Jan 21 2005, 06:09 PM
Newbie here! I'm an engineer, so you can get technical with me (though i'm still learning the terms)
I just started thinking about buying an ultralite aircraft and building a landing strip for it in my backyard. The amount of land is not a problem, the strip can be up to a couple thousand feet long (although obviously it doesnt need to be...). Money isn't too bad an issue, i'd be willing to spend around $60,000 on plane, hangar, strip, lighting, and installing a landing-lighting system to assist with my descent angle (just for added safety).
It appears that these things can take off and land within around 200 feet. I'd like to have a good buffer distance before and after where I plan to land it, because I've never flown before.
The area where my home will be is out in the countryside, so I'm not worried about the neighbors.
My questions are as follows:
-Will compacting dirt with a steamroller be dense enough so that my gear wont get stuck in the ground, causing a terrible accident?
- If I went with asphalt, will i want a suspension system on the plane?
- Where do people typically land/takeoff these?
-What kind of systems will I need to have a safe "airport".
-What kind of rules does the FAA have for ultralites?
-Should I take a class to learn to fly?
Thats all i have for now, thanks!
Jan 22 2005, 05:53 AM
Check the FAA or CAA website :D
Jan 22 2005, 06:57 AM
Isn't Mandatory that you take lessons before you can fly? Even so, i'd definately do the lessons before hand.
Let's be realistic here!!
Jan 22 2005, 01:17 PM
Are you doing that really?
Jan 22 2005, 02:03 PM
I'm not doing this project for quite a few years, but it is definately going to happen.
Any thoughts on how to build the runway?
Jan 22 2005, 04:53 PM
For the runway errrrrrr.................. I would go for the compressed grass or dirt. This is cheapest option. Plus if its only ultra lite then that will be more than enough. If you think about it you can land a spitfire on grass.
Ps any thoughts on how you going to do the runway lights :blink: I'd love to hear your ideas??
Jan 22 2005, 06:14 PM
I agree with flight boffin about compressed dirt if thats all your going to use is an ultra light off of it you'll be fine but if your going to really get into aviation and get for say a Cessna 172 or something you might want to go with asphalt... as for a suspension system with asphalt it all depends on how much you trust yourself with landing... My Rv-4 doesnt have a suspesion system on it and I can land just fine .. and for length once again might want to plan for more landing space if youd happen to get into a bigger plane.. by the way what kind of ultra light are you looking at getting that could make a difference too
Jan 22 2005, 06:21 PM
In the USA you are now required to have a Sport Lic and this Lic includes most 2 seat light aircraft, this became effective Jan 2005 and is why most people don't know about it... So to answer your question you are now required to have formal training and a valid drivers Lic in the U.S. to fly a trike or paraglider...
here's the details...
About the Sport Pilot certificate
The sport pilot certificate is a new pilot certification category created by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) specifically to address the desire of individuals wishing to fly aircraft primarily for recreational purposes. A sport pilot may only operate an aircraft during daylight hours (civil twilight).
The requirements to earn a pilot certificate in this category are aimed at teaching the core knowledge that individuals must understand and demonstrate in order to safely operate in the airspace system. By passing a knowledge (written) and practical (flight) test, a prospective sport pilot will demonstrate the proficiency necessary to operate a variety of aircraft safely.
Sport pilots will be limited to operating aircraft that meet the definition of a light-sport aircraft (see About Light-Sport Aircraft on this website). That includes aircraft in the following categories:
Airplanes (single-engine only)
Lighter-than-air ships (airship or balloon)
Rotorcraft (gyroplane only)
Weight-Shift control aircraft (e.g. trikes)
A sport pilot applicant must:
Be a minimum of 16 years of age to become a student sport pilot (14 for glider)
Be 17 years of age before testing for a sport pilot certificate (16 for gliders).
Be able to read, write, and understand the English language.
Hold either a valid airman's medical or a valid U.S. driver's license as evidence of medical eligibility (provided you do not have an official denial or revocation of medical eligibility on file with FAA).
To obtain a sport pilot certificate you must have either an FAA airman medical certificate or a current and valid U.S. driver's license issued by a state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, a territory, a possession, or the Federal government, provided you do not have an official denial or revocation of medical eligibility on file with FAA..
You then must comply with the restrictions placed on whichever method you choose. For example, if you choose to use your driver's license as your medical certificate, you must comply with all restrictions on that license. In addition, and this is very important, you must not act as a pilot- in-command of an aircraft if you know or have reason to know of any medical condition that would make you unable to operate the aircraft in a safe manner.
However, a pilot who has had his or her last medical "denied" or "revoked" by FAA will be required to obtain a special issuance medical (or alternative evidence of medical eligibility under a separate procedure being developed by FAA) before being allowed to base his or her medical fitness solely on driver's license requirements.
Restrictions on a sport pilot certificate:
no flights into Class A airspace, which is at or over 18,000' MSL;
no flights into Class B, C, or D airspace unless you receive training and a logbook endorsement;
no flights outside the U.S. without advance permission from that country(ies)
no sightseeing flights with passengers for charity fund raisers;
no flights above 10,000' MSL;
daytime flight only; no night flights
no flights when the flight or surface visibility is less than 3 statute miles;
no flights unless you can see the surface of the earth for flight reference;
no flights if the operating limitations issued with the aircraft do not permit that activity;
no flights contrary to any limitation listed on the pilot's certificate, U.S. driver's license, FAA medical certificate, or logbook endorsement(s);
no flights while carrying a passenger or property for compensation or hire (no commercial operations);
no renting a light-sport aircraft unless it was issued a "special" airworthiness certificate;
any qualified and current pilot (recreational pilot or higher) may fly a light-sport aircraft;
a light-sport aircraft may be flown at night if it is properly equipped for night flight and flown by a individual with a private pilot (or higher) certificate who has a current and valid FAA airman's medical certificate.
See other areas of this website for more detailed information on obtaining a sport pilot certificate, including sport pilot instruction, and on the light-sport aircraft category.
How will it make flying easier/more hassle-free for me?
New pilots seeking a sport pilot certificate will be able to learn how to fly powered aircraft (fixed-wing airplanes, weight-shift trikes, powered parachutes, gyroplanes, or airships) in as little as 20 hours of flight instruction, saving both time and money. (Note: Your flight instructor will make the final determination as to your readiness to take a practical flight exam.)
Student pilots currently working on a private pilot certificate will be able to apply their training toward a sport pilot certificate and operate under sport pilot privileges until such time as they choose to complete the requirements for a private pilot rating. All time logged as a sport pilot can be applied toward higher ratings.
Private pilots or higher with a current medical certificate and flight review can fly any light-sport aircraft in the categories and classes for which they are rated, creating more opportunities for them to own or rent light-sport aircraft.
Private pilots or higher may also choose to exercise the privileges of a sport pilot and operate any sport-pilot eligible aircraft in the categories or classes in which they are rated using their valid driver's license or third-class medical as their medical certification.
If I become a sport pilot, what can I fly?
An aircraft that meets the definition of a light-sport aircraft may hold an airworthiness certificate in any one of the following categories of FAA certification:
an experimental aircraft, including amateur-built aircraft, for which the owner must construct more than 51-percent of the aircraft.
a Standard category aircraft; that is, a ready-to-fly aircraft that is type-certificated in accordance with FAR Part 43.
a Primary category aircraft; that is, a ready-to-fly aircraft that is type-certificated in accordance with Primary category regulations.
a special light-sport aircraft
an experimental light-sport aircraft.
Jan 23 2005, 04:41 PM
Great info!!! I'm learning interesting things about gliders.
Jan 25 2005, 01:33 AM
I was messing around in CAD and here is an example of what I'm talking about. Look at my dimensions and let me know if they are reasonable. Also, where the dimensions say X and Y, can someone tell me what kind of slope I need for those towers.
The following link is an image of the cad file. Its very basic.Ultralite Airfield Model
Jan 25 2005, 01:48 AM
interesting image.. for approach lighting tho, i wouldnt have anything protruding into your approach airspace..
if you build lights for it you would put them all at a low altitude and you would be able to see the lights from the air... also there are many diferent types of lights that show you if you are too high or low.. when im not tired ill pull up some links for you
Jan 25 2005, 03:59 AM
Jan 25 2005, 04:26 AM
Hmmm. Yeah the lights are an interesting matter.
Like someone above said, you wouldnt want them to high yeah high enough to be effective. Keep us posted on what you achieve. :D
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