Special Thanks to: Yellowstone Valley Experimental Aircraft Association, EAA Chapter 57 Bob Kimpton - President
Air Safety Program Manager • Airworthiness Representative • Bruce E. Ryerson • FAA Helena FSDO • 2725 Skyway Drive • Helena, Montana 59601 • 406 449-5270 • 1 800 457-9917 • FAX 406 449-5275
Certification and Operation of Amateur-Built Aircraft • Guidance concerning building, certification, and operation of amateur-built aircraft • How much fabrication and assembly the builder must do • FAA’s role in the certification process
Background • FAA provides for the issuance of a Special Airworthiness Certificate • Experimental Category • Allows of operation of amateur-built aircraft
The Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR’s) section 21.191(g) defines an amateur-built aircraft as an aircraft, the major portion of which has been fabricated and assembled by person(s) who undertook the construction and assembly solely for their owneducation or recreation.
FAA Certification • In the Past FAA inspected the aircraft at several stages, called Precover Inspections • Since 1983, FAA inspections limited to ensure acceptable workmanship, methods, techniques, practices • In recent years, amateur builders have called upon persons having expertise, such as, EAA Technical Counselors • FAA Designated Airworthiness Representatives (DAR)
Certification Criteria • Builders should have knowledgeable persons to perform Precover and other inspections • Documentation of construction i.e., Builders Log
Design and Construction • Consult with the EAA • Strongly recommend FAA approved engines, props, wheels, and components • Cockpit and Cabin design to include TSO’d restraints • Adequate fuel supply for engine • Suitable design for reduced fire hazard
Construction Kits An aircraft built from a kit may be eligible for amateur-built certification, provided the major portion has been fabricated and assembled by the amateur builder. Caution: Purchasers of partially completed kits should obtain all fabrication and assembly records from the previous owner(s).
Advertisements tend to be somewhat vague and may be misleading as to whether a kit is eligible for amateur-built certification. It is not advisable to order a kit before verifying with the local FAA office if the aircraft, upon completion, may be eligible for certification.
FAR 47 covers registration Apply for your “N” number You can request special “N” numbers You can reserve a special “N” number for one year If a kit was used, submit bill of sale from kit mfg. FAA Bill of Sale can be used Provide an Affidavit of Ownership for Amateur-Built Aircraft Aircraft Registration
Identification and Registration Marks • FAR 21.182 requires registration to be displayed on the aircraft • FAR 45 states the requirements of the marks • ID plate must be fireproof & secured • Name on ID plate is that of the Builder with any serial number • ID plate must be located on exterior
“N” numbers must be displayed at a minimum height of 3 inches. • If max. cruise speed exceeds 180 knots, “N” numbers must be at least 12 inches • “N” numbers may not exceed 5 symbols following the prefix N • One to four numbers and one suffix or • One to three numbers and two suffixes
Certification Inspection • An FAA Airworthiness Inspector or DAR will conduct an inspection • The applicant will need to show compliance with FAR 91.319 • The Inspection will include a review of FAR 21.193, builder’s log, and an examination of the completed aircraft
Successful Aircraft Inspection • Furnish a complete and ready to fly aircraft except for cowlings, fairings and opened panels for inspection • Aircraft Registration (pink or white) • Builder’s log • A log book for the aircraft, engine, and prop
Installation of placard, • “PASSENGER WARNING - THIS AIRCRAFT IS AMATEUR-BUILT AND DOES NOT COMPLY WITH FEDERAL SAFETY REGULATIONS FOR STANDARD AIRCRAFT”
Issuance of Airworthiness Certificate • A Special Airworthiness Certificate will be issued • Operating Limitations will be issued: • Phase I & Phase II • Appropriate Operating Limitations must be onboard aircraft while in operation
Operating Limitations • Phase I - Flight Test Program • Initially limited to assigned area • At least 25 hours for (FAA-approved) engine/prop combination • At least 40 hours if non approved engine/prop combination
Phase I continued • Not conducted over densely populated areas or congested airways • usually encompasses 25-statute mile radius • Carrying of passengers will not be permitted
Phase II - Permanent Operating Limitations • After successful completion of Phase I requirements and • A log book entry stating so • Phase II Operating Limitation become effective and will remain in effect
Repairman Certification • The aircraft builder may be certificated as a repairman if the builder is the primary builder of the aircraft and can satisfactorily prove requisite skill in operation. • This certificate can be obtained by making application to the local FAA FSDO after satisfactory completion of required flight hours