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Clarification on FAA Destroyed Aircraft Policy

December 20, 2018 - EAA sought and received clarification on a recent FAA order that caused concern for some aviators, particularly in Alaska, that restorations of salvage airplanes and similar aircraft would be nearly impossible under the new agency policy.

EAA government advocacy team members talked directly with the authors of Order 8100.19, Destroyed and Scrapped Aircraft, which was issued without a public comment period this fall. The order was written because of FAA findings that some restorations of salvaged or destroyed aircraft did not meet type certification specifications and, as such, could not be registered as type-certificated aircraft. This caused concern that certain restorations that involve significant rebuilding of the aircraft would be impossible.

“True ‘data-plate restoration,’ where no part of the original aircraft is incorporated in a rebuilding project, has always run afoul of FAR 45.13, which states that a data plate may only be placed on the original aircraft, and FAR 47.41 states that registration is terminated when an aircraft is ‘completely destroyed,’” said Tom Charpentier, EAA government relations director. “However, the order’s authors do give a generous berth to the definition of completely destroyed, as any part of the primary structure — such as fuselage, wings, and tail — that is still salvageable can be defined as an aircraft that can be rebuilt. The intent is to prevent restoration only when there is truly nothing left of the original airframe other than the data plate.”

The FAA order potentially adds paperwork to the restoration/repair process, but prevents only those restorations that were already against FAR 45.13.

“We asked whether a restoration of a decades-old derelict aircraft, as is common in the vintage and warbird communities, would be allowed under the new order,” Charpentier said. “We were assured that these types of projects could be approved under this new policy, as long as some repairable parts of the previously airworthy structure survive.”

While EAA expressed disappointment that the order was issued without a public comment period, FAA officials noted that an advisory circular as a companion to the order will be open for public comment in the coming months.

EAA advocacy staff will continue to monitor this issue for any changes or necessary actions by EAA members.


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