Paramotors – 30 NM Mode C Veil & ADS-B

How many people know about the 30 NM Mode C Veil & ADS-B rules.  I recently was asked and went back and double-checked to make sure I understood better…

Mode C Veil & ADS-B rules

There are a couple of reason’s why the new rules don’t apply to Paramotors (Powered Paragliders/Gliders) which operate under FAR 103 given we are vehicles and not aircraft, however, it’s easiest to just refer to the ADS-B rule itself to explain to people who typically fly General Aviation and at airports.

The rule is worth reading if you haven’t.  (14 CFR § 91.225 – Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out equipment and use).

Because we aren’t certified aircraft and don’t technically have electrical systems paramotors aren’t required to have ADS-B and, as long as we stay below the B & C airspace in G or E we can still operate within Mode C Veil 30 NM perimeter.

You can refer to 14 CFR § 91.225 section d(2) & e(1 & 2) specifically.

(d) After January 1, 2020, and unless otherwise authorized by ATC, no person may operate an aircraft in the following airspace unless the aircraft has equipment installed that meets the requirements in paragraph (b) of this section:

(2) Except as provided for in paragraph (e) of this section, within 30 nautical miles of an airport listed in appendix D, section 1 to this part from the surface upward to 10,000 feet MSL;

(e) The requirements of paragraph (b) of this section do not apply to any aircraft that was not originally certificated with an electrical system, or that has not subsequently been certified with such a system installed, including balloons and gliders. These aircraft may conduct operations without ADS-B Out in the airspace specified in paragraphs (d)(2) and (d)(4) of this section. Operations authorized by this section must be conducted—

(1) Outside any Class B or Class C airspace area; and
(2) Below the altitude of the ceiling of a Class B or Class C airspace area designated for an airport, or 10,000 feet MSL, whichever is lower.

So there you have it, stay out of Class B or C airspace as usual, and you can still fly as before.

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A group of Paramotor friends(approximately 6) and I recently launched from a local airport and flew over a large county

2 Replies to “Paramotors – 30 NM Mode C Veil & ADS-B”

  1. And end up being hit by a Cessna Caravan in Class E operating under an IFR flight plan. Neither saw it coming and it killed both. Flying without ADS-B is reckless in my opinion. A paramotor is a tiny dot on the horizon, and when you’re climbing through Class E at 200+ knots, evasive action may be impossible. A portable transponder provides situational awareness to all airspace users.

    1. Hi Amanda,
      I realize at the time of your response that emotions were raw from the incident in Texas. You may not be aware, but the FAA has strict rules about how ADS-B is used. In most cases, Ultralights and many other aircraft that are not registered can’t use ADS-B. I and several other pioneers have been working with a manufacturer and the FAA to find a solution that would enable the use of ADS-B. My Paramotor is registered and thus I do make use of ADS-B in and out.

      Unfortunately many other after are also not required to transmit or monitor traffic. So while it can enable one to be seen, it can also be a false sense of safety. An example is there are two airports close to where I fly with vintage WWII era plans that fly at 200 miles an hour and don’t transmit or use ADS-B in. So even with ADS-B is out, they could not be aware of my position.

      Ultimately technology and rules will help make our skies safer and hopefully will continue to do so without taking rights away from others who have as much right to use the air as any major airline.

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