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Van's RV14 - build outsourcing

I have never known the inspectors here taking an aircraft apart 50% after it was built, whatever the materials.

Pre-1998 Lancairs for example.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I heard of a Europa built by two guys, with a paid workman doing some of the work.
Is the OP offering to help build an aircraft for someone? If local to him I’d think no problem. If he was prepared to move temporarily, no problem in any country allowing homebuilding. If he has the building space, a Belgian builder could come to him.
It happens.
The agreement for payment would be a problem.

EGPE, United Kingdom

@Peter, I don’t see where in the link you posted that there was a requirement to dismantle 50% of the aircraft. Most of OSAC’s work is done through the presentation by the builder of.a dossier containing all the information you would find in a maintenance manual and the results of various checks and tests being carried out during and after construction. I assume this is the same with the LAA in the UK. In the case of an approved kit built aircraft they would then issue a CNSK (certificate of navigation special kit), Under this gives the builder and if passed to subsequent owners the right for instance to carry out all their own maintenance.
In the case of an imported kit built aircraft how much OSAC.would get involved would depend on how complete the dossier was.
There are of course certain kit built aircraft that do not meet OSACs specifications and limits and cannot be registered in France. We are talking here of kit built aircraft. There are other specifications for a homebuilt aircraft , not from a kit and which might start under the experimental F-W reg until it has been proven of.a.certain number of flying.hours after which it might change to the F-P reg.
Just as certain kits may need to be modified in order to qualify for a Permit to Fly so in France OSAC can ask for certain tests or modifications to be made to the kit in order to qualify for the French CNSK.


Peter wrote:

There is much anecdotal stuff about “assisted builds” but in Europe it is kept low-profile for the most part because in certain regimes there are disadvantages if you are not the actual builder


At least in Norway, and Sweden, and Denmark there is no such thing as the “actual builder” in any legal sense. The requirement is for a “build leader” (translated). Often he is the “actual builder” (only one is building), but there is no requirement for him/she to actually build anything at all. The requirement is that the build leader has the legal responsibility for the build process. When the aircraft is finished though, it is only the build leader that can sign off papers regarding yearly maintenance. The build leader is free to get all “assist” he wants. The 51% rule has to be followed though. 51% of the aircraft has to be built.

The only problem with this is when several get together to build (as these Danes, but don’t know if that rule exists in Denmark), they have to be aware that it is only the build leader who will be able to sign the maintenance when the aircraft is finished (in addition to proper aircraft mechanics). Maintenance is much simpler anyway. There is no requirements for an aircraft mechanic in terms of EASA stuff. The requirement is for actual ability to do it, which a proper mechanic will always fill, but so will several others, for instance other build leaders of the same aircraft.

A process like the OP suggest will work just fine in a legal sense. However, I cannot imagine that the “other guy” would not insist of being the build leader in such a configuration, so in essence the OP will simply purchase a finished aircraft. But, this is also a question of many other thing (how well they know each other, who is paying and how much etc). There is nothing preventing such a configuration, it’s more a matter of sorting out the civil legal stuff between them, which goes down to more personal matters IMO.

Peter wrote:

For example in France certain homebuilts would have to be dismantled to 50% (whatever that means) before it would be accepted.

How do you dismantle an aircraft 50% ? Clearly this is literally an insane task which only an insane person would even suggest. I can’t imagine this to be a requirement set out by any aviation authority, and must be a misunderstanding. The requirement is to build 51 % of the aircraft. Purchasing a factory built aircraft will obviously not work unless you dismantle 51% of it. No one in their right mind would do that, but there is nothing wrong legally about it, and it could be done in practice for some kits. It’s just that the concept of it is nonsensical, at lest with any normal kit-plane. What you refer to here is IMO simply the logical, and clearly impractical, result of the 51% rule if the aircraft is not built with this rule in mind up front. There is no rule that say you have to dismantle 50% of the aircraft, and no one is telling you to do so. It’s something that has been taken out of context, then misunderstood and then presented as “fact”. Pure nonsense in other words.

Peter wrote:

hat’s fine if
you don’t have a wife
you have a wife but don’t like her
you have a wife but she doesn’t like you
you have a girlfriend who spends most of her time with her husband
you have another plane to fly
you don’t fly
you think fishing is the pinnacle of social engagement

Or you could simply have a wife who stands on her own two feet, having her own hobbies Or a wife that also like airplanes – yes that has been known to happen Of course, some kind of support and understanding is necessary here. But this is true for everything you set out to do when you have a wife, whether it is fishing or if you collect bulldozers.

The elephant is the circulation

I never said 50% dismantling wasn’t an insane proposition. This is a post-1998 requirement in France (see the link I posted, and others) for some non-CofA types; IIRC because the US kit vendor refused to supply the DGAC (or any other European CAA) with some design data. Some previous discussion years ago. Lancair was one of these; never a well organised company Probably nobody actually did it, and instead went to PH-reg and kept a relatively low profile – until recently when that was stopped but a route came to exist to go to F-reg after all – here.

There is a lot of wishful thinking within the homebuilt community, as somebody I know who is currently looking at various types is discovering, and tearing his hair out. And that is in the UK, where things are more predictable than most others, with the LAA G-reg regime. Like most, that one runs to some extent on how much beer you supply the LAA inspector with, which is fine for the owner but a minefield for a buyer who finds planes with amazing defects which have just been signed off…

It is thus very difficult to get anyone working within these systems to post details. The LAA has various documents e.g. this for acceptance of mods but that won’t help the OP who is in Belgium.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Learning a lot. For one, it’s complicated! Thanks a bunch for the discussion and PMs…

Life is not a dress rehearsal, it is ...
EBGB KGAI, Belgium

LeSving wrote:

A process like the OP suggest will work just fine in a legal sense. However, I cannot imagine that the “other guy” would not insist of being the build leader in such a configuration, so in essence the OP will simply purchase a finished aircraft.

Here in the US, it is quite common for people to get experienced help in building an RV, and any such plane that I’ve seen is licensed with the owner as the builder. A good friend built his RV-8 that way over a couple of years, and has since put about 1500 hrs on the plane. Building tends to go faster when the ‘help’ has done it several times before. The owner in this case is regardless very familiar with every detail of the planes construction, nobody but him touches it now.

Another friend built a Glastar using the factory assist method to get a head start on construction. He did not like the end result, too truckish in its handling, and recovered his investment by selling it to a third party before he’d even painted it. A good deal for the buyer as the labor to build it was not highly compensated in the sale price, maybe $30K. He built the plane for fun, not profit, so that was not an issue for the builder. He went on to the next project, one of many he’s done over the last 30 years and later sold.

I also knew of an MXS aerobatic plane that was as far as I understood 100% built by others and then licensed as E-AB with what was really just a buyer as the builder. That obviously goes against the spirit and intent of the FAA E-AB rules, but happens sometimes. That plane later did a lawn dart impression and is gone now or I wouldn’t mention it.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 22 Aug 19:02

the -14 is, for sure, especially when having the sissy wheel in the right spot (at the rear), a very capable and nice machine.
The step-by-step manual reveals that nobody builds a -14(A), but rather assembles one, Ikea like…

If a -14(A) is the object of desire, another very popular option is the quick-built version. For a few K$$$$ more, you get a fuse and wings basically built, the remainder 51% (what a joke, really) being systems installation.

One more option is to buy a flying example… none for sale at the moment in EU, a couple in the US, ranging from 180 to 300K$…

And no, I could but will not build it for you, nor for anybody else for that matter

ain't the Destination, but the Journey
LSZF, Switzerland

The UK LAA requires builders to keep a logbook, signed off by an LAA Inspector at various stages – so any work which is later concealed has been checked when open.
They specify a pilot for the initial flights. This will only be the builder if the LAA consider him suitably qualified and experienced.

EGPE, United Kingdom

For the UK LAA-administered homebuilding, sharing a build is not, in theory an issue – provided it isn’t ‘paid help’:

See Paragraph 18: Amateur Building Rules

The regulations are determined by the CAA CAP659 local copy

For an amateur build imported aircraft to be accepted on to an LAA administered Permit to Fly, some kind of proof is required that the aircraft was not commercially built. Many adverts appear starting with the phrase: ‘professionally built…..’ which is a bit of a giveaway.

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