Light planes are generally aircraft that meet certain conditions in terms of size and weight. As the name suggests these planes are lighter than standard passenger planes. The actual classification of whether a plane can be called a light plane or not may vary from country to country.
In general terms light planes will have an official certification from an aircraft organisation in its jurisdiction. These planes are often piston engined - some will have just one engine and some will have two. These planes are designed to carry passengers but not in bulk. So, a light plane here may be able to seat a maximum of 8 passengers although this limit may be higher in some countries.
The weight of a plane is one of the major factors that decide whether it can be classified as a light plane or not. Many experts believe that a light plane should not exceed the industry standard of 5700kg. And, some experts believe that other types of aircraft such as microlites and ultralights should be included in this category whereas others believe that they shouldn’t be.
Nowadays light planes are used for many reasons including:
- Charter flights
- Personal use
- Air freight services
- Leisure and tourism purposes
- Air photography