# Certificated to Experimental Exhibition conversion?

Discussion in 'Rules and Regulations / Flight Safety / Better Pil' started by BBerson, Apr 27, 2019.

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1. Apr 28, 2019

### D Hillberg

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Are they covered in a Type Certificate for Standard Airworthiness ? Yes / No. there you'll find the answer.

2. Apr 28, 2019

### BBerson

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The purpose of the annual by the I.A is to inspect for conformance to the Type Certificate.
So if they wanted that why don't they say that instead of the appendix D words?

So TFF said it requires a condition inspection. You say annual. Who knows?
I suppose I can ask the FAA in 5 years if I am still interested in restoring the aircraft then.

Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
3. Apr 28, 2019

### Wanttaja

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Actually, they do, by 14CFR 91.327:

§91.327 Aircraft having a special airworthiness certificate in the light-sport category: Operating limitations.
...
(b) No person may operate an aircraft that has a special airworthiness certificate in the light-sport category unless—
...
(2) A condition inspection is performed once every 12 calendar months by a certificated repairman (light-sport aircraft) with a maintenance rating, an appropriately rated mechanic, or an appropriately rated repair station in accordance with inspection procedures developed by the aircraft manufacturer or a person acceptable to the FAA....

Ron Wanttaja

4. Apr 28, 2019

### D Hillberg

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And the light Sport requires your A & P to get special training on light sport stuff both power plant and air frame, been there done that. . . A whole new can of worms

5. Apr 28, 2019

### Wanttaja

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I'm sorry, but can you give me a regulatory reference to this? 14CFR Part 65 seems to say otherwise:

...
(b) A certificated mechanic with an airframe rating can approve and return to service an airframe, or any related part or appliance, of an aircraft with a special airworthiness certificate in the light-sport category after performing and inspecting a major repair or major alteration for products that are not produced under an FAA approval provided the work was performed in accordance with instructions developed by the manufacturer or a person acceptable to the FAA.

Doesn't require special training, the A&P has to have documentation on how to perform the work. Which is, basically, what 65.81 requires for working on any aircraft.

Ron Wanttaja

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6. Apr 28, 2019

### rv7charlie

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I'm no more of an Interweb Authority than anyone else here, but I have explored the issue a bit with one of my neighbors, who works for the local FSDO. So take this for whatever you think it's worth.

1st, you're not likely to get a conversion to Exhibition category unless there's something to 'exhibit' as better/different, like an uncertified but 'better' engine, new wing, etc. But assuming you've done that, the process is to surrender the original airworthiness certificate (meaning the plane no longer has a *Type Certificate* as part of its defining paperwork). Without a type certificate, there is no conformance to check, as BBerson points out. Therefore, any A&P can do the condition inspection on an Exhibition category a/c. (These are very close to the words my FSDO guy used.)

Operation: In the somewhat distant past, Exhibition was restricted to a 300 nm radius around its home airport for 'proficiency' operation, and had to supply to the FAA in advance any destinations where the plane would be 'exhibited' (most FSDOs allowed a list to be submitted at the beginning of the year; you didn't have to attend everything on the list. Get it?) Years ago, the 300 nm restriction for proficiency flying was removed, effectively leaving day to day operations with the same restrictions as Homebuilts: avoid operations over densely populated areas, except takeoffs & landings.

Ultimately, whether you get to go that route will likely depend on how well educated your local FSDO guy is, and/or how willing you are to push up the food chain until you find a superior who's willing to to educate your FSDO guy. Once you make a change to the a/c that is worth 'exhibiting'.

For a real world reference, these guys have apparently been doing it for some time, and even provide a 'how to' on their web site (check the FAQ section):
http://www.v8seabee.com/

Hope that's of some use...

Charlie

7. Apr 28, 2019

### BBerson

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8. Apr 28, 2019

### TFF

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I believe some of those SeaBees were grounded a couple of years back. There was also some Barrons that had the wing engines removed and a single PT6 stuck on the nose, why I don’t know, that were paperworked as EAB. There are people who can pull off anything. I’m not one of them.

9. Apr 28, 2019

### BBerson

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I would not get involved in any way beyond sending an application. Letting my I.A. expire was an act of divorce.
Believe it or not the FAA sent me a certified letter to remind me that any "annual" I may have done after April 1 are invalid and I must inform the aircraft owners. Very busy indeed.

10. Apr 29, 2019

### proppastie

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not flying it....in storage, just sell it, get an experimental powered glider, assuming there is a reason you want a powered glider. Change the engine, and do product development... who knows how long it will take your to get the new stc....then you need to do exhibition category to show off your new stc.

11. Apr 29, 2019

### BBerson

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Yes, selling makes sense but I sometimes don't do what makes sense. I am working on an experimental one seat powered glider which is my primary life goal. That's why I put it in storage. I don't care if it stays in storage or not.
I have three or four projects, but need to focus on my primary project first.

From the comments received, I think It's best to leave the aircraft in standard category and find a suitable I.A. in the future.
I can do a 100 hour inspection which is exactly the same as an annual and then the I.A. does an annual... for shared liability on me as I prefer.

Last edited: Apr 29, 2019
12. Apr 29, 2019

### TFF

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Having an IA in your neck of the woods sounds strange. Once the IA signs, it’s all on the IA, your 100 hr is meaningless at that point. Only parts you change in the log will be valid. If you want to share responsibility, you sign a 100 hr AFTER the IA. That is the only way both of you would be on the hook.

13. Apr 29, 2019

### BBerson

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Good point.
Actually I would have him submit a letter of discrepancies and not declare the aircraft airworthy at all.
When I fix the discrepancies he doesn't need to inspect again. Not often done that way but a close reading of 43.11 describes the approved procedure. Any person authorized under 43.7 can sign for return to service.

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14. Apr 29, 2019

### Victor Bravo

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Bill IMHO you would be cutting your nose to spite your face. Saving a dime and losing a dollar is more accurate. The moment you changed the AW cert you would cut the resale value of the airplane by some significant number. THEN your ongoing insurance would go up another significant percent. THEN you would not be able to explore giving motorglider rides or glider instruction or Sport Pilot instruction in the future, as you have previously considered.

The combined financial losses from these factors could easily outweigh the savings of not having to spend $250 on an IA for the annual signature. As for the cost of parts, yes Limbach parts are not available at the local FBO. But exactly because these parts are not easily available, you could more than likely get a low-objection / downhill battle field approval to use comparable VW aero conversion parts. It may be possible to get a one-time "blanket" approval that allows you to replace consumable / life-limited parts (rings, gaskets, seals, bearings, etc.) with Revmaster or other known quality parts. Also, as you are probably aware, an IA is already allowed to approve "minor alterations". So a combination of an FAA LODA letter, which allows an A&P (you) to choose acceptable quality parts for the engine,run the parts by the IA for QC inspection, then install and return to service might be do-able. Tantrum1 likes this. 15. Apr 29, 2019 ### BBerson ### BBerson #### Well-Known MemberHBA Supporter Joined: Dec 16, 2007 Messages: 12,495 Likes Received: 2,525 Location: Port Townsend WA Minor alterations don't need I.A. or FAA approval. I am just angry with the whole system. I received a life changing medical diagnosis just before the I.A. Renewal and it crystallized my choice to limit these B.S multiple layers of oversight anymore. The system should allow owner inspections. Certainly an A&P should be enough for private aircraft. The rules of commercial aircraft should not apply to private owners. I mean for everyone. This isn't about my case. I read a book called "Without their permission" (or similar) and the young author describes how the internet doesn't need permission from the government. No approval to operate an internet business. Not the case in aviation. And with about 100,000 or so flyable airplanes left, the system is broke. Some think the numbers will drop another 25% in 2020 when they refuse to install AD-B. poormansairforce likes this. 16. Apr 29, 2019 ### Turd Ferguson ### Turd Ferguson #### Well-Known Member Joined: Mar 14, 2008 Messages: 4,891 Likes Received: 1,791 Location: Upper midwest in a house For the 3 yrs had an A&P with no IA, had an IA perform the inspection on my plane and I returned to service after clearing any discrepancies. BBerson likes this. 17. Apr 29, 2019 ### proppastie ### proppastie #### Well-Known Member Joined: Feb 19, 2012 Messages: 3,963 Likes Received: 1,165 Location: NJ Find an IA with no assets to protect,.....a gypsy who works out of his truck. As someone once said, for$200 you should be able to get anything signed off.

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18. Apr 30, 2019

### TFF

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Everyone has to deal with the system. You can abide, you can fight, you can ignore. All have different consequences. If your not in it to play, fly with no annual and fix it to your satisfaction. Don’t crash, don’t give rides, don’t talk about it. Just make sure the registration is good. The way I see it is a political statement when no one is watching, is not a political statement.

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19. Nov 5, 2019

### skydawg

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My C172 is experimental and I can tell you its not that big of a deal if you follow the FAA guidance (look at order 8130) or contact an experienced DAR for getting the experimental AC. You would type up a letter (called a program letter...the format is in the 8130 order) stating what is unique about your aircraft (my C172 has a V8 engine) so I want to exhibit its unique features, performance and advantages of using modern car engines. Most previously certified aircraft are in the exhibition category, which requires you fax a letter to FSDO once a year with a list of events you intend to exhibit the plane.... weather you go or not is up to you as there is no requirement to do so.

As far as limitations, after phase 1 flight testing you pretty much have the same limits as amateur built, can even fly IFR if equipped and carry passengers. FAA allows training in experimental as well, as long as its not for compensation (again reference 8130). There is no geographic area limit after phase 1, and you can perform own maintenance except condition reports (you can't obviously get a repairman's cert, but an A&P rather than an AI will do), Oh, and since its previously held a TC, the time limited parts must be maintained per original schedule.

I'm not sure moving a TC'd plane to EXP is for everyone, but for me it made sense when I bought an over TBO C172 cheap and sold the engine off. It used to cost over $60/hr with original Lycoming, now its about$18/hr and is a way better engine. I even pump gas into it right from by car tank with a 12V pump (I removed the car's anti siphon valve.....get bad looks from the FBO). There's a lot of misinformation on this subject, and I even had my local FSDO tell me it couldn't be done until I showed them the order 8130.... funny thing, the 8130 order (the document FAA inspectors have to reference when performing such admin task) actually gave the example of a C172 with a V8 for the exhibition category.

The FAA stuff was the easy part... getting a car engine to be safe option in a plane was quite another and would not recommend such a mod to get the experimental AC if you don't have some engineering and/or design experience. Point being, just because you can, doesn't mean you should. There is a company I ran into earlier this year developing a V8 conversion for popular cessnas and pipers, and started FAA certification but they couldn't get liability insurance to sell it in the states so they are only selling it outside the country. The engine had redundant EFI system....the pilot turned all power off with the engine idling and within probably less than a second with the prop still slowing the backup system kicked in and it went right back to a smooth idle.... and was real quiet when it taxied and took off. From what I could see it was well put together firewall forward kit that looked like it came from Ford or Chevy... they are currently test flying one or two around..... maybe they will sell it as experimental in the states.

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20. Nov 5, 2019

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