I am asking this because me and my friends are building a homemade seaplane or boat whatever you want to call it. It's not designed for long-range or high-altitude flights. We're not going to fly at a typical altitude of normal planes/seaplanes but we're just flying it to test it. Do we require a license to fly it?

This is in Canada and it's a manned aircraft.

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    $\begingroup$ How big/ heavy is it? $\endgroup$
    – Notts90
    Apr 27, 2019 at 17:23
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    $\begingroup$ take a look at ultra-light category, if your build matched the description you might be able to fly it without a license. $\endgroup$ Apr 28, 2019 at 3:28
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to aviation.SE! I edited your question to - hopefully! - make it a little clearer. If I got it wrong, feel free to edit again or roll back. The tour may be helpful if you're new to StackExchange. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Apr 28, 2019 at 4:16

1 Answer 1


14 CFR §1.1 defines an aircraft as “means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air.” Flying boats are intended for flight in the air. Therefore.....

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    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure that this answers the question. There are a number of things defined as an aircraft by 14 CFR 1.1 (for example a Drone, an Ultralight, hang glider, powered parachute, or even a kite) that do not require a license to fly. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Apr 27, 2019 at 18:12
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    $\begingroup$ Also, the OP says it's not going to fly "at an average height of normal planes/seaplanes" (whatever that means), so maybe it's a hovercraft or ekranoplan? $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Apr 27, 2019 at 18:36
  • $\begingroup$ The OP added the information that this is about Canadian regulations. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Apr 28, 2019 at 4:18
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    $\begingroup$ I'm puzzled how an answer citing a US regulation can be helpful to someone in Canada. It's certainly possible that Canada has a very similar definition, but this answer on its own is about the US. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Apr 30, 2019 at 8:02

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