Amateur Built vs. Advanced Ultralight

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There is no physical difference between the two categories Advanced Ultralight, and Amateur Built when concerning the Pipistrel Virus SW.
HOWEVER, the legal technicalities are an important factor to consider when purchasing your aircraft.
The Pipistrel VirusSW falls into a unique category, where it is light enough and has a slow enough stall speed to easily fit into the Advanced Ultralight Category.
With it's incredibly high speed and long range, the VirusSW makes the ideal long cross country travel vehicle. With long range travel comes the chance for adverse weather, this is where IFR capability becomes desirable.

Comparison of Advanced Ultralight and Amateur Built (For Virus SW consideration)

Advanced Ultralight
Amateur Built (Homebuilt)
License required for Passenger Carrying in Canada
Ultralight Pilot Permit with
Passenger carrying endorsement
Or
Recreational pilot permit—aeroplane
Ultralight Pilot Permit with
Passenger carrying endorsement
(as long as your takeoff weight is at or below Advanced Ultralight limit of 560 kg (1232 lb)
Or
Recreational pilot permit—aeroplane
License required for Flight in USA (minimum)
Private Pilot License
Or
Ultralight Pilot Permit with Instructor Rating
Or
Recreational Pilot License

(a standard Ultralight pilot permit is not adequate for legal flight into USA)
Private Pilot License
Or
Ultralight Pilot Permit with Instructor Rating
Or
Recreational Pilot License
Night Flight
NO - Not Legal
YES - Legal (must be equipped with appropriate equipment)
IFR (Instrument flight rules)
NO - Not Legal
YES - Legal (must be equipped with appropriate equipment)
Train for Pilot Permit - Ultralight (PP-UL)
YES - including the flight test
YES (as long as your takeoff weight is at or below Advanced Ultralight limit of 560 kg (1232 lb)
Train for Recreational pilot permit (RPP)
5 hours can be used toward RPP
All hours can be used toward RPP if you already have your PP-UL
BUT, you can not complete the flight test for RPP in an Advanced Ultralight
YES - all time is counted, same as a Certified Aircraft, including the flight test.
Train for Private Pilot License (PPL)
10 hours of dual instruction can be counted toward PPL
BUT, you can not complete the flight test for PPL in an Advanced Ultralight
YES - all time is counted, same as a Certified Aircraft
Train for Commercial Pilot license (CPL)
25 hours of dual instruction can be counted toward CPL
BUT, you can not complete the flight test for CPL in an Advanced Ultralight
YES - all time is counted, same as a Certified Aircraft
Train for Airline Transport pilot License (ATPL)
50 hours of dual instruction can be counted toward ATPL
YES - all time is counted, same as a Certified Aircraft
Amateur-Built Aircraft are treated the same as type certified for logging time and training. You can count 100 per cent of the time in Amateur-Built Aircraft towards the RPP, PPL, CPL, ATPL and Instructor
Use the aircraft for Aerial Photography
(Please don't take our word for it, contact Transport Canada to confirm this data)
YES - as long as you are not being paid to carry your passenger or photography equipment belonging to your employer
YES - as long as you are not being paid to carry your passenger or photography equipment belonging to your employer
Use the aircraft for Pipeline Inspection
(Please don't take our word for it, contact Transport Canada to confirm this data)
YES - as long as you are not being paid to carry your passenger or photography equipment belonging to your employer
YES - as long as you are not being paid to carry your passenger or photography equipment belonging to your employer
Basic Aerobatics
(Loops and Rolls)
No - Aerobatics are prohibited for ultralight aircraft
YES - with the proper procedures followed (mostly paperwork) Amateur built aircraft can legally perform Aerobatics
Speed Restrictions
There is no Speed Restrictions on Advanced Ultralight in CANADA
(USA has a 120 Knot speed restriction for their Light Sport Aircraft category, which has nothing to do with Canadian aircraft)
There is no Speed Restrictions on Amateur Built aircraft in CANADA
(USA has a 120 Knot speed restriction for their Light Sport Aircraft category, which has nothing to do with Canadian aircraft)
Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW) Weight Restrictions
MTOW is 560 kg (1232 lb)
This applies to all Advanced Ultralights
MTOW is easily registered at 700KG (1543lb) or higher for the Virus SW
(Amateur built MTOW is calculated by wing loading and Climb Rate)
Use as Commercial Aircraft
(air Taxi, delivery service, etc…)
No
No
Amount of Paperwork
Simple
fairly in-depth inspection process, then the same as Certified once flying
Maintenance
You can Maintain your own aircraft
(Or hire someone else)
You can Maintain your own aircraft
(Or hire someone else)
Modifications to Airframe
Maybe - Any Modifications must be approved by the manufacturer.
Skis,Floats are OK.
YES - Skis, Floats, Beverage cooler…The sky's the limit
Insurance
Rates vary widely between insurance companies.
(May be more expensive with only Ultralight Pilot Permit)
Average Full in flight coverage $2500/year
We recommend Air1 Aviation Insurance for a Quote
Average Full in flight coverage $2500/year
We recommend Air1 Aviation Insurance for a Quote







Virus SW Amateur Built kit Eligibility
(Virus Classic and Taurus are already on the FAA Eligibility list)

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