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Thread: Airport Mgmt may require written plans for homebuilts under construction in hangars

  1. #1
    longwing110's Avatar
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    Airport Mgmt may require written plans for homebuilts under construction in hangars

    Has anyone seen this at other airports? New airport manager at Sedona KSEZ has published a draft airport operations manual, which among other things, has increased rules and regulations about what can and cannot be done in hangars. FYI - hangars are privately owned, owner pays land lease to County for the pad.

    SOCAA = Sedona Oak Creek Airport Authority

    "If the aircraft in the hangar is an experimental aircraft under construction, it must show continual signs of progress in the construction, through hangar and logbook inspections conducted by SOCAA. SOCAA may also ask that a "Progress Plan" be provided which outlines the anticipated time frame for completing the construction of the aircraft."

    Dave
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    It depends on they type of ownership of the hangar for me.

    A huge problem we have in my area is that airports don't have hangars with aircraft in them; they have storage sheds for long neglected trophies. It's the reason I'll be driving an hour an a half to get to my aircraft - the local long term nostalgia dark room collection doesn't care so long as the fees are paid and they're full up.

    The airport I am going to is reasonably pro-active on this: airworthy or out! If a plane isn't airworthy or is being built, progress must be shown in getting it that way - and they're very reasonable on time frames (roughly two years). For homebuilts they are more lenient, but they want to see progress.

    Let's say one is an airport manager and some guy says he wants to buy a hangar. You ask him what kind of airplane he has and he says he's going to build one. "How long will it take?" "Five to ten years."

    Let's say one is an airport manager and there is limited capacity. Airport activity is low as well. They could have one more active aircraft, but that guy has been hogging up a hangar for over five years with the project that's covered in dust and cobwebs. Hadn't seen the guy for three years out here. And the FAA just shifted funds away from airport improvement - the writing is on the wall for tumbleweed County airports; no funding equals no maintenance equals decertifying airport equals new local subdivision/industrial park tax revenue potential.

    It's an airport, not a storage facility or a factory location. So says the guy building his plane in the backyard under a tent.

    If one truly owns the hangar, then by all means property rights kick in and it can be used to house anything from uncompleted aircraft to cast off furniture.
    Last edited by Frank Giger; 07-14-2013 at 01:57 PM.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  3. #3

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    This is nothing new and I'll tell you how I handled it. I put a 12" x 12" door in my hangar at standing height. It had a hasp and padlock on the outside. Airport mangement could come by at any time, open the viewing door, inspect, close door and be on their way. I saw no reason for them to have unlimited access to my hangar, tools, equipment and aircraft. Airport management was okay with it after I indicated they would be responsible for anything missing or damaged in my hangar (since they are the only other party with access). And I told them I would use video surveillance.

  4. #4

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    I know of 2 airpots,.....one in WI & the other in FL....that the airport management inspects every 30 day....and are only alolwed 1 quart of oil...nothing else.

    They use the fore code as reason.

    And no homebuilding allowed.

  5. #5
    dewi8095's Avatar
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    An airport manager recently told me that in his locale hangar rent was generally less than the rental rate for long-term storage space/units. Consequently, hangars were being used for storing cars, boats, and misc. household items which meant zero airport revenues for fuel and aircraft maintenance & repair. He wanted to see regularly flying airplanes in the airport's hangars.

  6. #6
    longwing110's Avatar
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    More specifically, I'm looking for instances where an airport requires the ability to perform "logbook inspections" of a homebuilt aircraft under construction as stated in the proposed wording. What "logbooks" (traditionally that means aircraft and engine logbooks) exist for a homebuilt aircraft under construction? The engine log follows the engine, which the builder may or may not have purchased. The aircraft log comes into existence once the airworthiness certificate is issued, right?
    Now the builder may keep some form of builder log, or a record of his/her progress, but that is not done in the logbooks. So, the airport wanting to perform "logbook inspections" doesn't make sense.
    And, I want to find instances where an airport may require a written "progress plan" from the hangar owner (not renter).
    I'm not looking for examples of what people are doing in their hangars or storing in their hangars.

  7. #7

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    I have seen a whole published list of what is allowed and not allowed regarding hangers. It comes down to who "owns" the airport and it's location. City owned and run airports have an airport mgr and a board or committee that decides what activities take place on the airport property. There is no real standard it's all local, I know a guy who restored a C-140 about 10 years ago and got in trouble over using a few touch-up spray cans of paint. He was using a hanger that the airport had set aside for the local EAA chapter to use for a very low fee ($10/month). This got really political, and ugly. County airports tend to be a bit more laid back, but don't count on that if the airport is in the suburbs near a big city.

    Joe

  8. #8

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    One would think that inspections of a builder's log would be overly intrusive and a fruitless endeavor for most people (except us homebuilding nuts).

    Overly intrusive in that the only one that has a qualified opinion on its quality is the DAR.

    Fruitless in that little can be gleaned about actual progress from a builder's log (if it looks anything like mine). I have many days of seemingly minor progress (jig making, gusset fabrication, rib installation measurements) and a few single days where there is huge visible progress (putting together the wing spars and compression struts). The uninformed won't be able to see the forest for the trees.

    The fact that the airport association doesn't know the difference from a logbook and a builder's log screams of ignorance on their part.

    A rough timeline on completion by subcomponent (July-September: major right wing fabrication for example) sounds more in line with the intent of having the owner actively working on building an aircraft rather than just storing a kit.

    Time for a non-confrontational discussion that seeks to educate and clarify seems to be in order. One hopes that what was typed out as policy garbled the intent and actual implementation planned on their part.
    Last edited by Frank Giger; 07-16-2013 at 04:58 AM.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Giger View Post
    One would think that inspections of a builder's log would be overly intrusive and a fruitless endeavor for most people (except us homebuilding nuts).
    Of course you are correct about their wording being overly intrusive and it displays a lack of knowledge about the process of building an aircraft. So push back on it with alternative wording that accomplishes the same goal.

    The gist of what they are trying to accomplish is to have the hangars used for aircraft that fly and produce revenue and utilization numbers for the airport. The management wants to verify that progress is being made on the project and that it will some day be a flying aircraft that belongs at the airport. A very high percentage of homebuilt aircraft get started, but then languish as a dust covered dream. Those projects are taking up hangar space that could be used by planes that actually fly and help to keep the airport vital. I'll bet the same lease agreement has wording requiring certificated aircraft to be maintained in airworthy condition for the very same reason. Dead dreams taking up hangar and ramp space prevent the use of the same space by aircraft and owners that would otherwise use the airport and contribute to it's vitality. Every one of us has seen this kind of thing happen with both certificated and Experimental Aircraft that are under construction. You can't blame the airport management for trying to make sure the airport is used. That keeps the airport vital and involved. Once the hangars are crammed full of unairworthy airplanes, dead projects, boats, motorhomes and household items, the airport is as good as dead.

    -CubBuilder

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by longwing110 View Post
    More specifically, I'm looking for instances where an airport requires the ability to perform "logbook inspections" of a homebuilt

    Of course they have no legal grounds to do that. I guess if you want to push back, just tell them to pound sand.

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