Can experience gained building an experimental amateur-built (E-AB) aircraft count toward the practical experience requirements required for an airframe or powerplant license?
In the past, the FAA recognized the time spent and resulting experience gained while constructing an Experimental Amateur Built aircraft as counting towards the practical experience requirement of an Airframe & Powerplant (A&P) certificate. Unfortunately, the FAA changed this policy and now specifically excludes experience during the construction of your E-AB. FAA order 8900.1,Vol.5,Ch5,Sec2 states:
4) Practical experience gained from a combination of all of the above to meet the 18/30-month experience requirement.
NOTE: Manufacturing of any type of aircraft, including amateur-built experimental, does not count towards practical experience. However, practical experience gained on amateur-built aircraft after the aircraft has received an Airworthiness Certificate may count.
EAA’s Advocacy and Safety team is actively working with FAA to reverse this policy change to restore the time spent building an E-AB as acceptable experience. Until this change takes place, we would encourage you to track your building time as we are confident that we will get this policy changed.
The EAA Builders Log, a free service for members, allows for you to conveniently track your building time.