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Israeli EAA Members Help Create Amateur-Building Rule

New rule follows most U.S. rule provisions

August 21, 2008 — Four years of work paid off for EAA members and ultralight enthusiasts in Israel, as that nation’s aviation authority has approved the first rules allowing amateur-built aircraft in that country.

The rules closely mirror the current rules in the United States, including the key “51 percent” provision that EAA has vigorously supported for the last half-century and has led to the growth of the American homebuilt aircraft community. The regulations allow an amateur builder to construct an aircraft of nearly any specifications — without limits on performance, materials, or complexity — so long as the amateur personally carries out a majority of the aircraft construction tasks.

“This is outstanding news for those aviation enthusiasts in Israel who have sought to have the freedom to build their own aircraft,” said Earl Lawrence, EAA vice president of industry and regulatory affairs. “EAA members in Israel took the initiative to do the painstaking legwork to make this hope a reality. They can be rightly proud of their efforts to open the door to this segment of recreational flight.”

The Israeli homebuilding rules differ from the American regulations in that three primary builders can be named from a large group such as an EAA Chapter that is building an airplane. One person from that three-person group will be the point of contact with Israeli civil aviation authorities.

The other difference in Israel’s rule requires designation of self-maintenance or third-party professional “depot maintenance” for each homebuilt aircraft. An aircraft owner can switch from depot maintenance to self-maintenance at a later date, but cannot later switch from self to depot maintenance.

“EAA members in Israel and the local ultralight association joined forces to make this possible, along with our nation’s aviation authorities,” said Mike Raviv, a member of the Israeli group that spearheaded the rule proposal. “EAA members supplied the ideas and the drive, while the ultralight group’s financial resources made it possible to sustain this effort over the four years necessary to make it happen.”

The Israeli group has already indicated that it is already working for establishment of light-sport aircraft rules for its country. Some high-level discussions have already been held between Lawrence and top Israeli aviation officials since the U.S. sport pilot rules became effective in September 2004.

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