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Thread: Retired Ultralight... what next?

  1. #1

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    Retired Ultralight... what next?

    My dad passed last year, and I find myself struggling with what to do with his old ultralight (~1982 Pterodactyl Ascender). Still have vivid memories of sitting outside, eating watermelon, and watching him takeoff and land in the field behind our house in south Mississippi. It's probably been ~25yrs since it was last taken out of the garage and assembled. I'm sure at minimum it would need new fabric. However, it's hard to imagine that the next stop is a scrap metal yard. As much as I once dreamed of one day taking it for a flight, I simply don't have a place to restore and keep an ultralight either. Selling for money is not an objective, and frankly just seems like a potential legal nightmare.

    My predicament just had me wondering what others tend to do with their "retired" airframes.

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  2. #2
    Airmutt's Avatar
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    Put it on Barnstormers.com for the taking “as is, where is”. Someone will take it off your hands.
    Dave Shaw
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  3. #3
    Dana's Avatar
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    Everybody worries about liability, but my understanding is that there has never been a successful suit over a used homebuilt airplane. Put it on Barnstormers, the old 'dacs still have a following. If it's been stored indoors out of direct light the fabric may well still be good.

  4. #4
    Sam Buchanan's Avatar
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    I appreciate your liability concerns and emotional ties. You might consider donating it to someone who would put it on display (restaurant, school, museum, FBO, etc?). A small plaque and photo could accompany it so your dad could continue flying it.

    The "never a successful suit" argument is moot.....even the unsuccessful ones require expensive defense.
    Last edited by Sam Buchanan; 05-04-2020 at 08:17 AM.
    Sam Buchanan
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  5. #5

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    Thanks for the feedback. The donating for display is definitely the route I would love to go... just need to find the right contacts I guess.

  6. #6
    Scooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markdmsu View Post
    Thanks for the feedback. The donating for display is definitely the route I would love to go... just need to find the right contacts I guess.
    I'd venture a guess that there are dozens of 501(c)(3) aviation museums that would love to have it as a donation, and you might be able to claim it as a tax deduction.
    - Stan Cooper (K4DRD), Private Pilot ASEL, LSR-I, EAA 115792 Lifetime Member, EAA Chapter 124
    Zenith CH601XLi-B, N601KE, KSTS



  7. #7
    PaulDow's Avatar
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    Someone, please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the FAA does not consider that to be an aircraft. According to Part 103, it is an ultralight vehicle.
    It would be up to the purchaser to verify that the vehicle is suitable for operation.
    As always, anyone can sue anyone else for anything.

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