Homebuilders Working To Preserve 51-Percent Rule

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When the FAA earlier this summer revealed its proposed changes to how it will interpret and enforce the 51-percent rule that governs homebuilding, the reaction from pilots and builders was quick and overwhelmingly negative. Now the comment period has been extended, to Sept. 30, and EAA says that so far most comments support the position that the changes are not necessary. "This new requirement only makes it more difficult for legitimate amateur-builders to document compliance," said Earl Lawrence, EAA's vice president for regulatory affairs. "It would have no effect on those who may currently fraudulently declare that their aircraft was constructed by amateurs, which is what the FAA wants to eliminate." EAA suggested that the dormant primary kit-built category could be revived, which would be more flexible in allowing pilots to build and fly their own aircraft without having to perform more than half of the aircraft construction tasks. Comments on the proposed changes are being accepted via e-mail.

For more information about this issue, see the EAA Web site, and visit the recent AVweb InsiderBlog post by Kitplanes Editor Marc Cook. Cook also hosted a series of four podcasts from Oshkosh, in which he interviews leading members of the kitplane community about the impact of the proposed rule changes.