR - how?

Peter wrote:

has to file a flight plan for every flight.

It doesn’t say that. A flight plan must be filed to enter Germany. This is different from microlights from Belgium, Czech, France? (probably) that does not have to file a flight plan to enter Germany.

Peter wrote:

Somebody must (?) be digging up the legal references and compiling them.

When I research something like this seriously, I usually start by asking the relevant bureau/ agency/ etc. (I won’t bother them if I’m just curious). If it’s something I can’t find on their website, obviously. This must be rather straight forward for ECAC with member states (there must be someone in an NAA on top of this). No digging involved, just compiling.

I find the biggest problem is that these regs are buried in national law which is published in the national language only. On one aspect in that doc, I asked a native French pilot friend of mine (who I know is damn smart) and he couldn’t find the corresponding text…

Does anyone know what aircraft type limitations apply to SE-reg homebuilts?

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I think you will have a better chance to get some good and accurate info here

This French registered Lancair Legacy has been reported to be “IFR Certfied” by the DGAC.


I have just heard a view from a German pilot that the 180 day limit on N-reg homebuilts there is for days of operation, not total elapsed time. That would make it a non-issue.

The original discussion is here with a reference to the German law.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

LeSving wrote:

Experimental amateur built aircraft aren’t permitted to fly IFR, they are restricted to VFR only (for instance), IF they don’t have what it takes to fly IFR regarding instruments and equipment. This is not just a play with words, it is two very different concepts legally. The experimental class of aircraft has no restrictions other than no commercial operations, and cannot be used as a trainer for PPL. The reason most only have VFR equipment is because most builders don’t have IFR rating.

I’m trying to understand flight rules and how they would apply to my aircraft and myself (if I can arrange the trip to Europe this year (from the US).) Our Evolution is IFR equipped and I am IFR rated. Given the two factors, am I, or am I not, limited to VFR only (flight plans) and Less Than 10,000’ MSL in Western Europe? I know I need to use airspace in Iceland, UK, Netherlands and possibly into France (which would require an over-flight of Belgium). (The trip would be less than 28 days.)

Because you don’t have a standard category Certificate of Airworthiness, you need to apply for an exemption to fly in each of the national airspace authorities in your planned trip.

So you will be bound by any limitations that come with that exemption and that will usually mean day/VFR.

Look in section Gen 1.2 for each of those countries AIPs as a starting point.

It’s worth registering with to access all the European area AIP’s.
Go to Enter Applications;
Then PAMS light (AIP) on the LH menu
Then select Country, AIP and Part- Gen

You’ll typically be charged $100 or more for each exemption (nearer $500 for Greenland).
You’ll also need insurance to comply with EC reg 785/2004 which requires about $2.5M in liability cover.

KHWD- Hayward California; EGTN Enstone Oxfordshire, United States

From here

Alexis wrote:

As long as you cannot legally fly IFR with an Experimental in Europe

What? That is as much true, as “no life was ever safed due to the chute” – but I think I know what you mean

Alexis wrote:

Not everybody is into building airplanes. I for one prefer flying them and I am not in a phase of my life where I would spend 5 years to build an airplane.

Simple solution: just buy a used Experimental. I did and took to the air imediately


Simple solution: just buy a used Experimental. I did and took to the air imediately

That is not a “simple solution”. I think I am a somewhat technical person and have an eye for the quality of things, but you have to be a specialist to understand if an airplane was built the right way, and in many cases (composites) you have to trus the builder that he “did it right”. Now, it is not a solution for GA in general to “buy used experimentals”.

What’s wrong with the statement that you cannot legally fly IFR in an Experimental in Europe?

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