Welcome to the September 2009 Issue of Experimenter
People are flying! At event after event in the aviation community this year the attendance has been strong. Record-setting in some cases! It’s quite evident that people have made a conscious decision to exercise their privilege to fly for fun. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been approached by event organizers, sponsors, vendors as well as participants who have indicated that the events they’ve attended were at least as strong if not stronger than past years. This is a great thing for the sport aviation community in general, and for homebuilders in particular, because this type of participation is what will drive development for products and designs in the future as well as protect our “turf” in the greater aviation community.
Not only are people flying, but building as well! Last year at the EAA convention we celebrated the 30,000th homebuilt to be registered with the FAA. This year at convention time there had been about another thousand aircraft added to the registry. The homebuilt community is a growing one and it doesn’t look like there will be any slowing down for the foreseeable future. I certainly see this as a great thing. If there is strength in number the homebuilt community is getting stronger every day!
On the news front we finally have the first official release of information regarding changes to FAA policy and procedures used in certification of amateur-built aircraft. As I write this the FAA has just published the final report from the Amateur-Built Aircraft Aviation Rulemaking Committee. This is the first step in a multi-part rollout of the new amateur-built policy. Take a look at the article found in this issue of Experimenter, as well as the ARC report itself and you can get an idea of the direction the FAA is going. This is not the actual policy itself, so for now we remain under the current policy for certification of amateur-built aircraft. There will be other documents released in the near future that will flesh out the new procedures and requirements, and we will publish more info as it becomes available. Stay tuned!
- Joe Norris, EAA's Homebuilders Community Manager