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How to Become a Designated Airworthiness Representative

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A designated airworthiness representative is a private citizen authorized to certify aircraft on behalf of the Federal Aviation Administration. Maintenance DARs certify used aircraft as flight worthy. Manufacturing DARs certify new aircraft and existing aircraft not previously certified. These positions require expert technical knowledge in aircraft mechanics, as well as knowledge of FAA regulations. The process to become a DAR involves submitting an application along with letters of recommendation and evidence of experience, and undergoing technical and panel evaluations.

Manufacturing DAR Application Process

The application process for a manufacturing DAR, or DAR-F, involves submitting a cover letter along with two completed governmental forms, a letter from a current employer requesting the appointment and supplemental documents providing evidence of experience. The first form, 8110.14, is a statement of qualifications that also requires input from the applicant's current employer. The second form is the official application. Access both forms directly from the FAA website. Submit a complete package of all these documents to the nearest regional Manufacturing Inspection District Office.

Manufacturing DAR Evaluation Process

Evaluation of an application package for a DAR-F covers four areas, including an applicant's technical background; working knowledge of FAA regulations; interfacing skills, such as command of the English language; and standardization knowledge, which covers factors such as quality control techniques. The application form addresses each of these areas and identifies requirements for both technical and character references. An applicant is appointed as a DAR only after passing the evaluation process and when the FAA has a recognized need for a new designee and has the resources to manage the DAR.

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Maintenance DAR Application Process

The application process for becoming a maintenance or flight standards designee, referred to as a DAR-T, involves completing FAA form 8001.28. This application and statement of qualification form is accessible from the FAA website. Record all pertinent work experience, identify technical and character references, and provide evidence to prove you've worked directly with the FAA in projects that led to airworthiness certifications. To provide this evidence, describe the projects involved, identifying dates when the projects were underway, what activities were covered and the primary FAA employee contacted. Submit the application, along with a letter of recommendation from a current employer, to the Designee Standardization Branch of the National Examiner Board, NEB, located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Manufacturing DAR Evaluation Process

NEB members perform initial and technical evaluations of application packages and send letters of acceptance or denial. If an applicant doesn't pass this phase, the letter explains why and provides advice on how to go about correcting the problem before applying again. For applicants who do pass this phase, the next potential stumbling block is whether or not there is a current need to appoint a new designee. If there is a need, the applicant undergoes additional evaluations, including a panel review. The NEB keeps accepted applications on file for up to two years. If an applicant doesn't receive an appointment in that time period, it's necessary to apply again.

About the Author

A careers content writer, Debra Kraft is a former English teacher whose 25-plus year corporate career includes training and mentoring. She holds a senior management position with a global automotive supplier and is a senior member of the American Society for Quality. Her areas of expertise include quality auditing, corporate compliance, Lean, ERP and IT business analysis.

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