Professionally Assembled Kit Plane

by M. Q.
(Reno, Nevada)

As a US citizen, I understand that under FAA law, I have to personally assemble 51% of my experimental plane.

Can I have a kit plane fully assembled by aviation professionals in Canada, then fly it in the us?

Is this an option?

ANSWER: Transport Canada, the Canadian equivalent of the FAA has similar rules. You have to meet certain criteria to build and register a recreational aircraft in Canada. There is a bilateral agreement between the two governments to operate these types of aircraft in each others country under certain conditions. You can visit their website by following this link:

Canadian Recreational Aircraft

If you want the aircraft to be U.S. registered, then you must meet the certification requirements that we have outlined on this website. Click on the Airworthiness Certification tab then click on the Special Airworthiness Certification link.

In addition to other criteria, to qualify for an experimental amateur built certification, the builder must build 51% of the aircraft.

If the kit you are referring to qualifies to be certified in the experimental light sport category and is assembled by the kit manufacturer, then yes you can have it built for you. Refer to the following information:

If a light-sport kit aircraft is eligible, in accordance with FAR 21.191(i)(2), for an experimental LSA airworthiness certificate, and it meets the criteria outlined below, then it could be done the way you have described:

  • The aircraft is manufactured to the requirements of the applicable consensus standard, and manufactured by an LSA kit manufacturer that has been previously issued a special airworthiness certificate in the LSA category for an aircraft of the same make and model.

  • The manufacturer’s statement of compliance meets FAR 21.190(c), and the manufacturer identifies assembly instructions for the aircraft that meet the applicable consensus standard.

  • The applicant is able to provide the aircraft documentation required by FAR 21.193(e).

  • For an aircraft kit manufactured outside the United States or an aircraft assembled outside the United States from a kit, evidence that the aircraft kit was manufactured and/or assembled in a country with which the United States has a bi-lateral airworthiness agreement and is eligible for an airworthiness certificate, flight authorization, or other similar certification in its country of manufacture.

Return to Aircraft Certification Questions.

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