The CAA has approved the factory-built gyroplanes for self-fly hire, including instruction and testing, provided certain conditions are met.
In accordance with the Air Navigation Order 2009, if an aircraft is hired for a flight, e.g. from a flying club, then that flight is deemed to be public transport for airworthiness purposes. Previously, Permit to Fly gyroplanes were prohibited from engaging in public transport flights – which prevented them from being hired for private use. Consequently, once gyroplane pilots had obtained their license, there was little provision for them to fly without purchasing their own aircraft.
Under the exemption, type approved gyroplanes can be used for hire, including instruction and testing if the aircraft is owned or operated under arrangements with a flying club and where the owner and the pilot hiring the gyroplane are both club members.
The CAA said the rule change was being introduced following consultation with key stakeholders in the gyroplane community. The exemption takes immediate effect.
RotorSportUK was one of the companies working with the CAA to approve this exemption.
RotorSportUK Business Manager Andy Wall explained, “Gyro pilots who are training can hire out instructors and their aircraft by the hour, but hiring an aircraft on its own previously hasn’t been an option for pilots with a PPL(G). The approval from the CAA is great as it will allow people who don’t own their own aircraft to be able to hire gyrocopters through clubs and schools, something which they previously haven’t been able to do.
“We have been working with the CAA to put in place the correct regulation and a good set of ground rules which allows pilots and schools to be able to hire and fly these aircraft, creating standards similar to those for light aircraft and microlights, which haven’t been in place for gyrocopters before.
“Hourly rates will obviously be up to clubs and schools who begin offering gyros for hire.”
He added, “We’re absolutely thrilled, having worked together with the CAA over the past six months in bringing this long over-due permission to our factory-built gyroplanes. It’s been a long slog but we’d very much like to thank Mark Shortman, Neil Williams, Keith Dodson and in particular, the recently retired Jim Mckenna for their support and assistance within the CAA Airworthiness department, without which we would not have been able to complete this task.”
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