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Hands, Mind, and Heart

What started as a handful of passionate enthusiasts has developed into a major force—and a significant component—of the aircraft industry.

Become a Volunteer Designated Airworthiness Representative

EAA is invested in the continuing success of FAA’s Designated Airworthiness Representative (DAR) program, which EAA helped create in the early 2000s. The program allows homebuilders to receive aircraft inspections from uniquely qualified inspectors who are intimately familiar with Experimental Amateur-Built (E-AB) and Experimental Light-Sport (E-LSA) aircraft.

In order to encourage ready access to DARs for our members, EAA provides a training grant of up to $1,000 to offset the costs associated with the initial training. In return, EAA asks for a commitment of at least two years of volunteer inspections for fellow EAA members.

DARs who utilize EAA grant money and provide services on a volunteer basis are protected from liability claims by the Volunteer Protection Act of 1997. The law states that “no volunteer of a nonprofit organization shall be liable for harm caused by an act or omission of the volunteer if the volunteer: (1) was acting within the scope of his/her responsibilities, (2) was properly licensed, certified, or authorized by the appropriate authorities of the activities, and (3) the harm was not caused by the willful or criminal misconduct, gross negligence, reckless misconduct, or a conscious, flagrant indifference to the rights or safety of the individual harmed.”

As a volunteer, the Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 allows you to receive:

  1. Compensation for actual expenses incurred, including but not limited to travel costs to and from the inspection site, meal expenses, and lodging expenses, and
  2. Additional compensation as a volunteer up to but not exceeding $500 per year above your actual expenses.

Qualification (E-AB)

In order to qualify as an E-AB DAR, you must meet one or more of the following minimum criteria:

  1. A & P mechanic and have performed at least 3 condition inspections on E-AB aircraft.
  2. Hold an E-AB Repairman Certificate and have performed at least 3 condition inspections. Aircraft must have operated for at least 100 hours.
  3. Retired FAA inspector who has issued at least 3 E-AB airworthiness certificates.

Qualification (E-LSA)

In order to qualify as an E-LSA DAR, you must meet one or more of the following minimum criteria:

  1. A & P mechanic or LSA Repairman-Maintenance and have performed at least 3 condition inspections on E-AB or Light-Sport aircraft.
  2. Have a minimum of 36 months of experience as either a field technical representative or a quality assurance inspector for a light-sport aircraft or amateur-built kit aircraft manufacturer. Those responsibilities must have included aircraft inspection and providing technical assistance to builders on the assembly and testing of their aircraft that are for the same class of aircraft for which authorization is sought.
  3. Retired FAA inspector who has issued at least 3 E-AB, E-LSA, or Light-Sport category airworthiness certificates.

DAR Appointment Process

The entire process is fully described in Chapter 13 of FAA Order 8100.8 and summarized in the steps below:

  1. Complete the application paperwork and submit to National Examiner Board (NEB)
    • Form 8110-28
    • Amateur and Light Sport supplemental forms, as applicable
    • Three each – technical and character references
  2. Application reviewed by National Examiner Board
  3. National Examiner Board accepts or rejects the application. 
    • The NEB informs the applicant of its decision.
  4. If a FSDO or MIDO determines they are in need of DARs for these certification types, the NEB supplies the 3 “most highly qualified” candidates for the function and geographic area.
  5. FSDO or MIDO selects a DAR.
  6. DAR completes training at Oklahoma City, and any additional online training as required.
  7. DAR appointed after training is complete.


To be eligible to receive the DAR grant, an EAA member must:

  1. Be selected by the FAA as a DAR candidate;
  2. Attend the initial FAA and Transportation Safety Institute (TSI) DAR qualifying course in Oklahoma City;
  3. Provide EAA with a copy of the FAA course graduation certificate;
  4. Provide EAA with a copy of the TSI course graduation certificate;
  5. Provide EAA with a copy of the FAA DAR appointment certificate and letter; and
  6. Provide EAA with the signed “volunteer” letter stating that you agree to volunteer your DAR certification services to EAA for a period of two years.

This information should be e-mailed to govt@eaa.org.

Please contact EAA Government Programs at 920-426-6522 or govt@eaa.org if you have additional questions about becoming a DAR. 

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