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If an airplane is on skis, would that fall under the airplane single/multi engine land categories based on the fact that they operate on land, or would it be considered more closely related to sea categories due to handling characteristics such as a lack of disc brakes?

Would landing on snowy ground vs frozen bodies of ice such as a frozen lake make any difference to the answer?

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    $\begingroup$ Reading this, the Sea Dart comes to mind, able to operate on large areas of melted ice or snow $\endgroup$
    – user21228
    Aug 3, 2021 at 11:45

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Airplanes on skis are in the "land" (ME or SE) class (as opposed to the "sea" [ME or SE] class), always.

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    $\begingroup$ I know some floats have wheels for land operations, does something similar exist for skis that would make them considered a sea category, or is there absolutely no grey area and aviation authorities spell it out by type? $\endgroup$ Aug 3, 2021 at 0:22
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    $\begingroup$ @RyanMortensen - if you have a seaplane with wheels (common) you would have to have a seaplane and land class rating to operate it on both sea and land. I have never seen any airplane (normal, utility, acrobatic) that had skis and also floats. Perhaps an experimental or similar might have interchangeable skis and floats. Not sure if there is any gray area in normal, utility categories. $\endgroup$
    – user22445
    Aug 3, 2021 at 0:39
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    $\begingroup$ @757toga, another current question is about the Fairchild C-123 Provider, and reading the wikipedia article I noticed it had a YC-123E “pantobase” variant that appears to have water hull and skis that double as water skis. So even combination like that was apparently tried. $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Aug 3, 2021 at 4:11
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    $\begingroup$ @JanHudec - I just read that article. Probably some military use aircraft modified in a variety of ways to deal with operational circumstances. Likely not a big demand for civil use to justify conversion to civil use like the military C47 conversion to civil DC3. But as far as FAA category and class certification "experimental," "restricted" etc. categories can contain a variety of unusual designs. FAR part 61 Categories and classes for normal, utility, transport, etc, category aircraft is fairly straightforward. $\endgroup$
    – user22445
    Aug 3, 2021 at 4:33

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