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Thread: requirements for build documentation....

  1. #1

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    requirements for build documentation....

    I am starting a scratch build wood airplane and wood like to know the required documentation to the FAA. Do I need a build-time logbook? Lot's of pictures?, ect? When does the FAA get involved in my project?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by jtrom View Post
    I am starting a scratch build wood airplane and wood like to know the required documentation to the FAA. Do I need a build-time logbook? Lot's of pictures?, ect? When does the FAA get involved in my project?
    Never if you use a DAR for the final inspection.


    Here is a link to the FAA Advisory Circular AC 20-27G. Not sure if "G" is the latest edition but it has all the dope.

    http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/m...C%2020-27G.pdf

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by jtrom View Post
    I am starting a scratch build wood airplane and wood like to know the required documentation to the FAA. Do I need a build-time logbook? Lot's of pictures?, ect? When does the FAA get involved in my project?
    The basic purpose of the logbook is to prove that the airplane is amateur-built. When you present the aircraft for its airworthiness inspection, you will need to provide documentary evidence that *you* built the airplane. A logbook with numerous entries showing the days you worked, the tasks performed, comments about problems and corrections, etc. is pretty well irrefutable. Especially if it's a hard-copy log...different pens used for entries, variations in handwriting, a bit of sawdust blown between the pages, and, as one inspector said, an occasional drop or two of blood.

    Pictures are a good part of that, of course, but they give another advantage: Years later, if you develop problems, you can look at the pictures to refresh your memory as to how that section was assembled.

    With a good hard-copy log spanning the years, and a set of pictures, the inspector will be confident your airplane wasn't built by a "hired gun." It will also impress him or her with your thoroughness, always a good thing.

    The FAA gets involved when you apply for an N-number, and when you apply for your airworthiness certificate. You can certainly apply for the N-number early, but you put in FAA Form 8130-6 and AC Form 8050-3 as you near completion.

    The FAA describes the process in Advisory Circular AC20-27, Marty posted the link


    Ron Wanttaja

  4. #4
    Eric Witherspoon's Avatar
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    I have/had used a build log website that also had "export to .pdf" capability for printing. So I had printed all that - hundreds of pages by the time it was done. But to get those "I'm in the photo" pictures out where they were easy to see, I printed those and taped them to pages in a separate binder. Over the entire build, something like 3000 photos, there were maybe only 25 with me in the shot. Had all that stuff in binders when the DAR was there. He didn't look at it. In the ~2 hours or so of his entire visit, he pretty well got the idea of what I had and had not done myself. And since I built it mostly "from plans" (only buying a small fraction of the total parts involved from the kit supplier), he didn't get anywhere near questioning the "51-percent-ness" of the project.

    Given that you declare you are "scratch building", I would interpret that to mean you are cutting out all your own parts and making all assemblies on your own. For documenting what you did, there is no predetermined or required format. Get in the habit of writing something down for each day (or logically divided portion of the project - such as "this week, completed elevator structure"), and take a few photos that show this building is obviously going on in your own garage or hangar (or dining room, as the case may be). If you have the mountain of documentation sitting there, in the course of going over the airplane and paperwork with you, they will get the clear impression that you did what you said you did. Oh, and the number of hours doesn't matter. The "51 percent-ness" is determined by items on a checklist - you check off 50%+1 of the items that you did yourself (for the quantity of items that are found on your particular design), then it's "amateur built". That's how there's so many kits out there that save builders hundreds, if not over 1000 hours, but still count as "51+%" amateur built.

    There's a bunch of stuff that doesn't count for or against it either way. Like you don't have to build your own engine, but if you do, it doesn't add to the "amateur" percentage, similarly - paying for upholstery manufactuing/installation, avionics installation, painting, and probably some more...

    But as Marty said, get that AC - it is the Bible of how to get a project through the FAA's part of the process... Oh, and revision G is showing as the current revision.
    Murphy's 13th: Every solution breeds new problems...

    http://www.spoonworld.com

  5. #5
    steveinindy's Avatar
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    There's a bunch of stuff that doesn't count for or against it either way. Like you don't have to build your own engine, but if you do, it doesn't add to the "amateur" percentage, similarly - paying for upholstery manufactuing/installation, avionics installation, painting, and probably some more...
    That's comforting, since the avionics and other "off-the-shelf" stuff makes up a large chunk of the number of items on the aircraft. Even still, I'm going to keep a list of every part of the aircraft and try to figure it out from there. The 51% rule is proving to be the bane of my designer existence for everything but my LSA design.
    Unfortunately in science what you believe is irrelevant.

    "I'm an old-fashioned Southern Gentleman. Which means I can be a cast-iron son-of-a-***** when I want to be."- Robert A. Heinlein.



  6. #6

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    For what its worth, avionics and a number of other items do NOT factor into the 51% rule to qualify as amateur built. Go check the FAA Amateur-Built Aircraft Fabrication and Assembly Checklist in FAA Order 8130.35 Amateur-Built National Kit Evaluation Team. Its all on the internet and anyone with questions on whether their effort will qualify as amateur built should be familiar with this info.

    Best of luck,

    Wes
    N78PS

  7. #7

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    Thanks all! I guess I need to purchase a log book. My plans tell me I need to have the FAA come over and sign off the stabilizer before I cover it, but I have read the FAA doesn't do the "house calls" anymore (since the 1980's) and you don't need sign offs from them during construction. Is this correct?
    Last edited by jtrom; 02-25-2012 at 02:27 PM.

  8. #8
    steveinindy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtrom View Post
    Thanks all! I guess I need to purchase a log book. My plans tell me I need to have the FAA come ovet and sign off the stabilizer before I cover it, but I have read the FAA doesn't do the "house calls" anymore (since the 1980's) and you don't need sign offs from them during construction. Is this correct?
    Even if they don't, it's still a good idea to get as many people as possible (especially experienced builders or engineers) to look at vital structures before they are sealed up. More eyes on something is always a good idea.
    Unfortunately in science what you believe is irrelevant.

    "I'm an old-fashioned Southern Gentleman. Which means I can be a cast-iron son-of-a-***** when I want to be."- Robert A. Heinlein.



  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by steveinindy View Post
    Even if they don't, it's still a good idea to get as many people as possible (especially experienced builders or engineers) to look at vital structures before they are sealed up. More eyes on something is always a good idea.
    I think that's what the EAA tech advisors are for

  10. #10
    steveinindy's Avatar
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    Yeah.....but not all areas have a lot of them. Besides, I don't trust just one person to look at something and make sure I didn't botch it or flat out overlook a step. I'm fully planning on hosting parties at the hangar and handing out magnifying glasses.
    Unfortunately in science what you believe is irrelevant.

    "I'm an old-fashioned Southern Gentleman. Which means I can be a cast-iron son-of-a-***** when I want to be."- Robert A. Heinlein.



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