March 2018 Issue

E/AB Aircraft Safety

Experimental/Amateur-Built aircraft have unique safety concerns, which is something to consider if you’re thinking of buying or building one.

The Experimental/Amateur-Built aircraft category has been the fastest-growing segment of general aviation for some years. The term “amateur-built” suggests the aircraft was assembled by an individual instead of a factory. In fact, the FARs state that an amateur-built aircraft is one that ”the major portion of which has been fabricated and assembled by persons who undertook the construction project solely for their own education or recreation.” The FAA requires that an amateur-built aircraft must be assembled or constructed at least 51 percent by an amateur, not including the engine(s), propeller(s) or accessories. Meanwhile, the term “experimental” encompasses much more than just amateur-built aircraft. Examples include those used for research and development, air racing, exhibition, etc.

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