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Thread: Need advice, considering buying a nearly complete project from canadian builder/owner

  1. #1

    Need advice, considering buying a nearly complete project from canadian builder/owner

    Hi everyone,

    I have found a home built aircraft located in Canada that I would like to purchase and complete. I do not believe it was ever registered with the TCCA. The builder has logs "from day 1" including photographs of the build. He is an engineer and aviation mechanic (cant remember what they call it in canada, basically an A&P).

    It seems there are a lot of potential obstacles to successfully importing and getting it registered in the states. I am not sure if it is even possible or not.

    I am hoping that it will be possible to get it here and eventually finish it and get a special airworthiness certificate.

    I currently own a Glider with an experimental airworthiness certificate. It however is for 'exhibition and air racing" with a limit on range flown from home base without prior written notice to the FAA. I would not want this aircraft to have such limitations as I would like to use it to travel. I have heard this can be difficult when buying an unfinished project with a lot of the work already performed.

    I plan on contacting the FAA to see what they have to say.

    Does anyone have any experience with a similar situation? If anyone has any advice on this I would really appreciate it. This is an aircraft I have been fascinated by my entire life and would love to own and fly one.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Austintatious View Post
    I have found a home built aircraft located in Canada that I would like to purchase and complete. I do not believe it was ever registered with the TCCA.
    If you are correct that it was never registered and has no airworthiness certificate (or the Canadian equivalent) then you're not purchasing an aircraft. You'd be purchasing a bunch of aircraft parts and supplies, in some arbitrary state of assemblage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Austintatious View Post
    It seems there are a lot of potential obstacles to successfully importing and getting it registered in the states. I am not sure if it is even possible or not.
    I can't imagine what potential obstacles there could be to bringing a bunch of aircraft parts into the US from Canada and eventually getting an AC and registering it. There is no reason that it shouldn't be possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Austintatious View Post
    I have heard this can be difficult when buying an unfinished project with a lot of the work already performed.
    I think you're conflating getting the AC for the plane and getting the Repairmans Certificate for the builder. There is no reason you cannot buy all the airplane parts, bring them to the US, complete the plane, get it inspected by the FSDO, MIDO or DAR, and get an AC in the EAB category, assuming that it was built for education and recreation, even by the original builder.

    With respect to the RC, if you can show that you are fully familiar with the plane's structure and systems, there's no reason they shouldn't issue the RC to you as well - there's no requirement for how much of the plane one person must have constructed in order to get the RC.

    Quote Originally Posted by Austintatious View Post
    I plan on contacting the FAA to see what they have to say.
    Unless you already have a good relationship with someone at the MIDO or FSDO that would be issuing the AC, I'd caution against asking questions. Just do all the required steps to build, inspect and register the plane. When I built mine, no one ever asked me where the parts that I built it from had come from.

    So in summary, unless there's some weird special circumstances that you haven't describe with this project, there's no reason at all that you can't do what you want.

    My $0.02.

  3. #3
    Marc,

    thank you for the input!

    The only other detail is that this project is 90% complete... So I would be importing a fuselage and wings ( and other various stuff) it seems to me that customs would see this as an aircraft even if it is just technically parts.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Austintatious View Post
    The only other detail is that this project is 90% complete... So I would be importing a fuselage and wings ( and other various stuff) it seems to me that customs would see this as an aircraft even if it is just technically parts.
    Customs and the FAA are two different organizations. Whatever customs wants to see about the cost/worth of the airplane parts, you show them. It's still not an airplane as far as the FAA is concerned - it's never been registered anywhere.

  5. #5

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    If it were me, I'd want to get a close look at those "logs from day 1" before I paid. Also, you don't say if the plane is being built from a kit. If it is a kit, you will need a copy of the Bill of Sale (FAA Form 8050-2) from the kit manufacturer to the original purchaser of the kit. You will need another Bill of Sale from the seller you are dealing with to you. If there are any other owners of the kit between the kit manufacture and the seller you are dealing with you will need a copy of those Bills of Sale too. The FAA is very specific in that the Bill of Sale must be a FAA Form 8050-2. If the kit was made in Canada and sold to a Canadian, I doubt there will be a FAA Form 8050-2 and your into something unusual. Someone has probably been through it before but finding them might be difficult. If you contact the FSDO I doubt you will find anyone that knows much about Experimental Amateur Built let alone importing a partially completed kit from a foreign country. You might call the Canadian kit manufacturer and ask what type of bill of sale they use and if they have any contacts at the FAA they have dealt with when importing the kits to the US. Also, have the FAA Form 8050-2 notarized if you buy the kit. Other than the quality of the workmanship, the paperwork is going to be the most important part of your venture. Good luck.

  6. #6
    Sam Buchanan's Avatar
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    I suspect there is someone at the EAA mothership that can give you guidance on this matter and would be a more informed source than a FSDO desk jockey. A call might be in order.
    Sam Buchanan
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Tralika View Post
    If it were me, I'd want to get a close look at those "logs from day 1" before I paid. Also, you don't say if the plane is being built from a kit. If it is a kit, you will need a copy of the Bill of Sale (FAA Form 8050-2) from the kit manufacturer to the original purchaser of the kit. You will need another Bill of Sale from the seller you are dealing with to you. If there are any other owners of the kit between the kit manufacture and the seller you are dealing with you will need a copy of those Bills of Sale too. The FAA is very specific in that the Bill of Sale must be a FAA Form 8050-2. If the kit was made in Canada and sold to a Canadian, I doubt there will be a FAA Form 8050-2 and your into something unusual. Someone has probably been through it before but finding them might be difficult. If you contact the FSDO I doubt you will find anyone that knows much about Experimental Amateur Built let alone importing a partially completed kit from a foreign country. You might call the Canadian kit manufacturer and ask what type of bill of sale they use and if they have any contacts at the FAA they have dealt with when importing the kits to the US. Also, have the FAA Form 8050-2 notarized if you buy the kit. Other than the quality of the workmanship, the paperwork is going to be the most important part of your venture. Good luck.
    Thank you. It is an american kit. I will inquire about the original BOS.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Austintatious View Post
    Thank you. It is an american kit. I will inquire about the original BOS.
    I bought a wrecked certified airplane in Quebec and brought it back with no problems at the border. They wanted a bill of sale is all. They didn't even come outside to look at it. It didn't cost a dime in duty or taxes since it was originally built in the U.S. You may have to eventually pay applicable state taxes when the time comes. Paul

  9. #9

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    Over and above the chain-of-ownership issues addressed above:

    One important thing to understand is that for a experimental, amateur-built airworthiness certificate, the FAA doesn't care at all who did the fabrication and assembly work. What they care is _why_ they did that work. If you can demonstrate that the major portion of that work was undertaken for the purposes of education and recreation, you're good. There are two ways this is typically accomplished:

    * If the FAA has done an NKET inspection on that kit type and pre-approved it as meeting the major portion rule, you should be good unless you (or the original builder) engaged additional commercial assistance.

    * If the FAA has not doe an NKET inspection, you use the FAA checklist (I forget what its form number is) to show that you accomplished the majority of the work.

    By and large, the FAA does not seem to be sweating most small airplanes over the major portion rules these days, so I wouldn't lose much sleep either way. Just keep good build logs, and if you have to do the checklist, be prepared to justify what you claim on it with some sort of evidence, or at least a compelling narrative.

    --Bob K.
    Last edited by BoKu; 04-26-2018 at 05:39 PM.
    Bob Kuykendall
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  10. #10
    EAA Staff Joda's Avatar
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    Good records are the key. The current FAA guidance on certification of amateur-built aircraft places a great deal of importance on documentation. Regardless of whether the work was done in Canada or in the US, you'll need records that can be used to substantiate your claim that the major portion of the fabrication and assembly tasks were completed by amateur builders solely for their own education and recreation.

    The only possible issue is that, in Canada the builders are allowed to hire someone to perform fabrication and assembly tasks under the builder's supervision. This is not allowed under US rules, so if this particular kit was being built by hired hands, it may not qualify for amateur-built certification in the US if too many of the tasks have already been completed. Again, the records are the key.

    A thorough investigation of the builder records would be warranted before the purchase is completed, so as to make sure you'll getting what you think you're getting.
    Cheers!

    Joe

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