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Revised Aircraft Certification Policy Released by FAA

March 26, 2015 - The FAA recently issued revision “H” of Order 8130.2, which governs the certification of aircraft through the direction it provides to inspectors and designees in the field. Among other guidance, it provides the procedures for the certification of experimental aircraft and the operating limitations they will carry. Order 8130.2H will replace 8130.2G at the end of April. The FAA also published a job aid to assist inspectors in generating appropriate operating limitations for each aircraft.

EAA has been extensively involved in the repeated revision process to this order in recent years and successfully amended or reversed several provisions in the early drafts of this iteration that could have severely hampered experimental aviation. The new document contains some changes but largely preserves the status quo for homebuilts and other experimental categories.

In March 2014 EAA submitted extensive comments to the then-draft version of revision H, incorporating input from the Homebuilt Aircraft Council, Warbirds of America, and other concerned members. EAA then followed up with face-to-face meetings with FAA in Washington and at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014 to ensure that the document was ready for use in the field.

“The community came together to analyze this document and make sure all our concerns were addressed in evaluating this revision,” said Sean Elliott, EAA vice president of advocacy and safety. “We were then able to leverage our productive relationship with the FAA to see that the needs of our membership continue to be served by this policy.”

EAA continues to work on clarifying the document’s language and guidance so that it is applied evenly and correctly, and will be involved in future revisions going forward.

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