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Advisory Circular

US Department of Transportation

Federal Aviation Administration


 Date: 1/30/84   AC No: AC 103-7

Initiated by:  AFO-820 Change:

 1.  PURPOSE.  This advisory circular provides guidance to the operators of ultralights in the United States.  It discusses the elements which make up the definition of ultralight vehicles for the purposes of operating under Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) Part 103.  It also discusses when an ultralight must be be operated as an aircraft under the regulations applicable to certificated aircraft.


 a. The number of ultralight vehicles and participants in the various aspects of this sport has increased dramatically in recent years. All indications are that this growth will continue. The presence of these vehicles in the national airspace has become a factor to be considered in assuring the safety of all users of the airspace.

 b. On October 4, 1982, a new regulation (Part 103) applicable to the operation of ultralight vehicles became effective. This regulation defines those vehicles which may be operated as "ultralight vehicles" and provides operating rules which parallel those applicable to certificated aircraft.Aviation Regulations regarding aircraft certification, pilot certification, and aircraft registration are not applicable to ultralight vehicles or their operators.

 c.  Ultralight vehicle operations may only be conducted as sport or recreational activity. The operators of these vehicles are responsible for assessing the risks involved and assuring their own personal safety. The rules in Part 103 are intended to assure the safety of those not involved in the sport, including persons and property on the surface and other users of the airspace. The ultralight community is encouraged to adopt good operating practices and programs in order to avoid more extensive regulation by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

 3.  DEFINITIONS   For the purpose of this advisory circular, the following definitions apply:

a.  Ultralight Vehicle.  This term refers to ultralights meeting the applicability for operations under Part 103.

 b. Recognized Technical Standards Committee.  This term refers to a group of at lease three persons technically qualified to determine whether a given ultralight meets the requirements for operations under Part 103, as follows:

   (1)  It is recognized by a national pilot representative organization,

    (2)  It is comprised of persons not directly associated with the manufacture and/or sale of the make of ultralight being inspected, and

    (3)  It conducts its review and documents the findings in accordance with the guidance provided in this circular.


 a. You are Responsible for Your Personal Safety. Certificated aircraft" are designed, flight tested, manufactured, maintained, and operated under Federal regulations intended to provide an aircraft of consistent performance, controllability, structural integrity, and maintenance. An ultralight vehicle is not subject to Federal aircraft certification and maintenance standards. This means that the costs of purchasing and maintaining an ultralight vehicle may be considerably less than the purchase of a certificated aircraft. There is no assurance that a particular ultralight vehicle will have consistent performance controllability, structural integrity, or maintenance. Your safety, and potentially that of others, depends on your adherence to good operation and maintenance practices. This includes proper preflight techniques, operation of the vehicle within the manufacturer's recommended flight envelope, operation only in safe weather conditions, and providing safety devices in anticipation of emergencies. Part 103 is based on the assumption that any individual who elects to fly an ultralight vehicle has assessed the dangers involved and assumes personal responsibility for his/her safety.

 b. You are Limited to Single-Occupant Operations.  Part 103 is based on the single-occupant concept; operation by an individual who has assumed all responsibility for his/her personal safety.  Pilots of ultralight vehicles subject to Part 103 are not required to have training or previous experience prior to the operation of these vehicles.  You should consider receiving adequate training prior to participation.

 c.  You are Limited to Recreation and Sport Purposes.  Operations for any other purpose are not authorized under the applicability of Part 163.

 d.  You are Limited as Necessary for the Safety of Other Persons and Property: Part 103 consists of operating rules which were determined necessary for the safety of other users of the airspace and persons on the surface.  These rules were developed in consideration of the capabilities of the vehicles and their pilots.  It is your responsibility to know, understand and comply with these rules.  Ignorance of the regulations pertaining to the activities you pursue is not an acceptable excuse for violating those regulations.

 e. You are Responsible for the Future Direction the Federal Government Takes With Respect to Ultralight Vehicles.  The actions of the ultralight communitywill affect the direction Government takes in future regulations.  The safety record of ultralight vehicles will be the foremost factor in determining the need for further regulations.

 5. FAA CONTACT POINTS.  The FAA will provide clarification of particular subject areas, information, and assistance pertaining to the operations of ultralight vehicles through the following contacts:

 a. Flight Standards Field Offices.  Flight Standards District Offices (FSDOs), General Aviation District Offices (GADOs), and Manufacturing and Inspection District Offices (MIDOS) are the FAA field offices where information and assistance are available regarding the operation of ultralight vehicles, acceptable methods of complying with Part 103 requirements, and compliance with other regulations should it become necessary to operate an ultralight as a certificated aircraft.

 . Air Traffic Control Facilities.  FAA Air Traffic Control facilities are located throughout the United States and maintain jurisdiction over the use of the controlled airspace in their particular area.  To obtain authorization to operate from or into the airspace designated in SS 103.17, contact must be made with the controlling facilities.

 c. Flight Service Stations. These facilities provide operational information to pilots, such as weather briefings, advisory information regarding the status of facilities, etc., and are the most accessible of the FAA points of contact.  They can provide additional information regarding how to reach the other points of contacts mentioned here.

 d. Airports District Offices.  These offices inspect airports certificated under Part 139 of the FARs to determine whether an airport is safe for public use.  Persons wanting to establish new airports or flight parks, or operate ultralight vehicles from Federally-funded airports, may contact these offices for assistance.

 6.-9. RESERVED.

 10. SCOPE AND CONTENTS.  This section discusses the elements contained in 103.l which make up the definition of an "ultralight vehicle" and the proper way to assure that Part 103 applies.


 a. Probably the single most critical determination which must be made is whether or not your vehicle and the operations you have planned are permitted under Part 103.  The fact that you are operating a vehicle which is called or advertised as a "powered ultralight." "hang glider," or "hang balloon" is not an assurance that it can be operated as an ultralight vehicle under Part 103. There are a number of elements contained in 103.1 which make up the definition of the "ultralight vehicle."  If you fail to meet any one of the elements, you may not operate under Part 103.  Any operations conducted without meeting all of the elements are subject to all aircraft certification, pilot certification, equipment requirements, and aircraft operating rules applicable to the

particular operation.

 b. The FAA realizes that it is possible to design an ultralight which, on paper, meets the requirements of 103.1 but in reality does not.  However, the designers, manufacturers of the kits, and builders are not responsible to the FAA for meeting those requirements.  Operators of ultralights should bear in mind that they are responsible for meeting 103.1 during each flight.  The FAA will hold the operator of a given flight responsible if it is later determined that the ultralight did not meet the applicability for operations under Part 103.  Be aware of any designs which are not in concert with any element of

103.1.  The FAA may inspect any ultralight which appears, by design or performance, to not comply with 103.1.

 c. If the FAA Determines Your Ultralight Was Not Eligible for Operation as an Ultralight Vehicle.  If your ultralight does not meet 103.1, it must be operated in accordance with applicable aircraft regulations. You will be subject to enforcement action ($1000 civil penalty for each violation) for each operation of that aircraft.


 a. Single Occupancy.  An ultralight cannot be operated under Part 103 if there is more than one occupant or if it has provisions for more than one occupant.

 b. Sport Or Recreational Purposes Only.  An ultralight cannot be operated under Part 103 if it is operated for purposes other than sport or recreation or if it is equipped for other uses.

 c. No Airworthiness Certificate.  An ultralight cannot be operated under Part 103 if it has been issued a current U.S. or foreign airworthiness certificate.

 d. Unpowered Vehicles.  An unpowered ultralight cannot be operated under Part 103 if it weighs 155 pounds or more.  Balloons and gliders are unpowered vehicles.

 e. Powered Vehicles.  A powered ultralight cannot be operated under Part 103 when it has an empty weight of 254 pounds or more; has a fuel capacity exceeding 5 U.S. gallons; is capable of more than 55 knots airspeed at full power in level flight; and has a power-off stall speed which exceeds 24 knots.


 a. The Rationale for Allowing Single-Occupant Operations Only.  One aspect of the rationale for allowing ultralight vehicles to operate under special rules which do not require pilot and aircraft certification is the single-occupant limitation.  The assumption is made that a person who elects to operate an uncertificated vehicle alone is aware of the risks involved.  This assumption does not necessarily hold true for a passenger. Because the pilot qualifications for ultralight vehicle operations are not Federally controlled or monitored, the single-occupant requirement is a necessary component to the continuation of the policies and regulations which allow the operation of ultralight vehicles free from many of the restrictions imposed on the operation of certificated aircraft.

 b. Guidelines Regarding Seating Arrangements Which Should be Considered when

Purchasing or Operating an Ultralight Vehicle.

      (1) Any provisions for more than one occupant automatically disqualify an ultralight for operations under Part 103.

      (2) Some powered ultralights were originally manufactured with bench or          "love" seats with only one seatbelt, but have been advertised as two-place in the ultralight periodicals.  They are not eligible for operations under Part 103.  While no maximum width standards for the size of a "single" seat have been established at this time, most manufacturers are providing seats which have a width of 18 to 22 inches.  Any seat notably wider than 22 inches raises a question as to whether the ultralight is intended for single occupancy.

      (3) An ultralight with provisions for more than one occupant can only be operated as a certificated aircraft, even when occupied by only one person.  In addition to the previously stated aircraft certification and registration requirements, the pilot must hold a medical certificate and at least a student pilot certificate with the proper endorsements for solo operations.  At least one occupant during two-occupant operations must hold at least a private pilot certificate.

 c. Two-place Ultralight Operations under Part 103.  The AOPA Air Safety Foundation, Experimental Aircraft Association, and the United States Hang Gliding Association have been granted exemptions from the applicable aircraft regulations to authorize use of two-place ultralights under Part 103 for limited training purposes and for certain hang glider operations.  Except as authorized by exemption, no person may operate an ultralight under Part 103 with more than one occupant.


 a. The Rationale for Only Allowing Recreation and Sport Operations Under Part 103. In combination with the single-occupant requirement, the limitation to recreation and sport operations only is the basis for allowing ultralight vehicle operations under minimum regulations.  The reason for allowing the operation of these vehicles without requiring aircraft and pilot certification is that this activity is a "sport" generally conducted away from concentrations of population and aircraft operations.

 b. Determining Whether a Particular Operation is for Recreation and Sport Purposes.  There are several considerations that are necessary in determining whether a given operation is conducted for recreation or sport purposes:

      (1) Is the flight undertaken to accomplish some task, such as

         patrolling a fence line or advertising a product?  If so, Part 103 is

         not applicable.

      (2) Is the ultralight equipped with attachments or modifications for

         the accomplishment of some task, such as banner towing or agricultural

         spraying  If so, Part 103 does not apply.

      (3) Is the pilot advertising his/her services to perform any task using

         an ultralight?  If so, Part 103 does not apply.

      (4) Is the pilot receiving any form of compensation for the performance

         of a task using an ultralight vehicle?  If so, Part 103 does not apply.

 c. Examples of operations Which are Clearly Not for Sport or Recreational Purposes.

      (1) Aerial Advertising.  Part 103 does not apply to operations that

         include the towing of banners and the use of loudspeakers, programmed

         light chains, smoke writing, dropping leaflets, and advertising on

         wings; nor does it apply to the use of interchangeable parts with

         different business advertisements or flying specific patterns to

         achieve maximum public visibility.

      (2) Aerial  Application.  Part 103 does not apply to operations that

         include using an ultralight to perform aerial application of any

         substance intended for plant nourishment, soil treatment, propagation

         of plant life or pest control.  An ultralight with an experimental

         certificate as an amateur aircraft could be used to perform this

         function under specific, limited circumstances.  Paragraph 35b

         provides more detail on this subject.

      (3) Aerial Surveying and Patrolling.  Patrolling powerlines, waterways,

         highways, suburbs, etc., does not come under Part 103.  The conduct of

         these activities in an ultralight must be in compliance with applicable

         aircraft regulations as outlined in paragraph 34.  Local, state, or

         Federal government entities may operate an ultralight as a "public

         aircraft."  This is discussed in greater detail in paragraph 35a.

      (4) Carrying parcels for hire.

 d. Examples of Situations Involving Money or Some Other Form of compensation Under the Recreation and Sport Limitation.

      (1) Rental of Ultralight Vehicles.  Renting an ultralight vehicle to

         another person is permissible.

      (2) Receiving a Purse or Prize.  Persons participating in sport or

         competitive events involving the use of ultralights are not prohibited

         from receiving money or some other form of compensation in recognition

         of their performance.

      (3) Authoring Books About Ultralights.  Persons are not prohibited from

         flying ultralights and then authoring books about their experiences,

         for which they ultimately receive compensation.

      (4) Receiving Discount on Purchase of an Ultralight.  There is no

         prohibition which would prevent you from taking advantage of any

         discount on the price of an ultralight a company might offer where its

         logo or name appears on a portion of the vehicle.  You cannot, however,

         enter into any agreement which might specify the location; number, or,

         pattern of flights contingent on the receipt of that discount.  Any

         operation under such an agreement could not be conducted under Part


      (5) Participation in Airshows and Events.  You may participate in

         airshows and other special events where persons are charged for viewing

         those events, so long as you receive no compensation for your

         participation.  This does not hold true where you stand to benefit

         directly from the proceeds as tile organizer or producer of the event.


a. If your ultralight has been issued-an-airworthiness certificate, you cannot operate it as an ultralight vehicle under Part 103.  An ultralight cannot be operated interchangeably as a certificated aircraft and an ultralight vehicle.

 b. If you want to operate your ultralight under Part 103, you must turn in,to the issuing authority, any airworthiness certificates currently issued for the craft.

 c. You may operate an ultralight as a certificated aircraft if you obtain the proper certification.  If you do not already hold an airworthiness certificate, you should consult paragraph 31 for further guidance.

 d. An ultralight is eligible for operation under Part 103, even where the same make and model is also being issued airworthiness certificates, so long as all elements of the definition of an ultralight vehicle contained in 103.1 are satisfied.  As an example, assume that there is a model which would meet the definition of an ultralight vehicle being manufactured in Canada and is issued a Canadian airworthiness certificate.  If you purchased one, you would have to turn in the airworthiness certificate to the Canadian authorities before operating it in the United States under Part 103.

 Par 14                                                                  7

 AC 103-7                                                           1/30/84


 a. Unpowered Ultralight Vehicles Eligible for Operation Under Part 103.

All forms of gliders and free balloons weighing less than 155 pounds and meeting

all other requirements of 103.1 are eligible for operation under Part 103.

 b. Unpowered ultralights eligible for operations under Part 103 are not

required to be operated under that Part.  In some cases, you can obtain

certification of your glider or free balloon as an experimental aircraft.

 c.  Computing the Empty Weight of an Unpowered Ultralight Vehicle.

      (1) Gliders.   The fuselage, wings, structure, control surfaces,

         harnesses, and landing gear, etc., are included in this determination.

         Parachutes and all personal operating equipment and harnesses

         associated with their use are not included.

      (2) Free Balloons.  The envelope, lines, harnesses, gondola, burner,

         and fuel tank are included in this determination.  Parachutes and all

         personal operating equipment and harnesses associated with their use

         are not included.  The weight of the fuel, in the case of a hot-air

         balloon, or any logical amount of removable ballast, where intended

         for control of the buoyancy of a gas balloon, is not included in the

         weight specified in 103.1(d).

 d. Free Balloons are Considered "Unpowered."   A balloon, for Part 103

eligibility is considered an unpowered ultralight, regardless of whether it

drops ballast to ascend or uses heated air.  The burner on a hot-air balloon is

used to raise the temperature of the air in the envelope allowing the balloon to

rise.  This can be compared to the glider's use of lifting air as a means of

ascending.  In both cases, no method of horizontal propulsion is employed and a

loss of the lifting force will cause the vehicle to descend to the surface.


 a. "Powered" Ultralights Eligible For Operation Under Part 103.   All

ultralights with a means of horizontal propulsion which also meet the

provisions of 103.1 are eligible;  this  includes ultralight airships,

helicopters, gyrocopters, and airplanes.

 b. A powered ultralight  eligible for operation under Part 103 is not

required to be operated under that Part.  You may elect to certificate and

operate it as an experimental aircraft.  The applicable procedures and

regulations are explained in Advisory Circular 20-27C, Certification and

Operation of Amateur-Built Aircraft.


 a. Items Excluded From the Computation of the Empty Weight of a Powered

Ultralight Vehicle.

      (1) Safety Devices Which are Intended for Deployment in a Potentially

         Catastrophic Situation.  Parachutes and some associated additional


 8                                                                  Par 16

 1/30/84                                                            AC 103- 7

 necessary for their operation meet this criteria.  Other devices, such as

seatbelts, roll cages, instruments, or wheel brakes, are considered part of the

airframe and are included in the empty weight.

      (i) Up to 24 pounds of weight associated with the parachute system

         may be excluded by the FAA without requiring a separate weighing of the  system


      (ii) No weight allowance will be given for any component of the

          parachute system if, when it was operated, the parachute was not

          carried and attached to the ultralight at the reinforced

          points/fittings provided.

      (2) Floats Used For Landings On Water.  Only the weight of the floats

         and any integral, external attachment points are excluded. All other

         items associated with attachment of the floats to the airframe are

         included in the vehicle's Empty weight.  Up to 30 pounds per float

         may be excluded by the FAA without requiring substantiation of the

         float's actual weight.  This exclusion was allowed under the rationale

         that float-equipped ultralights would not usually be operated in the

         vicinity of airports and large concentrations of people and, thus,

         would be even less of a safety hazard than those which had conventional

         landing gear.  While amphibious capability would appear to negate

         somewhat that rationale, some allowance for the "float" capability is


      (i) Amphibious Floats.  Up to 30 pounds per float may be excluded

         by the FAA.  The weight of all attached items associated with the

         installation and operation of the landing gear is included in the

         calculation of the dry, empty weight specified in 103.1(e)(1).

         Satisfactory evidence of the weight of those components must be


      (ii) Amphibious Fuselage.  Where the fuselage is intended to function as a

          float during water landings, up to 30 pounds (the average weight of

          a single float) is allowed by the FAA to be excluded from the empty

          weight where the ultralight is capable of repeated water takeoffs and

          landings.  (Operators may be required to demonstrate the water

          operational capability of their vehicle in order to receive an

          allowance for the added weight.)  Up to 10 pounds per outrigger float

          and pylon is also allow by the FAA.

      (iii) "Float" provisions not discussed here should be reviewed with FAA

           personnel at a Flight Standards field office.

 b  Acceptable Methods for Determining the weight of an Ultralight.  The

    completely assemble ultralight should be taken to a draftless location and

    placed on:

      (1) A Single Scale.  A determination may be made on a calibrated scale

         which has sufficient ,weighing surface to accommodate the ultralight

         resting fully on that surface without any stabilizing assistance, or

      (2) Two or More Scales.  A determination may be made on two or more

         calibrated scales if they are located at all points where the

         ultralight contacts the surface when parked and it is resting fully on

         those scales without any stabilizing assistance.  In this case, the sum

         of the scales will be used.

Par 18                                                                   9

 AC 103-7                                                           1/30/84


capacity for a powered ultralight vehicle id 5 U.S. gallons.  Any powered

ultralight with fuel tank(s) exceeding this capacity is ineligible for operation

as an ultralight vehicle.

 a. Determination of Fuel Capacity.  The total volume, including all available

space for usable and unusable fuel in the fuel tank or tanks on the vehicle is

the total fuel capacity.  The fuel in the lines, pump, strainer, and

carburetor is not considered in a calculation of total volume.

 b. Use of an Artificial Means to Control Capacity.

      (1) Tanks which have a permanent standpipe or venting arrangement to

         control capacity are permitted, but may be subject to demonstration of

         the capacity if there is any reason to doubt that the arrangement is


      (2) A temporary, detachable, or voluntarily-observed method for

         restricting fuel capacity, such as a "fill-to" line, is not acceptable.


speed of an ultralight vehicle at full power in level flight cannot exceed

55 knots.

 a. The 55 knots specified in 103.1(e)(3) is a performance limitation, not

a speed limit.  It is not a speed limit that a pilot has to observe.  The

vehicle, as configured (exposed drag areas, engine power output, and propeller

efficiency), cannot be capable of driving through the air in level flight at

full power faster than 55 knots.  It is also not a structural never-exceed speed

(Vne).  The vehicle may well be structurally capable of higher airspeeds.

 b. The use of "voluntarily observed" or arbitrarily specified maximum

airspeeds, such  as red line on the airspeed indicator, is not acceptable where

the ultralight is capable of more than 55 Knots in level flight.

 c. Acceptable methods of Determining the Maximum Level Flight Airspeed of an


      (1) A calculation, using the information in Appendix I, is an

         acceptable method for making this determination.

 NOTE:  The engine manufacturer's maximum horsepower rating will be used for all

computations associated with maximum level flight speeds (unless the operator

can provide documentation from the engine manufacturer that a method of

derating an engine will result in a predictable reduction in horsepower).

      (2) A series of three or more full-power level runs in both directions

         along a 1,000-foot course under specified conditions could be used by a

         recognized technical standards committee to make this determination.

         The average speed derived should be adjusted for atmospheric conditions

         other than sea level on a standard day.

 10                                                                 Par 19

 1/30/84                                                            AC 103-7

 NOTE:  While these guidelines contain provisions allowing flight

testing, to establish eligibility for operations under Part 103,

the FAA has provided charts in Appendixes 1 ani 2 which encompass

most normal aircraft design factors without requiring, flight testing.

Any flight testing, to establish eligibility for operations under

Part 103 is done at the risk of the participants.

      (3) A calibrated radar gun may also be used.  Again, a series of

         full-power level runs as described in subparagraph c(2) could be used

         by a recognized technical standards committee to make this


 d. Use of an Artificial Means to Limit the Maximum Level Flight Airspeed.

      (1) An artificial means of restricting the total power output of an

         engine in order to lower the maximum level flight speed at full power

         would be acceptable if the method used to restrict the power available

         is one which cannot be  modified, bypassed, or overridden in flight and

         the pilot or operator can provide the FAA, on request, satisfactory

         evidence that the vehicle meets the requirements of 103.1(e)(3).

 NOTE:  Vehicles which require artificial restrictions to power or

propeller arrangements may incur a substantial penalty in terms of

takeoff, climb, and absolute performance.  This factor should be

considered when assessing the safety of ultralight vehicle operations,

especially at high altitude locations.

      (2) As a general guideline, a method is unacceptable if it can be

         modified, bypassed, or over-ridden in any way while sitting in the

         pilot seat so as to further increase the power.  There may be some

         ultralights which could be operated as ultralight vehicles if such

         restrictions are employed to meet the requirements of 103.1(e)(3).

         If you change or modify the restricting, elements, your vehicle may be

         ineligible for use under Part 103.

      (3) The use of voluntarily-observed restrictions, such as a lower power

         setting, instead of using all available power, is unacceptable.

 e. Use of a less Efficient Propeller/Shaft Arrangement.  The use of a less

efficient propeller/shaft arrangement to lower the maximum level flight speed

at full power is acceptable, if the operator or pilot can provide the FAA, on

request, satisfactory evidence that the vehicle meets the requirements, of

103.1(e)(3).  If you change or modify that arrangement to increase the

efficiency, your vehicle may be ineligible for use under Part 103.

 f. Use of an Aerodynamic Restriction.  The use of aerodynamic restriction,

such as a limiting device to pitch control travel on a canard arrangement,

automatically deployed speed brakes, or a strut installed for drag purposes

only, is acceptable, provided a recognized technical standards committee

has evaluated the resulting full-power level flight speeds at a pilot

weight of 170 pounds and determined that the vehicle is not capable of

maintaining, level flight above 55 knots.  (Again, modification  of that

arrangement may render the vehicle ineligible for use under Part 103.)

 Par 20                                                                  11

 AC 103-7                                                           1/30/84

 NOTE: Vehicles using aerodynamic restrictions to limit maximum

speed may have undesirable flight characteristics when operated near

the controllability limits.


power-off stall speed of an ultralight vehicle cannot exceed (28 mph).

 a.  Acceptable methods of  determining the Power-Off Stall Speed of an

Ultralight Vehicle.

      (1) A calculation, using the information provided in Appendix 2, is an

         acceptable method of providing satisfactory evidence that your vehicle

         meets this requirement.

 NOTE: For the purpose of all stall sped calculations, the pilot's

weight will be considered to be 170 pounds and the fuel tank(s) filled

(6 lbs./gal.).

      (2) "This speed can also be determined by a recognized technical

         standards committee which can take the average speed for a series of

         power-off stalls using existing flight test procedures.

 b.  Use of High-Lift Devices to Lower Stall Speed to 24 Knots.  Slots,

slats, flaps, and any other devices which would lower the stall speed are

acceptable.  A determination of the resulting  average stall speed by a

technical standards committee is acceptable evidence of compliance.


ultralight is found by a recognized technical standards committee to meet the

requirements of 103.1 with respect to the items specified in paragraphs 18

through 21, the committee should issue a document confirming its findings.           (See

Appendix 4 for an example of this documentation.)

 23.  CONTENTS OF THE DOCUMENT.  To be acceptable, the document will contain, as

a minimum, the:

 a. Name and address of the person requesting the determination.

 b. Type/model and general description of the ultralight, including any

installed equipment.

 c. Empty weight of the ultralight, showing the allowances given for

parachutes, floats, and fuel, and how it was determined.

 d. Fuel capacity and how it was determined.

 e. Maximum speed at full power in level flight and how it was determined,

including a description of any method incorporated to limit the power or thrust

output or the ability of the vehicle to fly in level flight at more than

55 knots. (This description should allow an inspector reviewing the document to

determine that the limiting devices are still operational.)

 12                                                                 Par 20

 1/30/84                                                            AC 103- 7

 f. Maximum power-off stall speed and how it was determined, including a

description of any lift devices used.

 g.  Typed or printed names of the committee members, their signatures, and

the name of the organization which recognizes their committee.

 24. CONTACTS WITH FAA INSPECTORS.  Most ultralight operators will probably only

encounter FAA field inspectors during accident, incident, or public complaint

investigation. On initial contact, the inspector will usually ask for your pilot

certificate and the aircraft airworthiness certificate.  You should inform the

inspector that you are operating your ultralight under Part 103 and provide

evidence that it meets the applicability of 103.1.

 a.  Failure to Provide Satisfactory Evidence.  If you cannot provide this

evidence, or if the evidence provided is not satisfactory, your ultralight will

be considered an aircraft subject to all applicable aircraft regulations and you

will be subject to all requirements applicable to the operator.  It is your

responsibility to prove that your ultralight and any operations you have

conducted meet the applicability for operation under Part 103.  Until you do,

the FAA will proceed with any enforcement investigation resulting from your

inability to provide that proof.

 b. "Satisfactory Evidence."

      (1) The use of the graphs provided in Appendixes 1 and 2  will be

         acceptable for determination of the maximum level flight speed and

         power-off stall speed if your ultralight has no special limitations

         to maximum speed or power and no special high-lift devices.

      (2) An FAA-certificated aircraft mechanic or repair station may also

         weigh your ultralight and provide a weight document similar to that

         provided for aircraft, listing the components and attachments of the

         ultralight when weighed.  An FAA-certificated mechanic may also ,make

         the determinations in  paragraphs 18 through 21 and issue the

         documentation outlined in paragraph 23, provided that the maximum

         speeds were determined through the use of the graphs provided in

         Appendixes 1 and 2.

      (3) A recognized technical standards committee's findings documented as

         provided in paragraph 23 will usually be considered acceptable.  A

         committee may issue their findings in relation to a given model of

         ultralight which are then included by the manufacturer in the sale of

         the ultralight.   The subsequent operators of that model of ultralight

         may use those findings without having another inspection made, provided

         that there are no changes or modifications to the configuration,

         components, engine, or propeller arrangements of the basic model

         originally reviewed by the committee and any artificial means of

         restricting maximum airspeed is installed and operational.

 c. FAA Ultralight Inspection Authority.  The FAA has the legal authority to

inspect any ultralight, whether it is operated as an aircraft under Part 91 or

as an ultralight vehicle under Part 103. In the case of an ultralight operated

under Part 103, this authority will usually be exercised only when an inspector

has reason to doubt the validity of the evidence provided by the operator or

that ultralight still conforms to the findings contained in that evidence.

 Par 23                                                                  13

 AC 103- 7                                                          1/30/84

      (1) Refusal to Allow the Inspection.  Refusal to allow the inspector

         to inspect the ultralight would be a violation of the Federal Aviation

         Act of 1958, as amended, and the applicable FAR, and would result in

         enforcement action.

      (2) Usual Content of the Inspection.  The inspector may ask you to show

         compliance with 103.1 by measuring the capacity of the fuel tank,

         weighing the vehicle, measuring the wing, stabilizing and control

         surface areas, and showing that any artificial means required to

         restrict the maximum airspeed are installed, operational, and cannot be

         bypassed.  Further checks may be made in situations where the inspector

         has reason to doubt the effectiveness of any restriction to maximum


 25.-29.  RESERVED.

 14                                                                 Par 24

 1/30/84                                                            AC 103-7

                         SECTION 2.  HOW TO CERTIFICATE AND OPERATE

                               AN ULTRALIGHT AS AN AIRCRAFT

 30. SCOPE AND CONTENTS.  This section outlines the regulations which are

applicable to the operation of ultralights as certificated aircraft and provides

general information regarding how to comply with the regulations.

 31. AIRCRAFT CERTIFICATION.  A person who chooses to operate an ultralight as a

certificated aircraft has two options for airworthiness certification of the

vehicle, depending primarily on the configuration of the vehicle or kit when

purchased, as follows.

 a. Completely Assembled at the Factory, or Assembled by the Purchaser From

a "Bolt-Together" Kit With Little or No Fabrication Operations.  An ultralight

in this category would be eligible for airworthiness certification only for the

purpose of exhibition in the experimental classification.  Application for an

experimental certificate for exhibition may be made to the nearest Flight

Standards field office.

 b. Major Portion (Over 50%) Fabricated by the Builder/Purchaser,  Either

from Raw materials to the Builder's Own Design or From a Partially Prefabricated

Kit.  A vehicle shown to meet the provisions of this category would be eligible

for airworthiness certification as an amateur-built aircraft, in addition to

eligibility for experimental exhibition.   Detailed information pertaining to

amateur-built aircraft requirements are in FAA Advisory Circular 20-27C,

Certification and Operation of Amateur-Built Aircraft.  Applications for such

certification may be made to the nearest Flight Standards field office.

 32. REGISTRATION.  An ultralight that is to be certificated and operated as an

aircraft is ,subject to the registration and marking requirements applicable to

aircraft.  The applicant should contact the nearest Flight Standards field

office to obtain the required forms and information concerning the procedures to

be followed.    Advisory Circular 20-27C also contains information concerning

registration and marking requirements as they apply to amateur-built aircraft.


Federal Aviation Regulations contains the regulations which define the

certificates and ratings which pilots must hold to function as a pilot of a

certificated aircraft in the United States.  It also outlines the minimum

experience levels and standards to qualify for those certificates and ratings.

The minimum levels of pilot currency for certain operations are also contained

in Part 61.

 34. PART 91 (GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES).  Part 91 contains the general

operating rules (Subpart A), flight rules (Subpart B), and maintenance rules

(Subpart C) which are applicable to all certificated aircraft operations.

Pilots of certificated ultralight aircraft must comply with Part 91.  No

certificated aircraft can be operated under Part 103.  The flight rules of

Subpart 8 are the minimum standards for flight operations except where the

operating limitations of the particular aircraft establish more stringent

standards.  The majority of the rules contained in Subpart A and Subpart C will

not apply to operations of certificated ultralight aircraft; however, a thorough

review of these regulations

 Par 30                                                                15

 AC 103-7                                                           1/30/84

 should be conducted to determine those applicable to a particular type of

ultralight aircraft.

 35. SPECIAL FLIGHT OPERATIONS.  There are some special operations of ultralight

aircraft that are allowed under present regulations.

 a. "Public" Aircraft.  An ultralight may be used exclusively in the service

of a Federal, state, or local government without an airworthiness certificate.

(The pilots do not have to hold pilot certificates.)

      (1) The ultralight must be properly registered with the FAA and display

         appropriate registration markings, and

      (2) All operations must be conducted in accordance with the applicable

         operating and flight rules of Part 91.

 b.  Aerial Agricultural Application.  A farmer owning an amateur-built

experimentally certificated aircraft may use that aircraft for aerial

agricultural applications over his/her own property, provided that,

      (1) The ultralight is certificated as an amateur-built aircraft and

         does not have any operating limitations prohibiting agricultural


      (2) The pilot holds at least a private pilot certificate and

         successfully completes a knowledge and skill test as specified in

         137.19(e); and

      (3) The farmer holds at least a Private Agricultural Operator

         Certificate under Part 137 and all operations are conducted in

         accordance with that regulation.

 36.-50. RESERVED.

 Kenneth S. Hunt

Director of Flight Operations

 16                                                                 Par 34

 1/30/84                                                            AC 103-7

                                                                                Appendix 1


                                 AIRSPEED OF ULTRALIGHTS.

 The information contained in this appendix is intended to assist in a

determination of an ultralight's capability to comply with Section 103.1(e)(3).

The maximum speed of an ultralight as computed with this information may be

accepted as a portion of the "satisfactory evidence" specified in Section

103.3(b).  When using this information, no additional drag factors should be

considered and no extra value should be given any of the factors provided.

There is already a "cushion" built into the computation to account for the

factors affecting the maximum speed capability of an ultralight.  No

drag-producing element should be counted under more than one drag factor


 STEP ONE - Compute the total drag factor (See page 2 for further breakdown of

the values assigned to each category.)

 1.  Pilot Drag Factor (Select one)...............................  ___________

            *Not Enclosed

            -prone.................................  1.2

            -supine................................  4.5

            -seated upright........................  5.5

           *Partially Enclosed

            -lower half of body enclosed...........  3.5

            -only head exposed.....................  2.5

            -streamlined,  head  behind  windshield..2.0

           *Totally Enclosed

            -streamlined fuselage..................  1.5

            -boxy fuselage.........................  2.0

     2. Wing Drag Factor (total square feet of upper

           surface =_________ x 0.01)..............................___________

      3.  Stabilizing & Control Surface Drag Factor (total square

           feet of one side of each surface=________x 0.014)  .....___________

      4.  Exposed Wire Drag Factor (total wires over 4 feet long and

           45 to 90 degrees to airflow=________x 0.05)  ...........___________

      5.  Exposed Struts Drag Factor (total struts over 4 feet long

           and 45 to 90 degrees to airflow [excluding those associated

           with landing gear]=_________x 0.4)    ..................___________

      6.  Landing Gear Drag Factor (includes associated struts).....___________

           *Faired, fixed gear (number of wheels=____x 0.3)

           *Unfaired, fixed gear (number of wheels=_____x 0.5)

      7.  Engine Drag Factor (select one)...........................___________

           *completely exposed =   2.5

           *partially exposed  =   1.5

           *some components exposed = 0.5

      8.  SUBTOTAL ABOVE DRAG FACTORS...............................___________

 103-7                                                              1/30/84

 Appendix 1(A)2

      9.  SUBTOTAL OF DRAG FACTORS FROM PREVIOUS PAGE...............___________

   Allowance for Induced and Interference Drag (multiply subtotal

    of drag factors____________x .20)..............................___________

   COMPUTED TOTAL DRAG FACTORS (add items 9 and 10).................___________

 PROCEED TO CHART ON PAGE 3 (Chart Not Included in this Document)


1. Plot drag factors. "Supine" is a sitting position with the legs extended

forward, nearly in line with the lower part of the body.  "Seated upright" is a

sitting position where the lower legs extended downward.  "Only head exposed"

includes al semi or fully streamlined vehicles having a small windshield which

does not deflect the airflow away from the pilot's face.  "Streamlined, head

behind windshield" includes those ultralights which, from a viewing position in

front of the vehicle, the pilot's body is not exposed to the airflow.  Where a

two-place vehicle is being operated under an exemption side-by-side seating

doubles the factor for fully-exposed groupings and the "lower half of body

enclosed" category.  No additional credit is given for the other categories

under partially or fully exposed.  Also, no additional credit is given to

tandem arrangements.

 2. Wing drag.  This includes all horizontal flying surfaces, including canards

(but excluding any other stabilizing or control surface).  The total square feet

of upper surface of the wing, as determined from a manufacturer's specification

or through measurement (length x width) is used in this calculation.

 3. Stabilizing and control surface drag.   This includes horizontal and

vertical stabilizers, rudders, elevators, and ailerons.  The total square

feet of exposed surface (one side only) is used in this calculation.

 4. Exposed wire and strut drag.  The number of wires or struts, not associated

with landing gear, which  are  OVER 4 FEET LONG with an angle of 45 TO 90

DEGREES TO THE AIRFLOW are counted and multiplied times the given values.

Those wires and/or struts located behind the pilot/engine/wing (usually making

up portions of the rear fuselage or empennage) are not counted.  Wires or struts

located parallel to and behind other wires or struts in the airflow are not

counted if they do not flare uniformally away from any common attaching point,

achieving a minimum separation of at least 8 inches.

 5. "Fixed" landing gear drag.  Regardless of size of wheels or length of struts,

the values shown in the chart are applicable.  "Faired" wheels are those which

have one-third or more of the wheel surface covered in the front and on the


 6. Engine drag.  Engines in front of the wing without faring and those in

back, which protrude noticeably into the airflow above or below the wing, are

considered completely exposed.  Those with streamlined farings not located

in the fuselage or behind a semistreamlined pilot cockpit are considered

partially exposed.  Faired engines positioned in the front or rear of a fully

streamlined fuselage with components such as air filters and mufflers exposed

are treated under "some components exposed."   Faired or unfaired engines

located in the turbulent area directly behind the pilot's body or the vehicle's

fuselage are also considered under this grouping.

 Appendix 1(B) GRAPH

              (Not Provided on BBS Version)

 1/30/84                                                            AC 103-7


                             OF ULTRALIGHTS

 The information contained in this appendix is intended to assist in a

determination of an ultralight's ability to comply with Section 103.1(e)(2),

a maximum power-off stall speed which does not exceed 24 knots.  Computations

made in accordance with the information provided may be accepted as satisfactory

evidence of compliance.  When using this information, no factors other than

those provided here should be considered.   (The values provided here are for

relatively square, rectangular wings; they are not valid for noticeably swept

or tapered wings.)  Relevant considerations for this computation are:

 1.  Empty  weight.  The dry empty weight of the vehicle (excluding floats

and/or parachutes), as established through some form of evidence satisfactory to

the inspector, should be used.

 2.  Pilot  weight.  The pilot's weight will be assumed to be 170 pounds.  In the

event that an ultralight is being operated under exemption allowing two-occupant

operations, the pilots' weight will be assumed to be 340 pounds.

 3.  Fuel weight.  The weight of the fuel (6 pounds per gallon) is included and

for the purpose of this computation will be assumed to be filled to capacity.

 4.  Wing area.  The total wing area (square feet) should be determined.

Ailerons and flaps may be included, but canards (which generally have a higher

stall speed than the main wing) are excluded.

 STEP ONE - Add the weight factors.  Example:  Empty weight....240  lbs.

                                              Pilot weight....170  lbs.

                                              Fuel weight..... 30  lbs.

                                                                                440  lbs.

 STEP TWO - Divide the total weight by the total wing area to obtain the wing

loading of the vehicle.  Example:

         Weight  =  440  Divided By  Wing Area =  151  =  2.9 (Wing Loading)

 STEP THREE  -  Select, from the wing profiles provided below, the lift factor

which applies to the ultralight in question.

     Lift Factor      Wing Profile              Wing Description

      1.4            Not Provided    Single/double surface with camber of less

                                     than 7 percent (see Appendix 3) and all

                                     symmetrical and semisymmetrical airfoils

                                     without flaps, regardless of camber.

       1.6            Not Provided    Relatively   flat-bottom,    double    surface

                                     wings  with  camber  of  7  percent  or   more.

       1.8            Not Provided    Single surface with camber of 7 percent

                                     or more or double surface with flaps

                                     extending up to 50 percent of the total


 Appendix 2(B) GRAPH

              (Not Provided on BBS Version)


            (Not Provided on BBS Version)


            (Not Provided on BBS Version)

 AC 103-7                                                           1/30/84

Appendix 4(B)


 ( ) provisions for one occupant only

   ( ) seat width 22 inches or less (inside measurement)

   ( ) single seatbelt/shoulder harness

   ( ) single controls located logically for a person

   ( ) sitting in the center of the seat

   ( ) no equipment is installed which could logically be construed as for a

   ( ) purpose other than sport/recreation of the operator, such as:

       ( ) towing hitches

       ( ) agricultural equipment

       ( ) advertisement on the wings



  ( ) no U S. or foreign airworthiness certificate is currently issued to this

      particular ultralight unit

  ( ) this ultralight has not been registered with the U.S. federal government.







 ( ) A & P Mechanic Name__________________Certificate Number____________________

 ( ) Technical Standards Committee: Names:______________________________________



     National pilot organization recognizing this committee:____________________


 ATE OF ISSUANCE OF THIS DOCUMENT:____________________________

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