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FAA Policy Allows Special Flight Permits for E-ABs Needing Condition Inspections

May 21, 2020 – Following a request from EAA and AOPA, the FAA has released a policy that will make it easier for some owners of experimental aircraft to obtain special flight permits (SFPs) for their airplanes in order to reposition them for condition inspections.

Rather than requiring a full in-person "condition for safe operation" sign-off from an FAA inspector, which was previously required for SFPs, the policy allows DAR-Ts (designated airworthiness representatives supervised by a FSDO) with appropriate function codes to remotely conduct inspections for the certificates.

While EAA would ideally like to see more simplified flexibility on annuals and condition inspections during the COVID-19 pandemic, this policy will help many experimental aircraft owners, particularly those who have "out-of-annual" aircraft stranded away from their preferred maintenance shop.

"EAA continues to hear from members the need for other policy changes in light of the coronavirus' impact on day-to-day life in the United States," said Sean Elliott, EAA vice president of advocacy and safety. "We continue to seek every avenue possible to find relief from or alternative ways to comply with regulations, and this new policy is a prime example of that. It is a small adjustment, but it will help."

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