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Not adequate
EASA - European Aviation Safety Agency


Safety Recommendation 2019-01

Recommendation PREAMBLE:

The investigation revealed that the take-off mass of the aircraft was greater than the maximum take-off mass of 472,5 kg. The payload of the aircraft was 149 kg, which can easily be exceeded by the user of the airplane. The manufacturer of the aircraft, taking into consideration that the users are not always strict with the limit for the maximum take-off mass of 472,5 kg, he revised the aircraft’s speed limit during the base leg of the approach.
During the design of aircrafts in this category, in order to calculate figures regarding the structure and performance, such as stall speed and take-off speed, these figures are calculated based on the maximum take-off mass of 450 kg or 472,5 kg (when the aircraft is equipped with a ballistic parachute) and are entered in the Aircraft Flight Manual.
During flight when the aircraft’s mass exceeds the maximum take-off mass, then the above mentioned speed values are not applicable and they get higher limits.
This can easily lead the aircraft to a stall during the critical phases for take-off and landing and also to a loss in control in flight.

Safety Recommendation: 2019-01

Main Recommendation Text:

It is recommended to European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to review and revise the maximum take-off mass (MTOM) for aircrafts in this category.

SR 2019-01

RESPONSE to Safety Recommendation:

EASA response to AAIASB SR 2019-01 was received by letter on 8/10/2019.

[EASA response]: “In the course of the legislative process leading to the adoption of Regulation (EU) 2018/1139 on common rules in the field of civil aviation, the weight limits for ultralight aircraft were subject to revision with participation of the Member States and institution-s of the EU as well as the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). As a result of this review, the mass limits of this aircraft category falling outside the scope of the common EU aviation rules, namely those set in Annex I to Regulation (EU) 2018/1139, remained basically the same as under the formerly applicable Annex 11 to Regulation (EC) No 216/2008.

The new regulatory concept, however, foresees a framework for more flexible rules for ultralight aircraft. This means that in accordance with Article 2(8) of Regulation (EU) 2018/1139 Member States may decide to exempt from this Regulation the design, production, maintenance and operation activities of category(ies) of aircraft meeting certain technical characteristics. In particular, this opt-out from the EU rules could include "aeroplanes, other than unmanned aeroplanes, which have no more than two seats, measurable stall speed or minimum steady flight speed in landing configuration not exceeding 45 knots calibrated air speed and a maximum take-off mass, as recorded by the Member State, of no more than 600 kg for aeroplanes not intended to be operated on water or 650 kg for aeroplanes intended to be operated on water." Similar conditions exist for manned helicopters and sailplanes as well. Additionally, the provisions of Article 2 of the abovementioned Regulation further detail the consequences of such alleviation from and interaction with the EU aviation system.

Having regard to the fact that the weight limits for the subject aircraft category was recently revised with the participation of the relevant aviation stakeholders and taking into account the flexibility introduced, as a result οf those discussions, to the applicable regulatory framework, EASA considers that currently a need for further revision is not substantiated.

EASA Status: “Closed - Disagreement”.

[AAIASB assessed the response to SR 2019-01 as “NOT ADEQUATE - CLOSED” as per EU Reg. 996/2010]

It is recommended to European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to review and revise the maximum take-off mass (MTOM) for aircrafts in this category
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