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pistoncan
01-02-2008, 09:51 PM
Looking through these posts, it seems like I am not the only one concerned about the 51% rule, especially those of us who are using SWP components to build homebuilt wagabonds, super cubs etc. Tonight I did a Dogpile search for FAA form 8000-38 which is the check sheet that DAR's use to make sure you comply with the 51% rule. The way I understand it, (correct me if I am wrong) So long as you have one more check in the amateur column than in the manufacturer column you have complied. It doesn;t mater if its a 15 min job or a 2 month job. I found the form very informative, now I know what I have to have as far as documentation to show I have done the work needed. I am going to try to attach the form to this post but if it doesn;t work, I would recommend that each of us download this form and look it over as we progress in our project.

Homer Landreth
01-03-2008, 07:34 AM
Previous post indicated an upload was attached and none was there. I am assuming the problem was that it is a.pdf file, so here is AC20-139.

It is explained in the Help section that you have to use winzip to upload a .pdf file or the system rejects it. The receiver has to use Winzip to extract it. This is probably a file that ought to be in a repository of available files and documents etc in a special place on the WEB page, when available.

Now uploading the .pdf version of this file.

Frankenpacer
01-03-2008, 08:13 AM
Yes, the FAA form 8000-38 is a wealth of information and does in fact show that a builder can buy prefabricated fuselage, wings, and tail feathers (at face value, a "whole" airplane), and still have enough remaining tasks to satisfy the so called "51%" rule (majority, in the regs). For example, the form lists 12 discrete tasks for "Fuselage", however, "Flight Controls" has 47 items. Further, since the FAA still allows "salvaged" components to include major assemblies such as fuselage wings and empenage to be used in an ametuar built aircraft, this form can be used to prove that a former shortwing is now a legitimate ametuar built aircraft. However, it is also plain to see that this does in fact require a significant amount of fabrication from raw materials - it's far more than a simple "paper only" change as some seem to think it is.

jnorris
01-03-2008, 11:06 AM
However, it is also plain to see that this does in fact require a significant amount of fabrication from raw materials - it's far more than a simple "paper only" change as some seem to think it is.

That's exactly right. For example, there's a BIG difference between taking a Piper wing apart and putting it back together as compared to building a new wing out of raw materials. The former wouldn't give any credit to the builder (even for assembly) and the latter would give full credit to the builder for all tasks. That's a major swing in the number of tasks that the builder gets credit for, and would definitely impact the aircraft's eligibility for an amateur-built airworthiness certificate.

Also be aware that there are cases where a check can be placed in BOTH columns. An example would be a Bushmaster that uses an extended Pacer/Tri-Pacer fuselage. The existing fuselage would earn a check in the "kit manufacturer" column, but the fabrication of the extension would put a check in the "amateur builder" column. This is important because the builder doesn't lose any ground toward the major portion, even though no ground is gained. That one check might make a difference at the end.

All of this may become moot once the FAA issues whatever new guidance that comes out of the amateur-built aviation rulemaking committee (ARC) that recently concluded. There may be changes to the 8000-38 as well as all advisory and guidance materials. We should be hearing something on this soon.

Stay tuned!

Joe

Frankenpacer
01-03-2008, 12:34 PM
Joe,

With you being more "in the know" as it were, due to your position with the EAA, is there anything you have heard concerning the latest FAA interest in this area? I can see the so called "hired guns" who are building airplanes for customers as being a very obvious step in the wrong direction from the regs. Is it this, or is the very concept of the 51% as defined by the form 8000-38 under review? Or perhaps something else?

It seems to me that there are a number of safety advantages to starting with some significantly prefabricated components (as pioneered by the Christen Eagle, 30+ years ago) that the feds don't want to loose, but at the same time, the hired guns and some of the other "builder assistance" programs are essentially producing aircraft for profit - unregulated manufacturers, if you will.

Any opinion that you can share yet?

Steve Pierce
01-03-2008, 01:21 PM
On a fabric covered airplane would the Manufacturer get credit for fabricating covering or skin? I guess if you cut the fabric out both could get credit. I have been working through the worksheet and find it interesting how much I can get credit for.

jnorris
01-03-2008, 02:37 PM
Joe,

With you being more "in the know" as it were, due to your position with the EAA, is there anything you have heard concerning the latest FAA interest in this area?

Actually there's nothing I can report as of yet. We are waiting for the FAA to release its report on the ARC proceedings. Once they release that, and then release their proposed actions, we'll have a better handle on what their current thinking is.

So far the only thing we're pretty sure of is that they will not pursue a change to the regulation itself (FAR 21.191(g)). What they will likely do is make changes to the guidance and advisory material (FAA Orders and ACs) relating to amateur-built certification. They may very well also make changes to the 8000-38, but I do not have any info on what those changes may be (or if in fact any changes will be made.)

I think it's safe to say that they are going to really take a hard look at the "hired gun" and "builder assistance" issues, but beyond that I can't really predict what other issues they may address.

I'll post what I find out when I find it out!!

Joe

jnorris
01-03-2008, 02:40 PM
On a fabric covered airplane would the Manufacturer get credit for fabricating covering or skin? I guess if you cut the fabric out both could get credit. I have been working through the worksheet and find it interesting how much I can get credit for.

Hi Steve,

My opinion is that I'll always give credit to a builder for a covering job, even if it's over a stock factory fuselage or wing (or whatever). I've heard of other inspectors who see things differently though. This is one of those things where I wish the FAA would be a bit more specific, but I'm not holding my breath.

Joe

Frankenpacer
01-03-2008, 02:58 PM
Joe,

I'd call you at work to ask this, but there may be others who would benefit from your answer, so here it is -

Given that I have a project using salvaged formerly certified components, and this project will in fact meet the terms of the "51% rule" per the current AC 20-139 and 8000-38, should I be woried about establishing some kind of proof that this project was started before the rules change in case they offer some kind of grandfather clause? It seems that it would be very unfair for a whole slew of builders get caught halfway through a project because of a rules change. Any advice?

jnorris
01-03-2008, 05:13 PM
Given that I have a project using salvaged formerly certified components, and this project will in fact meet the terms of the "51% rule" per the current AC 20-139 and 8000-38, should I be woried about establishing some kind of proof that this project was started before the rules change in case they offer some kind of grandfather clause? It seems that it would be very unfair for a whole slew of builders get caught halfway through a project because of a rules change. Any advice?

I really can't answer that question in a general way. Each project is evaluated on its own merit and a specific determination is made as to its eligibilty. I would say that if the aircraft truly meets the major portion requirement now it will continue to do so regardless of what detail changes are made to the guidance.

I want to emphasise my point above, that each project is evaluated on its own merit. There is no "precident" to fall back on when it comes to amateur-built certification. Just because an FAA inspector somewhere issued an amateur-built airworthiness certificate to a similar project doesn't guarantee that the next project that is "exactly the same" will get a certificate. The fact is, there are projects that have been issued amateur-built airworthiness certificates in error in the past, so some builders are basing the assumption that their project meets the major portion requirements on inaccurate "facts". The only way to make sure a particular project meets the major portion requirement is to carefully evaluate the project using the 8000-38 form and get the FAA to agree with that evaluation. And if the evaluation is close to the "edge", (especially as it relates to incorporating components from pre-existing aircraft) get the FAA's concurrence in writing so that you have a record to fall back on in case the inspector you're working with retires, gets transferred or disappears for some reason. If this is done there should be no problem getting the project certificated going forward. But if you show up with a project that you think meets the requirement and the FAA disagrees, they will apply whatever current guidance is in force at the time. It won't matter when the project was started.

Hope this helps!

Joe

Steve Pierce
02-07-2008, 11:19 PM
Looks like we will know more shortly.

http://www.eaa.org/news/2008/2008-02-06_summit.asp