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Standards set for ultralight aircraft



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Canberra 1 PARLiA.v;_,.lA,Vi’ LIBRARY ! 2^ May 1988 I C. I , s. j 88/57

STANDARDS SET FOR ULTRALIGHT AIRCRAFT

Recent regulations setting higher airworthiness standards for ultralight aircraft could lead to the development of a light aircraft export industry in Australia, the Minister for Transport and Communications Support, Peter Morris, said today.

From 31 July 1988, all commercially manufactured ultralights offered for sale would have to meet the new industry standards.

Previously, airworthiness certificates have not been required for ultralights and pilot training has not been compulsory.

Mr Morris said ultralight flying was a growing recreation industry.

The Federal Government had introduced new air navigation orders (ANOs) which set out improved standards of design and cons truction.

Manufacturers in Australia would be able to obtain a certificate of airworthiness for their ultralights which showed that they met export standards.

Mr Morris said overseas flyers had shown great interest in aircraft meeting the new regulations which were among the best international standards.

"Australian industry should now be able to take advantage of Australia's excellent reputation in aviation safety," Mr Morris said.

"Some U.S. corporations have stopped making light aircraft and the Australian industry should be able to produce high standard aircraft which will fill this market gap."

Mr Morris said the safety and reliability of ultralights wrould improve because of the new standards and flyers would not be risking their lives in unsafe aircraft.

Mr Morris said the changes resulted from an inquiry into sports aviation safety which had been conducted by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Transport Safety.

Between 1978 and 1986 the Bureau of Air Safety Investigation had received reports of 77 ultralight aircraft accidents with 35 fatalities. /2

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It had been estimated that the fatal accident rate for ultralights was 10 times greater than for general aviation.

It was also estimated that ultralight fatalities had been 50 times more likely to be attributable to airworthiness causes.

Mr Morris said the new ANOs required all existing single-seat aircraft below 150 kilograms to be registered with the Australian Ultralight Federation and meet certain minimum airworthiness standards.

All ultralight pilots would now be required to hold an ultralight pilot’s certificate.

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Further information: Kirill Bolonkin (062) 68 4105.