In a victory for the Experimental Aircraft Association and the amateur-built aircraft community, the FAA has released Order 8130.2F Change 4, its final order revising the amateur-built aircraft certification policy (commonly known as the “51 percent rule”), and corresponding Advisory Circular 20-27G, Certification and Operation of Amateur-Built Aircraft (the guide for amateur builders on how to properly certify every step of the building process). The revised policy is intended to “update existing language related to experimental amateur-built aircraft airworthiness certification to be consistent with recommendations from the 2006 and 2008 Amateur-Built Aircraft Aviation Rulemaking Committee.” Highlights of the revised policy include:
- The opportunity to build and fly almost any aircraft an amateur builder may can create
- Existing home-built kits previously approved by the FAA are grandfathered in under the revised rule
- Creation of a uniform standard for approval of new kits
- Elimination of the previously proposed percentage-based build formula
- Definition of “fabrication” as it applies to the build process
- Guidance for amateur-builders who want to hire professionals to assist them in the building process
The revised order and AC are both effective immediately.