Limited category aircraft operations

The operation of limited category aircraft must be in line with Part 132 of CASR

Part 132 is relevant for:

  • owners, operators and pilots of warbirds (ex-military), certain historic and replica aircraft
  • owners of any other aircraft certified in the limited category
  • anyone that conducts or sells adventure flights in warbirds.

Part 132 includes:

  • the requirements of the previous regulation, 262AM of the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988
  • important safety and administrative requirements. 

The rules provide flexibility and clarity for limited category aircraft and their: 

  • recreational use 
  • airworthiness requirements
  • operational limits.

Part 132 also authorises some permitted purposes for limited category aircraft, including:

  • glider towing
  • air racing 
  • personal flights
  • adventure flights
  • limited flight training activities
  • operations approved by CASA.

The limited category allows flexibility for personal flights in specific aircraft with:

  • major modifications
  • an expired airframe fatigue life
  • life-limited components that have exceeded their life limits. 

This is subject to:

  • conditions for flights over populous areas
  • additional briefing requirements, see CASR 132.070 (2).

Aircraft with major modifications or life-expired components cannot fly over populous areas.

A limited category certificate of airworthiness

The majority of Limited Category COAs are issued to ex-military aircraft. They may also be issued to historic, replica or any other aircraft used for special purpose operations.

Part 132 provides specific regulations regarding the operating and airworthiness requirements for Limited Category aircraft. We require the aircraft to have a permit index number assigned to it. This permit number determines where the aircraft can operate.

Approved self-administering organisations can provide oversight of the majority of Part 132 regulations. This oversight of limited category aircraft includes:

  • assigning permit index numbers
  • some operational purposes such as adventure flights
  • continuing airworthiness support and data for the aircraft.

The rules for passengers

Some companies and operators of warbirds offer adventure flights for the paying public. 

Rules and briefing requirements on adventure flights and personal flights are usually the same. There are additional and specific rules and regulations for passengers undertaking adventure flights. This includes rules for those selling adventure flights. 

The purchaser must receive a safety briefing at the point of sale of an adventure flight. This includes whether this transaction is:

  • in person
  • online
  • over the phone. 

All passengers must also receive a safety briefing before they board the aircraft. The aircraft must display a warning placard where it is visible to passengers.

See Part 132 of CASR for the rules on briefing passengers on the risks before participation.

Passenger briefing for flights other than adventure flights

Rules apply for passenger briefing for flights of a limited category aircraft if:

  • the flight is carrying passengers, and
  • the flight is not an adventure flight.

On the day of the flight and before the passenger arrives at the aircraft, you must provide a briefing to:

  • the passenger
  • if the passenger is under 18, the passenger’s parent or guardian
  • a person who has care of the passenger. This applies if the person giving the briefing believes that the passenger will not be able to understand the briefing. 

The safety briefing must state that we do not need the aircraft to meet any standard for its:

  • design
  • manufacture
  • airworthiness.

It must also say that:

The aircraft does not need to operate to the same safety standards as an aircraft used for regular public transport and charter operations.

It is at the passenger's own risk to travel in the aircraft.

See Part 132 of CASR for the rules on passenger briefing for flights other than adventure flights.

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