Chapter 12 - Amateur-Built Aircraft


An amateur-built aircraft is an aircraft that is built from plans or from a kit.


People intending to build an aircraft should contact the Recreational Aircraft Association (RAA) at 1-800-387-1028 or 905-838-1357, who will arrange for the builder to have a local contact. RAA Headquarters are in Cheltenham, Ontario. Alternately they can also contact an Airworthiness Inspection Representative - Amateur Built Aircraft (AIR-ABA) or Transport Canada - Maintenance and Manufacturing.


Prior to being flown, an amateur-built aircraft requires a Certificate of Registration and a flight authority issued by the RAA, AIR-ABA or Transport Canada, Maintenance and Manufacturing (depending on the area, the inspections are done by the RAA, AIR-ABA or Transport Canada - Maintenance and Manufacturing).


Registration marks are usually allotted once the aircraft is at least 50 percent completed, although if the owner is willing to pay the yearly mark renewal extension fee, they can be allotted at any time. Unless the aircraft type is already identified in CCARCS, the aircraft make and model cannot be entered causing the mark to indicate that it is reserved rather than issued. The $45 fee for mark reservation would not apply as it is Transport Canada’s restrictions that prevent the mark from being issued. The CCARCS make and model data base would not be updated until a copy of the identification plate had been received which may not be until the aircraft is ready for registration.


A Certificate of Registration should not be issued until the aircraft owner has arranged for or had the final inspection required for the issuance of a flight authority. Verbal verification from the authority doing the inspections is acceptable if they are known to you. Written confirmation may be requested if there is doubt that the aircraft is ready for flight. This is to ensure that a Certificate of Registration is not issued until construction is complete and the aircraft is capable of flight (see Chapter 8.7 for requirements to issue the Certificate of Registration).


Some "kit" aircraft qualify to be registered as either an amateur-built aircraft or advanced ultra-light aeroplane. Some owners of registered amateur-built aircraft believe that it is advantageous to switch the category of the aircraft to an advanced ultra-light. This is possible but only if the aircraft is on the "Listing of Approved Advanced Ultra-light Aeroplanes" and the manufacturer responsible for the design issues them a Statement of Conformity. (Note: The listing may be accessed from the Aircraft Registration and Leasing Web Site. It is subject to change.)

Since amateur-built aircraft are registered with "C-F" or "C-G" marks, the new owner would have to be issued with an "C-I" mark for the aircraft. This would require an exemption to change marks, however, given that it is Transport Canada’s policy that an advanced ultra-light aeroplane have a C-I mark, we would "choose not to collect the fee" (see Chapter 4.4). Unless the owner accepts the next system-generated mark, it would be considered a special mark and the $140 fee would apply. A new application for registration of an ultra-light (form 26-0521) would be required along with the $110, and the return of the existing original copy of the Certificate of Registration.


What are the requirements to be met if an aircraft is switching from amateur-built status to advanced ultra-light?

  1. The ID plate must reflect the kit manufacturer and exact model on the advanced ultra-light listing. If it does not, a new ID plate reflecting the correct information must be attached to the aircraft.

  2. I-series marks need to be reserved.  Note: If the client requests a special mark, the $140 special mark fee applies. This same $140 fee would apply to a special request to retain the last 3 letters as previously on the aircraft (if that mark were available). Otherwise, it is simply the next system-generated mark and no fee applies.

  3. A mark exemption is required but, given that it is TC policy that C-I marks be assigned to an advanced ultra-light we would choose not to collect a fee.

  4. The manufacturer provides the owner with a Statement of Conformity.

  5. A $110 registration fee applies.

  6. The date of registration remains the same.

  7. Mark switch is done once the notification is received in Headquarters that all conditions are met.

  8. A new Certificate of Registration is issued, with new marks and with "today’s date" as the date of issue.

Can an owner who has switched an aircraft from the amateur-built category to an advanced ultra-light then decide in future to switch it back to an amateur-built?

No. Owners should also be advised that, once changed, the aircraft could NOT switch back into the amateur-built category. The reason is that the aircraft would not have been maintained in accordance with the airworthiness requirements set out in Chapter 549 of the CARs and would no longer qualify as an amateur-built aircraft.

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