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FAA Releases Policy Memo on Task-Based Phase I

The FAA has released a formal policy memorandum on task-based phase I, detailed in the recently-published Advisory Circular 90-89C. This fully enables the use of the program by giving all owners of amateur-built aircraft a modified operating limitation that allows its optional use in lieu of the traditional 25- or 40-hour long flight test period.

The new operating limitation reads (with blank fields to be filled in by the inspector or DAR):

No person may operate this aircraft for other than the purpose of meeting the requirements of § 91.319(b). The pilot in command must comply with § 91.305 at all times. This aircraft is to be operated under VMC, day only. Unless operating in accordance with the task-based flight test program described in Advisory Circular (AC) 90-89C, Amateur-Built Aircraft and Ultralight Flight Testing Handbook, chapter 2, section 1, during Phase I flight testing, this aircraft must be operated for at least _____ hours with at least_____ takeoffs and landings in this geographical area: [The area must be described by radius, coordinates, navigational aids, and/or landmarks. The size of the area and airports must be that required to safely conduct the anticipated maneuvers and tests.] This aircraft may only operate from [identify name of airport(s)].

With this new memo, all newly inspected amateur-built aircraft should get the revised operating limitation. Ask your DAR prior to inspection to verify they have received the memo. If your aircraft is already flying and still in phase I, ask your FSDO to reissue your operating limitations with the updated language.

The new operating limitation will be incorporated into a future change to FAA Order 8130.2.

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