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Flying without a license? Does that work and if so how?

10 Posts

In the discussion about the Jetson 1 personal mini drone this question has come up repeatedly.

Jetson claim, that due to the limitations their device has (speed below 100km/h electronically limited, computerized flight controls e.t.c. ), their Jetson One may be flown by anyone WITHOUT any form of pilots license. This appears to be their major marketing point.

Now I have huge trouble believing that this is possible. However, I have not much experience in the ULM market.

So does anyone here have an insight in this? is this claim substantiated by any form of regulation? That is: Are there any form of device carrying a human you can actually fly without a license? And if so, what are the limitations?

I realize that this may be widely different from country to country yet again. Jetson are Swedish and produce in Poland. But their main market is in the US.

LSZH, Switzerland

Do you need a licence to fly/drive a hovercraft?
In many countries I don’t think so. So perhaps it might be the sale with this machine. But we have all suffered at the hands of regulators.

France

gallois wrote:

Do you need a licence to fly/drive a hovercraft?
In many countries I don’t think so. So perhaps it might be the sale with this machine.

They are talking of a flying height “in excess of 1500 ft AGL”. Should be too high for a hovercraft.

gallois wrote:

But we have all suffered at the hands of regulators.

Well…

The question may well be: Seeing what this guy was doing flying through the forest, do you think they may have a point?

LSZH, Switzerland

If it’s Part 103 legal in the USA, it doesn’t even need to be registered and the pilot needs no kind of license. This is what they may mean. Not applicable outside the USA.

Andreas IOM

gallois wrote:

Do you need a licence to fly/drive a hovercraft?
In many countries I don’t think so. So perhaps it might be the sale with this machine. But we have all suffered at the hands of regulators.

I would think that vehicles that depend on reaction with the ground or water to stay airborne are not considered aircraft.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

alioth wrote:

If it’s Part 103 legal in the USA, it doesn’t even need to be registered and the pilot needs no kind of license. This is what they may mean.

what would be the typical application for a Part 103 vehicle? Never heard of this before.

LSZH, Switzerland

The application for FAA Part 103 is having fun.

Ultralights below 254 lbs empty weight plus various other straightforward limitations can be operated in the US without a pilot certificate or approved/registered airframe. I believe there is something similar in the UK.

This was discussed fairly extensively, with links to the regulation etc in the EuroGA paramotor to 17,500 ft thread.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 01 Dec 14:53

Silvaire wrote:

I believe there is something similar in the UK

I think this is Single Seat Deregulated (SSDR) from 2007, but can’t find much information from then about licence requirements. It used to be aircraft with a maximum weight of 115kg (unlikely to do any damage to third parties), but was increased to 300kg in 2014. It’s the airframe that is deregulated (no airworthiness inspection) so the pilot still needs at least a microlight licence.

EGHO-LFQF-KCLW, United Kingdom

UK SSDRs must be fixed wing. By contrast, FAA part 103 can be …well, anything. Fixed wing, helicopter, powered-lift, ornithopter, antigravity device – it doesn’t matter how it flies, it just has to be single seat and below the weight limit.

Most of the ones I’ve seen have been flexwings, but I’ve seen a part 103 gyroplane flying (someone brought one to a flyin I went to many years ago)

Last Edited by alioth at 01 Dec 15:41
Andreas IOM

Silvaire wrote:

Ultralights below 254 lbs empty weight plus various other straightforward limitations can be operated in the US without a pilot certificate or approved/registered airframe.

From the FAA circular

A powered ultralight cannot be operated under Part 103 when it has an empty weight of 254 pounds or are; has a fuel capacity exceeding 5 U.S. gallons; is capable of more than 55 knots airspeed at full power in level flight; and has a power-off stall speed which exceeds 24 knots.

This is exactly what they are aiming for. 55 kts airspeed, 254 lb MTOW. I guess the power off stall speed is not relevant in this case.

(1) Is the flight undertaken to accomplish some task, such as patrolling a fence line or advertising a product? If so, Part 103 is not
applicable.

That would take care of herding cows.

LSZH, Switzerland
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