Use of utility vs normal certification?

Philip Greenspun's Homepage : Philip Greenspun's Homepage Discussion Forums : Aviation : One Thread
Notify me of new responses
Hello, Philip!

Just for flying with friends in the back seat, it won't matter
whether I buy SR22 or Cessna 400 and not knowing they are certified

However, if fire department want to use it for forest guide or aerial
photograph... is it possible? or for SR22, does it need to get
utility certification?

Thank you for your time.

-- Junyoung Yun, September 3, 2008


That's a good question. I'm not sure what practical good utility category is. Certainly the vast majority of planes doing aerial photography and so forth are in the normal category.

Both the SR22 and Cessna 400 are terrible planes for aerial photography. An old Cessna Cardinal RG for $75,000 would be much better (has an openable window and no wing in the way). There are also a lot of older Cessnas that already have photo doors cut into the belly. The planes that you mention are good for doing a 400-mile round-trip for a business meeting.

-- Philip Greenspun, September 10, 2008

Actually, the Cessna Cardinals do not have an openable window, at least not one big enough to be useful for photography. A Cessna 210 might fill the bill for having no struts, and the front windows can be rigged to open fully in flight.

Alternatively, camera lens filters can be used to improve photography through the plexiglass windows.

As far as I know, the airplane would not have to be certified or loaded in the utility category as long as aerobatic maneuvers are not flown (FAR 23.3).

Hope this is helpful!

-- Jane Carpenter, December 28, 2008