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Thread: Experimental engines

  1. #1
    prasmussen's Avatar
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    Experimental engines

    Maybe someone can settle an argument........ If we put an engine with a log book that says it has been in a certified aircraft in an experimental homebuilt, it loses its status as a certified engine? It does not matter if the logs indicate that the only work done on it (inspections etc.) were done by an A&P? And what would be required to return it to service in my old Piper?

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    I have read that it becomes an experimental engine. I don't know if there is a way for it to return to certified status.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by prasmussen View Post
    Maybe someone can settle an argument........ If we put an engine with a log book that says it has been in a certified aircraft in an experimental homebuilt, it loses its status as a certified engine? It does not matter if the logs indicate that the only work done on it (inspections etc.) were done by an A&P? And what would be required to return it to service in my old Piper?
    I believe as long as you:

    1. Maintain the paperwork, and
    2. Have the annuals done by an A&P/IA, and
    3. Don't do any work on it yourself beyond that allowed for owner maintenance in Part 43, and
    4. Do not operate it with any unapproved accessories (non-certified prop, etc.)

    Then you can probably re-install it in a certified aircraft without a problem. It will have a complete logbook, up to date on ADs and inspections.

    Ron Wanttaja

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    Quote Originally Posted by prasmussen View Post
    And what would be required to return it to service in my old Piper?
    The engine would have to be inspected to ensure it conforms with with type design and it has to be in condition for safe operation, including compliance with Part 39. If it has no records, will need the equivalent of an overhaul to determine conformity and condition for safe operation.

    FWIW, there are no regs that require an "aircraft engine" to have an annual inspection, and a 100hr inspection is only required for certain type operations. If an engine is inspected and maintained under part 43, the inspections, maintenance and preventive maintenance has to be recorded in the logs and returned to service by an authorized person.

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    Quote Originally Posted by martymayes View Post
    The engine would have to be inspected to ensure it conforms with with type design and it has to be in condition for safe operation, including compliance with Part 39. If it has no records, will need the equivalent of an overhaul to determine conformity and condition for safe operation.

    FWIW, there are no regs that require an "aircraft engine" to have an annual inspection, and a 100hr inspection is only required for certain type operations. If an engine is inspected and maintained under part 43, the inspections, maintenance and preventive maintenance has to be recorded in the logs and returned to service by an authorized person.
    FAR 43 says all aircraft must be returned to service by a entry in the maintenance records, so even if the engine was used in a E-ABaircraft it must have records to determine airworthiness. Plus the fact that now all letters of limitations issued by the FAA/DAR have FAR 43 included in the requirements of the annual condition inspection it a pretty easy thing to prove.

    as long as you have the data tag you can return any engine to service.

  6. #6
    prasmussen's Avatar
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    So..... If an engine's log is complete, no matter what it has been used in, it can be mounted on a certified aircraft provided an IA thinks it appears airworthy. But if there are no logs, it would require an overhaul (or a condition inspection which is essentially an overhaul if everything measures in limits)?

    This is extremely important as a Coke is riding on your answer.......... thx

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    "FWIW, there are no regs that require an "aircraft engine" to have an annual inspection"

    True statement Marty,, because the engine is a part of the aircraft and the aircraft is the only thing requiring an annual inspection. Without the engine, the aircraft just becomes an airframe. Why some I.A.s still sign an engine off as having had an annual inspection is beyond me. All they need to do is sign off any maintenance that is done to the engine during the inspection and that can be done by any A&P on most all light plane engines. Also, the only difference between what is done on an annual inspection and on a 100 hour inspection is that a 100 hour doesn't require an I.A. to sign it off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Warner View Post
    Without the engine, the aircraft just becomes an airframe.
    Except in the case of a glider which can be a complete "aircraft" without an engine, unless of course it's a powered glider which may be a complete aircraft with or without an engine, depending.....



    BTW RW, are you retired DL?
    Last edited by martymayes; 06-15-2012 at 10:21 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by prasmussen View Post
    So.....
    This is extremely important as a Coke is riding on your answer.......... thx
    You have the gist of it. There's always exceptions to the rules and nitpicky examples that may differ but I think you've earned your soft drink.

    That's also why I wish people wouldn't remove data plates but that's for another day.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by prasmussen View Post
    So..... If an engine's log is complete, no matter what it has been used in, it can be mounted on a certified aircraft provided an IA thinks it appears airworthy. But if there are no logs, it would require an overhaul (or a condition inspection which is essentially an overhaul if everything measures in limits)?

    This is extremely important as a Coke is riding on your answer.......... thx
    It wouldn't require an overhaul, but an IA would have to verify that it matches its type certification and all ADs were complied with when it was installed back in the certified airplane. The IA may feel that the only way to be sure would be to perform a formal overhaul.

    Remember, there is no requirement for storing an engine to retain its certification. You can remove the engine from your Tripacer, put it in the corner of the shop under a pile of manure, pull it out three years later and re-install it on the airplane. To be legal for flight on that certified aircraft, it merely must pass the annual. The FAA doesn't care where it's been up to that point....so if it's been on the front of a homebuilt, it's no worse off than under that stack of manure.


    Ron Wanttaja

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