If you have always dreamt of owning your own aircraft, there is no time like the present to turn that dream into a reality. With an aircraft all your own, you have the freedom to take to the skies whenever the urge should strike you, allowing you to cruise above the clouds to your heart’s content. It is worth understanding, though, that purchasing an airplane is not exactly the result of a casual decision. First, you will obviously need to take the educational courses and log the training hours necessary to obtain your pilot’s license. Once you have done that, you can begin thinking about what type of plane is right for you. There is a multitude of different makes and models out there, so you may find yourself doing a fair amount of research. Once you know what you want, however, you can browse online listings and locate a seller near you. With the funds exchanged and the keys to your new aircraft in your hand, you may be ready to clear the runway. First, though, there are some paperwork formalities to complete with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), chief among them being adding your aircraft to the FAA registry.
Being able to pilot your own aircraft is a significant privilege. As there is a high level of training and expertise required to do this, it should come as no real surprise that air travel–in all its forms–is a rather tightly-regulated industry. The FAA has been around in its current iteration for roughly 70 years, and they serve as the nation’s primary transportation agency for all things in the air. With thousands of employees, the FAA monitors and regulates air traffic, while also providing pilot licenses and documenting aircraft via the FAA registry. In your career as an aviator, you will find the need to work with the FAA periodically, and as a responsible aircraft owner, the onus is on you to stay on top of your documentation obligations. While such matters are compulsory by law and serve to keep the skies safe for all, there is also a benefit to you as an airplane owner to keep your information current. For one thing, the FAA values your input, and they may send you surveys from time to time asking for feedback about proposed rule changes and safety guidelines. They will also notify you about seminars occurring in your area that can provide real educational value. Read on to learn more about how to register your airplane online.
The Forms to Know for Entering the FAA Registry
So, you found the plane of your dreams. This discovery was also the culmination of months of due diligence, and perhaps years of saving the necessary funds. With your new aircraft firmly in your possession, you are probably pretty eager to get up in the air. Well, before you can take off, you will need to register your aircraft with the FAA. All airplanes owned and operated in the United States must complete the registration process. When you register your aircraft, you are also assigned an N-number, which is sometimes referred to as a tail number. This alphanumeric string of digits serves to identify your aircraft, and you do have the option to customize it within certain parameters. Perhaps there is a date or a set of initials that are important to you? By requesting a custom N-number from the FAA’s office in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, you can put a personalized touch on your aircraft.
To complete the process of registering your aircraft, you will need to complete what is known as Form AC 8050-1 – Aircraft Registration Application. This document will prompt you for some basic information about your airplane, such as its manufacturer, model, and serial number. You will also need to provide your name and address. Once processed, your registration will be valid for a period of three years. Six months before your registration is set to expire, the FAA will send you a reminder to submit a renewal request. This notice will include a security code, which must be entered on your request form. The FAA, for their part, will send you a follow-up eight weeks ahead of your expiration date as a helpful nudge as well.
Processing Your FAA Paperwork Online
If you are looking to enter the FAA registry, you have a few available options. One method is to visit the FAA’s website, locate the AC 8050-1 form, download it, print it out, fill it in by hand, and mail it back to the FAA for processing. There is also a more efficient, online way to do this, and that is by working with us at the National Aviation Center. We have a host of online forms for this and a number of other FAA matters. To learn more about our services and how we can help you, contact one of our customer service agents or browse through our site.