For Kit Manufacturers, 51% Solution Remains Uncertain

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Since the FAA issued its report on the “51-percent” homebuilt rule a few weeks ago, the homebuilder community and kit manufacturers have been fretting over what changes will be made, and what impact they will have. AVweb caught up with Glasair CEO Mikael Via at Sun ‘n Fun on Thursday, and he was confident that whatever guidance the FAA eventually issues, his company will be able to cope. “We are already making pro-active changes in the Two Weeks To Taxi program,” he said, in anticipation of FAA changes. The two-week builder-assist program for the Sportsman has been popular, with over 100 sold. But since customers already are doing the vast majority of the work, he said, only a small portion of the program will be affected. As for the rest of Glasair’s line, Via said that existing kits that have already been approved by the FAA, will most likely not be affected, though the FAA has not yet made any official statement to that effect. He added that the Two Weeks To Taxi program has helped the company to produce a better, safer airplane.

“By having worked with customers to build over 100 kits at our facility, because we’re present and involved, we have that constant feedback and experience that allows us to constantly improve,” he said.

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