The UK CAA consultation on the proposed changes to BCAR Section S regs will close on 19 August. The proposed changes mostly pertain to 600kg microlights, which are becoming more closely aligned with the American FAAs Light Sport Aircraft class. In announcing the proposed changes, the BMAA’s Chief Inspector Rob Mott had said: “there are a multitude of improvements that allow pilots to fly heavier, faster and likely further than ever before, but without losing sight of our roots and heritage. BCAR Section S (Small Light Aeroplanes) is the main certification code for microlight aeroplanes in the UK and specifies the initial airworthiness requirements as well as acceptable means of compliance”.
Mott also added that “the code’s technical requirements have been revised to reflect the increased maximum take-off mass and stall speed limits brought into UK law following the 2021 revision of the UK microlight aeroplane definition.” These changes include a higher Maximum Take Off Weight (MTOW) of 600kg, which is increased to 650kg for amphibians.
Regulated single-seat aircraft with a stall speed above 35kt or MTOW of over 300kg would now have the same MTOW limits as two-seaters. The stall speed upper limit, in the proposal, has been increased to 45kt and cockpit loading has also been increased. It is now at least 100kg per seat (previously 86kg) and 200kg (up from 172kg) total for two-seaters.
Other changes include gust loading requirements for aircraft heavier than 475kg and Vd (Design Dive Speed) greater than 140kt. In addition, firewalls must now be able to resist temperatures of 1100° Celsius for a minimum of fifteen minutes, and undercarriage loads are now the same as EASA CS-VLA.
“A significant BMAA aim [with the proposed changes] was to increase alignment with Czech (UL-2) and German (LTF-UL),” said Mott. “A key remaining area where the UK differs is spinning – neither of the mentioned European Microlight codes require spin testing”.
The consultation closes on 19 August 2022, and there are two ways to take part. One way it to use the online form. A second way is to email comments to email@example.com with ‘CAP 482 consultation response’ as the subject line, and copying firstname.lastname@example.org in the email.
Image: Keith Wilson