In addition to the registration certificate that indicates the ownership of an aircraft, an airworthiness certificate indicates the airworthiness of the aircraft. AC 21-12, Application for U.S. Airworthiness Certificate, FAA Form 8130-6, is a comprehensive guide for the completion of the application form for this certificate. There are two certificates: standard and special. FAA Form 8100-2, Standard Airworthiness Certificate, may be issued to allow operation of a type-certificated aircraft in one or more of the following categories: [Figure 2-20]
- Manned free balloon
- Special classes
FAA Form 8130-7, Special Airworthiness Certificate, may be issued to authorize the operation of an aircraft in the following categories: [Figure 2-21]
- Special flight permit
Airworthiness certificates may be issued by either FAA personnel or FAA designees. Refer to 14 CFR part 183, sections 183.31 and 183.33. The certificate must not only be on board the aircraft (14 CFR part 91, section 91.203(a) (1)), but must also be “displayed at the cabin or flight deck entrance so that it is legible to the passengers or crew” 14 CFR part 91, (section 91.203(b)). Since the ability to obtain this certificate is based upon the requirement to inspect the aircraft to determine that it conforms to type design and is in condition for safe operation, it can also be revoked by the FAA if either of those two requirements ceases to exist.
Aircraft must be registered in the United States if the aircraft is not registered under the laws of a foreign country and is owned by either a citizen of the United States, a foreign citizen lawfully admitted to the United States, or a corporation organized in and doing business under U.S. laws and primarily based in the United States. This registration is accomplished by using FAA Form 8050-1, Aircraft Registration Application. The aircraft registration form is available online at www.faa.gov. The aircraft owner can mail in completed copy, and keep a copy of the form as temporary authority to operate the aircraft after the fee and evidence of ownership have been mailed or delivered to the Registry. When carried in the aircraft with an appropriate current airworthiness certificate or a special flight permit, a copy of this completed application provides authority to operate the aircraft in the United States for up to 90 days.
In addition to the completed application form, the owner must also submit evidence of his or her ownership (such as a bill of sale) and a registration fee. A successful review of the application results in the issuance of AC Form 8050-3, Certificate of Aircraft Registration. (Note the AC prefix.)
14 CFR section 91.203(a)(2) requires that either the pink copy of the application or the actual certificate of registration be on board the aircraft during its operation.
If the registration is ever lost or damaged, it may be replaced by contacting the FAA Aircraft Registration Branch and providing them with the aircraft specific data, including make, model, N-number, and serial number. A replacement certificate fee and an explanation of the reason for the replacement certificate are also required.
Radio Station License
A radio station license is required if the aircraft is equipped with radios, and the aircraft is planned to be flown outside the boundaries of the United States. A radio station license is not required for aircraft that are operated domestically. (A major change occurred on February 8, 1996, when the telecommunications Act of 1996 was signed into law.)
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) formerly required that any communication transmitter installed in aircraft be licensed. These FCC licenses were valid for 5 years. This is not an FAA requirement. FAA inspectors who conducted ramp inspections and detected an expired radio station license were not required to notify the FCC, nor could they issue a violation to the owner/operator. Simply informing the operator of the expired radio station license was their only responsibility.
FSGA 96-06, a Flight Standards Information Bulletin (FSIB) for General Aviation (FSGA) titled “Elimination of Aircraft Radio Station Licenses” became effective on July 8, 1996. Although that FSIB had an effectivity of only 1 year, the elimination of the requirement for aircraft used only in domestic operations continues.
FAA Form 337—Major Repair and Alteration
Refer to the current issue of AC 43.9-1, Instructions for Completion of FAA Form 337 for help completing FAA Form 337, Major Repair and Alteration (Airframe, Powerplant, Propeller, or Appliance). [Figure 2-22]
As the name clearly states, this form is to be used whenever major repairs or alterations are accomplished on an aircraft. The only exception would be that 14 CFR part 43, Appendix B, allows for a certificated repair station to RTS an aircraft after a major repair by using a signed and dated work order and a signed maintenance release.
- Information in item 1 comes directly from the aircraft dataplate, except for the tail number. That is to be compared to the aircraft registration form.
- Information in item 2 reflects the name and address listed on AC Form 8050-3, Certificate of Registration.
- Item 3 is used when there is no existing approved data for the intended repair or alteration. In that case, the technician can request that the local FSDO Principal Maintenance Inspector (PMI) review the data and then grant a field approval, shown by completing and signing this area. In many cases, this block is blank because the technician has found, used, and made reference to data already approved by the FAA.
- Item 4—If the repair or alteration is being done to the aircraft airframe, no entry is required since the data is identical to that in item 1. However, if the repair or alteration is being done to an engine, a propeller, or other appliance, entries must include the appropriate make, model, and serial number information.
- Item 5 should have “X” marked in either the “Repair” or the “Alteration” column.
- Item 6—Enter appropriate data as specified and check the proper box in B. The technician is encouraged to carefully read the preprinted statement in subparagraph D prior to signing this section.
- Item 7 must be completed by the IA or authorized individual from the repair station.
- Item 8 (on the reverse side) is for the description of the work accomplished. It must include a reference to the approved data used to conduct the required maintenance.
The form must be completed at least in duplicate, with the original provided to the owner/operator and a copy to the local FSDO within 48 hours of completing the maintenance and RTS. If the FAA Form 337 is used to document additional fuel tanks in the cabin or cargo, then an additional copy must be signed and in the aircraft at all times. Maintenance facilities and mechanics are encouraged to make a copy for their own records.