converting production aircraft to a homebuilt

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redlaser
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converting production aircraft to a homebuilt

#1 Post by redlaser » Sun Feb 28, 2016 12:10 pm

I have an older production airplane which is not in production any more, I would like to convert it into a homebuilt aircraft, I know this has been done in the past with older production aircraft, What Dept of TC would I contact,and what TC forms would I have to fill to make my request. ? I guess the best persons out there to answer my questions would be Aircraft certified mechanics,
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Adam Oke
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Re: converting production aircraft to a homebuilt

#2 Post by Adam Oke » Sun Feb 28, 2016 1:35 pm

Are you building more than 50% of the aircraft?
549.5 Construction

(a) Aircraft, including those supplied in kit form, will be designated as amateur-built aircraft, where the major portion of the aircraft (more than 50%) is fabricated from raw material and assembled by an individual or a group of individuals on a non-commercial, non-production basis for educational or recreational purposes
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Chris M
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Re: converting production aircraft to a homebuilt

#3 Post by Chris M » Sun Feb 28, 2016 5:04 pm

There's always owner maintenance, if your plane is on the list. You can't make a certified plane a homebuilt, but it is possible to turn it into an experimental. Unfortunately it looks like that generally involves having a pile of restrictions dumped on your head.
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Re: converting production aircraft to a homebuilt

#4 Post by NunavutPA-12 » Mon Feb 29, 2016 8:25 am

549.5 Construction

(a) Aircraft, including those supplied in kit form, will be designated as amateur-built aircraft, where the major portion of the aircraft (more than 50%) is fabricated from raw material and assembled by an individual or a group of individuals on a non-commercial, non-production basis for educational or recreational purposes
[/quote]

It used to be that you could cobble together certified parts from various airplanes into a homebuilt and claim the 50-percent rule. As I understand it, this is no longer possible.
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Re: converting production aircraft to a homebuilt

#5 Post by redlaser » Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:59 am

[quote="Chris M"]There's always owner maintenance, if your plane is on the list. You can't make a certified plane a homebuilt, but it is possible to turn it into an experimental. Unfortunately it looks like that generally involves having a pile of restrictions dumped on your head.[/quote

Don't Experimental aircraft refer to planes built in the USA only, In Canada we call them Homebuilt, My Q refered to an aircraft having a C of A , being converted to an aircraft having a Flight Permit, where I could do the work on it myself, not having a certified mechanic do the work, By work I mean structural work, not an oil change, or cleaning plugs,
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Re: converting production aircraft to a homebuilt

#6 Post by NunavutPA-12 » Mon Feb 29, 2016 2:45 pm

We call them "Amateur-Built" in Canada, to be precise.

By "Flight Permit" I think you mean "Special Certificate of Airworthiness".

I believe that what you describe is not possible. Best to look for an aircraft that's already in the "amateur-built" category.
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Re: converting production aircraft to a homebuilt

#7 Post by mmartin1872 » Mon Feb 29, 2016 6:45 pm

It could be possible depending on what you are doing.. if you were fabricating a whole bunch of items in order to make 51% of the aircraft following the mdra's check sheet. . It could be possible to do. . Most of the time it is done by taking a substantially damaged aircraft and getting the 51% inspection done. . Then you have to fabricate the parts. . (Read the definition of fabrication in the check sheets) and you could qualify for the amateur built designation. . But just moving the ac into amateur built. .. that won't happen.

Check with the mdra (they have a website) read all the information. . And decide if that is what you are doing.. a lot of people will tell you that it is not possible anymore. . But I just recently got a substantially damaged stinson approved for the 51% rule. . Of course it is no longer a stinson now though.
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Re: converting production aircraft to a homebuilt

#8 Post by ahramin » Mon Feb 29, 2016 8:24 pm

There are experimental aircraft in Canada as well but you won't qualify for it unless you are actually doing something experimental.

Your best bet is owner maintenance, which was created specifically for your situation.
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Re: converting production aircraft to a homebuilt

#9 Post by AirFrame » Tue Mar 01, 2016 8:29 am

Usually the barrier (on a metal aircraft) is that to meet the requirements for assembling an Amateur-Built-Aircraft in Canada you have to inspect every cavity before it's closed. That means lifting one skin off each wing from leading to trailing edge so the insides can be inspected. Same goes for ailerons, flaps, horizontal and vertical stabilizers, rudder, and elevators. Might even require skin removal on a fuselage if the fuselage isn't fully accessible. And if you have a box spar, that has to be opened too. And fuel tanks, as mentioned.

Don't expect to strip the fabric off a fabric aircraft though, have it inspected, and then cover it and declare it an amateur-built. You likely won't meet the 51% requirement.

My recollection is that if you were to take a certified (metal) aircraft down to the state where it could be inspected fully, and then assemble more than 51%, you would meet the requirement. It's not trivial though. A Dornier Do.27 was just completed here on the west coast into the Amateur-Built category... But I believe the project was started before MD-RA came into being, that's how long it's been going.
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Re: converting production aircraft to a homebuilt

#10 Post by redlaser » Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:48 pm

If I were to rebuild both wings and tear down the engine and re assemble it with new parts, would that qualify as 51%, How much of a Airplane constitute's 51% anyway. Production aircraft have inspection covers everywhere so getting to look at every section is not a problem,
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Re: converting production aircraft to a homebuilt

#11 Post by Adam Oke » Tue Mar 01, 2016 1:54 pm

redlaser wrote:If I were to rebuild both wings and tear down the engine and re assemble it with new parts, would that qualify as 51%, How much of a Airplane constitute's 51% anyway. Production aircraft have inspection covers everywhere so getting to look at every section is not a problem,
Contact the MDRA. They will have the answers you are looking for as they are the ones you will be required to contact for your letter of intent, pre closure inspection, and final inspections. You will not be the first or the last to approach them with this inquiry.

Click "Contact Us" on this page and you will find the Rep's listed for your region: http://www.md-ra.com/en/
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Re: converting production aircraft to a homebuilt

#12 Post by fleet16b » Thu Mar 17, 2016 8:11 am

redlaser wrote:If I were to rebuild both wings and tear down the engine and re assemble it with new parts, would that qualify as 51%, How much of a Airplane constitute's 51% anyway. Production aircraft have inspection covers everywhere so getting to look at every section is not a problem,
51% means that you built 51% from scratch. Rebuilding components does not qualify as part of it.
The easiest and cheapest course of action regarding a factory built aircraft is to go Owner Maint.
However, keep in mind that a) the aircraft must have a current C of A before it can be placed in the category b) its on the list of OM qualified aircraft
With regards to inspection panels , you are wrong . Fabric aircraft also have inspection panels but an MDRA will not let you cover the wings prior to inspection of the structure . I doubt he will sign off a set of metal skinned wings that he has no idea are sound in structure .
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Re: converting production aircraft to a homebuilt

#13 Post by mmartin1872 » Thu Mar 17, 2016 10:03 am

No. . Look up the definition of fabrication in transport canadas 51 percent kit evaluation. . This is the same evaluation that the mdra uses. You have to introduce a significant amount of fabrication. Which includes fitting deburring painting and a whole slew of other items. . Be ready to define your definition of significant to the mdra.. a good way to go is. . How much would it cost to get a shop to do the work vs the value of the aircraft afterwards. . I just went through this with the mdra a few years ago. And got a wrecked airplane into the amateur built category
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Re: converting production aircraft to a homebuilt

#14 Post by AirFrame » Thu Mar 17, 2016 5:48 pm

As someone pointed out, you really need to contact MD-RA on this for the current position.

In the past, they have been instructed to read "assemble" where it says "fabricate". This loophole allowed a number of people to move aircraft from certified to amateur-built status by recovering fabric wings, or de-riveting skins, etc. and then closing them back up again. I understand that instruction is no longer correct, as Transport wasn't keen on so many certified planes making this switch. Unless you get an MD-RA spokesperson on here, you may not get accurate info.
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