In actual practice, is there any US-certified airplane or glider where the approved flight manual, or cockpit placards, indicate that loops, rolls, or any other similarly aerobatic maneuvers other than "spins (if approved for plane), lazy eights, chandelles, and steep turns, or similar maneuvers, in which the angle of bank is more than 60 degrees but not more than 90 degrees" are allowed when the aircraft is operated in the "utility" category?

Also, in theory, would it ever be permissible for this situation to occur for a US-certified airplane or glider, if the manufacturer proved that the aircraft was safe for the maneuver in question? Perhaps in conjunction with additional restrictions on weight or CG location?

See this closely-related question that notes that this IS the case for some airplanes and gliders certified in other countries: In the US, would it ever be legal to fly a loop in any airplane or glider that was operating in the "utility" rather than "acrobatic" category?

The current question is only asking about US-certified airplanes or gliders.

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    $\begingroup$ Several answers to this very peripherally-related question about civilian aerobatics in the T-38 suggests that at a minimum, the FAA would want to see flight tests demonstrating said maneuver before allowing such a thing, and more generally tends to suggest the answer is likely "no" -- aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/21182/… $\endgroup$ Jul 17, 2019 at 0:09

1 Answer 1


The main difference between Utility and Normal category in FAR 23 is spins and the limitation of bank angles in maneuvers. Normal category is banks up to 60 deg and no spins. Utility allows spins if certified for them, and banks up to 90 degrees.

Limited acrobatic operation includes: (1) Spins (if approved for the par-ticular type of airplane); and (2) Lazy eights, chandelles, and steep turns, or similar maneuvers, in which the angle of bank is more than 60 de-grees but not more than 90 degrees.

I would imagine that a Hammerhead, being a chandelle taken to an extreme, would be allowable since done properly the wings don't go beyond 90 deg, but loops and rolls are definitely out in Utility Category.


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