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Categories and Ratings for Experimentals


Wayne Hicks
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On the other web-based forum, some of us Hatfields and McCoys got into prolonged discussions about whether or not it was legal for single engine land pilots to fly experimental multi-engine and experimental seaplanes. The answer is, "Yes you can", as long as you're not carrying passengers.

 

To keep this list up to speed, I'm cross posting.

 

As of April 21, 2005, the FAA has closed this loophole when flying with a passenger. Read: http://eaa.org/communications/eaane...509_rating.html.

 

This new rule requires a person (with a recreational pilot certificate or higher) to hold the appropriate aircraft category and class rating when carrying a passenger in an aircraft that holds an experimental airworthiness certificate. This new policy does not apply to pilots flying experimental aircraft who do not carry passengers.

 

So if you want to fly your Defiant solo (or solo in any other experimental twin-jobber), go right ahead, you DON'T need a multi-engine rating. If you want to fly an experimental seaplane, you DON'T need a seaplane rating as long as you're solo.

 

But if you want to take your friend along in a Defiant, you must have a multi-engine rating. If your friend wants to fly in your nice Glastar equipped with floats, you now need a seaplane rating.

 

Why close this loophole? I quote from the FAA Notice:

 

"The new subparagraph was issued because the FAA determined there had been an unacceptable trend in the numbers of accidents of experimental aircraft with passengers aboard. The FAA believes some of these accidents occurred because of the inexperience of the pilots in the specific category and class of aircraft. As the FAA stated in the final rule, “ . . . For [flight operations in an experimental aircraft] without a passenger, the FAA will continue to address on a case-by-case basis the specific requirements for category and class ratings through the operating limitations issued for each experimental aircraft.”

 

The Notice (N 8700.42) provides a “grandfather” clause allowing current pilots without the required ratings a limited window of opportunity (through August 31, 2005) to obtain them.

 

Reminder:

 

"Category" is the broad classification of aircraft -- airplane; rotorcraft; glider; and lighter-than-air; and when used with respect to the certification of aircraft, means a grouping of aircraft based upon intended use or operating limitations. Examples include: transport, normal, utility, acrobatic, limited, restricted, and provisional.

 

"Class" means a classification of aircraft within a category having similar operating and/or propulsion characteristics. Examples include: single engine; multiengine; land; water; gyroplane; helicopter; airship; and free balloon; and when used with respect to the certification of aircraft, means a broad grouping of aircraft having similar characteristics of propulsion, flight, or landing. Examples include: airplane; rotorcraft; glider; balloon; landplane; and seaplane.

Wayne Hicks

Cozy IV Plans #678

http://www.ez.org/pages/waynehicks

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So for all the Defiant builders, they'll have to add additional time on top of the 5,000 hours to build to acquire a multi-engine rating. What's involved with that? I can't imagine anyone who'd be satisfied with building a Defiant and then NOT being able to take someone up.

 

Any other opinions on this? Some might be screaming conspiracy, but with Sport Pilot opening things up I don't see the FAA in this position. It's one thing I'm impressed with after 9/11 -- Americans continue to be allowed to fly without hardly any new restrictions.

Jon Matcho :busy:
Builder & Canard Zone Admin
Now:  Rebuilding Quickie Tri-Q200 N479E
Next:  Resume building a Cozy Mark IV

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So for all the Defiant builders, they'll have to add additional time on top of the 5,000 hours to build to acquire a multi-engine rating. What's involved with that?

Once you have a PP-SEL, you can get a multi rating in a day or two, for $1500 bucks or less. Hardly a stopper.
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