Airworthiness Certification for Amateur-Built Aircraft

What type of airworthiness certificate is my amateur-built aircraft eligible for?
An amateur-built aircraft is eligible for a special airworthiness certificate in the experimental category for the purpose of operating amateur-built aircraft. You must provide evidence to the FAA that the "major portion" (more than fifty percent) of the aircraft was fabricated and assembled by an individual or group of individuals; that the project is for educational and recreational purposes; and that the aircraft complies with acceptable aeronautical standards and practices.

What documents do I need to submit for my amateur-built aircraft to receive an experimental special airworthiness certificate?
In addition to the requirements for special airworthiness certification in this category, you must submit the following documents to your nearest FAA Field Office:

  • AC Form 8050-3, "Certificate of Aircraft Registration".
  • Aircraft Builders Log.
  • Sufficient information to clearly identify the aircraft, such as photographs or three-view drawings.
  • A notarized FAA Form 8130-12 (PDF), "Eligibility Statement, Amateur-Built Aircraft".
  • A program letter in accordance with 14 CFR section 21.191(g).

Will there be any restrictions or operating limitations placed on my amateur-built aircraft?
Yes. Each aircraft issued an experimental airworthiness certificate has operating limitations attached. During flight-testing, specific limitations (phase 1) are prescribed for you to show the aircraft is capable of safe flight (compliance to 14 CFR section 91.319 "Aircraft having experimental certificates - Operating limitations".) After successful flight-testing more liberal (Phase II) operating limitations become effective. Examples of operating limitations for amateur-built aircraft are in Order 8130.2, "Airworthiness Certification of Aircraft and Related Products".

Last updated: Thursday, January 12, 2017