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What Is An Airworthiness Certificate?

Let’s start off with a quiz. Please answer the following question:

Is an Airworthiness Certificate:

(A) like a Driver’s License, where it is an official document issued to a person authorized to fly an airplane

(B) an official document issued to an aircraft

If you answered (A), you would be wrong. Sorry. That’s called a Pilot’s License. (*See Bonus 1 at bottom.) If you answered (B), you would be correct. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grants authorization via an Airworthiness Certificate to operate an aircraft in flight. A registered aircraft owner (or owner’s agent) must apply for the certificate prior to aircraft use. Airworthiness is essentially the measure of an aircraft’s suitability for safe flight. I guarantee that when I fly, I ONLY want to take an airplane that has an Airworthiness Certificate, and is perfectly wired, by the way.

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Now for the next question:

Can the FAA revoke an existing airworthiness certificate if the aircraft no longer meets its approved design and/or is not in an airworthy condition?

(A) Yes

(B) No

Obviously, the answer is (A) Yes. Again, nobody wants to fly in an aircraft that is unworthy or unsafe to fly.

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Third question: How many FAA Airworthiness Certificate classifications are there?

(A) One

(B) Two

(C) Three

If you picked (B) Two, you would be right. There are two (2) different classifications of FAA airworthiness certificates; the Standard Airworthiness Certificate and the Special Airworthiness Certificate. The Standard Certificate allows for operation in these categories:

  • Normal
  • Utility
  • Acrobatic
  • Commuter
  • Transport
  • Manned Fee Balloons
  • Special classes

The Special Airworthiness Certificate allows for operation in these categories:

  • Pleasure
  • Restricted
  • Limited
  • Light-Sport
  • Special Flight Permit
  • Experimental

So how did you do on the three quizzes? If you want to learn about the details of each of the Airworthiness Certificate categories, we recommend you refer to the FAA’s website here.

*Bonus 1: If you go to this site, you can see the very first Pilot’s License!

**Bonus 2: If you want to learn about aircraft registration in conjunction with Airworthiness Certificates, go to this site.

***Bonus 3: If you want your aircraft rewired to help it obtain its Airworthiness Certificate, go here, scroll to the bottom of the page, and complete the form.

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We are the sole licensee of Lockheed Martin for F-16 electrical products. Through this agreement, we have access to Lockheed Martin’s F-16 engineering data, tooling and configuration control information. We also have a Technical Services agreement with Sikorsky for all of their aircraft. This agreement allows us to obtain their engineering data needed to rewire helicopters that Sikorsky manufactures.

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