Airworthiness Chapter 549 Subchapter A - General - Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs)

Content last revised: 1998/02/17

Subchapter A General

549.1 General

[Pursuant to section 211(1) of the Canadian Aviation Regulations, this chapter sets out:]

  1. (a) The design and construction standards, which the applicant shall meet to satisfy the Minister, that the aircraft is amateur-built; and
  2. (b) The requirements for inspections, equipment and instruments, and operating information necessary to obtain a Special Certificate of Airworthiness for amateur-built aircraft.

(Amendment 549-2 (96-04-01))

549.3 Applications

The applicant shall:

  1. (a) Before starting construction, inform the Minister of his intention to build an amateur-built aircraft, and show that the design will meet the requirements set out in this Chapter; and
  2. (b) Before the first flight, apply for a Special Certificate of Airworthiness for amateur-built aircraft in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 507, section 507.325; and show compliance with the requirements of paragraphs 549.19(a) and 549.21.

549.5 Construction

  1. (a) Aircraft, including those supplied in kit form, will be designated as amateur-built aircraft, where the major portion of the aircraft (more than 50%) is fabricated from raw material and assembled by an individual or a group of individuals on a non-commercial, non-production basis for educational or recreational purposes

Information note:

(Ref. AMA 549/1A, para. 5).

  1. (b) Methods of fabrication and assembly, and workmanship shall be appropriate and should conform to accepted aviation standard practices.

(Change 549-1 (93-06-30))

549.7 Materials

  1. (a) Materials shall be appropriate and should conform to aviation quality specifications.
  2. (b) Composite non-metallic materials are accepted for use in primary structures.

(Ref. AMA 549.7A).

  1. (c) Certain components and parts such as engine(s), propeller(s), rotor blades and precision hub components, accessories, wheels and brakes, standard aircraft hardware, heat treated or welded assemblies and components from other aircraft may be obtained from trade sources provided that the applicant for a special Certificate of Airworthiness for amateur-built aircraft can show that the major portion of the aircraft has been amateur-built, as required in section 549.5.

(Change 549-1 (93-06-30))

549.9 Powerplant

  1. (a) The Powerplant may utilise propeller or reaction jet propulsion, but not solid and liquid fuel rockets. Installations are not restricted to approved aircraft engines. Type-approved engines shall be operated within all established certification limits. For non-type-approved engines, limits must be established by the applicant.
  2. (b) For propeller driven propulsion systems:
    1. (1) Acceptable engines include, but are not limited to, conventional 2 or 4 cycle piston engines, Wankel engines, gas turbines and other unconventional internal combustion engines.
    2. (2) For the purpose of this Chapter, Wankel engines are treated as reciprocating engines.
  3. (c) For reaction jet propulsion systems: Engines commonly referred to as turbojets and turbofans are acceptable.
  4. (d) For engines incorporating turbomachinery (e.g. turbocharger), rotating shaft speed limits shall be established by the applicant and:
    1. (1) There shall be means to prevent such limits being exceeded; or
    2. (2) It must be shown that in thne evet of a failure, no hazardous debris will be released following a mechanical failure at the highest shaft speed possible.

(Change 549-1 (93-06-30))

549.11 Aircraft Noise

Amateur-built aircraft are not required to comply with the noise standards of Chapter 516 of this Manual; however, designers and builders are encouraged to follow the guidelines of AMA 549.11.

(Change 549-1 (93-06-30))

549.13 Equipment and Instruments

Unless otherwise indicated in the applicable subchapter, aircraft shall have the following serviceable and functioning equipment and instruments, as a minimum:

Information note:

(Ref. AMA 549/1A, AMA 549.13/1A)

  1. (a) Equipment:
    1. (1) A safety belt for each seat, including shoulder harness for each pilot seat and front seat adjacent to a pilot seat, securely anchored so that the loads are transmitted to the primary structure.
    2. (2) A firewall(s), isolating the engine compartment(s) from the remainder of the aircraft, if applicable.
    3. (3) For aircraft whose engine(s) is (are) equipped with a carburettor(s), a means to minimise the possibility of carburettor icing, unless it is shown to be unnecessary by actual test.
    4. (4) A portable fire extinguisher, approved for use in aircraft.
  2. (b) Flight & Navigation Instruments:
    1. (1) An airspeed indicator.
    2. (2) An altimeter.
    3. (3) A magnetic compass.
  3. (c) Power Plant Instruments:
    1. (1) A tachometer for each engine.
    2. (2) An oil pressure indicator for each engine using a pressure lubricating system.
    3. (3) A temperature indicator for each engine.
    4. (4) A fuel quantity indicating system for each main fuel tank.
    5. (5) A manifold pressure indicator for each turbocharged/supercharged engine, and aeroplanes equipped with constant speed propellers.

(Change 549-1 (93-06-30))

549.15 Placards

Unless otherwise required in the applicable section, all aircraft shall have the following placards:

  1. (a) On the side of the fuselage, in a position that is readily visible to persons entering the aircraft, in letters at least 10 mm (3/8 in.) high and of a colour contrasting with the background:
    1. (1)


      This aircraft is operating with a special certificate
      of airworthiness for amateur-built aircraft.


      Cet aéronef vole avec un certificat de navigabilité
      spécial pour aéronefs de construction amateur.

    2. (2) For aircraft with passenger seats, during the period when the applicable initial operating restrictions apply:

      "Passengers prohibited"

      "Passagers interdits".

  2. (b) In any area of an aircraft designated for the carriage of passengers, other than an area beside the pilot, a placard shall be displayed showing the maximum permissible load in such compartment or area:

    "Maximum passenger and/or baggage load: kg (lb)",

    "Charge maximale, passagers/bagages: kg (lb)".

    The load values to be used on this placard shall be obtained from the Aircraft Weight and Balance Report.

(Change 549-1 (93-06-30))

549.17 Identification Plate

In accordance with the requirements of Air Regulations Series II, No. 1: Regulations Respecting the Identification of Aircraft and Other Aeronautical Products, a fireproof identification plate shall be secured in a prominent location on a part of the structure that is not removable. The information on this shall include:

  1. (a) Name of builder;
  2. (b) Model designation;
  3. (c) Serial number;
  4. (d) Date of manufacture; and
  5. (e) Nationality and registration marks.

(Change 549-1 (93-06-30))

549.19 Inspections and Maintenance

  1. (a) During fabrication and after final assembly the aircraft shall be inspected for workmanship and general serviceability according to a schedule acceptable to the Minister. Particular attention shall be paid to enclosed areas of the primary structure, which are not visible after final assembly.

Information note:

(Ref. AMA 549/1A, paragraph 7).

  1. (b) In accordance with Chapter 507, paragraph 507.325(d), an annual inspection is required to keep in force the Special Certificate of Airworthiness for amateur-built aircraft.

[(c) The inspection shall show that the maintenance requirements set out in Chapter 571, paragraph 571.101(a) are met.]

(Change 549-1 (93-06-30))

(Amendment 549-2 (96-04-01))

549.21 Aircraft Weight and Balance Control

In accordance with the requirements of Chapter 571, section 571.211, a Weight and Balance Report is required for each aircraft configuration.

(Note deleted)

(Change 549-1 (93-06-30))

549.23 Design Changes and Repairs

[Design changes and repairs affecting structural integrity, geometry, performance (e.g. change of c.g. limits) and maximum permissible take-off mass will require an inspection by a DOT representative,and may invalidate the Special Certificate of Airworthiness for amateur-built aircraft. Following a design change or repair:]

  1. (a) A new Weight and Balance Report and Climb Test Report may be required,
  2. [(b) Changes or repairs shall be annotated in the Aircraft Technical Records, including the Journey Log book; and]
  3. [(c)] The Minister may request a new Special C of A application or inspections.

[Information note:

  1. [(a) Changes which will invalidate the Special C of A for amateur-built aircraft, and require a new Weight and Balance Report and Climb Test include:
    1. [ (1) A change in the type or model of the engine. This does not include engine changes within the same series.
    2. [ (2) A change resulting in a mass (weight) exceeding the maximum permissible stated on the special C of A for amateur-built aircraft.
    3. [ (3) An initial change in landing gear from wheels/skis to floats or floats to wheels/skis.
  2. [ (b) A change from wheels to skis or skis to wheels will only require an amendment to the Weight and Balance report.
  3. [ (c) Changes which will require an inspection by a DOT representative include:
    1. [ (1) Any change or major repair affecting structural integrity; and
    2. [ (2) For aerobatic aeroplanes, changes to control surfaces.]

(Change 549-1 (93-06-30))

(Amendment 549-2 (96-04-01))

549.25 Log Books and Maintenance Records

In accordance with Air Regulation 826 (1) a Journey Log Book and Technical Log Books are required for each amateur-built aircraft.

Information note:

(Ref. AMA 549/1A, paragraph 12).