Self maint. for purchased homebuilt

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awitzke
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Self maint. for purchased homebuilt

#1 Post by awitzke » Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:34 pm

Hey guys, I am starting to poke around at the prospect of buying an aircraft. Specifically an RV6. I'm new to the homebuilt world and had a question regarding self maintenance. I know that to be classified as a home build (correct me if I'm wrong?), the builder must complete 51% of the build. Doing so allows them to complete work and maintenance on the aircraft themselves. My question, if I were to buy a completed aircraft does this transfer over to me? Since it is still a home built, experimental aircraft? Or would I be relegated to only elementary maintenance?

Thanks
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Re: Self maint. for purchased homebuilt

#2 Post by photofly » Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:03 pm

according to COPA when you buy a homebuilt you can maintain it yourself as though you had built it.
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Re: Self maint. for purchased homebuilt

#3 Post by Chris M » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:54 am

In the US only the original builder can apply for a Repairman Certificate, which allows them to perform the plane's annual Condition Inspection. If the plane is sold the new owner has to use an AME for the annuals from then on. Unfortunately I'm not sure if this carries over into Canada. I like to listen to the EAA webinars as background to drown out the stupid people at work but what they have there is all US-based info.

But for regular repairs and mods if you're the owner you can do pretty much whatever you want.
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Re: Self maint. for purchased homebuilt

#4 Post by awitzke » Tue Mar 15, 2016 7:15 am

Thanks for this info. I'll try to do a bit more research on it, just tough as most info is for the USA.

I'm ok having to do annuals with an AME, and we'll probably do them with an AME regardless if it's required or not just to be on the safe side. I'm very capable but having a professional check things out makes for peace of mind.
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Re: Self maint. for purchased homebuilt

#5 Post by ahramin » Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:41 am

In Canada the the owner is automatically qualified to do any inspection, repair, or modification to their homebuilt aircraft, regardless of whether or not they built it. In the case of a Van's aircraft there is support from the factory for continuing airworthiness such as inspection checklists and SBs. Most AMEs are also comfortable assisting in maintenance on RVs as they are a pretty common aircraft so if you need some professional help for a specific item it shouldn't be too hard to get.

Basically anything you can do yourself, go ahead and do it. Anything you don't have the tools for, buy or borrow the tool. Anything you don't know how to do, hire someone to show you how to do it.
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Re: Self maint. for purchased homebuilt

#6 Post by AirFrame » Wed Mar 16, 2016 7:18 am

ahramin wrote:In Canada the the owner is automatically qualified to do any inspection, repair, or modification to their homebuilt aircraft, regardless of whether or not they built it. In the case of a Van's aircraft there is support from the factory for continuing airworthiness such as inspection checklists and SBs. Most AMEs are also comfortable assisting in maintenance on RVs as they are a pretty common aircraft so if you need some professional help for a specific item it shouldn't be too hard to get.

Basically anything you can do yourself, go ahead and do it. Anything you don't have the tools for, buy or borrow the tool. Anything you don't know how to do, hire someone to show you how to do it.
This exactly.

I didn't build my RV-6 either. My hangar is at an airport with almost two dozen RV's and their owners, and I partially share space with one of them who also happens to be an AME. The best thing you can do, even if you come into this with some aircraft maintenance knowledge already, is to find a fellow owner who is knowledgeable and learn from them. Do your annuals together, oil changes together, etc. and learn it all bit by bit.
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Re: Self maint. for purchased homebuilt

#7 Post by awitzke » Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:19 am

Thanks for all the great info. I'll see how things progress in the near future and maybe by the end of summer/fall I'll be an aircraft owner!
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Re: Self maint. for purchased homebuilt

#8 Post by culver10 » Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:22 pm

I completely agree with the FAA system were the builder who has spent many years and sometimes thousands of hours constructing his aircraft gets a limited A&P licence to inspect and repair his aircraft. If he sells the plane, the new owner has to take the plane to a licensed mechanic or the original builder for annual inspection. In Canada, anyone can purchase a homebuilt and maintain it. They might be very mechanically experienced, or might not know which way to tighten a screw? Light aircraft are mostly very simple machines, but if something fails or breaks, you just can't pull over and hook a rope to it and pull it back to the garage.
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Re: Self maint. for purchased homebuilt

#9 Post by AirFrame » Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:04 pm

culver10 wrote:I completely agree with the FAA system were the builder who has spent many years and sometimes thousands of hours constructing his aircraft gets a limited A&P licence to inspect and repair his aircraft. If he sells the plane, the new owner has to take the plane to a licensed mechanic or the original builder for annual inspection. In Canada, anyone can purchase a homebuilt and maintain it. They might be very mechanically experienced, or might not know which way to tighten a screw? Light aircraft are mostly very simple machines, but if something fails or breaks, you just can't pull over and hook a rope to it and pull it back to the garage.
I'm of two minds on this personally. I agree that it seems reasonable that you couldn't adequately maintain an amateur-built aircraft if you didn't construct it yourself. But at the same time, the accident statistics don't suggest that the Canadian system is more dangerous than the US system. I suspect this means that people qualified to do their own maintenance are doing it, and those who aren't either don't get into the amateur-built market, or they are making use of mechanics or fellow owners as resources to either instruct them, or outright do the maintenance for them.
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Re: Self maint. for purchased homebuilt

#10 Post by NunavutPA-12 » Sat Mar 19, 2016 4:37 pm

The learning curve was (is) pretty steep for me as far as maintaining my home-built is concerned. It was not built by me and, although I had some experience in maintaining an ultralight (also not built by me), I had more to learn when I got my Lycoming-powered PA-12/18 clone.

I'm a long way from any maintenance facility.

If an AME or a school were to put on a basic maintenance course of a couple of weeks for home-builders I think there would be a market for that service.
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Re: Self maint. for purchased homebuilt

#11 Post by AirFrame » Sun Mar 20, 2016 7:49 am

NunavutPA-12 wrote:If an AME or a school were to put on a basic maintenance course of a couple of weeks for home-builders I think there would be a market for that service.
If it were possible to teach the average person how to maintain an entire airplane in two weeks, we wouldn't need AME's.
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Re: Self maint. for purchased homebuilt

#12 Post by NunavutPA-12 » Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:11 am

AirFrame wrote:
NunavutPA-12 wrote:If an AME or a school were to put on a basic maintenance course of a couple of weeks for home-builders I think there would be a market for that service.
If it were possible to teach the average person how to maintain an entire airplane in two weeks, we wouldn't need AME's.
Yes, yes ..... we all know that being an AME is a cross between rocket-science and brain surgery and only very special people can fully understand the complex workings of a tube and fabric airplane. I wouldn't want to destroy that myth by becoming a "two-week AME".

Obviously, I was talking about something very basic.
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Re: Self maint. for purchased homebuilt

#13 Post by ahramin » Sun Mar 20, 2016 10:12 am

Last year I put on a one hour class on maintaining your aircraft. It was well attended, I think everyone learned a bit. I don't think anyone subsequently went out and fired their AME.
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Re: Self maint. for purchased homebuilt

#14 Post by NunavutPA-12 » Sun Mar 20, 2016 10:45 am

Things I've done but would still like to learn (to do it properly):

1) How to do a proper differential compression test
2) How to check/adjust the timing
3) Changing oil and filter (or checking the sump screen)
4) Safety wiring demonstrated
5) Removing / inspecting / re-installing or replacing spark plugs (torque wrench use)
6) Trouble spots to look for under the cowling
7) Inspecting control cables
8) Borescope use (they are cheap these days)
9) Recommended special tools and their use

That sort of thing. That's all I can think of, but there's probably others.

Would take a lot more than one hour.

A lot of these things I could get an AME to do, but the nearest is 400-miles away and I have more interesting destinations!
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Re: Self maint. for purchased homebuilt

#15 Post by goingnowherefast » Thu Mar 31, 2016 7:06 pm

CAR 571.11 (1)(b)
in the case of maintenance performed on an aircraft that is operated under a special certificate of airworthiness in the amateur-built classification, the person is an owner of the aircraft;

By all means, if you need help, ask for it. Amateur built owners are a tight knit group. They help each other out quite a bit.
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Re: Self maint. for purchased homebuilt

#16 Post by FADEC » Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:03 am

I have seen lots of terrible work by AME's and lots of terrible work by Amateurs; also things done poorly by factories.
I have also seen "Amateur" work that was far better than factory or (most) AME's.
An "Amateur" is working for nothing; may spend more time to get a better result.
Some AME"s are excellent. Some will run up the bill for no valid reason.
An AME who shows disrespect for Pilots is to be avoided; a Pilot who ignores (good) AME's is to be avoided.
An aileron came off an airplane; it had been removed and replaced by an AME; apparently forgot the nut!
Another AME was unaware that the inlet screen in a Lycoming oil sump needs to be inspected at oil changes.
Anyone can miss something; ensure that another pair of eyes looks at critical items.
Don't "Assume".
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Re: Self maint. for purchased homebuilt

#17 Post by AirFrame » Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:41 am

Chris M wrote:In the US only the original builder can apply for a Repairman Certificate, which allows them to perform the plane's annual Condition Inspection. If the plane is sold the new owner has to use an AME for the annuals from then on.
Or, they can take it back to the builder. A number of RV's owned by non-builders go back to their builder for annual sign-off.
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Re: Self maint. for purchased homebuilt

#18 Post by ahramin » Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:17 am

Or they can get a repairman's certificate for their aircraft.
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Re: Self maint. for purchased homebuilt

#19 Post by AirFrame » Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:35 am

ahramin wrote:Or they can get a repairman's certificate for their aircraft.
This is restricted to the original builder in the US. The FAA only issues one Repairman's Cert per amateur-built airframe. After that, you're either an AME or you go to one.
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