Get a Ferry Permit Lately?

Special Flight Permits Form 8130-6

One of the necessary and traditional things that maintenance technicians have been doing for many years is what has been the simple task of going to their FSDO or calling an inspector and obtaining a ferry permit for an owner. In some cases, they would even fax one to you if you were out of town. The most common reason to need one is an aircraft is out of annual and needs to be flown over to a shop for the job. 

Special flight permits

These special flight permits have for years been described in FAR 21.197, which is part of Subchapter C, Aircraft, Certification Procedures for Products and Parts. The FAR is quite clear on what is required to obtain the ferry permit, even if the aircraft is not airworthy.You also have a form to fill out, lets review the requirements.

FAR 21.197 (a) “A special flight permit may be issued for an aircraft that may not, currently, meet applicable airworthiness requirements but is capable of safe flight, for the following purposes:

• Flying the aircraft to a base where repairs, alterations, or maintenance are to be performed, or to a point of storage.

• Delivering or exporting the aircraft.

• Production flight testing new production aircraft.

• Evacuating aircraft from areas of impending danger.

• Conducting customer demonstration flights in new production aircraft.

An additional section (b) allows for the issuance of a special flight permit to authorize the operation of aircraft at a weight in excess of the maximum certificated takeoff weight for flight beyond normal range over water or land areas where adequate landing facilities or appropriate fuel is not available.

The second section that applies is 21.199 which sets out the information you must submit to get the permit: the purpose of the flight; 

the proposed itinerary; the crew required; the ways, if any, in which the aircraft does not comply with the applicable airworthiness requirements.(e.g. out of annual); any restrictions the applicant considers necessary for safe operation of the aircraft; and any other information considered necessary by the Administrator for the purpose of prescribing operating limitations. The last sentence of the section simply says that the Administrator may make or require the applicant to perform appropriate inspections or tests necessary for safety. This sentence opens the door to add further requirements.

The form

Form 8130-6 Application for U.S. Airworthiness Certificate (4/11) is the form that is necessary to fill out to provide the information listed above. If a mechanic is filling out the form he must fill out the information as the agent of the registered owner and sign the form as the agent of the owner. You also may be required to get a letter from the registered owner that states you are his agent. This ferry permit section is located on the reverse side of the form called page 2 of 2, but you must direct your attention (as instructed) to Sections II, VI, and VII of the form. This is where the A&P mechanic (or the owner) takes joint responsibility with the FAA and certifies the safety of the aircraft. (As usual, you can find the form online.)

We all know that FAA has all but quit granting field approvals and many other approval requests, and or made it so complex and difficult that many have given up attempting to get them. Mechanics have placed the blame for this on the fear of liability on the part of the FAA in case something would go wrong. It would appear possible that additional onerous requirements will also be required of any request for a ferry permit so as to further insulate the FAA from any possible liability for negligently issuing the permit. Transferring the authority to the mechanic to issue a ferry permit would accomplish this purpose. This might come about with the passage of the Small Aircraft Revitalization Act (SARA), which has recently been signed by the President. A&Ps could be given authority to self-issue ferry permits in addition to added authority to certify airworthiness for many light aircraft without IA authority. The coming rulemaking could include such expanded authority for mechanics.

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