The term warbirds generally refers to ex-military, replica and historic aircraft. These are registered with CASA on the civil aircraft register. CASA issues pilot licences and, in conjunction with the Australian Warbird Association Ltd (AWAL), oversees the maintenance of warbirds.
Under the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations ex-military, replica and historic aircraft can operate under a special certificate of airworthiness in the limited category, or as an experimental aircraft under CASR 21.191.
This allows the aircraft to operate under a special set of conditions set out in Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 21.189 and Civil Aviation Regulations 262AM. For maintenance purposes limited category aircraft are considered to be class B aircraft.
AWAL has approval from CASA to administer the operation of limited category aircraft, including their continuing airworthiness. This means that the AWAL can approve the required schedule of maintenance and issue special certificates of airworthiness in the limited category.
A passenger flight in a warbird can be conducted as an adventure flight. To find out more about adventure flights see Adventure flight safety explained.
For more information about warbirds go to the Australian Warbirds Association Limited website.
Limited category aircraft operational requirements
Regulation 262AN of the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 says that limited category aircraft can only be operated:
- under a manual produced by an organisation approved to administer the operations of limited category aircraft engaged in special purpose operations. Subregulation 21.189(3) Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 sets out these special purpose operations
- with CASA approval for the aircraft to operate other than under a manual produced by an approved organisation.
In May 2007, CASA approved the Australian Warbird Association Ltd (AWAL) to administer the operation of limited category aircraft.
Before May 2007, there was a general exemption from compliance with this regulation. Since the exemption has been revoked limited category aircraft must operate under an exposition approved under the exposition and self-administration manual (ESAM) of the AWAL.
Adventure flight operators of limited category aircraft must submit an exposition to the AWAL for approval before undertaking operations. An exposition describes the way in which the registered operator intends to operate a limited category aircraft for special purposes.