Building an Amateur Built Aircraft in a Foreign Country

by Domenico Lo Mastro

I want to build a Pitts S1S in Italy, I will buy the factory fuselage and the wing kit from Raven Aircraft or Steen Aerolab and I want to register my plane in USA.

What is the right procedure before starting the construction?

ANSWER: You should check with the Italian aviation authorities before you begin. They may have restrictions on operating a U.S. registered aircraft in Italy for an extended period of time, and may not allow experimental aircraft to be operated there.

The next step is to make sure you will meet the 51% rule for amateur built aircraft. You can read about this requirement by clicking on the following link:

Major portion requirement

It is also important to keep a builders log documenting the construction including detailed photographs of each step in the process.

How do I register the experimental aircraft?

ANSWER: You must first meet the citizenship requirements for U.S. registration outlined in FAR 47. See the registration section of this website for more information. You will find information on registering amateur-built aircraft at the bottom of that page.

Is there an association that follows my work?

ANSWER: I am not aware of an association in Europe, but the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) in the U.S. has a program for amateur builders. They have Technical Counselors that can provide assistance. I don’t know if they have an international program, but I suspect that they might. You can visit their website at for more information.

Return to Aircraft Certification Questions.

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