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Fri, Sep 12, 2008

Sonex Submits Comments On Proposed '51 Percent Rule' Changes To FAA

Also Calls Builders To Action, And Plans October ARC Meeting Presence

Sonex Aircraft, LLC formally submitted its comments to the FAA this week, regarding proposed policy changes to the Experimental-Amateur Building regulations which empower thousands in the United States with the privilege of constructing and flying their own homebuilt aircraft.

The message, sent Thursday morning by Sonex Aircraft CEO and General Manager Jeremy Monnett to Miguel Vasconcelos of the Production and Airworthiness Division of the FAA, was clear: Enforce the regulations already on the books, and do not place an undue burden upon builders complying with the spirit and intent of the Experimental-Amateur Built aircraft regulations by creating new regulation via changes in policy.

"The key to the continued success of the Exp-Amateur Built rules depends on the consistent enforcement of the rules already in place," Monnett wrote. "The resources required to carry out this enforcement have not been made available by the FAA over the last few years. Without these resources, enforcement loosens and the rules are pushed beyond their spirit and intent, compromising the rules continued existence."

Sonex Aircraft joined the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and others in calling Sonex and AeroConversions customers to action, with a posting on the planemaker's Web site urging individuals to submit their own comments to the FAA regarding the proposed "51 Percent Rule" calculation and enforcement policy changes before the September 30, 2008 comment-period deadline.

Sonex says it has participated in the FAA-chartered aviation rulemaking committee (ARC) formed to study amateur-building issues, which rendered recommendations from August 2005 through November 2006, and plans a presence at the next meeting, scheduled for October 22-23, to discuss public comments submitted in response to the FAA's proposal.

The ARC, consisting of representatives from government and industry, was formed in response to abuses to the spirit and intent of the Experimental-Amateur Building regulations via excessive commercial assistance and "professional builders."



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