Process for Buying a Flying Homebuilt?

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lownslow
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Process for Buying a Flying Homebuilt?

Post by lownslow » Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:12 pm

Hey all, I'm kicking around the idea of buying an airworthy amateur built airplane and was wondering what the whole process was? I've only ever flown other peoples' airplanes and the TC site really only gives the regulatory minimums.

Any advice from experienced homebuilt owners would be appreciated.

LnS.
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Jungle Jim
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Re: Process for Buying a Flying Homebuilt?

Post by Jungle Jim » Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:06 pm

LnS,
I bought an airworthy Thorp T18 a few years ago and it was not much different than buying a certified plane. You still need to do your due dilegence with respect to a prepurchase inspection. You should do a lot of research and join the type club or type forums to get the straight story. Many forums are closely moderated and they like to "protect the brand", so you might not see too much negative press. Talk to other type owners and bum a few rides as well.

Many of the amateur built guys don't keep their logs as detailed as you will see with the certified planes. The other thing to consider is that no two amateur built planes will be exactly the same. Therefore getting checked out "in type" can be difficult if there are not many available for this. I was lucky in my case where a very experienced ex-military instructor checked me and the plane out. The first solo flight was a non-event.

I am happy with my purchase in that the performance is at a highter level than what you will typically find with a factory built plane. I also enjoy working on the plane as much as I like flying it. For me it was a good decision. I have a couple of AME's as well to consult when needed.There is no savings on parts over a factory plane and if an airframe part needs to be replaced it has to be fabricated instead of purchased. This can lead to longer repair times.

Just my $0.02

Jim
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AirFrame
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Re: Process for Buying a Flying Homebuilt?

Post by AirFrame » Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:18 pm

If the airplane is already Canadian registered, there isn't any difference between buying an Amateur-Built and buying Certified.

If you're looking at importing a US-built and registered Amateur-Built, you'll have to go through an import inspection that is about as onerous as if you had built the plane yourself.

Regardless of where you buy it, I strongly recommend finding other owners of similar aircraft near you that you can draw on for expertise. You will need help maintaining it, as every type has its own idiosyncracies.
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Taiser
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Re: Process for Buying a Flying Homebuilt?

Post by Taiser » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:51 pm

AirFrame wrote:If you're looking at importing a US-built and registered Amateur-Built, you'll have to go through an import inspection that is about as onerous as if you had built the plane yourself.
I think that's only if it has less than 100 hours on the airframe, anything above that and I think it can be brought in like any other airplane, but I might not be remembering that correctly...
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AirFrame
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Re: Process for Buying a Flying Homebuilt?

Post by AirFrame » Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:07 pm

Taiser wrote:I think that's only if it has less than 100 hours on the airframe, anything above that and I think it can be brought in like any other airplane, but I might not be remembering that correctly...
I said "about as onerous". You have to pay for and submit to a "final inspection" by MD-RA. It's no different than if you had just built the aircraft and it hadn't flown yet. Practically speaking, the inspectors will probably be reasonable when it comes to evaluating things that already have 100 hours on them.

If the aircraft has less than 100 hours, you CANNOT import it as a flying aircraft. It will be treated as new construction, and will need pre-cover inspections before you have the final inspection. On a riveted aircraft, that means drilling out rivets to look inside closed cavities.
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Re: Process for Buying a Flying Homebuilt?

Post by Taiser » Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:05 am

Yep, you're right. Has to have a final inspection if over 100 hours, under has to be taken to pre-cover stage for inspection. Found a PDF document that the original poster might be interested in, covers everything he would need to know on amateur builts! :)


http://www.copanational.org/files/COPAG ... Builts.pdf
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fleet16b
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Re: Process for Buying a Flying Homebuilt?

Post by fleet16b » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:55 am

AirFrame wrote: You have to pay for and submit to a "final inspection" by MD-RA.
You do not have to go the MD-RA route but can also ask TC to inspect it if you wish.
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AirFrame
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Re: Process for Buying a Flying Homebuilt?

Post by AirFrame » Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:31 am

fleet16b wrote:
AirFrame wrote: You have to pay for and submit to a "final inspection" by MD-RA.
You do not have to go the MD-RA route but can also ask TC to inspect it if you wish.
True! But don't expect to get flying again in this decade. TC is horrifically understaffed right now and really doesn't want to be dealing with Amateur-Built Aircraft. There's plenty of work to do in the certified world, so ABA goes to the bottom of the queue.
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Re: Process for Buying a Flying Homebuilt?

Post by AirFrame » Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:33 am

Taiser wrote:Found a PDF document that the original poster might be interested in, covers everything he would need to know on amateur builts! :)

http://www.copanational.org/files/COPAG ... Builts.pdf
COPA isn't really the best place to ask about Amateur Built aircraft. Take a look at MD-RA (http://www.md-ra.com/en/) and RAA (http://www.raa.ca) for more targeted information.
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