In 2010 Fox News posted an article in which they quoted a representative of the FAA saying that the FAA might not regulate jetpacks (the representative did say that they could fall under Part 103). Do any regulations exist in the US for jetpacks?

  • $\begingroup$ If they don't regulate them, then I guess the answer is no? $\endgroup$ – Lnafziger Jan 8 '14 at 21:39
  • $\begingroup$ The article, and I think the FAA rep, actually suggests that they very well might fall under Part 103 (ultralights). $\endgroup$ – egid Jan 8 '14 at 21:40
  • $\begingroup$ Right, the answer would be "No, none exist." It may be that no one can find any sort of reference to regulation of jetpacks other than that previous statement by the FAA. I'm fine with that answer; I'm just trying to see if jetpacks fit into some regulation somewhere. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Jan 8 '14 at 21:41
  • $\begingroup$ @egid Yes, but it does mention that there was some hesitation over whether to even put jetpacks under Part 103. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Jan 8 '14 at 21:42
  • $\begingroup$ Another thing I'm curious about is this: If the FAA definitively said they do not regulate jetpacks, would a jetpack user (in theory) be allowed to fly in any airspace (except maybe TFR)? $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Jan 8 '14 at 21:47

This depends on what you mean by a "jetpack". If you mean the classic James Bond-style rocket pack, then according to an FAA spokesman quoted in the Wall Street Journal they just don't fly long enough for the FAA to be interested:

Once aloft, a jetpack pilot is preoccupied with getting down quickly: A typical pack holds about 10 gallons of fuel, only enough to fly for about half a minute. The Federal Aviation Administration doesn't regulate jetpacks. "Thirty seconds is not sufficient to be considered a flight," says FAA spokesman Les Dorr. He adds that it's up to the individual to assess the risks.

On the other hand if you're referring to the Martin Jetpack, which uses fans instead of rockets, then several sources (e.g. Wikipedia) say that it's considered an ultralight by the FAA, in which case all the usual ultralight regulations would apply. But I couldn't find any direct confirmation of that on Martin's site.

  • $\begingroup$ Sounds about like what I would expect, thanks. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Jan 9 '14 at 17:37
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    $\begingroup$ Thirty seconds is not sufficient to be considered a flight . . . Sorry Orville! :-) $\endgroup$ – voretaq7 Jan 10 '14 at 16:31

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