Amateur builders should be happy with the FAA’s revisions to the amateur-built aircraft certification policy, or 51-percent rule. One of the controversial proposed changes that would have required builders to perform “20 percent of the assembly and 20 percent of the fabrication of the aircraft, with the remaining 11 percent falling into either category at the builder’s discretion” was excluded from the final order. Currently, builders must complete the majority (51 percent) of the total work.
The FAA also released Advisory Circular 20-27G, Certification and Operation of Amateur-Built Aircraft, which guides amateur builders on how to properly certify each step of the building process. Existing kits will be grandfathered in under the new rules.
“Thanks to a strong advocacy initiative from EAA, homebuilders can continue to design and build new and innovative aircraft,” said AOPA Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs Rob Hackman. “They also now have detailed guidelines that they can follow when receiving professional assistance in the building process.”
AOPA supported EAA’s efforts and submitted comments on the proposed changes, explaining that they would add unnecessary complexity and place an unreasonable burden on individual amateur builders.