EAA Reacts To FAA Action On "51-Percent Rule"

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"FAA should not attempt to change the experimental amateur-built rules," says Earl Lawrence, EAA's vice president of industry and regulatory affairs, in a response to a report published by the FAA last month that raises concerns about the way those rules are being implemented. Lawrence said now is the time for EAA to "articulate a definitive position," while the aviation community awaits the FAA's next move -- a draft proposal of its new guidelines, which is expected to be released in the next month or two. Lawrence said the FAA should not prevent paid professionals from helping to construct an experimental aircraft, as long as the amateur personally carries out a majority of the work. He also said that aircraft eligible for amateur-built status should not be limited by complexity, power, size, or performance. EAA urges the FAA to "preserve the amateur-building movement and the constructive environment that exists today," Lawrence said.

"Having established a clear and firm position on these fundamental points in our dialogue with the FAA, the EAA community will be well-positioned to respond - favorably, in protest, or somewhere in between - when the FAA makes clear its position," he concluded. Lawrence urges anyone who has worked on an amateur-built aircraft to share their experience with the FAA now, and to respond during the comment period after the FAA publishes its draft proposal.