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

Agreed, Peter. It all boils down to your last sentence.


I agree – it all depends on your mission.

As a new pilot our N-reg. experimental is right now perfect for me. VFR in Germany with occasional, well prepared trip abroad.
I like going in the technical details and I’m happy, we can do the maintenance our self. Combined with the cheap operation costs, it simply fits my profile.

If you
- intend to go IFR
- want hassle free boarder crossings
- do not live in Germany (or any other country with almost no restrictions on n-reg / experimental)
- are not technical inclined
- are not willing to do extra paper work
- …
its not for you.
So its actually a really small niche, where it makes maybe sense. And even then you have to find the right plane first.


I’m sure this fellow would have some interesting comments about all this discussion

Chasing the Morning Sun

Canadian-built RV-6, registered and modified in the UK and flown around the world starting and ending in the UK… and I’m sure a lot of that was IFR !!!
Probably kept the paperwork to a minimum by installing the additional fuel tanks and thus reducing the number of countries for landing.

LSZK, Switzerland

Don Taylor flew the first homebuilt around the world in 1976, a Thorp T-18 that he scratch built, but I imagine the lack of easy global communication simplified things at that time.

His stops were as follows:

Oshkosh, WI
Burlington VT
Moncton, Canada
Goose Bay, Labrador
Narssarssuaq, Greenland
Keflavik, Iceland
Leeds-Bradford, England
Venice, Italy
Athens, Greece
Elazig, Turkey
Tehran, Iran
Zahedan, Iran
Karachi, Palistan
Ahmadabad, India
Nugpur, India
Calcutta, India
Bangkok, Thailand
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Kuching, Malaysia
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Zamboanga, Philippines
Davaq, Philippines
Yap Island
Truk Island
Ponape Island
Wake Island
Midway Island
Adak, AK
Cold Bay, AK
Anchorage, AK
Fairbanks, AK
White Horse, Canada
Fort Saint John, Canada
Edmonton, Canada
Minot, ND
Oshkosh, WI

Last Edited by Silvaire at 31 Aug 20:35

On a quick look some of those legs are about 900nm.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Midway Island – Adak, Alaska is over 1400 nm!

The Europa N81EU did it also a few years ago.


These flights are done mostly under IFR, due to the 3rd World mostly not recognising VFR. One old post here. Whether the UK based (G-reg) people got the CAA Permit amended to allow IFR, I have no idea.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I think a lot of that is “just done” without worrying too much about the legislative fine print. It is probably a reasonable strategy for a round-the-world flight where you’re just passing through. I think it is a little trickier to fly around Europe without regard to the regulatory spiderweb.

Italy can apparently be added to the list of countries allowing experimental IFR:


yesombre wrote:

As a new pilot our N-reg. experimental is right now perfect for me

Honestly, it’s probably one of the least practical experimantal plane to use when flying around Europe. A US registered plane cannot benefit from ECAC. There are other options that are better. A plane registered in Norway, Sweden or Finland, would be much more practical, and fully IFR capable. Even a UK registered RV would be easier, but then you would have to “inspect” it every year.

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