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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON MICROLIGHT / ULTRALIGHT / LSA

Vampire Cockpit
WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF MICROLIGHT IN INDIA?

A Microlight is an aircraft having the following characteristics -

  • Maximum gross take-off weight, 450 kg, 472.5 kg if it has on-board parachute rescue system;
  • Maximum stall speed, 80 kmph CAS;
  • Maximum speed in level flight with maximum continuous power, 220 kmph CAS;
  • Single or two seat aircraft only;
  • Single reciprocating engine, including rotary or diesel engine;
  • Fixed or ground adjustable propeller;
  • Un-pressurized or open cabin; and
  • Fixed landing gear except for operation on water or as a glider
 
IS THERE ANY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MICROLIGHT AND AN ULTRALIGHT?

Microlights and Ultralights are one and the same, aircraft as defined in the above definition are termed as microlight in India and Britain and ultralight in the rest of Europe and USA.

 
WHAT IS A LIGHT SPORT AIRCRAFT OR LSA?

FAA defines a light sport aircraft as an aircraft, other than a helicopter or powered lift, that since its original certification, has continued to meet the following -

  • Maximum gross take-off weight is 1320 lbs (598.74 kg), or, 1430 lbs (648.63 kg) for Seaplanes;
  • Maximum stall speed is 51 mph (45 knots) CAS;
  • Maximum speed in level flight with maximum continuous power, 185 mph (120 knots) CAS;
  • Single or two seat aircraft only;
  • Single reciprocating engine, including rotary or diesel engine;
  • Fixed or ground adjustable propeller;
  • Un-pressurized cabin;
  • Fixed landing gear except for operation on water or as a glider
  • Can be manufactured and sold under ready-to-fly under a new Special Light Sport Aircraft (S-LSA) certification category. Aircraft must meet industry consensus standards. Aircraft under this certification may be used for sport and recreation, flight training and aircraft rental;
  • Can be licensed Experimental Light Sport Aircraft (E-LSA), if kit or plans built. Aircraft under this certification may be used only for sport and recreation and flight instruction for the owner of the aircraft;
  • Aircraft category and class includes: Airplane ( Land / Sea), Gyroplane, Airship, Balloon, Weight-Shift-Control ("Trike" Land / Sea), Glider and Powered Parachute;
  • U. S. or froreign manufacture of light sport aircraft is authorized;
  • Aircraft with a standard airworthiness certifcate, which meet the above specifications may be flown by a sport pilots. However, the aircraft must remain in standard category and cannot be changed to light sport aircraft category. Holders of a sport pilot certificate may fly an aircraft with standard airworthiness certificate, if it meets the definition of a light sport aircraft;
  • May be operated at night, if the aircraft is equipped per FAR 91.205, if such operations are allowed by the aircraft's operating limitations and the pilot holds at least a Private Pilot certificate and a minimum of a third-class medical.
 
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FLEX-WING AND 3-AXIS MICROLIGHTS?

The difference between these two types is the method used to control them in flight. Flex-wing microlights use a system called weight shift, which involves the pilot moving the weight of the trike unit, the body of the aircraft under the wing to control its speed and direction. The 3-Axis microlights have control surfaces like those on conventional aircraft, which are operated by control stick and pedals.

 
WHAT FUEL DO MICROLIGHTS USUALLY USE?

All Microlights having 80 to 100 hp engines use 91 Octane petrol (premium uleaded petrol), easily available at all petrol filling stations throughout India.

 
DOES A MICROLIGHT NEED AIRSTRIP OR RUNWAY FOR OPERATING?

Microlights are perfect GO-ANYWHERE aircraft with STOL (Short Take Off & Landing) characteristics, most of them need just 50 to 200 metres of hard ground or grass to take-off and land.

 
HOW HIGH AND FAST CAN MICROLIGHTS FLY?

Though the world record for the highest altitude attained by a microlight is much more than anticipated for unmodified piston engined aircraft, our microlights can fly at altitudes upto 8,800 meters ASL.

Though the VNE of our microlights range between 250 to 290 kmph, the maximum allowable speed for microlights under the Indian rules is 220 kmph and accordingly our microlights can economically cruise at speeds ranging between 190 to 220 kmph (depending upon the weather conditions).

 
ARE MICROLIGHTS SAFE TO FLY? WHAT HAPPENS IN CASE OF ENGINE FAILURE OR ANY MID-AIR EMERGENCY?

A low stall speed of 63 to 65 kmph and an excellent glide ratio makes our microlights safer than other microlights and regular aircraft. These incomparable characteristics help in easy handling even in cases of turbulance or mid-air engine failure. The remarkable feature which makes our microlights 100% safe is the presence of on-board "Parachute Rescue System", in the unlikely event of any mid-air emergency, a parachute can be deployed which helps the microlight and its occupants descend to the safety of the ground.

 
WHERE DO I PARK MY MICROLIGHT?

Our microlights have folding / foldable wings, which make them quite comfortable to park in small spaces. Moreover you can always unbolt the wings of a microlight, put it on a trailer, bring it home and park it in your garage, just like your car.

 
ARE MICROLIGHTS EXPENSIVE TO PURCHASE?

No, not at all, in fact the price of a few microlights is even less than some of the luxury sedans being sold in India, though with add-ons and optionals, the price of some of them can even go upto that of an S-Class Mercedes.

 
ARE MICROLIGHTS EXPENSIVE TO MAINTAIN?

The hourly cost of microlights is approx. INR 2000.00 (Rupees Two Thousand), which is absolutely nothing in comparison to a similar capacity and single engined regular aircraft. The aircraft engines have nowadays become so efficient that their fuel average can even put a small car to shame, during good weather conditions, an 80 hp engined microlight like Virus 912 can even fly 19 to 21 kilometres per litre. The best thing about microlights is that they can be maintained just like your road vehicle, a few important preflight checks and you are ready to fly without the need of an AME (an essential, in case you have a regular aircraft). Microlight in comparison to a regular aircraft is the most convenient way of reducing flying costs.

 
DO I NEED LICENCE TO FLY A MICROLIGHT IN INDIA?

Yes, in India , you would need a Microlight Pilot Licence (PL(M)) to fly a microlight and eligibility is 17 years of age and 10th Class Certificate, but in case you already have a valid Private Pilot Licence (PPL) or higher, you are qualified to fly microlights after certain minor formalities.

 
HOW DO I OBTAIN A LICENCE FOR FLYING MICROLIGHTS IN INDIA?

You shall have to successfully complete 60 hours of instruction, which includes flying and ground school, and then successfully clear the SPL, PL(M) and FRTOL exams (conducted by the DGCA) to obtain a Licence for flying Microlights in India.

 
WHERE CAN I LEARN TO FLY MICROLIGHTS IN INDIA?

Microlight Aviation is commencing operations and very soon you shall be able to obtain Pilot Licence (Microlight) at Microlight Aviation's very own 'Go Fly' School coming up near Jaipur. For more information you may contact -

Capt. Vibhooti Singh
Mobile +91 98280 11166
E-mail flyingbanaa@gmail.com
Skype microlight.flyer

 

 
CAN MICROLIGHTS BE USED FOR TRAVELLING? ARE THERE ANY RESTRICTIONS?

Microlights operate according to Visual Flight Rules (VFR) and are used the world over for personal transportation, specialized jobs, sports and recreation. As to restrictions. under Indian rules, except for a few notified area, microlights are allowed to fly just about anywhere subject to "Rules of Air" but in case you want permission to fly in the controlled airspace, you must be in radio contact with the nearest ATC. You will be able to see from the map, where you can fly and where you can't. But nearly all microlights, do actually fly in controlled airspace, all you do is file a flight plan with the nearest ATC and get the required permission to enter and fly. Basically with the right qualifications and equipment, you can just hop into your microlight and fly as much, as and when you please.

 
WHERE CAN MICROLIGHTS BE PURCHASED? ARE THEY AVAILABLE IN INDIA?

Yes, advanced and state of the art microlights (flex wing and 3-axis) and gyroplanes are available through us (Microlight Aviation), and we are located approximately 70 km from Jaipur near NH8 (Delhi Jaipur Highway) on the 'Go Fly' Zone.

 
CAN I IMPORT A MICROLIGHT?

Of course microlights can be imported, but as an individual or a company you shall have to pay a Customs Duty as applicable on the cost of the microlight to import it into India.

A complete exemption on Customs Duty can be availed, but only if the aircraft is imported by a flying school for instructional purposes. But in case the flying school opts to sell such imported aircraft (within whatever period), no Customs Duty is charged only to the extent that it is sold to another flying school for instructional purposes, but if the same is sold to any individual or company, such sale would essentially attract the same Customs Duty as is applicable on any aircraft imported for private purpose, which the purchaser of the aircraft is bound to pay to the Government of India.

 
IN INDIA, CAN I JUST GO AND PURCHASE A MICROLIGHT OFF THE SHELF, ARE THERE ANY FORMALITIES TO BE COMPLETED FOR PURCHASE?

NO, YOU CANNOT, there is an important formality of security clearance to be taken care of before microlight purchase, the Director General of Civil Aviation gets the track record and credentials of the applicant checked by the Intelligence Bureau. One can purchase a microlight only after one comes clean through such scrutiny and then only a 'Permit to Fly' can be issued for uninterrupted use of microlight in India.

 
I DO NOT LIVE IN INDIA BUT WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ONE OF YOUR AIRCRAFT, DO YOU EXPORT?

No, we do not export, but in case you are interested in one of those sold by us, kindly put in a request for quotation (RFQ) (along with your country of origin) through email and we shall forward it to the OEM of that microlight.

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