Multiple Airworthiness Certificates

An applicant for an airworthiness certificate in the restricted category, and in one or more other categories, is entitled to the certificate if:

- They show compliance with the requirements of each category when the aircraft is configured for that category; and

- They show that the aircraft can be converted from one category to another by removing or adding equipment by simple mechanical means.

Multiple airworthiness certification is governed by FAR 21.187 .


An aircraft in the normal, utility, acrobatic, transport, or limited category may be eligible for multiple airworthiness certificates if it can be converted to the restricted category in accordance with FAR 21.25 and 21.187.

An aircraft type-certificated in both the normal and commuter categories is eligible for an airworthiness certificate in only one category at a time.


The procedure for multiple airworthiness certification is a combination of the procedures covering standard and restricted categories, or limited and restricted categories, plus the following:

- The FAA must witness the applicant’s method used to meet the requirements when the aircraft is in each category, and show that the aircraft can be converted from one to the other by simple mechanical means. There must be detailed instructions to perform the conversion and the operating limitations must contain a statement that each conversion must be done in accordance with those instructions.

- If the standard category is one of the categories, and the aircraft will be used for the carriage of passengers for compensation or hire in that category, the FAA must evaluate the restricted special purpose operation to determine whether an airworthiness inspection will be required each time the aircraft is converted from the restricted category to the standard category.

- If the FAA determines that the airworthiness inspection by the FAA or an appropriately certificated mechanic is not necessary, the operating limitations should say so.

- To ensure that each conversion of the aircraft is recorded, the operating limitations will say that the maintenance record entry be made each time the aircraft is converted from one category to the other.

Airworthiness Certificates

If the requested multiple certification covers restricted and limited categories, a Form 8130-7 , with appropriate operating limitations, will be issued for each category. In addition, appropriate operating limitations will be issued with each certificate.

Operating Limitations

All restricted category aircraft must be operated in accordance with FAR 91 with specific attention to FAR 91.313 . However, additional operating limitations may be prescribed by the FAA as deemed necessary for safe operation. The appropriate. Those limitations will be shown on a separate sheet and attached to Form 8130-7.

Operating with Multiple Airworthiness Certificates, Standard and Restricted

The main requirements for issuance of a standard airworthiness certificate is the aircraft must conform to its type design and be in a condition for safe operation.

Any operations outside of the normal category operating limitations while operating in the restricted category (either weight or maneuvering) may make it impossible to return the aircraft to the normal category unless a complete engineering evaluation is made. The evaluation must determine what effect the overweight and maneuvering loads had on the aircraft’s or rotorcraft’s structure and components.

Unknown stresses and possible hidden damage to the aircraft structure may have resulted because of the weights, maneuvers, and speeds used for the restricted category operations. Therefore, to retain eligibility for return to the standard airworthiness classification after being operated in the restricted category, the following would apply:

- While being operated in the restricted category, any changes made to the aircraft that are to be retained when in normal category operation, or any operations that are outside of the normal category operating limitations, must be approved in accordance with the regulations and procedures applicable toan aircraft having a standard airworthiness certificate.

- If the Type Certificate Data Sheet (TCDS) for an aircraft includes the normal and restricted categories, and the maximumgross weight and/or operating limitations for the restricted category are higher than that for the normal category, the aircraft is NOT eligible for operation in the standard classification after having been operated in the restricted category unless—

The TCDS specifically states that the aircraft is eligible for operation in the normal category after having been operated at the limitations applicable to the restricted category; or

If the TCDS does not have such a note or any other reference, the operations outside of the normal category operating limitations including increased gross weights must be FAA-approved.

Display of Marks

You must display the word “RESTRICTED” or “LIMITED” when the aircraft is in that configuration ( FAR 45.23(b) )

Back to the Special Airworthiness Certification Page

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