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Hi, Richard, As far as I know, you can annual your aircraft at any time and it resets the calendar for the next 12 months. Tom
Sure, you can annual it "early" if you want. I got my airworthiness certificate in July 2012, so I've done some of my annuals late in the 12th month and signed it off the 1st of the following month, the last one being signed-off in October of this year. I wanted to move it back into more pleasant weather when it is not so darned hot in the hangar! I'm going to leave it in October now - don't want to move the annual into cold weather!
There are some items in your question of "annual" for your plane. I assume it is a EAB registration therefore several things apply that are not the same as a normally certified aircraft. This is easily confused as the normal conversation always refers to an " annual inspection".
Bottom line it should all be very clear and easily understood if you do a little research. Don't mean to pontificate but IMHO it's better to have it all done right in case of problems on down the road or when you want to sell the plane.
Phil Smith, A&P
CH - 701
The sign offs should be in the operating limitations.
Another thing to ask is --- Have you obtained a Repairman's Certificate? When you are the person who built the plane you can indeed do your own Condition Inspection as well as sign off major modifications and stuff. Basically you can do anything to your plane that an Inspection rated A&P/AI can do to a certified plane. But, in order to do that you need to have the FAA issue you what is basically a limited A&P Certificate with the limitation being that you are only approved to work on that one plane that you built, specified by serial number on the limited Certificate. Without that FAA issued Certificate you are NOT legal to sign off your annual Condition Inspection, you need the actual certificate, being the builder does not alone give you the right.
I would expect you knew that tid-bit already but just in case, I thought I should mention it. The job is not done until the paperwork is correct.