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:
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.