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Thread: How to avoid the "EXPERIMENTAL" placard.

  1. #11
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joda View Post
    Is your P-51-D a full-size replica, or scaled down? If it's scaled down is it from a kit? If it's a full-size replica then the X is legal. If it's scaled down and built from a kit, only if the original prototype of that kit flew at least 30 years ago can you use the X as a replacement for the "EXPERIMENTAL" marking. If it's a scaled-down replica that you built from plans or from scratch, you need the "EXPERIMENTAL" placard.
    Dunno, Joe. AC20-27G defines "Replica" as an "...Aircraft with the same external configuration...of a small aircraft built at least 30 years ago" (Table 5, page 21).

    It says configuration, not dimensions. In fact, entering "replica" as a Google search, you get, "...an exact copy or model of something, especially one on a smaller scale...." A similar search for "Configuration" gets, "...an arrangement of elements in a particular form, figure, or combination." Nothing about sizing.

    Ron "Do I dare say it's a small point?" Wanttaja

  2. #12
    EAA Staff Joda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwanttaja View Post
    Dunno, Joe. AC20-27G defines "Replica" as an "...Aircraft with the same external configuration...of a small aircraft built at least 30 years ago" (Table 5, page 21).

    It says configuration, not dimensions. In fact, entering "replica" as a Google search, you get, "...an exact copy or model of something, especially one on a smaller scale...." A similar search for "Configuration" gets, "...an arrangement of elements in a particular form, figure, or combination." Nothing about sizing.
    The FAA considers "same external configuration" to include dimensions. I've already been down this road all the way up to FAA HQ, so I'm pretty sure the majority (but not necessarily every) FAA inspector is on this page. You can search for definitions all you want, but it doesn't hold any water with FAA. They have their "definitions" and they're sticking to them. Been there, done that.
    Cheers!

    Joe

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joda View Post
    The FAA considers "same external configuration" to include dimensions. I've already been down this road all the way up to FAA HQ, so I'm pretty sure the majority (but not necessarily every) FAA inspector is on this page. You can search for definitions all you want, but it doesn't hold any water with FAA. They have their "definitions" and they're sticking to them. Been there, done that.
    So as with the other thread regarding night lighting legality and approval that I just replied to you on, this is another issue where DAR's do different things. I HAD exactly the same interpretation of the rules as you do - "external configuration" includes dimensions - it can't just look like something, and on another forum, I told the OP that I didn't believe he was allowed to use the NX designation.

    However, the OP was able to get a local DAR to tell him that using the NX designation was perfectly fine. Now, since he got what he wanted, he's not going to appeal that ruling, but by your (and my) interpretation of the rules, he SHOULDN'T have gotten permission to use the NX designation.

    In this case, in the real world, it doesn't amount to a hill of beans, because there's exactly zero safety issue with not having an "experimental" lettering and having an "NX" designation, so who really cares, but it's just another example of DAR's "doing what they want", in a colloquial sense. In this case, to the OP's advantage, but sometimes, to a builder/flyer's disadvantage.

  4. #14
    EAA Staff Joda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Zeitlin View Post
    In this case, in the real world, it doesn't amount to a hill of beans, because there's exactly zero safety issue with not having an "experimental" lettering and having an "NX" designation, so who really cares, but it's just another example of DAR's "doing what they want", in a colloquial sense. In this case, to the OP's advantage, but sometimes, to a builder/flyer's disadvantage.
    Quite true, but there is also the ongoing issue of having an FAA inspector in the field take issue with the markings after the aircraft is certificated. The aircraft owner could be faced with a "red tag" on their airplane if an inspector in the field decides to take issue. Very rare, but it can (and does) happen. So those who are walking in these "shadows" within the regulations should be prepared to have the bright light of day shined upon them.

    Then again, I've seen so many N numbers that are obviously not in compliance with the rules that I guess the FAA isn't that strict about it. Did a study one year at the EAA convention, and found that about half of the airplanes on the field (including several brand new factory-built aircraft) had N numbers that didn't meet the regulations. Some of them glaringly so. So who knows!
    Cheers!

    Joe

  5. #15

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    Is there a fine or penalty for a "red tag"? Or just correct the issue?
    I have seen numerous N numbers with "ornamentation" over the years.

  6. #16
    EAA Staff Joda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Berson View Post
    Is there a fine or penalty for a "red tag"? Or just correct the issue?
    Well, if it truly is a "red tag" it means that the aircraft is grounded until the issue is resolved. Hopefully that wouldn't be the case with a non-complying N number, but the possibility exists. Not very likely, but not impossible.

    A lot of this happens because airplanes are repainted (or painted) after they get their initial airworthiness certificate issuance. I've done a lot of inspections on bare metal airplanes that will end up getting painted later. What gets painted on there for an N number is totally at the mercy of the owner and the paint shop. Whether these people will follow the rules or not is up for debate. Obviously, based on many of the N numbers I've seen in the field, following Part 45 is not high on the priority list.
    Cheers!

    Joe

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Giger View Post
    I immediately stole that, for your information.
    Better add "DOES" to the second sentence, first.

  8. #18
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aviatrexx View Post
    Better add "DOES" to the second sentence, first.
    Oopsie. It's fixed, now.

    Ron Wanttaja

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