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Regulations on a ground effect vehicle (Australia)? Answered

A while ago, I came across the work of guy in New Zealand who had made a hovercraft that could also fly like a ground effect vehicle.
(See it here)
And it got me wondering.....
What kind of regulations are placed on a vehicle like this?

Say I (while in Australia) built a similar craft to his, only smaller, lighter, and a single seater. Well, firstly, I'd like to know if it's legal or not. I'm assuming it would be, but with certain conditions, so;
What licensing (if any) would be needed for it/me?
And what regulations must it/I follow?

Here's what I've taken in so far, although I don't know for sure that it's accurate/true:
It's legal, as long as it does not exceed a certain weight, number of occupants, noise level, etc 
I'm allowed to fly it as long as it is not able to get over a certain height (a couple of metres)
It's a wing in ground vehicle, so it falls under the same category as boats, so the same regulations apply. Does that mean I'm not allowed to use it over land....?

It'd be helpful if you could just point me in the direction of answers somewhere else, even



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Best Answer 9 years ago

If they carry 12 or more people, WiG vehicles are classified as high-speed ships (ref), like hovercraft and hydroplanes, but only if they carry 12 or more people.

As such, if you're going to build one, and keep it purely to WiG effect altitudes (about equivalent to the wingspan), and don't fly it commercially, you'll be fine.

However, whatever the regulations are, you would be daft to fly one over any land except wide open beaches or salt-flats, since you would be unable to climb over obstacles like trees, houses or garden fences.


2 years ago

One known use case for ground effect vehicles is over flooded or swampy ground. When you say "over land", you're still talking extremely low altitudes, so any land you could safely drive on would be smooth and unpopulated, like a swamp or a sand bar. Most countries consider them surface craft, unless they're capable or used for free flight.


9 years ago

Don't know in Aussi but in the UK it would be classed and an aircraft and you need a pilot licence. Looks interesting.