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Minimum Altitude An Aircraft Must Fly  
User currently offlineSirDeath From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 88 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 5 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4006 times:

What is the minimum altitude an aircraft must be built to fly at in order to require FAA certification, an N-number, an pilot's license, etc? I'm wondering because of hovercraft. Small personal hovercraft are 6" to 1' (15cm - 30 cm) off the ground. Larger craft even more so, but so far as I know people who operate these as a hobby don't have the aforementioned FAA credentials. Are they technically in violation, or is there some exception?

3 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineA342 From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 4690 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (6 years 5 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3990 times:

A hovercraft only "flies" within ground effect, so it is not a real aircraft. Therefore I suppose that any manned vehicle that can fly out of ground effect would be considered an aircraft.


Exceptions confirm the rule.
User currently offlineAustrianZRH From Austria, joined Aug 2007, 1397 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 5 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3990 times:

I guess there is some ruling that the vehicle must be able to maintain a given altitude (over MSL) without any conditions to the terrain below. That would exclude hovercraft, as they are always some given distance from the ground, not a given altitude over MSL.

But maybe nobody has ever asked this question before and there is no jurisdiction about that. I'm just speculating here  Smile.



WARNING! The post above should be taken with a grain of salt! Furthermore, it may be slightly biased towards A.
User currently offlineA342 From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 4690 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (6 years 5 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3974 times:



Quoting AustrianZRH (Reply 2):
I guess there is some ruling that the vehicle must be able to maintain a given altitude (over MSL) without any conditions to the terrain below. That would exclude hovercraft,

And gliders.  Wink



Exceptions confirm the rule.
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