The FAA special airworthiness certificate (FAA Form 8130-7) is an FAA authorization to operate an aircraft in the US airspace in one or more of the following categories:

Category Purpose(s) Title 14 CFR Section
Primary Aircraft flown for pleasure and personal use 21.24
21.184
Restricted Aircraft with a "restricted" category type certificate, including:
  • Agricultural
  • Forest and wildlife conservation
  • Aerial surveying
  • Patrolling (pipelines, power lines)
  • Weather control
  • Aerial advertising
  • Other operations specified by the Administrator
21.25
21.185
Multiple Multiple airworthiness certificates 21.187
Limited Aircraft with a "limited" category type certificate 21.189
Light-Sport Operate a light-sport aircraft, other than a gyroplane, kit-built, or transitioning ultralight like vehicle 21.190
Experimental
  • Research and development
  • Showing compliance with regulations
  • Crew training
  • Exhibition
  • Air racing
  • Market surveys
  • Operating amateur-built aircraft
  • Operating kit-built aircraft
  • Operating light-sport aircraft
  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)
21.191
21.193
21.195
Special Flight Permit Special-purpose flight of an aircraft that is capable of safe flight 21.197
Provisional Aircraft with a "provisional" category type certificate for special operations and operating limitations part 21 subpart C
part 21 subpart I
section 91.317