Obviously the UL community has always existed but I am wondering whether it gets an extra push in countries where flying “normally” is an extra hassle – for example Spain (a flight plan for any flight in CAS) and Italy (loads of low level Class A)?
…for example Spain (a flight plan for any flight in CAS) and Italy (loads of low level Class A)?
How would you avoid that with an ultralight?
Flying closer to the ground And a lot easier to be based at convenient locations, with no airport charges.
Two separate matters, better two separate discussions.
Regarding strips: this seems a UK only phenomenon. I’ve always said the UK concept of G/A at commercially operated fields is doomed to fail. In this respect as in many, the Netherlands seem set on following the Brits in their follies, except they even don’t have the concept of an airstrip, or anything like the 28-day rule.
Regarding microlights: their biggest success seems to be waning, myself was a late joiner. These things come and go. The new hype is in drones and in paragliding.
I think many people realized that all they were ever going to do was a local bimble. And for that you simply don’t need a certified machine. In many parts of Europe, the wx is good enough for VFR only ops, so no need to be IR capable. Many more fields available and much cheaper. Add to that that some of the ULs can fly rings around a C172/182, PA28, TB20 (insert your favorite money-burner here) they make perfect sense.
Add to that that some of the ULs can fly rings around a C172/182, PA28, TB20 (insert your favorite money-burner here) they make perfect sense.
Maybe, but those who can fly these rings cost upward from 150.000 Euros. For that money, you can buy yourself a C172 a C182 a Pa28 and a TB20 and still have money left for several years of large airport fees
Not a fair comparison, @WN, I thought better of you. Why compare apples to pears?
Ok, a new Bristell or VL3 does cost upside of 150.000 €. But are you truthfully claiming you can buy a new C172 and a new TB20 and a new PA-28 for that money? Not even to mention cost of operation.
A recent (2015) Bristell is on offer* right now for 82.500,- € – where’s your addition? Four spamcans at 20.000 each? With a comparable stack of avionics (a must today, in Europe)? Good luck with them, then! And again, not even to mention cost of operation.
@what_next, I know what you are getting at and that’s correct. I did, however, write ‘some’…….
I have been to airfields in southern Spain that are teeming with activity, all of it ULs most of which, admittedly, could not keep up with the certified types, but that’s not the point. For 90%+ of pilots these machines are good enough to get around locally, which is all they care about.
Regarding strips: this seems a UK only phenomenon.
I think only a few countries really prohibit “DIY runways”. Germany is (de facto) one of them, AIUI. Italy has about 300 ultralight sites, according to some database supplied with a popular handheld GPS made by an Italian manufacturer (Avmap).
Oddly enough the UK has hundreds of strips. 80+ just in Sussex, which is at a wild guess about 5-10% of UK’s economically active land area. I say “oddly enough” because you can go everywhere of relevance in Class G, non-TXP, non-radio… the UK is a perfect environment for a pilot who wants to just fly and talk to nobody. He just needs to be able to navigate the aviation chart. But the UK has a huge certified scene.
That must depend on your definition of DIY. Belgium only allows one to fly from a registered field, and getting a field registered does take a lot of hassle, even as a private one. Netherlands must be worse, judging from their general approach to G/A.
The only country that I positively know to NOT require an aerodrome to be registered or such is France, and even then only for ultralights. Consent of the land owner is enough, there. Would it need to be in writing?
the UK is a perfect environment for a pilot who wants to just fly and talk to nobody
What is perfect about that? Even in crowded BE such flying is not impossible, though care is needed. In France and in Germany it happens all the while, I am sure. Italy and Spain ditto but less sure.