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Thread: Certified to EAB.

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2012

    Certified to EAB.

    I am planning to take a 7AC Champ that is currently in many pieces, that is de-registered (not scrapped or destroyed) and rebuild it with my mods and certify it as a light sport EAB. Now ........ the 51% rule. Has anyone had experience in taking on a similar project ? How does the FAA view such a project ? Does purchasing and installing certified airplane parts count as part of the homebuilding process?

    The FAA produced a memorandum, dated 5-11-2007, stating that "the act of altering, rebuilding, or performing repairs on type certificated parts does not count toward the amateur builders 21.191(g) major portion determination". Also stating that the old FAA Order 8130.2F, change 3, chapter 4, section 9 has added language to clarify their position.

    Other than lying on federal form, what are my chances ? Have not yet discussed this with the local FSDO.

  2. #2
    Auburntsts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Tampa, FL
    First I’d review the current regs: 8130.2J and AC 20-27g. Hanging your hat on old regs is a bad way to start. Then talk to the FSDO/MIDO. It’s the only way to be sure, but it sounds like a long shot to me at best.
    Todd “I drink and know things” Stovall
    PP ASEL - IA
    RV-10 N728TT - Flying

  3. #3
    Airmutt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    NW. Atlanta GA
    1. The 51% rule is based on combination of the amateur builder’s fabrication and assembly efforts.
    2. You get no fabrication credit for purchasing parts you did not fabricate.
    3. The rule about no fabrication credit for repairing or modifying certified aircraft components still applies.
    4. The use of certified components is allowed.
    5. If you don’t reach 51 percent you can’t be a EAB you may end up being a Exhibition category project.
    6. It has been done in the past but the FAA’s policies change over time.
    7. Before you start you should call your local FSDO and have a long chat.
    Dave Shaw
    EAA 67180 Lifetime
    Learn to Build, Build to Fly, Fly for Fun

  4. #4
    melann's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    N. Texas, Dallas Area
    The FAA has really tightened down on projects like you propose in recent years. It is now almost impossible to do such a project and get it certificated in the EAB category.
    Mel, DAR since the Last Century, Specializing in Light-Sport and Experimental Aircraft. Certificated over 1,000 Light-Sport & Experimental aircraft.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Hilton, NY
    Experimental Exhibition

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    The word "certify" is so misused in the Experimental world. What regulations are you planning to "certify" the airplane? LSA, ELSA and ASTM are not certification processes per 14CFR21; they are consensus standards ... not laws.

    The FAA will also not allow a person to change the Type Certification basis on an aircraft (kind of anymore ... they allowed fat ultralights to go into LSA or SLSA for a couple years ... but those are not FAA certificated or approved). As is mentioned above, there are other Experimental categories that the airplane can be put in (amateur built is not one of them) but those have many restrictions on where, when and how the aircraft can be flown.

    If you lived in Canada on the other hand, the airplane could go into an "owner maintenance" category. Those airplanes are not allowed into the US.

    I wish the news were brighter!

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    New Hampshire
    I will offer the experience that to put together a mongrel Champ you will be working with the nearest Aircraft Certification Office, not a FSDO. Those guys are actually good to work with and will try to find a way to make your airplane legal. The above posters are correct that the result will NOT be an E-AB. Most likely they will look at your collection of parts and try to match it up to one of the Normal Category variants of the Champ and want to issue you a Normal Category Airworthiness Certificate. To wind up as Experimental Exhibition you will really have to change something major.

    So plan on becoming intimate with the FAA paperwork process or you will likely want to find another project. You can build up a Champ with multiple field approvals and/or one-aircraft STC's. That is very do-able with willingness to learn the process and patience and persistence. I speak from experience.

    If you are looking for a quick and inexpensive way of getting into the air, you have not found it.

    For the folks who think that Experimental Exhibition is restrictive, it is not. I know a number of owners of E-Ex aircraft and the rules are pretty much the same as operating an E-AB. The only difference is that you have to send your local FSDO an e-mail every spring that says you plan to fly to Sun-N-Fun, Airventure, and every other aviation event on the calendar that might interest you. The FSDO just notes that you are still out there and files the note. No sweat. File the same e-mail every year with updated dates. You are not required to actually go to all of the events you list. Other than that you have few limits to your choice of destinations.

    Best of luck,


  8. #8

    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    I put a Cessna in to EXP after installing a V8 engine on it and I will start off by telling you the FAA frowns on putting a cert to exp, so be ready to jump through some hoops, regardless of what category of exp. I heard in the 1980s a few guys got AB category after rebuilding certified planes from scrap yards but the FAA later voided it as a mistake. I would suggest looking into exhibition or, better yet, primary category depending on the mods you make. Find an experienced DAR with those authorizations and figure path of least resistance.

    as far as repair and certificate goes…. Won’t happen for a number of reasons, and it really wouldn’t do you any good because part 43 is required for any aircraft that was previously certified regardless if experimental or not…..however, primary category gives you more range to perform maintenance.

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