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Federal Aviation Regulations

Part 103 - Ultralight Vehicles
Federal Aviation Administration Take a look at the FAA site
Canadian Aviation Regulations 
Download FAR 103 Text File
FAA regulations concerning Ultralight Aircraft
Download Advisory Circular 103-7
FAA definition of what is a legal ultralight, and what must be registered as a homebuilt



 .Subpart A - General

103.1 - Applicability
103.3 - Inspection Requirements
103.5 - Waivers
103.7 - Certification and registration

Subpart B - Operating Rules

103.9 - Hazardous Operations
103.11 - Daylight Operations
103.13 - Operation near aircraft; right-of-way rules
103.15 - Operations over congested areas
103.17 - Operations in certain airspace
103.19 - Operations in prohibited or restricted areas
103.20 - Flight restrictions in the proximity of certain areas designated by notice to airmen
103.21 - Visual reference with the surface
103.23 - Flight visibility and cloud clearance requirements_______________________________________________________
 
 

Subpart A - General

Authority: 49 U.S.C. app. 1348, 1354(a), 1421(a), 1422, and 1423; 49 U.S.C. app. 1655(c).

Source: Docket No. 21631, 47 FR 38776, Sept. 2, 1982, unless otherwise noted.

103.1 Applicability.

This part prescribes rules governing the operation of ultralight vehicles in the United States. For the purposes of this part, an ultralight vehicle is a vehicle that:
(a) Is used or intended to be used for manned operation in the air by a single occupant;
(b) Is used or intended to be used for recreation or sport purposes only;
(c) Does not have any U.S. or foreign airworthiness certificate; and
(d) If unpowered, weighs less than 155 pounds; or
(e) If powered:
(1) Weighs less than 254 pounds empty weight, excluding floats and safety devices which are intended for deployment in a potentially catastrophic situation;
(2) Has a fuel capacity not exceeding 5 U.S. gallons;
(3) Is not capable of more than 55 knots calibrated airspeed at full power in lever flight; and
(4) Has a power-off stall speed which does not exceed 24 knots calibrated airspeed.

103.3 Inspection requirements.

(a) Any person operating an ultralight vehicle under this part shall, upon request, allow the Administrator, or his designee, to inspect the vehicle to determine the applicability of this part.
(b) The pilot or operator of an ultralight vehicle must, upon request of the Administrator, furnish satisfactory evidence that the vehicle is subject only to the provisions of this part.

103.5 Waivers.

No person may conduct operations that require a deviation from this part except under a written waiver issued by the Administrator.

103.7 Certification and Registration.

(a) Notwithstanding any other section pertaining to certification of aircraft or their parts or equipment, ultralight vehicles and their component parts and equipment are not required to meet the airworthiness certification standards specified for aircraft or to have certificates of airworthiness.
(b) Notwithstanding any other section pertaining to airman certification, operators of ultralight vehicles are not required to meet any aeronautical knowledge, age or experience requirements to operate those vehicles or to have airman or medical certificates.
(c) Notwithstanding any other section pertaining to registration and marking of aircraft, ultralight vehicles are not required to be registered or to bear markings of any type.

Subpart B - Operating Rules

103.9 Hazardous operations.

(a) No person may operate any ultralight vehicle in a manner that creates a hazard to other persons or property.
(b) No person may allow an object to be dropped from an ultralight vehicle if such action creates a hazard to other persons or property.

103.11 Daylight operations.

(a) No person may operate an ultralight vehicle except between the hours of sunrise and sunset.
(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this section, ultralight vehicles may be operated during the twilight periods 30 minutes before official sunrise and 30 minutes after official sunset or, in Alaska, during the period of civil twilight as defined in the Air Almanac, if:
(1) The vehicle is equipped with an operating anti collision light visible for at least 3 statute miles; and
(2) All operations are conducted in uncontrolled airspace.

103.13 Operation near aircraft; right-of-way rules.

(a) Each person operating an ultralight vehicle shall maintain vigilance so as to see and avoid aircraft and shall yield the right-of-way to all aircraft.
(b) No person may operate an ultralight vehicle in a manner that creates a collision hazard with respect to any aircraft.
(c) Powered ultralights shall yield the right-of-way to unpowered ultralights.

103.15 Operations over congested areas.

No person may operate an ultralight vehicle over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons.

103.17 Operations in certain airspace.

[No person may operate an ultralight vehicle within Class A, Class B, Class C, or Class D airspace or within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport unless that person has prior authorization from the ATC facility having jurisdiction over that airspace.]
[(Amdt. 103-4, Eff. 9/16/93)]

EFFECTIVE DATE NOTE: Amdt. 103-4, 56 FR 65662, Dec. 17, 1991, revised Sec. 103.17 effective September 16, 1993. The text of Sec. 130.17 in effect until September 16, 1993 reads as follows:

Sec. 103.17  Operations in certain airspace.

No person may operate an ultralight vehicle within an airport traffic area, control zone, airport radar service area, terminal control area, or positive control area unless that person has prior authorization from the air
traffic control facility having jurisdiction over that airspace.

[Doc. No. 23708, 50 FR 9259, Mar. 6, 1985]

56 FR 65638, No. 242, Dec. 17, 1991

SUMMARY: This final rule amends the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) to adopt certain recommendations of the National Airspace Review (NAR) concerning changes to regulations and procedures in regard to airspace classifications. These changes are intended to:

(1) Simplify airspace designations;

(2) achieve international commonality of airspace designations;

(3) increase standardization of equipment requirements for operations in various classifications of airspace; (4) describe appropriate pilot certificate requirements, visual flight rules (VFR) visibility and
distance from cloud rules, and air traffic services offered in each class of   airspace; and

(5) satisfy the responsibilities of the United States as a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The final rule also amends the requirement for minimum distance from clouds in certain airspace areas and the requirements for communications with air traffic control (ATC) in certain airspace areas; eliminates airport radar service areas (ARSAs), control zones, and terminal control areas (TCAs) as airspace   classifications; and eliminates the term "airport traffic area." The FAA believes simplified airspace classifications will reduce existing airspace complexity and thereby enhance safety.

EFFECTIVE DATE: These regulations become effective September 16, 1993, except that Secs. 11.61(c), 91.215(d), 71.601, 71.603, 71.605, 71.607, and 71.609 and Part 75 become effective December 12, 1991, and except that amendatory instruction number 20, Sec. 71.1, is effective as of December 17, 1991 through September 15, 1993, and that Secs. 71.11 and 71.19 become effective October 15, 1992. The incorporation by reference of FAA Order 7400.7 in Sec. 71.1 (amendatory instruction number 20) is approved by the 
Director of the Federal Register as of December 17, 1991, through September 15, 1993. The incorporation by reference of FAA Order 7400.9 in Sec. 71.1 (amendatory instruction number 24) is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of September 16, 1993 through September 15, 1994.

103.19 Operations in prohibited or restricted areas

No person may operate an ultralight vehicle in prohibited or restricted areas unless that person has permission from the using or controlling agency, as appropriate.

103.20 Flight restrictions in the proximity of certain areas designated by notice to airmen.

No person may operate an ultralight vehicle in areas designated in a Notice to Airmen under ss91.143 or ss91.141 of this chapter, unless authorized by ATC.

[Doc. No. 24454, 50 FR 4969, Feb. 5, 1985, as amended by Amdt. 103-3, 54 FR
34331, Aug. 18, 1989]

103.21 Visual reference with the surface.

No person may operate an ultralight vehicle except by visual reference with the surface.

103.23 Flight visibility and cloud clearance requirements.

[No person may operate an ultralight vehicle when the flight visibility or distance from clouds is less than that in the table found below. All operations in Class A, Class B, Class C, and Class D airspace or Class E airspace designated for an airport must receive prior ATC authorization as required in ss103.17 of this part.

VFR Weather Minimums Table
Airspace Flight Visibility Distance from clouds 
Class A Not applicable Not applicable
Class B 3 statute miles  Clear of Clouds
Class C 3 statute miles 500 feet below. 

1,000 feet above. 

2,000 feet horizontal.

Class D 3 statute miles 500 feet below. 

1,000 feet above. 

2,000 feet horizontal.

Class E: 

Less than 

10,000 feet MSL

3 statute miles 500 feet below 

1,000 feet above. 

2,000 feet horizontal.

Class E: 

At or above 

10,000 feet MSL

5 statute miles 1,000 feet below 

1,000 feet above. 

1 statute mile horizontal. 

Class G: 
 

1,200 feet or less above the 
surface (regardless of MSL 
altitude) 

1 statute mile Clear of clouds. 
Class G: 

More than 1,200 feet above the 
surface but less than 10,000 
feet MSL 

1 statute mile 500 feet below. 

1,000 feet above. 

2,000 feet horizontal.

Class G: 

More than 1,200 feet above the 
surface and at or above 10,000 
feet MSL 

5 statute miles 1,000 feet below. 

1,000 feet above. 

1 statute mile horizontal 

_______________________________________________________

Disclaimer: Not responsible for errors or omissions. Do not bet your life on the information contained here. Never attempt to fly any type of aircraft without proper instruction!

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