Question: I have my Vans RV-12 almost finished. But paperwork is confusing to me, especially when it involves the FAA. What do I need to do to get the aircraft registered and certificated?
Answer: First and foremost, you will need to go through everything you got from the manufacturer. Make sure that you have the items listed in FAR Part 21.193, especially subpart (e):
1) Evidence that there is a certificated SLSA upon which your aircraft is based. 2) Operational instructions for your aircraft. 3) Maintenance and inspection procedures. 4) Statement of compliance for the kit. This is Form 8130-15 and must have an original signature from the kit manufacturer. 5) The flight training supplement.
Once you are sure you have all of these things, you are ready to register the aircraft with the FAA aircraft registry. Go to www.faa.gov and follow the prompts to New Light Sport Aircraft. Here you will find a list of what you must provide: 1) Light-Sport Aircraft Manufacturers Affidavit AC Form 8050-88A or its equivalent, completed by the Light Sport Aircraft manufacturer, unless previously submitted to the registry by the manufacturer. 2) Evidence of ownership from the manufacturer for the aircraft. This would be your 8050-2 kit bill of sale. 3) An aircraft Registration Application, AC Form 8050-1. This is the three-part carbon copy form. 4) If you already have a registration number reserved, include a cover letter stating that you want that number applied to this aircraft. 5) The $5 registration fee. Send everything to the FAA aircraft registry in Oklahoma City. Complete instructions are included on the cover sheet of the registration form.
Once the aircraft is registered, its time to find an inspector. Call your local FSDO or MIDO. You may also go to the FAA web site to search for a DAR who holds Function Code 47.
After you make contact with an inspector or DAR, you will be sent a packet of paperwork to fill out that contains the program. It will list all of the information that the inspector needs to complete the certification process, including the requested flight-test area. Also included will be an airworthiness application (Form 8130-6). You will complete, sign and return these papers to the inspector, who will also request a copy of your weight-and-balance information and pictures or a three-view drawing of the completed aircraft. Once the packet is reviewed, an appointment for the actual inspection will be set up.
Hey, were getting close! Each inspector will have preferences as to how much of the aircraft should be opened up for the inspection. I request that the aircraft be opened up as much as practical so that I can inspect control linkages and fuel connections. All of this will be discussed when the inspection is set up.
Once the inspection is complete, the inspector will give you a list of discrepancies that need to be addressed. If they are simple, and they usually are, you will likely be allowed to correct them on the spot. When all of the discrepancies have been cleared, the Special Airworthiness Certificate and Operating Limitations will be issued and must be carried aboard the aircraft at all times. The Operating Limitations are a part of the Special Airworthiness Certificate, and one is no good without the other.
Congratulations! You now have an aircraft instead of a project. Well, we all know it will always be a project, but at least now its an airplane, too!
Please send your questions for DAR Asberry to firstname.lastname@example.org with Ask the DAR in the subject line.