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When or how can a certified aircraft engine become "Experimental"? Also, once that happens, can the owner rebuild it themselves?

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TFF

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There are blurred rules on the data plate. What you have really is with a data plate is best chance to not have the extra phase 1 time and the FAA when you crash can fill that blank out fully. I was told the last one. Once bolted on a homebuilt, it is not certified anymore. It does not mean it can’t be recertified if you sell it. It must be inspected by an A&P and logged it conforms. Remove the tag means it’s yours but still not. If part numbers are on the parts, you are still liable for ADs on them. There are service letters for Lycoming and Continental on how they want you to take the tag off. To them if you don’t means you are not following published protocol and whatever happened is not their fault. The runaround is always about liability. To the FAA it’s about filling in paperwork and to the companies it’s about being sued. You as a consumer have to figure your own best deal.
 

Pops

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I was ask by the FAA inspector a few months ago when he was inspecting the JMR if the engine was a certified engine. Told him No, it was assembled from parts and has no data plate. He then ask if there was any certified parts on the airplane. I told him the Slick mags and the Stromberg carb and there is no AD's by the serial numbers and the prop, brakes, etc , all are not certified parts.
 

Rockiedog2

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Experimental motor built up from small Continental parts on my original design. No data plate. My DAR asked me if the ADs were up to date. I replied “what ADs do you want me to check?if it was a VW motor or a Briggs would you require ADs be checked?”
Well I don’t know all the rules in detail but he went on to more important details like being sure the door handle had a placard which way to turn to open/close.
So much bulls**t in aviation.
 

Pops

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I made up the serial number used on the paper work.
Experimental motor built up from small Continental parts on my original design. No data plate. My DAR asked me if the ADs were up to date. I replied “what ADs do you want me to check?if it was a VW motor or a Briggs would you require ADs be checked?”
Well I don’t know all the rules in detail but he went on to more important details like being sure the door handle had a placard which way to turn to open/close.
So much bulls**t in aviation.
Other details like the one safety wire on the prop bolts had a slight bow ( if you checked it with a straight edge) in it so was not pulled completely straight , so it was to loose and had to be fixed.
My door handle are not placarded, so he missed that.
That is for you to know that they are in control and needed.
 

Rockiedog2

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The AC on homebuilt standards is advisory/recommended not required. We can use stove bolts and a leaf blower for a motor if we want to. Some of the DARs get carried away with what they want to require. Course they got that one catchall to fall back on. Words to the effect he ensure it is “safe”. If we refuse to comply with what he wants he can walk off.
Too many of us think we’re hot stuff cause we fool around with planes. EAA is full of that. DARs can be some of the worst. In my opinion and experience. (We always have to add that don’t we)

Last time I looked at that AC was about 50 years ago. If it’s changed to required or like that please correct me
 

harrisonaero

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Experimental motor built up from small Continental parts on my original design. No data plate. My DAR asked me if the ADs were up to date. I replied “what ADs do you want me to check?if it was a VW motor or a Briggs would you require ADs be checked?”
Well I don’t know all the rules in detail but he went on to more important details like being sure the door handle had a placard which way to turn to open/close.
So much bulls**t in aviation.
As a former DAR let me request you put yourself in the FAA's position. There's a certified engine with a known safety issue. Hence the AD. The government doesn't want to be legally, ethically, or politically responsible for allowing this to go on an aircraft because it goes against their mission. But use an experimental engine without a known safety issue and you're fine because it's an experiment and that's allowed.

Within reason. If you try to game the system then it's common-sense that what you're doing is a safety risk and won't be signed off. For example, if you put on a Cox 049 engine so that you can have a 254 lb sailplane... that's gaming the system.

Americans would all like to have aviation regulations be as hands-off as possible but in truth we have one of the best systems in the world when you compare the freedom to innovate against the protection of the public that we're flying over or giving rides to in our experiments.
 

Dan Thomas

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Americans would all like to have aviation regulations be as hands-off as possible but in truth we have one of the best systems in the world when you compare the freedom to innovate against the protection of the public that we're flying over or giving rides to in our experiments.
Yup. Most American and Canadian homebuilders and pilots have NO IDEA how privileged they are.
 

Heliano

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A quick remark about what Rockiedog2 said: Yes, it sounds strange asking for AD compliance when the whole aircraft is experimental. However there may be a reason: here in my country the flight permit for initial flight testing of an experimental aircraft is different for a non-certified engine: one has to fly within a predefined test area for 75 hours if it is a non-certified engine. If it is a certified engine, that number is reduced to 50 hours, but the engine maintenance and documentation must be ok. I presume that the requirements in the US are similar.
 

TFF

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The FAAs lawyers are smart. If you see an AD, written in the last 15-20 years, against something like a connecting rod or a fuel pump, there will be a statement to the effect that says, “part is covered if used despite use or modification. That means you can’t grind the numbers off and you are still on the hook if you put a Lycoming rod in a Chevy V8. You will not see that statement in airframe ADs or engine as whole ADs. What seems to happen in the real world is if something broke that is covered in a homebuilt, it gets filed under crazy fool not flying a proper airplane. Which is fine with me. They the FAA are covered if they wanted to put the energy in, which they can’t. Not at lest right now.
 

Pops

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Don't get me started about DAR's.
Friend of mine in WY had his third homebuilt inspected by a DAR. Last 2 homebuilts had aluminum wings. The DAR turned it down because he found a rivet in the wing that was not perfect. Said it was safe, but not perfect. Wouldn't sign it off unless it was perfect. Also said there might be more rivets in the wing were he can't see that are not perfect. Been several other IA's looked at the rivets and they all said , yes, there are a couple rivets that " if measured" , you will find that its a few thousands of being perfect but still very safe. He is about ready to scrap the Bearhawk LSA. One less homebuilder and pilot, giving up, just not worth it any more. FSDO says, the DAR made his decision and thats it.
I can show you rivets in about any Cessna or Piper that "if measured" are not perfect.
How did we get down to this?
 
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Dan Thomas

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I can show you rivets in about any Cessna or Piper that "if measured" are not perfect.
How did we get down to this?
I've seen Cessna rivets that don't need to be measured to see that they're not perfect. I've also seen Cessna service bulletins recommending a check for missing rivets in certain locations, yet there is no AD enforcing that.
It sounds like some DARs are terrified of liability. Maybe they should take up something else. I've never read an accident report blaming a crash on a rivet that was a few thousandths from perfect.
 

Rockiedog2

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Don't get me started about DAR's.
Friend of mine in WY had his third homebuilt inspected by a DAR. Last 2 homebuilts had aluminum wings. The DAR turned it down because he found a rivet in the wing that was not perfect. Said it was safe, but not perfect. Wouldn't sign it off unless it was perfect. Also said there might be more rivets in the wing were he can't see that are not perfect. Been several other IA's looked at the rivets and they all said , yes, there are a couple rivets that " if measured" , you will find that its a few thousands of being perfect but still very safe. He is about ready to scrap the Bearhawk LSA. One less homebuilder and pilot, giving up, just not worth it any more. FSDO says, the DAR made his decision and thats it.
I can show you rivets in about any Cessna or Piper that "if measured" are not perfect.
How did we get down to this?
Yessir.
Most are ok but those few...I know of one that required IMO a ridiculous checklist before he would come. Stuff like tire pressures and valve caps and on and on. Well that was ok he sent it before he came so we would know to call somebody else.
The one I used died. I quit building planes after that. He came for an inspection, looked out the door at the plane, said “is that it?” Yeh. “Where’s the paperwork?” Checked that got his $400 check and left.
Two extremes.
 

AIRCAB

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I've seen Cessna rivets that don't need to be measured to see that they're not perfect. I've also seen Cessna service bulletins recommending a check for missing rivets in certain locations, yet there is no AD enforcing that.
It sounds like some DARs are terrified of liability. Maybe they should take up something else. I've never read an accident report blaming a crash on a rivet that was a few thousandths from perfect.
I would totally agree that it related to liability,
 

BBerson

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No need for any FAA or DAR to come out at all. Just let the builder do the condition inspection and send in the paperwork with the test area designated.
 

Pops

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I have had no problems in the past with inspections done by the FAA. I think they did a good job. First one was back in 1975 when you had to get an inspection before closing anything up. Needed my wood box spars inspected. Then the Falconar F-12 in 1981, good job, etc, etc.
Also in the mid 1980's in getting my work C-172 with all the mods for a camera platform and in the Restricted Category. Great job.
 

Turd Ferguson

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Dan Thomas said:
It sounds like some DARs are terrified of liability. Maybe they should take up something else. I've never read an accident report blaming a crash on a rivet that was a few thousandths from perfect.
I would totally agree that it related to liability,
Or perceived liability. Everyone is convinced lawyers are like panhandlers on every street corner, soliciting personal injury cases and willing to sue the pants off anything that moves.
 
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