We had a visit from the National Kit Evaluation Team (NKET) yesterday at SPA. The NKET team is a team of 8 FAA Aviation Safety Inspectors across the US that are trained to evaluate EAB kits to determine the builder vs. manufacturer percentage of completion. According to the FAA regulations “To be eligible for an amateur-built certificate, the “major portion” (at least 51 percent) of the tasks needed to make the aircraft airworthy must be completed by amateurs “solely for their own education or recreation. The NKET team determines what percentage of a task is assigned to the kit manufacturer when it evaluates a kit for inclusion on the FAA amateur-built kit list. The completed evaluations will be posted on the FAA website so builders can see how close to the limit a kit is when it comes from the kit vendor.”
When the NKET team is requested to do an inspection they first request all of the aircraft documentation so they may review ahead of time. Then they will schedule an onsite inspection of the kit, and require that all of the parts be laid out for the kit, grouped by the aircraft sections. They also request that an example assembled aircraft be available for inspection.
Our shop is not large and it is not on an airport with access to airplanes. But, no worries here! We laid out the parts by section on our work tables. The parts count in a Panther is low, so this was not a big deal. The Panther has folding wings, so we put Paul’s Panther N908XP in the trailer and hauled it the 7 miles up to the shop.
We are pleased to announce that the inspection went very well. We will not have the final numbers from the NKET team for another couple of weeks, but we were assured that there were no issues or concerns. We expect the Panther to be added to the 51% list and that we will have our approval letter in the next month or so.
Here are some photos of the inspection and our NKET team members Mr. Tim Chopp and Mr. Chip Phillips. They were extremely helpful, knowledgeable and friendly.
AND! We have a full Panther Kit all ready to go to a new home! If you are interested call us and we can box it up and have it on it’s way.
Again – we have an entire kit that we can box up for you and send on the way – if you are ready. Let us know!
Thank you to the full team at SPA and NKET for working with us to get this done. We are excited about this milestone!
- Team SPA