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Useful FAA list of evaluated aircraft kit builders

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G'day all - I accidentally stumbled across this FAA list of "Evaluated Aircraft Kit Builders" whilst looking for something else on Transportation. It may be useful to those wanting to research aircraft kit suppliers.

 

The list is populated by companies who have been evaluated by an FAA "National Kit Evaluation Team" ("NKET"). The evaluation covers the manufacturers Fabrication and Assembly Checklists .

 

This team inspects the companies kits at their manufacturing premises to see if they meet the "major portion" build requirements for amateur-built aircraft under the relevant American legislation.

Every section of every kit is awarded points for their Assembly Checklist, to enable the team (and any purchaser) to come to a conclusion on whether that particular section of the kit meets build requirements.

 

The evaluation team is careful to outline the fact that the evaluation is not a guarantee that the aircraft design is "certified, certificated, or approved" - merely that the team has inspected the kits and they've come to the conclusion that the builder seems to know what they're doing. I'm guessing this evaluation is to ensure any "fly-by-nighters" or "backyard" operators are uncovered, and potential buyers warned off these style of operators.

 

The team issue a letter on the evaluation to the company, which the company can obviously use to verify their kits meet the "major portion" requirements of the legislation.

It is also noted in each evaluation letter, that any change of company ownership, or change in the kit materials or design, must be notified to the NKET - otherwise the kit may be removed from the evaluated list.

 

The list is useful for those researching suppliers of kits, because it gives current information on the companies and their kit models offered.

 

Amateur-Built Kits Checklists and Approval Letters Evaluated by National Kit Evaluation Team (NKET)

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There are RV-12's and RV-14's on the list. Not sure why there are no other Vans models. Maybe because those other kits haven't been evaluated yet by the NKET?

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Manufacturers can request a kit evaluation. Or not. Probably do it prove their kits are 51% compliant, a useful sales tool.

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The evaluation team is careful to outline the fact that the evaluation is not a guarantee that the aircraft design is "certified, certificated, or approved" - merely that the team has inspected the kits and they've come to the conclusion that the builder seems to know what they're doing. I'm guessing this evaluation is to ensure any "fly-by-nighters" or "backyard" operators are uncovered, and potential buyers warned off these style of operators.

 

I don't think that there is any intention is to do an evaluation of quality or to uncover fly-by-night or backyard operators. The intention seems to be solely to ensure that the kit meets the major portion (51%) rule. So it is intended to uncover operators who provide a kit that is too complete i.e. not enough work for the builder to meet the major portion rule for amateur built registration.

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No Hummel Aviation,

Does it mean the missing manufacturers are not good for the 51% ?.

spacesailor

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Posted (edited)

Not at all. It just means that they have not desired or had any need to request their kit be evaluated. Could be simply because they know they would far exceed that 51%, so there's no real point having an eval done.

I suspect manufacturer's wanted an independent evaluation of their products, to back up their own beliefs. FAA goes look, and says (carefully) yes, what we saw on that day appears to be an amateur-built eligible kit.

Edited by Guest
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