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Pre-cover inspections

Posted By:
Jay Smith
Homebuilder or Craftsman
#1 Posted: 11/30/2010 19:43:12

 At least one of the the older AC's from the FAA on certification of amateur built aircraft (AC 20-27a,b,c,d,e,f,and now g) were worded a little different about pre-cover inspections, which previously suggested they were recommended; however the current wording I just discovered in "Certification of Amateur Built Aircraft" (AC 20-27G) is:

 You should be aware that the FAA will not perform in-process inspections during the construction of your aircraft. Because of this, your documentation needs to indicate in-process inspections by knowledgeable persons such as EAA technical counselors or certificated mechanics. All in-process inspection documentation needs to include dates and names of all person(s) involved.

Of course these are a good idea, that is obvious. My question for someone who has been through the inspection process lately is ARE THEY REQUIRED?

Why the question? My Bd-4 plans-built project has been going on for awhile and has never been inspected; I haven't worried much about it as I have an extensive background in metal fabrication/construction and have been involved most of my adult life in various mechanical endeavors from hot rodding to racing. In many cases, I've posted questions here and on homebuiltairplanes.com and sifted through the answers to select those that seemed most relevant. I have NOT opted for EAA inspections thus far because my searches did not turn up a local EAA adviser (although I admit I haven't spend enormous time looking) and the wording I remembered implied they were suggested rather than required. 

Thanks much for you time in reading and perhaps shedding light here.

Ron Wanttaja
#2 Posted: 12/1/2010 09:52:56

In-process inspections are not required.  You're OK on that front.  Even at this late date, though, you might consider a bit of effort to get another set of eyeballs on the airplane before going for the FAA inspection... just to ensure the plane is in tip-top shape and there's not a subtle issue that might delay the FAA signoff.

Congrats on the BD-4...those are pretty impressive.

Ron Wanttaja
Mike Huffman
Homebuilder or Craftsman
#3 Posted: 12/3/2010 11:51:21

Here's another reason to consider having an EAA Tech Counselor look at your aircraft multiple times before the certification inspection:

I'm a Tech Counselor and an FAA DAR who certifies EABs.  Last September the FAA stiffened the rules on EAB certification for us DARs, requiring more documentation to assure the builder meets the "major portion" requirement of the FAA regs.  In those rules, a good builder's log with a chronicalogical history of the building of the aircraft (ideally with photos of the builder actually doing the work) and inspections by EAA Tech Counselors are highly recommended.  The more of that sort of documentation you have, the easier it will be for the DAR to justify issuing your airworthiness certificate.

Hope this helps!

Mike Huffman

G. Michael Huffman SportAviationSpecialties dot com 904-206-0522