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Thread: When does an experimental become a new plane?

  1. #11
    Dana's Avatar
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    Actually, this is an interesting question. If you reuse parts from a previously certificated aircraft, AND you have the original build logs and/or photos to price those parts were indeed amateur built too add to the new build records, you should be good.

    In Ron's case, from the comment about ADS,B prices, I think he wants a new AWC, presumably one "not originally certificated with an engine driven electrical system", right, Ron? Another benefit would be the ability to get the repairman certificate for the "new" build....oops, I see Ron already said the same thing while I was typing.
    Last edited by Dana; 10-17-2018 at 09:12 AM.

  2. #12
    EAA Staff Joda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dana View Post
    If you reuse parts from a previously certificated aircraft, AND you have the original build logs and/or photos to price those parts were indeed amateur built too add to the new build records, you should be good.
    No, it doesn't work that way. Once the aircraft has been issued an airworthiness certificate you cannot use the same components and same build records to "build" a second airplane. Components from a preexisting aircraft are treated the same as components provided by a kit manufacturer, and no credit for those parts can be applied toward the major portion of a new airplane.

    Now, if you buy a project that is virtually complete, but has NOT been issued an airworthiness certificate, you are welcome to use the build records from the amateur builder(s) who constructed those components as evidence of meeting the major portion requirement. But once the aircraft is issued an airworthiness certificate, those components are no longer new construction and cannot be counted toward future major portion requirements.
    Cheers!

    Joe

  3. #13
    EAA Staff Joda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwanttaja View Post
    Anyway, my thought is that I would have the existing airworthiness certificate for my current Fly Baby. I would expect that this would prove that these components, as used on Son of Trigger, had already been proven as Experimental Amateur-Built.
    Ron,

    See my reply to Dana regarding "reusing" preexisting components. In short, you can't get credit for those components once the aircraft they are salvaged from has received an airworthiness certificate.

    So, in the case you describe, you will get credit for building the new fuselage, but wouldn't get credit for anything you salvaged from your existing airplane, whether they were amateur-built or not. You would likely have to also build a new tail and possibly new landing gear as well, but you could probably use your existing wings and all the welded stuff.

    A careful audit of the proposed project using the FAA checklist would guide you toward just how much new stuff you would need to fabricate.
    Cheers!

    Joe

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joda View Post
    No, it doesn't work that way. Once the aircraft has been issued an airworthiness certificate you cannot use the same components and same build records to "build" a second airplane. Components from a preexisting aircraft are treated the same as components provided by a kit manufacturer, and no credit for those parts can be applied toward the major portion of a new airplane.
    Yeah, I was considering that this would be a probable tack the FAA would take. It's logical.

    Years ago, a local A&P developed a Chevy V-6 conversion and mounted it on a Cessna 172 as a test bed.

    He licensed it as Experimental Research and Development. He talked to the FAA, and asked whether he could get an Experimental Amateur-Built certification if he scratch-built wings for the airplane and re-used the fuselage. They refused, telling him they might reconsider if he went the OTHER way around... scratch-built fuselage with Cessna wings.

    Undoubtedly, there's new blood in the local office and I couldn't count on a similar ruling. But, if I go this route, I'd be making a modified fuselage, and modifying the wings to switch to the improved wing-bracing system. I think I'd have a strong argument for claiming that it still meets the 51% rule, even with the re-used wings.

    And, if not...I'd just build a new set of wings, re-using the metal bits from the old one. Not really that difficult, especially with existing ones as patterns. Heck, after I strip the fabric off the old ones, I may not WANT to re-use them.....

    Thanks again, Joe...

    Ron Wanttaja

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joda View Post
    Tony is correct, except that the original paperwork is never destroyed. That airworthiness and registration file for the original airplane still exists in the FAA archives. So, if someone is able to prove that they have all the parts of this original airplane, AND they can get a bill of sale from the last registered owner so they can transfer the registration, they could in fact resurrect the original airplane under its original certification basis. An airplane could be destroyed and/or parted out, and could subsequently be repaired and reassembled. The key though, is getting that signed bill of sale from the last registered owner. If that can't be done, then resurrecting the original airplane is a non-starter.

    So the other option is to use various parts from the original airplane to incorporate into a new airplane, this can be done, but since you won't have any construction records for these components, you will not be able to prove that amateur builders constructed them. Thus, no credit toward the major portion (aka "51%"). This would be no different than buying these components from a kit manufacturer. You would need to come up with enough new, documented construction to make up your major portion without counting the components salvaged from the preexisting aircraft.

    So, for example, if you used the fuselage from this preexisting aircraft, you would need to make up your major portion through construction of the wings, tail, landing gear, etc. Or, if you use the wings, you'd have to build fuselage, tail, etc. in order to come up with you major portion.

    The other option would be to certificate the new airplane as experimental exhibition. Then there is no major portion to worry about, and it doesn't matter who built what. Yes, there are a few more restrictions on operating the aircraft, but it's better than being stuck with a pile of parts.



    While that is technically true, I have never heard of the FAA taking action against anyone in this circumstance. I know of several airplanes that have been "destroyed" and then later resurrected with no problem.
    This is correct. the original paper work is never destroyed. But being the airplane was reported destroyed, the original paper work has no meaning. You can not dig it up by asking the FAA to issue all paper work they have on this airplane. You will get a voided Certificate for the airplane was reported destroyed. If you then show pictures it was not indeed destroyed, someone is in deep shit. Now if you show pics you rebuilt it, you may get it reclassified or registered but it will never be under anything it was. It will be a limited type of registration. I forget what the Man I spoke with said it would be. Recreation or something like this. He said you do not want to do this if you can avoid it.

  6. #16
    Sam Buchanan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwanttaja View Post
    Well, one factor is that I am not the builder of my current Fly Baby. I am, in fact, the fourth owner. It had 100 hours total time when I bought it...with 25 hours on the engine. It's getting tougher and tougher to find A&Ps willing to do the condition inspection. Build a new one, and I get the Repairman Certificate.

    The second factor is the ADS-B/Transponder exemption for aircraft "certificated without engine-driven electrical systems." My current airplane has an engine-driven electrical system (and a transponder). The generator would disappear, if the FWF portion of my current Fly Baby were transplanted to a new plane. But this is why the new, cheaper ADS-B setups are making me reconsider this plan. I think I can build a new Fly Baby for ~$3,000 or less. Cheaper ADS-Bs make it less attractive.

    Ron Wanttaja
    Ok, you have stated a couple of conditions I didn't pick up on in your original query. Your question has been answered in subsequent posts. ADS-B is going to add a safety layer if flying in busy airspace that will be worth the additional expense, especially as new, lower-priced options appear.

    The A&P issue is likely to become more acute as the "old hands" age out of the community.
    Sam Buchanan
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  7. #17
    Dana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joda View Post
    No, it doesn't work that way. Once the aircraft has been issued an airworthiness certificate you cannot use the same components and same build records to "build" a second airplane. Components from a preexisting aircraft are treated the same as components provided by a kit manufacturer, and no credit for those parts can be applied toward the major portion of a new airplane.
    I wouldn't be at all surprised if the FAA took that position, but is that actually in the regs anywhere? Or just an interpretation from a local office?

    Of course, if one presented an aircraft to a DAR for inspection saying nothing about any previous registration, but with some old parts from "a unfinished project started years ago by another builder" with the build photos provided with the used parts, the DAR would never know those parts had ever been airborne unless it was obvious from their condition (which in some cases could be explained by hangar rash).

  8. #18
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Buchanan View Post
    ADS-B is going to add a safety layer if flying in busy airspace that will be worth the additional expense, especially as new, lower-priced options appear.
    Ughhh, don't get me started. I'm in the Class B veil, but never fly IN the Class B nor even to any of the controlled fields around here. I'm not likely to install an ADS-B receiver. So I'm going to spend thousands of dollars for other people's crutches.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Buchanan View Post
    The A&P issue is likely to become more acute as the "old hands" age out of the community.
    I've had four in the ~20 years I've owned my airplane. One died, two decided they didn't want to do homebuilts anymore. My current A&P has his own health issues.

    What would be nice, is if the reworked Light Sport regulations permitted sliding smaller EAB homebuilts into the ELSA realm. Then we could take the 16-hour course.

    Ron Wanttaja

  9. #19
    Sam Buchanan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwanttaja View Post
    Ughhh, don't get me started. I'm in the Class B veil, but never fly IN the Class B nor even to any of the controlled fields around here. I'm not likely to install an ADS-B receiver. So I'm going to spend thousands of dollars for other people's crutches.
    Ron Wanttaja
    I know what you are saying, ADS-B in my Fokker D.VII replica is a hard sell. But I'll probably add it eventually because after flying ADS-B in/out in the RV-6 for a year, and picking up aircraft in the vicinity I never saw until they were very close has turned me into an ADS-B convert. I also want to be visible to the business jets screaming in on long final into our un-towered airport.

    I think there will be more ADS-B solutions that will interface pretty nicely in our simple aircraft.
    Sam Buchanan
    The RV Journal RV-6 build log
    Fokker D.VII semi-replica build log
    YouTube Channel

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