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Definition of Airworthy

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Joined: 10 Jan 2006
Posts: 1613
Location: Sun Lakes AZ

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 5:57 pm    Post subject: Definition of Airworthy Reply with quote

It depends on where you look. In the interest of finding more clarity I
researched the matter once I had time. I thought perhaps the FAA had
changed its position and guidance. That does not appear to be the case.

FAA Order 8900.1 Flight Standards Information Management System, which
is the definitive guidance for FAA Standards offices and inspectors,
says on its current version:
"1/8/18 8900.1 CHG 568

Indicates new/changed information.
Section 2 Definitions
1-26 DEFINITIONS. The following definitions are from Title 14 of the
Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 1, § 1.1 or other appropriate

C. Airworthy. Two conditions must be met before an aircraft can be
considered “Airworthy”:
1) The aircraft must conform to its type certificate (TC); that is,
when the aircraft configuration and the components installed are
consistent with the drawing, specifications, and other data that are
part of the TC, and include any supplemental TC and field-approved
alterations incorporated into the aircraft.
2) The aircraft must be in condition for safe operation; this refers
to the condition of the aircraft relative to wear and deterioration."

Notice that it says NOTHING about aircraft that lack a type certificate.
So the FAA as of this date does not have consistency between its various
Orders, advisory circulars, etc. What else is new? The order you cite is
policy for issuing certificates, and states its definition is for the
purposes of that order ONLY. The FSIMS definitions page is 6 months
newer and is broader in purpose and scope.

I recall not so long ago the FAA had no definition of airworthy.
So you are free to do what you think is right. The conservative position
to advise new repairmen is to use the exact language contained in their
operating limitations. A DAR has to use the language that FAA national
dictates at the time the special airworthiness certificate is issued.
The statement I gave Vernon is not incorrect, it is the current FAA FSDO

Calling information presented by myself and others hot air or incorrect
is simply not the case. It is an unsettled area of FAA policy. To assert
that your position is more correct simply has no basis.

The FAA has asserted for a very long time that amateur built aircraft
cannot meet the definition of airworthy. For one office to insert a
different position in one order last summer is simply inconsistent with
that position. Note the previous version of that same order issued two
years earlier did not contain any definition of airworthy.

On 5/28/2018 9:09 AM, David Saylor wrote:
Vernon, I'm sorry you're being subjected to so much hot air. But the
statement you were presented is incorrect and you deserve better.
Airworthy is not a crime!

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Kelly McMullen
A&P/IA, EAA Tech Counselor # 5286
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