Using FAA Inspectors for Aircraft Certification

by John
(Dallas, Texas)

Several years ago I was placed on a waiting list for an FAA inspector in order to make the transfer to Light Sport Aircraft (LSA). It never happened.

Now I have a new aircraft that I just built and want an airworthiness certificate. Has the FAA hired or trained inspectors yet or should I just use a DAR again?

I also need to have a Transponder installation approved.

ANSWER: The FAA has continued to hire and train new inspectors, but their workload has also increased. So I am not sure if they are winning the race.

This also has an effect on their ability to perform field approvals of aircraft alterations, such as transponder installations, etc. You would be better off hiring a DER to approve the data used for an installation like that.

If the cost of an FAA DAR or DER is your concern, then waiting for an FAA inspector to perform the certifications is your only alternative. If the cost is not an issue, then it would be much faster to use an DAR and DER for the approvals.

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