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Turning certifed a/c into eperimental

Posted By:
David Richardson
Homebuilder or Craftsman
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#1 Posted: 12/4/2009 19:50:25

There seems to be alot of knowledge on this site I have a 7AC I want to turn into a L16 the aircraft is damaged so I have to rebuild it anyway.  I read somewhere you can not do this anymore. Any thoughts on the matter? Thanks in advance for the help.            David



Ron Wanttaja
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#2 Posted: 12/4/2009 22:19:19
David Richardson wrote:

 

There seems to be alot of knowledge on this site I have a 7AC I want to turn into a L16 the aircraft is damaged so I have to rebuild it anyway.  I read somewhere you can not do this anymore. Any thoughts on the matter? Thanks in advance for the help.            David

Well...technically, you couldn't do it *before*.

There are a number of flavors of "Experimental" certification.  Most people think of the Experimental Amateur-Built subcategory, which did have a recent crackdown.  For a number of years, a few owners had talked their local FSDO into granting them EX-AB certification after performing major restoration/rework of a previously-certified airplane. I met several folks who had done this...and, oddly enough, they were REAL reluctant to talk about how they went about getting approval. 

The FAA has basically clamped down on this process.  Depending on what kind of changes you are looking at (cosmetic vs. mechanical/engine upgrades, etc.) you could probably accomplish a fair amount using the normal Form 337/STC process.

I'd ask around at the Aeronca Aviator's Club .



Ron Wanttaja
Adam Smith
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#3 Posted: 12/4/2009 23:06:27

It's not advisable to try and get a 7AC re-registered as EX-AB.  Some people have got away with it, but it's not really allowed and you always have the risk of being found out later. 

As Ron says, if you could accomplish your goal through 337s, STCs etc that would probably be the ideal outcome.

Another option is to put the airplane in EXPERIMENTAL - EXHIBITION.   I have a clipped wing Cub that started life as a 1946 J-3 Cub but was rebuilt, modified and registered into EX-EX.   There are some restrictions, but I have not found them onerous for recreational type flying.  Any time I have gone outside the 300m proficiency area, it's been to attend a fly-in.

An L-16 replica could quite reasonably be argued as an airplane that one would wish to exhibit at air shows, public events, etc.



David Richardson
Homebuilder or Craftsman
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#4 Posted: 12/5/2009 06:55:15

Thanks Ron and Adam for the input I kind of thought these planes I have seen weren,t exactly legal as you said no one will really say how they did it. Adam could you maybe tell me where I might find more info on EX-EX and the process? Again thanks for the advice.           David



Adam Smith
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#5 Posted: 12/5/2009 09:23:14

This general summary of Experimental Exhibition operating limitations is posted on several websites:

  1. The pilot needs to hold an appropriate certificate

  2. The aircraft must be inspected each year in accordance with the scope and detail of FAR 43 appendix-D (Annual inspection) The inspection must be carried out by an A&P. (I.A. not required)

  3. You may not fly over densely populated areas except for the purpose of takeoff and landing.

  4. You may not operate the aircraft for compensation or hire. (ie, no commercial operations)

  5. The aircraft may only be operated for the purpose of exhibition, maintenance and proficiency.

  6. Exhibition is defined as: attending a school or shopping mall exhibition, fly-in, airshow, aerobatic competition or organized practice session.

  7. For flights other than those listed above, the aircraft may only operate within a specified geographical area, usually a circle of 300 NM based on the airport at which the aircraft is based.   NEW or REVISED Operating Limitations eliminate the 300 NM proficiency area.  In other words, NO RESTRICTIONS WHERE YOU CAN FLY, EXCEPT FOR CLASS B AIRSPACE.

  8. At the beginning of each year, the operator must submit a list of the events he/she intends to attend that year (program letter).

  9. For any flights not listed in the program letter and which lie outside the 300 NM radius, the FAA must be informed in advance by FAX or post card. (Inform, NOT ask permission).  THIS DOES NOT APPLY IF YOUR OPERATING LIMITATIONS DO NOT STATE A 300 NM PROFICIENCY AREA.

In Section 10 of the attachment you will find the full FAA order on this subject.  My own operating limitations are grandfathered from before the system was overhauled in the mid 90s, and I have no experience of getting anything through the current process.  The one thing I would investigate carefully is the 300NM proficiency area.   I have heard of some Operating Limitations being issued that restrict takeoffs and landings ONLY at the home airport.   (You don't want that).

 



Files Attachment(s):
8130.2F chg 4.pdf (2272417 bytes)
Steve Fabiszak
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
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#6 Posted: 12/5/2009 10:24:44

Is this a loophole?

If the aircraft was balled up and scrapped and the records in Ok City said so, couldn't you obtain the carcass from the salvage yard and begin manufacturing an EX-AB aircraft of your own design that may happen to have some semblance to the original? The builder would use parts obtained from Wentworth, Vans, Wag-Aero, AutoZone, etc while constructing his homebuilt. Then register the finished product as if it was any old homebuilt.



David Richardson
Homebuilder or Craftsman
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#7 Posted: 12/5/2009 12:36:19

You would think so but thats why I asked I'm good with the building part but really don't care to get to close with the FAA maybe I 'll sell it and just build a WagAero L-4 or something



Ron Wanttaja
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#8 Posted: 12/5/2009 14:14:15
Steve Fabiszak wrote:

 

Is this a loophole?

If the aircraft was balled up and scrapped and the records in Ok City said so, couldn't you obtain the carcass from the salvage yard and begin manufacturing an EX-AB aircraft of your own design that may happen to have some semblance to the original? The builder would use parts obtained from Wentworth, Vans, Wag-Aero, AutoZone, etc while constructing his homebuilt. Then register the finished product as if it was any old homebuilt.

The problem is proving that you accomplished the minimums required by the E-AB standards.  If the inspector is looking at your "new homebuilt" and thinks, "This looks just like a rebuilt/modified 7AC", he is within his rights to refuse to issue you an airworthiness certificate until you convince him otherwise.  With the recent crackdown, the inspectors are going to be more reluctant to grant the benefit of the doubt.

Here's an example of one of the cases that led to the original restrictions against modifying production airplanes and certifying them as homebuilts:


Nelson N-4.jpg

This is the Nelson N-4, a homebuilt licensed not long after the Experimental Amateur-Built rules went into place.  It is a Cub modified to a mid-wing.  It *looks* significantly different from a standard Cub, but the FAA quit allowing such mods not long after the N-4 was licensed.

This isn't to say that you can't get the FAA to license a true L-16 replica.  But I'd get with the FAA DAR in advance, and work out with him/her exactly what you are going to do that will constitute enough work to allow them to sign the plane off as being Amateur-Built.

A few years back, a local auto-engine converter was using a C-172 as a test bed, licensed in the Experimental/Research and Development category.  He wanted to get the plane into Experimental Amateur-Built in order to get a permanent airworthiness certificate (his EXP-R&D certificate was only good for one year, and he had to re-apply each time).  He offered to scratch-build a set of wings for the 172, but that wasn't enough....the FSDO felt there was too much of a "free ride" by using an existing fuselage.

Believe me, you don't want to spend years working on the airplane only to find the FAA will neither license it as Experimental Amateur-Built nor allow you to fly it as Normal category due to your modifications.  The stuff you get from us here, or from hanging around the local airport, won't really help you.  If you're truly interested in doing this, contact your local FSDO and engage them on what you want to do.  Odds are, they'll be willing to give you some guidelines on what they will and will not sign off on.




Ron Wanttaja
James Whitaker
Homebuilder or Craftsman
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#9 Posted: 1/27/2010 22:15:30 Modified: 1/28/2010 00:01:37

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



James Whitaker
Homebuilder or Craftsman
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#10 Posted: 1/27/2010 22:40:58 Modified: 1/27/2010 23:13:23


exp tri pacer.jpg
077252.jpgThe guy referred to with the auto conversion in the 172 was the late Dave Blanton. He also drew the plans for the V6 STOL using a salvaged tripacer and installing an auto conversion. This is the very project I'm building based on paragraph 3 and the fact that so many have been signed off. Here are just a few. All experimental tripacers

http://www.controller.com/listingsdetail/aircraft-for-sale/PIPER-BUSHMASTER/1997-PIPER-BUSHMASTER/1154967.htm

 

http://www.1000aircraftphotos.com/Contributions/Peterson/6699.htm

This one was built years ago

 

http://zmags.lightaviation.com/getMagPdf.php?mid=wqdtsd

scroll down to page 26

 

The point is that there are many of these projects over the years that guys have done because the regs say we can.

 

 

 


100_4008.jpg

 


N907P_w_35_s.jpg

 

 



James Whitaker
Homebuilder or Craftsman
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#11 Posted: 1/28/2010 00:32:09

8130.2f chg4 still says we can use "used or salvaged major assemblies" and also specifically says we can get credit for work attached to those assemblies. Did I interpret this correctly?

 

Jim



Robert Dingley
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#12 Posted: 1/28/2010 19:43:06

Hi David. It could be that the FAA thinks that you can do it. Not in the Experimental but as a certified aircraft. First you need the Type Certificate Data Sheets (TCDS) for this bird. Go to FAA home page, click "Aircraft." Then "Aircraft certification" then "TCDS".  You need the type certificate number. I've done this for you. Its held by American Champion Corp. A-759 covers all the Champs including 7AC and 7BCM, which is the L-16. Around pg 1, it refers you to "note 4" which is on pg 35. This covers changing model to model. TCDS are a good thing to have because among other things, all optional equipment is listed. Note 4 refers you to a letter from the mfg with details on upgrading.

Read the TCDS # A-759 and I think that it will fall into place for you. Advice from an A&P and supervision and you're on your way. Good luck.

Bob

 



Robert Dingley
Homebuilder or Craftsman
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#13 Posted: 1/28/2010 19:49:35

That wasn't all that clear was it? The TYPE is 7AC (or 7BCM) and the TYPE CERTIFICATE DATA SHEET (TCDS) number is A-759.

Bob



Joe Norris
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#14 Posted: 2/2/2010 11:47:33
James Whitaker wrote:

 

8130.2f chg4 still says we can use "used or salvaged major assemblies" and also specifically says we can get credit for work attached to those assemblies. Did I interpret this correctly?

 

No, the builder will NOT get credit for any work done on the salvaged components.  You can totally rebuild the component and will receive no credit for that work.  The builder will only get credit for fabrication and assembly that is not performed on a salvaged component.

Joe



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