Jacksonville Bans Aircraft Kit Projects

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A city ordinance that was passed in June in Jacksonville, Fla., bans home-based construction of aircraft, EAA says. The building or restoring of anything that flies is forbidden. The ordinance aims to solve a dispute between an EAA member and some of his neighbors, who contend the project was noisy and an eyesore. "We can imagine the outcry from the public if Jacksonville passed a rule saying residents could not work on automobiles, boats or motorcycles at the their own homes," said Earl Lawrence, EAA's vice president of industry and regulatory affairs. "It seems quite unfair that an aircraft builder could not quietly fit two parts together while his neighbor might be able to rebuild and engine test a muscle car next door." EAA Legal Advisory Council member Pat Phillips told Jacksonville city attorneys the regulation might not stand court scrutiny. City officials now say the ordinance may need "tweaking." EAA said it will continue to monitor the situation. Brian Kraut, an engineer whose hobby is building experimental aircraft, says at his Web site that he has been targeted by the ordinance. "A lot of people are assuming that I live in some gated community with half-million-dollar houses and I have an aircraft junkyard on my front lawn ... nothing could be further than the truth." Kraut's site shows images of his house with various unfinished fuselages on a trailer in front, as well as nearby houses with boats, motorcycles, trash cans, etc., in their front yards.