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Maintenance of experimental exhibition aircraft

Posted By:
David Harnitchek
Warbirds of America Member
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#1 Posted: 1/28/2010 21:56:20

I understand that if I buy a used homebuilt, I can perform repairs and maintenance but need to have an annual condition inspection performed by and A&P.      What are the rules for a an experimental exhibition category aircraft?    Can I do all the maintenance and repair on something like a tiger moth or chipmunk?   

Thanks

Dave

 



Greg Heckman
Vintage Aircraft Association MemberHomebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
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#2 Posted: 1/29/2010 07:14:38

If you are just referring to the Tiger Moth or Chipmunk, I'm not sure why it would be experimental.  Both normally have a standard airworthiness certificate, which means they have the same maintenance and inspection requirements as any other aircraft with this type of certificate.  There are certain maintenance items that the owner/operator can perform like changing oil, changing  tires, service shock struts, etc.  All other maintenance has to be done by an A&P, with the annual inspection by an A&P with an Inspection Authorization.



David Harnitchek
Warbirds of America Member
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#3 Posted: 1/29/2010 07:19:53

Thanks for the response Greg.   I'm aware of the normal rules for certified aircraft.   I do what I can on my bonanza.    I was referring to the chippies and moths in the experimental exhibition category not in the standard category.       Most chipmunks are in the experimental category.  I'm not sure about the tiger moths.   

Dave



Hal Bryan
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#4 Posted: 1/29/2010 09:04:14

A quick clarification on Tiger Moths: British-built Tigers (DH-82A) are / can be certified in the normal category, but Canadian-built Moths (DH-82C) are experimental exhibition. (I believe that Australian-built Moths are covered as A-models as well.)

This can be important to watch out for, as there are some DH-82Cs in the U.S. that have been converted to "more British" configuration, so they look a lot like an A-model, but are still experimental exhibition.



Online Community Manager - EAA
Tony Johnstone
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#5 Posted: 1/29/2010 16:38:39

Dave-  The answer to your original question is that Experimental Exhibition aircraft are subject to the same maintenance requirements as aircraft in Standard category.  Homebuilt Experimentals are a different animal as you know, the Ex/Ex are usually foreign ex-military types that have some specific restrictions placed on their operation.  Check the specific restrictions before you buy anything, there may be strict distance-from-home base or other items that may limit your use.  It depends what you want  to do with it.  I used to own a Zlin 526F in this category, had very loose limits, but every one is different.   (I would take another Z526 over a Chipmunk any day, by the way, if you can find one!)

         Good Luck, Tony



David Harnitchek
Warbirds of America Member
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#6 Posted: 1/30/2010 09:12:49

Thanks Tony,

Any idea on where I'd find the maintenance restrictions?     I understand that the distance from home stuff has been simplified and relaxed a bit.     I've never flown or even seen a 526F.   There's a similar Zlin at one of the local airports but it's fixed gear - tail dragger.      I really enjoyed flying the chippie.    The one I was flying was ex/ex.    I've only got an hour of dual in a tiger moth - it was standard category and it was english as Hal mentioned.   

Dave

 



Tony Johnstone
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#7 Posted: 2/1/2010 11:06:19

Dave-  The Zlin at your airport is probably a 226, all the -26 derivatives look a lot alike.  The 526F has retractable gear, there was also a single-seat clipped-wing version, the 526AFS, both have the inline 6-cylinder 180-hp engine and the automatic Avia constant-speed prop.  If you run across a copy of Neil Williams' book  Aerobatics, there is one on the cover, and some nice descriptions in the book.   Rob Dorsey, who used to write "Stick and Rudder" for Sport Aerobatics magazine, also wrote some nice Zlin material.

   I don't know where you would find the specific maintenance regs, suggest you contact your local FSDO.  I was in California when I owned my Zlin, and the Fresno office was very helpful.

   Don't get me wrong, the Chipmunk is a wonderful airplane, I was a kid in the UK in the 50's and early 60's and saw many of them.  The University Air Squadrons had a bunch, it was not uncommon to see a formation of 12 or more flying around. I also got to see Art Scholl and Harold Krier perform, life has been good to me!!

            Hope you find something you like, all the current Zlins are tricycle side-by-side airplanes and they are just not nearly as much fun,    

            Cheers, Tony



Jeffery Houseman
Homebuilder or Craftsman
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#8 Posted: 2/5/2010 09:26:38

Dave,

Experimental exibition aircraft must be maintained in accordance with the Operating Limitations for that particular aircraft which is given by the FAA when the airworthiness certificate is issued.  I work on a UH-1H with Ex Ex certificate, and it states that it must  be maintained I/A/W the Mfg instructions and airworthiness limitations as well as the Military Maintenance requirements. 

Good Luck,

Dean

 

 



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Bill Greenwood
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#9 Posted: 2/5/2010 13:55:06

You can do a lot of work even if you are just an average guy and not an A & P. You just can't sign the work off as competed by yourself except for some specific basic repairs, like changing plugs.

There is such a thing as an owner assisted annual, and there is a lot of work that can be done IF an A & P or IA is willing to surpervise you and he checks and signs off the work. I have done part of an oil change on a complicated airplane. I take off the panels, drain the oil, pull the filters. The the I A expert comes in and cuts the filters open and he installs the new filters and does the safety wire. I put in the new oil, we run it and he looks for leaks, and he sighs it off.

There are many shops that use non A & P labor, often guys who are starting out and learning as they go.

As the new guy your are not going to be prepping Rare Bear for Reno, but you can open up things, clean parts etc. The key is to know when you don't know something and not to go beyond what the A & P is telling you to do without an ok. If you make a mistake on your KIA you may be able to just pull over to the side of the road; it is not so easy in an airplane.



Mark Meredith
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#10 Posted: 2/10/2010 18:55:58

Dave,

    I have a Super Chipmunk - N7DW.  It was a British trainer 51-55, then went to Australia until 72 when it came to the US and was certified as experimental exhibition.  Finshed the Super mods in 73 (metalized wing, larger engine), then flew as an airshow airplane off and on over the years - maybe until early 90's.  It was converted to open cockpit in the 80's, along with beefed up tail. 

    I bought it last summer - airworthy but pretty ragged.  The Baltimore FSDO inspector took a look at it, took a liking to it despite the issues, gave me a list of stuff to fix (on a promise) and wrote me a new airworthiness certificate.  Very few restrictions. Aerobatics etc are fine, just need to tell them when I fly it to events.  I can send you a PDF copy of the restrictions if you want. 

    I flew it awhile then took it down in Oct for limited restoration.  I'm doing the work myself with oversight by my local IA.  Replacing top forward fuselage panels, windscreen fairings, refurbishing the cockpits with help from Oregon Aero.  Sent out the stuff I can't do - getting a new carbon fiber cowling, overhauled instruments, prop and hub, new exhaust manifolds.  Plane Canopies molded new windscreens.  Engine is good. 

    This is my first experimental airplane.  I didn't want to build because it takes too long and I like to fly.  I am totally a fan of this experimental exhibition Chipmunk -  a solid, proven airframe built in the factory, lots of improvements over the years with no STCs required, and I can continue to restore/improve it.  I'm working closely with my IA and FSDO to ensure I don't mess it up, and lots of other folks who love old interesting airplanes have helped solve problems.  And a really fun, beautiful airplane that looks like a 1930's Cleveland racer.  

The good thing about experimental exhibition is also the bad thing.  It can be modified without the tight standards of a certified airplane.  You don't know how it's been done, or by whom.  So there's some risk to go along with the fun.   Regards, Mark