Avionics News September 2016 - 10

In this monthly column, Ric Peri of the AEA's Washington, D.C., office, informs members of the latest regulatory updates.

B Y

R I C

P E R I
A EA V I C E P R ES I D E N T O F G OV E R N M E N T & I N D U ST RY A F FA I RS

DIY
A

s I strolled the grounds of the Experimental Aircraft
Association's AirVenture in July, one consistent
theme kept popping up - DIY - or Do It Yourself.
Maybe it has been there every year and I never noticed,
but following the recent dealer/OEM relationships ad hoc
committee meeting that the Aircraft Electronics Association
played host to one week prior to AirVenture, it grabbed my
attention this year.
For the record, is DIY appropriate for avionics? Yes,
maybe. Do the regulations support DIY? To some limited
degree, yes. But before the hate mail starts, let's take a deep
dive into these waters.
The annual EAA AirVenture started many years ago as a
fly-in for experimental, amateur-built aircraft owners/builders.
Even today, while the vast majority of attendees at the annual
event are owners and operators of certified aircraft, it's still
the world's largest collection of EAB enthusiasts. As we
know, their rules are different. As the "manufacturer" of their
own aircraft, they have a significant amount of latitude in the
design, approvals and modifications of their aircraft.
But as we migrate to certified aircraft, the rules begin
to change, and depending on the operations of the aircraft,
change dramatically. While the aviation media was quick to
point out the sometimes extreme advertisements from some
of the vendors at AirVenture, they left out the most important
caveat to all DIY projects: Buyer Beware!
First, is DIY avionics appropriate for the average owner/
operator? Probably not. We've talked for years about the
regulations addressing mechanics performing avionics
work. Do the regulations allow them to install, repair
and replace radios? Yes, 14 CFR Part 65 does allow a
certificated mechanic with an airframe rating to perform
10

avionics news

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september

2016

these maintenance and alteration tasks. Are they competent
to perform this work? Generally, no. Most airframe and
powerplant mechanics are not trained, educated and
experienced in this type of work. So while you can argue that
on one hand they are allowed to do the work, on the other
they are not capable of performing the work.
The same is true of DIY projects. In Washington, D.C.,
where I live, there are dozens of businesses that advertise their
services to the DIY project that has gone south. In fact, there

So what are some of the regulations
that the owner/operator considering a
DIY project should be aware of, and of
course, be able to show compliance?
is even an HGTV show called "Rescue my Renovation." The
internet is full of DIY projects that didn't quite work out as
they intended. And yet, for the right person with the right skill
set, DIY is a perfectly good solution - except when your life
and that of your loved ones depends on your amateur skills;
then maybe it isn't such a good idea to practice your beginner
skills. Installing a bathroom faucet is one thing; installing
avionics to be used in night-IFR over the Trinity Alps is
something totally different.
So what are some of the regulations that the owner/operator
considering a DIY project should be aware of, and of course,
be able to show compliance?
To start, the most obvious is who can perform the
maintenance, and who can return to service the maintenance.
For the sake of argument, we will assume the DIY applicant



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News September 2016

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Avionics News September 2016 - Intro
Avionics News September 2016 - No label
Avionics News September 2016 - Cover2
Avionics News September 2016 - 1
Avionics News September 2016 - 2
Avionics News September 2016 - 3
Avionics News September 2016 - 4
Avionics News September 2016 - 5
Avionics News September 2016 - 6
Avionics News September 2016 - 7
Avionics News September 2016 - 8
Avionics News September 2016 - 9
Avionics News September 2016 - 10
Avionics News September 2016 - 11
Avionics News September 2016 - 12
Avionics News September 2016 - 13
Avionics News September 2016 - 14
Avionics News September 2016 - 15
Avionics News September 2016 - 16
Avionics News September 2016 - 17
Avionics News September 2016 - 18
Avionics News September 2016 - 19
Avionics News September 2016 - 20
Avionics News September 2016 - 21
Avionics News September 2016 - 22
Avionics News September 2016 - 23
Avionics News September 2016 - 24
Avionics News September 2016 - 25
Avionics News September 2016 - 26
Avionics News September 2016 - 27
Avionics News September 2016 - 28
Avionics News September 2016 - 29
Avionics News September 2016 - 30
Avionics News September 2016 - 31
Avionics News September 2016 - 32
Avionics News September 2016 - 33
Avionics News September 2016 - 34
Avionics News September 2016 - 35
Avionics News September 2016 - 36
Avionics News September 2016 - 37
Avionics News September 2016 - 38
Avionics News September 2016 - 39
Avionics News September 2016 - 40
Avionics News September 2016 - 41
Avionics News September 2016 - 42
Avionics News September 2016 - 43
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Avionics News September 2016 - 49
Avionics News September 2016 - 50
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Avionics News September 2016 - 53
Avionics News September 2016 - 54
Avionics News September 2016 - 55
Avionics News September 2016 - 56
Avionics News September 2016 - 57
Avionics News September 2016 - 58
Avionics News September 2016 - 59
Avionics News September 2016 - 60
Avionics News September 2016 - 61
Avionics News September 2016 - 62
Avionics News September 2016 - 63
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Avionics News September 2016 - 67
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Avionics News September 2016 - 70
Avionics News September 2016 - 71
Avionics News September 2016 - 72
Avionics News September 2016 - 73
Avionics News September 2016 - 74
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Avionics News September 2016 - 76
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Avionics News September 2016 - 78
Avionics News September 2016 - 79
Avionics News September 2016 - 80
Avionics News September 2016 - Cover3
Avionics News September 2016 - Cover4
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