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Limited category aircraft operations
Learn about new rules for limited category aircraft - in effect from 28 January 2017.
The full rules are contained in Part 132 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations.
Who do the new rules apply to?
- owners, operators and pilots of ex-military (warbirds), certain historic and replica aircraft
- owners of any other aircraft certified in the limited category
- individuals and organisations that conduct or sell adventure flights in warbirds.
What rules have changed?
CASR Part 132 preserves the requirements of the previous regulations (262AM and 262AN of the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988) but contains some important safety and administrative enhancements. The new rules provide more flexibility and clarity around recreational use and operational limits for limited category aircraft.
Part 132 authorises some new recreational purposes for limited category aircraft, including glider towing, air racing by unmodified aircraft and personal flights.
There is more flexibility for aircraft with major modifications, an expired airframe fatigue life and life-limited components that have exceeded their life limits, to continue to be used for personal flights in the limited category.
The regulation sets out the responsibilities of all people and organisations involved in limited category aircraft operations.
Who will need to operate on a limited category certificate of airworthiness?
Most warbirds that previously operated on an experimental certificate of airworthiness will need to operate on a limited category certificate under Part 132. The exceptions are warbirds issued with an experimental certificate for showing compliance with airworthiness regulations, and extensively modified warbirds issued with an experimental certificate for air racing. Historic and replica aircraft may operate under the same arrangements.
Operational activities and airworthiness authorisations for limited category aircraft will be carried out by an approved self-administering aviation organisation.
Each aircraft will be assigned a permit index number, which will stipulate the geographic operational limitations for the aircraft.
What do the new rules mean for passengers?
Some companies and operators of warbirds offer adventure flights for the paying public. Part 132 outlines the briefing provisions required to ensure passengers are fully aware of the risks before participating in this activity.
The new rules introduce the requirement for an extra safety briefing to the purchaser of an adventure flight at the point of sale, whether this transaction is in person, online or over the phone. This is to be provided in addition to a safety briefing to all passengers before they board the aircraft. A warning placard must also be placed in the aircraft where it is visible to passengers.
When will the new rules apply?
The Part 132 regulation and manual of standards will commence on 28 January 2017. Owners and operators who need to transition to a limited category certificate will need to do so by 28 July 2017.
Organisations and vendors selling adventure flights must implement the new briefing requirements from 28 January 2017.
The rules at a glance
- In most cases, warbirds not operating on a standard or restricted certificate of airworthiness are required to obtain a limited category certificate of airworthiness.
- Historic and replica aircraft may transition to a limited category certificate of airworthiness.
- Limited category aircraft can be utilised for personal flights, glider towing and air racing.
- Only licensed parachutists may jump from limited category aircraft. Parachuting training and tandem jumps are not permitted.
- An extra safety briefing is required for adventure flights at the point of sale.
- Operational limits and excluded landing areas for limited category aircraft are advised.
- The offences that relate to breaching the conditions for limited category aircraft operations are advised.
Want to know more?
Visit the CASR Part 132 - Limited category aircraft section.