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Lawrence Will Speak on 51% Rule at Arlington Fly-In

July 3, 2008 — EAA’s Earl Lawrence, vice president of industry and regulatory affairs, will be at the Arlington Fly-In at Arlington, Washington, on Friday, July 11, to speak about EAA’s positions and actions regarding FAA’s 51% Rule. Doug Kelly, Jack Dueck, Joe Gauthier, and Wally Anderson - members of EAA’s Homebuilt Aircraft Council - will also be on hand to participate in the discussion.

The FAA is currently drafting proposed new policies for administering and enforcing the 51% rule - the requirement that amateur builders complete “the major portion” of an amateur-built aircraft. EAA expects the proposed new policies to be published this month, prior to AirVenture Oshkosh.

Dick Van Grunsven, of Van’s Aircraft, and Earl Lawrence served as co-chairmen of the FAA-appointed Amateur-Built Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC). At Arlington, Lawrence will discuss the work of that committee and EAA’s goals with regard to the ongoing amateur-built regulatory/policy changes:

  • Protect the current rights to build the fast-build aircraft kits that currently reside on the FAA 51% approved list and that EAAers have been building over the last 10 years.
  • Protect the amateur's privilege to build an aircraft of any complexity, power or size.
  • Obtain additional privileges for members to obtain additional assistance and to hire out more of their AC project.

EAA stands firmly in support of amateur builders and the amateur-built rules. At the Golden West Fly-In in Marysville, California, in June, Lawrence spelled out EAA’s position on 51% regulations and associated policies:

  • No change to the actual regulation 21.191(no limits on power plant, size, etc.) We do not want to lose any of the privileges we have earned over the last 50 years.
  • Support FAA’s desire to have consistent, uniform kit evaluation procedure so that all kits are measured on the same scale. However, we do not want to lose the ability to continue to build kits that the FAA previously approved and that have been sold as approved amateur-built kits for years.
  • Support the revision of the Experimental 21.191 “Kit Built” category to allow kits to be sold by declaring compliance with applicable ASTM standards.
  • Support FAA efforts to enforce commercial assistance in excess of allowed 49%.

At Arlington, Lawrence will also lay out ways in which amateur builders and other aviation enthusiasts can help preserve and protect the privileges and freedoms spelled out in the amateur-built regulations.

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