November 7, 2023
Technically, anyone can fly a personal eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) vehicle in the ultralight category without any training.
However, advanced training can make the experience smoother, more rewarding and much safer.
On my recent visit to Ryse Aero Technology in Mason, Ohio, we decided to go the advanced training route, which also is the policy for anyone who flies one of the Ryse Recon electric aerial vehicles (EAV).
The classroom training, conducted by Ryse CEO Mick Howitz and engineering and manufacturing vice president Rob Royse, included a detailed PowerPoint presentation and lots of discussion. Howitz is also a licensed pilot and has flown the Recon countless times all over the U.S.
The vehicle is flown by using two joysticks. The one on the left makes the vehicle go up, down, or slowly spin left or right, or yaw in pilot language.
The right joystick makes the vehicle go forward, backward, left and right.
The training session did not require a lot of time on that but rather focused on safety and what happens if something goes wrong.
Any potential failure was considered, from engine failure to emergency landing for any reason, with the associated visual ground signals to land immediately.
For the flight, we would have two-way communication in the helmet and receive various directions on maneuvers to execute.
In the training, the expected maneuvers also were detailed. Nothing was left to chance and the objective was to avoid any surprises while in the air.
Also, expectations were clearly detailed, such as anticipating the abrupt sounds of all the propellers when powered up, the time needed for the vehicle to self-stabilize and the most effective ways to use the joysticks.
The Ryse Recon is an EAV categorized as a powered ultralight by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) under FAA Part 103.
Flying this category of EAV does not require a pilot license or any training, according to the FAA.
“Pilots of ultralight vehicles subject to Part 103 are not required to have training or previous experience prior to the operation of these vehicles,” states the FAA.
There are other stipulations in the rule including not being capable of speeds in excess of 63 mph, carrying only one person and not weighing more than 253 pounds.
Like others in the powered ultralight category, the Ryse Recon is a vehicle aimed at single ownership and usage with the ability for one person to manage the craft.
The Ryse Recon is among several new personal flying vehicles entering the market in 2024.
The Ryse Recon has been flown by 29 different people, most of whom are not licensed pilots.
At Ryse Aero, no one goes up without knowing what they are doing. And it’s safe to say, no one comes down complaining about having received too much training.
This is the fourth in a series of stories and videos taking an inside look at personal flying vehicle startup Ryse Aero.
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