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Thread: So green I need water twice a day.

  1. #1

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    So green I need water twice a day.

    Hello, I'd like to introduce myself. I hope this is the right category, these forums are rough on the new guys.

    I've got so may questions I don't know where to start. I've searched this board and others, can't ever seem to find a straight answer on anything. I guess a bit of background on myself is in order for good measures. I'm not your normal 2017 squeaky red nose and floppy shoes wearing kind of guy. I built my house nearly single handed, I build, maintain, restore, vintage, antique, classic, exotic automobiles and motorcycles for a living. Not like on TV, I don't even have a TV. I build my own engines, Transmissions, rear ends Etc. I keep an AC/DC TIG machine on hand and I know how to use it. Sometimes against my will I run sanding blocks and paint guns too. War era and early post war Harley Davidsons, building drag cars out of old jalopies with late model LS engines that do wheelies are near and dear to me. GA has always seemed just out of reach for me. I'm an old soul and eat lunch with a group of old codgers a couple times a month, one of witch is the son of Ned Kensinger. One of the original members of the EAA. So I hear all these great stories of the early days of Dwayne Cole and Marion Cole in Peoria Illinois, building midget Racers from the scrap pile and so on. Last year I got the opportunity to start training in a JustAircraft SuperSTOL. It was an amazing experience and I was obviously hooked. Not a surprise when your first GA touch down is on a sand bar in the red river in rural back country.

    So let's get into the meat of her, that first bit is to weed out all the negative nancys that don't have the time to read for 5 minutes and likely only want to peck with condescending input. I pulled the plug on my PPL training with less than 10 hours logged. I didn't want to wear out my welcome using this very generous acquaintances SUPERSTOL at only the cost of ethanol-free auto fuel and paying my CFI. I also knew that type of performance would never be in my budget (its now 210hp turbo viking guinea pig) and didn't want to go backwards into a Champ, Chief, Pacer, Cub, Tcraft, Luscombe, 120/140, right away knowing what my budget would be. I also know my goals, I have no desire for an IFR rating, I want a real vintage aircraft with the story book hand propping, doors open, no charging system, prefer fabric. I don't want to rent something for 70 hours and spend close to the same money I could have bought one for. I also would really REALLY like to restore one so I know every single piece of it. I went and looked at 46 Taylor Craft last weekend. Last in the air 20 years ago, stored complete and assembled in a hanger. Fresh oil change, fuel drained, ran out and fogged. Seemingly put fuel in it, new rubber, emery board the contactors in the mags and hope for the best but likely complete resto. It was covered in Ceconite in the early seventies never stored outside and actually still appears to be in good shape even the top coat. Exactly what I think I want, I understand you get what you pay for and for $6k if it's a mistake I can just hang it from the ceiling in the shop I guess.

    So what's the Skinny on working on/restoring an antique aircraft without an A&P cert? Some say anyone can do it, others act like you can't put fuel in it without holding an A&P's hand. I understand the FAA has a responsibility to uphold a certain level of safety for you and everyone on the ground. It's just hard for me to grasps, my coffee maker is way more complex than these things.

    How hard is it to get a taylorcraft an experimental airworthiness certificate and is it a bad idea? Again some act like the craft is worthless after that or can't be brought back, Some act like is as simple as a tire change.

    I understand I can fly NORAD if not operating in A, B, C class space and without an engine driven charging system. But is this even feasible anymore? Seems like a fine line to me.

    Is this while idea foolish? Should I just get one that's ready to go in annul in the $15k range? I'd sure hate to pass this one up $6k and find out someone dumped fuel in it and was able to ferry it home.

    Would it be feasible to hang one in the ceiling of the shop for parts and buy one ready to? Could I even use parts from it or dose every part have to be new and certified?

    I hope that's enough for you fellows to get started whipping me. Abunch of questions that have been answered a thousand times. But I sure can't find any good sources for nswers...

    PS: My Grandad served in the 31st photo recon squadron stationed in France. I have his photo Journal consisting of 100 or more photos of the field the aircraft and other shenanigans. There's even a couple of Recon photos of the beach before the invasion. It's be happy to share them if there's any interest and I could figure out how.
    Last edited by Novaguy; 06-14-2017 at 01:30 AM.

  2. #2
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novaguy View Post
    I've got so may questions I don't know where to start.
    There are one or two opinionated guys here, so you should get some answers.... :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Novaguy View Post
    So what's the Skinny on working on/restoring an antique aircraft without an A&P cert? Some say anyone can do it, others act like you can't put fuel in it without holding an A&P's hand. I understand the FAA has a responsibility to uphold a certain level of safety for you and everyone on the ground. It's just hard for me to grasps, my coffee maker is way more complex than these things.
    When the aircraft is completely restored, and A&P with an Inspection Authorization (IA) will need to inspect the aircraft and certify that it meets its original Type Certificate. The problem is, if the IA doesn't know you, he or she won't want to put their certificate on the line, unless they witnessed/supervised you doing the work on the aircraft.

    So, basically, you need to find a friendly A&P (preferably one who has a buddy with an IA, or is an IA themselves) to monitor and supervise your work. It just means you do all the work, and they come over and check it occasionally to ensure it's being done to the required standards. You'll have to pay the A&P for their time (unless it's a buddy who'll work for free), but it's not like they have to do each step themselves.

    Many antiques and classics have been restored this way; I was partners in a Stinson 108 about 20 years ago, and my partner had gone this route. I don't believe he ended up paying the A&P a lot; it was more expensive keeping the man in beer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Novaguy View Post
    How hard is it to get a taylorcraft an experimental airworthiness certificate and is it a bad idea? Again some act like the craft is worthless after that or can't be brought back, Some act like is as simple as a tire change.
    It's not that difficult to get an Experimental airworthiness certificate for a production-type airplane...but you won't like the limitations.

    To issue an "Experimental" certificate, the FAA needs a formal, documented, reason the plane doesn't qualify for Standard airworthiness. There are actually seven (or more) sub-categories under "Experimental," and your plane would need to fit into one of those categories:

    Someone who builds a brand-new airplane that doesn't have a Type Certificate should qualify for an Experimental-Amateur-Built (EAB) ticket. To qualify, the majority of the aircraft has to be constructed for education or recreation.

    But to the FAA, that doesn't include the effort involved in a restoration. Your Taylorcraft was made in a factory, and thus will not qualify for EAB, no matter how many components you replaced. The only way you can qualify is if you build a Taylorcraft replica mostly from scratch...and the FAA will be very sensitive as to how many factory-built components are included.

    Without the availability of Amateur-Built, your Experimental T-Cart would need to be licensed in one of the other sub-catgories...R&D, Market Survey, Exhibition, etc. And for all of them, you'll be asked to show *why* the airplane cannot be operated under its original airworthiness certificate. What's more, there are more limitations on the non-EAB categories. You may have to submit test plans, or specify the geographic area you're going to operate the aircraft in. Plus, most of them are only good for one year...so every year, you have to write up the same justification again.

    A better move would be to build your own T-Cart from scratch, using existing parts for templates only. You can then license it as EAB. Or pick a kit or plans-built aircraft that does what you want.

    Quote Originally Posted by Novaguy View Post
    I understand I can fly NORAD if not operating in A, B, C class space and without an engine driven charging system. But is this even feasible anymore? Seems like a fine line to me.
    Not a problem. Both the transponder regulations and those associated with the new ADS-B have exclusions for aircraft without the engine driven electrical system. I've been living (and flying) under the Seattle Class B for 35 years. Install a battery and starter, leave off the charging system, and you're good unless you actually WANT to fly into the Class B or C airspace.

    Quote Originally Posted by Novaguy View Post
    Is this while idea foolish? Should I just get one that's ready to go in annul in the $15k range? I'd sure hate to pass this one up $6k and find out someone dumped fuel in it and was able to ferry it home.
    On the other hand, you'd hate to spend $6K and end up with an albatross that can't get licensed. What's the condition of the engine? If it's solidly rusted together, you'll spend $5K or more to find a replacement.

    If you haven't worked on aircraft before, I really suggest you buy something flying. You can work with the A&P-IA every year and learn the aircraft well. But... have your own, independent A&P check out that ready-to-fly airplane for $15,000. He or she may keep you from making a major mistake.

    My *personal* opinion is that one shouldn't buy an airplane to learn to fly in. Trainers see a lot of wear and tear...why subject your own airplane to the abuse? Plus, if something breaks, your training stops until you can get the plane fixed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Novaguy View Post
    Would it be feasible to hang one in the ceiling of the shop for parts and buy one ready to? Could I even use parts from it or dose every part have to be new and certified?
    Used parts are perfectly OK...I used to get some from scrapyards for my old 150. Nothing wrong with having a "parts" airplane, either.

    The FAA also has a provision for "Owner Produced Parts." You, as the owner, CAN make your own parts, as long as they meet the standard set by the original parts. For instance, if the cowling is bad, you can make a new one. An A&P will have to sign off on its use (for the most part), and some are a bit skittish about it....

    Ron Wanttaja

  3. #3
    L16 Pilot's Avatar
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    I've been rebuilding/restoring/recovering old aircraft for years. Having said that I'm (was /now retired) an ASE 'certified" master heavy truck and diesel mechanic with probably 50 years of experience including teaching in the technical college system for 30 years. Even with that amount of experience I work with and consult with a IA friend who stops by to check my work and answer questions I might have The key is to know when to stop and have things 'checked'. The rub comes finding IA who has the kind of experience you need with tube and fabric, wood spars, old aircraft, etc. A person with jet experience only is probably not the one you want. As far as engines go my Honda CX 500 motorcycle is probably more complicated than a A65-0200 but you have to know your limitations. My .002.
    If God had intended man to fly He would have given us more money!

  4. #4

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    I cant make much out of most of your post, however as far as the Taylorcraft goes if it is really a whole intact airplane you need an A & P/IA to do an annual inspection and sign a log book as airworthy. If it has really been in the hangar all these years the ceconite and paint will be ok, the dont deterioate out of the sun. The engine might be harder. If it really was preserved years ago it is possible that it is still good, but also possible that has deteriorated. Id drain the fuel, put fresh in, drain the oil and put fresh and warm oil in and look into cyiinders and anywhere else with a borescope. Pressurtize he oil and see if the eingine will turn by hand, as a first step.
    Either way you dont need a full restoration, you already have an airplane. just need to have the mech check and lube everything and fix anything that is lacking. Worst case is you may have to oh the engine.
    A lot depends on the preservative done , if any when the plane was put away and if it is stored in a dry and rodent free hangar.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 06-14-2017 at 09:36 AM.

  5. #5

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    Intact airplane is better than crashed. What are you waiting for?
    Find an A&P first if you need hand holding to check it over first for AD's, etc.
    Or just take a chance and buy it as is. Restore it to airworthy or like new and then find an I.A to sign it off.
    That's what I did 45 years ago with a Chief.

  6. #6

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    Sorry if my post was a little confusing, I was trying my best to insert some humor. Rwanttaja you answered all of my concerns, thank you sir.

    I've pretty much made up my mind that I'll get this Taylorcraft. I've contacted a local A&P that has some experience with vintage aircraft to take a look at it with me. It's owned by a 70+ year old career airliner pilot, he's no salesman. He pretty much told me it's cheap because if it was him he would want it to look brand new. To me, for a first aircraft cosmetics are the least of my concern and it really doesn't look that bad. He already had a Taylorcraft when he got this one. He wanted to build a center sick, clipped wing Tcraft when he retired and didn't want to tear up the one he had. It has 2500TT and 380SMOH, covered in Ceconite in the late 70s and really looks good. It's been Haggard at a private golf club with a grass strip for 20 years and he flew it there. I stood there as there was jokes made about the day he flew it in with a crosswind and his buddies weren't to sure he would remember how to stick it on the grass after flying a 777 the day before. I turned the engine over for the first time in 20 years. He specifically said the engine hadn't been turned over since it was fogged when stored at the advice of an A&P as it would wipe the oil out of the cylinders. It felt nice and smooth, a little weak on compression but I'm sure the rings are sticky with oil from sitting that long saturated. It pulled through like it ran yesterday, the exhaust isn't even rusty. All the controls are free, clear and smooth, honestly the tires even looked good and had air in them, although I definitely wouldn't trust them. Had a couple of cracks in the paint on the fuselage likely from bed prep. Wings and tail feathers looked great and tight as a drum. All the windows were pretty clear although the windscreen had a crack with duct tape on it in the corner. The log books are complete. Even with my lack of experience in aviation, seems like a no brainer. The last thing I want to do is get caught up in the moment and burn 6 grand. But If GA is anything like I hear it's probably a good idea I burn 6 grand right off the bat just to get used to it.

    I really appreciate the information fellas. I'll keep you posted. It's WAY past my bed time.
    Last edited by Novaguy; 06-14-2017 at 01:22 AM.

  7. #7
    Dana's Avatar
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    Sounds like it could be a great deal. T-Craft is a great plane, I used to own one. Be aware there is an AD for the wing struts, I believe most people have to replace the struts which can be expensive. If you have an A&P who will work with you you should be in good shape, but he will have to sign off any work you do. That's why I'll never own anything but an experimental, I only need the A&P for the annual condition inspection.

  8. #8

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    Before you put down any money, find someone with experience with Taylorcrafts to help you in a thorough inspection. Also spend some time on the web, there should be a Taylorcraft club web site and/or FB page. Ask the guys what are the areas to look at and a list of ADs associated with the planes. Find out what types of equipment it has, mags, carb and any handheld radio and an external antenna.
    Like all small taildraggers, they have vulnerable areas for corrosion like the lower longerons. Any plane that hasn't been covered since the 70's may need some repairs to structures before a new cover. Was the plane completely restored at it's last cover, or was it much less than that, and only a simple cover job. That makes a big difference!

    My Champ was last covered in the 70's too, but it was over some bad repairs that needed to be fixed right before even thinking about a new cover. A cover job is much more that the cost of the materials, it's labor intensive.
    There are a number of inspections and maintenance an owner can do on his plane. No one doubts your ability to work on simple planes, it's getting the knowledge and experience to know what to do and how to do it correctly.
    Here's a copy of a PDF that tells you what you can do as a owner, it covers actual maintenance and inspections. If you find an IA to look over your shoulder, you can do much more.
    Remember, these little planes are kind like John Deere technology from the 40's.
    https://www.faasafety.gov/files/gsla...%20Aircraft%20[hi-res]%20branded.pdf


    Yes you can fly into Class D airports, I do, and I live under a Class B and inside the Mode C veil. It depends on where you live, do you live in the NY area, or in SoCal? It might be much more difficult in those areas with just a handheld radio. I live in MN and there is just one Class B, if you fly out away from it or around it, then it's pretty much wide open country.

    Good luck

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Greenwood View Post
    I cant make much out of most of your post, however as far as the Taylorcraft goes if it is really a whole intact airplane you need an A & P to do an annual inspection and sign a log book as airworthy. If it has really been in the hangar all these years the ceconite and paint will be ok, the dont deterioate out of the sun. The engine might be harder. If it really was preserved years ago it is possible that it is still good, but also possible that has deteriorated. Id drain the fuel, put fresh in, drain the oil and put fresh and warm oil in and look into cyiinders and anywhere else with a borescope. Pressurtize he oil and see if the eingine will turn by hand, as a first step.
    Either way you dont need a full restoration, you already have an airplane. just need to have the mech check and lube everything and fix anything that is lacking. Worst case is you may have to oh the engine.
    A lot depends on the preservative done , if any when the plane was put away and if it is stored in a dry and rodent free hangar.
    He would need an A&P IA for that Annual Condition Inspection on a type certificated airplane. On a Experimental he only needs an A&P to do the Condition Inspection.

    To the OP... If money is an issue as it sounds like it is, I would stay well clear of any type certificated airplane. The parts alone will break the bank. On my EAB the carb cost what the gaskets cost for a carb on an a-65 - 0-200. Why even build anything. You can purchase very nice EAB's all day long that are flying. This one cruises at 105 - 110 MPH in level cruise flight. It's for sale and flies and runs great. Contact me if interested and I will give you all the info on this airplane.

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    Tony

  10. #10

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    Champ is right, try to get a T craft owner and hopefully mech to look at it for you. Call the T craft owners association if there is one. It sounds like this might be a good find. Heck,what can you buy for $6K? If the engine is good youve got a steal,if it is really 380 smoh and rust free. if it really did fly into the strip. Where is this? Are you a tailwheel pilot? If not take your time learniing, spend lots of time taxing it around before flying it. If you dont have a tailwheel pilot or CFI there, I would spend some time with you for expenses, no other charge. I have not flown T craft but lots of Cub, Citabria , bit of Stearman, and some T6 time. Its not that hard if you start right.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 06-14-2017 at 08:04 PM.

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