Owner Maintenance Category:This option gives owner of a certified aircraft most of the privileges of an amateur built aircraft without the hassle of building it. Currently the aircraft are not permitted to cross the border. Transport Canada & COPA are working on this and expect Owner Maintenance aircraft will be granted this privilege soon. You cannot sell an aircraft of this category in the U.S. Some V-8 powered Seabees flying are licensed in this category. The process is easy to follow.
For information on this process refer to COPA Guide To Owner Maintenance or contact Transport Canada.
Amateur Built Category:You currently cannot take a certified aircraft & license it as an amateur built aircraft. You can however build an amateur built aircraft using mostly certified aircraft components. This is only practical if the airframe is going to be refurbished. The process begins by removing the Manufacturers nameplate and ensuring the aircraft has been removed from the registry. You then must simply comply with the "51%" rule checklist. The only confusing part is that the 51% checklist has nothing to do with 51% of the work being done. It is simply a scorecard. You the owner (or someone you hire to do the work) must complete 51% of the items on the Transport Canada approved checklist. In addition, recent regulation changes also restrict the use of previously certified parts. Specifically, any previously certified parts will not count towards the 51%, even if you have completely overhauled them. Most likely by the time you've finished reading this paragraph, the rules have changed yet again!
The RAA administers the program. There have been several Cessna 185 & 206 "replicas" built and licensed as amateur built aircraft. These aircraft are eligible for export to the U.S. & are permitted to cross the border. It is important to note you cannot call the aircraft a Seabee. It must be called something else e.g. A Robinson V-8 powered Bee. The name Seabee refers to a certified aircraft. If you call the RAA & tell them you are going to build an amateur built Seabee you will be turned down. If you call the RAA and tell them you are going to build a Robinson V-8 powered Bee (or any other name of your choice) they will instruct you to complete a 51% evaluation sheet & have it reviewed by one of their designated inspectors. Several "Robinson Specials" have been inspected and approved as amateur built projects.
Needless to say, with our experience over the years, we have become extremely familiar with the rules and endeavor to always keep current with the latest attempts to make things even more complicated! If you're interested, call us to discuss options for your aircraft. There's always a solution.
If you would like to contact the RAA, feel free to do so at www.md-ra.com or call 1-877-419-2111. I'm sure they would be interested in hearing your opinion on the matter.