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Can an auto-gyro apply for commercial purposes? Utility in remote areas, Alaska for example.

What license is needed (airworthiness, etc.)? How much does it cost approximately?

Can I build my own Auto-gyro and license it to this purpose? Applying for the required FAA license surely will improve the design's safety.

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  • $\begingroup$ Applying for license will not improve safety of anything. The only thing it can do is have somebody confirm it conforms to all relevant safety standards. $\endgroup$ – Jan Hudec Apr 28 '16 at 13:11
  • $\begingroup$ @JanHudec Being an homemade aircraft: It will force the builder to conform to safety design/build procedures in a way he probably would not conform, implicitly increasing safety. $\endgroup$ – Jesús Martín Berlanga Apr 28 '16 at 13:18
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    $\begingroup$ @JesúsMartínBerlanga Either way you cannot operate an experimental category aircraft (aka Home-built) for commercial purposes. See 14 CFR 91.319(a) and (e) $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Apr 28 '16 at 13:27
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    $\begingroup$ If I were to home build an aircraft of any sort, I would build it to the highest possible quality standards, even exceeding FAA regulations. After all, it's my life on the line! If, however, I were to fly in a home built that somebody else built, then yeah, having it certified would bring a nice level of comfort. As I understand it, though, all home built aircraft have to have ground and flight checks by an FAA certified inspector before they're allowed in the air (in non-inspector's hands). $\endgroup$ – FreeMan Apr 28 '16 at 13:27
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Really this is a moot point...

14 CFR 91.319 (a) states:

(a) No person may operate an aircraft that has an experimental certificate—
   (1) For other than the purpose for which the certificate was issued; or
   (2) Carrying persons or property for compensation or hire.

And again (e) states:

(e) No person may operate an aircraft that is issued an experimental certificate under§ 21.191(i) of this chapter for compensation or hire, except a person may operate an aircraft issued an experimental certificate under § 21.191(i)(1) for compensation or hire to—
   (1) Tow a glider that is a light-sport aircraft or unpowered ultralight vehicle in accordance with§ 91.309; or
   (2) Conduct flight training in an aircraft which that person provides prior to January 31, 2010.

21.191 (i) is in reference to operating light-sport aircraft and how it obtains an experimental certificate.

There are very few auto-gyros that are factory built and certified, and none that I can find that are currently being built.

Anything you build in your home (home-built) needs to pass certain FAA inspections before it is issued an airworthiness certificate and/or experimental certificate. All home-builts are experimental since they are not built under the manufacturers quality control system. Either way, the FAA certifies that you build it to a safe standard and a standard in which the manufacturer intended it to fly. Being used for a commercial purpose, even if that were possible (which it is not) would not change the certification process for that aircraft. It would not require you to abide by any different rules or build standards. That is implying that personal aircraft would be built to a lower safety standard than commercial ones, which isn't the case.

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