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FAA to Resume Counting Homebuilding Hours Toward Maintenance Ratings

The FAA will soon reverse a policy that barred homebuilders from counting time spent building an aircraft toward a maintenance rating (such as an A&P certificate), according to an FAA letter of interpretation issued to Brenton Ellis, EAA 1326016, this month.

In late 2019 the FAA changed Order 8900.1 to exclude time spent building any aircraft, including homebuilts, from the types of practical experience eligible to count toward the issuance of a maintenance certificate. No reason was given for this change, and EAA has been advocating for it to be rescinded. In a meeting at AirVenture 2022 the FAA agreed to change the policy back, however the publication of an amendment remains forthcoming.

The interpretation letter, issued on July 7, in response to a well-written and pointed request for interpretation by Ellis, confirms that not only is the current exclusionary policy not logical, it is also contrary to regulation that clearly states aircraft construction counts as experience toward maintenance ratings. The letter states that the relieving policy change is “imminent.”

“We have talked to several homebuilders who wanted to use their experience to earn their maintenance ratings,” said Tom Charpentier, EAA government relations director. “In an era with a shortage of A&Ps, and particularly A&Ps willing and able to work on amateur-built aircraft, this policy made no sense and we are happy to see that this letter confirms that relief is at hand.”

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