Amateur Built Test Flight Areas

GENERAL INFORMATION

FAR 91.319(b) requires that an unproven aircraft be assigned to an amateur built test flight area. The assigned test area is prescribed in accordance with FAR 91.305. The FAA/DAR, when requested, will assist applicants in selecting areas that comply with FAR 91.305.

The FAA/DAR is required to evaluate each application to determine that the flight test area does not exceed that which is reasonably required to accomplish the program.

Actions pertaining to flight test areas will be coordinated with the nearest office of the Air Traffic Service.

ASSIGNED AMATEUR BUILT TEST FLIGHT AREA

Experimental aircraft must be limited to the assigned flight test area until the aircraft is shown to be controllable throughout its normal range of speeds and all maneuvers to be executed, and has not displayed any hazardous operating characteristics or design features.

In the case of the first flight of an aircraft from an airport surrounded by a densely populated area, but with at least one acceptable approach/departure route of flight, the FAA/DAR will ensure that a route of flight is selected which subjects the fewest persons and least property to possible hazards.

In addition, upon leaving such an airport, the aircraft will be required to operate from an outlying airport until its controllability and safety are established, after which the aircraft may return to its base and use the established corridor for subsequent operations.

The description of the area selected by the applicant and agreed to by the FAA/DAR will be made a part of the operating limitations.

In the case of an aircraft located at any airport surrounded by a densely populated area and lacking any acceptable approach/departure route of flight, the applicant must be advised to relocate the aircraft by other means to a suitable airport.

Amateur-built aircraft issued original airworthiness certificates will be limited to operation within an assigned flight test area for a minimum of 25 hours when a type-certificated engine/propeller combination is installed.

A minimum of 40 hours will be required when a non-type-certificated engine, propeller, or engine/propeller combination is installed.

Amateur-built gliders, balloons, dirigibles, and ultralight vehicles that meet the requirements of FAR 21.191(g), and for which original airworthiness certification is sought, will be limited to operation within an assigned flight test area for at least 10 hours of operation, including at least five takeoffs and landings.

Following any major change, an amateur-built aircraft will be assigned to a flight test area for a minimum of 5 hours.

OPERATION OUTSIDE THE AMATEUR BUILT TEST FLIGHT AREA

During operation outside the flight test area, the following placard must be displayed in the aircraft in full view of all occupants:

“NOTE: PASSENGER WARNING—THIS AIRCRAFT IS AMATEUR-BUILT AND DOES NOT COMPLY WITH FEDERAL SAFETY REGULATIONS FOR STANDARD AIRCRAFT.”

This placard is not necessary for single-place aircraft.

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