EAA's Technical Counselors program, developed in 1965, is aimed at providing experienced builders to help you make the right choices during construction. With more than 1000 technical counselors available, and the majority of them associated with a chapter, there is probably a technical counselor right in your area!
What is a technical counselor?
A volunteer aviation education counselor who, when asked to do so by an amateur aircraft builder, shares his knowledge, expertise and experience in order to assist the builder with the project.
How many technical counselor visits should a builder have?
We recommend a minimum of three visits. Tap into this member benefit early in the project to save time, money, and aggravation! Get the peace of mind that can only be had from an experienced builder looking over your work.
What are the qualifications for a technical counselor?
First, one must be an EAA member. We have other qualifications, which are listed below.
- Have built an amateur-built aircraft or ultralight, or
- Have restored an antique/classic aircraft, or
- Be an A&P (other countries equivalents of these ratings are also acceptable), with hands-on experience with any amateur-built aircraft, warbird, or vintage aircraft.
Why does EAA have a technical counselors program?
To ensure that a well-constructed, airworthy aircraft is presented to the FAA for final approval. and to encourage the self-help nature of our organization as well as to pass on aviation knowledge to promote safety. We also strive to maintain the excellent reputation that the amateur-built program has earned. The Technical Counselor program has been a very effective way of doing this.
How many technical counselors are A&P mechanics?
About 50% are A&P mechanics.
Does the technical counselor sign logbooks?
The technical counselor must not sign off any logbook or document indicating an official inspection or judgment of airworthiness. To do so may abridge the authority of the Federal Aviation Administration.
My FAA office wants my technical counselor to sign my builder’s logbook.
A technical counselor must not sign logbooks. If they are an A&P, IA, DAR, etc., they may sign logbooks in that capacity, but not in an official capacity as an EAA technical counselor.
Can a technical counselor approve design changes?
It is not the policy of EAA and its technical counselors to design or redesign aircraft, components or parts thereof. This is outside the guidelines of the EAA Technical Counselors program. Any design changes or changes from the original drawings of the designer are outside the parameter of the program, and would be between the builder and the designer. A technical counselor should recommend good aeronautical construction practices.
I want to modify an aircraft. Can the technical counselor help?
No. Their function is to ensure compliance with the plans. Any modifications to plans must be by agreement between builder and designer only.
Can a technical counselor work on or test-fly an airplane that they visit?
No. If a technical counselor works on an aircraft that they visit or test fly the aircraft, either for free or for a fee, they are acting on their own behalf, and not in their capacity as an EAA technical counselor.
My skill is in a special area, can I be a technical counselor?
All technical counselors are expected to have a good grasp of basic aircraft mechanics. In addition, an individual may have expertise in a specific area over and above that which would be considered average for his qualifications. Passing on these special talents would be beneficial to builders working on that type of aircraft.
Does a technical counselor charge for their services?
No. There shall be no fees charged for an EAA technical counselor’s educational help in assisting a builder by visiting his project. Any remuneration for travel or lodging between an EAA technical counselor and a builder desiring their recommendations is between the builder and the technical counselor.
Can a technical counselor combine their volunteer work as a technical counselor and their work for pay as an A&P mechanic?
No. The technical counselor is a non-paid volunteer, as described.
Are there any benefits to being an EAA technical counselor?
The main benefit is derived from the passing on of knowledge on aircraft building and safety practices so that others can complete an airworthy project.
Is the EAA technical counselor protected by insurance?
Yes. The EAA technical counselor is insured for any legal liability presented against them while operating only within the policies of EAA and its efforts to ensure safety in aviation.