During an early evening post-dinner constitutional, I looked up and was greeted with this unexpected sight. A pilot was taking an ultralight for a spin around my neighborhood, skimming along just barely above the tree tops and the church steeple. Don’t know who this intrepid flyer is, but I did find out a little bit about ultralight aircrafts.
According to federal regulations, a powered ultralight is an aircraft that weighs less than 254 pounds, carries a maximum five gallons of gas, doesn’t fly faster than 63 mph, and seats only one person. You can legally fly it without a pilot’s license, without training, and without any qualifications at all.
The FAA says it “has chosen not to promulgate Federal regulations regarding pilot certification, vehicle certification, and vehicle registration, preferring that the ultralight community assume the initiative for the development of these important safety programs…it should be emphasized that the individual ultralight operator’s support and compliance with national self-regulation programs is essential to the FAA’s continued policy of allowing industry self-regulation in these areas.”
Those are some friendly skies, indeed, for ultra light pilots.