Introduction to Ultralight Airplanes

Ultralight Flying in Thailand

Thailand is not just a popular tourist destination. It's also one of the most popular places for Americal and West-European expats. And not only - people from Asia and Australia also often visit or move to Thailand because of the good weather, food, friendly people and the affordable cost of living.

What has this all to do with aviation? A lot.

The good weather allows you to fly most of the time of the year. Even the rainy season should not be a problem for many ultralight airplanes as long as you watch out for strong storms.

The low cost of living also means decent cost of hangaring, ultralight flying lessons, repair and so on. And don't think it's a third world there - the country is full of good engineers, mechanics and pilots. Don't forget the big number of expats who also bring their knowledge in.

On top of this, the visa requirements are very relaxed. So you can easily drop in to have some fun with flying and go back when needed without formalities. Bangkok is served by many airplines from all over the world so getting in is not a big problem either.

paraglider IMG_2124bs

What About The Aviation Regulations?

The definitions of ultralight airplane in Thailand are somewhat different than those in the USA for example. There is no such thing as Part 103 so you can't fly without any license. This link here will explain you in details what's required. On the good side, having this license you can fly heavier airplanes than those defined in Part 103 and you can also fly a two-seater.

Buying Aircraft

What to do if you want to stay and fly long-term in Thailand? It makes most sense to buy your own airplane rather than renting it. One option is of course to buy locally from a fellow pilot. Another popular option is to import airplane from abroad. It's affordable because the import fee for airplane is only 5%. I strongly recommend you to read this excellent first-hand story from a guy who imported his airplane there. There's a lot of pictures and details so it's well worth the time to read.

If you'd rather buy locally, there are few places to look at. The best listing of classifieds at the moment is probably this one.

Aircraft Schools in Thailand

Due to the popularity of Thailand as recreational destination there is no shortage of aviation schools and clubs. Just a couple of examples: Sriracha Aviation, the International Aviation College, the NOK Flying Club, and more. The US Aviation Academy has even Commercial pilot programs for Thailand (see here).

Quicksilver Ultralight at Nakornnayok Thailand

Finally, here is one nice video to enjoy :)

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