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EAA Ultralight Training Program To Continue

Ultralight Council Approves Updates For New Era

November 2, 2006 — EAA and its Ultralight Council are working to ensure that ultralight pilots have access to thorough training even after the current FAA exemption for ultralight flight training expires on January 31, 2008.

The FAA ultralight training exemption allowed use of two-place ultralight aircraft to teach prospective ultralight pilots. The movement of those two-place training aircraft into the light-sport aircraft category, as part of the sport pilot/light-sport aircraft rule, has sparked questions on how future ultralight pilots will receive adequate instruction.

"We know there is a significant segment of the recreational flying community who would prefer to fly, or continue flying, ultralights under FAA Part 103," said Timm Bogenhagen, EAA's ultralight programs manager. "EAA is committed to supporting them and ensuring their safe operations, just as EAA has since the beginning of the ultralight movement in the early 1980s."

The EAA Ultralight Council - consisting of experienced ultralight enthusiasts who volunteer their time to help set policy and design programs to benefit ultralight fliers - explored the matter at its fall meetings in Oshkosh on Oct. 27-28. The council made a series of recommendations to maintain the growth and vitality of the ultralight community as an economical, safe and fun way to experience flight.

Those recommendations include:

  • Maintain the ultralight student, pilot and vehicle registration programs;
  • Continue cooperation with the United States Ultralight Association (USUA) and Aero Sports Connection (ASC), who with EAA have trained and endorsed ultralight instructors for more than a decade;
  • Explore ways for student ultralight pilots to receive flight instruction from certified flight instructors, using aircraft that have similar flight characteristics as ultralight;
  • Find ways to use sport pilot test standards as an additional instruction standard for ultralight training;
  • Expand ultralight-specific training materials for each category of ultralights.

"EAA will continue to publish ultralight-specific articles each month in EAA Sport Pilot magazine and provide the support needed in this area," Bogenhagen said. "Ultralights have become an important part of the recreational flight community over the past 25 years, and it's crucial that this unique entry point into the world of flight remain vibrant into the future."

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