We began a series of articles last month on company-sponsored builder assist programs. An overview of FAA rules was there, including the intricacies of the major-portion (51%) rule and the clarification the FAA made in 1996 that said that builders can pay for "instructional assistance," which allows paid help as long as it is for the builder's edification. The fact remains that you cannot legally have someone build your aircraft for you and then register it in the Experimental, amateur-built category.
There's No Substitute For Experience
For builders of high-performance, complex kit aircraft, the clarification of the rules benefits builders in a number of ways. First, it takes some of the anxiety out of the choosing process. If you know you can pay someone to help you with some of the more difficult parts of the building process, you may be more comfortable when picking that fast-glass machine you've been eyeing.
Second, professional help brings expertise to your project that can lead to a safer aircraft. Laying up a bidirectional laminate that affects the structural integrity of your airplane is a precise process that will benefit from having someone there who has done it before.
Finally, an experienced set of hands will save you time. Four hands are better than two are--especially if two of them have made all the mistakes before--mistakes that you will avoid.
Taking Stock of …