Back in JanuaryI mentioned a uniquely Canadian regulatory issue revolving around wing loading and weight limits. I fired an e-mail off to the TC guy in charge of this stuff, and finally heard back from him last week.

The amateur build regs in Canada specify a maximum wing loading (see AWM 549.103)- if the aircraft's wing loading is too high, then it is classified as a high performance amateur-built aircraft, and that triggers a requirement that any pilot hold an individual type rating for that aircraft. The hoops you need to jump through to get an individual type rating are aimed at type-certificated aircraft, as they require ground training, etc. They need to be liberally interpreted to allow the square-peg amateur built aircraft to fit in the round regulatory hole.

CAR Standard 421.40 lays out knowledge, experience and skill requirements that must be met to obtain an Individual Type Rating for a High Performance Aeroplane. The experience requirement is easy to meet, as it is only 200 hours total time on all aircraft types. The knowledge requirement is a bit more difficult, as it calls for ground training on the aircraft type. But, this is only a standard, not a regulation, so there is a bit of room for interpretation. My friendly TC guy recognizes that a formal RV-8 ground school does not exist, so I simply need to convince him that I know everything I need to know about the aircraft. Given that I built it, that won't be too difficult. The skill requirement is met by my friendly TC guy climbing in the back and giving me a check ride. I suspect many TC inspectors would not feel comfortable climbing in an amateur-built aircraft, but I am lucky that this guy has an open mind.

My plan is to initially declare a gross weight of 1800 lb. After the flight test phase is complete, and I can carry passengers, I will do a check ride, obtain the individual type rating for an RV-8 then file the paperwork to increase the gross weight.

I suspect that many Canadian amateur-built aircraft owners are either ignorant of the wing loading regulation, or are ignoring it. Aircraft like Harmon Rockets, some Lancairs, etc probably have declared gross weights that require the pilot have an individual type rating, but I bet many of the pilots don't have one. They may think they have slipped on past TC, but their insurer could have the last laugh, as this would give them an easy reason to deny payment if there was ever an accident.