Ultralights are great if you’re a first time pilot or are interested in learning how to fly a plane without spending a fortune. These miniature aircraft can be flown across the country, and there are plenty of places to fly. However, before you can take off on your own you’ll need to undergo some training.
The FAA has some requirements for ultralights. They’re required to have a maximum speed of 55 knots, and a fuel capacity of five gallons. In addition, they can’t exceed 254 pounds of empty weight. Generally, ultralights are used in the general aviation community, and aren’t found at executive airports. If you’re considering flying an ultralight, it’s a good idea to find a flight school or mentor who can provide you with tips and guidance.
While it’s not always easy to find an instructor in your area, there are several organizations that can provide the necessary assistance. One is the EAA, or Experimental Aircraft Association. There are chapters located throughout the country, and they can help you plan your first flight and mentor you as you learn to fly.
Another organization to watch is the USUA, or United States Ultralight Association. This organization is the one that the FAA looks to when it needs to clarify ultralight-related issues. Although the name might suggest that the USUA is just another government agency, it’s actually a 501(c)3 nonprofit that provides advocacy and insurance for the ultralight community.
As you can see from the acronym, there’s a lot to learn about the ultralight aircraft. You can also get a good deal on a new or used model. Normally, a light-sports airplane will cost between eight and fifteen thousand dollars, but a pre-owned ultralight can be had for only a few hundred bucks. That’s a bargain, and it makes learning how to fly a microlight a lot more fun.
The most important thing to know is that a microlight isn’t the only way to fly an ultralight. Other options include powered parachutes and hang gliders. A glider, in particular, is a tad more complicated and can require a higher degree of training. But, for most people, the real thrill will be in the air, not on the ground.
For a more comprehensive guide to the ultralight craze, you can visit the EAA’s Ultralight Sourcebook. Also, the USUA can answer any questions you have about the aircraft, including how to go about obtaining an FAA certificate and registering for flight.
Of course, there’s no single best way to learn how to fly a microlight, and a good mentor will give you the most practical advice possible. Typically, you’ll spend ten to twenty hours of training, which will include the following: the aforementioned flight theory. Some students may opt to go with a dual instruction option, where they’ll be paired with a qualified instructor for the majority of the time. Once the student becomes comfortable, they’ll be allowed to do an unsupervised solo flight.