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Comment deadline nears for changes to '51-percent rule'Comment deadline nears for changes to '51-percent rule'

Pilots who are or plan to build experimental aircraft should take note of the FAA’s effort to clarify its existing policy, also known as the 51-percent rule, that governs the homebuilt aircraft segment.

The FAA is proposing revised guidance that they feel is necessary to ensure that an amateur builder completes the majority (51 percent) of fabrication and assembly of an aircraft.

The proposed changes would require amateur builders to complete a minimum of 20 percent of the assembly and 20 percent of the fabrication, with the remaining 11 percent either additional assembly or fabrication. This new guidance stems from the FAA’s concerns over commercial assistance programs available to builders and the “increasing sophistication of designs and materials as well as advances in kit manufacturing processes.”

In July, the FAA released the proposed changes to FAA Order 8130.2F, “Airworthiness Certification of Aircraft and Related Products,” and Advisory Circular (AC) 20-27G, “Certification and Operation of Amateur-Built Aircraft.”

The FAA is accepting comments from the aviation community through Sept. 30. Send comments via e-mail or U.S. mail:

Miguel L. Vasconcelos
Production and Airworthiness Division
AIR-200, Room 815
800 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, D.C. 20591
Fax: 202-267-5580

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