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Joe Norris: Country's First AB-DAR

Classes Underway Soon

Put this one in the history books: The first amateur-built designated airworthiness representative (AB-DAR) was officially and fully authorized this week to perform homebuilt aircraft inspections on behalf of the FAA. Suitably, the first AB-DAR hails from EAA: Joe Norris, senior aviation information specialist. Joe received his final orientation via telephone interview Thursday from the principal inspector at Minneapolis (MSP) Manufacturing Inspection District Office (MIDO).

EAA worked extensively with FAA over the past several years to develop the AB-DAR program to help alleviate a growing backlog of inspection requests from amateur-built aircraft builders. EAA facilitated recruiting more than 60 AB-DAR candidates, and also played a key role in developing the required training course and materials.

David R. Smith, an Aviation Safety Inspector (ASI-Manufacturing) working out of MSP MIDO, gave Norris the orientation, the last required step in the AB-DAR approval process. MSP MIDO Office Manager Andrew B. Lown signed Norris' DAR certificate and letter of authorization.

"Now that all the steps are completed, Dave Smith will be sending me the appropriate paperwork that I'll need when I certificate an amateur-built aircraft," Norris said. "I will then work with Dave on scheduling certifications that he (or his office) would like me to handle."

Builders who wish to contact the MSP MIDO can call 612/713-4366. Builders can contact the MIDO to request the Amateur-Built Certification Packet, which will include all the applicable forms and FAA advisory circulars.

The first AB-DAR course will take place on January 27-29 at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City (OK). Conducted by the Transportation Safety Institute (TSI), 18 AB-DAR appointees are scheduled to attend. Another course is scheduled for June 8-10, 2004. Officials are also considering adding another course date between January and June.

FMI: www.eaa.org

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