Warbirds, or ex-military aircraft, are operated under a LIMITED category Certificate of Airworthiness in accordance with CAR262AN(1). The LIMITED category differs from STANDARD or other categories in several respects, with certain restrictions placed on where and how these aircraft can be flown.
AWAL administer LIMITED category aircraft operations for both Private and Commercial operations.
Private operations are those which are conducted for personal pleasure and recreation and may include aspects such as aerobatics and formation flying.
Commercial operations of LIMITED category aircraft are restricted to "Adventure Flights" where flights can be conducted for "hire and reward" similar to joy flights. Adventure Flight operators must be approved by AWAL and flown by pilots with a minimum of a Commercial Pilots Licence. More information about Adventure Flight operations can be found on the Adventure Flight Operations page of this site.
All LIMITED Category aircraft operating in Australia are assigned a Permit Index number, ranging from 0 to 3. The assessment process and granting of a number is specific to each aircraft, taking into account a range of factors to include configuration (original or modified), installed equipment (ie: ejection seats or external fuel), engine type, fuel capacity, stall speed, etc…
The Permit Index number assigned to an aircraft determines its ability to operate over populous areas as follows:
PI-0: No airport or populous area restrictions applicable.
PI-1: Operations from an aerodrome in a capital city may only be flown using routes approved by CASA or an authorised person (AWAL) for the purpose. The aircraft may only fly over a populous area to the least extent necessary to take off from or land at a particular aerodrome other than at a capital city. Flights over populous areas are subject to any conditions included in a written approval for the flight(s) issued by CASA or an authorised person (AWAL).
PI-2: Operations over populous areas by CASA approval only. This category also applies to any Limited Category aircraft regardless of Permit Index number while it is being flown with jettisonable fuel tanks installed.
PI-3: Operations over populous areas are prohibited.
Provision has been made within the Permit Index system for certain aircraft to obtain a lower number through a safety case.
If you have questions about the Permit Index System and how it affects your Limited Category operations, please contact AWAL’s Director of Self-Administration.