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Thread: IFR in experimental/homebuilt - new to homebuilt world

  1. #1

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    IFR in experimental/homebuilt - new to homebuilt world

    Hi All,

    I am new to the world of homebuilts/experimentals. My question is, if I build a a homebuilt from kit, what are the requirements for it to be legal for IFR operations? Is it the same as a normal certificated aircraft? As in just equipment? Or are there some homebuilts that are not acceptable to the FAA for IFR ops no matter the installed equipment?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa24-180 View Post
    ... if I build a a homebuilt from kit, what are the requirements for it to be legal for IFR operations?
    In most cases, the Operating Limitations (issued with the Airworthiness Certificate) for the aircraft will state something along the lines of:

    "Unless equipped for night and/or IFR flight per CFR 14, part 91.205, this aircraft is restricted to day VFR flight only".

    So, basically, if you get the AC for the aircraft and then equip it per the requirements of 91.205, you're good to go. Some aircraft obviously make better IFR platforms than others, but the FAA is not cognizant of any of that information, generally.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Zeitlin View Post
    In most cases, the Operating Limitations (issued with the Airworthiness Certificate) for the aircraft will state something along the lines of:

    "Unless equipped for night and/or IFR flight per CFR 14, part 91.205, this aircraft is restricted to day VFR flight only".
    If that is most cases, then in what kind of cases would one expect that the airworthiness certificate would not have that clause? Or is it the case that almost every AWC would have that clause except for very very rare circumstances?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa24-180 View Post
    If that is most cases, then in what kind of cases would one expect that the airworthiness certificate would not have that clause?
    If the OL's were written in a year when FAA Order 8130.2<Rev letter> had different wording in it. Some years, it had other rules. Right now, it says approximately what I stated, and I'd expect that to be the same in the future, but there are no guarantees.

    Quote Originally Posted by pa24-180 View Post
    Or is it the case that almost every AWC would have that clause except for very very rare circumstances?
    All of them written for EAB aircraft in the past 15 - 20 years say that, _IF_ the examiner (FAA or DAR) was paying attention to the order from which they were supposed to get the OL's. As with FSDO's, where each is their own fiefdom which seems to interpret FAA rules in their own way, examiners interpret the order in their own way.

    In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds".

    Don't sweat the issue. If you build an airplane that's reasonable to use for IFR/IMC flight, you'll be able to make it legal to do so. It's not a big deal.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Zeitlin View Post
    Don't sweat the issue. If you build an airplane that's reasonable to use for IFR/IMC flight, you'll be able to make it legal to do so. It's not a big deal.
    Thanks. That helps put my mind at ease for now...

  6. #6
    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    Just to pile on, in addition to the oplIms wording and 91.205 equipment requirements, you also have to comply with the 91.411 and 413 transponder and static system inspections.

    IOW, outside of the OPLIM wording, the IFR part 91 requirements for E-AB aircraft are the same as for standard airworthiness certificated, factory built aircraft.
    Todd Stovall
    PP ASEL - IA
    RV-10 N728TT - Flying
    My builder's log (which is woefully out of date): www.mykitlog.com/auburntsts
    WAR DAMN EAGLE!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Auburntsts View Post
    Just to pile on, in addition to the oplIms wording and 91.205 equipment requirements, you also have to comply with the 91.411 and 413 transponder and static system inspections.
    Yes - absolutely. Part 91 always applies. But the 91.413 transponder check is required for ALL flight with a transponder - IFR or VFR.

  8. #8
    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    Not exactly -- currently a transponder is only required in airspace that requires it. You can do a lot of VFR flying in most of the country without one. And while technically it's not required for IFR flight, the practical limitions of tryung fly in the system without one basically make it a mandatory requirement.
    Todd Stovall
    PP ASEL - IA
    RV-10 N728TT - Flying
    My builder's log (which is woefully out of date): www.mykitlog.com/auburntsts
    WAR DAMN EAGLE!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Auburntsts View Post
    Not exactly -- currently a transponder is only required in airspace that requires it. You can do a lot of VFR flying in most of the country without one. And while technically it's not required for IFR flight, the practical limitions of tryung fly in the system without one basically make it a mandatory requirement.
    Agreed - thanks for the correction. If you always stay out of airspace where a transponder is required, then you don't have to turn it on and you don't have to have a 91.413 check. Some subset of the flying population fits in that category, for sure. I mostly deal with folks that do fly in tranponder required airspace, so that's my reference point.

    Thanks again for the clarification.

  10. #10
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    Not quite Marc. If you don't fly in the class A, B, C, or within the mode C VEIL, OR above 10,000' you don't need a transponder.
    If you HAVE a transponder, you are required to have it on any time you are in any controlled airspace (which includes the blanket of class E that covers most of the lower 48).

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