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How Safe is an Ultralight/Microlight Aircraft?

If you are new to microlights/ultralights, one of your biggest concerns is safety.

Just how safe is a microlight? What are the dangers of flying a microlight? Can the wings of a microlight come off mid-flight?


Microlight Aircraft Construction and Training
In the early days, when those magnificent men in their flying machines were still experimenting with ways to attach the motor to the wings, you should have been concerned. Early microlight aircraft designs were fragile or unstable which resulted in unfortunate accidents.

Since then, microlight aircraft wing, frame and engine technology have seen many improvements. Factory-manufactured microlight aircraft must now meet strict safety standards. In fact, the stringent regulations set forth by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) require that microlight manufacturers conduct structural load tests to forces of 6g - that's three times that of a jumbo jet!

In most countries, a pilot's license/certificate is also required which is often regulated by one or more organizations. Currently, the United States doesn't require training for microlight pilots. Experienced pilots, however, recommend that no one solo before receiving dual training and offer instruction in two-place microlights. Instructors must be certified by the FAA to give dual instruction in this light sport aircraft.


Microlight Aircraft Operation Limitations
Yep, there are also a few rules to keep us and others safe while we're flying.

  • One passenger only
  • No flying over largely populated areas
  • Daylight hours only
  • Stay below the clouds
  • Don't fly in airspace in or around airports with control towers without prior permission
  • No commercial operations (for hire) except instruction
  • Yield right-of-way to all other aircraft - they are bigger than you!


Want to find out more?
The following organizations are a few of the organizations around the world that can provide you with more information than you may ever want to know.

  • United States Ultralight Association (USUA)
  • British Microlight Aircraft Association (BMAA)
  • Ultralight Pilots Association of Canada (UPAC)
  • European Microlight Aircraft Association (EMAA)
  • Aero Club Italia (AeCI.it)
  • Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand (www.CAA.govt.nz)
  • Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP.gov.ph)



       







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