Experimental Amateur Built Aircraft Airworthiness Certifications

General Information

Under the provisions of FAR 21.191(g), an experimental amateur built aircraft is defined as an aircraft of which the major portion has been fabricated and assembled by a person(s) who undertook the construction project solely for their own education or recreation.

Amateur built aircraft may be constructed from an amateur builder’s original design, or purchased plans.

Some kits have been evaluated by the FAA; some have not. These evaluations are not required by the regulations, nor is a manufacturer required to have a kit evaluated by the FAA before selling it.

Kit evaluations determine whether aircraft fabricated and assembled by an amateur builder from an evaluated kit may meet the major portion requirement of FAR 21.191(g) and be eligible for an experimental amateur-built airworthiness certificate.

Prospective amateur builders should download a copy of Advisory Circular AC 20-27 titled "Certification and Operation of Amateur Built Aircraft" to assist them in planning their project.



Amateur-built aircraft are eligible for a special airworthiness certificate in the experimental category, for the purpose of operating amateur-built aircraft when -

- The FAA finds that the aircraft complies with acceptable aeronautical standards and practices,

- The aircraft is in condition for safe operation, and

- The applicant (individual or group) presents satisfactory evidence that the major portion of the aircraft was fabricated and assembled solely for their own educational or recreational purposes.

NOTE: Fabrication is defined as performing work on any material, part, or component, such as layout, bending, countersinking, straightening, cutting, sewing, gluing/bonding, layup, forming, shaping, trimming, drilling, deburring, machining, applying protective coatings, surface preparation and priming, riveting, welding or heat treating, and transforming the material, part, or component toward or into its finished state.


The applicant must submit a notarized FAA Form 8130-12 , Eligibility Statement, Amateur-Built Aircraft, certifying the major portion was fabricated and assembled for educational or recreational purposes.

The form specifies that an amateur builder identify if commercial assistance was used in the construction of the aircraft and identify the source of the assistance. Evidence and records must be available to support these statements and provided to the FAA upon request.

Click the following link to download a copy the Amateur Built Eligibility Statement FAA Form 8130-12


To determine level of knowledge, the FAA may ask the applicant to provide information during the airworthiness inspection.

For example, the FAA could ask the applicant to describe a particular construction task or technique used to fabricate the aircraft or provide information as to the type of materials.

These discussions enable the FAA to evaluate the involvement of the applicant in the construction of the aircraft.


In some cases, prototype aircraft originally certificated under market survey/crew training were used to provetheir design for amateur-built purposes. However, such aircraft are considered to be produced as a furtherance of a business, in that their design is intended to be sold as plans and/or kits, and therefore are not eligible for amateur-built aircraft status.

These prototype aircraft are not produced by persons “solely for their own education or recreation," and therefore are not eligible for an experimental airworthiness certificate under FAR 21.191(g).

Following termination of their use in the business development activity, such prototype aircraft may be eligible for an experimental certificate for another purpose(s).

In those instances where an aircraft is constructed at a manufacturing facility by employees or principals of that company, the applicant must demonstrate to the FAA that the aircraft was not produced to be used in the furtherance of the business activities of that company.

Kit aircraft manufactured and assembled by a business, as either a prototype or for sale to other persons, are not considered amateur-built and do not meet the education or recreation requirements of FAR 21.191(g). Applications for such aircraft will not be accepted.


If records are not available to support the eligibility statement, Form 8130-12, the FAA will not be able to find compliance to the education, recreation, and major portion requirements of FAR 21.191(g).

Click on the following links to learn more about experimental amateur built certification:

Amateur Builder Information

Major Portion Requirement for Amateur Built Aircraft

Amateur Built Design and Construction

Amateur Built Certification Procedures

Amateur Built Test Flight Areas

Amateur Built Operating Limitations

Go from this Experimental Amateur Built Aircraft Certification Page back to the Special Airworthiness Certification Page

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Aircraft Registration

Experimental Amateur Built Certification