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VH- vs. RA-Aus and CASA license vs. RPC, can help connect the dots?

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VH- vs. RA-Aus and CASA license vs. RPC, can help connect the dots?

Old 15th Mar 2018, 07:25
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VH- vs. RA-Aus and CASA license vs. RPC, can anyone help connect the dots?

Me = a bloke who is [a little] confused. My current [shaky] understanding of all the acronyms in the title and where they roughly belong in the Australian air law landscape is the following:
  • CASA oversees VH- registered aircraft
  • RA-Aus oversees the registration of aircraft with a MTOW of < 600 kg
  • Said aircraft can also be VH- registered
  • CASA issues RPL, PPL, CPL and ATPL licenses
  • RA-Aus issues a RPC which is not a license but a certificate for pilots who intend to fly recreationally, subject to RA-Aus aircraft, within VFR and possibly including cross-country flights if they have the endorsement
  • A recent BITRE report states that a RPC is roughly equivalent to a RPL and can be converted into one with little extra effort
  • RPC holders cannot enter or operate in Class D airspace
  • At YMMB, there are RA-Aus registered aircraft in operations (that's where my head starts spinning, see previous point)
Given the above, assume that you are a PPL holder and intend to purchase a Foxbat. Do the following statements hold:
  • Foxbat has a MTOW < 600 kg, therefore you may register it as either VH- or RA-Aus
  • Registration under RA-Aus is less expensive and less tightly regulated than under VH-
  • Having a PPL, you may join RA-Aus without further ado
  • Assuming that you're flying a RA-Aus registered aircraft, you may still fly into controlled airspace, eg. land and take off at YMMB, because are you are PPL holder
This feels to me like there's a loophole somewhere:
  1. Why would anyone with a PPL want to register their UL aircraft under VH-? And there seem to be VH- foxbats or slings around.
  2. If you have a PPL, you can enjoy the best of both CASA and RA-Aus when going on a recreational flight, or is there a contradiction somewhere?

Thanks a million, and I apologize if this lingo is crystal clear to everyone else on that forum.

Last edited by Okihara; 15th Mar 2018 at 22:26.
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Old 15th Mar 2018, 20:54
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Originally Posted by Okihara View Post
Me = a bloke who is [a little] confused. My current [shaky] understanding of all the acronyms in the title and where they roughly belong in the Australian air law landscape is the following:
  • CASA oversees VH- registered aircraft
  • RA-Aus oversees the registration of aircraft with a MTOW of < 600 kg
  • Said aircraft can also be VH- registered
  • CASA issues RPL, PPL, CPL and ATPL licenses
  • RA-Aus issues a RPC which is not a license but a certificate for pilots who intend to fly recreationally, subject to RA-Aus aircraft, within VFR and possibly including cross-country flights if they have the endorsement
  • A recent BITRE report states that a RPC is roughly equivalent to a RPL and can be converted into one with little extra effort
  • RPC holders cannot enter or operate in Class D airspace
  • At YMMB, there are RA-Aus registered aircraft in operations (that's where my head starts spinning, see previous point)
Given the above, assume that you are a PPL holder and intend to purchase a Foxbat. Do the following statements hold:
  • Foxbat has a MTOW < 600 kg, therefore you may register it as either VH- or RA-Aus
  • Registration under RA-Aus is less expensive and less tightly regulated than under VH-
  • Having a PPL, you may join RA-Aus without further ado
  • Assuming that you're flying a RA-Aus registered aircraft, you may still fly into controlled airspace, eg. land and take off at YMMB, because are you are PPL holder
This feels to me like there's a loophole somewhere:
  1. Why would anyone with a PPL want to register their UL aircraft under VH-? And there seem to be VH- foxbats or slings around.
  2. If you have a PPL, you can enjoy the best of both CASA and RA-Aus when going on a recreational flight, or is there a contradiction somewhere?

Thanks a million, and I apologize if this lingo is crystal clear to everyone else on that forum.
Short answer is you are correct on all points, with the following caveat:

The operators of the RA-Aus aircraft at YMMB have an exemption from CASA that allows them to fly from there subject to certain conditions. They also operate from YSBK under a similar exemption.

To answer your questions:

Those VH- registered Foxbats are, for the most part, owned by a flying school at YMMB who need VH- registered aircraft for their CPL program. There's really no other reason for it..

If you have a PPL and an RPC, you can enjoy the best of both worlds.
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Old 15th Mar 2018, 21:04
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One significant change:
Under the Civil Aviation Act, CASA oversees and regulates ALL aviation. RAAus ADMINISTERS the operation and maintenance requirements of RAAus aircraft under a set of exemptions and soon (?) under a delegated approval under CASR Part 149
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Old 15th Mar 2018, 22:46
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@Stikman:
The operators of the RA-Aus aircraft at YMMB have an exemption from CASA that allows them to fly from there subject to certain conditions. They also operate from YSBK under a similar exemption.
Can you then, as a PPL holder flying a RAAus registered aircraft land and take off from other controlled airspace, eg. YMEN? Or does that require a CASA exemption?

I'm trying to understand what my limitations/options are as a PPL holder if I have a RAAus Foxbat parked at Tyabb and want to fly it to Townsville. From what I understand, if I intend to take an UL aircraft on such a journey, there seems to be no advantage to take a VH registered one. I hope the question makes sense.
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Old 16th Mar 2018, 00:59
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Okihara,
You are a bit off beam in a couple of areas.

(1) Not all aircraft under 600 kg (the weight has varied over the years) are registered with RAOz.
(2) Not all aircraft registered with RAOz can be VH registered. For VH registration, the aircraft must fit into one of the categories of CASR 21.
(3) Even if you have a PPL, you still have to be a member of RAOz and check out and be issued with a RAOz pilot certificate to fly an RAOz aircraft.
All the "Rules of the Air" still apply to RAOz operations, except for a few critical exemptions. It is all controlled airspace, not just D.
Two of the major attractions of flying RAOs is the medical situation, private drivers license medical standard, and owners can, by and large, do their own maintenance.
Given CASA's propensity to order very expensive multiple medical tests for quite straightforward and common problems, a simple second class medical for somebody who is no longer in the bloom of youth can cost thousands of dollars annually, for an RAOz medical it is a visit to a GP, if you can legally hold a driver's license.
Tootle pip!!

PS: Be very clear, the statistics thoroughly illustrated that "standard" of medical held by a pilot has no relation to the accident/incident record, and this hold true even where a medical condition contributes to an accident or incident ---- ie: an current ATPL pilot with (obviously) a first class medical is no less likely to be involved in an in-flight medical occurrence than an RAOz certificate holder who can drive a motor car.

Last edited by LeadSled; 16th Mar 2018 at 01:11.
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Old 16th Mar 2018, 07:20
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a simple second class medical for somebody who is no longer in the bloom of youth can cost thousands of dollars annually
What conditions would warrant this LS? *Thousands* of dollars sounds like a lot for any condition. A full stress-echo test with specialist signoff can be had for sub $500.
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Old 16th Mar 2018, 08:11
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A full stress-echo test with specialist signoff can be had for sub $500.
Where??
A nuclear stress ECG plus echo-cardiogram around here totals over $2200+ alone. Plus the consultation fee, around $270. And there are a few more, they all add up. Throw in a few $000 for blood tests etc, well north of $3000 is easy to achieve. And, of course the DAME at $270. Plus CASA's annoying processing fee.
Tootle pip!!
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Old 16th Mar 2018, 11:16
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Leadie. Your info on RAAus medical requirements, needs correction. Medical is by signed declaration that you believe you meet the Australian Private Motor Vehicle Driver medical standard. A visit to a medico is not required, if you are under seventy five years of age.
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Old 16th Mar 2018, 12:09
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Where??
A nuclear stress ECG plus echo-cardiogram around here totals over $2200+ alone. Plus the consultation fee, around $270. And there are a few more, they all add up. Throw in a few $000 for blood tests etc, well north of $3000 is easy to achieve. And, of course the DAME at $270. Plus CASA's annoying processing fee.
Tootle pip!!
You're talking about Australia right??? I'm in Melbourne.

Nuclear ECG stress test is slightly more, $650'ish versus $300 because of the radio-active goodness. They wouldn't want one of those more often than 2 years.

I've had 2 x ECG stress tests (on treadmill, so the proper ones) with ultrasound in the last 3 years and they cost as I said, about $295 with specialist signoff.

Blood tests? Last time I checked they were as good as free!

A basic doctor's non-stress ECG is $40 at my doctors.

We get your point... but there's no need do go all Steve Irwin exaggerated!
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Old 16th Mar 2018, 13:45
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A full stress-echo test with specialist signoff can be had for sub $500.
For someone not in the full bloom of youth it also carries with it a risk of a heart attack due exertion needed
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Old 17th Mar 2018, 04:05
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A visit to a medico is not required, if you are under seventy five years of age.
R755,
Or you have a range of conditions per the private driver's license standard, many of which are pretty common, when you renew a NSW drivers license at any age, there are two A5 pages of them. Any tics in the "yes" column requires the GP signoff.
Tootle pip!!

PS: SWTT,
I am just quoting from my actual costs, complying with CASA written directives to me. The Peoples Popular and Democratic Marxist Republic of Victoria sounds remarkably cheap.
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Old 17th Mar 2018, 06:35
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Can you then, as a PPL holder flying a RAAus registered aircraft land and take off from other controlled airspace, eg. YMEN? Or does that require a CASA exemption?

I'm trying to understand what my limitations/options are as a PPL holder if I have a RAAus Foxbat parked at Tyabb and want to fly it to Townsville. From what I understand, if I intend to take an UL aircraft on such a journey, there seems to be no advantage to take a VH registered one. I hope the question makes sense.
Yes. I landed at YMEN after departing from YMMB and doing a City Scenic in Class C.
Not a function of the aircraft rego, but as I hold at least a PPL with CTA then all ok.
You can fly a RAAUS registered aircraft anywhere if YOU are appropriately licenced...and another point, who the hell can actually stop you?

Happy to be corrected but then again I don't really care...
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Old 17th Mar 2018, 10:38
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You can fly a RAAUS registered aircraft anywhere if YOU are appropriately licenced...and another point, who the hell can actually stop you?
A suitably approved / certified RAAUS aircraft WITHIN Australia :-)

Who can stop you? Taking your certificate off you will stop you if you have been naughty and if that doesn't stop you, the local plods will come and grab you when you land, just like they tried to do recently to someone in Vic, whom ran away when they saw the divvy van, lol (true story).
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Old 18th Mar 2018, 00:00
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Originally Posted by zanthrus View Post
Yes. I landed at YMEN after departing from YMMB and doing a City Scenic in Class C.
Not a function of the aircraft rego, but as I hold at least a PPL with CTA then all ok.
You can fly a RAAUS registered aircraft anywhere if YOU are appropriately licenced...and another point, who the hell can actually stop you?

Happy to be corrected but then again I don't really care...
Thanks for sharing your example @zanthrus. That would be the intended use I'd want to make out a light sport aircraft.

As where you fly is a function of the license you hold and not the aircraft you're operating, according to @LeadSled, the only requirement to fly an RAAus aircraft is to become a member and hold their recreational pilot certificate.

Luckily the medical condition is not much of an issue for me, at least at this stage yet, having been granted my class 2 a little while ago which took CASA a good 4 weeks to process: a mystery to me considering how plain vanilla my history is and somewhat preposterous treatment for the $75 fee on top of the $270 for 40 minutes with an overweight DAME but, trust me, that'll be fight for another of those rainy day. Therefore I do understand the attraction of holding a driver's license medical standard for those who are happy with RA-Aus. The other thing about owners being able to carry out their own maintenance at least leaves that door open to those in a position to do it themselves.

Last edited by Okihara; 18th Mar 2018 at 02:57.
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Old 25th May 2019, 02:23
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Anyone able to confirm my interpretation of this thread please.

Goal - If my goal was to own a plane and keep it at a Class-D aerodrome, and minimise flying costs (so assuming an RAA registered aircraft "may" be the answer....).

1. This is actually possible with both an RAA or VH registered plane then correct, i.e. to be based at a Class D airport? (i.e. as long as you have CASA RPL too)

2. For RAA aircraft you would need: RAA pilot certificate to fly the RAA plane + RPL from CASA (with endorsements) to be fly within controlled airspace at a aerodrome with control tower + register aircraft under RAA?

3. Are there not any specific requirements on an RAA aircraft flying into controlled aircraft one needs to have? or once you go through a successful RAA aircraft registration process this will ensure you have everything? Another way to ask this question, if you were looking at buying an RAA aircraft anything to validate to ensure it can fly in/out of controlled airspace?

4. In terms of lowest cost to operate aircraft is it a given to stick to looking at RAA aircraft, or is this not necessarily the case? e.g. could an older Cessna 152/172 (VH registered) potentially be cheaper to run than an RAA aircraft? (operating cost as in: maintenance, registration, fuel, parking, insurance, per year)
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Old 25th May 2019, 04:44
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3. Are there not any specific requirements on an RAA aircraft flying into controlled aircraft one needs to have? or once you go through a successful RAA aircraft registration process this will ensure you have everything? Another way to ask this question, if you were looking at buying an RAA aircraft anything to validate to ensure it can fly in/out of controlled airspace?
Anything raa long as itís factory built and approved; usually with 4 stroke engines.

Gazelle, Skyfox, Lsa55 Jabiru, j230 Jabiru, Foxbat, Sling, Sting, Sportstar, etc.

It needs to have the transponder and static checked by LAME every 2 years, however otherwise it can be owner maintained.

*note some of those are available as home builds, but not suitable in this case.

Last edited by Squawk7700; 25th May 2019 at 05:04.
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Old 25th May 2019, 06:03
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Originally Posted by Squawk7700 View Post
Anything raa long as itís factory built and approved; usually with 4 stroke engines.
Gazelle, Skyfox, Lsa55 Jabiru, j230 Jabiru, Foxbat, Sling, Sting, Sportstar, etc.
It needs to have the transponder and static checked by LAME every 2 years, however otherwise it can be owner maintained.
*note some of those are available as home builds, but not suitable in this case.
thanks Squawk7700 - can I also ask:

* when buying a 2nd hand LSA (e.g. Jabiru / Tecnam etc) what would you want to see from the seller to make sure satisfies the requirements? e.g. Just evidence it was factory built, and this along with the model would confirm this...

* in terms of determining whether a particular model is ok is there a way to do this? e.g. is there a register of manufacturer/models that CASA has somewhere? or is there a regulation that describes what type of non-CASA registered plane criteria that can enter controlled airspace & towered airport? [so you confirm for yourself say whether all Jabiru's are covered: J120, J160D, J170D, J230D?]

* when you actually then do fly into a controlled airport (with your RPL/PPL) what checks could the airport possibly ask of you to cover this? e.g. would they be wanting to ensure you manufacturer/model of aircraft is one that is "allowed" so to speak?


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Old 25th May 2019, 22:22
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Originally Posted by mixed View Post
thanks Squawk7700 - can I also ask:

* when buying a 2nd hand LSA (e.g. Jabiru / Tecnam etc) what would you want to see from the seller to make sure satisfies the requirements? e.g. Just evidence it was factory built, and this along with the model would confirm this...

* in terms of determining whether a particular model is ok is there a way to do this? e.g. is there a register of manufacturer/models that CASA has somewhere? or is there a regulation that describes what type of non-CASA registered plane criteria that can enter controlled airspace & towered airport? [so you confirm for yourself say whether all Jabiru's are covered: J120, J160D, J170D, J230D?]

* when you actually then do fly into a controlled airport (with your RPL/PPL) what checks could the airport possibly ask of you to cover this? e.g. would they be wanting to ensure you manufacturer/model of aircraft is one that is "allowed" so to speak?
The easiest way is the registration prefix.

23- 24- 25- and 55- are all factory built. But not 10, 28 or 19.

Theres not a lot more to it than this... itís either factory built or it isnít. Sometimes someone will advertise an aircraft as factory built or built at the factory, such as a Jabiru, but that may be a builder assist program where the builder was helped to build it by factory staff, however this would still be registered with a 19- prefix, despite the owner saying it was built at the factory.

RA-Aus aircraft register, in number sequence

How would an airport operator check? By the rego number.

There may be other requirements like a transponder but many of the factory built ones will have those.

Soar for example operate in Class D Moorabbin with Raaus registered Foxbats and Bristells.

Now there is a curve ball... the regs say that a homebuilt can actually be approved for entry into controlled airspace by the RAA tech manager, however I have no idea of how many of these approvals have been given. I personally only know of one of them and that is a home built Savannah, so donít count on that and itís worth checking with raaus if you find an amazing home built that sparks your interest. I wanted to purchase an aircraft once that appeared to tick all the boxes, but CASA said no to that approval.

The other curve-ball here is that GA registered experimental, eg an RV is home-built and CAN enter controlled airspace and class D and can be flown on an RPL.
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Old 25th May 2019, 22:38
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great - thanks for the info - seem to be quite a few 24-xxxx 2nd hand aircraft advertised, so it seems if I just stick to only looking at factory built (and fully registered) this should be all I need to do then, i.e. to know I could later (after getting RPL too) fly through class-c/class-d. Would want to be able to land/takeoff from class-D ultimately so I assume there's no difference here between an aircraft certified to enter/operating in say class-d, as opposed to being allowed to land/take off from a towered airport in class-d?
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Old 26th May 2019, 03:09
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Transiting and taking off / landing are the same thing in that context.
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