# Purchasing homebuilt, confused with required inspections

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#### D Hillberg

##### Well-Known Member
Not quite. An annual inspection can be signed off by an IA with a list of discrepancies that must be fixed, but not a condition inspection, it's either in "condition for safe operation" or it's not.

In this case, the purchaser needs to find an A&P who is willing to sign off the inspection, or trailer or home.
A conditional inspection is just that, It passes or not.
An Annual inspection is just that, It passes or not.
An A/P corrects discrepancies on an Annual... The Annual is not in force until those discrepancies are corrected.
The pilot/owner corrects discrepancies on his machine... Conditional not in force (So what's the rub?)
Repairmans Certificate...
In any case the PILOT returns the aircraft into service - Not the mechanics...(They only sign off their work)

#### Turd Ferguson

##### Well-Known Member
Actually, there is only one outcome for a condition inspection. The aircraft has to be found in condition for safe operation.

Can't pull a sentence out of the 43 regs and use it because it's convenient.

#### TFF

##### Well-Known Member
Most A&Ps will not go the discrepancy rout. One, you still signed off what you thought was good and now you got someone monkeying with it that you don’t know. Two, most mechanics like to see the job completed. Start to stop. Just like a pilot checklist. The list is still owned by the mechanic who generated It and is subject to the why did you not put this on the list endlessly. It’s easier to say all or nothing.
There use to be a guy at my airport who has good parts and bad parts. He would spend the month before annual bolting on the good stuff like new brakes and low time engine and prop. Sail through annual, and then bolt the ragged parts on to fly. He kept his value. Got caught by the last IA and had him put all the stuff on his plane and make a trip to the FSDO to tell them he was not going to swap parts anymore and if he did the IA knew nothing about it. It’s not that most people are not trustworthy, it’s the one that makes everybody stop being friendly. I can show you a guy who open fuels his airplane with a lit cigar every time. People just walk the other way because you ain’t gonna stop him. It’s not the good guys, it’s the bad. And you just don’t know.

I have a friend who has a beautiful replica biplane from a well known builder. The guy who commissioned the plane immediately sued the builder because that is what this millionaire did with every business deal he did. Squeeze because he could afford it. It’s a black sheep airplane because of that. Doctors have malpractice insurance. No way a mechanic can afford that. The shop he works in hopefully does but not man to man. You have to be careful out there.

#### rv7charlie

##### Well-Known Member
Might be worth reading some of the stuff by Mike Busch, an award winning IA who manages a/c maintenance programs for people/companies that are a bit higher profile than, well, me, anyway. His stuff typically is written for the certified crowd, but it often gives me a better handle on what's allowable & what isn't, even in the exp world.

(Not that any of the recent posts, including this one, really have anything to do with the OP's question.)
Charlie

#### wsimpso1

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Log Member
A Paz! Cool. +1 on getting thorough inspection of the airplane from an A&P who does not know it. Lots of good advice above. I am feeling a need to organize it a little.

Lets's get some stuff straight.

Pre-buy is on you, the A&P or Ai works for you, you are paying for the inspection. This is not CI, at least not yet. You are trying to find out if it has any "gotchas", sort of like using an inspector before buying a house. The owner does not have to even see the report, there is no log book entry, etc.

CI is equivalent to an Annual on a certified airplane, but it can be done by an A&P. Usually this is done at the behest of the owner, paid for by the owner and it puts some obligations on the owner too, as it now either is good to fly or has some things that have to be fixed. The owner may not want a CI for a whole bunch of reasons. Be skeptical. And the mechanic doing it before you buy is not beholden to you...

If the A&P gives it a clean bill, you should be able to get the CI endorsement too, and then you are set for a year. But the CI does not get signed and put in the book until you own the thing. If the pre-buy inspection turns up anything, no log book entry. If the A&P finds issues, re-evaluate the purchase. If you intend to trailer it home, you still should pay someone obliged to you tell you if there is anything expensive and/or not fixable about the airplane... You could trailer it home, then get a CI.

Personally, I would use EAA contacts to find an A&P local to the airplane nut who has never seen it before to do pre-Buy with the condition that he write the CI if I buy it.

Not to blow his cover or anything, but BBerson is local to that airplane...

Billski

#### D Hillberg

##### Well-Known Member
Actually, there is only one outcome for a condition inspection. The aircraft has to be found in condition for safe operation.

Can't pull a sentence out of the 43 regs and use it because it's convenient.
A LIST IS A LIST - The standard of a Conditional Inspection...
Repairman Certificate = single serial number like A&P - Sign off Conditional (No have, not the manufacture)
A/P Sign off conditional conditional - No pass inspection ( gives discrepancy list to owner pilot )
Owner / Pilot returns aircraft to service after working on it...
Pilots also have list of "Preventative Maintenance" as authorized in the FARs
Owner Operator is responsible for Airworthiness . . . 43? try Pt 61- 65 and a few more
Every Inspection has different outcomes - Pass or Fail - If not "completed" how do you get paid?

Document everything - Even the Lists & sign offs "pass or fail" for each job A job sheet.
Not the 1st time an owner has work done by osmosis - Shopping for his kind of friend

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#### Daleandee

##### Well-Known Member
If the plane on Barnstormers is the plane in question then I wonder how it is handled that it was manufactured in Canada and brought to the US and in that time another engine was installed and it hasn't flown since the install. A plane built here with an engine swap would be required to go through at least a weight & balance and a period of phase one testing in accordance with the local FSDO. Not sure how that would work on this one.

#### Turd Ferguson

##### Well-Known Member
A homebuilt is not required to be "airworthy" per the FAR 3.5(a) definition, for obvious reasons.

The guidance for a condition inspection is in the OL's:

"Condition inspections must be recorded in the aircraft logbook and maintenance records showing the following, or a similarly worded, statement: “I certify that this aircraft has been inspected on [insert date] in accordance with the scope and detail of FAR 43 Appendix D, and was found to be in a condition for safe operation.” The entry will include the aircraft’s total time-in-service (cycles if appropriate), and the name, signature, certificate number, and type of certificate held by the person performing the inspection."

No ambiguity there.

#### Turd Ferguson

##### Well-Known Member
If that's the plane in the Barnstormers ad I'd have it loaded up and be on the way home. There is almost nothing that would be a showstopper at that price point.

#### Pops

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member

Would take a lot of effort to lose any money at that price.

#### Marc Zeitlin

##### Exalted Grand Poobah
The standard of a Conditional Inspection...
Can/will you please stop calling it a "conditional" inspection? It's a "Condition" inspection, as you're inspecting the CONDITION of the aircraft, to determine if it's in a "CONDITION" for safe operation. It's not "conditional" on anything.

A/P Sign off conditional conditional - No pass inspection ( gives discrepancy list to owner pilot )
Owner / Pilot returns aircraft to service after working on it...
Nope. Never happens, if the A&P knows his butt from a box of hot rocks.

As others have said, the A&P (or the holder of the RC) either signs off the plane as "in a condition for safe operation" or he doesn't. There's no logbook entry for non-sign offs, or discrepancies.

Now, many times, when there are safety related issues associated with an E-AB aircraft during a CI that I'm performing, I will give the owner a list of the items to be fixed prior to sign off, and then when she provides me with verbal, written and pictorial evidence that the items have been rectified to MY standards, I will sign off the logbook. But the owner/pilot does not have the ability or the right per the OL's to sign off the CI. Only the RC holder or an A&P can do that. So what you've written is not allowable (although I will allow that that doesn't mean that it hasn't happened due to people not understanding the rules).

Pilots also have list of "Preventative Maintenance" as authorized in the FARs
Owner Operator is responsible for Airworthiness . . . 43? try Pt 61- 65 and a few more
And has TF has pointed out, an Experimental aircraft CANNOT be "airworthy", since there's no applicable TC. It can only be "in a condition for safe operation".

The owner/operator/pilot (or, in fact, their grandmother's dog) can do any work on the E-AB plane and sign the work off as having been completed, but that does not count for the CI signoff.

Every Inspection has different outcomes - Pass or Fail - If not "completed" how do you get paid?

#### D Hillberg

##### Well-Known Member
A homebuilt is not required to be "airworthy" per the FAR 3.5(a) definition, for obvious reasons.

The guidance for a condition inspection is in the OL's:

"Condition inspections must be recorded in the aircraft logbook and maintenance records showing the following, or a similarly worded, statement: “I certify that this aircraft has been inspected on [insert date] in accordance with the scope and detail of FAR 43 Appendix D, and was found to be in a condition for safe operation.” The entry will include the aircraft’s total time-in-service (cycles if appropriate), and the name, signature, certificate number, and type of certificate held by the person performing the inspection."

No ambiguity there.
as noted
"Name, Signature, Certificate number & type of certificate held by that person" Lot's of wiggle room
Fun trolling

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#### Socal pilot

##### Member
Again a lot of good comments, devil is in the details. Yes that's the aircraft, I'm hopeful that I will be able to work everything out to both mine and owner satisfaction. I do agree that the price is competitive, but there is always one guy who is able to double any price after purchase in unexpected repairs, and I'm not eager to be that guy. To my knowledge the aircraft is not weighed, so that will add to my expense, plus towing plus other, so until I win a lottery I'm extra careful with what I have, we can all relate I believe.

I was wondering about the engine swap myself, it looks like Aviation Safety Inspector looked at it after the import and issued a new certificate it states "I found the aircraft meets the requirement for the certification requested". I'm wondering how was that done if the plane was not weighed, probably those two are unrelated. But it does bring a good point, it would mean that Phase 1 was completed in that case? Or it is unrelated as well and Phase 1 is not necessary it is done trough major repair or alteration form? I know something had to be done, I'll request a more detailed maintance log, if the engine is swapped after the certificate was issued, than I'm sailing into fun waters with the FAA.

Which brings me to another topic, if I'm unable to pass the Condition inspection for whatever reason, my fallback is selling the engine and the prop. But I read that as soon as certified part gets installed in experimental part looses certification. What would I have to do in that case, certify them again in order to sell them? Huh, I'm definitely learning a lot and have more appreciation towards building and navigating FAA rules.

#### kent Ashton

##### Well-Known Member
if I'm unable to pass the Condition inspection for whatever reason, my fallback is selling the engine and the prop. But I read that as soon as certified part gets installed in experimental part looses certification. What would I have to do in that case, certify them again in order to sell them? Huh, I'm definitely learning a lot and have more appreciation towards building and navigating FAA rules.
there should not be any reason you can’t fix whatever is wrong and pass a condition inspection. Pazmany was a common design in its day. I believe the Taiwanese Air Force flew a version. Somebody will buy that airplane and get it flying again. . . . And rather easily by the look of it, however take a _good_ look.

#### Turd Ferguson

##### Well-Known Member
You'll have to read the specific Operating Limitations for this airplane as they have evolved over the years and the plane may still be flying on an older version of OL's.

BTW, doubling the price to get it in flying condition, it's still a good deal. I don't think that will be necessary.

#### jedi

##### Well-Known Member
Two cents: The condition inspection says it meets the minimum airworthiness standards. The Pre-Buy should look further into the future to find things that may not pass the next condition inspection or that would be reasonable to repair so as to avoid unscheduled maintenance or be the "nice" aircraft that the owner wants.
Too many purchasers buy an aircraft with a "fresh" inspection and are then in shock to find the mechanic has a long list of items that "should" be addressed but passed the inspection. Example compression was minimum passing but the engine is ready for a "top overhaul". Then it has oversize pistons and the crank has been turned and can't be done again, etc. till a complete rebuild or engine replacement will soon be needed.
Or more common, the radios work but not well enough that anyone wants to fly with them and no one will repair them so rebuild the panel with all new stuff that works is the first priority.
Not to say don't buy the plane that meets the minimums. Just don't pay for the "all is great" when the truth is that all is (barely) functional.

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#### BJC

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
What should I do?
Thank you in advance!
You should:

Find an A&P that you trust, agree on his cost / labor rate, and pay him to inspect the airplane for you. Agree in advance on his labor rate and work schedule for any work required to bring the aircraft into a condition that meets the OLs. Agree in advance on having him sign off the CI when the aircraft meets the criteria.

Join the EAA, be active in a chapter or two, and establish relationships with experienced people.

Begin a self-education program for yourself. If you are going to be active in E-AB aviation, you need to gain a reasonable understanding of the aircraft, the construction methods and standards, maintenance methods and standards, its systems and its flight characteristics / idiosyncrasies. That can be a long process. While learning, rely on experienced A&Ps and EAA technical counselors with relevant experience. There are good study / reference materials available through the EAA.

Clarity wrt condition inspections has been provided above, assuming that you have been able to separate the valid from the invalid. Always validate the experience and knowledge of anyone that provides answers and advice, as well as the accuracy of the information. A summary of what the CI is can be read here Condition Inspection | EAA

E-AB ownership can be a great, fun, satisfying experience. Do your due-diligance, jump in, and join in the fun.

BJC

#### Dana

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
I was wondering about the engine swap myself, it looks like Aviation Safety Inspector looked at it after the import and issued a new certificate it states "I found the aircraft meets the requirement for the certification requested". I'm wondering how was that done if the plane was not weighed, probably those two are unrelated. But it does bring a good point, it would mean that Phase 1 was completed in that case? Or it is unrelated as well and Phase 1 is not necessary it is done trough major repair or alteration form? I know something had to be done, I'll request a more detailed maintance log, if the engine is swapped after the certificate was issued, than I'm sailing into fun waters with the FAA.
Plane built in Canada, flown through their equivalent of phase 1. Imported to USA, ASI issued new US airworthiness certificate. At that point the plane was legal to fly in the US. Then, the engine was swapped. If the original engine was also an A-75, nothing further is required (except a current condition inspection, of course). If, as I assume, it's a different type engine, then it's a "major change" and the local FSDO has to be notified, at which point they will assign a new test area and time (typically 5 hours), and again you need a current condition inspection. In that case you can't fly it home unless you get the test area around where it's currently located, and fly the 5 hours before setting off cross country. Otherwise, you trailer it home, get the test area assigned around your local field and fly the 5 hours there.

So it kinda makes sense... I can understand that an A&P might be reluctant to sign off on the condition inspection knowing that it will immediately be disassembled, hauled somewhere else, and reassembled by people the A&P doesn't know. Indeed the barnstormers ad says "trailer out only". So if you trust the mechanic who said it's in good shape, write a check, load it up, and get the CI done at home. If you don't somebody else will, very soon at that price.

#### djmcfall

##### Well-Known Member
If that link to Barnstormers that Kent Ashton listed then I can vouch for the Director (or Curator) of the museum, Michael Payne. He is an IA and was very helpful and honest as I purchased a Bell 47 from them. It was the personal ship of the man in his 80's who started the museum.