SkyStar Aircraft has begun flight testing its Kitfox Lite2 two-seat ultralight trainer. The Caldwell, Idaho-based company's Rotax-powered kitplane costs $22,000 complete, but, under US ultralight rules, can be used for training purposes only.

The Kitfox Lite2 will provide the basis of the firm's offering in the proposed new "sport pilot" category. This applies to single-engine, two-seat aircraft with a maximum weight of 560kg (1,230lb) and stall speed of 39kt (72km/h) or less.

Ultralights can be flown without a medical certificate, but are limited to single-seat operation. Sport pilot rules would allow an individual with a valid US driver's licence to fly a passenger.

The US Federal Aviation Administration is shortly expected to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking, with the aim of publishing the sport pilot rule by October.

Source: Flight International