Changes to the 51% rule (FAA)

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Well-Known Member
Aug 30, 2006
St. Louis, MO, USA
I'll admit to having missed the release of these on 7/15... but I can't remember hearing anything about it on the daily aero-new podcast...

Here's the summary and download links

Direct links to the pdfs are:

I only looked at them because of a post on the ION Yahoo! group. In a way, I think they'll help bring back a little variety to the homebuilt scene since it will force people to do more scratch building instead of "mere assembly." Yeah, they use the word "fabricate" instead of scratch-building, but in the context of something from Washington DC :roll::roll::roll:
Think about it - if you have to make your own wingtip out of epoxy and glass instead of just attaching the one from the kit, then aren't you a little more likely to "color outside the lines" and build a blended winglet just because it looks cool - even though the plans call for a flat plate?

I've got a pretty good suspicion that the checklist is going to get changed before this is "final." It is a draft document and I think it's got some problems. The main one is that the instructions make the assumption that the total points add up to 187... but if each line is one point... and since it's pretty obvious that not all of the tasks are applicable to all airplanes (eg would a tube/rag plane need to have fuselage task #2 ("Fabricate composite cores or shells, skins"). Why don't "additional items" count? Does the breakdown of tasks actually mirror the amount of effort? It seems odd that the empennage group gets 57 tasks out of 187 while the fuselage only gets 24.

What are your thoughts? I know that Earl Lawrence is going to do a series of forums at OSH about the topic and I'm kinda curious if EAA is going to tape those and post them...
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Well-Known Member
Feb 29, 2008
Portland metro, Oregon
Page 1 of 26? Page 1 of 43? Your tax dollars at work. Maybe the paperback version will be easier to read! Look like I'm going to have to MAKE the time to read it even though I'm going to be designing and 'fabricating' everything except the engine, instruments and tires ... just in case!
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