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FAA Releases Latest Revision To Amateur-Built Certification Policy

Clarifies Intent On Use Of TC'd Parts

May 14, 2007 — The FAA recently clarified aircraft certification policy regarding the use of parts from previously type-certificated aircraft in the construction and certification of an amateur-built aircraft. The agency added the following statement to FAA Order 8130.2F change 3:

"NOTE: A rebuilt, altered, or repaired type-certificated aircraft DOES NOT meet the intent of 21.191(g) and DOES NOT meet the 21.191(g) requirement that the major portion of the aircraft be fabricated and assembled."

In the past some people in the aviation community believed that by rebuilding or restoring entire aircraft or sections of a type-certificated aircraft, they could receive credit for the fabrication and assembly done.

The FAA has indicated to EAA that the intent of the note is to make clear that the rebuilding, restoring or any other work done to airframe components that were previously type-certificated will not count toward the majority portion requirement of 21.191(g) experimental amateur-built regulation. There have been attempts to certificate rebuilt vintage aircraft as amateur-built, but the FAA does not wish to allow this type of activity.

This is not a new policy and does not prevent builders from using salvaged or new aircraft parts from other aircraft. It simply states that no fabrication or assembly credit will be given for work done on these parts to make them airworthy for use on an experimental aircraft. The FAA has never given credit--or taken credit away--from an amateur builder for "off the shelf" components such as wheels, brakes, engines, propellers, or other accessories. It's perfectly acceptable to use these items, either purchased new or salvaged from a pre-existing aircraft.

A builder may continue to use structural parts from previously type-certificated aircraft, such as using a Piper Cub wing to build a Breezy. However, no credit for the assembly and or recovering of that wing will be given toward meeting the majority portion as required by the regulations. In the case of the Breezy, the wing is the only part that is typically salvaged from a previously type-certificated aircraft and usually would not prevent the aircraft from being certificated as in the amateur-built category.

This new guidance is consistent with EAA?s understanding of the amateur-built regulations but does address a subject area in which EAA receives many questions.

?There?s never any problem with using salvaged wheels, engines, props, or other ?bolt-on? components like that, so long as these items are in a condition for safe operation,? said Joe Norris of EAA senior aviation specialist and an FAA Designated Airworthiness Representative. ?This new guidance does not affect the use of such parts. It does, however, make clear that ?restored? or ?rebuilt? aircraft will generally not qualify for an amateur-built certificate.?

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