The 51-Percent Solution?

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Builders of experimental aircraft will be paying close attention in the coming months as the FAA begins its review of the rules that govern amateur-built airplanes. EAA's Joe Norris said a lot of issues have arisen with various aspects of the 51-percent rule, which was crafted back in the 1950s. A lot has changed since then, with more complex and higher-performance aircraft being built, which were never envisioned when the rule was written. Also, custom builders and owner-assist consultants sometimes operate in a grayish area. "The regulation maybe hasn't kept up with what is happening in the aviation community, so the FAA is going to take a look at some of these issues," Norris said. The revamping of the rule is likely to be a complex undertaking that will take quite a while, Norris said. Hear more from Norris's discussion of the issues in AVweb's audio news.