Certificated to Experimental Exhibition conversion?

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Turd Ferguson

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AC 21-37 explains how to develop an STC for converting a standard category airplane to primary category. Seems like the FAA is guilty of aiding, abetting and encouraging people to do it by providing guidance. Primary category was a great idea, unfortunately for some reason it was practically kept secret.
 

Dana

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The primary category conversion sounded good at first, until the FAA started adding details... the requirement to have a maintenance plan and owner training to take advantage of it made it essentially a non starter. For new production aircraft, AFAIK Quicksilver is the only one to ever certificate a new production aircraft (their GT500) in Primary category. Today, SLSA makes more sense.
 

BBerson

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AC 21-37 explains how to develop an STC for converting a standard category airplane to primary category. Seems like the FAA is guilty of aiding, abetting and encouraging people to do it by providing guidance. Primary category was a great idea, unfortunately for some reason it was practically kept secret.
Can an A&P sign an annual for primary category? I might need to look at this. Didn't read AC21-37 yet
 

Turd Ferguson

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AFAIK Quicksilver is the only one to ever certificate a new production aircraft (their GT500) in Primary category.
Rans S7C was another one type certificated as a primary category aircraft, It took RANS ~7 yrs to get the plane certificated.

Primary category still has the advantage of larger, heavier airplanes with more power than what LSA allows. Not as much freedom but one could STC a Cherokee 180 into the primary category which may fit someone's needs better than an LSA.
 

BBerson

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I don't recall that being the case. Have to check it out.
Could be possible. A poster today on General Aviation News Dan Johnson article wrote this:
  • Larry says
    SEPTEMBER 4, 2020 AT 8:32 AM
    Around 10 years ago, the FAA and a panel of ~40 people inside and outside the Agency began work on the Congressionally mandated FAR Part 23 rewrite. One of the Appendices to the excellent document that ultimately popped out after YEARS of work was a potential new category of airworthiness called Primary — non Commercial. The idea was that owners who only flew recreationally could voluntarily choose to re-license their airplane in the P-NC category which would essentially work similar to E-AB airplanes and allow an A&P (without IA — there are lots more of them) to perform a condition inspection annually to meet airworthiness requirements. That ~260 page document never went anywhere !! Instead, we got NORSEE. In addition, equipment installed in these aircraft did not have to have TSO or STC … just like E-AB. Finally, such aircraft could go back to Standard Airworthiness standards after a survey and “blessing” by an IA that it met it’s original Type Certificate.
    So where did such a novel, practical and much needed idea go? No place. As a Master A&P with >50years experience, this subject incenses me. Why doesn’t someone at 800 Independence Ave wake up and realize that aviation is dying in this Country? Just the other day, I was working on a ’46 Aeronca and lamenting that we’re flying such old and crude airplanes precisely because of intransigence on the part of the FAA. Safety IS paramount … but lets not forget the premise that promulgation of aviation is — likewise — paramount. And, a part of safety is flying newer machines with today’s technology. Cases in point … the Rotax iS engines vs. 1940’s designed tractor engines or Garmin G3X panels vs. steam gauges or carbon fibre vs. irish linen. I could go on …
    When LSA was originally introduced, no one had any idea that it might be as successful overall as it was. Flying an airplane with a pink special airworthiness certificate by a pilot without a medical with installed equipment that isn’t necessarily TSO’ed built by newcomers (read agile) to aviation manufacturing has now proven itself as a practical way to reduce the cost of both entry and maintenance of flying. These airplanes aren’t falling on people’s heads. It’s time to expand LSA into a “gateway” path for ALL to enter aviation. I’m tired of flapping jaws … I want ACTION !! 2023 for MOSAIC … give us all a break, FAA.
    And if I hear the phrase “Ex Parte” one more time … MY head is going to explode ! Michael Huerta hid behind that term on the subject of medical reform and got it shoved you know where by Sen. Inhofe when a “perfect storm” opportunity presented itself to him and BasicMed came into being. Maybe NOW is the time to do the same with the airplane side of the equation?
    Reply
 

akwrencher

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I did some searching last night and it seems you still need a 3rd class for rec pilot, so not much advantage there. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
 

Pops

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Wrong thread.
 
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BBerson

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I did some searching last night and it seems you still need a 3rd class for rec pilot, so not much advantage there. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
Recreational Pilot has nothing to do with Primary Category, which is an aircraft category.
 

Turd Ferguson

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I did some searching last night and it seems you still need a 3rd class for rec pilot, so not much advantage there. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
At the time, yes but today Basic Med would work. Have to remember, Recreational pilot was introduced 30 yrs ago and it was quite a departure from the minimum airman certification of private pilot.
 

TFF

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Right now the FAA runs a reduced staff. I was at an IA conference where the woman in charge of some part of records. She had 7 employees. For the FAA to adopt a owner maintained category, they would have to hire 250 lawyers to eek out every possible danger. Today they would want to put the maintenance manual in the FARs. But then if it’s wrong it can’t be updated withal rewrite of the FAR... As fictitious and stupid as it sounds, reality is they are not going to spend money on us. If your a senator with a Pitts is the only way you will see anything but the entropy that is happening. The government would rather take it all away just so they did not have to administer it. Somehow little corners keep us engaged like basic med, but they don’t want to fix anything t because there is no way to ride it out for a career.
 

Pops

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Right now the FAA runs a reduced staff. I was at an IA conference where the woman in charge of some part of records. She had 7 employees. For the FAA to adopt a owner maintained category, they would have to hire 250 lawyers to eek out every possible danger. Today they would want to put the maintenance manual in the FARs. But then if it’s wrong it can’t be updated withal rewrite of the FAR... As fictitious and stupid as it sounds, reality is they are not going to spend money on us. If your a senator with a Pitts is the only way you will see anything but the entropy that is happening. The government would rather take it all away just so they did not have to administer it. Somehow little corners keep us engaged like basic med, but they don’t want to fix anything t because there is no way to ride it out for a career.
Follow the money.
 

BBerson

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I don't recall that being the case. Have to check it out.
From AC21-37 it appears a pilot owner with A&P can perform the 12 month annual inspections.





c. The 12-month annual inspection required by§ 91.409(a) is required for primary category aircraft that have been issued an airworthiness certificate under§ 21.184. In addition, the 100-hour inspection required by§ 91.409(b) is required if the aircraft is used for rental or flight instruction. Pilot-owners that do not also hold airframe and powerplant mechanic ratings and/or inspection authorizations are not authorized to perform the inspections.
 

Turd Ferguson

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From AC21-37 it appears a pilot owner with A&P can perform the 12 month annual inspections.


c. The 12-month annual inspection required by§ 91.409(a) is required for primary category aircraft that have been issued an airworthiness certificate under§ 21.184. In addition, the 100-hour inspection required by§ 91.409(b) is required if the aircraft is used for rental or flight instruction. Pilot-owners that do not also hold airframe and powerplant mechanic ratings and/or inspection authorizations are not authorized to perform the inspections.
The way I read it is a pilot-owner with a mechanic certificate and A&P ratings can perform the 100h inspection while the annual inspection required by 91.409 requires inspection authorization for return to service; ref: §91.409(a)(1).
 

BBerson

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Then there is no significant relief at all for maintenance on Primary category. What is the distinction between Special Airworthiness for Primary and ordinary Standard Airworthiness?
There might be some relief in the operating limitation of Primary. I am just guessing that a Primary 12 month inspection could now be a condition inspection to go with the Special Airworthiness certificate. The AC 21-37 may not be accurate if the word condition inspection was after that date.
 

akwrencher

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Recreational Pilot has nothing to do with Primary Category, which is an aircraft category.
My limited understanding was you could fly primary Catagory with a rec pilot cert. But, I am often confused, so could be totally out to lunch😁
 

Turd Ferguson

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Then there is no significant relief at all for maintenance on Primary category. What is the distinction between Special Airworthiness for Primary and ordinary Standard Airworthiness?
I think the gain is preventive maintenance tasks on a primary category aircraft are not limited to Part 43 Appendix A.
So theoretically, one could take a plane like a 150, create a primary category STC and have the entire maintenance manual approved as preventive maintenance. The owner-pilot could do any required maintenance leaving only inspections requiring a mechanic for return to service.
From memory, that's how the Quicksilver GT 500 was set up. Replacing any part of the airframe was listed in the manual as preventive maintenance.
 

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