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Thread: Undocumented Projects

  1. #1

    Undocumented Projects

    This has probably been covered somewhere in the past, but given my abysmal search skills I have not been able to find it. So here goes:

    Every now and then a plane comes up on Barnstormers or one of the other sites that appears to be complete but has no build documentation, no N number, no logs. Is there any way to get an airworthiness certificate on it, perhaps by dismantling it to where you have 51% of the tasks to accomplish and then document the rebuild? Or has it become a really big paperweight?

    Just curious, and of course enquiring minds and all that... Thanks.

    Tom

  2. #2
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    It is not required that the person taking the plane through certification construct 51% of the tasks, just that someone (other than the manufacturer did). In most cases, this should be fairly obvious.

  3. #3
    Thanks, Ron. I understand your point, but given the nature of some within the FAA and given zero documentation of the build, I would think that you would have to prove to the inspector that an amateur (ie, you) had done 51% of the work. As you say, the evidence should be intuitively obvious, but obvious just doesn't cut it with some people.

    Tom

  4. #4
    DaleB's Avatar
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    I think you'd need to discuss it with your friendly neighborhood DAR.

    Some of those projects I see, I have to wonder if they were built and flown without the benefit of such luxuries as airworthiness certificates or registration. I remember when I was Champ shopping a few years ago, I found a few that were well out of annual but were more recently flown. Sometimes the pilot was no more recently and thoroughly legal than the airplane. When you fly off a farm strip in ND, I guess you don't really worry too much about the FAA ramp checking you.

    Of course I'm sure most were just never quite finished.
    Measure twice, cut once...
    scratch head, shrug, shim to fit.

    Flying an RV-12. Building a Fisher Celebrity.

  5. #5
    "Some of those projects I see, I have to wonder if they were built and flown without the benefit of such luxuries as airworthiness certificates or registration."

    I have wondered the same myself. Out in the country where its just a bunch of good ol' boys hanging around the local patch, pretty much anything can happen. As we once said back in my misspent youth, "No cop, no law!"

  6. #6

  7. #7
    I'm pretty sure the Judge will think it's funny too! Brings to mind another saying: "Life's tough, but it's tougher if you're stupid."

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