A special flight permit, also known as a ferry permit, is a special airworthiness certificate issued by the FAA authorizing the operation of an aircraft that does not currently meet applicable airworthiness requirements but is safe for a specific flight. The Federal Aviation Regulations generally require that all equipment installed on the aircraft be operative at the time of flight. In the event that other approved relief means for inoperative instruments and equipment still do not allow the aircraft to be flown, the operator can apply for a special flight permit to fly the aircraft for some specific purposes.
The special flight permit is issued to allow the aircraft to be flown 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 the aircraft from areas of impending danger.
- Conducting customer demonstration flights in new production aircraft that have satisfactorily completed production flight tests.
- To allow the operation of an overweight aircraft for flight beyond its normal range over water or land where adequate landing facilities or fuel is not available.
Before the permit is issued, an FAA inspector may personally inspect the aircraft, or require it to be inspected by an FAA certificated A&P mechanic or an appropriately certificated repair station, to determine its safety for the intended flight. The inspection must be recorded in the aircraft records.
Part 91, subpart K and certificate holders under part 119 must have an approved program for continuing flight authorization to be issued a ferry permit.
An operator seeking a special flight permit should contact their local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) or Designated Airworthiness Representative (DAR) for the appropriate forms and guidance.