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EAA Encourages Members to Comment on Convoluted Proposal for Enforcement of "51% Rule"

September 4, 2008 — In mid-July the FAA published a proposed policy for interpreting and enforcing the "51% Rule," the requirement that an amateur aircraft builder personally perform a majority of the tasks involved in constructing an experimental amateur-built aircraft. When it published this proposal, the FAA said that it would allow comments for only 30 days. In response, your EAA legislative-affairs representatives asserted the need for, and secured, an extension until Sept. 30.

This extension gives us all time to respond to a troublesome element of the FAA’s proposal — the suggestion that, for every amateur aircraft-building project, the builder’s work must include a minimum proportion of tasks in a fabrication category and a minimum proportion of tasks in an assembly category.

The FAA proposes to break down its evaluation of the amateur builder’s contribution to the project in the following manner:

  • at least 20% of total construction tasks must be fabrication done by the amateur;
  • at least another 20% of total construction tasks must be assembly done by the amateur; and
  • that leaves another 11% of tasks for the amateur to complete from either category, to ensure a total 51% contribution to the project.

If you agree with EAAers who believe such “breakdown” requirements unnecessarily complicate and confuse the matter of the amateur builder’s hands-on construction obligations, please make your voice heard before Sept. 30.

To assist you in preparing your own statement, EAA is providing guidance.

Send your comments to:

e-mail: miguel.vasconcelos@faa.gov

U.S. Mail:
Miguel L. Vasconcelos
Production and Airworthiness Division
AIR-200, Room 815
800 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, D.C. 20591
fax: 202-267-8850

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