Buying aircraft with lost logs question

Discussion in 'General Experimental Aviation Questions' started by NZ86, Jan 17, 2010.

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  1. Jan 17, 2010 #1

    NZ86

    NZ86

    NZ86

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    Just sold my twin comanche and now toying with the idea of a experimental aircraft that is for sale, couple hundred hours but no logs. Aircraft has no N number on it or anything. I know to get an experimental certified it has to have the builder logs, ect ect, but since this is lost is there any chance for this aircraft to be certified and fly again? What would be involved?

    Nate
     
  2. Jan 17, 2010 #2

    wally

    wally

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    Hi,
    What I would do is ask the local FISDO.

    In the end, they will the ones to issue the registration and Certificate of Airworthiness so just ask them what they need. It may be as simple as having an A. & P. mechanic or I.A. inspect everything and start new log books.

    After it is certified and flying, you will most likely not be able to get an inspection approval and do your own Condition Inspections as you would if you were the builder of record. You will always need an A & P mechanic to sign it off each year.

    Everyone always sees the FAA as the bad guys but in my limited dealings here in MEM with the local office, they are willing to listen and help when they can. If you follow their rules, they are pretty much ok.

    Of course your mileage may vary.

    Good luck! Tell us how it turns out.
    Wally
     
  3. Jan 17, 2010 #3

    Waiter

    Waiter

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    Start by contacting your local FSDO or DAR and explain the problem to them. I've found the FAA most helpful in these matters.

    Basically, your starting from scratch.

    In order to license the aircraft under the EXPERIMENTAL > AMATEUR BUILT", you must provide documention that the majority of the aircraft was built by amateurs for the purpose of education.

    You don't necessarly have to be the builder. Normally, construction photos and a building log will provide this documention (Does the seller have building photos?)

    As for the "Repairmans Certificate" (Allows you to sign off the "Condition Inspection"), You need to provide the FAA with evidence that you have sufficient knowledge regarding this particular airframe, and that you can satisfactorarly service and inspection this particular airframe. You do NOT need to be the original builder.

    If you're not able to license the aircraft under the "Amateur Built" catagory, your next alternative may be either the;

    EXPERIMENTAL > EXHIBITION
    or
    EXPERIMENTAL > RESTRICTED

    classes

    These two classes are progressivly more restricted in how your able to use the plane.


    Goto :

    I FLY EZ

    Scroll down near the bottom and download theses documents;

    AC 90-89

    AC 20-27

    8130-6

    8610-2

    Good luck

    Waiter
     
  4. Jan 17, 2010 #4

    kent Ashton

    kent Ashton

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    If the airplane was formerly registered and you can establish the N-number or perhaps the builder's name, you can get a copy of the existing Airworthiness Certificate and Operating Limitations from the FAA (Exp. aircraft are governed by their individual Operating Limitations), then you need a bill of sale from the last registered owner to apply for a new Registration in your name. Get a Condition Inspection done, start some new log books and you're probably in business.

    You will likely not get a Repairman's Certificate but that's not a show-stopper. You can still work on the airplane yourself.

    It's a harder problem if the experimental aircraft was never registered.
     
  5. Jan 18, 2010 #5

    NZ86

    NZ86

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    The airplane has no logs, no builders log or build photos.

    I'm working on trying to get the old N number or builders name. It has 400 hours on it so i suppose it must have been registered? But maybe not, nothing would surprise me. If it wasnt, i may pass on the plane, not having any traceability at all doesnt make me too happy. Also will be contacting my FSDO in the next couple of days.

    If i can't get the repairman's certificate, who would do the condition inspection? Any A&P or IA or? (I will have my A&P in march)

    The seller said he got a "builders pack" or somthing from EAA and said all i would have to do is use it, build a new builders log and stuff and then go get the plane signed off as i built it myself, don't know seems like a big risk if that didnt work, which is why im researching it now.

    Thanks guys,
    Nate
     
  6. Jan 18, 2010 #6

    bmcj

    bmcj

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    Is it a design built from a kit or plans, or is it a unique, one of a kind designs? Do you know the make or model of the plane or original builder? Go to the FAA website and look for it by make/model. You'll have to be a little creative in you input. Keep it simple but try the design name in one field first, then the other. Same with the original builders name. Experimentals get registered lots of different ways, but almost always have the builders name in the make or model field. If you don't have any luck, PM me with the info and I'll try it (I have used this a lot and know a lot of the tricks).

    Here's the link:

    FAA Registry - Aircraft - Make / Model Inquiry

    Bruce :)
     
  7. Jan 18, 2010 #7

    pwood66889

    pwood66889

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    "If i can't get the repairman's certificate, who would do the condition inspection? Any A&P or IA or? (I will have my A&P in march)"
    I learned in Aeromaintenance technician school that an A&P can do the condition inspection. They might be reluctant because of the nature of the craft and they are wagering there income! Check it out in the FAR's.
    And congrats on the A&P when you get it. I got mine exactly one year ago, and have been employed (yes, in America; yes, in this economy) since last April.
    Percy in SE Bama
     
  8. Jan 18, 2010 #8

    Dana

    Dana

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    "Couple of hundred hours" and no N-number? I'm assuming you have either a former "fat ultralight" that the owner never converted to ELSA before the deadline, or an experimental-amateru built and he canceled the registration and is selling it as "parts" for liability reasons?

    What your options are depends on which situation it is.

    -Dana

    Life is a sexually transmitted disease.
     
  9. Jan 18, 2010 #9

    kent Ashton

    kent Ashton

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    I wouldn't do anything (like fabricating a builder's log) that could be viewed as lying to the FAA, especially as someone hoping to be an A&P. Moreover, there is no need to do that. All that's required is that the FAA or DAR agree that _someone_ built the airplane for recreation and education. It doesn't have to be you.

    However, the easiest way is to track down the old N-number and get the existing AC and OLs.
     
  10. Jan 18, 2010 #10

    Waiter

    Waiter

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    Anyone may work on an Experimental aircraft. However, you will need at minimum an A&P (or the Repairmans Certificate for that airframe) to sign off the Condition Inspection.

    If the aircraft is licensed, then it must have a dataplate. If you have a dataplate, do an FAA search for the manufacture and model listed on the dataplate. If this exists, then you'll need a Bill of Sale to transfer ownership.

    If the previous owner is stating that it has 400 hours on it, then ask for the "Airworthiness Certificate". Otherwise, your purchasing parts, and the price should reflect this (A flying aircraft will bring a higher sale price than a box of parts). Don't pay for a 400 hour plane if the seller can't produce an "Airworthiness Certificate"

    If you can't prove to the FAA that the aircraft was built by Amateurs, then you can license the aircraft in the "Experimental Exhibition" class. A PITA, but doable.

    If the Seller is concerned about product Liability, I've got bad news for him, He can still be held liable for the parts he's selling. (If he has deep pockets, he needs to destroy the aircraft and all its parts, or donate it to a musium with all the usual language that the aircraft cannot be flyable or parts sold. etc, etc)

    NOTE - As Kent mentioned, I wouldn't falsefy records. If caught, you can pretty much kiss your A&P goodbye. ALSO, If this airframe becomes involved in any litigation and it comes to light that the paperwork has been falsified, You'll be on the loosing end again (i.e. your insurance becomes invalid, etc)

    Waiter
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2010
  11. Jan 19, 2010 #11

    NZ86

    NZ86

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    Ok here is the deal on the aircraft. Glasair 1 RG, apparently professionally built, obviously condition of aircraft and everything is subject to inspection but lets just say its in A1 shape for now. Current owner bought it from previous owner "as is" for parts for liability reasons as was mentioned above, and hence, no logs, data plate, n number, builders logs, builders name, last owners name, ect ect. Current owner says he got a "builders pack" from EAA and that i could just use that to reconstruct new builders logs or something and have it signed off like i built the thing or something like that. This airplane due to price, and the items its missing (which i happen to have in my garage) makes it a very good deal if i can get the thing certified somehow, otherwise its a worthless aircraft. Obviously im doing my homework right now, and will not, under any circumstances do anything that would get me in trouble with the FAA in any way, just looking for my realistic options for this aircraft. If it doesnt work out, then it just doesnt.

    Thanks guys for the info so far, keep it commin!

    Nate
     
  12. Jan 21, 2010 #12

    NZ86

    NZ86

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    Any help with this new info?

    Nate
     
  13. Jan 21, 2010 #13

    rheuschele

    rheuschele

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    When ever I hear "missing/lost logs" I wander what the owner is hiding. If it's been in a wreck, what better way to hide it than loose the books or claim they didn't exist, but 400 hours and no n-number on a Glasair?
     
  14. Jan 21, 2010 #14

    bmcj

    bmcj

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    A past owner probably deregistered it and sold it "as parts" (for liability concerns). I'm not sure how best to bring it back to the land of the legal, but the FSDO should at least point you in the right direction.
     
  15. Jan 21, 2010 #15

    Dana

    Dana

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    But why didn't the current owner re-register it?

    It might be worth trying to contact the original builder, not for the logs necessarily, but just for some information.

    Absent logs, you'd want to look extra carefully for evidence of damage or repairs. Composite airplanes scare me that way, there can be hidden damage, delamination, etc. You might also want to look for a Glasair builders forum online (like most planes, there probably is one); they can point you to specific things to look for, and somebody might even know the history of this specific aircraft.

    -Dana

    Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug.
     
  16. Jan 21, 2010 #16

    bmcj

    bmcj

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    Well, if it has had multiple owners (for ease of explanation, let's say four, including both Nate and the original builder), perhaps the original builder (#1) sold it as a flying plane to (#2). Then (#2) sold it to (#3), but deregistered it for protection. Then (#3) decides to sell it to Nate because he hasn't the time, money, or inclination to re-register the plane.

    Bottom line, though, is you don't really know without first finding the chain of owners and getting HONEST answers from them. Even then, you have to figure out how to legally re-register it.

    Lastly, perhaps Dana and rheuschele's cautions are correct and someone is trying to hide something bad about the plane. At the very least, a thorough, professional inspection is called for.

    Bruce :)
     

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