Homebuilt Pilots Face Currency Review

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The FAA is underscoring regulatory requirements for pilots who fly passengers in homebuilt aircraft. A new notice would restrict them to flying passengers only in planes in which they are qualified and experienced. Currency and proficiency rules apply to those who take people for rides in their experimental aircraft and EAA says current pilots have until Aug. 31, 2005, to prove they have the necessary category and class ratings for the aircraft they fly. Those who always fly solo will not need to fly through the bureaucratic hoops. Under the new notice, which was issued April 21, affected pilots will have fill out a form and make sure their recreational or higher certificate is in order. Flying passengers requires that the pilot have at least five hours as PIC in the category, class, make and model of the experimental aircraft in question between Sept. 1, 2004, and Aug. 31, 2005. An authorized flight instructor must make a logbook entry attesting to the pilot's proficiency with the aircraft and then the pilot must show the log to a designated pilot examiner or FAA Operations Inspector. A new pilot certificate will then be issued restricting the pilot to flying that particular experimental aircraft (or any others for which he or she has done the paperwork).