Purchasing and Certifying an Amateur Built Aircraft Built by Another Person

by George Hurt
(Vinita, Oklahoma, USA)

How can I get a Challenger II kitplane registered and inspected for airworthiness when it was built by a person who is in imminent danger of passing on?


This person is able to participate in the sale of the completed aircraft but, due to health issues, is not able to participate in an airworthiness inspection. I wish to purchase this aircraft and register it and acquire an experimental amateur built or light sport airworthiness certificate.

I would not claim that I built it or seek a repairmans certificate in the case of amateur built. It would be used for personal recreation. This is a complete, ready to fly, unflown aircraft and the gentleman is trying to get it sold so that his wife will not have to deal with it after his death.

Hopefully, there is some method by which this aircraft can be sold, registered, airworthiness inspected and ultimately operated legally.

ANSWER: A possible solution would be to have a power of attorney document prepared that gives you the authorization to act on his behalf in the registration and certification process.

Getting the airplane registered is as simple as filling out an application form and mailing to the FAA. You can then make an appointment for an airworthiness inspection by contacting a local DAR or your nearest FAA Flight Standards District Office.

So the issue then is meeting the 51% rule, thus qualifying for an experimental amateur built certification. If the current owner is well enough to sign an eligibility statement (FAA Form 8130-12) indicating that he has fabricated and assembled the majority of the airplane, you can provide this information to the FAA or DAR along with a builder’s log where he should have documented the fabrication and assembly process with photos, etc.

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

Once the aircraft is certificated, you could then purchase it without being the builder and operate it legally.

Again, this is a possible solution to your situation. I have never performed a certification in this way, so it would be prudent of you to contact your local FAA Flight Standards District Office and ask them if they agree before proceeding.

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