# Buying an experimental that has been deregistered and is in pieces.

Discussion in 'General Experimental Aviation Questions' started by xjake91x, Oct 3, 2018.

1. Oct 3, 2018

### xjake91x

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Hello everybody. I recently came upon an experimental aircraft (BD4) that has been deregistered. The airplane has been flown before. It also has an airworthiness certificate, and a data plate installed inside. The aircraft needs a lot of work. It is not flyable now. It's basically in pieces. It needs the inside to be redone, new avionics, it has no engine etc. I'm aware that it will need to go through the flight testing phase again, and that I will not be able to do condition inspections on it. I'm ok with that. Having another set of eyes look it over once a year can be positive.

Now the big question is- What would I have to do in order to get that aircraft registered again and get it flying (from a paperwork perspective). It has an airworthiness certificate, it has been flown before, and it has been registered before, but is deregistered now. How do I proceed? Will I need the original builder log/ pictures for any reason?

Thanks,

Jake

2. Oct 3, 2018

### Turd Ferguson

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Need more information. What was the reason it was deregistered? Was it simply because the registration expired?

3. Oct 4, 2018

### Dana

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You will need the airworthiness certificate and a bill of sale from the last registered owner. If you didn't buy it from the last registered owner, you will need a paper trail back to him.

If put in a new engine and prop the same as the original and make no other major changes, there is no new flight test period required, just a condition inspection by an A&P. The logbooks would be nice to have, but are not required.

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4. Oct 4, 2018

### xjake91x

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Thank you guys for the replies. I just spoke with the owner. He is not the original owner. He just had it in his garage for 5 years. Basically the original owner built the plane and flew it. He died. The airplane was deregistered for liability reasons. Now the airplane has no avionics, no engine, no seats. Nothing. It's just a shell. The wings have to be responded, the tail, the fuselage. It's like gpiing to square one. Basically if I bought it I would be building it from kit form. Now my question is, if I decide to buy it, Can I claim I built it? I will be rebuilding it all from scratch. Basically I have to tear the plane down to bare bones that came in the kit and do all new sheet metal work and everything else. I will definitely be doing more than 51% of the airplane. Would that legally qualify it as a 51% build? Basically in this case I would be buying a bunch of parts from the guy, that's all....

5. Oct 4, 2018

### xjake91x

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I must have said "basically" about 50 times in the previous post. Sorry. Im typing this up from my phone.

6. Oct 4, 2018

### proppastie

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all good questions, in the end how you present it to the FAA and who reviews it will be the determining factor. I think if you can prove it was amateur built by someone, (perhaps the former N number is the proof ? ) then I think it can be eventually re-licensed. I found this at one time.
This is not the FAA website. This is a private website
http://www.faa-aircraft-certification.com/reregistering-an-experimental-aircraft.html

7. Oct 4, 2018

### Turd Ferguson

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If you can connect the dots from last registered owner to you then you could complete ownership transfer and register the airplane as is. Then all you would need is to put it together and have a condition inspection done.

If that's the plan you should drop any reference to an aircraft kit. Just assemble as scratch built airplane using the major portion checklist to ensure compliance with the rules. Won't get any credit for "rebuilding" so have to be careful that there is adequate fabrication and assembly

8. Oct 4, 2018

### BBerson

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If it has fiberglass wings it probably can't be dismantled without destruction of the fiberglass.
I doubt the existing airworthiness certificate is useful. The owner had the registration decertified and I think that prevents using the airworthiness certificate. The owner had it deregistered to prevent rebuild under his name on the data plate. I don't know why the registered owner didn't destroy the data plate and airworthiness.
Some assemblies might be reused whole in some cases, if the majority of parts are built. I think AC 20-27g might help.

9. Oct 4, 2018

### pictsidhe

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It's not an aircraft, it's a lot of aircraft parts.

Has a dead person ever been held liable for what happened to someone in his plane?
If the builder is liable for what happens to a later owner, why are there any sales of used EABs?

10. Oct 4, 2018

### mcrae0104

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Sure, if he crashes the plane, killing himself and his passenger(s). The dead guy's estate can be sued. Of course, that's different from the situation in view here.

11. Oct 4, 2018

### kent Ashton

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The Airworthiness Certificate is still valid. You might prove chain-of-title by going to the estate's probate file (public record) and getting a bill of sale from the heir(s) to the estate to the current owner, and then one to you. If they're reluctant, offer them some money. Saying you built it would be a lie on the FAA forms--a felony. The FAA does not generally re-certify formerly-certified airplanes but I'd talk to a FSDO inspector in your area. A cooperative inspector might help you if you're straight-up about the situation. You would need Operating Limitations reissued which is easy if you know the N-number.

12. Oct 4, 2018

### N8053H

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I almost did this to one of my airplanes. Lucky the FAA called me on this. The man I spoke with explained to me, if I had deregistered this airplane, it would be like I was starting over with the build. The airplane would have to be put back together then re-inspected then all the phase of flights would have to be flown off. I am glad this did not happen and the FAA caught my mistake and took the time to contact me. They did this because I was not the person on the registration and I was trying to deregister this airplane. Even though that was not my goal. But the paper work reflected that I wanted to deregister it. By mistake I must add. The FAA made me redo this paper work. You will not be the builder and the certificate will be a special one. It has been a few years since this happened to me. But there was a bunch of hoops to be jumped through then the airplane will never be what it once was. Certificate wise.

13. Oct 4, 2018

### N8053H

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If it has been deregistered the Airworthy certificate is now null and void. It is a pile of parts and nothing more. If you don't believe any of this. Call the FAA and ask them. Don't call a Fsdo office. Call OKC and talk with them. They will set you straight on this.

14. Oct 4, 2018

### kent Ashton

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Study the regs and go in knowing what you can do. Is this N39FE on Barnstormers? If so the builder appears to have been Fred Elder.
https://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?NNumbertxt=39FE

The N39FE N-number has been transferred to another aircraft but the Airworthiness Certificate is still valid although it would need to be changed to reflect your new N-number when it is re-registered (if possible). Aircraft change N-numbers all the time and ACs are reissued to match the new number.

https://www.faa.gov/aircraft/air_cert/airworthiness_certification/std_awcert/

However, proving chain of title is the problem. No chain-of-title, no re-registration
http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_G...F78C76CD861A096886256EDF00510302?OpenDocument

Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
15. Oct 4, 2018

### N8053H

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Experimental is not a standard airworthiness certificate. Things are different for an EAB or Homebuilt when it comes to certificates such as the airworthiness certificate. If you deregister an EAB, you go back to square one. But now you are not the builder. So it will now be registered different then it was when it was registered by the builder.

Again call the FAA in OKC and ask them. Then post here what they say.

16. Oct 4, 2018

### kent Ashton

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Not correct. Both Standard and Special (Experimental) airworthiness certificate are defined in 14 CFR 21.175. Just below that Sec. 21.181 specifies the duration of them.
http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_G...833FA3C0C9ABDAE4862576E4005B24FC?OpenDocument
The OP says it still has the AC so it was not "surrendered". If he can prove chain-of-title, he can re-register it in the U.S. and have the AC reissued under a new N-number. Then get the Condition Inspection up to date.

17. Oct 4, 2018

### Turd Ferguson

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You are simply telling the FAA that you want to cancel the registration on the aircraft, that's all. Now you have an an unregistered airplane for which the a/w certificate ceases to be in effect. It's not surrendered or revoked, just not in effect.

During the sale of a registered airplane, the FAA has a process that must be followed to show the transfer from one party to another. There is no FAA process to transfer ownership of a non-registered airplane, other than \$ and a handshake.

I have seen this happen: EAB plane is destroyed, insurance notifies FAA, FAA cancels registration. The dataplate and paperwork remained attached to the wreckage (supposed to be removed IAW the regs and destroyed). Somebody buys wreckage, repairs plane and applies for a registration. The FAA says "this plane was reported as destroyed" and party says "that was misreported." I am the owner of this plane (submitted legal affidavit) it has data plate, serial number, n-number and is condition for safe operation. Plane is registered today. I don't know if it is still flying or not, this was 25 yrs ago. Original builder's name is on dataplate.

I would wager the plane described by the OP had the registration cancelled because it expired. The plane has changed hands and we don't really know which came first, sale or cancellation of registration. The order in which those events occurred makes a big difference. It may be possible for a future owner to show he is the owner to the satisfaction of the FAA and then as legal owner he can register the plane. Still has a dataplate and a/w certificate so once it is legally registered, that a/w certificate will be effective.

18. Oct 4, 2018

### propnut

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Several years ago I was interested in a Davis da2 that had the N# de-registered. The Plane had been damaged in a hard landing, the N# surrendered to the FAA, and the plane sold to another individual. The second owners repaired the damage and was trying to sell the airframe with or without the engine. When I talked to the second owner, he was emphatic that all I needed was a new N# since he had the original airworthiness certificate. I called the EAA and was told what I pretty much already knew, that the airworthiness certificate is attached to the N#. No N#, no airworthiness certificate. Basically I'd be buying a bunch of parts and there were hoops to he jumped through to repair and rebuild and get a new airworthiness certificate. I passed it buy, along with two other aircraft that also had the N# surrendered. Yes what, that Davis da2 that I was interested in shows up on the cover of Octobers Kit Plane magazine. So, my thought is to get in touch with that gentleman and see what has to be done to get legal, then post what you find here to try and eliminate all the confusion created by all the various opinions.

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19. Oct 4, 2018

### Turd Ferguson

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Can change the n-number on any airplane at any time. When you do, that does not void the a/w certificate. The operator should call the FAA and ask for a replacement certificate but that dosn't always happen. I have seen planes fly 10+ yrs with an a/w certificate that did not match the n-number on the plane because the owner/operator is not aware. Fortunately, there is a serial number from the aircraft on that certificate as well and that can not be changed. While the operator might get his hand slapped for not updating the a/w certificate, there is still the serial number that ties the a/w certificate to the aircraft.

I'm sure EAA like the AOPA hires interns to field questions from members and they do not always provide well researched answers.

20. Oct 5, 2018

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